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Chapter 26 The Passing of the Ape-Man

  • The next morning they set out upon the short journey to Tarzan's cabin. Fou_aziri bore the body of the dead Englishman. It had been the ape-man'_uggestion that Clayton be buried beside the former Lord Greystoke near th_dge of the jungle against the cabin that the older man had built.
  • Jane Porter was glad that it was to be so, and in her heart of hearts sh_ondered at the marvelous fineness of character of this wondrous man, who,
  • though raised by brutes and among brutes, had the true chivalry and tendernes_hich only associates with the refinements of the highest civilization.
  • They had proceeded some three miles of the five that had separated them fro_arzan's own beach when the Waziri who were ahead stopped suddenly, pointin_n amazement at a strange figure approaching them along the beach. It was _an with a shiny silk hat, who walked slowly with bent head, and hands claspe_ehind him underneath the tails of his long, black coat.
  • At sight of him Jane Porter uttered a little cry of surprise and joy, and ra_uickly ahead to meet him. At the sound of her voice the old man looked up,
  • and when he saw who it was confronting him he, too, cried out in relief an_appiness. As Professor Archimedes Q. Porter folded his daughter in his arm_ears streamed down his seamed old face, and it was several minutes before h_ould control himself sufficiently to speak.
  • When a moment later he recognized Tarzan it was with difficulty that the_ould convince him that his sorrow had not unbalanced his mind, for with th_ther members of the party he had been so thoroughly convinced that the ape-
  • man was dead it was a problem to reconcile the conviction with the ver_ifelike appearance of Jane's "forest god." The old man was deeply touched a_he news of Clayton's death.
  • "I cannot understand it," he said. "Monsieur Thuran assured us that Clayto_assed away many days ago."
  • "Thuran is with you?" asked Tarzan.
  • "Yes; he but recently found us and led us to your cabin. We were camped but _hort distance north of it. Bless me, but he will be delighted to see yo_oth."
  • "And surprised," commented Tarzan.
  • A short time later the strange party came to the clearing in which stood th_pe-man's cabin. It was filled with people coming and going, and almost th_irst whom Tarzan saw was D'Arnot.
  • "Paul!" he cried. "In the name of sanity what are you doing here? Or are w_ll insane?"
  • It was quickly explained, however, as were many other seemingly strang_hings. D'Arnot's ship had been cruising along the coast, on patrol duty, whe_t the lieutenant's suggestion they had anchored off the little landlocke_arbor to have another look at the cabin and the jungle in which many of th_fficers and men had taken part in exciting adventures two years before. O_anding they had found Lord Tennington's party, and arrangements were bein_ade to take them all on board the following morning, and carry them back t_ivilization.
  • Hazel Strong and her mother, Esmeralda, and Mr. Samuel T. Philander wer_lmost overcome by happiness at Jane Porter's safe return. Her escape seeme_o them little short of miraculous, and it was the consensus of opinion tha_t could have been achieved by no other man than Tarzan of the Apes. The_oaded the uncomfortable ape-man with eulogies and attentions until he wishe_imself back in the amphitheater of the apes.
  • All were interested in his savage Waziri, and many were the gifts the blac_en received from these friends of their king, but when they learned that h_ight sail away from them upon the great canoe that lay at anchor a mile of_hore they became very sad.
  • As yet the newcomers had seen nothing of Lord Tennington and Monsieur Thuran.
  • They had gone out for fresh meat early in the day, and had not yet returned.
  • "How surprised this man, whose name you say is Rokoff, will be to see you,"
  • said Jane Porter to Tarzan.
  • "His surprise will be short-lived," replied the ape-man grimly, and there wa_hat in his tone that made her look up into his face in alarm. What she rea_here evidently confirmed her fears, for she put her hand upon his arm, an_leaded with him to leave the Russian to the laws of France.
  • "In the heart of the jungle, dear," she said, "with no other form of right o_ustice to appeal to other than your own mighty muscles, you would b_arranted in executing upon this man the sentence he deserves; but with th_trong arm of a civilized government at your disposal it would be murder t_ill him now. Even your friends would have to submit to your arrest, or if yo_esisted it would plunge us all into misery and unhappiness again. I canno_ear to lose you again, my Tarzan. Promise me that you will but turn him ove_o Captain Dufranne, and let the law take its course—the beast is not wort_isking our happiness for."
  • He saw the wisdom of her appeal, and promised. A half hour later Rokoff an_ennington emerged from the jungle. They were walking side by side. Tenningto_as the first to note the presence of strangers in the camp. He saw the blac_arriors palavering with the sailors from the cruiser, and then he saw _ithe, brown giant talking with Lieutenant D'Arnot and Captain Dufranne.
  • "Who is that, I wonder," said Tennington to Rokoff, and as the Russian raise_is eyes and met those of the ape-man full upon him, he staggered and wen_hite.
  • "SAPRISTI!" he cried, and before Tennington realized what he intended he ha_hrown his gun to his shoulder, and aiming point-blank at Tarzan pulled th_rigger. But the Englishman was close to him—so close that his hand reache_he leveled barrel a fraction of a second before the hammer fell upon th_artridge, and the bullet that was intended for Tarzan's heart whirre_armlessly above his head.
  • Before the Russian could fire again the ape-man was upon him and had wreste_he firearm from his grasp. Captain Dufranne, Lieutenant D'Arnot, and a doze_ailors had rushed up at the sound of the shot, and now Tarzan turned th_ussian over to them without a word. He had explained the matter to the Frenc_ommander before Rokoff arrived, and the officer gave immediate orders t_lace the Russian in irons and confine him on board the cruiser.
  • Just before the guard escorted the prisoner into the small boat that was t_ransport him to his temporary prison Tarzan asked permission to search him,
  • and to his delight found the stolen papers concealed upon his person.
  • The shot had brought Jane Porter and the others from the cabin, and a momen_fter the excitement had died down she greeted the surprised Lord Tennington.
  • Tarzan joined them after he had taken the papers from Rokoff, and, as h_pproached, Jane Porter introduced him to Tennington.
  • "John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, my lord," she said.
  • The Englishman looked his astonishment in spite of his most herculean effort_o appear courteous, and it required many repetitions of the strange story o_he ape-man as told by himself, Jane Porter, and Lieutenant D'Arnot t_onvince Lord Tennington that they were not all quite mad.
  • At sunset they buried William Cecil Clayton beside the jungle graves of hi_ncle and his aunt, the former Lord and Lady Greystoke. And it was at Tarzan'_equest that three volleys were fired over the last resting place of "a brav_an, who met his death bravely."
  • Professor Porter, who in his younger days had been ordained a minister,
  • conducted the simple services for the dead. About the grave, with bowed heads,
  • stood as strange a company of mourners as the sun ever looked down upon. Ther_ere French officers and sailors, two English lords, Americans, and a score o_avage African braves.
  • Following the funeral Tarzan asked Captain Dufranne to delay the sailing o_he cruiser a couple of days while he went inland a few miles to fetch his
  • "belongings," and the officer gladly granted the favor.
  • Late the next afternoon Tarzan and his Waziri returned with the first load of
  • "belongings," and when the party saw the ancient ingots of virgin gold the_warmed upon the ape-man with a thousand questions; but he was smilingl_bdurate to their appeals—he declined to give them the slightest clew as t_he source of his immense treasure. "There are a thousand that I left behind,"
  • he explained, "for every one that I brought away, and when these are spent _ay wish to return for more."
  • The next day he returned to camp with the balance of his ingots, and when the_ere stored on board the cruiser Captain Dufranne said he felt like th_ommander of an old-time Spanish galleon returning from the treasure cities o_he Aztecs. "I don't know what minute my crew will cut my throat, and tak_ver the ship," he added.
  • The next morning, as they were preparing to embark upon the cruiser, Tarza_entured a suggestion to Jane Porter.
  • "Wild beasts are supposed to be devoid of sentiment," he said, "bu_evertheless I should like to be married in the cabin where I was born, besid_he graves of my mother and my father, and surrounded by the savage jungl_hat always has been my home."
  • "Would it be quite regular, dear?" she asked. "For if it would I know of n_ther place in which I should rather be married to my forest god than beneat_he shade of his primeval forest."
  • And when they spoke of it to the others they were assured that it would b_uite regular, and a most splendid termination of a remarkable romance. So th_ntire party assembled within the little cabin and about the door to witnes_he second ceremony that Professor Porter was to solemnize within three days.
  • D'Arnot was to be best man, and Hazel Strong bridesmaid, until Tenningto_pset all the arrangements by another of his marvelous "ideas."
  • "If Mrs. Strong is agreeable," he said, taking the bridesmaid's hand in his,
  • "Hazel and I think it would be ripping to make it a double wedding."
  • The next day they sailed, and as the cruiser steamed slowly out to sea a tal_an, immaculate in white flannel, and a graceful girl leaned against her rai_o watch the receding shore line upon which danced twenty naked, blac_arriors of the Waziri, waving their war spears above their savage heads, an_houting farewells to their departing king.
  • "I should hate to think that I am looking upon the jungle for the last time,
  • dear," he said, "were it not that I know that I am going to a new world o_appiness with you forever," and, bending down, Tarzan of the Apes kissed hi_ate upon her lips.