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Chapter 2

  • Mr. Harold Moore was a bilious-countenanced, studious young man. He too_imself very seriously, and life, and his work, which latter was the tutorin_f the young son of a British nobleman. He felt that his charge was not makin_he progress that his parents had a right to expect, and he was no_onscientiously explaining this fact to the boy's mother. "It's not that h_sn't bright," he was saying; "if that were true I should have hopes o_ucceeding, for then I might bring to bear all my energies in overcoming hi_btuseness; but the trouble is that he is exceptionally intelligent, an_earns so quickly that I can find no fault in the matter of the preparation o_is lessons. What concerns me, however, is that fact that he evidently take_o interest whatever in the subjects we are studying. He merely accomplishe_ach lesson as a task to be rid of as quickly as possible and I am sure tha_o lesson ever again enters his mind until the hours of study and recitatio_nce more arrive. His sole interests seem to be feats of physical prowess an_he reading of everything that he can get hold of relative to savage beast_nd the lives and customs of uncivilized peoples; but particularly do storie_f animals appeal to him. He will sit for hours together poring over the wor_f some African explorer, and upon two occasions I have found him setting u_n bed at night reading Carl Hagenbeck's book on men and beasts."
  • The boy's mother tapped her foot nervously upon the hearth rug.
  • "You discourage this, of course?" she ventured.
  • Mr. Moore shuffled embarrassedly.
  • "I—ah—essayed to take the book from him," he replied, a slight flush mountin_is sallow cheek; "but—ah—your son is quite muscular for one so young."
  • "He wouldn't let you take it?" asked the mother.
  • "He would not," confessed the tutor. "He was perfectly good natured about it; but he insisted upon pretending that he was a gorilla and that I was _himpanzee attempting to steal food from him. He leaped upon me with the mos_avage growls I ever heard, lifted me completely above his head, hurled m_pon his bed, and after going through a pantomime indicative of choking me t_eath he stood upon my prostrate form and gave voice to a most fearsom_hriek, which he explained was the victory cry of a bull ape. Then he carrie_e to the door, shoved me out into the hall and locked me from his room."
  • For several minutes neither spoke again. It was the boy's mother who finall_roke the silence.
  • "It is very necessary, Mr. Moore," she said, "that you do everything in you_ower to discourage this tendency in Jack, he—"; but she got no further. _oud "Whoop!" from the direction of the window brought them both to thei_eet. The room was upon the second floor of the house, and opposite the windo_o which their attention had been attracted was a large tree, a branch o_hich spread to within a few feet of the sill. Upon this branch now they bot_iscovered the subject of their recent conversation, a tall, well-built boy, balancing with ease upon the bending limb and uttering loud shouts of glee a_e noted the terrified expressions upon the faces of his audience.
  • The mother and tutor both rushed toward the window but before they had crosse_alf the room the boy had leaped nimbly to the sill and entered the apartmen_ith them.
  • "`The wild man from Borneo has just come to town,'" he sang, dancing a specie_f war dance about his terrified mother and scandalized tutor, and ending u_y throwing his arms about the former's neck and kissing her upon eithe_heek.
  • "Oh, Mother," he cried, "there's a wonderful, educated ape being shown at on_f the music halls. Willie Grimsby saw it last night. He says it can d_verything but talk. It rides a bicycle, eats with knife and fork, counts u_o ten, and ever so many other wonderful things, and can I go and see it too?
  • Oh, please, Mother—please let me."
  • Patting the boy's cheek affectionately, the mother shook her head negatively.
  • "No, Jack," she said; "you know I do not approve of such exhibitions."
  • "I don't see why not, Mother," replied the boy. "All the other fellows go an_hey go to the Zoo, too, and you'll never let me do even that. Anybody'd thin_ was a girl—or a mollycoddle. Oh, Father," he exclaimed, as the door opene_o admit a tall gray-eyed man. "Oh, Father, can't I go?"
  • "Go where, my son?" asked the newcomer.
  • "He wants to go to a music hall to see a trained ape," said the mother, looking warningly at her husband.
  • "Who, Ajax?" questioned the man.
  • The boy nodded.
  • "Well, I don't know that I blame you, my son," said the father, "I wouldn'_ind seeing him myself. They say he is very wonderful, and that for a_nthropoid he is unusually large. Let's all go, Jane—what do you say?" And h_urned toward his wife, but that lady only shook her head in a most positiv_anner, and turning to Mr. Moore asked him if it was not time that he and Jac_ere in the study for the morning recitations. When the two had left sh_urned toward her husband.
  • "John," she said, "something must be done to discourage Jack's tendency towar_nything that may excite the cravings for the savage life which I fear he ha_nherited from you. You know from your own experience how strong is the cal_f the wild at times. You know that often it has necessitated a stern struggl_n your part to resist the almost insane desire which occasionally overwhelm_ou to plunge once again into the jungle life that claimed you for so man_ears, and at the same time you know, better than any other, how frightful _ate it would be for Jack, were the trail to the savage jungle made eithe_lluring or easy to him."
  • "I doubt if there is any danger of his inheriting a taste for jungle life fro_e," replied the man, "for I cannot conceive that such a thing may b_ransmitted from father to son. And sometimes, Jane, I think that in you_olicitude for his future you go a bit too far in your restrictive measures.
  • His love for animals—his desire, for example, to see this trained ape—is onl_atural in a healthy, normal boy of his age. Just because he wants to see Aja_s no indication that he would wish to marry an ape, and even should he, fa_e it from you Jane to have the right to cry `shame!'" and John Clayton, Lor_reystoke, put an arm about his wife, laughing good-naturedly down into he_pturned face before he bent his head and kissed her. Then, more seriously, h_ontinued: "You have never told Jack anything concerning my early life, no_ave you permitted me to, and in this I think that you have made a mistake.
  • Had I been able to tell him of the experiences of Tarzan of the Apes I coul_oubtless have taken much of the glamour and romance from jungle life tha_aturally surrounds it in the minds of those who have had no experience of it.
  • He might then have profited by my experience, but now, should the jungle lus_ver claim him, he will have nothing to guide him but his own impulses, and _now how powerful these may be in the wrong direction at times."
  • But Lady Greystoke only shook her head as she had a hundred other times whe_he subject had claimed her attention in the past.
  • "No, John," she insisted, "I shall never give my consent to the implanting i_ack's mind of any suggestion of the savage life which we both wish t_reserve him from."
  • It was evening before the subject was again referred to and then it was raise_y Jack himself. He had been sitting, curled in a large chair, reading, whe_e suddenly looked up and addressed his father.
  • "Why," he asked, coming directly to the point, "can't I go and see Ajax?"
  • "Your mother does not approve," replied his father.
  • "Do you?"
  • "That is not the question," evaded Lord Greystoke. "It is enough that you_other objects."
  • "I am going to see him," announced the boy, after a few moments of thoughtfu_ilence. "I am not different from Willie Grimsby, or any other of the fellow_ho have been to see him. It did not harm them and it will not harm me. _ould go without telling you; but I would not do that. So I tell you now, beforehand, that I am going to see Ajax."
  • There was nothing disrespectful or defiant in the boy's tone or manner. Hi_as merely a dispassionate statement of facts. His father could scarce repres_ither a smile or a show of the admiration he felt for the manly course hi_on had pursued.
  • "I admire your candor, Jack," he said. "Permit me to be candid, as well. I_ou go to see Ajax without permission, I shall punish you. I have neve_nflicted corporal punishment upon you, but I warn you that should you disobe_our mother's wishes in this instance, I shall."
  • "Yes, sir," replied the boy; and then: "I shall tell you, sir, when I hav_een to see Ajax."
  • Mr. Moore's room was next to that of his youthful charge, and it was th_utor's custom to have a look into the boy's each evening as the former wa_bout to retire. This evening he was particularly careful not to neglect hi_uty, for he had just come from a conference with the boy's father and mothe_n which it had been impressed upon him that he must exercise the greates_are to prevent Jack visiting the music hall where Ajax was being shown. So, when he opened the boy's door at about half after nine, he was greatl_xcited, though not entirely surprised to find the future Lord Greystoke full_ressed for the street and about to crawl from his open bed room window.
  • Mr. Moore made a rapid spring across the apartment; but the waste of energ_as unnecessary, for when the boy heard him within the chamber and realize_hat he had been discovered he turned back as though to relinquish his planne_dventure.
  • "Where were you going?" panted the excited Mr. Moore.
  • "I am going to see Ajax," replied the boy, quietly.
  • "I am astonished," cried Mr. Moore; but a moment later he was infinitely mor_stonished, for the boy, approaching close to him, suddenly seized him abou_he waist, lifted him from his feet and threw him face downward upon the bed, shoving his face deep into a soft pillow.
  • "Be quiet," admonished the victor, "or I'll choke you."
  • Mr. Moore struggled; but his efforts were in vain. Whatever else Tarzan of th_pes may or may not have handed down to his son he had at least bequeathed hi_lmost as marvelous a physique as he himself had possessed at the same age.
  • The tutor was as putty in the boy's hands. Kneeling upon him, Jack tore strip_rom a sheet and bound the man's hands behind his back. Then he rolled hi_ver and stuffed a gag of the same material between his teeth, securing i_ith a strip wound about the back of his victim's head. All the while h_alked in a low, conversational tone.
  • "I am Waja, chief of the Waji," he explained, "and you are Mohammed Dubn, th_rab sheik, who would murder my people and steal my ivory," and he dexterousl_russed Mr. Moore's hobbled ankles up behind to meet his hobbled wrists.
  • "Ah—ha! Villain! I have you in me power at last. I go; but I shall return!"
  • And the son of Tarzan skipped across the room, slipped through the ope_indow, and slid to liberty by way of the down spout from an eaves trough.
  • Mr. Moore wriggled and struggled about the bed. He was sure that he shoul_uffocate unless aid came quickly. In his frenzy of terror he managed to rol_ff the bed. The pain and shock of the fall jolted him back to something lik_ane consideration of his plight. Where before he had been unable to thin_ntelligently because of the hysterical fear that had claimed him he now la_uietly searching for some means of escape from his dilemma. It finall_ccurred to him that the room in which Lord and Lady Greystoke had bee_itting when he left them was directly beneath that in which he lay upon th_loor. He knew that some time had elapsed since he had come up stairs and tha_hey might be gone by this time, for it seemed to him that he had struggle_bout the bed, in his efforts to free himself, for an eternity. But the bes_hat he could do was to attempt to attract attention from below, and so, afte_any failures, he managed to work himself into a position in which he coul_ap the toe of his boot against the floor. This he proceeded to do at shor_ntervals, until, after what seemed a very long time, he was rewarded b_earing footsteps ascending the stairs, and presently a knock upon the door.
  • Mr. Moore tapped vigorously with his toe—he could not reply in any other way.
  • The knock was repeated after a moment's silence. Again Mr. Moore tapped. Woul_hey never open the door! Laboriously he rolled in the direction of succor. I_e could get his back against the door he could then tap upon its base, whe_urely he must be heard. The knocking was repeated a little louder, an_inally a voice called: "Mr. Jack!"
  • It was one of the house men—Mr. Moore recognized the fellow's voice. He cam_ear to bursting a blood vessel in an endeavor to scream "come in" through th_tifling gag. After a moment the man knocked again, quite loudly and agai_alled the boy's name. Receiving no reply he turned the knob, and at the sam_nstant a sudden recollection filled the tutor anew with numbing terror—h_ad, himself, locked the door behind him when he had entered the room.
  • He heard the servant try the door several times and then depart. Upon whic_r. Moore swooned.
  • In the meantime Jack was enjoying to the full the stolen pleasures of th_usic hall. He had reached the temple of mirth just as Ajax's act wa_ommencing, and having purchased a box seat was now leaning breathlessly ove_he rail watching every move of the great ape, his eyes wide in wonder. Th_rainer was not slow to note the boy's handsome, eager face, and as one o_jax's biggest hits consisted in an entry to one or more boxes during hi_erformance, ostensibly in search of a long-lost relative, as the traine_xplained, the man realized the effectiveness of sending him into the box wit_he handsome boy, who, doubtless, would be terror stricken by proximity to th_haggy, powerful beast.
  • When the time came, therefore, for the ape to return from the wings in repl_o an encore the trainer directed its attention to the boy who chanced to b_he sole occupant of the box in which he sat. With a spring the hug_nthropoid leaped from the stage to the boy's side; but if the trainer ha_ooked for a laughable scene of fright he was mistaken. A broad smile lighte_he boy's features as he laid his hand upon the shaggy arm of his visitor. Th_pe, grasping the boy by either shoulder, peered long and earnestly into hi_ace, while the latter stroked his head and talked to him in a low voice.
  • Never had Ajax devoted so long a time to an examination of another as he di_n this instance. He seemed troubled and not a little excited, jabbering an_umbling to the boy, and now caressing him, as the trainer had never seen hi_aress a human being before. Presently he clambered over into the box with hi_nd snuggled down close to the boy's side. The audience was delighted; bu_hey were still more delighted when the trainer, the period of his act havin_lapsed, attempted to persuade Ajax to leave the box. The ape would not budge.
  • The manager, becoming excited at the delay, urged the trainer to greate_aste, but when the latter entered the box to drag away the reluctant Ajax h_as met by bared fangs and menacing growls.
  • The audience was delirious with joy. They cheered the ape. They cheered th_oy, and they hooted and jeered at the trainer and the manager, which luckles_ndividual had inadvertently shown himself and attempted to assist th_rainer.
  • Finally, reduced to desperation and realizing that this show of mutiny upo_he part of his valuable possession might render the animal worthless fo_xhibition purposes in the future if not immediately subdued, the trainer ha_astened to his dressing room and procured a heavy whip. With this he no_eturned to the box; but when he had threatened Ajax with it but once he foun_imself facing two infuriated enemies instead of one, for the boy had leape_o his feet, and seizing a chair was standing ready at the ape's side t_efend his new found friend. There was no longer a smile upon his handsom_ace. In his gray eyes was an expression which gave the trainer pause, an_eside him stood the giant anthropoid growling and ready.
  • What might have happened, but for a timely interruption, may only be surmised; but that the trainer would have received a severe mauling, if nothing more, was clearly indicated by the attitudes of the two who faced him.
  • * * *
  • It was a pale-faced man who rushed into the Greystoke library to announce tha_e had found Jack's door locked and had been able to obtain no response to hi_epeated knocking and calling other than a strange tapping and the sound o_hat might have been a body moving about upon the floor. Four steps at a tim_ohn Clayton took the stairs that led to the floor above. His wife and th_ervant hurried after him. Once he called his son's name in a loud voice; bu_eceiving no reply he launched his great weight, backed by all th_ndiminished power of his giant muscles, against the heavy door. With _napping of iron butts and a splintering of wood the obstacle burst inward.
  • At its foot lay the body of the unconscious Mr. Moore, across whom it fel_ith a resounding thud. Through the opening leaped Tarzan, and a moment late_he room was flooded with light from a dozen electric bulbs.
  • It was several minutes before the tutor was discovered, so completely had th_oor covered him; but finally he was dragged forth, his gag and bonds cu_way, and a liberal application of cold water had hastened returnin_onsciousness.
  • "Where is Jack?" was John Clayton's first question, and then; "Who did this?"
  • as the memory of Rokoff and the fear of a second abduction seized him.
  • Slowly Mr. Moore staggered to his feet. His gaze wandered about the room.
  • Gradually he collected his scattered wits. The details of his recent harrowin_xperience returned to him.
  • "I tender my resignation, sir, to take effect at once," were his first words.
  • "You do not need a tutor for your son—what he needs is a wild animal trainer."
  • "But where is he?" cried Lady Greystoke.
  • "He has gone to see Ajax."
  • It was with difficulty that Tarzan restrained a smile, and after satisfyin_imself that the tutor was more scared than injured, he ordered his closed ca_round and departed in the direction of a certain well-known music hall.