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Chapter 3

  • As the trainer, with raised lash, hesitated an instant at the entrance to th_ox where the boy and the ape confronted him, a tall broad-shouldered ma_ushed past him and entered. As his eyes fell upon the newcomer a slight flus_ounted the boy's cheeks. "Father!" he exclaimed.
  • The ape gave one look at the English lord, and then leaped toward him, callin_ut in excited jabbering. The man, his eyes going wide in astonishment, stopped as though turned to stone.
  • "Akut!" he cried.
  • The boy looked, bewildered, from the ape to his father, and from his father t_he ape. The trainer's jaw dropped as he listened to what followed, for fro_he lips of the Englishman flowed the gutturals of an ape that were answere_n kind by the huge anthropoid that now clung to him.
  • And from the wings a hideously bent and disfigured old man watched the tablea_n the box, his pock-marked features working spasmodically in varyin_xpressions that might have marked every sensation in the gamut from pleasur_o terror.
  • "Long have I looked for you, Tarzan," said Akut. "Now that I have found you _hall come to your jungle and live there always."
  • The man stroked the beast's head. Through his mind there was running rapidly _rain of recollection that carried him far into the depths of the primeva_frican forest where this huge, man-like beast had fought shoulder to shoulde_ith him years before. He saw the black Mugambi wielding his deadly knob- stick, and beside them, with bared fangs and bristling whiskers, Sheeta th_errible; and pressing close behind the savage and the savage panther, th_ideous apes of Akut. The man sighed. Strong within him surged the jungle lus_hat he had thought dead. Ah! if he could go back even for a brief month o_t, to feel again the brush of leafy branches against his naked hide; to smel_he musty rot of dead vegetation—frankincense and myrrh to the jungle born; t_ense the noiseless coming of the great carnivora upon his trail; to hunt an_o be hunted; to kill! The picture was alluring. And then came anothe_icture—a sweet-faced woman, still young and beautiful; friends; a home; _on. He shrugged his giant shoulders.
  • "It cannot be, Akut," he said; "but if you would return, I shall see that i_s done. You could not be happy here—I may not be happy there."
  • The trainer stepped forward. The ape bared his fangs, growling.
  • "Go with him, Akut," said Tarzan of the Apes. "I will come and see yo_omorrow."
  • The beast moved sullenly to the trainer's side. The latter, at John Clayton'_equest, told where they might be found. Tarzan turned toward his son.
  • "Come!" he said, and the two left the theater. Neither spoke for severa_inutes after they had entered the limousine. It was the boy who broke th_ilence.
  • "The ape knew you," he said, "and you spoke together in the ape's tongue. Ho_id the ape know you, and how did you learn his language?"
  • And then, briefly and for the first time, Tarzan of the Apes told his son o_is early life—of the birth in the jungle, of the death of his parents, and o_ow Kala, the great she ape had suckled and raised him from infancy almost t_anhood. He told him, too, of the dangers and the horrors of the jungle; o_he great beasts that stalked one by day and by night; of the periods o_rought, and of the cataclysmic rains; of hunger; of cold; of intense heat; o_akedness and fear and suffering. He told him of all those things that see_ost horrible to the creature of civilization in the hope that the knowledg_f them might expunge from the lad's mind any inherent desire for the jungle.
  • Yet they were the very things that made the memory of the jungle what it wa_o Tarzan—that made up the composite jungle life he loved. And in the tellin_e forgot one thing—the principal thing—that the boy at his side, listenin_ith eager ears, was the son of Tarzan of the Apes.
  • After the boy had been tucked away in bed—and without the threatene_unishment—John Clayton told his wife of the events of the evening, and tha_e had at last acquainted the boy with the facts of his jungle life. Th_other, who had long foreseen that her son must some time know of thos_rightful years during which his father had roamed the jungle, a naked, savag_east of prey, only shook her head, hoping against hope that the lure she kne_as still strong in the father's breast had not been transmitted to his son.
  • Tarzan visited Akut the following day, but though Jack begged to be allowed t_ccompany him he was refused. This time Tarzan saw the pock-marked old owne_f the ape, whom he did not recognize as the wily Paulvitch of former days.
  • Tarzan, influenced by Akut's pleadings, broached the question of the ape'_urchase; but Paulvitch would not name any price, saying that he woul_onsider the matter.
  • When Tarzan returned home Jack was all excitement to hear the details of hi_isit, and finally suggested that his father buy the ape and bring it home.
  • Lady Greystoke was horrified at the suggestion. The boy was insistent. Tarza_xplained that he had wished to purchase Akut and return him to his jungl_ome, and to this the mother assented. Jack asked to be allowed to visit th_pe, but again he was met with flat refusal. He had the address, however, which the trainer had given his father, and two days later he found th_pportunity to elude his new tutor—who had replaced the terrified Mr.
  • Moore—and after a considerable search through a section of London which he ha_ever before visited, he found the smelly little quarters of the pock-marke_ld man. The old fellow himself replied to his knocking, and when he state_hat he had come to see Ajax, opened the door and admitted him to the littl_oom which he and the great ape occupied. In former years Paulvitch had been _astidious scoundrel; but ten years of hideous life among the cannibals o_frica had eradicated the last vestige of niceness from his habits. Hi_pparel was wrinkled and soiled. His hands were unwashed, his few stragglin_ocks uncombed. His room was a jumble of filthy disorder. As the boy entere_e saw the great ape squatting upon the bed, the coverlets of which were _angled wad of filthy blankets and ill-smelling quilts. At sight of the yout_he ape leaped to the floor and shuffled forward. The man, not recognizing hi_isitor and fearing that the ape meant mischief, stepped between them, ordering the ape back to the bed.
  • "He will not hurt me," cried the boy. "We are friends, and before, he was m_ather's friend. They knew one another in the jungle. My father is Lor_reystoke. He does not know that I have come here. My mother forbid my coming; but I wished to see Ajax, and I will pay you if you will let me come her_ften and see him."
  • At the mention of the boy's identity Paulvitch's eyes narrowed. Since he ha_irst seen Tarzan again from the wings of the theater there had been formin_n his deadened brain the beginnings of a desire for revenge. It is _haracteristic of the weak and criminal to attribute to others the misfortune_hat are the result of their own wickedness, and so now it was that Alexi_aulvitch was slowly recalling the events of his past life and as he did s_aying at the door of the man whom he and Rokoff had so assiduously attempte_o ruin and murder all the misfortunes that had befallen him in the failure o_heir various schemes against their intended victim.
  • He saw at first no way in which he could, with safety to himself, wrea_engeance upon Tarzan through the medium of Tarzan's son; but that grea_ossibilities for revenge lay in the boy was apparent to him, and so h_etermined to cultivate the lad in the hope that fate would play into hi_ands in some way in the future. He told the boy all that he knew of hi_ather's past life in the jungle and when he found that the boy had been kep_n ignorance of all these things for so many years, and that he had bee_orbidden visiting the zoological gardens; that he had had to bind and gag hi_utor to find an opportunity to come to the music hall and see Ajax, h_uessed immediately the nature of the great fear that lay in the hearts of th_oy's parents— that he might crave the jungle as his father had craved it.
  • And so Paulvitch encouraged the boy to come and see him often, and always h_layed upon the lad's craving for tales of the savage world with whic_aulvitch was all too familiar. He left him alone with Akut much, and it wa_ot long until he was surprised to learn that the boy could make the grea_east understand him—that he had actually learned many of the words of th_rimitive language of the anthropoids.
  • During this period Tarzan came several times to visit Paulvitch. He seeme_nxious to purchase Ajax, and at last he told the man frankly that he wa_rompted not only by a desire upon his part to return the beast to the libert_f his native jungle; but also because his wife feared that in some way he_on might learn the whereabouts of the ape and through his attachment for th_east become imbued with the roving instinct which, as Tarzan explained t_aulvitch, had so influenced his own life.
  • The Russian could scarce repress a smile as he listened to Lord Greystoke'_ords, since scarce a half hour had passed since the time the future Lor_reystoke had been sitting upon the disordered bed jabbering away to Ajax wit_ll the fluency of a born ape.
  • It was during this interview that a plan occurred to Paulvitch, and as _esult of it he agreed to accept a certain fabulous sum for the ape, and upo_eceipt of the money to deliver the beast to a vessel that was sailing sout_rom Dover for Africa two days later. He had a double purpose in acceptin_layton's offer. Primarily, the money consideration influenced him strongly, as the ape was no longer a source of revenue to him, having consistentl_efused to perform upon the stage after having discovered Tarzan. It was a_hough the beast had suffered himself to be brought from his jungle home an_xhibited before thousands of curious spectators for the sole purpose o_earching out his long lost friend and master, and, having found him, considered further mingling with the common herd of humans unnecessary.
  • However that may be, the fact remained that no amount of persuasion coul_nfluence him even to show himself upon the music hall stage, and upon th_ingle occasion that the trainer attempted force the results were such tha_he unfortunate man considered himself lucky to have escaped with his life.
  • All that saved him was the accidental presence of Jack Clayton, who had bee_ermitted to visit the animal in the dressing room reserved for him at th_usic hall, and had immediately interfered when he saw that the savage beas_eant serious mischief.
  • And after the money consideration, strong in the heart of the Russian was th_esire for revenge, which had been growing with constant brooding over th_ailures and miseries of his life, which he attributed to Tarzan; the latest, and by no means the least, of which was Ajax's refusal to longer earn mone_or him. The ape's refusal he traced directly to Tarzan, finally convincin_imself that the ape man had instructed the great anthropoid to refuse to g_pon the stage.
  • Paulvitch's naturally malign disposition was aggravated by the weakening an_arping of his mental and physical faculties through torture and privation.
  • From cold, calculating, highly intelligent perversity it had deteriorated int_he indiscriminating, dangerous menace of the mentally defective. His plan, however, was sufficiently cunning to at least cast a doubt upon the assertio_hat his mentality was wandering. It assured him first of the competence whic_ord Greystoke had promised to pay him for the deportation of the ape, an_hen of revenge upon his benefactor through the son he idolized. That part o_is scheme was crude and brutal—it lacked the refinement of torture that ha_arked the master strokes of the Paulvitch of old, when he had worked wit_hat virtuoso of villainy, Nikolas Rokoff—but it at least assured Paulvitch o_mmunity from responsibility, placing that upon the ape, who would thus als_e punished for his refusal longer to support the Russian.
  • Everything played with fiendish unanimity into Paulvitch's hands. As chanc_ould have it, Tarzan's son overheard his father relating to the boy's mothe_he steps he was taking to return Akut safely to his jungle home, and havin_verheard he begged them to bring the ape home that he might have him for _lay-fellow. Tarzan would not have been averse to this plan; but Lad_reystoke was horrified at the very thought of it. Jack pleaded with hi_other; but all unavailingly. She was obdurate, and at last the lad appeare_o acquiesce in his mother's decision that the ape must be returned to Afric_nd the boy to school, from which he had been absent on vacation.
  • He did not attempt to visit Paulvitch's room again that day, but instea_usied himself in other ways. He had always been well supplied with money, s_hat when necessity demanded he had no difficulty in collecting severa_undred pounds. Some of this money he invested in various strange purchase_hich he managed to smuggle into the house, undetected, when he returned lat_n the afternoon.
  • The next morning, after giving his father time to precede him and conclude hi_usiness with Paulvitch, the lad hastened to the Russian's room. Knowin_othing of the man's true character the boy dared not take him fully into hi_onfidence for fear that the old fellow would not only refuse to aid him, bu_ould report the whole affair to his father. Instead, he simply aske_ermission to take Ajax to Dover. He explained that it would relieve the ol_an of a tiresome journey, as well as placing a number of pounds in hi_ocket, for the lad purposed paying the Russian well.
  • "You see," he went on, "there will be no danger of detection since I a_upposed to be leaving on an afternoon train for school. Instead I will com_ere after they have left me on board the train. Then I can take Ajax t_over, you see, and arrive at school only a day late. No one will be th_iser, no harm will be done, and I shall have had an extra day with Aja_efore I lose him forever."
  • The plan fitted perfectly with that which Paulvitch had in mind. Had he know_hat further the boy contemplated he would doubtless have entirely abandone_is own scheme of revenge and aided the boy whole heartedly in th_onsummation of the lad's, which would have been better for Paulvitch, coul_e have but read the future but a few short hours ahead.
  • That afternoon Lord and Lady Greystoke bid their son good-bye and saw hi_afely settled in a first-class compartment of the railway carriage that woul_et him down at school in a few hours. No sooner had they left him, however, than he gathered his bags together, descended from the compartment and sough_ cab stand outside the station. Here he engaged a cabby to take him to th_ussian's address. It was dusk when he arrived. He found Paulvitch awaitin_im. The man was pacing the floor nervously. The ape was tied with a stou_ord to the bed. It was the first time that Jack had ever seen Ajax thu_ecured. He looked questioningly at Paulvitch. The man, mumbling, explaine_hat he believed the animal had guessed that he was to be sent away and h_eared he would attempt to escape.
  • Paulvitch carried another piece of cord in his hand. There was a noose in on_nd of it which he was continually playing with. He walked back and forth, u_nd down the room. His pock-marked features were working horribly as he talke_ilent to himself. The boy had never seen him thus—it made him uneasy. At las_aulvitch stopped on the opposite side of the room, far from the ape.
  • "Come here," he said to the lad. "I will show you how to secure the ape shoul_e show signs of rebellion during the trip."
  • The lad laughed. "It will not be necessary," he replied. "Ajax will d_hatever I tell him to do."
  • The old man stamped his foot angrily. "Come here, as I tell you," he repeated.
  • "If you do not do as I say you shall not accompany the ape to Dover—I wil_ake no chances upon his escaping."
  • Still smiling, the lad crossed the room and stood before the Russ.
  • "Turn around, with your back toward me," directed the latter, "that I may sho_ou how to bind him quickly."
  • The boy did as he was bid, placing his hands behind him when Paulvitch tol_im to do so. Instantly the old man slipped the running noose over one of th_ad's wrists, took a couple of half hitches about his other wrist, and knotte_he cord.
  • The moment that the boy was secured the attitude of the man changed. With a_ngry oath he wheeled his prisoner about, tripped him and hurled him violentl_o the floor, leaping upon his breast as he fell. From the bed the ape growle_nd struggled with his bonds. The boy did not cry out—a trait inherited fro_is savage sire whom long years in the jungle following the death of hi_oster mother, Kala the great ape, had taught that there was none to come t_he succor of the fallen.
  • Paulvitch's fingers sought the lad's throat. He grinned down horribly into th_ace of his victim.
  • "Your father ruined me," he mumbled. "This will pay him. He will think tha_he ape did it. I will tell him that the ape did it. That I left him alone fo_ few minutes, and that you sneaked in and the ape killed you. I will thro_our body upon the bed after I have choked the life from you, and when I brin_our father he will see the ape squatting over it," and the twisted fien_ackled in gloating laughter. His fingers closed upon the boy's throat.
  • Behind them the growling of the maddened beast reverberated against the wall_f the little room. The boy paled, but no other sign of fear or panic showe_pon his countenance. He was the son of Tarzan. The fingers tightened thei_rip upon his throat. It was with difficulty that he breathed, gaspingly. Th_pe lunged against the stout cord that held him. Turning, he wrapped the cor_bout his hands, as a man might have done, and surged heavily backward. Th_reat muscles stood out beneath his shaggy hide. There was a rending as o_plintered wood—the cord held, but a portion of the footboard of the bed cam_way.
  • At the sound Paulvitch looked up. His hideous face went white with terror—th_pe was free.
  • With a single bound the creature was upon him. The man shrieked. The brut_renched him from the body of the boy. Great fingers sunk into the man'_lesh. Yellow fangs gaped close to his throat—he struggled, futilely—and whe_hey closed, the soul of Alexis Paulvitch passed into the keeping of th_emons who had long been awaiting it.
  • The boy struggled to his feet, assisted by Akut. For two hours under th_nstructions of the former the ape worked upon the knots that secured hi_riend's wrists. Finally they gave up their secret, and the boy was free. The_e opened one of his bags and drew forth some garments. His plans had bee_ell made. He did not consult the beast, which did all that he directed.
  • Together they slunk from the house, but no casual observer might have note_hat one of them was an ape.