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TARZAN of the Apes
by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Chapter 20


When Jane realized that she was being borne away a captive

by the strange forest creature who had rescued her from

the clutches of the ape she struggled desperately to escape,

but the strong arms that held her as easily as though she

had been but a day-old babe only pressed a little more tightly.

So presently she gave up the futile effort and lay quietly,

looking through half-closed lids at the faces of the man who

strode easily through the tangled undergrowth with her.

The face above her was one of extraordinary beauty.

A perfect type of the strongly masculine, unmarred by

dissipation, or brutal or degrading passions. For, though Tarzan

of the Apes was a killer of men and of beasts, he killed as the

hunter kills, dispassionately, except on those rare occasions

when he had killed for hate--though not the brooding, malevolent

hate which marks the features of its own with hideous lines.

When Tarzan killed he more often smiled than scowled,

and smiles are the foundation of beauty.

One thing the girl had noticed particularly when she had

seen Tarzan rushing upon Terkoz--the vivid scarlet band

upon his forehead, from above the left eye to the scalp; but

now as she scanned his features she noticed that it was gone,

and only a thin white line marked the spot where it had been.

As she lay more quietly in his arms Tarzan slightly relaxed

his grip upon her.

Once he looked down into her eyes and smiled, and the

girl had to close her own to shut out the vision of that

handsome, winning face.

Presently Tarzan took to the trees, and Jane, wondering

that she felt no fear, began to realize that in many respects

she had never felt more secure in her whole life than now as

she lay in the arms of this strong, wild creature, being borne,

God alone knew where or to what fate, deeper and deeper

into the savage fastness of the untamed forest.

When, with closed eyes, she commenced to speculate upon

the future, and terrifying fears were conjured by a vivid

imagination, she had but to raise her lids and look upon that

noble face so close to hers to dissipate the last remnant of


No, he could never harm her; of that she was convinced

when she translated the fine features and the frank, brave

eyes above her into the chivalry which they proclaimed.

On and on they went through what seemed to Jane a solid

mass of verdure, yet ever there appeared to open before this

forest god a passage, as by magic, which closed behind them

as they passed.

Scarce a branch scraped against her, yet above and below,

before and behind, the view presented naught but a solid

mass of inextricably interwoven branches and creepers.

As Tarzan moved steadily onward his mind was occupied

with many strange and new thoughts. Here was a problem

the like of which he had never encountered, and he felt

rather than reasoned that he must meet it as a man and not

as an ape.

The free movement through the middle terrace, which was the

route he had followed for the most part, had helped to cool

the ardor of the first fierce passion of his new found love.

Now he discovered himself speculating upon the fate

which would have fallen to the girl had he not rescued her

from Terkoz.

He knew why the ape had not killed her, and he commenced

to compare his intentions with those of Terkoz.

True, it was the order of the jungle for the male to take his

mate by force; but could Tarzan be guided by the laws of the

beasts? Was not Tarzan a Man? But what did men do? He

was puzzled; for he did not know.

He wished that he might ask the girl, and then it came to

him that she had already answered him in the futile struggle

she had made to escape and to repulse him.

But now they had come to their destination, and Tarzan of

the Apes with Jane in his strong arms, swung lightly to the

turf of the arena where the great apes held their councils

and danced the wild orgy of the Dum-Dum.

Though they had come many miles, it was still but

midafternoon, and the amphitheater was bathed in the half

light which filtered through the maze of encircling foliage.

The green turf looked soft and cool and inviting. The myriad

noises of the jungle seemed far distant and hushed to a

mere echo of blurred sounds, rising and falling like the surf

upon a remote shore.

A feeling of dreamy peacefulness stole over Jane as she

sank down upon the grass where Tarzan had placed her, and

as she looked up at his great figure towering above her, there

was added a strange sense of perfect security.

As she watched him from beneath half-closed lids, Tarzan

crossed the little circular clearing toward the trees upon the

further side. She noted the graceful majesty of his carriage,

the perfect symmetry of his magnificent figure and the poise

of his well-shaped head upon his broad shoulders.

What a perfect creature! There could be naught of cruelty

or baseness beneath that godlike exterior. Never, she thought

had such a man strode the earth since God created the first in

his own image.

With a bound Tarzan sprang into the trees and disappeared.

Jane wondered where he had gone. Had he left her

there to her fate in the lonely jungle?

She glanced nervously about. Every vine and bush seemed but the

lurking-place of some huge and horrible beast waiting to bury

gleaming fangs into her soft flesh. Every sound she magnified

into the stealthy creeping of a sinuous and malignant body.

How different now that he had left her!

For a few minutes that seemed hours to the frightened girl,

she sat with tense nerves waiting for the spring of the

crouching thing that was to end her misery of apprehension.

She almost prayed for the cruel teeth that would give her

unconsciousness and surcease from the agony of fear.

She heard a sudden, slight sound behind her. With a cry

she sprang to her feet and turned to face her end.

There stood Tarzan, his arms filled with ripe and luscious fruit.

Jane reeled and would have fallen, had not Tarzan, dropping

his burden, caught her in his arms. She did not lose

consciousness, but she clung tightly to him, shuddering and

trembling like a frightened deer.

Tarzan of the Apes stroked her soft hair and tried to comfort

and quiet her as Kala had him, when, as a little ape, he had

been frightened by Sabor, the lioness, or Histah, the snake.

Once he pressed his lips lightly upon her forehead, and she

did not move, but closed her eyes and sighed.

She could not analyze her feelings, nor did she wish to attempt

it. She was satisfied to feel the safety of those strong

arms, and to leave her future to fate; for the last few hours

had taught her to trust this strange wild creature of the forest

as she would have trusted but few of the men of her acquaintance.

As she thought of the strangeness of it, there commenced

to dawn upon her the realization that she had, possibly,

learned something else which she had never really known

before--love. She wondered and then she smiled.

And still smiling, she pushed Tarzan gently away; and

looking at him with a half-smiling, half-quizzical expression

that made her face wholly entrancing, she pointed to the fruit

upon the ground, and seated herself upon the edge of the

earthen drum of the anthropoids, for hunger was asserting itself.

Tarzan quickly gathered up the fruit, and, bringing it, laid

it at her feet; and then he, too, sat upon the drum beside her,

and with his knife opened and prepared the various fruits for

her meal.

Together and in silence they ate, occasionally stealing sly

glances at one another, until finally Jane broke into a merry

laugh in which Tarzan joined.

"I wish you spoke English," said the girl.

Tarzan shook his head, and an expression of wistful and

pathetic longing sobered his laughing eyes.

Then Jane tried speaking to him in French, and then in

German; but she had to laugh at her own blundering attempt

at the latter tongue.

"Anyway," she said to him in English, "you understand my

German as well as they did in Berlin."

Tarzan had long since reached a decision as to what his

future procedure should be. He had had time to recollect all

that he had read of the ways of men and women in the books

at the cabin. He would act as he imagined the men in the

books would have acted were they in his place.

Again he rose and went into the trees, but first he tried to

explain by means of signs that he would return shortly, and

he did so well that Jane understood and was not afraid when

he had gone.

Only a feeling of loneliness came over her and she watched

the point where he had disappeared, with longing eyes, awaiting

his return. As before, she was appraised of his presence

by a soft sound behind her, and turned to see him coming

across the turf with a great armful of branches.

Then he went back again into the jungle and in a few minutes

reappeared with a quantity of soft grasses and ferns.

Two more trips he made until he had quite a pile of material

at hand.

Then he spread the ferns and grasses upon the ground in a

soft flat bed, and above it leaned many branches together so

that they met a few feet over its center. Upon these he spread

layers of huge leaves of the great elephant's ear, and with

more branches and more leaves he closed one end of the little

shelter he had built.

Then they sat down together again upon the edge of the

drum and tried to talk by signs.

The magnificent diamond locket which hung about Tarzan's

neck, had been a source of much wonderment to Jane.

She pointed to it now, and Tarzan removed it and handed the

pretty bauble to her.

She saw that it was the work of a skilled artisan and that

the diamonds were of great brilliancy and superbly set, but

the cutting of them denoted that they were of a former day.

She noticed too that the locket opened, and, pressing the

hidden clasp, she saw the two halves spring apart to reveal in

either section an ivory miniature.

One was of a beautiful woman and the other might have

been a likeness of the man who sat beside her, except for a

subtle difference of expression that was scarcely definable.

She looked up at Tarzan to find him leaning toward her

gazing on the miniatures with an expression of astonishment.

He reached out his hand for the locket and took it away

from her, examining the likenesses within with unmistakable

signs of surprise and new interest. His manner clearly

denoted that he had never before seen them, nor imagined that

the locket opened.

This fact caused Jane to indulge in further speculation, and

it taxed her imagination to picture how this beautiful ornament

came into the possession of a wild and savage creature

of the unexplored jungles of Africa.

Still more wonderful was how it contained the likeness of

one who might be a brother, or, more likely, the father of

this woodland demi-god who was even ignorant of the fact

that the locket opened.

Tarzan was still gazing with fixity at the two faces.

Presently he removed the quiver from his shoulder, and

emptying the arrows upon the ground reached into the bottom of

the bag-like receptacle and drew forth a flat object wrapped

in many soft leaves and tied with bits of long grass.

Carefully he unwrapped it, removing layer after layer of

leaves until at length he held a photograph in his hand.

Pointing to the miniature of the man within the locket he

handed the photograph to Jane, holding the open locket beside it.

The photograph only served to puzzle the girl still more, for

it was evidently another likeness of the same man whose picture

rested in the locket beside that of the beautiful young woman.

Tarzan was looking at her with an expression of puzzled

bewilderment in his eyes as she glanced up at him. He

seemed to be framing a question with his lips.

The girl pointed to the photograph and then to the miniature

and then to him, as though to indicate that she thought

the likenesses were of him, but he only shook his head, and

then shrugging his great shoulders, he took the photograph

from her and having carefully rewrapped it, placed it again

in the bottom of his quiver.

For a few moments he sat in silence, his eyes bent upon

the ground, while Jane held the little locket in her hand,

turning it over and over in an endeavor to find some further

clue that might lead to the identity of its original owner.

At length a simple explanation occurred to her.

The locket had belonged to Lord Greystoke, and the

likenesses were of himself and Lady Alice.

This wild creature had simply found it in the cabin by the beach.

How stupid of her not to have thought of that solution before.

But to account for the strange likeness between Lord

Greystoke and this forest god--that was quite beyond her,

and it is not strange that she could not imagine that this

naked savage was indeed an English nobleman.

At length Tarzan looked up to watch the girl as she examined

the locket. He could not fathom the meaning of the

faces within, but he could read the interest and fascination

upon the face of the live young creature by his side.

She noticed that he was watching her and thinking that he

wished his ornament again she held it out to him. He took it

from her and taking the chain in his two hands he placed it

about her neck, smiling at her expression of surprise at his

unexpected gift.

Jane shook her head vehemently and would have removed the

golden links from about her throat, but Tarzan would not let

her. Taking her hands in his, when she insisted upon it, he

held them tightly to prevent her.

At last she desisted and with a little laugh raised the locket

to her lips.

Tarzan did not know precisely what she meant, but he

guessed correctly that it was her way of acknowledging the

gift, and so he rose, and taking the locket in his hand,

stooped gravely like some courtier of old, and pressed his

lips upon it where hers had rested.

It was a stately and gallant little compliment performed

with the grace and dignity of utter unconsciousness of self.

It was the hall-mark of his aristocratic birth, the natural

outcropping of many generations of fine breeding, an hereditary

instinct of graciousness which a lifetime of uncouth and savage

training and environment could not eradicate.

It was growing dark now, and so they ate again of the fruit

which was both food and drink for them; then Tarzan rose,

and leading Jane to the little bower he had erected, motioned

her to go within.

For the first time in hours a feeling of fear swept over her,

and Tarzan felt her draw away as though shrinking from him.

Contact with this girl for half a day had left a very diferent

Tarzan from the one on whom the morning's sun had risen.

Now, in every fiber of his being, heredity spoke louder

than training.

He had not in one swift transition become a polished

gentleman from a savage ape-man, but at last the instincts

of the former predominated, and over all was the desire to

please the woman he loved, and to appear well in her eyes.

So Tarzan of the Apes did the only thing he knew to assure

Jane of her safety. He removed his hunting knife from its

sheath and handed it to her hilt first, again motioning her

into the bower.

The girl understood, and taking the long knife she entered

and lay down upon the soft grasses while Tarzan of the Apes

stretched himself upon the ground across the entrance.

And thus the rising sun found them in the morning.

When Jane awoke, she did not at first recall the strange

events of the preceding day, and so she wondered at her odd

surroundings--the little leafy bower, the soft grasses of her

bed, the unfamiliar prospect from the opening at her feet.

Slowly the circumstances of her position crept one by one

into her mind. And then a great wonderment arose in her

heart--a mighty wave of thankfulness and gratitude that

though she had been in such terrible danger, yet she was unharmed.

She moved to the entrance of the shelter to look for Tarzan.

He was gone; but this time no fear assailed her for she

knew that he would return.

In the grass at the entrance to her bower she saw the imprint

of his body where he had lain all night to guard her.

She knew that the fact that he had been there was all that

had permitted her to sleep in such peaceful security.

With him near, who could entertain fear? She wondered if

there was another man on earth with whom a girl could feel

so safe in the heart of this savage African jungle. Even the

lions and panthers had no fears for her now.

She looked up to see his lithe form drop softly from a

near-by tree. As he caught her eyes upon him his face lighted

with that frank and radiant smile that had won her confidence

the day before.

As he approached her Jane's heart beat faster and her eyes

brightened as they had never done before at the approach of any man.

He had again been gathering fruit and this he laid at the

entrance of her bower. Once more they sat down together to eat.

Jane commenced to wonder what his plans were. Would he

take her back to the beach or would he keep her here?

Suddenly she realized that the matter did not seem to

give her much concern. Could it be that she did not care!

She began to comprehend, also, that she was entirely contented

sitting here by the side of this smiling giant eating delicious

fruit in a sylvan paradise far within the remote depths of

an African jungle--that she was contented and very happy.

She could not understand it. Her reason told her that she

should be torn by wild anxieties, weighted by dread fears,

cast down by gloomy forebodings; but instead, her heart was

singing and she was smiling into the answering face of the

man beside her.

When they had finished their breakfast Tarzan went to her

bower and recovered his knife. The girl had entirely forgotten

it. She realized that it was because she had forgotten the

fear that prompted her to accept it.

Motioning her to follow, Tarzan walked toward the trees

at the edge of the arena, and taking her in one strong arm

swung to the branches above.

The girl knew that he was taking her back to her people, and

she could not understand the sudden feeling of loneliness

and sorrow which crept over her.

For hours they swung slowly along.

Tarzan of the Apes did not hurry. He tried to draw out the

sweet pleasure of that journey with those dear arms about his

neck as long as possible, and so he went far south of the direct

route to the beach.

Several times they halted for brief rests, which Tarzan did

not need, and at noon they stopped for an hour at a little

brook, where they quenched their thirst, and ate.

So it was nearly sunset when they came to the clearing, and

Tarzan, dropping to the ground beside a great tree, parted

the tall jungle grass and pointed out the little cabin to her.

She took him by the hand to lead him to it, that she might

tell her father that this man had saved her from death and

worse than death, that he had watched over her as carefully

as a mother might have done.

But again the timidity of the wild thing in the face of

human habitation swept over Tarzan of the Apes. He drew

back, shaking his head.

The girl came close to him, looking up with pleading eyes.

Somehow she could not bear the thought of his going back

into the terrible jungle alone.

Still he shook his head, and finally he drew her to him very

gently and stooped to kiss her, but first he looked into her

eyes and waited to learn if she were pleased, or if she would

repulse him.

Just an instant the girl hesitated, and then she realized the

truth, and throwing her arms about his neck she drew his

face to hers and kissed him--unashamed.

"I love you--I love you," she murmured.

From far in the distance came the faint sound of many

guns. Tarzan and Jane raised their heads.

From the cabin came Mr. Philander and Esmeralda.

From where Tarzan and the girl stood they could not see

the two vessels lying at anchor in the harbor.

Tarzan pointed toward the sounds, touched his breast and

pointed again. She understood. He was going, and something

told her that it was because he thought her people were in danger.

Again he kissed her.

"Come back to me," she whispered. "I shall wait for you--always."

He was gone--and Jane turned to walk across the clearing

to the cabin.

Mr. Philander was the first to see her. It was dusk and Mr.

Philander was very near sighted.

"Quickly, Esmeralda!" he cried. "Let us seek safety within;

it is a lioness. Bless me!"

Esmeralda did not bother to verify Mr. Philander's vision.

His tone was enough. She was within the cabin and had

slammed and bolted the door before he had finished pronouncing

her name. The "Bless me" was startled out of Mr. Philander

by the discovery that Esmeralda, in the exuberance

of her haste, had fastened him upon the same side of the

door as was the close-approaching lioness.

He beat furiously upon the heavy portal.

"Esmeralda! Esmeralda!" he shrieked. "Let me in. I am

being devoured by a lion."

Esmeralda thought that the noise upon the door was made

by the lioness in her attempts to pursue her, so, after her

custom, she fainted.

Mr. Philander cast a frightened glance behind him.

Horrors! The thing was quite close now. He tried to

scramble up the side of the cabin, and succeeded in

catching a fleeting hold upon the thatched roof.

For a moment he hung there, clawing with his feet like a

cat on a clothesline, but presently a piece of the thatch came

away, and Mr. Philander, preceding it, was precipitated upon

his back.

At the instant he fell a remarkable item of natural history

leaped to his mind. If one feigns death lions and lionesses are

supposed to ignore one, according to Mr. Philander's faulty memory.

So Mr. Philander lay as he had fallen, frozen into the horrid

semblance of death. As his arms and legs had been extended

stiffly upward as he came to earth upon his back the

attitude of death was anything but impressive.

Jane had been watching his antics in mild-eyed surprise.

Now she laughed--a little choking gurgle of a laugh; but it

was enough. Mr. Philander rolled over upon his side and

peered about. At length he discovered her.

"Jane!" he cried. "Jane Porter. Bless me!"

He scrambled to his feet and rushed toward her. He could

not believe that it was she, and alive.

"Bless me!" Where did you come from? Where in the world

have you been? How--"

"Mercy, Mr. Philander," interrupted the girl, "I can never

remember so many questions."

"Well, well," said Mr. Philander. "Bless me! I am so filled

with surprise and exuberant delight at seeing you safe and

well again that I scarcely know what I am saying, really. But

come, tell me all that has happened to you."



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