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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|Page 3 of 6||
An idea came to him. He wondered why he had not thought of it before.
He called Tarzan and indicated by signs that he would write, and when Tarzan had fetched the bark and pencil, D'Arnot wrote:
Can you go to my people and lead them here? I will write a message that you may take to them, and they will follow you.
Tarzan shook his head and taking the bark, wrote:
I had thought of that--the first day; but I dared not. The great apes come often to this spot, and if they found you here, wounded and alone, they would kill you.
D'Arnot turned on his side and closed his eyes. He did not wish to die; but he felt that he was going, for the fever was mounting higher and higher. That night he lost consciousness.
For three days he was in delirium, and Tarzan sat beside him and bathed his head and hands and washed his wounds.
On the fourth day the fever broke as suddenly as it had come, but it left D'Arnot a shadow of his former self, and very weak. Tarzan had to lift him that he might drink from the gourd.
The fever had not been the result of infection, as D'Arnot had thought, but one of those that commonly attack whites in the jungles of Africa, and either kill or leave them as suddenly as D'Arnot's had left him.
Two days later, D'Arnot was tottering about the amphitheater, Tarzan's strong arm about him to keep him from falling.
They sat beneath the shade of a great tree, and Tarzan found some smooth bark that they might converse.
D'Arnot wrote the first message:
What can I do to repay you for all that you have done for me?
And Tarzan, in reply:
Teach me to speak the language of men.
And so D'Arnot commenced at once, pointing out familiar objects and repeating their names in French, for he thought that it would be easier to teach this man his own language, since he understood it himself best of all.
It meant nothing to Tarzan, of course, for he could not tell one language from another, so when he pointed to the word man which he had printed upon a piece of bark he learned from D'Arnot that it was pronounced HOMME, and in the same way he was taught to pronounce ape, SINGE and tree, ARBRE.
He was a most eager student, and in two more days had mastered so much French that he could speak little sentences such as: "That is a tree," "this is grass," "I am hungry," and the like, but D'Arnot found that it was difficult to teach him the French construction upon a foundation of English.
The Frenchman wrote little lessons for him in English and had Tarzan repeat them in French, but as a literal translation was usually very poor French Tarzan was often confused.
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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