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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|Page 1 of 7||
As it was now quite light, the party, none of whom had eaten or slept since the previous morning, began to bestir themselves to prepare food.
The mutineers of the Arrow had landed a small supply of dried meats, canned soups and vegetables, crackers, flour, tea, and coffee for the five they had marooned, and these were hurriedly drawn upon to satisfy the craving of long-famished appetites.
The next task was to make the cabin habitable, and to this end it was decided to at once remove the gruesome relics of the tragedy which had taken place there on some bygone day.
Professor Porter and Mr. Philander were deeply interested in examining the skeletons. The two larger, they stated, had belonged to a male and female of one of the higher white races.
The smallest skeleton was given but passing attention, as its location, in the crib, left no doubt as to its having been the infant offspring of this unhappy couple.
As they were preparing the skeleton of the man for burial, Clayton discovered a massive ring which had evidently encircled the man's finger at the time of his death, for one of the slender bones of the hand still lay within the golden bauble.
Picking it up to examine it, Clayton gave a cry of astonishment, for the ring bore the crest of the house of Greystoke.
At the same time, Jane discovered the books in the cupboard, and on opening the fly-leaf of one of them saw the name, JOHN CLAYTON, LONDON. In a second book which she hurriedly examined was the single name, GREYSTOKE.
"Why, Mr. Clayton," she cried, "what does this mean? Here are the names of some of your own people in these books."
"And here," he replied gravely, "is the great ring of the house of Greystoke which has been lost since my uncle, John Clayton, the former Lord Greystoke, disappeared, presumably lost at sea."
"But how do you account for these things being here, in this savage African jungle?" exclaimed the girl.
"There is but one way to account for it, Miss Porter," said Clayton. "The late Lord Greystoke was not drowned. He died here in this cabin and this poor thing upon the floor is all that is mortal of him."
"Then this must have been Lady Greystoke," said Jane reverently, indicating the poor mass of bones upon the bed.
"The beautiful Lady Alice," replied Clayton, "of whose many virtues and remarkable personal charms I often have heard my mother and father speak. Poor woman," he murmured sadly.
With deep reverence and solemnity the bodies of the late Lord and Lady Greystoke were buried beside their little African cabin, and between them was placed the tiny skeleton of the baby of Kala, the ape.
As Mr. Philander was placing the frail bones of the infant in a bit of sail cloth, he examined the skull minutely. Then he called Professor Porter to his side, and the two argued in low tones for several minutes.
"Most remarkable, most remarkable," said Professor Porter.
"Bless me," said Mr. Philander, "we must acquaint Mr. Clayton with our discovery at once."
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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