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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|Page 4 of 7||
In the stern of the boat, as it drew nearer, Tarzan saw the rat-faced man.
It was but a few minutes later that the boat touched the beach. The men jumped out and lifted the great chest to the sand. They were on the north side of the point so that their presence was concealed from those at the cabin.
The men argued angrily for a moment. Then the rat-faced one, with several companions, ascended the low bluff on which stood the tree that concealed Tarzan. They looked about for several minutes.
"Here is a good place," said the rat-faced sailor, indicating a spot beneath Tarzan's tree.
"It is as good as any," replied one of his companions. "If they catch us with the treasure aboard it will all be confiscated anyway. We might as well bury it here on the chance that some of us will escape the gallows to come back and enjoy it later."
The rat-faced one now called to the men who had remained at the boat, and they came slowly up the bank carrying picks and shovels.
"Hurry, you!" cried Snipes.
"Stow it!" retorted one of the men, in a surly tone. "You're no admiral, you damned shrimp."
"I'm Cap'n here, though, I'll have you to understand, you swab," shrieked Snipes, with a volley of frightful oaths.
"Steady, boys," cautioned one of the men who had not spoken before. "It ain't goin' to get us nothing by fightin' amongst ourselves."
"Right enough," replied the sailor who had resented Snipes' autocratic tones; "but it ain't a-goin' to get nobody nothin' to put on airs in this bloomin' company neither."
"You fellows dig here," said Snipes, indicating a spot beneath the tree. "And while you're diggin', Peter kin be a-makin' of a map of the location so's we kin find it again. You, Tom, and Bill, take a couple more down and fetch up the chest."
"Wot are you a-goin' to do?" asked he of the previous altercation. "Just boss?"
"Git busy there," growled Snipes. "You didn't think your Cap'n was a-goin' to dig with a shovel, did you?"
The men all looked up angrily. None of them liked Snipes, and this disagreeable show of authority since he had murdered King, the real head and ringleader of the mutineers, had only added fuel to the flames of their hatred.
"Do you mean to say that you don't intend to take a shovel, and lend a hand with this work? Your shoulder's not hurt so all-fired bad as that," said Tarrant, the sailor who had before spoken.
"Not by a damned sight," replied Snipes, fingering the butt of his revolver nervously.
"Then, by God," replied Tarrant, "if you won't take a shovel you'll take a pickax."
With the words he raised his pick above his head, and, with a mighty blow, he buried the point in Snipes' brain.
For a moment the men stood silently looking at the result of their fellow's grim humor. Then one of them spoke.
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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