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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
The Height of Civilization
|Page 5 of 7||
Shortly after the episode of the lion hunt, D'Arnot succeeded in chartering an ancient tub for the coastwise trip to Tarzan's land-locked harbor.
It was a happy morning for them both when the little vessel weighed anchor and made for the open sea.
The trip to the beach was uneventful, and the morning after they dropped anchor before the cabin, Tarzan, garbed once more in his jungle regalia and carrying a spade, set out alone for the amphitheater of the apes where lay the treasure.
Late the next day he returned, bearing the great chest upon his shoulder, and at sunrise the little vessel worked through the harbor's mouth and took up her northward journey.
Three weeks later Tarzan and D'Arnot were passengers on board a French steamer bound for Lyons, and after a few days in that city D'Arnot took Tarzan to Paris.
The ape-man was anxious to proceed to America, but D'Arnot insisted that he must accompany him to Paris first, nor would he divulge the nature of the urgent necessity upon which he based his demand.
One of the first things which D'Arnot accomplished after their arrival was to arrange to visit a high official of the police department, an old friend; and to take Tarzan with him.
Adroitly D'Arnot led the conversation from point to point until the policeman had explained to the interested Tarzan many of the methods in vogue for apprehending and identifying criminals.
Not the least interesting to Tarzan was the part played by finger prints in this fascinating science.
"But of what value are these imprints," asked Tarzan, "when, after a few years the lines upon the fingers are entirely changed by the wearing out of the old tissue and the growth of new?"
"The lines never change," replied the official. "From infancy to senility the fingerprints of an individual change only in size, except as injuries alter the loops and whorls. But if imprints have been taken of the thumb and four fingers of both hands one must needs lose all entirely to escape identification."
"It is marvelous," exclaimed D'Arnot. "I wonder what the lines upon my own fingers may resemble."
"We can soon see," replied the police officer, and ringing a bell he summoned an assistant to whom he issued a few directions.
The man left the room, but presently returned with a little hardwood box which he placed on his superior's desk.
"Now," said the officer, "you shall have your fingerprints in a second."
He drew from the little case a square of plate glass, a little tube of thick ink, a rubber roller, and a few snowy white cards.
Squeezing a drop of ink onto the glass, he spread it back and forth with the rubber roller until the entire surface of the glass was covered to his satisfaction with a very thin and uniform layer of ink.
"Place the four fingers of your right hand upon the glass, thus," he said to D'Arnot. "Now the thumb. That is right. Now place them in just the same position upon this card, here, no--a little to the right. We must leave room for the thumb and the fingers of the left hand. There, that's it. Now the same with the left."
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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