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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
The Outpost of the World
|Page 1 of 7||
With the report of his gun D'Arnot saw the door fly open and the figure of a man pitch headlong within onto the cabin floor.
The Frenchman in his panic raised his gun to fire again into the prostrate form, but suddenly in the half dusk of the open door he saw that the man was white and in another instant realized that he had shot his friend and protector, Tarzan of the Apes.
With a cry of anguish D'Arnot sprang to the ape-man's side, and kneeling, lifted the latter's head in his arms--calling Tarzan's name aloud.
There was no response, and then D'Arnot placed his ear above the man's heart. To his joy he heard its steady beating beneath.
Carefully he lifted Tarzan to the cot, and then, after closing and bolting the door, he lighted one of the lamps and examined the wound.
The bullet had struck a glancing blow upon the skull. There was an ugly flesh wound, but no signs of a fracture of the skull.
D'Arnot breathed a sigh of relief, and went about bathing the blood from Tarzan's face.
Soon the cool water revived him, and presently he opened his eyes to look in questioning surprise at D'Arnot.
The latter had bound the wound with pieces of cloth, and as he saw that Tarzan had regained consciousness he arose and going to the table wrote a message, which he handed to the ape-man, explaining the terrible mistake he had made and how thankful he was that the wound was not more serious.
Tarzan, after reading the message, sat on the edge of the couch and laughed.
"It is nothing," he said in French, and then, his vocabulary failing him, he wrote:
You should have seen what Bolgani did to me, and Kerchak, and Terkoz, before I killed them--then you would laugh at such a little scratch.
D'Arnot handed Tarzan the two messages that had been left for him.
Tarzan read the first one through with a look of sorrow on his face. The second one he turned over and over, searching for an opening--he had never seen a sealed envelope before. At length he handed it to D'Arnot.
The Frenchman had been watching him, and knew that Tarzan was puzzled over the envelope. How strange it seemed that to a full-grown white man an envelope was a mystery. D'Arnot opened it and handed the letter back to Tarzan.
Sitting on a camp stool the ape-man spread the written sheet before him and read:
TO TARZAN OF THE APES:
Before I leave let me add my thanks to those of Mr. Clayton for the kindness you have shown in permitting us the use of your cabin.
That you never came to make friends with us has been a great regret to us. We should have liked so much to have seen and thanked our host.
There is another I should like to thank also, but he did not come back, though I cannot believe that he is dead.
I do not know his name. He is the great white giant who wore the diamond locket upon his breast.
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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