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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
The Outpost of the World
|Page 6 of 7||
There--as though to give my prophecy the weight of his endorsement--he has grabbed my pen in his chubby fists and with his inkbegrimed little fingers has placed the seal of his tiny finger prints upon the page.
And there, on the margin of the page, were the partially blurred imprints of four wee fingers and the outer half of the thumb.
When D'Arnot had finished the diary the two men sat in silence for some minutes.
"Well! Tarzan of the Apes, what think you?" asked D'Arnot. "Does not this little book clear up the mystery of your parentage?
"Why man, you are Lord Greystoke."
"The book speaks of but one child," he replied. "Its little skeleton lay in the crib, where it died crying for nourishment, from the first time I entered the cabin until Professor Porter's party buried it, with its father and mother, beside the cabin.
"No, that was the babe the book speaks of--and the mystery of my origin is deeper than before, for I have thought much of late of the possibility of that cabin having been my birthplace. I am afraid that Kala spoke the truth," he concluded sadly.
D'Arnot shook his head. He was unconvinced, and in his mind had sprung the determination to prove the correctness of his theory, for he had discovered the key which alone could unlock the mystery, or consign it forever to the realms of the unfathomable.
A week later the two men came suddenly upon a clearing in the forest.
In the distance were several buildings surrounded by a strong palisade. Between them and the enclosure stretched a cultivated field in which a number of negroes were working.
The two halted at the edge of the jungle.
Tarzan fitted his bow with a poisoned arrow, but D'Arnot placed a hand upon his arm.
"What would you do, Tarzan?" he asked.
"They will try to kill us if they see us," replied Tarzan. "I prefer to be the killer."
"Maybe they are friends," suggested D'Arnot.
"They are black," was Tarzan's only reply.
And again he drew back his shaft.
"You must not, Tarzan!" cried D'Arnot. "White men do not kill wantonly. MON DIEU! but you have much to learn.
"I pity the ruffian who crosses you, my wild man, when I take you to Paris. I will have my hands full keeping your neck from beneath the guillotine."
Tarzan lowered his bow and smiled.
"I do not know why I should kill the blacks back there in my jungle, yet not kill them here. Suppose Numa, the lion, should spring out upon us, I should say, then, I presume: Good morning, Monsieur Numa, how is Madame Numa; eh?"
"Wait until the blacks spring upon you," replied D'Arnot, "then you may kill them. Do not assume that men are your enemies until they prove it."
"Come," said Tarzan, "let us go and present ourselves to be killed," and he started straight across the field, his head high held and the tropical sun beating upon his smooth, brown skin.
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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