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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|Page 5 of 6||
"They must intend returning," thought D'Arnot.
He walked over to the table that John Clayton had built so many years before to serve as a desk, and on it he saw two notes addressed to Tarzan of the Apes.
One was in a strong masculine hand and was unsealed. The other, in a woman's hand, was sealed.
"Here are two messages for you, Tarzan of the Apes," cried D'Arnot, turning toward the door; but his companion was not there.
D'Arnot walked to the door and looked out. Tarzan was nowhere in sight. He called aloud but there was no response.
"MON DIEU!" exclaimed D'Arnot, "he has left me. I feel it. He has gone back into his jungle and left me here alone."
And then he remembered the look on Tarzan's face when they had discovered that the cabin was empty--such a look as the hunter sees in the eyes of the wounded deer he has wantonly brought down.
The man had been hard hit--D'Arnot realized it now-- but why? He could not understand.
The Frenchman looked about him. The loneliness and the horror of the place commenced to get on his nerves--already weakened by the ordeal of suffering and sickness he had passed through.
To be left here alone beside this awful jungle--never to hear a human voice or see a human face--in constant dread of savage beasts and more terribly savage men--a prey to solitude and hopelessness. It was awful.
And far to the east Tarzan of the Apes was speeding through the middle terrace back to his tribe. Never had he traveled with such reckless speed. He felt that he was running away from himself--that by hurtling through the forest like a frightened squirrel he was escaping from his own thoughts. But no matter how fast he went he found them always with him.
He passed above the sinuous body of Sabor, the lioness, going in the opposite direction--toward the cabin, thought Tarzan.
What could D'Arnot do against Sabor--or if Bolgani, the gorilla, should come upon him--or Numa, the lion, or cruel Sheeta?
Tarzan paused in his flight.
"What are you, Tarzan?" he asked aloud. "An ape or a man?"
"If you are an ape you will do as the apes would do-- leave one of your kind to die in the jungle if it suited your whim to go elsewhere.
"If you are a man, you will return to protect your kind. You will not run away from one of your own people, because one of them has run away from you."
D'Arnot closed the cabin door. He was very nervous. Even brave men, and D'Arnot was a brave man, are sometimes frightened by solitude.
He loaded one of the rifles and placed it within easy reach. Then he went to the desk and took up the unsealed letter addressed to Tarzan.
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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