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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|Page 2 of 6||
Jane glanced at him and coughed nervously.
"Mr. Canler," she said, "this is Monsieur Tarzan, an old friend."
Canler turned and extended his hand. Tarzan rose and bowed as only D'Arnot could have taught a gentleman to do it, but he did not seem to see Canler's hand.
Nor did Canler appear to notice the oversight.
"This is the Reverend Mr. Tousley, Jane," said Canler, turning to the clerical party behind him. "Mr. Tousley, Miss Porter."
Mr. Tousley bowed and beamed.
Canler introduced him to the others.
"We can have the ceremony at once, Jane," said Canler. "Then you and I can catch the midnight train in town."
Tarzan understood the plan instantly. He glanced out of half-closed eyes at Jane, but he did not move.
The girl hesitated. The room was tense with the silence of taut nerves.
All eyes turned toward Jane, awaiting her reply.
"Can't we wait a few days?" she asked. "I am all unstrung. I have been through so much today."
Canler felt the hostility that emanated from each member of the party. It made him angry.
"We have waited as long as I intend to wait," he said roughly. "You have promised to marry me. I shall be played with no longer. I have the license and here is the preacher. Come Mr. Tousley; come Jane. There are plenty of witnesses --more than enough," he added with a disagreeable inflection; and taking Jane Porter by the arm, he started to lead her toward the waiting minister.
But scarcely had he taken a single step ere a heavy hand closed upon his arm with a grip of steel.
Another hand shot to his throat and in a moment he was being shaken high above the floor, as a cat might shake a mouse.
Jane turned in horrified surprise toward Tarzan.
And, as she looked into his face, she saw the crimson band upon his forehead that she had seen that other day in far distant Africa, when Tarzan of the Apes had closed in mortal combat with the great anthropoid--Terkoz.
She knew that murder lay in that savage heart, and with a little cry of horror she sprang forward to plead with the ape-man. But her fears were more for Tarzan than for Canler. She realized the stern retribution which justice metes to the murderer.
Before she could reach them, however, Clayton had jumped to Tarzan's side and attempted to drag Canler from his grasp.
With a single sweep of one mighty arm the Englishman was hurled across the room, and then Jane laid a firm white hand upon Tarzan's wrist, and looked up into his eyes.
"For my sake," she said.
The grasp upon Canler's throat relaxed.
Tarzan looked down into the beautiful face before him.
"Do you wish this to live?" he asked in surprise.
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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