The Son Of Tarzan

The Son Of Tarzan

3.8 20
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
     
 

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Chapter 1


The long boat of the Marjorie W. was floating down the broad Ugambi
with ebb tide and current. Her crew were lazily enjoying this respite
from the arduous labor of rowing up stream. Three miles below them lay
the Marjorie W. herself, quite ready to sail so soon as they should
have clambered aboard and swung the long boat to… See more details below

Overview

Chapter 1


The long boat of the Marjorie W. was floating down the broad Ugambi
with ebb tide and current. Her crew were lazily enjoying this respite
from the arduous labor of rowing up stream. Three miles below them lay
the Marjorie W. herself, quite ready to sail so soon as they should
have clambered aboard and swung the long boat to its davits. Presently
the attention of every man was drawn from his dreaming or his gossiping
to the northern bank of the river. There, screaming at them in a
cracked falsetto and with skinny arms outstretched, stood a strange
apparition of a man.

"Wot the 'ell?" ejaculated one of the crew.

"A white man!" muttered the mate, and then: "Man the oars, boys, and
we'll just pull over an' see what he wants."

When they came close to the shore they saw an emaciated creature with
scant white locks tangled and matted. The thin, bent body was naked
but for a loin cloth. Tears were rolling down the sunken pock-marked
cheeks. The man jabbered at them in a strange tongue.

"Rooshun," hazarded the mate. "Savvy English?" he called to the man.

He did, and in that tongue, brokenly and haltingly, as though it had
been many years since he had used it, he begged them to take him with
them away from this awful country. Once on board the Marjorie W. the
stranger told his rescuers a pitiful tale of privation, hardships, and
torture, extending over a period of ten years. How he happened to have
come to Africa he did not tell them, leaving them to assume he had
forgotten the incidents of his life prior to the frightful ordeals that
had wrecked him mentally and physically. He did not even tell them his
true name, and so they knew him only as Michael Sabrov, nor was there
any resemblance between this sorry wreck and the virile, though
unprincipled, Alexis Paulvitch of old.

It had been ten years since the Russian had escaped the fate of his
friend, the arch-fiend Rokoff, and not once, but many times during
those ten years had Paulvitch cursed the fate that had given to
Nicholas Rokoff death and immunity from suffering while it had meted to
him the hideous terrors of an existence infinitely worse than the death
that persistently refused to claim him.

Paulvitch had taken to the jungle when he had seen the beasts of Tarzan
and their savage lord swarm the deck of the Kincaid, and in his terror
lest Tarzan pursue and capture him he had stumbled on deep into the
jungle, only to fall at last into the hands of one of the savage
cannibal tribes that had felt the weight of Rokoff's evil temper and
cruel brutality. Some strange whim of the chief of this tribe saved
Paulvitch from death only to plunge him into a life of misery and
torture. For ten years he had been the butt of the village, beaten and
stoned by the women and children, cut and slashed and disfigured by the
warriors; a victim of often recurring fevers of the most malignant
variety. Yet he did not die. Smallpox laid its hideous clutches upon
him; leaving him unspeakably branded with its repulsive marks. Between
it and the attentions of the tribe the countenance of Alexis Paulvitch
was so altered that his own mother could not have recognized in the
pitiful mask he called his face a single familiar feature. A few
scraggly, yellow-white locks had supplanted the thick, dark hair that
had covered his head. His limbs were bent and twisted, he walked with
a shuffling, unsteady gait, his body doubled forward. His teeth were
gone--knocked out by his savage masters. Even his mentality was but a
sorry mockery of what it once had been.

They took him aboard the Marjorie W., and there they fed and nursed
him. He gained a little in strength; but his appearance never altered
for the better--a human derelict, battered and wrecked, they had found
him; a human derelict, battered and wrecked, he would remain until
death claimed him. Though still in his thirties, Alexis Paulvitch
could easily have passed for eighty. Inscrutable Nature had demanded
of the accomplice a greater penalty than his principal had paid.

In the mind of Alexis Paulvitch there lingered no thoughts of
revenge--only a dull hatred of the man whom he and Rokoff had tried to
break, and failed. There was hatred, too, of the memory of Rokoff, for
Rokoff had led him into the horrors he had undergone. There was hatred
of the police of a score of cities from which he had had to flee.
There was hatred of law, hatred of order, hatred of everything. Every
moment of the man's waking life was filled with morbid thought of
hatred--he had become mentally as he was physically in outward
appearance, the personification of the blighting emotion of Hate.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012859341
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
03/10/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
0 MB

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