As it was now quite light, the party, none of whom had
eaten or slept since the previous morning, began to bestir
themselves to prepare food.
The mutineers of the arrow had landed a small supply of
dried meats, canned soups and vegetables, crackers, flour, tea,
and coffee for the five they had marooned, and these were
hurriedly drawn upon to satisfy the craving of long-famished
The next task was to make the cabin habitable, and to this
end it was decided to at once remove the gruesome relics of
the tragedy which had taken place there on some bygone day.
Professor and Mr. Philander were deeply interested
in examining the skeletons. The two larger, they stated, had
belonged to a male and female of one of the higher white races.
The smallest skeleton was given but passing attention, as its
location, in the crib, left no doubt as to its having been the
infant offspring of this unhappy couple.
As they were preparing the skeleton of the man for burial,
Clayton discovered a massive ring which had evidently encircled
the man's finger at the time of his death, for one of the
slender bones of the hand still lay within the golden bauble.
Picking it up to examine it, Clayton gave a cry of astonishment,
for the ring bore the crest of the house of Greystoke.
At the same time, Jane discovered the books in the cupboard,
and on opening the fly-leaf of one of them saw the
name, John Clayton, LONDON. In a second book which she
hurriedly examined was the single name, Greystoke.
"Why, Mr. Clayton," she cried, "what does this mean?
Here are the names of some of your own people in these books."
"And here," he replied gravely, "is the great ring of the
house of Greystoke which has been lost since my uncle, John
Clayton, the former Lord Greystoke, disappeared, presumably
lost at sea."
"But how do you account for these things being here, in
this savage African jungle?" exclaimed the girl.
"There is but one way to account for it, Miss Porter," said
Clayton. "The late Lord Greystoke was not drowned. He
died here in this cabin and this poor thing upon the floor is
all that is mortal of him."
"Then this must have been Lady Greystoke," said Jane
reverently, indicating the poor mass of bones upon the bed.
"The beautiful Lady Alice," replied Clayton, "of whose many
virtues and remarkable personal charms I often have heard
my mother and father speak. Poor woman," he murmured sadly.
With deep reverence and solemnity the bodies of the late
Lord and Lady Greystoke were buried beside their little
African cabin, and between them was placed the tiny skeleton
of the baby of Kala, the ape.
As Mr. Philander was placing the frail bones of the infant
in a bit of sail cloth, he examined the skull minutely. Then he
called Professor to his side, and the two argued in low
tones for several minutes.
"Most remarkable, most remarkable," said Professor.
"Bless me," said Mr. Philander, "we must acquaint Mr.
Clayton with our discovery at once."
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander, tut, tut!" remonstrated Professor
Archimedes Q. Porter. "`Let the dead past bury its dead.'"
And so the white-haired old man repeated the burial service
over this strange grave, while his four companions stood
with bowed and uncovered heads about him.
From the trees Tarzan of the Apes watched the solemn
ceremony; but most of all he watched the sweet face and
graceful figure of Jane Porter.
In his savage, untutored breast new emotions were stirring.
He could not fathom them. He wondered why he felt so
great an interest in these people--why he had gone to such
pains to save the three men. But he did not wonder why he
had torn Sabor from the tender flesh of the strange girl.
Surely the men were stupid and ridiculous and cowardly.
Even Manu, the monkey, was more intelligent than they. If
these were creatures of his own kind he was doubtful if his
past pride in blood was warranted.
But the girl, ah--that was a different matter. He did not
reason here. He knew that she was created to be protected,
and that he was created to protect her.
He wondered why they had dug a great hole in the ground
merely to bury dry bones. Surely there was no sense in that;
no one wanted to steal dry bones.
Had there been meat upon them he could have understood,
for thus alone might one keep his meat from Dango, the
hyena, and the other robbers of the jungle.
When the grave had been filled with earth the little party
turned back toward the cabin, and Esmeralda, still weeping
copiously for the two she had never heard of before today,
and who had been dead twenty years, chanced to glance toward
the harbor. Instantly her tears ceased.
"Look at them low down white trash out there!" she shrilled,
pointing toward the arrow. "They-all's a desecrating
us, right here on this here perverted island."
And, sure enough, the arrow was being worked toward the
open sea, slowly, through the harbor's entrance.
"They promised to leave us firearms and ammunition,"
said Clayton. "The merciless beasts!"
"It is the work of that fellow they call Snipes, I am sure,"
said Jane. "King was a scoundrel, but he had a little sense of
humanity. If they had not killed him I know that he would
have seen that we were properly provided for before they left
us to our fate."
"I regret that they did not visit us before sailing," said
Professor. "I had proposed requesting them to leave the
treasure with us, as I shall be a ruined man if that is lost."
Jane looked at her father sadly.
"Never mind, dear," she said. "It wouldn't have done any
good, because it is solely for the treasure that they killed
their officers and landed us upon this awful shore."
"Tut, tut, child, tut, tut!" replied Professor. "You
are a good child, but inexperienced in practical matters," and
Professor turned and walked slowly away toward the
jungle, his hands clasped beneath his long coat tails and his
eyes bent upon the ground.
His daughter watched him with a pathetic smile upon her
lips, and then turning to Mr. Philander, she whispered:
"Please don't let him wander off again as he did yesterday.
We depend upon you, you know, to keep a close watch upon him."
"He becomes more difficult to handle each day," replied Mr.
Philander, with a sigh and a shake of his head. "I presume
he is now off to report to the directors of the Zoo that
one of their lions was at large last night. Oh, Miss Jane, you
don't know what I have to contend with."
"Yes, I do, Mr. Philander; but while we all love him, you
alone are best fitted to manage him; for, regardless of what
he may say to you, he respects your great learning, and,
therefore, has immense confidence in your judgment. The
poor dear cannot differentiate between erudition and wisdom."
Mr. Philander, with a mildly puzzled expression on his
face, turned to pursue Professor, and in his mind he
was revolving the question of whether he should feel
complimented or aggrieved at Miss Porter's rather
Tarzan had seen the consternation depicted upon the faces
of the little group as they witnessed the departure of the
arrow; so, as the ship was a wonderful novelty to him in
addition, he determined to hasten out to the point of land at the
north of the harbor's mouth and obtain a nearer view of the
boat, as well as to learn, if possible, the direction of its flight.
Swinging through the trees with great speed, he reached
the point only a moment after the ship had passed out of the
harbor, so that he obtained an excellent view of the wonders
of this strange, floating house.
There were some twenty men running hither and thither
about the deck, pulling and hauling on ropes.
A light land breeze was blowing, and the ship had been
worked through the harbor's mouth under scant sail, but now that
they had cleared the point every available shred of canvas was
being spread that she might stand out to sea as handily as possible.
Tarzan watched the graceful movements of the ship in rapt
admiration, and longed to be aboard her. Presently his keen
eyes caught the faintest suspicion of smoke on the far northern
horizon, and he wondered over the cause of such a thing
out on the great water.
About the same time the look-out on the arrow must have
discerned it, for in a few minutes Tarzan saw the sails being
shifted and shortened. The ship came about, and presently he
knew that she was beating back toward land.
A man at the bows was constantly heaving into the sea a
rope to the end of which a small object was fastened. Tarzan
wondered what the purpose of this action might be.
At last the ship came up directly into the wind; the anchor
was lowered; down came the sails. There was great scurrying
about on deck.
A boat was lowered, and in it a great chest was placed.
Then a dozen sailors bent to the oars and pulled rapidly
toward the point where Tarzan crouched in the branches of a tree.
In the stern of the boat, as it drew nearer, Tarzan saw the
It was but a few minutes later that the boat touched the
beach. The men jumped out and lifted the great chest to the
sand. They were on the north side of the point so that their
presence was concealed from those at the cabin.
The men argued angrily for a moment. Then the rat-faced
one, with several companions, ascended the low bluff on
which stood the tree that concealed Tarzan. They looked
about for several minutes.
"Here is a good place," said the rat-faced sailor, indicating
a spot beneath Tarzan's tree.
"It is as good as any," replied one of his companions.
"If they catch us with the treasure aboard it will all be
confiscated anyway. We might as well bury it here on the
chance that some of us will escape the gallows to come
back and enjoy it later."
The rat-faced one now called to the men who had remained
at the boat, and they came slowly up the bank carrying
picks and shovels.
"Hurry, you!" cried Snipes.
"Stow it!" retorted one of the men, in a surly tone. "You're
no admiral, you damned shrimp."
"I'm Cap'n here, though, I'll have you to understand, you
swab," shrieked Snipes, with a volley of frightful oaths.
"Steady, boys," cautioned one of the men who had not
spoken before. "It ain't goin' to get us nothing by fightin'
"Right enough," replied the sailor who had resented
Snipes' autocratic tones; "but it ain't a-goin' to get nobody
nothin' to put on airs in this bloomin' company neither."
"You fellows dig here," said Snipes, indicating a spot beneath
the tree. "And while you're diggin', Peter kin be a-makin'
of a map of the location so's we kin find it again. You,
Tom, and Bill, take a couple more down and fetch up the chest."
"Wot are you a-goin' to do?" asked he of the previous
altercation. "Just boss?"
"Git busy there," growled Snipes. "You didn't think your
Cap'n was a-goin' to dig with a shovel, did you?"
The men all looked up angrily. None of them liked Snipes,
and this disagreeable show of authority since he had
murdered King, the real head and ringleader of the mutineers,
had only added fuel to the flames of their hatred.
"Do you mean to say that you don't intend to take a shovel,
and lend a hand with this work? Your shoulder's not hurt so
all-fired bad as that," said Tarrant, the sailor who had
"Not by a damned sight," replied Snipes, fingering the butt
of his revolver nervously.
"Then, by God," replied Tarrant, "if you won't take a
shovel you'll take a pickax."
With the words he raised his pick above his head, and, with
a mighty blow, he buried the point in Snipes' brain.
For a moment the men stood silently looking at the result
of their fellow's grim humor. Then one of them spoke.
"Served the skunk jolly well right," he said.
One of the others commenced to ply his pick to the
ground. The soil was soft and he threw aside the pick and
grasped a shovel; then the others joined him. There was no
further comment on the killing, but the men worked in a better
frame of mind than they had since Snipes had assumed command.
When they had a trench of ample size to bury the chest,
Tarrant suggested that they enlarge it and inter Snipes' body
on top of the chest.
"It might 'elp fool any as 'appened to be diggin'
'ereabouts," he explained.
The others saw the cunning of the suggestion, and so the
trench was lengthened to accommodate the corpse, and in the
center a deeper hole was excavated for the box, which was
first wrapped in sailcloth and then lowered to its place, which
brought its top about a foot below the bottom of the grave.
Earth was shovelled in and tramped down about the chest
until the bottom of the grave showed level and uniform.
Two of the men rolled the rat-faced corpse unceremoniously
into the grave, after first stripping it of its weapons and
various other articles which the several members of the party
coveted for their own.
They then filled the grave with earth and tramped upon it
until it would hold no more.
The balance of the loose earth was thrown far and wide,
and a mass of dead undergrowth spread in as natural a manner
as possible over the new-made grave to obliterate all signs
of the ground having been disturbed.
Their work done the sailors returned to the small boat, and
pulled off rapidly toward the arrow.
The breeze had increased considerably, and as the smoke
upon the horizon was now plainly discernible in considerable
volume, the mutineers lost no time in getting under full sail
and bearing away toward the southwest.
Tarzan, an interested spectator of all that had taken place, sat
speculating on the strange actions of these peculiar creatures.
Men were indeed more foolish and more cruel than the
beasts of the jungle! How fortunate was he who lived in the
peace and security of the great forest!
Tarzan wondered what the chest they had buried contained.
If they did not want it why did they not merely throw
it into the water? That would have been much easier.
Ah, he thought, but they do want it. They have hidden it
here because they intend returning for it later.
Tarzan dropped to the ground and commenced to examine
the earth about the excavation. He was looking to see if these
creatures had dropped anything which he might like to own.
Soon he discovered a spade hidden by the underbrush which
they had laid upon the grave.
He seized it and attempted to use it as he had seen the sailors
do. It was awkward work and hurt his bare feet, but he
persevered until he had partially uncovered the body. This he
dragged from the grave and laid to one side.
Then he continued digging until he had unearthed the chest.
This also he dragged to the side of the corpse. Then he
filled in the smaller hole below the grave, replaced the body
and the earth around and above it, covered it over with
underbrush, and returned to the chest.
Four sailors had sweated beneath the burden of its weight
--Tarzan of the Apes picked it up as though it had been an
empty packing case, and with the spade slung to his back by a
piece of rope, carried it off into the densest part of the jungle.
He could not well negotiate the trees with his awkward burden,
but he kept to the trails, and so made fairly good time.
For several hours he traveled a little north of east until he
came to an impenetrable wall of matted and tangled vegetation.
Then he took to the lower branches, and in another fifteen
minutes he emerged into the amphitheater of the apes, where
they met in council, or to celebrate the rites of the Dum-Dum.
Near the center of the clearing, and not far from the
drum, or altar, he commenced to dig. This was harder work
than turning up the freshly excavated earth at the grave, but
Tarzan of the Apes was persevering and so he kept at his
labor until he was rewarded by seeing a hole sufficiently deep
to receive the chest and effectually hide it from view.
Why had he gone to all this labor without knowing the
value of the contents of the chest?
Tarzan of the Apes had a man's figure and a man's brain,
but he was an ape by training and environment. His brain
told him that the chest contained something valuable, or the
men would not have hidden it. His training had taught him to
imitate whatever was new and unusual, and now the natural
curiosity, which is as common to men as to apes, prompted
him to open the chest and examine its contents.
But the heavy lock and massive iron bands baffled both his
cunning and his immense strength, so that he was compelled
to bury the chest without having his curiosity satisfied.
By the time Tarzan had hunted his way back to the vicinity
of the cabin, feeding as he went, it was quite dark.
Within the little building a light was burning, for Clayton
had found an unopened tin of oil which had stood intact for
twenty years, a part of the supplies left with the Claytons by
Black Michael. The lamps also were still useable, and thus
the interior of the cabin appeared as bright as day to the
He had often wondered at the exact purpose of the lamps.
His reading and the pictures had told him what they were,
but he had no idea of how they could be made to produce
the wondrous sunlight that some of his pictures had
portrayed them as diffusing upon all surrounding objects.
As he approached the window nearest the door he saw that
the cabin had been divided into two rooms by a rough
partition of boughs and sailcloth.
In the front room were the three men; the two older deep
in argument, while the younger, tilted back against the wall
on an improvised stool, was deeply engrossed in reading one
of Tarzan's books.
Tarzan was not particularly interested in the men, however,
so he sought the other window. There was the girl. How
beautiful her features! How delicate her snowy skin!
She was writing at Tarzan's own table beneath the window.
Upon a pile of grasses at the far side of the room lay the
For an hour Tarzan feasted his eyes upon her while she
wrote. How he longed to speak to her, but he dared not
attempt it, for he was convinced that, like the young man, she
would not understand him, and he feared, too, that he might
frighten her away.
At length she arose, leaving her manuscript upon the table.
She went to the bed upon which had been spread several layers
of soft grasses. These she rearranged.
Then she loosened the soft mass of golden hair which
crowned her head. Like a shimmering waterfall turned to
burnished metal by a dying sun it fell about her oval face;
in waving lines, below her waist it tumbled.
Tarzan was spellbound. Then she extinguished the lamp
and all within the cabin was wrapped in Cimmerian darkness.
Still Tarzan watched. Creeping close beneath the window
he waited, listening, for half an hour. At last he was
rewarded by the sounds of the regular breathing within which
Cautiously he intruded his hand between the meshes of the
lattice until his whole arm was within the cabin. Carefully he
felt upon the desk. At last he grasped the manuscript upon
which Jane Porter had been writing, and as cautiously withdrew
his arm and hand, holding the precious treasure.
Tarzan folded the sheets into a small parcel which he
tucked into the quiver with his arrows. Then he melted away
into the jungle as softly and as noiselessly as a shadow.
Tarzan of the Apes Chapter 16
... Tarzan of the Apes Chapter 18