Tarzan sprang so quickly, like one of his own jungle friends, that he was grappling Black John even before the renegade could draw a bead on him At the same time from Tarzan's throat sounded again that terrific roar, that unfailing call to the animals of the jungle that always brought them swiftly to his aid.
A THIEF IN THE NIGHT
Tarzan ahd learned what few tricks of fighting Black John had. But Black John had not even begun to fathom the numberless tricks of Tarzan. Thus it was that Tarzan was almost instantly giving Black John a tremendous beating, while at the same time in the near distance could be heard Tantor trumpeting that he was on his way with help and it seemed as if the jungle had suddenly become alive with beasts.
The secretary saw the beating that Black John, himself no mean fighter was getting. It was enough for him. He turned and dived through the open window leaving Black John to Tarzan and his fate.
He did not even pause as he passed the blacks with their spears. They were good fighting men and they did not know what they were up against. On sped the secretary. The blacks started into the hut -- until suddenly one of them in the rear heard a familiar noise behind him and glanced over his shoulder. There was Tantor coming on now with a mad rush. The black shouted.
There was a peril the natives understood. they turned form the angry elephant and fled precipitately, scattering in every direction, regardless of Black John and the secretary. It was an utter rout that Tarzan had accomplished in scarcely a twinkling of an eye.
In his rage Tarzan picked up Black John and threw him through the very window through which the secretary had dived. He would have preferred breaking every bone in his scurvy body but there ws Mary and he had learned that brutality did not appeal to her. He did not even follow him. Perhaps his friends in the jungle would take care of Black John and relieve him of this unpleasant duty.
Instead he merely turned with a smile to Lord Greystoke, Mary and Bobby, apparently unmindful of the heroic manner in which he had saved them from a nasty situation. Greystoke was not so unmindful. His brother had been a pretty good amateur leather-pusher. that was something he could appreciate in his new nephew.
"If I had any doubts as to who you are," exclaimed Greystoke approaching Tarzan in unfeigned admiration ,"they are at rest now. You have the stuff in you that will make you worthy of the name you bear."
Greystoke said much more in his enthusiasm. But Tarzan was only puzzled by the thanks that were heaped upon him until Mary took a hand and began to explain partly in signs and partly in simple language.
Tarzan was human enough to be pleased an natural enough to show it. But suddenly he heard a noise outside, smiled, turned quickly and went out. Greystoke and the others followed this strange hero.
It was Tantor who had arrived and was looking for Tarzan. As the latter came from the hut he walked over to the great beast and leaned up against him, thanking him in the jungle gutturals for his promptness, as much as if he had said to the huge elephant. "Thank you, my friend. And if I should need you again. I will call -- just as you would c all me!" Then he turned and rejoined the others in the hut as Tantor departed.
Greystoke was even more amazed at this by-play between Tarzan and Tantor and immensely impressed by it. What a man this new nephew of his was!
Still remarkable as it was, this was no life for a civilized Britisher, though it was much to talk about at the club later. Greystoke pulled at his mustache and suggested that they had better be on their way. Tarzan did not understand, but Mary did and she asked time merely to gather up the remaining keepsakes and trinkets of Tarzan, relics of his parents and the past, into bundles which they could carry.
Black John had lost no time in picking himself up after Tarzan hurled him through the window and betaking himself also in the opposite direction from the aroused jungle sounds. He had not gone far when he heard a frightened voice calling for help. He recognized it with contempt. It was the traitor sec retary thoroughly scared at being alone in the wilds. Black John moved along as if to leave him to his fate, then paused as another idea flashed over him. He considered a moment then hurried in the direction of the call for help.
The secretary almost fell over Black John in his relief, for a leopard had been lurking near him. Black John lost no time in coming to the point of his plan.
"If Greystoke were out of the way and I had the proofs, couldn't I pose as the son and heir?"
The secretary who had tears of fear in his eyes calmed himself enough to blurt out that he though he could. Then Black John hurried on to involve him in his plan. "All right. Then you go back to them before they leave the hut. Make them think you're sorry. Tell them you were forced by me to do what you did or I would have killed you, anything. Watch your chance and tonight when they are all asleep, strike Greystoke, rejoin me and we will put it over and we'll both be rich -- and in London!"
In detail Black John hastily sketched his plan, how the secretary was to recover the papers form Lord Greystoke, where they were to meet in the morning, and by dint of threats and coaxing he had the man as pliant as putty.
So it was that just as Tarzan and Mary were leaving the hut with Greystoke and Bobby, the secretary ran up to them breathless and with a flood of words accusing Black John of having almost killed him and then making him aid him under pain of death. It was only when Tarzan had diverted Black John's attention that he had a chance to escape from the man and he had done so through the window. It was a plausible story he built up and although Lord Greystoke eyed him sharply he bade him abruptly to come along with them. Black John was watching keenly from an ambush to see how the initial steps in his latest plot worked out. All seemed propitious and he smiled.
The return to Greystoke's camp was uneventful. There was much to talk about and Greystoke was more and more fascinated by his strange nephew the more he saw of him. A fine dinner, the most novel meal Tarzan had ever experienced, was prepared, and they sat far into the night still talking.
Finally it came time to turn in. One of the tents was given to Mary. Greystoke offered to relinquish the other to Tarzan. But Tarzan would have none of it. He had never slept in a trap and he did not propose to start it. The trees were beds good enough for him. So Greystoke took the other tent and the secretary established himself on guard at the campfire and Bobby was wrapped up safely in skins and stowed away with Mary to mother him.
Midnight in the jungle saw the fearful secretary who had been sleepless before the fire began to stir himself. He rose cautiously and looked around. Not a sound from any of them. It was Tarzan of whom he feared the most. But Tarzan was asleep in the crotch of a tree. He was doubtful, but he must take the chance. Besides he knew Black John was lurking somewhere in the darkness and if he did not take the chance. Black John would get him before he was safely on the yacht again. He fingered the hilt of his hunting knife.
As noiselessly as he was able the secretary crept into the tent of Greystoke. Hurriedly he bent over him and lightly scratched for the precious papers. There they were -- and he slowly extracted them. Greystoke stirred. Down plunged the knife of the secretary as with the other hand he choked back Greystoke's cry of alarm. He felt the man to limp, then stole from the tent and struck out into the shadows of the jungle to the rendezvous Black John had fixed.
His relief was intense when he encountered Black John skulking exactly where it had been prearranged.
Did you get them?"
"Yes. And I got him!"
"Good! Then let's beat it! What's that?"
Tarzan slept with one ear and one eye open. Even the sound of an unwanted whisper was enough for his trained jungle senses. he had heard something and instinctively he was awake and on guard. It was Tarzan swinging down from the tree and into the camp, to see what was wrong.
The secretary was gone from the fire. That was wrong. Suddenly he heard a faint noise as if a call for help, muffled. Was it Mary? No, it was from the other tent. It ws from his uncle. He sprang to the tent, pushed his way in. There was Greystoke in a pool of blood, calling weakly. Tarzan did not know what to do. He did not need to. Mary had heard and in a moment she sensed the danger, to, and was with them at once with the first aid kit of Greystoke.
As Greystoke weakly told what had happened to him from his faithless secretary again the ire of Tarzan was roused. What an introduction was this to civilization. How little do we realize that we humans after thousands of years are not even equal to the law of the jungle. We have retrograded from our golden age into mere efficient organized, bigoted ignorance born of education. Tarzan sensed it and that something something must be done. It was only a matter of seconds before he had raged around and found the trail of the traitor. He was off in the jungle to enforce the lex talions.
"Here, give me them papers," demanded Black John. "I'll keep them until we get out of this." The secretary was loathe. "Here, I say, hand them over. They're safer with me. I'm sure to get out alive!"
There was a murderous gleam in Black John's eyes. He grabbed the secretary and the struggle was short. The secretary was no match for him. He had the papers and was about to fling the secretary from him when he heard a noise that he knew only too well. It was Tarzan on the war path. He turned suddenly. The secretary clung to him, pleading piteously. But he shook him off ruthlessly hurling him at a tree and slipping into the darkness.
The secretary staggered blindly to his feet. A moment Black John stopped. He could hear Tarzan. He could hear the cowardly traitor whimpering. He knew Tarzan would hear and follow that. There was just a chance that he might get to the camp with Greystoke dead, seize Mary, and with all those rifles get Tarzan or at least hold out through the night and make his getaway -- with the girl, too!
The secretary stumbled and cried for help as he heard the snarl of a tiger. Tarzan heard it, too. He would have lied to kill the secretary himself. But Mary would never have approved of that. Still, if he kept his hands off and the tiger did it -- was not that justice? What more could Mary expect?
The secretary, wild with fear now, leaped and disappeared over a clump of bushes on a bank. An instant later the tiger made the same leap.
Mary was binding up the wounds of Lord Greystoke, giving him water and a little stimulant. He was getting better and stronger under her deft care.
She was intent on her woman's ministration of mercy, bending over him for the hundredth time to ask if she might do anything to make him more comfortable, when she was startled by a noise behind her. She turned and gasped. There in the door of the ten, with only a small boy, Bobbie, and a man wounded sorely even unto death was she facing the evil countenance of Black John as his villainous hands clutched as if at last he were about to fasten them about his prey!
CHAPTER XIV: MOMENTARY TRIUMPH
Tarzan found Mary in the hands of Black John, but as he is about to rescue her he is knocked on the head. Black John's men tie their unconscious victim to a tree. Tarzan, regaining consciousness, sees a lion about to spring on him. He is saved by the elephant, who drives the lion away and helps Tarzan loosen his bonds.
TARZAN THE MIGHTY
FILM SERIAL SUMMARY
From Universal Weekly 1928
Chapter Thirteen: Perilous Paths
Black John imprisons Mary in a cave, and leaving his henchmen to guard her, returns to Greystoke's camp and demands a letter certifying that he is the real Lord Greystoke instead of Tarzan. Meanwhile, with the aid of his jungle friends, Tarzan finds the cave where Mary is imprisoned. The guards attack him and they have a desperate battle. Having forced the wounded Greystoke to sign false documents proving his identity Black John attacks him, intent upon his death.
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