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Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure
Creator of Tarzan®
and "Grandfather of American Science Fiction"
DILEMMA ~ 34.05.20
anxious hearts, the multitude heard the high priest Haithoreb command Tarzan
to choose one of the sacred caskets, saying, "If you are without blame
in the death of my men, the Goddess of Justice will guide you to the casket
where lies the token of innocence. Choose!"
The Ape-man saw he could not escape this unjust
trial, but he believed he had an equal chance to choose aright. He stepped
forward. Then Tutamken feigned a fit of coughing, in the midst of which
he uttered the monkey cry of warning, for in his boyhood he had learned
the monkey language. The Ape-man heard and understood, and he knew some
trickery was afoot. His arrow-swift wit told him now that each casket contained
a token of guilt! But firmly he seized one of the sacred boxes, while Haithoreb
smiled artfully, for now his enemy was surely trapped!
Then Tarzan flung the casket into the fire-urn,
crying: "This one I choose! Open the other! Whichever token it contains
is the opposite of my choice!"
The high priest could do naught but obey and lift
on high the symbol of guilt from the rejected chest. The spectators cheered
Tarzan for they believed the chosen casket had contained the sign of innocence
and Haithoreb could not deny it. The Ape-man thought himself free, but
the old scribe, learned in the law, cried, "Lay hold of him!" -- and read
from the book of justice.
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