Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan 12 - Tarzan and the Lost Empire

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Transcript of Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan 12 - Tarzan and the Lost Empire

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    Tarzan 12 - Tarzan and the Lost Empireby

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

    Chapter One.NKIMA danced excitedly upon the naked, brown shoulder of his master. e chattered andscolded, now lookin! up in"uirin!ly into #ar$an%s face and then off into the &un!le.'(omethin! is comin!, )wana,' said Mu*iro, sub + chief of the a$iri. 'Nkima has heard it.''And #ar$an,' said the ape + man.'#he bi! )wana%s ears are as keen as the ears of )ara the antelope,' said Mu*iro.'ad they not been, #ar$an would not be here today,' replied the ape + man, with a smile. 'ewould not ha*e !rown to manhood had not Kala, his mother, tau!ht him to use all of the sensesthat Mulun!u !a*e him.''hat comes-' asked Mu*iro.'A party of men,' replied #ar$an.'erhaps they are not friendly,' su!!ested the African. '(hall I warn the warriors-'

    #ar$an !lanced about the little camp where a score of his fi!htin! men were busy preparin! theire*enin! meal and saw that, as was the custom of the a$iri, their weapons were in order and athand.'No,' he said. 'It will, I belie*e, be unnecessary, as these people who are approachin! do notcome stealthily as enemies would, nor are their numbers so !reat as to cause us anyapprehension.')ut Nkima, a born pessimist, expected only the worst, and as the approachin! party came nearerhis excitement increased. e leaped from #ar$an%s shoulder to the !round, &umped up and downse*eral times and then, sprin!in! back to #ar$an%s side, sei$ed his arm and attempted to dra! himto his feet.'/un, run0' he cried, in the lan!ua!e of the apes. '(tran!e 1oman!ani are comin!. #hey will killlittle Nkima.''2o not be afraid, Nkima,' said the ape + man. '#ar$an and Mu*iro will not let the stran!ers hurt

    you.''I smell a stran!e #arman!ani,' chattered Nkima. '#here is a #arman!ani with them. #he#arman!ani are worse than the 1oman!ani. #hey come with thundersticks and kill little Nkimaand all his brothers and sisters. #hey kill the Man!ani. #hey kill the 1oman!ani. #hey kille*erythin! with their thundersticks. Nkima does not like the #arman!ani. Nkima is afraid.'#o Nkima, as to the other deni$ens of the &un!le, #ar$an was no #arman!ani, no white man. ewas of the &un!le. e was one of them, and if they thou!ht of him as bein! anythin! other than

    &ust #ar$an it was as a Man!ani, a !reat ape, that they classified him.#he ad*ance of the stran!ers was now plainly audible to e*eryone in the camp. #he a$iriwarriors !lanced into the &un!le in the direction from which the sounds were comin! and thenback to #ar$an and Mu*iro, but when they saw that their leaders were not concerned they went"uietly on with their cookin!.

    A tall Ne!ro warrior was the first of the party to come within si!ht of the camp. hen he saw thea$iri he halted and an instant later a bearded white man stopped beside him.3or an instant the white man sur*eyed the camp and then he came forward, makin! the si!n ofpeace. Out of the &un!le a do$en or more warriors followed him. Most of them were porters, therebein! but three or four rifles in e*idence.#ar$an and the a$iri reali$ed at once that it was a small and harmless party, and e*en Nkima,who had retreated to the safety of a near + by tree, showed his contempt by scamperin! fearlesslyback to climb to the shoulder of his master.'2octor *on arben0' exclaimed #ar$an, as the bearded stran!er approached. 'I scarcelyreco!ni$ed you at first.''1od has been kind to me, #ar$an of the Apes,' said *on arben, extendin! his hand. 'I was on

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    my way to see you and I ha*e found you a full two days march sooner than I expected.''e are after a cattle + killer,' explained #ar$an. 'e has come into our kraal se*eral ni!hts of lateand killed some of our best cattle, but he is *ery cunnin!. I think he must be an old lion to outwit#ar$an for so lon!.')ut what brin!s you into #ar$an%s country, 2octor- I hope it is only a nei!hborly *isit and that notrouble has come to my !ood friend, thou!h your appearance belies my hope.''I, too, wish that it were nothin! more than a friendly call,' said *on arben, 'but as a matter offact I am here to seek your help because I am in trouble + *ery serious trouble, I fear.''2o not tell me that the Arabs ha*e come down a!ain to take sla*es or to steal i*ory, or is it thatthe leopard men are waylayin! your people upon the &un!le trails at ni!ht-''No, it is neither the one nor the other. I ha*e come to see you upon a more personal matter. It isabout my son, 4rich. 5ou ha*e ne*er met him.''No,' said #ar$an6 'but you are tired and hun!ry. 7et your men make camp here. My e*enin! mealis ready6 while you and I eat you shall tell me how #ar$an may ser*e you.'

    As the a$iri, at #ar$an%s command, assisted *on arben%s men in makin! their camp, the doctorand the ape + man sat cross + le!!ed upon the !round and ate the rou!h fare that #ar$an%s a$iricook had prepared.#ar$an saw that his !uest%s mind was filled with the trouble that had brou!ht him in search of theape + man, and so he did not wait until they had finished the meal to reopen the sub&ect, butur!ed *on arben to continue his story at once.

    'I wish to preface the real ob&ect of my *isit with a few words of explanation,' commenced *onarben. '4rich is my only son. 3our years a!o, at the a!e of nineteen, he completed his uni*ersitycourse with honors and recei*ed his first de!ree. (ince then he has spent the !reater part of histime in pursuin! his studies in *arious 4uropean uni*ersities, where he has speciali$ed inarchaeolo!y and the study of dead lan!ua!es. is one hobby, outside of his chosen field, hasbeen mountain climbin! and durin! succeedin! summer *acations he scaled e*ery important

    Alpine peak.'A few months a!o he came here to *isit me at the mission and immediately became interested inthe study of the *arious )antu dialects that are in use by the se*eral tribes in our district andthose ad&acent thereto.'hile pursuin! his in*esti!ation amon! the nati*es he ran across that old le!end of #he 7ost#ribe of the iramwa$i Mountains, with which we are all so familiar. Immediately his mindbecame imbued, as ha*e the minds of so many others, with the belief that this fable mi!ht ha*e

    ori!inated in fact and that if he could trace it down he mi!ht possibly find descendants of one ofthe lost tribes of )iblical history.''I know the le!end well,' said #ar$an, 'and because it is so persistent and the details of itsnarration by the nati*es so circumstantial, I ha*e thou!ht that I should like to in*esti!ate it myself,but in the past no necessity has arisen to take me close to the iramwa$i Mountains.''I must confess,' continued the doctor, 'that I also ha*e had the same ur!e many times. I ha*eupon two occasions talked with men of the )a!e!o tribe that li*e upon the slopes of theiramwa$i Mountains and in both instances I ha*e been assured that a tribe of white men dwellssomewhere in the depths of that !reat mountain ran!e. )oth of these men told me that their tribehas carried on trade with these people from time immemorial and each assured me that he hadoften seen members of #he 7ost #ribe both upon occasions of peaceful tradin! and durin! thewarlike raids that the mountaineers occasionally launched upon the )a!e!o.'#he result was that when 4rich su!!ested an expedition to the iramwa$i I rather encoura!ed

    him, since he was well fitted to undertake the ad*enture. is knowled!e of )antu and hisintensi*e, e*en thou!h brief, experience amon! the nati*es !a*e him an ad*anta!e that fewscholars otherwise e"uipped by education to profit by such an expedition would ha*e, while hisconsiderable experience as a mountain climber would, I felt, stand him in !ood stead durin! suchan ad*enture.'On the whole I felt that he was an ideal man to lead such an expedition, and my only re!ret wasthat I could not accompany him, but this was impossible at the time. I assisted him in e*ery waypossible in the or!ani$ation of his safari and in e"uippin! and pro*isionin! it.'e has not been !one a sufficient len!th of time to accomplish any considerable in*esti!ationand return to the mission, but recently a few of the members of his safari were reported to me as

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    ha*in! returned to their *illa!es. hen I sou!ht to inter*iew them they a*oided me, but rumorsreached me that con*inced me that all was not well with my son. I therefore determined toor!ani$e a relief expedition, but in all my district I could find only these few men who daredaccompany me to the iramwa$i Mountains, which, their le!ends assure them, are inhabited bymali!n spirits + for, as you know, they consider #he 7ost #ribe of the iramwa$i to be a band ofbloodthirsty !hosts. It became e*ident to me that the deserters of 4rich%s safari had spread terrorthrou!h the district.'8nder the circumstances I was compelled to look elsewhere for help and naturally I turned, in myperplexity, to #ar$an, 7ord of the 9un!le. Now you know why I am here.''I will help you, 2octor,' said #ar$an, after the other had concluded.'1ood0' exclaimed *on arben6 'but I knew that you would. 5ou ha*e about twenty men here, Ishould &ud!e, and I ha*e about fourteen. My men can act as carriers, while yours, who areacknowled!ed to be the finest fi!htin! men in Africa, can ser*e as askaris. ith you to !uide uswe can soon pick up the trail and with such a force, small thou!h it be, there is no country that wecannot penetrate.'#ar$an shook his head. 'No, 2octor,' he said, 'I shall !o alone. #hat is always my way. Alone Imay tra*el much more rapidly and when I am alone the &un!le holds no secrets from me + I shallbe able to obtain more information alon! the way than would be possible were I accompanied byother