A taxicab drew up before an
oldfashioned residence upon the
outskirts of Baltimore.
A man of about forty, well
built and with strong, regular
features, stepped out, and paying
the chauffeur dismissed him.
A moment later the passenger
was entering the library of the
"Ah, Mr. Canler!" exclaimed
an old man, rising to greet him.
"Good evening, my dear Professor," cried
the man, extending a cordial
"Who admitted you?" asked
"Then she will acquaint Jane
with the fact that you are here," said
the old man.
"No, Professor," replied Canler, "for
I came primarily to see you."
"Ah, I am honored," said
"Professor," continued Robert
Canler, with great deliberation,
as though carefully weighing
his words, "I have come this
evening to speak with you about
"You know my
aspirations, and you have been
to approve my suit."
Professor Archimedes Q. Porter
fidgeted in his armchair. The
subject always made him uncomfortable.
He could not understand why.
Canler was a splendid match.
"But Jane," continued Canler, "I
cannot understand her. She puts
me off first on one ground and
then another. I have always the
feeling that she breathes a sigh
of relief every time I bid her
"Tut, tut," said Professor
Porter. "Tut, tut, Mr. Canler.
Jane is a most obedient daughter.
She will do precisely as I tell
"Then I can still count on
your support?" asked Canler,
a tone of relief marking his
"Certainly, sir; certainly,
sir," exclaimed Professor Porter. "How
could you doubt it?"
"There is young Clayton, you
know," suggested Canler. "He
has been hanging about for months.
I don't know that Jane cares
for him; but beside his title
they say he has inherited a very
considerable estate from his
father, and it might not be strange,--if
he finally won her, unless--" and
Mr. Canler; unless--what?"
"Unless, you see fit to request
that Jane and I be married at
once," said Canler, slowly and
"I have already suggested to
Jane that it would be desirable," said
Professor Porter sadly, "for
we can no longer afford to keep
up this house, and live as her
"What was her reply?" asked
"She said she was not ready
to marry anyone yet," replied
Professor Porter, "and that we
could go and live upon the farm
in northern Wisconsin which her
mother left her.
"It is a little
more than self-supporting.
The tenants have always made
a living from it, and been able
to send Jane a trifle beside,
each year. She is planning on
our going up there the first
of the week. Philander and Mr.
Clayton have already gone to
get things in readiness for us."
"Clayton has gone there?" exclaimed
Canler, visibly chagrined. "Why
was I not told? I would gladly
have gone and seen that every
comfort was provided."
"Jane feels that we are already
too much in your debt, Mr. Canler," said
Canler was about to reply,
when the sound of footsteps came
from the hall without, and Jane
entered the room.
"Oh, I beg your pardon!" she
exclaimed, pausing on the threshold. "I
thought you were alone, papa."
"It is only I, Jane," said
Canler, who had risen, "won't
you come in and join the family
group? We were just speaking
"Thank you," said Jane, entering
and taking the chair Canler placed
for her. "I only wanted to tell
papa that Tobey is coming down
from the college tomorrow to
pack his books. I want you to
be sure, papa, to indicate all
that you can do without until
fall. Please don't carry this
entire library to Wisconsin,
as you would have carried it
to Africa, if I had not put my
"Was Tobey here?" asked
"Yes, I just
left him. He and Esmeralda
are exchanging religious
experiences on the back porch
"Tut, tut, I must see him at
once!" cried the professor. "Excuse
me just a moment, children," and
the old man hastened from the
As soon as he was out of earshot
Canler turned to Jane.
"See here, Jane," he said bluntly. "How
long is this thing going on like
this? You haven't refused to
marry me, but you haven't promised
either. I want to get the license
tomorrow, so that we can be married
quietly before you leave for
Wisconsin. I don't care for any
fuss or feathers, and I'm sure
you don't either."
The girl turned cold, but she
held her head bravely.
"Your father wishes it, you
know," added Canler.
"Yes, I know."
She spoke scarcely above a
"Do you realize that you are
buying me, Mr. Canler?" she said
finally, and in a cold, level
voice. "Buying me for a few paltry
dollars? Of course you do, Robert
Canler, and the hope of just
such a contingency was in your
mind when you loaned papa the
money for that hair-brained escapade,
which but for a most mysterious
circumstance would have been
"But you, Mr.
Canler, would have been the
You had no idea that the venture
would succeed. You are too good
a businessman for that. And you
are too good a businessman to
loan money for buried treasure
seeking, or to loan money without
security--unless you had some
special object in view.
"You knew that
without security you had a
greater hold on the
honor of the Porters than with
it. You knew the one best way
to force me to marry you, without
seeming to force me.
"You have never
mentioned the loan. In any
other man I should
have thought that the prompting
of a magnanimous and noble character.
But you are deep, Mr. Robert
Canler. I know you better than
you think I know you.
"I shall certainly
marry you if there is no other
let us understand each other
once and for all."
While she spoke Robert Canler
had alternately flushed and paled,
and when she ceased speaking
he arose, and with a cynical
smile upon his strong face, said:
"You surprise me, Jane. I thought
you had more self-control --more
pride. Of course you are right.
I am buying you, and I knew that
you knew it, but I thought you
would prefer to pretend that
it was otherwise. I should have
thought your self respect and
your Porter pride would have
shrunk from admitting, even to
yourself, that you were a bought
woman. But have it your own way,
dear girl," he added lightly. "I
am going to have you, and that
is all that interests me."
Without a word the girl turned
and left the room.
Jane was not married before
she left with her father and
Esmeralda for her little Wisconsin
farm, and as she coldly bid Robert
Canler goodby as her train pulled
out, he called to her that he
would join them in a week or
At their destination they were
met by Clayton and Mr. Philander
in a huge touring car belonging
to the former, and quickly whirled
away through the dense northern
woods toward the little farm
which the girl had not visited
before since childhood.
The farmhouse, which stood
on a little elevation some hundred
yards from the tenant house,
had undergone a complete transformation
during the three weeks that Clayton
and Mr. Philander had been there.
The former had imported a small
army of carpenters and plasterers,
plumbers and painters from a
distant city, and what had been
but a dilapidated shell when
they reached it was now a cosy
little two-story house filled
with every modern convenience
procurable in so short a time.
"Why, Mr. Clayton, what have
you done?" cried Jane Porter,
her heart sinking within her
as she realized the probable
size of the expenditure that
had been made.
"S-sh," cautioned Clayton. "Don't
let your father guess. If you
don't tell him he will never
notice, and I simply couldn't
think of him living in the terrible
squalor and sordidness which
Mr. Philander and I found. It
was so little when I would like
to do so much, Jane. For his
sake, please, never mention it."
"But you know that we can't
repay you," cried the girl. "Why
do you want to put me under such
"Don't, Jane," said Clayton
sadly. "If it had been just you,
believe me, I wouldn't have done
it, for I knew from the start
that it would only hurt me in
your eyes, but I couldn't think
of that dear old man living in
the hole we found here. Won't
you please believe that I did
it just for him and give me that
little crumb of pleasure at least?"
"I do believe you, Mr. Clayton," said
the girl, "because I know you
are big enough and generous enough
to have done it just for him--and,
oh Cecil, I wish I might repay
you as you deserve--as you would
"But you are
going to marry him. He told
me as much before
I left Baltimore."
The girl winced.
"I do not love him," she
said, almost proudly.
"Is it because
of the money, Jane?"
"Then am I so much less desirable
than Canler? I have money enough,
and far more, for every need," he
"I do not love you, Cecil," she
said, "but I respect you. If
I must disgrace myself by such
a bargain with any man, I prefer
that it be one I already despise.
I should loathe the man to whom
I sold myself without love, whomsoever
he might be. You will be happier," she
concluded, "alone--with my respect
and friendship, than with me
and my contempt."
He did not press the matter
further, but if ever a man had
murder in his heart it was William
Cecil Clayton, Lord Greystoke,
when, a week later, Robert Canler
drew up before the farmhouse
in his purring six cylinder.
A week passed; a tense, uneventful,
but uncomfortable week for all
the inmates of the little Wisconsin
Canler was insistent that Jane
marry him at once.
At length she gave in from
sheer loathing of the continued
and hateful importuning.
It was agreed that on the morrow
Canler was to drive to town and
bring back the license and a
Clayton had wanted to leave
as soon as the plan was announced,
but the girl's tired, hopeless
look kept him. He could not desert
Something might happen yet,
he tried to console himself by
thinking. And in his heart, he
knew that it would require but
a tiny spark to turn his hatred
for Canler into the blood lust
of the killer.
Early the next morning Canler
set out for town.
In the east smoke could be
seen lying low over the forest,
for a fire had been raging for
a week not far from them, but
the wind still lay in the west
and no danger threatened them.
About noon Jane started off
for a walk. She would not let
Clayton accompany her. She wanted
to be alone, she said, and he
respected her wishes.
In the house Professor Porter
and Mr. Philander were immersed
in an absorbing discussion of
some weighty scientific problem.
Esmeralda dozed in the kitchen,
and Clayton, heavy-eyed after
a sleepless night, threw himself
down upon the couch in the living
room and soon dropped into a
To the east the black smoke
clouds rose higher into the heavens,
suddenly they eddied, and then
commenced to drift rapidly toward
On and on they came. The inmates
of the tenant house were gone,
for it was market day, and none
was there to see the rapid approach
of the fiery demon.
Soon the flames had spanned
the road to the south and cut
off Canler's return. A little
fluctuation of the wind now carried
the path of the forest fire to
the north, then blew back and
the flames nearly stood still
as though held in leash by some
Suddenly, out of the northeast,
a great black car came careening
down the road.
With a jolt it stopped before
the cottage, and a black-haired
giant leaped out to run up onto
the porch. Without a pause he
rushed into the house. On the
couch lay Clayton. The man started
in surprise, but with a bound
was at the side of the sleeping
Shaking him roughly by the
shoulder, he cried:
"My God, Clayton,
are you all mad here? Don't
you know you
are nearly surrounded by fire?
Where is Miss Porter?"
Clayton sprang to his feet.
He did not recognize the man,
but he understood the words and
was upon the veranda in a bound.
"Scott!" he cried, and then,
dashing back into the house, "Jane!
Jane! where are you?"
In an instant Esmeralda, Professor
Porter and Mr. Philander had
joined the two men.
"Where is Miss Jane?" cried
Clayton, seizing Esmeralda by
the shoulders and shaking her
Mister Clayton, she done gone
for a walk."
"Hasn't she come back yet?" and,
without waiting for a reply,
Clayton dashed out into the yard,
followed by the others. "Which
way did she go?" cried the black-haired
giant of Esmeralda.
"Down that road," cried
the frightened woman, pointing
the south where a mighty wall
of roaring flames shut out the
"Put these people in the other
car," shouted the stranger to
Clayton. "I saw one as I drove
up--and get them out of here
by the north road.
"Leave my car here. If I find
Miss Porter we shall need it.
If I don't, no one will need
it. Do as I say," as Clayton
hesitated, and then they saw
the lithe figure bound away cross
the clearing toward the northwest
where the forest still stood,
untouched by flame.
In each rose the unaccountable
feeling that a great responsibility
had been raised from their shoulders;
a kind of implicit confidence
in the power of the stranger
to save Jane if she could be
"Who was that?" asked
"I do not know," replied Clayton. "He
called me by name and he knew
Jane, for he asked for her. And
he called Esmeralda by name."
"There was something most startlingly
familiar about him," exclaimed
Mr. Philander, "And yet, bless
me, I know I never saw him before."
"Tut, tut!" cried Professor
Porter. "Most remarkable! Who
could it have been, and why do
I feel that Jane is safe, now
that he has set out in search
"I can't tell you, Professor," said
Clayton soberly, "but I know
I have the same uncanny feeling."
"But come," he cried, "we must
get out of here ourselves, or
we shall be shut off," and the
party hastened toward Clayton's
When Jane turned to retrace
her steps homeward, she was alarmed
to note how near the smoke of
the forest fire seemed, and as
she hastened onward her alarm
became almost a panic when she
perceived that the rushing flames
were rapidly forcing their way
between herself and the cottage.
At length she was compelled
to turn into the dense thicket
and attempt to force her way
to the west in an effort to circle
around the flames and reach the
In a short time the futility
of her attempt became apparent
and then her one hope lay in
retracing her steps to the road
and flying for her life to the
south toward the town.
The twenty minutes that it
took her to regain the road was
all that had been needed to cut
off her retreat as effectually
as her advance had been cut off
A short run down the road brought
her to a horrified stand, for
there before her was another
wall of flame. An arm of the
main conflagration had shot out
a half mile south of its parent
to embrace this tiny strip of
road in its implacable clutches.
Jane knew that it was useless
again to attempt to force her
way through the undergrowth.
She had tried it once, and
failed. Now she realized that
it would be but a matter of minutes
ere the whole space between the
north and the south would be
a seething mass of billowing
Calmly the girl kneeled down
in the dust of the roadway and
prayed for strength to meet her
fate bravely, and for the delivery
of her father and her friends
Suddenly she heard her name
being called aloud through the
"Jane! Jane Porter!" It
rang strong and clear, but
in a strange
"Here!" she called in reply. "Here!
In the roadway!"
Then through the branches of
the trees she saw a figure swinging
with the speed of a squirrel.
A veering of the wind blew
a cloud of smoke about them and
she could no longer see the man
who was speeding toward her,
but suddenly she felt a great
arm about her. Then she was lifted
up, and she felt the rushing
of the wind and the occasional
brush of a branch as she was
She opened her eyes.
Far below her lay the undergrowth
and the hard earth.
About her was the waving foliage
of the forest.
From tree to tree swung the
giant figure which bore her,
and it seemed to Jane that she
was living over in a dream the
experience that had been hers
in that far African jungle.
Oh, if it were but the same
man who had borne her so swiftly
through the tangled verdure on
that other day! but that was
impossible! Yet who else in all
the world was there with the
strength and agility to do what
this man was now doing?
She stole a sudden glance at
the face close to hers, and then
she gave a little frightened
gasp. It was he!
"My forest man!" she murmured, "No,
I must be delerious!"
"Yes, your man, Jane Porter.
Your savage, primeval man come
out of the jungle to claim his
mate--the woman who ran away
from him," he added almost fiercely.
"I did not run away," she whispered. "I
would only consent to leave when
they had waited a week for you
They had come to a point beyond
the fire now, and he had turned
back to the clearing.
Side by side they were walking
toward the cottage. The wind
had changed once more and the
fire was burning back upon itself--another
hour like that and it would be
"Why did you not return?" she
"I was nursing
D'Arnot. He was badly wounded."
"Ah, I knew it!" she
you had gone to join the blacks--that
"But you did
not believe them, Jane?"
"No;--what shall I call you?" she
asked. "What is your name?"
"I was Tarzan of the Apes when
you first knew me," he said.
"Tarzan of the Apes!" she cried--"and
that was your note I answered
when I left?"
did you think it was?"
"I did not
know; only that it could not
be yours, for Tarzan
of the Apes had written in English,
and you could not understand
a word of any language."
Again he laughed.
"It is a long
story, but it was I who wrote
what I could
not speak--and now D'Arnot has
made matters worse by teaching
me to speak French instead of
"Come," he added, "jump
into my car, we must overtake
father, they are only a little
As they drove along, he said:
you said in your note to Tarzan
of the Apes that
you loved another--you might
have meant me?"
"I might have," she
"But in Baltimore--Oh,
how I have searched for you--they
told me you would possibly be
married by now. That a man named
Canler had come up here to wed
you. Is that true?"
"Do you love
"Do you love
She buried her face in her
"I am promised to another.
I cannot answer you, Tarzan of
the Apes," she cried.
"You have answered.
Now, tell me why you would
marry one you
do not love."
owes him money."
Suddenly there came back to
Tarzan the memory of the letter
he had read--and the name Robert
Canler and the hinted trouble
which he had been unable to understand
"If your father
had not lost the treasure you
would not feel
forced to keep your promise to
this man Canler?"
"I could ask
him to release me."
"And if he
"I have given
He was silent for a moment.
The car was plunging along the
uneven road at a reckless pace,
for the fire showed threateningly
at their right, and another change
of the wind might sweep it on
with raging fury across this
one avenue of escape.
Finally they passed the danger
point, and Tarzan reduced their
"Suppose I should ask him?" ventured
"He would scarcely accede to
the demand of a stranger," said
the girl. "Especially one who
wanted me himself."
"Terkoz did," said
Jane shuddered and looked fearfully
up at the giant figure beside
her, for she knew that he meant
the great anthropoid he had killed
in her defense.
"This is not the African jungle," she
said. "You are no longer a savage
beast. You are a gentleman, and
gentlemen do not kill in cold
"I am still a wild beast at
heart," he said, in a low voice,
as though to himself.
Again they were silent for
"Jane," said the man, at length, "if
you were free, would you marry
She did not reply at once,
but he waited patiently.
The girl was trying to collect
What did she know of this strange
creature at her side? What did
he know of himself? Who was he?
Who, his parents?
Why, his very name echoed his
mysterious origin and his savage
He had no name. Could she be
happy with this jungle waif?
Could she find anything in common
with a husband whose life had
been spent in the tree tops of
an African wilderness, frolicking
and fighting with fierce anthropoids;
tearing his food from the quivering
flank of fresh-killed prey, sinking
his strong teeth into raw flesh,
and tearing away his portion
while his mates growled and fought
about him for their share?
Could he ever rise to her social
sphere? Could she bear to think
of sinking to his? Would either
be happy in such a horrible misalliance?
"You do not answer," he said. "Do
you shrink from wounding me?"
"I do not know what answer
to make," said Jane sadly. "I
do not know my own mind."
"You do not love me, then?" he
asked, in a level tone.
"Do not ask
me. You will be happier without
me. You were
never meant for the formal restrictions
and conventionalities of society--civilization
would become irksome to you,
and in a little while you would
long for the freedom of your
old life--a life to which I am
as totally unfitted as you to
"I think I understand you," he
replied quietly. "I shall not
urge you, for I would rather
see you happy than to be happy
myself. I see now that you could
not be happy with--an ape."
There was just the faintest
tinge of bitterness in his voice.
"Don't," she remonstrated. "Don't
say that. You do not understand."
But before she could go on
a sudden turn in the road brought
them into the midst of a little
Before them stood Clayton's
car surrounded by the party he
had brought from the cottage.