Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar/Chapter XXII

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tarzan recovers his reason

AS TARZAN let the pebbles from the recovered pouch run through his fingers, his thoughts returned to the pile of yellow ingots about which the Arabs and the Abyssinians had waged their relentless battle.

What was there in common between that pile of dirty metal and the beautiful, sparkling pebbles that had formerly been in his pouch? What was the metal? From whence had it come? What was that tantalizing half-conviction which seemed to demand the recognition of his memory that the yellow pile for which these men had fought and died had been intimately connected with his past — that it had been his?

What had been his past? He shook his head. Vaguely the memory of his apish childhood passed slowly in review — then came a strangely tangled mass of faces, figures and events which seemed to have no relation to Tarzan of the Apes, and yet which were, even in their fragmentary form, familiar.

Slowly and painfully, recollection was attempting to reassert itself, the hurt brain was mending, as the cause of its recent failure to function was being slowly absorbed or removed by the healing processes of perfect circulation.

The people who now passed before his mind's eye for the first time in weeks wore familiar faces; but yet he could neither place them in the niches they had once filled in his past life, nor call them by name. One was a fair she, and it was her face which most often moved through the tangled recollections of his convalescing brain. Who was she? What had she been to Tarzan of the Apes? He seemed to see her about the very spot upon which the pile of gold had been unearthed by the Abyssinians; but the surroundings were vastly different from those which now obtained.

There was a building—there were many buildings—and there were hedges, fences, and flowers. Tarzan puckered his brow in puzzled study of the wonderful problem. For an instant he seemed to grasp the whole of a true explanation, and then, just as success was within his grasp, the picture faded into a jungle scene where a naked, white youth danced in company with a band of hairy, primordial ape-things.

Tarzan shook his head and sighed. Why was it that he could not recollect? At least he was sure that in some way the pile of gold, the place where it lay, the subtle aroma of the elusive she he had been pursuing, the memory figure of the white woman, and he, himself, were inextricably connected by the ties of a forgotten past.

If the woman belonged there, what better place to search or await her than the very spot which his broken recollections seemed to assign to her? It was worth trying. Tarzan slipped the thong of the empty pouch over his shoulder and started off through the trees in the direction of the plain.

At the outskirts of the forest he met the Arabs returning in search of Achmet Zek. Hiding, he let them pass, and then resumed his way toward the charred ruins of the home he had been almost upon the point of recalling to his memory.

His journey across the plain was interrupted by the discovery of a small herd of antelope in Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/334 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/335 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/336 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/337 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/338 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/339 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/340 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/341 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/342 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/343 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/344 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/345 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/346 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/347 Page:Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.djvu/348 And deep in the gloomy jungle amidst the darkening shadows of the falling night a hairy, manlike creature swung swiftly southward upon some secret mission of his own.