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Tarzan of the Apes had heard only rumors of the Kavuru - a race of strange white savages. But when they stole the daugher of Muviro, chief of the Waziri, the Lord of the Jungle set on in search of their legend-shrouded village on a mission of rescue - or, if need be, of revenge. He could not know that his trail ran close to that of a strange group of survivors of a crashed plane - including his beloved mate, Jane - who struggled for survival against the terrors of Africa and an even worse danger within their own party. But the stranded Europeans and the ape-man were destined for a rendezvous of blood and fire - in the dreaded temple of the Kavuru.
307 pages, with a reading time of ~4.75 hours (76,831 words), and first published in 1935. This DRM-Free edition published by epubBooks, 2014.
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“My Dear Jane, you know everyone.”
“Not quite, Hazel; but one sees everyone in the Savoy.”
“Who is that woman at the second table to our right?–the one who spoke so cordially. There is something very familiar about her–I’m sure I’ve seen her before.”
“You probably have. Don’t you remember Kitty Krause?”
“O-oh, yes; now I recall her. But she went with an older crowd.”
“Yes, she’s a full generation ahead of us; but Kitty’d like to forget that and have everyone else forget it.”
“Let’s see–she married Peters, the cotton king, didn’t she?”
“Yes, and when he died he left her so many millions she didn’t have enough fingers to count ‘em on; so the poor woman will never know how rich she is.”
“Is that her son with her?”
“Son, my dear! That’s her new husband.”
“Husband? Why, she’s old enough to–”
“Yes, of course; but you see he’s a prince, and Kitty always was–er–well, ambitious.”
“Yes, I recall now–something of a climber; but she climbed pretty high, even in aristocratic old Baltimore, with those Peters millions.”
“But she’s an awfully good soul, Hazel. I’m really very fond of her. There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for a friend, and underneath that one silly complex of hers is a heart of gold.”
“And kind to her mother! If anyone ever says I’m good-hearted, I’ll–”
“S-sh, Hazel; she’s coming over.”
The older woman, followed by her husband, swooped down upon them. “My darling Jane,” she cried, “I’m so glad to see you.”
“And I’m glad to see you, Kitty. You remember Hazel Strong, don’t you?”
“Oh, not of the Strongs of Baltimore! Oh, my dear! I mean I’m just–how perfectly wonder–I must present my husband, Prince Sborov. Alexis, my very, very dearest friends, Lady Greystoke and Miss Strong.”
“Lady Tennington now, Kitty,” corrected Jane.
“Oh, my dear, how perfectly wonderful! Lady Greystoke and Lady Tennington, Alexis, dear.”
“Charmed,” murmured the young man. His lips smiled; but the murky light in his deep eyes was appraising, questioning, as they brooded upon the lovely face of Jane, Lady Greystoke.
“Won’t you join us?” invited the latter. “Please sit down. You know it’s been ages, Kitty, since we had a good visit.”
“Oh, how perfectly won–oh, I’d love to–I mean it seems–thank you, Alexis dear–now you sit over there.”
“Why, Kitty, it must be a year since I have heard anything of you, except what I have read in the newspapers,” said Jane.
“At that, you might be very well informed as to our goings and comings,” remarked Sborov, a little ironically.
“Yes, indeed–I mean–we have a whole book filled with newspaper clippings–some of them were horrid.”
“But you kept them all,” remarked the prince.
“Oh, well,” cried Princess Sborov, “I mean–I suppose one must pay for fame and position; but these newspaper people can be so terribly horrid.”
“But what have you been doing?” inquired Jane. “Have you been back home again? I’m sure you haven’t been in London for a year.”
“No, we spent the whole year on the continent. We had a perfectly wonderful time, didn’t we, Alexis dear? You see it was last Spring in Paris that we met; and dear, dear Alexis just swept me off my feet. He wouldn’t take no for an answer, would you, darling?”
“How could I, my sweet?”
“There, you see, isn’t he won–and then we were married, and we’ve been traveling ever since.”
“And now, I suppose, you are going to settle down?” asked Jane.
“Oh, my dear, no. You never could guess what we’re planning on now–we are going to Africa!”
“Africa! How interesting,” commented Hazel. “Africa! What memories it conjures.”
“You have been to Africa, Lady Tennington?” inquired the prince.
“Right in the heart of it–cannibals, lions, elephants–everything.”
“Oh, how perfectly wonder–I mean how thrilling–and I know that Jane knows all there is to know about Africa.”
“Not quite all, Kitty.’”
“But enough,” interposed Hazel.
“I’m going down myself, shortly,” said Jane. “You see,” she added, turning to Prince Sborov, “Lord Greystoke spends a great deal of time in Africa. I am planning on joining him there. I have already booked my passage.”
“Oh, how perfectly wonderful,” exclaimed the princess. “I mean, we can all go together.”
“That is a splendid idea, my dear,” said the prince, his face brightening.
“It would be lovely,” said Jane, “but you see, I am going into the interior, and I am sure that you–”
“Oh, my dear, so are we.”
“But, Kitty, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You wouldn’t like it at all. No comforts, no luxuries; dirt, insects, smelly natives, and all kinds of wild beasts.”
“Oh, but my dear, we are–I mean, we really are. Shall I tell Lady Greystoke our secret, darling?”
The prince shrugged. “Why not? She could have little more than a passing interest.”
“Well, maybe some day she will. We all grow old, you know, my dear.”
“It seems incredible to think–” murmured Alexis half to himself.