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The Return of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs

(Tarzan, 2)

Tarzan, after giving up the love of his life, Jane Porter, to his cousin William Cecil Clayton, returns to Paris and through a series of occurrences, thence back to Africa.

Book Details

Book Details

After giving up the love of his life, Jane Porter, to his cousin William Cecil Clayton, Tarzan returns to Paris and through a series of occurrences, thence back to Africa.

Through a series of events, Tarzan is recruited into the French Intelligence Service and is sent on a track that ultimately leads him to a Russian spy and stolen documents. Along the way, Tarzan explores a hidden and forbidden city – the city of Opar.

Tarzan must navigate the disparities of the “civilized” Man and the primitive savage.

The Return of Tarzan (1913)
I – The Affair On The Liner
II – Forging Bonds of Hate and —?
III – What Happened in the Rue Maule
IV – The Countess Explains
V – The Plot That Failed
VI – A Duel
VII – The Dancing Girl of Sidi Aissa
VIII – The Fight in the Desert
IX – Numa “El Adrea”
X – Through the Valley of the Shadow
XI – John Caldwell, London
XII – Ships That Pass
XIII – The Wreck of the “Lady Alice”
XIV – Back to the Primitive
XV – From Ape to Savage
XVI – The Ivory Raiders
XVII – The White Chief of the Waziri
XVIII – The Lottery of Death
XIX – The City of Gold
XX – La
XXI – The Castaways
XXII – The Treasure Vaults of Opar
XXIII – The Fifty Frightful Men
XXIV – How Tarzan Came Again to Opar
XXV – Through the Forest Primeval
XXVI – The Passing of the Ape-Man

Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875–1950) was one of the giants of American adventure and science-fiction writing. He will forever be known for his creations; Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, and the Pellucidar stories which took place inside a hollow earth.

The Return of Tarzan was first published in New Story Magazine in the issues for June through December 1913. The first book edition was published in 1915 by A. C. McClurg. This edition of The Return of Tarzan was adapted from the A. L. Burt Company edition of 1915, with chapter head illustrations by J. Allen St. John.

The Return of Tarzan contains 26 illustrations.


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Excerpt: The Return of Tarzan


The Affair On The Liner

“MAGNIFIQUE!” ejaculated the Countess de Coude, beneath her breath.

“Eh?” questioned the count, turning toward his young wife. “What is it that is magnificent?” and the count bent his eyes in various directions in quest of the object of her admiration.

“Oh, nothing at all, my dear,” replied the countess, a slight flush momentarily coloring her already pink cheek. “I was but recalling with admiration those stupendous skyscrapers, as they call them, of New York,” and the fair countess settled herself more comfortably in her steamer chair, and resumed the magazine which “nothing at all” had caused her to let fall upon her lap.

Her husband again buried himself in his book, but not without a mild wonderment that three days out from New York his countess should suddenly have realized an admiration for the very buildings she had but recently characterized as horrid.

Presently the count put down his book. “It is very tiresome, Olga,” he said. “I think that I shall hunt up some others who may be equally bored, and see if we cannot find enough for a game of cards.”

“You are not very gallant, my husband,” replied the young woman, smiling, “but as I am equally bored I can forgive you. Go and play at your tiresome old cards, then, if you will.”

When he had gone she let her eyes wander slyly to the figure of a tall young man stretched lazily in a chair not far distant.

“Magnifique!” she breathed once more.

The Countess Olga de Coude was twenty. Her husband forty. She was a very faithful and loyal wife, but as she had had nothing whatever to do with the selection of a husband, it is not at all unlikely that she was not wildly and passionately in love with the one that fate and her titled Russian father had selected for her. However, simply because she was surprised into a tiny exclamation of approval at sight of a splendid young stranger it must not be inferred therefrom that her thoughts were in any way disloyal to her spouse. She merely admired, as she might have admired a particularly fine specimen of any species. Furthermore, the young man was unquestionably good to look at.

As her furtive glance rested upon his profile he rose to leave the deck. The Countess de Coude beckoned to a passing steward. “Who is that gentleman?” she asked.

“He is booked, madam, as Monsieur Tarzan, of Africa,” replied the steward.

“Rather a large estate,” thought the girl, but now her interest was still further aroused.

As Tarzan walked slowly toward the smoking-room he came unexpectedly upon two men whispering excitedly just without. He would have vouchsafed them not even a passing thought but for the strangely guilty glance that one of them shot in his direction. They reminded Tarzan of melodramatic villains he had seen at the theaters in Paris. Both were very dark, and this, in connection with the shrugs and stealthy glances that accompanied their palpable intriguing, lent still greater force to the similarity.

Tarzan entered the smoking-room, and sought a chair a little apart from the others who were there. He felt in no mood for conversation, and as he sipped his absinthe he let his mind run rather sorrowfully over the past few weeks of his life. Time and again he had wondered if he had acted wisely in renouncing his birthright to a man to whom he owed nothing. It is true that he liked Clayton, but — ah, but that was not the question. It was not for William Cecil Clayton, Lord Greystoke, that he had denied his birth. It was for the woman whom both he and Clayton had loved, and whom a strange freak of fate had given to Clayton instead of to him.

That she loved him made the thing doubly difficult to bear, yet he knew that he could have done nothing less than he did do that night within the little railway station in the far Wisconsin woods. To him her happiness was the first consideration of all, and his brief experience with civilization and civilized men had taught him that without money and position life to most of them was unendurable.

Jane Porter had been born to both, and had Tarzan taken them away from her future husband it would doubtless have plunged her into a life of misery and torture. That she would have spurned Clayton once he had been stripped of both his title and his estates never for once occurred to Tarzan, for he credited to others the same honest loyalty that was so inherent a quality in himself. Nor, in this instance, had he erred. Could any one thing have further bound Jane Porter to her promise to Clayton it would have been in the nature of some such misfortune as this overtaking him.

Tarzan’s thoughts drifted from the past to the future. He tried to look forward with pleasurable sensations to his return to the jungle of his birth and boyhood; the cruel, fierce jungle in which he had spent twenty of his twenty-two years. But who or what of all the myriad jungle life would there be to welcome his return? Not one. Only Tantor, the elephant, could he call friend. The others would hunt him or flee from him as had been their way in the past.

Not even the apes of his own tribe would extend the hand of fellowship to him.

If civilization had done nothing else for Tarzan of the Apes, it had to some extent taught him to crave the society of his own kind, and to feel with genuine pleasure the congenial warmth of companionship. And in the same ratio had it made any other life distasteful to him. It was difficult to imagine a world without a friend — without a living thing who spoke the new tongues which Tarzan had learned to love so well. And so it was that Tarzan looked with little relish upon the future he had mapped out for himself.

As he sat musing over his cigarette his eyes fell upon a mirror before him, and in it he saw reflected a table at which four men sat at cards. Presently one of them rose to leave, and then another approached, and Tarzan could see that he courteously offered to fill the vacant chair, that the game might not be interrupted. He was the smaller of the two whom Tarzan had seen whispering just outside the smoking-room.

It was this fact that aroused a faint spark of interest in Tarzan, and so as he speculated upon the future he watched in the mirror the reflection of the players at the table behind him. Aside from the man who had but just entered the game Tarzan knew the name of but one of the other players. It was he who sat opposite the new player, Count Raoul de Coude, whom an over-attentive steward had pointed out as one of the celebrities of the passage, describing him as a man high in the official family of the French minister of war.

Suddenly Tarzan’s attention was riveted upon the picture in the glass. The other swarthy plotter had entered, and was standing behind the count’s chair. Tarzan saw him turn and glance furtively about the room, but his eyes did not rest for a sufficient time upon the mirror to note the reflection of Tarzan’s watchful eyes. Stealthily the man withdrew something from his pocket. Tarzan could not discern what the object was, for the man’s hand covered it.

Slowly the hand approached the count, and then, very deftly, the thing that was in it was transferred to the count’s pocket. The man remained standing where he could watch the Frenchman’s cards. Tarzan was puzzled, but he was all attention now, nor did he permit another detail of the incident to escape him.

The play went on for some ten minutes after this, until the count won a considerable wager from him who had last joined the game, and then Tarzan saw the fellow back of the count’s chair nod his head to his confederate. Instantly the player arose and pointed a finger at the count.

“Had I known that monsieur was a professional card sharp I had not been so ready to be drawn into the game,” he said.

Instantly the count and the two other players were upon their feet.

De Coude’s face went white.

“What do you mean, sir?” he cried. “Do you know to whom you speak?”

“I know that I speak, for the last time, to one who cheats at cards,” replied the fellow.

The count leaned across the table, and struck the man full in the mouth with his open palm, and then the others closed in between them.

Excerpt From: Edgar Rice Burroughs. “The Return of Tarzan.”

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