SHIPS THAT PASS
 LET us go back a few months to the little, windswept platform of a railway station in northern
Wisconsin. The smoke of forest fires hangs low over the surrounding landscape, its acrid fumes
smarting the eyes of a little party of six who stand waiting the coming of the train that is to bear
them away toward the south.
Professor Archimedes Q. Porter, his hands clasped beneath the tails of his long coat, paces back and
forth under the ever-watchful eye of his faithful secretary, Mr. Samuel T. Philander. Twice within
the past few minutes he has started absent-mindedly across the tracks in the direction of a near-by
swamp, only to be rescued and dragged back by the tireless Mr. Philander.
Jane Porter, the professor's daughter, is in strained and lifeless conversation with William Cecil
Clayton and Tarzan of the Apes. Within the little waiting room, but a bare moment before, a
confession of love and a renunciation had taken place that had blighted the lives and happiness of
two of the party, but William Cecil Clayton, Lord Greystoke, was not one of them.
Behind Miss Porter hovered the motherly Esmeralda. She, too, was happy, for was she not returning to
her beloved Maryland? Already she could see dimly through
 the fog of smoke the murky headlight of the oncoming engine. The men began to gather up the hand
baggage. Suddenly Clayton exclaimed.
"By Jove! I've left my ulster in the waiting-room," and hastened off to fetch it.
"Good-bye, Jane," said Tarzan, extending his hand. "God bless you!"
"Good-bye," replied the girl faintly. "Try to forget me—no, not that—I could not bear to
think that you had forgotten me."
"There is no danger of that, dear," he answered. "I wish to Heaven that I might forget. It would be
so much easier than to go through life always remembering what might have been. You will be happy,
though; I am sure you shall—you must be. You may tell the others of my decision to drive my
car on to New York—I don't feel equal to bidding Clayton good-bye. I want always to remember
him kindly, but I fear that I am too much of a wild beast yet to be trusted too long with the man
who stands between me and the one person in all the world I want."
As Clayton stooped to pick up his coat in the waiting room his eyes fell on a telegraph blank lying
face down upon the floor. He stooped to pick it up, thinking it might be a message of importance
which some one had dropped. He glanced at it hastily, and then suddenly he forgot his coat, the
approaching train—everything but that terrible little piece of yellow paper in his hand. He
read it twice before he could fully grasp the terrific weight of meaning that it bore to him.
When he had picked it up he had been an English nobleman, the proud and wealthy possessor of vast
estates—a moment later he had read it, and he knew
 that he was an untitled and penniless beggar. It was D'Arnot's cablegram to Tarzan, and it read:
Finger prints prove you Greystoke. Congratulations.
He staggered as though he had received a mortal blow. Just then he heard the others calling to him
to hurry—the train was coming to a stop at the little platform. Like a man dazed he gathered
up his ulster. He would tell them about the cablegram when they were all on board the train. Then he
ran out upon the platform just as the engine whistled twice in the final warning that precedes the
first rumbling jerk of coupling pins. The others were on board, leaning out from the platform of a
Pullman, crying to him to hurry. Quite five minutes elapsed before they were settled in their seats,
nor was it until then that Clayton discovered that Tarzan was not with them.
"Where is Tarzan?" he asked Jane Porter. "In another car?"
"No," she replied; "at the last minute he determined to drive his machine back to New York. He is
anxious to see more of America than is possible from a car window. He is returning to France, you
Clayton did not reply. He was trying to find the right words to explain to Jane Porter the calamity
that had befallen him—and her. He wondered just what the effect of his knowledge would be on
her. Would she still wish to marry him—to be plain Mrs. Clayton? Suddenly the awful sacrifice
which one of them must make loomed large before his imagination. Then came the question: Will Tarzan
claim his own? The ape-man had known the contents of the message before he calmly
 denied knowledge of his parentage! He had admitted that Kala, the ape, was his mother! Could it
have been for love of Jane Porter?
There was no other explanation which seemed reasonable. Then, having ignored the evidence of the
message, was it not reasonable to assume that he meant never to claim his birthright? If this were
so, what right had he, William Cecil Clayton, to thwart the wishes, to balk the self-sacrifice of
this strange man? If Tarzan of the Apes could do this thing to save Jane Porter from unhappiness,
why should he, to whose care she was intrusting her whole future, do aught to jeopardize her
And so he reasoned until the first generous impulse to proclaim the truth and relinquish his titles
and his estates to their rightful owner was forgotten beneath the mass of sophistries which
self-interest had advanced. But during the balance of the trip, and for many days thereafter, he was
moody and distraught. Occasionally the thought obtruded itself that possibly at some later day
Tarzan would regret his magnanimity, and claim his rights.
Several days after they reached Baltimore Clayton broached the subject of an early marriage to Jane.
"What do you mean by early?" she asked.
"Within the next few days. I must return to England at once—I want you to return with me,
"I can't get ready so soon as that," replied Jane. "It will take a whole month, at least."
She was glad, for she hoped that whatever called him to England might still further delay the
wedding. She had made a bad bargain, but she intended carrying her part loyally to the bitter
end—if she could manage to secure a temporary reprieve, though, she felt that she
 was warranted in doing so. His reply disconcerted her.
"Very well, Jane," he said. "I am disappointed, but I shall let my trip to England wait a month;
then we can go back together."
But when the month was drawing to a close she found still another excuse upon which to hang a
postponement, until at last, discouraged and doubting, Clayton was forced to go back to England
The several letters that passed between them brought Clayton no nearer to a consummation of his
hopes than he had been before, and so it was that he wrote directly to Professor Porter, and
enlisted his services. The old man had always favored the match. He liked Clayton, and, being of an
old southern family, he put rather an exaggerated value on the advantages of a title, which meant
little or nothing to his daughter.
Clayton urged that the professor accept his invitation to be his guest in London, an invitation
which included the professor's entire little family—Mr. Philander, Esmeralda, and all. The
Englishman argued that once Jane was there, and home ties had been broken, she would not so dread
the step which she had so long hesitated to take.
So the evening that he received Clayton's letter Professor Porter announced that they would leave
for London the following week.
But once in London Jane Porter was no more tractable than she had been in Baltimore. She found one
excuse after another, and when, finally, Lord Tennington invited the party to cruise around Africa
in his yacht, she expressed the greatest delight in the idea, but absolutely refused to be married
until they had returned to London. As the cruise was to consume a year at least, for they
 were to stop for indefinite periods at various points of interest, Clayton mentally anathematized
Tennington for ever suggesting such a ridiculous trip.
It was Lord Tennington's plan to cruise through the Mediterranean, and the Red Sea to the Indian
Ocean, and thus down the East Coast, putting in at every port that was worth the seeing.
And so it happened that on a certain day two vessels passed in the Strait of Gibraltar. The smaller,
a trim white yacht, was speeding toward the east, and on her deck sat a young woman who gazed with
sad eyes upon a diamond studded locket which she idly fingered. Her thoughts were far away, in the
dim, leafy fastness of a tropical jungle—and her heart was with her thoughts.
She wondered if the man who had given her the beautiful bauble, that had meant so much more to him
than the intrinsic value which he had not even known could ever have meant to him, was back in his
And upon the deck of the larger vessel, a passenger steamer passing toward the east, the man sat
with another young woman, and the two idly speculated upon the identity of the dainty craft gliding
so gracefully through the gentle swell of the lazy sea.
When the yacht had passed the man resumed the conversation that her appearance had broken off.
"Yes," he said, "I like America very much, and that means, of course, that I like Americans, for a
country is only what its people make it. I met some very delightful people while I was there. I
recall one family from your own city, Miss Strong, whom I liked particularly—Professor Porter
and his daughter."
"Jane Porter!" exclaimed the girl. "Do you mean to tell me that you know Jane Porter? Why, she is
 best friend I have in the world. We were little children together—we have known each other for
"Indeed!" he answered, smiling. "You would have difficulty in persuading any one of the fact who had
seen either of you."
"I'll qualify the statement, then," she answered, with a laugh. "We have known each other for two
ages—hers and mine. But seriously we are as dear to each other as sisters, and now that I am
going to lose her I am almost heartbroken."
"Going to lose her?" exclaimed Tarzan. "Why, what do you mean? Oh, yes, I understand. You mean that
now that she is married and living in England, you will seldom if ever see her."
"Yes," replied she; "and the saddest part of it all is that she is not marrying the man she loves.
Oh, it is terrible. Marrying from a sense of duty! I think it is perfectly wicked, and I told her
so. I have felt so strongly on the subject that although I was the only person outside of blood
relations who was to have been asked to the wedding I would not let her invite me, for I should not
have gone to witness the terrible mockery. But Jane Porter is peculiarly positive. She has convinced
herself that she is doing the only honorable thing that she can do, and nothing in the world will
ever prevent her from marrying Lord Greystoke except Greystoke himself, or death."
"I am sorry for her," said Tarzan.
"And I am sorry for the man she loves," said the girl, "for he loves her. I never met him, but from
what Jane tells me he must be a very wonderful person. It seems that he was born in an African
jungle, and brought up by
 fierce, anthropoid apes. He had never seen a white man or woman until Professor Porter and his party
were marooned on the coast right at the threshold of his tiny cabin. He saved them from all manner
of terrible beasts, and accomplished the most wonderful feats imaginable, and then to cap the climax
he fell in love with Jane and she with him, though she never really knew it for sure until she had
promised herself to Lord Greystoke."
"Most remarkable," murmured Tarzan, cudgeling his brain for some pretext upon which to turn the
subject. He delighted in hearing Hazel Strong talk of Jane, but when he was the subject of the
conversation he was bored and embarrassed. But he was soon given a respite, for the girl's mother
joined them, and the talk became general.
The next few days passed uneventfully. The sea was quiet. The sky was clear. The steamer plowed
steadily on toward the south without pause. Tarzan spent quite a little time with Miss Strong and
her mother. They whiled away their hours on deck reading, talking, or taking pictures with Miss
Strong's camera. When the sun had set they walked.
One day Tarzan found Miss Strong in conversation with a stranger, a man he had not seen on board
before. As he approached the couple the man bowed to the girl and turned to walk away.
"Wait, Monsieur Thuran," said Miss Strong; "you must meet Mr. Caldwell. We are all fellow
passengers, and should be acquainted."
The two men shook hands. As Tarzan looked into the eyes of Monsieur Thuran he was struck by the
strange familiarity of their expression.
 "I have had the honor of monsieur's acquaintance in the past, I am sure," said Tarzan, "though I
cannot recall the circumstances."
Monsieur Thuran appeared ill at ease.
"I cannot say, monsieur," he replied. "It may be so. I have had that identical sensation myself when
meeting a stranger."
"Monsieur Thuran has been explaining some of the mysteries of navigation to me," explained the girl.
Tarzan paid little heed to the conversation that ensued—he was attempting to recall where he
had met Monsieur Thuran before. That it had been under peculiar circumstances he was positive.
Presently the sun reached them, and the girl asked Monsieur Thuran to move her chair farther back
into the shade. Tarzan happened to be watching the man at the time, and noticed the awkward manner
in which he handled the chair—his left wrist was stiff. That clew was sufficient—a
sudden train of associated ideas did the rest.
Monsieur Thuran had been trying to find an excuse to make a graceful departure. The lull in the
conversation following the moving of their position gave him an opportunity to make his excuses.
Bowing low to Miss Strong, and inclining his head to Tarzan, he turned to leave them.
"Just a moment," said Tarzan. "If Miss Strong will pardon me I will accompany you. I shall return in
a moment, Miss Strong."
Monsieur Thuran looked uncomfortable. When the two men had passed out of the girl's sight, Tarzan
stopped, laying a heavy hand on the other's shoulder.
"What is your game now, Rokoff?" he asked.
"I am leaving France as I promised you," replied the other, in a surly
"I see you are," said Tarzan; "but I know you so well that I can scarcely believe that your being on
the same boat with me is purely a coincidence. If I could believe it the fact that you are in
disguise would immediately disabuse my mind of any such idea."
"Well," growled Rokoff, with a shrug, "I cannot see what you are going to do about it. This vessel
flies the English flag. I have as much right on board her as you, and from the fact that you are
booked under an assumed name I imagine that I have more right."
"We will not discuss it, Rokoff. All I wanted to say to you is that you must keep away from Miss
Strong—she is a decent woman."
Rokoff turned scarlet.
"If you don't I shall pitch you overboard," continued Tarzan. "Do not forget that I am just waiting
for some excuse." Then he turned on his heel, and left Rokoff standing there trembling with
He did not see the man again for days, but Rokoff was not idle. In his stateroom with Paulvitch he
fumed and swore, threatening the most terrible of revenges.
"I would throw him overboard tonight," he cried, "were I sure that those papers were not on his
person. I cannot chance pitching them into the ocean with him. If you were not such a stupid coward,
Alexis, you would find a way to enter his stateroom and search for the documents."
Paulvitch smiled. "You are supposed to be the brains of this partnership, my dear Nikolas," he
replied. "Why do you not find the means to search Monsieur Caldwell's stateroom—eh?"
Two hours later fate was kind to them, for Paulvitch, who was ever on the watch, saw Tarzan leave
 without locking the door. Five minutes later Rokoff was stationed where he could give the alarm in
case Tarzan returned, and Paulvitch was deftly searching the contents of the ape-man's luggage.
He was about to give up in despair when he saw a coat which Tarzan had just removed. A moment later
he grasped an official envelope in his hand. A quick glance at its contents brought a broad smile to
the Russian's face.
When he left the stateroom Tarzan himself could not have told that an article in it had been touched
since he left it—Paulvitch was a past master in his chosen field. When he handed the packet to
Rokoff in the seclusion of their stateroom the larger man rang for a steward, and ordered a pint of
"We must celebrate, my dear Alexis," he said.
"It was luck, Nikolas," explained Paulvitch. "It is evident that he carries these papers always upon
his person—just by chance he neglected to transfer them when he changed coats a few minutes
since. But there will be the deuce to pay when he discovers his loss. I am afraid that he will
immediately connect you with it. Now that he knows that you are on board he will suspect you at
"It will make no difference whom he suspects—after to-night," said Rokoff, with a nasty grin.
After Miss Strong had gone below that night Tarzan stood leaning over the rail looking far out to
sea. Every night he had done this since he had come on board—sometimes he stood thus for an
hour. And the eyes that had been watching his every movement since he had boarded the ship at
Algiers knew that this was his habit.
Even as he stood there this night those eyes were on
 him. Presently the last straggler had left the deck. It was a clear night, but there was no
moon—objects on deck were barely discernible.
From the shadows of the cabin two figures crept stealthily upon the ape-man from behind. The lapping
of the waves against the ship's sides, the whirring of the propeller, the throbbing of the engines,
drowned the almost soundless approach of the two.
They were quite close to him now, and crouching low, like tacklers on a gridiron. One of them raised
his hand and lowered it, as though counting off seconds—one—two—three! As one man
the two leaped for their victim. Each grasped a leg, and before Tarzan of the Apes, lightning though
he was, could turn to save himself he had been pitched over the low rail and was falling into the
Hazel Strong was looking from her darkened port across the dark sea. Suddenly a body shot past her
eyes from the deck above. It dropped so quickly into the dark waters below that she could not be
sure of what it was—it might have been a man, she could not say. She listened for some outcry
from above—for the always-fearsome call, "Man overboard!" but it did not come. All was silence
on the ship above—all was silence in the sea below.
The girl decided that she had but seen a bundle of refuse thrown overboard by one of the ship's
crew, and a moment later sought her berth.
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