First published in 1914, Tarzan of the Apes is the first of several works by Edgar Rice Burroughs that delineate Tarzan’s manifold and amazing feats. Despite his reputation as a pulp writer, Burroughs spins an exhilarating yarn detailing the laws of the jungle and the intricate dilemmas of the British gentry as he examines the struggle between heredity and environment.
Hauptmann Fritz Schneider trudged wearily through the somber aisles of the dark forest.Sweat rolled down his bullet head and stood upon his heavy jowls and bull neck. His lieutenantmarched beside him while Underlieutenant von Goss brought up the rear, following with ahandful of askaris the tired and all but exhausted porters whom the black soldiers, following theexample of their white officer, encouraged with the sharp points of bayonets and the metal-shodbutts of rifles.There were no porters within reach of Hauptmann Schneider so he vented his Prussian spleenupon the askaris nearest at hand, yet with greater circumspection since these men bore loadedrifles-and the three white men were alone with them in the heart of Africa.Ahead of the hauptmann marched half his company, behind him the other half-thus werethe dangers of the savage jungle minimized for the German captain. At the forefront of thecolumn staggered two naked savages fastened to each other by a neck chain. These were thenative guides impressed into the service of Kultur and upon their poor, bruised bodies Kultur'sbrand was revealed in divers cruel wounds and bruises.Thus even in darkest Africa was the light of German civilization commencing to reflect itselfupon the undeserving natives just as at the same period, the fall of 1914, it was shedding itsglorious effulgence upon benighted Belgium.It is true that the guides had led the party astray; but this is the way of most African guides.Nor did it matter that ignorance rather than evil intent had been the cause of their failure. It wasenough for Hauptmann Fritz Schneider to know that he was lost in the African wilderness andthat he had at hand human beings less powerful than he who could be made to suffer by torture.That he did not kill them outright was partially due to a faint hope that they might eventuallyprove the means of extricating him from his difficulties and partially that so long as they livedthey might still be made to suffer.
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