Yet when they struck the ground it was with scarce a jar; and as Clayton released his hold on the ape-man he saw him dart like a squirrel for the opposite side of the cabin.
Tarzan, racking his brains for some means to cope single-handed with the infuriated beast, had suddenly recalled his battle with Terkoz; and as the great shoulders came clear of the window, so that the lioness hung upon the sill only by her forepaws, Tarzan suddenly released his hold upon the brute.
He was released without any reproach to himself, from an entanglement which had long formed his misery, from a woman whom he had long ceased to love;– and elevated at once to that security with another, which he must have thought of almost with despair, as soon as he had learnt to consider it with desire.
But when the second moment had passed, when she found every doubt, every solicitude removed, compared her situation with what so lately it had been,–saw him honourably released from his former engagement, saw him instantly profiting by the release, to address herself and declare an affection as tender, as constant as she had ever supposed it to be,–she was oppressed, she was overcome by her own felicity;– and happily disposed as is the human mind to be easily familiarized with any change for the better, it required several hours to give sedateness to her spirits, or any degree of tranquillity to her heart.
Thus fearful alike, of those within the prison and of those without; of noise and silence; light and darkness; of being released, and being left there to die; he was so tortured and tormented, that nothing man has ever done to man in the horrible caprice of power and cruelty, exceeds his self-inflicted punishment.
‘Unless we are released to-night,’ one of them cried, ‘we are dead men!’
‘I tell you what it is,’ said the hangman, gravely; ‘I’m afraid, my friend, that you’re not in that ‘ere state of mind that’s suitable to your condition, then; you’re not a-going to be released: don’t think it–Will you leave off that ‘ere indecent row?