Presently from a great distance and faintly there came an answering scream, and a half-hour later the lithe form of Sheeta bounded into view where the others of the pack were clambering gingerly into the canoe.
As it happened that the two missing ones were the very same who had evinced the least desire to accompany the expedition from the island, and had suffered the most from fright during the voyage, Tarzan was quite sure that they had absented themselves purposely rather than again enter the canoe.
The leading canoe, in the bow of which he stood, was yet a hundred yards behind the fleeing Meriem when she ran the point of her craft beneath the overhanging trees on the shore of safety.
His misses at so short a distance were practically non-existent, nor would he have missed this time but for an accident occurring at the very instant that his finger tightened upon the trigger--an accident to which Meriem owed her life--the providential presence of a water-logged tree trunk, one end of which was embedded in the mud of the river bottom and the other end of which floated just beneath the surface where the prow of Malbihn's canoe ran upon it as he fired.
As the canoe
containing the men was paddled along, there floated down beside it what seemed to be a big, rough log.
Heyward was silent until the Indians had cautiously paddled the canoe
some distance from the fort, and within the broad and dark shadows that fell from the eastern mountain on the glassy surface of the lake; then he demanded:
Should a surge throw the canoe
upon its side and endanger its overturn, those to windward lean over the upper gunwale, thrust their paddles deep into the wave, apparently catch the water and force it under the canoe
, and by this action not merely regain III an equilibrium, but give their bark a vigorous impulse forward.
He broke surface and dropped a ten pound rock cod into the canoe
, the line and hook intact, the latter still fast in the fish's mouth.
The old man contorted himself aboard, rolling his body across the gunwale so quickly, that, even while it started to capsize, his weight was across the danger-point and counterbalancing the canoe
to its proper equilibrium.
I took the sack of corn meal and took it to where the canoe
was hid, and shoved the vines and branches apart and put it in; then I done the same with the side of bacon; then the whisky-jug.
The water in front of the canoe
was hardly ruffled by its passage and no sound betrayed the collision, when the light fabric shot on the gravelly beach for nearly half its length, Natty receding a step or two from its bow, in order to facilitate the landing.
Van Horn asked, pointing to an old man in a canoe