The First and Only Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure
Creator of Tarzan and
"Grandfather of American Science Fiction"
The Diamond of Ashair
1936 Radio Serial Synopsis:
Week 12: Eps 34-36
Tarzan has delivered the Father of Diamond into the hands of Ti-Ra, Queen of the Hesiaharians. Ti-Ra shows him the secret passage leading to King Soo Ten’s quarters where Tarzan, d’Arnot, Thome and Larson find Helen and Magra and are surprised by an overwhelming number Hesiaharian guards. Larson, the loyal Swede, is killed while defending Helen and Magra. The Atef Soo Ten arrives and orders the three men confined to the Chamber of Minnot – the Chamber of Death. Because of Akaru’s promised help, Tarzan quietly submits.
Helen and Magra are dressed in white tunics and covered with magnificent jewel-studded gold ornaments by Hesiaharian slave women. They are led to the ceremonial hall where the double marriage is to be solemnized. In the underground Chamber of Death Tarzan discovers a stone which pivots, disclosing a pitch-black opening. On hands and knees Thome and d’Arnot follow Tarzan into the tunnel. There comes to them the distant warning roar of an animal. Cautiously they proceed to emerge abruptly into a lighted pit-like chamber. “Kreegah”
As d’Arnot shouts, Tarzan springs to one side. The great cat misses its prey. The brief second it takes to turn and face Tarzan is a fraction of an instant too long. With one bound the apeman lands astride the tawny back. In his hand, flashing like a blue ***, buries itself deep in the hairy** shoulder. The brute catapults itself and its human burden high in the air. Like a band of steel, Tarzan’s left arm encircles the beast’s throat. As it drops back to the floor, coughing hoarsely and clawing at the empty air with its great talon claws, the knife finds its mark again and again in the strange creature’s heart. The apeman throws himself clear. As d’Arnot and Thome stare wide-eyed the fierce prehistoric animal staggers – stumbles – falls to the stone floor. Dead!
Tarzan places a foot on the dead sabre tooth tiger and screams his victory cry. A bronze door exit from the tiger den leads them to a lighted corridor and up the stone steps.
In the great ceremonial hall above Tarzan and his companions there is set a scene of barbaric magnificence – of savage splendour. At the far end of the chamber, the regally garbed Atef Soo Ten reclines upon his marble throne. Grouped behind him is the dread Council of 13 – headed by the venerable, white-haired, beady-eyed high priest Neshem. Occupying the stone-wall benches around the vast chamber are the nobles – men and women of Ashair – silent in tense anticipation -- Gleaming golden ornaments set with flaming gems – the short white tunics of the women – the long voluminous robes of the men – all illuminated by the soft weird incandescence of the myriad blue lamps. The patriarchal high priest, Neshem, bows low before King Soo Ten.
The priest reminds Soo Ten that the appointed hour has arrived and Ti-Ra has not yet arrived. The king replies that he has ordered her to remain in her chamber. He is tired of her unruly temper and is about to take a new queen – Helen Gregory.
As the bronze trumpet rang out, the massive entrance doors swing majestically open. Through the great portal step Helen and Magra – richly – barbarically garbed. Behind them in them in gleaming bronze chain mail strides Akaru leading an armed military escort of honour. The faces of the young women are drawn and strained.
With heads held high, they step across the threshold and stand – waiting. Meanwhile, Tarzan, Thome and d’Arnot have climbed the seemingly endless stairway with its many twists and turns. Tarzan, who is leading, sees before him a broad landing, literally flooded with the pale blue light.
Tarzan and his companies find themselves in an archway directly across from the king’s throne and inside a bronze doorway they see Magra and Helen. Soo Ten commands Akaru to escort the two maidens from the outside world to his royal presence. He then commands the high priest to begin the wedding ceremony. Tarzan commands that the ceremony stop and the three men enter the ceremonial chamber. Tarzan and d’Arnot explain that they made their escape without Akaru’s help and that Tarzan has killed the guardian tiger. The king can not believe that anyone has killed the mighty Yendi – his sabre tooth tiger. He orders Helen and Magra to move to the queen’s royal chair while the high priest announces the decree of the Council of 13. He commands that Tarzan must enter into a fight to the death with Gorum the invincible savage leader of the sacred talking apes.
From the pit in the centre of the great chamber there cambers forth the great simian. The brute is half again as large and ferocious as the others Tarzan has seen. The monster’s face is contorted with black rage. His big lips are drawn back revealing big fighting fangs. With great hairy red arms swinging, the savage brute charges Tarzan with an ear-splitting shriek. “Kreegah! Kreegah!”
In the great ceremonial hall of the Temple of Ma-At-Chu, the Atef of Soo-Ten and his Council of 13 are preparing to unveil the Hesiaharian talisman – the Father of Diamonds. Around the walls of the vast chamber are seated the Hesiharian nobles. Helen Gregory and Magra, to be married respectively to Soo-Ten and Ataru, are brought in. They stand before the high priest with the Atef and his favourite as the ceremony begins.
Tarzan, d’Arnot and Thome have escaped from the Chamber of Death and, rushing into the vast hall, stop the ceremony. Soo-Ten announces the dread decree of the Council of 13. It is that Tarzan must fight the greatest of the prehistoric talking apes. The ferocious brute – a fearsome monster climbs out of the pit. Swinging forward, clumsily but swiftly, the hideous features contorted with black rage, the brute roars out his challenge: “Kreegah!”
With another blood curdling scream the ape approaches Tarzana and thrusts out its hairy arms, trying for the bone-crushing embrace which spells death. With speed of Sheeta, the leopard, Tarzan leaps aside – turns – his fist flashes out and catches the monster squarely on the jaw. The huge brute pauses, stunned. Tarzan whips out his knife. As d’Arnot shouts, the shaggy ape, with gleaming fangs barred, rushes forward. Tarzan crouches low, awaits the charge. As the huge beast comes close the ape-man springs into the embrace of those great arms. The deadly knife thrashes once – twice – again - deep into the awesome monster’s heart. Before the hairy arm can close about him Tarzan slips out of their crushing embrace – leaps high on the great back. A muscular bronze arm encircles the might throat – holds the great head back – back. Once more the keen blade sinks home into the jugular vein. A fountain of dark blood wells up from the death wound. Slowly the ape sinks to the marble floor. One last muscular convulsion – the great hulk is lifeless!
The king’s address to the victorious Tarzan is interrupted by a fanfare which heralds Ti-Ra’s appearance with a military escort bearing the Father of Diamonds. She claims that since she possesses the Father of Diamonds she is now ruler of the Land of the Hesiahar. Akaru warns Tarzan that they all will come under the wrath of the evil queen.
Soo-Ten finds no support from the council or his followers when Ti-Ra says he must decide to obey or be sent to the mines. She tells Tarzan that his party must be patient and wait for their freedom. She will soon provide a military escort to the jungle’s edge. Akaru is ordered to escort them to the Tower of the Sun.
Later Akaru explains to Tarzan that the Tower of the Sun is on the outskirts of Ashair. Thome asks Akaru how many of the Hesiahar came to know such good English. Akaru explains that a score of generations ago a great famine settled on the land. Priests’ prayers to the Father of Diamonds were useless – there came no rain. The young Atef of Phaidor braved the wrath of the gods and journeyed outside sacred valley of Tuen-Baka. He marched until he came to a great water and boarded a boat which took him to Angloland. The king of that country sent Phaidor back with great stores of strange foodstuffs. His return brought an end to the famine and the Hesiaharians lived in peace with an abundance of food till present day. In honour of Phaidor and the Atef of Angloland, a few nobles and priests of each generation learned to speak the language of Angloland.
When they reach the tower, Akaru locks the men in a lower chamber and promises to return.
Helen Gregory and Magra follow the Hesiaharian noble up a flight of circular stone steps to enter a comfortable furnished chamber above that occupied by the three men. As the door closes upon Akaru, the young women turn to examine their new abode. Below, in their quarters, Tarzan calls to d’Arnot and Thome.
Tarzan draws his companion’s attention to an open circular court surrounded by concave, glass-smooth, twenty-foot high walls. D’Arnot points up and shouts a warning
Above the three men on an open iron grating which juts out from a window of their chamber, Helen and Magra stand gazing down into the little court. From high above them there appears a number of ghastly, flying things – giant sword-billed Pterodactyls. The ungainly monsters swoop directly down upon the two unsuspecting, defenseless women.
Tarzan shouts a warning but it is too late – the women are attacked by the flying peril!
Ti-Ra, Queen of the Hesiahar, offers Tarzan and his friends their freedom in exchange for the Father of Diamonds – the Hesiahar talisman. Tarzan brings her the great gem and instead of freedom is imprisoned with Thome, d’Arnot, Helen and Magra, in the great Tower of the Sun. As the young women step out of their chamber in the upper part of the tower onto a hanging grill outside their window, they are attacked by the savage flying Chous of Tuen-Baka. The huge monsters, descendants of the prehistoric pterodactyls, swoop down on widespread wings – great talon feet – giant black beaks, curved and sharp as knives ready to sink into the soft flesh of their prey.
Below in the small high-walled court outside the chamber in which they have been confined, Tarzan, d’Arnot and Thome, attracted by the screams and the flapping of great wings, look up. Quick as thought, the ape-man’s bow is strung an arrow fitted, pulled back to its head by the mighty arm – with the speed of light the winged messenger of death flashes upward to bury itself full length in the breast of the foremost vulture-like monster.
Helen and Magra duck back to safety into their chamber while the remaining pterodactyls carry off the carcass of the dead beast. To save the girls from future sacrifice to the pterodactyls, Tarzan plans to climb the wall at night and rescue them. Before he can carry out his plan, however, Akaru returns. He reports that Soo-Ten has been deposed and Ti-Rin is all-powerful. Akaru and Tarzan, Thome, and d’Arnot are to be sent to the mines – while the girls are to be sacrificed to the god Ma-At-Chu on the morrow. Akaru promises to help if they will help him retrieve the Father of Diamonds and restore Soo-Ten to the throne. A plan develops wherein Tarzan is to rescue the girls, Akaru is to release Brian Gregory, and Thome and d’Arnot are to retrieve the gold disc from Ti-Ra’s chambers. Besides containing the Father of Diamonds, the disc contains the antidote to break Gregory’s spell. They are all to meet at the sinoot.
Meanwhile, Helen and Magra, confined in the upper chamber of the Tower of the Sun, three floors above Tarzan and his companions, realize that in place of having the freedom of the city, they are again prisoners and this time of the cruel jealous queen of Hesiahar.
Helen and Magra lament the treachery and realize that but for Tarzan’s prowess they all be dead. Suddenly the queen enters their prison chamber and informs them they will soon be moved. She also warns them that their surviving male companions will soon meet a terrible fate and that the girls will be sacrificed to Ma-at-chu, the Father of Diamonds, at sunset tomorrow. After boasting that she will wield the sacrificial knife, she leaves the chamber with a taunting laugh.
Through narrow dark alleys and dim-lit streets, Akaru, Thome and d’Arnot make their way quickly to a dark building near the great Temple of Ma-at-chu. At the pressure of the Hesiaharian’s hand, a bronze door swings open. At a sign from Akaru they descend a dark stone stairway, pass through a long narrow tunnel, illuminated by the blue flame lamps and ascend a second flight of stairs, to enter at last a high vaulted gloomy corridor. A few quick cautious paces and they pause before a narrow bronze door concealed by a projection in the wall.
Akaru says they are in the Temple of Ma-at-chu and beyond the door is a lighted passage used only by the queen herself. The passage leads directly to Ti-Ra’s inner chamber. Before Akaru leaves them he tells them that after they retrieve the diamond, they are to return along the same passage and exit through a house owned by a member of the Council of Thirteen. Upon entering the passage their way is soon barred by a great cobra
His eyes fixed upon the great swaying hood inches above his own head, d’Arnot cautiously, step by step, moves along the wall. The perspiration stands in great beads upon the Frenchman’s brow as he approaches the huge deadly reptile barring his path. Suddenly the great head stops swaying – poises itself for a breathless instant, and strikes directly at d’Arnot’s face.
DIAMOND OF ASHER ~ SERIAL SUMMARIES
BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN ECLECTIC STUDIO
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