THE TEST OF A HERO
As Tarzan swung
off through the trees, Hulvia, the High Priestess, recoiled as if struck
by a blow. Then she retired to her temple. When she returned she carried
a letter in one hand and an amulet in the other. She called Mumkimvro,
swiftest of her messengers, and commanded him to trail the ape man.
As Tarzan sped through the jungle, a little steamer tugged slowly up
to the farthest trading post on the Gumwi River. Michael Barry, a veteran
trader, had brought his nephew, Tom, across the Atlantic on adventure bent.
But now they were three months out and not even a storm had marred the
calm of the trip.
"I'd find more excitement any night on Broadway," Tom said.
"Wait until you meet Tarzan," Michael Barry advised.
The meeting place was the last outpost of the trading company. But Tarzan
had not appeared a full day after the Barrys had arrived. "I doubt if there
is a Tarzan," said Tom.
But at that moment, the ape-man swung down from the trees above them.
At dinner Michael Barry told of his nephew's disappointment in Africa.
"After being a football hero," said Michael, "Tom finds nothing exciting."
"Adventure is to the adventurous," said Tarzan. Just then the black
Mumkimvro arrived, bearing the letter and amulet that Hulvia has given
him to deliver. After Tarzan had read the letter, he looked appraisingly
at young Tom Barry.
In the night the young man awoke in terror to find himself staring into
the bloodshot eyes of Gumba, the great mad ape. They fought all over
the cabin, the blood-curdling battle cries of the beast arousing the whole
ship. Tarzan was the first to arrive, but Tom had already conquered the
The next morning Tarzan handed Tom a letter to read. It said: To
Tarzan of the Apes, greetings. If you ever find a man who is a man, a fit
mate for Hulvia, High Priestess of the Al-Alba, send him to her with this
"You may have the amulet if you want it, Tom," said Tarzan.