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Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webzines and Webpages
Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure
Creator of Tarzan®
and "Grandfather of American Science Fiction"
THE WOMAN IN THE
BLACK MASK ~ 1932.05.08
For months after
Tarzan had saved her from death at the claws of her great red lion, Lenida,
the lion tamer, lay in a French hospital bed. When the bandages were removed
Lenida called for a mirror, but when she saw the ghastly damage that the
lion's claws had done, she put her hands before her face to shut out the
sight. Then did she resolve never to let anyone see her face again. When
she left the hospital she wore a black mask. Later at Marseilles, she mystified
customs officials by announcing that she was taking her lions back to Africa.
Often had lions been brought from Africa for circus or zoo, but never had
they been returned to the jungles.
When her lions were put aboard his trading steamer to be transported
to the last outpost on the Gumwi River, Captain John Barry was as much
mystified as the French officials. But the woman in the black mask never
explained. She met all efforts at conversation in silence. Her only talk
was for her lions, and she spent much time with them in the cage below
decks. But when the Al-Albas attacked the boat. . . Tarzan led his comrades
to the protection of the ship's saloon. Locked in, they prepared to defend
with their lives the girl who had been the white priestess of the savage
tribe. Then, unleashing her lions, like an avenging fury, the woman
in the black mask swept to the attack. Before the onslaught of the beasts,
the savages fled wildly. . . all but one. But as this one prepared
to strike, Tarzan, with the speed of Ara, the lightning, sprang from the
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