The Red Star of Tarzan ~
Argosy Weekly ~ March 19, 1938
The season of the rains had passed and the tropic sun ruled the waking
hours, fire-bright. The jungle was alive with growing green, and Usha,
the wind, breathed softly through the fragrance of myriad exotic blooms.
On this day, newly born, the afterdawn was clean and cool.
A hunter of the Ngombo tribe, lean and brush-haired, crept to the edge
of a grassy clearing. HIs eyes were alert, his spear poised. Ahead was
a waterhole where zebra and antelope drank, meat for the cook fires of
But suddenly the stalker halted. He squatted low in quick concealment
and fear chased surprise across his claw-scarred face. His spear-hand shook
as he parted the grasses to peer again.
ONce more he saw that strange sight and it ws real. He had not dreamed
There at the spreading pool a vast gray bulk disported. Giant of giants,
king bull of the herds, Tantor the elephant was frolicking in the green
water. With squeals and trumpetings of pleasure he splashed about. Now
he sent a spray from his trunk to douse the figure that swam beside his
trunk. This second figure gave forth a shout.
And it was indeed a man, the Ngombo hunter saw now. A white devil, tall
and lithe and strong. He emerged from the pool and pushed back long straight
hair. Like a dog he shook himself. He spoke to Tantor in a strange tongue,
and the elephant grumbled in answer.
The watching native did not move while the white devil dried in the
sun. He saw the stranger don a breech clout of soft leopard skin. There
wa a stout bow and a quiver of arrows with a long-bladed knife beside them.
The white devil reached for the knife, then turned to face the wind, sniffing.
H called out in a queer chatter.
From the trees at the clearing's edge came chattering answer. There
was a rustling among the branches and brown shapes dropped to earth. The
white devil ate the fruit that the monkeys brought him.
A deeper fear bit into the Ngombo warrior then. Silent as a snake he
crawled away, and the distance to his village was covered at a run. He
sought out the witch-doctor and told his tale.
"This white devil has put a juju upon the jungle beasts," he panted.
"He will weave enchantment upon our village and our women and treasures
will be his to take. Here, Okoola are hides and a knife and a glass that
shines. I give them to you as a price of a spell against him."
He held forth his gifts, humbly.
The witch-doctor was old and snag-toothed and wise. He did not believe
such a fool's tale bu t he carried the gifts to his hut and donned the
mask and robe that he ceremony demanded. He built a fire of twigs and grass
and spoke the incantation while the hunter squatted across the flame from
him. Then he brought forth the dried herbs and the powdered bone, the hair
of ape and skin of snake, and the warrior's arm gave blood to season them
in a bowl. He weaved his fingers through the flame, then emptied the bowl
upon it. A green fire flickered, and smoke rose up, both black and gray.
And when the billows and eddies of smoke had thinned and vanished
the witch-doctor spoke. His face was grayed beneath the juju paint and
his skinny hand pushed hard against his heart.
"Zemballa!" he intoned. "So it is decreed."
A burning was in his throat, choking him. A hundred times he had evoked
the smoke-spirits and a hundred lies he had told of what he saw in them.
But this time the images had been real. He had seen the sights and heard
the strange tongues calling through the gray-black mists. And hd was afraid,
"There is a spell and a power greater than mine," wheezed the old conjure
man, "that holds the white devil. He is not ours to fear. . . . "
The Ngombo hunter touched his lips with a sign and bent his head to
"He was big in the smoke," the witch-doctor said, "and red was the danger
star behind him. The black of death was there. His legs spanned three worlds
we will never see. In the belly of a bird he will fly, into the earth he
will worm and fish will call him brother in a green deep."
Slowly he spoke, with wheezing breath and his eyes blindly glazed. And
he did not know whence came the words in his mouth.
"The red star will lead him to a world long dead and forgotten. He will
rule a kingdom yet unborn. In his hands he will hold the Father of Diamonds,
with war grim about him, and know that his smallest peril is still the
"Zemballa!" cried the cringing hunter.
The witch-doctor's body jerked and stiffened. A bubbly froth flecked
his lips with white. "The fire-star--" he moaned. "Beware the woman's lips
and the beast that flies."
With a whimper he collapsed. He lay like an ugly broken doll while the
hunter ran from the hut howling.
CHAPTER 1: Lord of the Jungle
Tarzan had traveled fast and far. . . .
From Argosy March 26, 1938 ~ Summary of the events
of Chapters 1 - 5
Chapter I: Lord of the Jungle
Chapter II: Safari Lost
Chapter III: Simba Stalks
Chapter IV: The Dark Drums
Chapter V: White Sacrifice
Arthur Gregory, American millionaire, has come to Africa to seek the
whereabouts of his son, Brian, who embarked on a secret expedition and
has since been among the missing. It is supposed that Brian Gregory has
been seeking to find Ashair, the Forbidden City, and bring back the fabulous
Father of Diamonds.
Assigned by the French government to assist Gregory is Captain Paul
d'Arnot. On the trip to the interior, where the safari waits, d'Arnot has
spent much time in the company of Gregory's daughter, Helen and has fallen
in love with the girl.
The same river boat to the interior has as passenger one Atan Thome,
a fat Eurasian who once accompanied an unsuccessful expedition that sought
to find Ashair. Thome learns that Gregory has a route map to the place,
drawn up by his son. He manages to steal the map -- and also to bribe the
leader of the safari for which Gregory has arranged. With Gregory's bearers
and equipment he heads out.
D'Arnot, however, believes they can overtake the thief. The captain
is an old friend of Tarzan of the Apes, and at his request Tarzan agrees
to help the Gregory party. Through his government, d'Arnot arranges for
a Navy plane to be placed at their disposal. The pilot of the plane is
a certain Lieutenant Lavac. Also attached to the party is a mysterious
woman, Magra, who claims that Brian Gregory is betrothed to her.
The plane starts in pursuit. As a result of a tropic storm they are
driven from the course and lost above the jungle. As they drop down for
an emergency landing on a little lake a mammoth creature flies at them
on lumbering wings. Lavac brings them down in a semi-crash.
Meanwhile, Atan Thome and his bearded servant Lal Taask are also having
their difficulties. As they approach closer and closer to Tuen-aka, the
mountain that marks the region of Ashair, their native porters become increasingly
alarmed. They complain that this place is evil, Great beasts from another
age prowl in this country, and moreover there are spirits who steal a man's
soul away. Thome lashes them on, however, -- and awakes one midnight to
find they have deserted him. Even as he makes the discovery he is thrown
into panic by the appearance of a hissing monster like a dinosaur.
The Gregory party manages to save some equipment from the wrecked plane.
They erect temporary shelters and attempt to make the best of it. In a
n attack by prowling natives, though, Helen Gregory is carried away. Tarzan
sets out in the dark to find her, guided by the sound of the torture drums.
Argosy April 2, 1938 ~ Red Star of Tarzan
The summary of events Chapters 6 - 9
Chapter VI: The Dum-Dum
Chapter VII: Two Against Terror
Chapter VIII: The Man From Thobos
Chapter IX: Brain-Work
Brian Gregory, young American explorer, came to Africa to search for
that fabulous stone known as the Father of Diamonds. Somewhere in the jungle
depths all trace of him has been lost. It was known that he was seeking
to find Ashair, the Forbidden City -- the stronghold of a strange white
race that guards its secrets zealously.
Gregory's father has financed an expedition to discover the fate of
his son. Accompanying the party is CAptain Paul d'Arnot of the French Navy
who has fallen deeply in love with Gregory's lovely daughter, Helen. Through
d'Arnot's influence they have secured the aid of the man who knows AFrica
better than any other -- Tarzan of the Apes.
By a curious chain of circumstances, the expedition finds itself near
the goal they have been seeking. MOst of their equipment has been lost,
but Tarzan leads them through the wilds. In the distant sky he has seen
the strange red glow that is said to mark Tuen-Baka, extinct volcano that
Meanwhile, a rival expedition has also been seeking the Forbidden City.
This is a two-man safari, consisting of the fat and sly Eurasian Atan Thome,
and his bearded servant, Lal Taask. This pair of rascals had reached Tuen-Bakla
when they were deserted by their bearers. They attempted the dangerous
cliff passage to the interior and were captured by a galley-load of the
strangely garbed warriors of Ashair.
Spears prod them into the presence of Atka the exotic queen of the tribe.
They buy temporary freedom by informing her that another expedition is
coming to capture the city, telling tall tales as to the prowess of Tarzan
and his companions. The queen orders, Akamen, her chief noble, to see to
the capture of these strangers.
Tarzan, scouting the slopes of Tuen-Baka ahead of the others, has come
upon a warrior about to be destroyed by a queer hissing creature from the
prehistoric. He rescues the man, and learns that he is Thetan, nephew to
King Herat of Tobos.
Within the great bowl of Tuen-Baka, it appears, there is a lake that
conceals many mysteries in its depths. From many years the rival cities
of Thobos and Ashair have been warring for supremacy here. All strangers
are forbidden to approach under penalty of death, yet Thetan agrees to
assist Tarzan and his party to whatever extent he is able.
Argosy April 9, 1938 ~ Red Star of Tarzan
The summary of events Chapters 10 - 13
Chapter X: The Phantoms of Tuen-Baka
Chapter XI: Bound North for Ashair
Chapter XII: The Devilís Daughter
Chapter XIII: Shipwreck
Deep in the wild heart of Africa lies Tuen-Baka, towering shell of
what was once a smoldering Volcano. Here strange prehistoric creatures
have lived on and a queer civilization has persisted. A great lake now
fills the bottom of the volcano, and at either end of the lake cities have
risen. ONe of these is Ashair, ruled by Queen Atka whose cruelties have
earned her the name of "devil's daughter." The other is Thobos where King
Herat holds sway.
For many years warfare has raged between them.
Into this strange land comes Tarzan of the Apes, heading an expedition
of disaster. Some years ago, a young American explorer had disappeared
while in search of Ashair and the fabulous Father of Diamonds. IN the part
of the ape-man are Arthur Gregory, father of the explorer, and lovely Helen
Gregory, his sister; also Captain Paul d'Arnot. Tarzan's friend who is
in love wit Helen, and one Lieutenant Lavac, of the French Navy. A mysterious
woman who calls herself Magra has also accompanied them, on the pretext
that she is Brian Gregory's financee.
After many unusual adventures the party reached its goal, but they are
without equipment, arms or ammunition. They cannot go back -- they fear
to push forward. Tarzan, however, has made friends with a young warrior
of Thobos whom he rescued from death, and the two of them capture an Asharian
galley that patrols the outer river. Aboard this craft the expedition rides
the tunnel entrance to the inner lake, where disaster again strikes.
They are attacked by a powerful force of Asharians and their galley
wrecked. Captain d'Arnot and Helen are captured by the foe and taken to
the Forbidden City. Tarzan, together with Gregory, Lavac and Magra find
temporary safety ashore. Thetan, the young Thoboitian warrior, has agreed
to lead them to his city and plead in their behalf before King Herat, his
Meanwhile, added to the plot and counterplot are the activities of the
fat Eurasian, Atan Thome. This sly rascal has set his heart upon obtaining
the Father of Diamonds, and has endured tremendously to reach Ashair. With
his bearded servant, Lal Taask, he is accepted on sufferance at Atka's
palace. Already he is plotting with Akamen, chief noble of the court, to
murder the haughty queen.
Argosy April 16,
1938 ~ Red Star of Tarzan
The summary of events Chapters 14 - 17
Chapter XIV: The Cages of Brulor
Chapter XV: The Judgment of Heart
Chapter XVI: Nine In Flight
Chapter XVII: The Mogro-Mu
Gregory, young American explorer, has been lost in the African jungle while
searching for Ashair, the Forbidden City and for that fabulous stone, the
Father of Diamonds. Gregory's father has set out on a rescue expedition,
accompanied by Captain Paul d'Arnot and Gregory's daughter, Helen, with
whom d'Arnot has fallen deeply in love. And leading them is an old friend
of d'Arnot's, the man who knows Africa better than any other -- Tarzan
of the Apes. At last they near their goal which is Tuen-Baka, an extinct
volcano that houses Ashair.
Meanwhile a two-man safari has also been seeking the Forbidden City,
the sly Eurasian Atan Thome and his servant Lal Taask. Near Ashair they
are captured and brought before Atka, the exotic Asharian queen. When Thome
tells her of Tarzan's approaching expedition, she gives the two men temporary
freedom. The Eurasian manages to win the confidence of Akamen, a great
noble of the tribe, and they whisper of a plot to kill Queen Atka so that
Akamen may rule.
The Gregory expedition which is accompanied now by a warrior from Thobos,
the city hostile to Ashair is menaced by Asharian warriors. Aided by a
tribe of great apes, Tarzan captures a galley from Ashair and in it the
party heads for Lake Horus which surrounds the Forbidden City. But they
are met by one of Queen Atka's warrior galleys, overcome, and Helen and
d'Arnot are captured. Thetan, Tarzan's friend leads the remainder of the
Gregory party to Thobos where his uncle Herat is king.
The raven-haired Queen Atka condemns d'Arnot to the cages of the temple
of Brulor and Helen to serve as handmaiden to the priests. Deep under Lake
Horus lies this temple, constructed over an air-shaft. There the old man
Brulor guards the Father of Diamonds and there d'Arnot is imprisoned --
next to the cage of Brian Gregory. Escape seems hopeless. But Helen Gregory
strikes down the priest whom she is to serve, and frees her brother and
d'Arnot. They let out the other prisoners, and guided by Herkuf, an unfrocked
priest, they flee through a tunnel that leads under the lake. Their escape
is discovered when Lal Taask, Atan Thome and Akamen are brought ot the
cages, condemned because they have attempted to murder Queen Atka.
In Thobos King Herat agrees to liberate Tarzan and his companions on
three conditions. Tarzan fulfills the first two by slaying a giant Asharian
warrior, and a half-beast half-man called the Mogro-Mu. Then he sets out
on the third test which is to bring King Herat the Father of Diamonds from
Ashair. In the jungle he comes upon Helen, d'Arnot and the other prisoners;
they have just been seized by a band of Asharian spearmen. Tarzan rescues
them and eventually the whole party turn their faces toward the Forbidden
Argosy May 23, 1938 Red
Star of Tarzan
No summary included for Chapters 18 - 23 and 24 - 27
Chapter XVIII: Return to the Temple
Chapter XIX: The Summons of Atka
Chapter XX: The Blue Death
Chapter XXI: The Waters of Horus
Chapter XXII: Fish of the Sea
Chapter XXIII: White Shadows in the Jungle
Chapter XXIV: Death of a God
Chapter XXV: The White Ptome
Chapter XXVI: Sacrifice to Chon
Chapter XXVII: The True Godís Vengeance
Copyright 1938, by Edgar Rice Burroughs,