The First and Only Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs Signature
Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure 
Creator of Tarzan and 
"Grandfather of American Science Fiction" 

ERBzine 0160

The Diamond of Ashair
1936 Radio Serial Synopsis:
Week 10: Eps 28-30

Tarzan and D’Arnot have followed Thome and Wolf to the audience chamber of the temple of Ma-a-chu. From the shadow of a great pillar they watch as Wolf pries at the golden disc covering the Father of Diamonds. Abruptly the lid opens – the vast room is filled with a glaring white light which renders the four men powerless to move or speak. Because of this unhuman power Tarzan is unable to save Wolf from death at the hands of one of the guardian apes. The spell is broken when the German’s body falls upon and covers the diamond and Tarzan kills the monster in defence of D’Arnot. Thome, in trying to find his way back to their quarters, enters the apartment of Queen Ti Ra by mistake and agrees to act as her spy against his companions. Tarzan and D’Arnot, giving up the search for Thome, return to their quarters where they find Magra gone.

Larson reports that the Hesiharians have taken Magra and all the weapons. Not knowing where to start their search for Magra, they decide to wait for help from Akaru. Thome is escorted back to the chamber by two guards.

Meanwhile, through vast dim corridors and up many flights of stone steps worn black and smooth by the tread of countless numbers of sandled silent feet – Magra and her shadowy Hesiharian guard have proceeded to a corridor high in the temple. Before a small copper door they pause. The leader of the escort drops his hand upon a wall stone. The door swings slowly open. Before her Magra beholds a room barbarically beautiful in furnishings. The Hesiharian step aside – motions for the young woman to enter. Behind her the door closes with a soft metallic clang.

The sole occupant of the chamber is Helen Gregory who greets Magra with cries of relief. Magra and Helen exchange stories on what has transpired with each other since Helen’s abduction. Neither has learned the whereabouts of Brian Gregory. Suddenly King Soo Ten enters the chamber and suggests that something evil is about to happen to the strangers. The king leads the girls to Brian Gregory’s prison chamber where they are alarmed to see him sitting in a motionless stupor. Gregory makes no sign that he recognizes them.

Tarzan and his friends are being held in the City of Ashair. Wolf, attempting to steal the Father of Diamonds, is killed by a prehistoric ape. Tarzan later kills the ape. When he and D’Arnot return to their quarters they learn from the Swede hunter Larson that Magra has been carried away. Thome, meanwhile, has talked with and agreed to become the ally of Ti Ra, Queen of the Hesihar. Magra is taken to Aket Soo Ten’s palatial quarters in the great temple of Ma-at-chu where she finds Helen Gregory a prisoner in a lavishly barbaric apartment. King Soo Ten and Akaru take the two young women to a secret chamber where they find Helen’s brother Brian – apparently dead.

Helen, believing her brother dead, breaks up and lashes out at her captors before fainting. The king explains that the reason for their capture and for Brian’s punishment is that he believes they have come to steal the Father of Diamonds. Gregory had gone alone to the diamond room and had shot a guardian ape. He then had removed the diamond and was apprehended while trying to escape with the sacred gem. As punishment he had been forced to look into the glare of the diamond until he fell into his present comatose state of suspended animation. When Magra warns him to beware of Tarzan’s wrath, the king warns them that no help will come from their imprisoned friends since they have been sentenced to a fate worse than death. With a sinister laugh he informs Helen that plans are being made for her royal wedding – she will become his queen. Helen threatens to kill herself rather than to go through with such a ceremony.

Meanwhile, Tarzan, D’Arnot, Thome and Larson continue their council of war. The Swede and Atan Thome lie sprawled upon a fur-covered bench. D’Arnot paces up and down with short quick steps. Tarzan leans against the wall – unperturbed and calm – his brow slightly wrinkled in serious thought.

Tarzan says that if Akaru does not return within an hour, he will go out alone to find Magra. A guard enters, however, and escorts Tarzan and D’Arnot to an audience with the queen. Thome, meanwhile, opens their chamber door and leads a fearful Larson to the ceremonial chamber where they approach the chest containing the Father of Diamonds. Their plan to steal the diamond, however, is stalled when a mask of death descends from the high ceiling above. The ominous droning sound of a terrifying warning fills the room.

In the Forbidden City of Ashair, Wolf is killed by a prehistoric ape guarding the Father of Diamonds. Magra is spirited away to King Soo Ten’s quarters where she finds Helen Gregory. Both young women are taken by the king and his favourite, Akaru, to the secret chamber of Brian Gregory who is held in a helpless state of suspended animation. King Soo Ten informs Helen that she is to become queen in place of Ti Ra – and he offers Magra to Akaru. 

When Tarzan and D’Arnot leave their quarters under guard for a conference with Ti Ra, Thome and Larson decide to follow them. In the great ceremonial hall, Thome’s greed leads him to make a second attempt to remove the diamond. With the huge golden disc half out of marble casket, Larson suddenly looks up. His eye become fixed – staring – his face white with fear. He stands spellbound with a cold stark horror. High above him in the dim vaulted ceiling of the temple of Ma-a-chu hangs the gruesome, hideous, flaming mask of death.

Thome passes off the dire warnings from the death mask as trickery – but Larson is genuinely frightened. Both men, however, are soon running for their lives when they hear the guttural sounds of the approaching guardian apes.

Meanwhile, Tarzan and D’Arnot have followed the two silent, white-clad Hesiharian guards down a long dimly lit passage. They halt before a pair of richly embossed bronze doors.

Taking note of which of the wall rocks the guards use in the opening of the doors, Tarzan and D’Arnot enter the Queen’s chamber.

As the bronze doors swing wide, the apeman and D’Arnot see before them a spacious apartment furnished in true barbaric magnificence. The little blue-flamed wall lamps are legion in number and flood the room with a soft brilliance. At the far end of the chamber is a grotesquely-carved bench of black marble covered with soft skins and furs. Ti Ra – Daughter of the Sun – and Queen of the Hesihar – reclines among the furs – her throat, arms and ankles are covered with jewel-bedecked ornaments of beaten gold. A cold smile mantles her haughty face as she watches Tarzan and D’Arnot approach.

The queen orders the two men to advance but warns them against any trickery. Ti Ra is impressed with Tarzan’s feat of killing the guardian ape – something no one has ever done before. She says that Tarzan and his companions can leave Ashair only if he brings her the Father of Diamonds. Possession of the sacred gem would give her the power of divine rule with which she could overturn the death sentence imposed upon them by the tyrant Soo Ten and his ministers. She could then provide freedom and happiness for all Ashairians. Tarzan agrees and he and D’Arnot leave to obtain the diamond.

Back in the great ceremonial hall the fierce guttural jabbering of the guardian apes sends Thome and Larson running at top speed into the first corridor they find. 

Thome and Larson race down the corridor to escape the talking apes and soon run into the returning Tarzan and D’Arnot. Tarzan informs them that the queen promises them freedom if he brings her the diamond. Thome tells of the difficulties he and Larson ran into during his second attempt to steal the diamond. Undaunted, Tarzan leads them back to the ceremonial hall to make yet another attempt at stealing the diamond.

As the four men approach the centre of the vast ceremonial hall, Tarzan motions to the others to remain in the shadows of the great stone columns. Then, noiseless as a stalking leopard, he draws near the white marble casket. He raises the heavy carved lid and leans over to lift out the great golden disc. As he does so, not one but two of the great prehistoric, hideous primates – gibbering wildly – leap from the pit and charge straight for Tarzan.


WEEK 1 ~ 99.05,14

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