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 his village.
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 it.
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, 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 earth.
"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
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 deadliest."
"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
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 houses Ashair.
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
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 uncle.
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
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 City.
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,