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Volume 7004

Summary and Comments by John Martin: Pt. IV
Chapters 22-28


  This could be called "the decimation chapter." The French military decimates the village of Mbonga; Clayton decimates Jane; Jane decimates Clayton; Esmeralda decimates the English language.

  There are two main story lines. The French, under Lt. Charpentier, D'Arnot's colleague and friend, organize a large search party to seek D'Arnot, who had been captured by Mbonga's tribe and, unknown to them, rescued by Tarzan.

  They trek through the jungle, surround the tribe's stockade, and then pillage the village, killing every man and some of the women, but sparing the children and the women who didn't resist. They see some natives wearing items of D'Arnot's clothes, but they don't find him, and assume he had become cannibal food.

  Clayton, who accompanied them, is relieved, upon his return, to find that Jane—who he knew had been carried off by a beast—was back, alive and healthy.

  He decided this would be a good time to start using cozy-sounding language with Jane, but she was still starry-eyed from her encounter with the "forest god" and Clayton's forward remarks tend only to alienate her. Her attitude, in turn, makes Clayton jealous, and he begins making uncalled-for nasty remarks about the forest god (who they still don't realize is the one called "Tarzan").

Clayton even implies that the forest god is probably one of the cannibals who dined on D'Arnot.

  In reading this chapter, one wonders how Jane's heart could ever soften for Clayton at a later date, yet we know that will, indeed, happen.

  Blacks probably would not appreciate this chapter. Though Mbonga's tribesmen are cannibals who torture, kill and eat other people, one wonders if this wholesale slaughter by the French was really deserved, especially since, in this case, they were guilty only of "attempted" murder. Then, too, there is the stereotype Esmeralda using stereotypical black "language" at the end of the chapter, primarily for comic relief. What was acceptable writing back then might not pass muster today. But, it is what it is.

  If Burroughs tries to have some fun at the expense of Esmeralda, he is an equal opportunist, poking fun at others as well. For example:
  --At the expense of the British: “Clayton was an Englishman, so the girl had passed quite out of sight before he deduced what reply a man would have made.”
  --At the expense of the fair sex:” Jane Porter saw the little note and ignored it, for she was very angry and hurt and mortified, but—she was a woman, and so eventually she picked it up and read it.”

- - - - -
  One of Clayton's nasty remarks about Tarzan was to refer to him as a "carrion eater." In Chapter 14, "At the Mercy of the Jungle," Tarzan kills a lion to save Clayton and then eats some of the lion's flesh, raw. Since that was a fresh kill, it could not be considered carrion in the normal sense of the word, so Clayton has no real basis for making this charge. Nonetheless, he was correct. We know that Tarzan likes to bury his kills in case he gets hungry later, so, in effect, on these return visits, he is eating carrion. I've never really thought of Tarzan as a "carrion eater" but, technically, I guess you'd have to say he is. I hope that, later in life, he brushed his teeth before kissing Jane after such a meal!
- - - - -
  (Jane) “…tried to imagine her wood-god by her side in the saloon of an ocean liner. She saw him eating with his hands, tearing his food like a beast of prey, and wiping his greasy fingers upon his thighs. She shuddered....ed: "Beast? Then God make me a beast; for, man or beast, I am yours."
1. Ballantine “Apes,” 1975, black borders with Neal Adams art
2. Tor Books (Tom Doherty Associates, N.Y.) edition of “Apes,” 1999 with Daniel Horne cover.


  This chapter is not called "Brother Men" simply because it is an account of Tarzan and D'Arnot in the jungle. Rather, it is called that because it shows the brotherhood practiced by Tarzan, in caring for this fellow man who is, after all, a stranger, and it shows the brotherhood of D'Arnot, who, perhaps unwittingly, is an instrument in helping Tarzan much further along the road to realizing his true relationship with and obligation to his fellow man, his "brother."

  Tarzan had rescued D'Arnot from the stake in the cannibal village, but the severely wounded Frenchman needs a great deal of "jungle medicine," along with a good portion of sheer luck, to recover.

  As his health improves, he begins teaching Tarzan to speak in a human language, partially helping the ape-man and partially muddling things, since Tarzan has taught himself to write English but D'Arnot teaches the jungle lord to speak French!

Both D'Arnot and Tarzan are revealed to be multi-linguists. In addition to his native French, D'Arnot speaks English, Italian, Spanish and German; some Norwegian, Russian and Greek, and a smattering of the dialect of one West Coast tribe.

  Tarzan, in addition to his native ape language, knows some sign language and also speaks some Tantor, Numa, and a little of the language of some of "the other jungle folk." In this chapter, Tarzan adds French to what will be a repertoire that will grow throughout his careeer, as he encounters strange lands and strange languages.

  Eventually, they are able to travel and Tarzan and D'Arnot are disappointed to find the little cabin empty and the ships gone from the harbor.

  D'Arnot spies two notes, both addressed to Tarzan (D'Arnot, of course, is the first of the African visitors to discover that Tarzan and the "forest god" are the same person). But as he turns to tell the ape-man, Tarzan is already gone...back to the jungle, back to lose himself in the forest, bitterly disappointed that Jane has left him.

Still, the ape-man begins to have self-doubts. Is running away really the right thing to do? Should he return to help D'Arnot?

  The Frenchman, meanwhile, is alone in the cabin as night falls, with only a loaded rifle for company. When an unknown intruder begins to open the door to the cabin, D'Arnot aims and fires without first calling out, "Who's there?").

But, the first-time reader will have to wait a few pages to find out who was "there," as here the chapter ends.

  D'Arnot benefits from white noise:
  The incessant hum of the jungle—the rustling of millions of leaves—the buzz of insects—the voices of the birds and monkeys seemed blended into a strangely soothing purr, as though he lay apart, far from the myriad life whose sounds came to him only as a blurred echo.

  At length he fell into a quiet slumber, nor did he awake again until afternoon.

  Tarzan's nobility:
  Tarzan is of noble birth, and we know the book ends with a footnote to his nobility.

Here is another mention that Tarzan was noble in practice as well as in heritage:
  Tarzan was as anxious to go as D'Arnot, for he longed to see Jane Porter again.

It had been hard for him to remain with the Frenchman all these days for that very reason, and that he had unselfishly done so spoke more glowingly for his nobility of character than even did his rescuing of the French officer from Mbonga's clutches.

- - - - -
  Tarzan asks himself some questions:
  "What are you, Tarzan?" he asked aloud. "An ape or a man?
  "If you are an ape you will do as the apes would do—leave one of your kind to die in the jungle if it suited your whim to go elsewhere.
  "If you are a man, you will return to protect your kind. You will not run away from one of your own people, because one of them has run away from you."
1. The Penguin “Apes” edition in 1990 featured, as a cover,
the same design as the frontispiece in the 1914 first edition of the book.
2. The Penguin “Apes” edition of 1990 featured a green tinted scene of Tarzan in action.


  There are three kinds of lost treasure in this chapter. One is the treasure that the mutineers buried and Tarzan dug up.  Another is Jane. The other is Tarzan.

Tarzan had watched the mutineers bury a treasure chest, along with a fresh cadaver, in Chapter 17.

  Now, with the French having captured the mutineers, one of the bad guys is persuaded to lead the soldiers to the site so Professor Porter can have the riches which led Jane and him to Africa in the first place. However, they return empty handed, Tarzan having reburied the treasure 'neath the green sward in the Dum-Dum arena.

  Then there is Jane, Tarzan's treasure. The French, and just about everyone else, are ready to sail for civilization, but Jane persuades them to stick around for another week, just in case Tarzan and D'Arnot show up. The Frenchmen believe their compatriot,   D'Arnot, is dead, having seen the cannibals wearing his garments. The Frenchmen also believe, with the help of Clayton, that this mysterious forest god, who has helped so many of them, is probably at least an adopted member, or friend, of the cannibals.   Therefore, why should he return?

  Jane points out that waiting a week for them to return is the least they can do, considering their friendship for D'Arnot and the debt of gratitude they owe the forest god.

  However, by the sixth day, even she is beginning to have her doubts of ever seeing Tarzan again, the insinuations of Clayton having worn her down a bit.

  So, as we saw in the previous chapter, when Tarzan and D'Arnot finally do come to the cabin, Jane and the others are gone, and Tarzan has lost his treasured Jane.

  But Jane, too, suffers the lost of her treasure, for Tarzan has become that to her. Sailing away from an unmarked African harbor, why would she dream that she would ever see this mysterious wild man again?

  Professor Porter's lost riches could be replaced. Tarzan and Jane's riches in each other could never be replaced.

  Good thing the story doesn't end here!!

- - - - -
  "Could you have seen him charge the monster as a bull might charge a grizzly—absolutely without sign of fear or hesitation—you would have believed him more than human.
  "Could you have seen those mighty muscles knotting under the brown skin—could you have seen them force back those awful fangs—you too would have thought him invincible.
  "And could you have seen the chivalrous treatment which he accorded a strange girl of a strange race, you would feel the same absolute confidence in him that I feel."—Jane Porter
  . .
1. Oxford World Classics edition of “Apes” with Burne Hogarth dust jacket, 2010;
2. Oxford “Apes” trade paperback edition, also published in 2010.


  When last we left D'Arnot, in Chapter 23, he was firing blindly at an intruder at the door of the little cabin. Now we see that the intruder was D'Arnot's new friend, Tarzan of the Apes himself. Fortunately, it's only a scratch, so Tarzan is able to recover rather quickly.

  With the other castaways having left on the French ship, Tarzan and D'Arnot have some decisions to make. First, D'Arnot gives Tarzan the two letters left behind by William Clayton and Jane Porter. As he reads Jane's letter, Tarzan realizes she thinks he and Tarzan are two separate people. But what troubles him most is the line in the letter that she has given her heart to another. He doesn't realize that, by "another," she means him, her "forest god."

  Nonetheless, he soon decides he must go to America to visit Jane. D'Arnot teaches Tarzan a little bit about geography and, undaunted, Tarzan decides to take the first step of what will be a long journey.

  He and D'Arnot head up the coast. On the way, Tarzan tells D'Arnot about the treasure and suggests he return to fetch it. Instead, D'Arnot suggests they continue on and eventually charter a ship to go back for the treasure.

  They finally come to the outpost of the chapter title. This is really the outpost of "Tarzan's World," his first actual contact with a civilized settlement. He has to learn some manners: Tarzan's first instinct, upon coming upon the village, is to pull out his bow and arrows to start picking the "enemy" off. D'Arnot has to give him lessons about behavior in a civilized society and, once a guest in the compound, Tarzan begins learning more.

  As the chapter closes, clothes are being custom made for Tarzan and D'Arnot to wear as they continue on their journey.

- - - - -
  We learn in this chapter that D'Arnot is quite well to do. It was good fortune, in more ways than one, for Tarzan to save this particular man from the clutches of the cannibals. D'Arnot says: " need not worry about money, nor need you work for it. I have enough for two—enough for twenty. Much more than is good for one man, and you shall have all you need if ever we reach civilization."
- - - - -
This is a key chapter in the life of the ape-man. He produces the diary his father kept in French and, on reading it, D'Arnot begins to realize that Tarzan is the son of an English lord. Best of all, the diary contains the fingerprints of the infant Lord Greystoke, which will prove the final link in the chain leading to the confirmation of Tarzan's true identity.
- - - - -
Missionaries, nuns, jungle doctors and various social workers are a staple of the Tarzan movies and TV shows, but not necessarily so in the books. In "Tarzan and the Lost Safari," Gordon Scott says, in broken English, that a missionary taught him to speak English. Not having read all 24 Tarzan books in awhile, this is the only missionary I actually recall ERB having Tarzan meet. We know that Tarzan was learning to speak French, courtesy of D'Arnot, so he was ripe for a few English lessons! Father Constantine, the missionary in this chapter, doesn't teach Tarzan any English (this is a French Mission!) but, while spending a week there, "...the ape-man, keenly observant, learned much of the ways of men...."
- - - - -
"Tarzan," he said at length, "it is impossible that the ape, Kala, was your mother. If such a thing can be, which I doubt, you would have inherited some of the characteristics of the ape, but you have not—you are pure man, and, I should say, the offspring of highly bred and intelligent parents."

. .
1. “Apes” rewritten by Harold and Geraldine Woods in Turtleback Books “Step Into” line, 1991.
2. Random House Books for Young Readers, 1982
3. Random House “Step Up” book, 1991.


  After leaving the French mission, Tarzan and D'Arnot continue their journey to civilization. It took a month to get to the mission and another month to get to a port city, where they spend several weeks looking for a ship they can charter to go back for the treasure and then go on to Paris. D'Arnot is able to wire his government that he is safe, and requests some extended leave time.

  Probably what most people remember about this chapter is how Tarzan kills a lion to win a bet, but he also has other adventures in this little city. We are told, though, of only one other, where he breaks the wrist of a crazed black man who, after a rampage through town, selects the Frenchman, Monsieur Tarzan, as his next victim. The man is sent crying and sobbing from Tarzan's presence.

  Tarzan has sometimes come in for criticism from fans for killing a lion simply because some "civilized" men goad him into it. A re-read of this chapter, though, shows that Tarzan actually killed the lion for valid economic reasons. D'Arnot had more than enough money to pay for everything that Tarzan needed, but Tarzan had begun to realize the importance of one having one's own money, and the bet proposed by the country club fellow was the ape-man's opportunity to make a quick 10,000 francs. This would give him his own funds, and keep him from being dependent on someone else, even a gracious friend such as D'Arnot (who covered the bet for the penniless ape-man).

  So, Tarzan of the Apes takes another major step toward becoming civilized by becoming a wage earner, and, entrepreneurally, finding a way to adapt a jungle-gained skill to make money in a civilized world.

  We learn something new when Tarzan drops his lasso around Numa's head and then stabs the tethered beast to death. ERB writes: " he had done it 100 times in the past..." Does this mean that Tarzan had killed 100 lions in the past through this method of lassoing and then knifing, or is he talking about many different kinds of animals that Tarzan has killed, such as Bara the deer? Upon first read of the paragraph, it seems as if the author refers to lions. A second read, though, shows that ERB could be referring to the style of killing, rather than the type of victim. Early in the book, we find Tarzan using the noose method, experimentally and unsuccessfuly on Sabor, but he kills some other lions without aid of the noose.

  Certainly, we will see Tarzan use the noose/lasso method of killing wild animals again and again in future books.

  After taking a few short paragraphs to retrieve the treasure, Tarzan and D'Arnot go to Paris, where D'Arnot arranges to have Tarzan's fingerprints taken, so they can be compared with those in the diary.

  When in the police station, D'Arnot pulled out Tarzan's diary and "Tarzan looked at the book in surprise. How did D'Arnot come to have his book?"

  How indeed, we might ask, since it was a treasured possession of Tarzan.

  The last time we saw the diary was in the previous chapter, "The Outpost of the World," in which Tarzan extracted the diary from the bottom of his quiver to show it to D'Arnot. Upon reading it, and seeing the fingerprints of Little Lord Greystoke, D'Arnot's brain went into full gear. " his mind had sprung the determination to prove the correctness of his theory, for he had discovered the key which alone could unlock the mystery, or consign it forever to the realms of the unfathomable."

  Nothing more is said of the diary. So, D'Arnot's "determination" may have resulted in his employing some sleight of hand to secure Tarzan's diary on his own person, to protect the evidence. Or, he may have appropriated it from Tarzan at a later date. Whatever the case, it was without the ape-man's knowledge, as we can see by the surprise in which Tarzan realizes D'Arnot has his diary.
  Whatever the case, Tarzan, though surprised, apparently is not annoyed by D'Arnot's possession of his property, as nothing more is said of the matter.

  The chapter closes with the diary in the possession of the police chief, and we know he will retain it, for evidence purposes, after Tarzan has sailed for America.

  We can assume that it was handled with proper safeguards and eventually returned to its rightful owner: John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, Tarzan of the Apes. And we know it had to be kept safe and accessible so ERB could eventually consult it when he verified the story of Tarzan with the journal of “a man long dead.”

- - - - -
  “Incidentally, he had won ten thousand francs, for D'Arnot insisted that he keep it all.
This was a very important item to Tarzan, who was just commencing to realize the power which lay behind the little pieces of metal and paper which always changed hands when human beings rode, or ate, or slept, or clothed themselves, or drank, or worked, or played, or sheltered themselves from the rain or cold or sun.
It had become evident to Tarzan that without money one must die.”
1. In 1988 Avenel published a hardback containing four Tarzan novels, including “Apes,”
along with “The Son of Tarzan,” “Tarzan at the Earth’s Core,” and “Tarzan Triumphant.”
The J. Allen St. John jacket painting originally adorned the first edition of “Tarzan at the Earth’s Core.”
2. This Gramercy edition of 1998 contained three Tarzan stories, “Apes,” “Son” and “At the Earth’s Core.”
The jacket paining was by J. Allen St. John and originally on the jacket for “Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle.”


  The story races toward a conclusion, with the heroine in peril. We know the hero is racing to save her. But...will he be in time?

  The title of the chapter reminds us just how big a person Tarzan is. Not only tall, but also rather well filled out, so as to appear to be a giant of a man. How many of the movie Tarzans would cause the word "giant" to leap to one's mind upon first glance?

Another title for the chapter could be "Three Suitors" and, even better, "The Styles of Three Suitors."

  First there is Robert Canler. We don't know much about Canler. He was referred to in a letter from Jane, earlier in the book. But what we know is enough to make us detest the man. He loaned Professor Porter money for an expedition and, somehow, made it clear that he would expect Jane's hand in marriage if the money could not be repaid. He is a cad. Jane does not like Mr. Canler, and she emphasizes this by referring to him usually with a "Mr." rather than a more familiar just plain "Robert" or "Bob."

  "Do you realize that you are buying me, Mr. Canler?" she said finally, and in a cold, level voice.

  After some more comments by Jane, he responds, "Of course you are right. I am buying you, and I knew that you knew it, but I thought you would prefer to pretend that it was otherwise. I should have thought your self-respect and your Porter pride would have shrunk from admitting, even to yourself, that you were a bought woman."

  So, not only is Canler someone who would attempt to buy a wife, but he is the type who would have no hesitation to belittle her about it.

  Then there is the second suitor, William Cecil Clayton. He is a much more likeable person but, unfortunately, he, too, would buy a wife. This is revealed in a much subtler way, when Jane is thanking Clayton for spending a lot of money making the Wisconsin farm comfortable for her father.

  Jane says to Clayton, "...I know you are big enough and generous enough to have done it just for him—and, oh Cecil, I wish I might repay you as you deserve—as you would wish."
  “Why can't you, Jane?”

  With that question, Clayton is admitting that he, too, would gladly take Jane as a wife even if she married him only out of a perceived obligation to repay him for all he had done for her father.
  Then, there's the third suitor, Tarzan.

  His approach is much more straightforward, and honest:
  "Yes, your man, Jane Porter; your savage, primeval man come out of the jungle to claim his mate—the woman who ran away from him," he added almost fiercely.

Later, Tarzan reveals that he loves Jane so much that his goal is for her to be happy, even if it hurts him:
  “I think I understand you," he replied quietly. "I shall not urge you, for I would rather see you happy than to be happy myself.”

  In all of this, one just has to shake one's head sadly about Professor Porter. Although he is a sympathetic character in the book, one has to wonder what kind of a father would get himself into such a fix where he would actually expect his daughter to wed a man she despises, just to get him out of debt. To Canler, he says: "Tut—tut, Mr. Canler. Jane is a most obedient daughter. She will do precisely as I tell her."

  This chapter goes from Canler in a taxicab pulling up in front of the Porters' Baltimore home, to Tarzan and Jane in a great black car pulling up at the Wisconsin home, after   Tarzan rescued Jane from the forest fire.

  One has to admire and marvel at Tarzan's rapid development from ape-man to a man able to get around quite handily in a world that, up until recently, he had no idea existed.   He is able to sail to a strange country, somehow get transportation to Baltimore and, there, learn that Jane and family are in Wisconsin, and figure out how to get there, and how to find that cabin up there in the woods. Somewhere along the way, he has to obtain a car and learn how to drive.

  Knowing how to write English, he could have passed a written driver's test, and, in the next chapter, he reveals that he can understand spoken English, but is still trying to master the art of speaking it.

  An ape-fellow indeed who is "most remarkable."

- - - - -
A veering of the wind blew a cloud of smoke about them and she could no longer see the man who was speeding toward her, but suddenly she felt a great arm about her. Then she was lifted up, and she felt the rushing of the wind and the occasional brush of a branch as she was borne along.
. .
Over the years there have been several different editions
featuring the first two or three Tarzan novels in proper reading order. These include:
1. “Tarzan of the Apes and The Return of Tarzan,” Book of the Month Club, 1995,
both hardback with dust jacket and trade paperback
2. “Tarzan of the Apes,” Fall River Press, 2015, containing first three novels
3   “Tarzan of the Apes,” Barnes & Noble edition, 2016, containing first three novels


  After Tarzan restores Jane to her family and friends, the excitement of the reunion is short-lived: Robert Canler shows up, and he's got a man of the cloth with him.

  The other man of the cloth, the man of the loin cloth, that is, takes an instant dislike to Canler. Before Canler can even do or say anything offensive, ERB writes that "Tarzan eyed Robert Canler as Sabor eyes her prey."

  However, it doesn't take long for Canler to provoke Tarzan to action. He insists that Jane marry him, and he means "right now." Canler is like dry tinder, awaiting a match, and he provides the perfect excuse when he reaches out and grabs Jane by the arm to march her over to the preacher. Tarzan springs into action.

  There are many literary devices an author can use to get a hero or heroine out of a sticky situation. As "Tarzan of the Apes" comes to a close, there are two potential "escapes" for Jane. First, the recovery of the treasure itself, which would enable   Professor Porter to pay his debt to Canler and eliminate the need for Jane to marry him. Jane's honor, however, will not permit her to go back on her word, treasure or not.   Second, Canler could have been killed in the forest fire. That would have wrapped everything up in a nice, neat package.

  However, I like ERB's solution better. Tarzan leaps into action, grabs Canler by the arm, and "Another hand shot to his throat and in a moment he was being shaken high above the floor, as a cat might shake a mouse."

  Now, that's Tarzan for you: No clever gimmicks to resolve a bad situation, just plain, brute, Tarzanic force.

  “Do you release her from your promise?" Tarzan asked the suspended Canler. "It is the price of your life.”

  Given a choice like that, Canler could have but one option—the only option that Tarzan of the Apes left him!

  So, the stage is set for Tarzan to marry Jane. But, ah, Burroughs decides to further complicate matters as Jane, in a moment of confusion, promises herself to William Cecil Clayton instead.

  As the story ends, Tarzan receives a telegram that his finger prints show that he is the rightful heir to the Greystoke title and fortune, both now held by his rival suitor. But the man who evolved from a tiny ape baby has reached the noblest height of civilized man, the ability to sacrifice his own gain for the presumed happiness of the one he loves.

- - - - -
  “Finger prints prove you Greystoke. Congratulations. D'ARNOT”
 . . .
Easton Press has published three high-quality leatherbound editions of “Tarzan of the Apes.”
1. 2004, green binding, as part of a six-volume set of the first six titles.
2. 2012, large-size deluxe edition with a slipcase
3. 1995, black binding.

Edgar Rice Burroughs' TARZAN OF THE APES
Summary and Comments by John Martin
ERBzine 7001
Chapters 1-7
ERBzine 7002
Chapters 8-14
ERBzine 7003
Chapters 15-21
ERBzine 7004
Chapters 22-28

Tarzan of the Apes: C.H.A.S.E.R. Biblio Entry

Tarzan of the Apes: Read the e-Text Edition (28 Chapters)


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