CHAPTER VII: THE DANCING GIRL OF SIDI AISSA
Tarzan begins his short-lived career as a secret agent for the French government, the job he landed with the help of Count De Coude. Although De Coude was a great friend of Tarzan, he was probably a bit relieved to see the ape man leave Paris, since Tarzan was also a great friend of the count's gorgeous wife, Olga.
Olga is the first of four lovely ladies Tarzan encounters in "Return," and the dancing girl of Sidi Aissa, the Ouled-Nail*, will be the second.
Tarzan is assigned to go to Algeria to keep an eye on a Lt. Gernois, who, it is suspected, may be bartering with a foreign government to give out classified information.
Tarzan makes friends with several members of Gernois's outfit, including its leader, Captain Gerard, so Tarzan is pretty much able to come and go among the French soldiers.
Several times in this chapter Tarzan sees a familiar figure, not familiar enough to actually recognize, but familiar enough in stance, mannerisms, and various intangibles that Tarzan senses a moentary interest. Then, the moment passes, and Tarzan goes on to other things.
At last, he sees Gernois himself talking with this mysterious figure, and the suspicions begin to gel.
Tarzan makes friends with Kadour Ben Saden, an Arab horse trader, and also finds a friendly guide, named Abdul.
Tarzan and the latter are in an Arab cafes maures watching a dancing girl. He tosses her a franc when she drags her silken handkerchief across his shoulder. In a later performance, she does the same, but this time when she retrieves the franc she is able to whisper a warning that some "very bad men" are plotting against him.
Soon, a troublemaker comes into the cafe and begins insulting Tarzan. A fight follows. Tarzan and Abdul slug their way outside and find the Ouled-Nail, who urges them to take refuge in her room. Soon the angry mob is assaulting that sanctuary as well, but Tarzan moves the girl out the window and to the roof and gives Abdul a hand to the same place just in time.
- - - - -TARZAN GETTING SOFT?
Perhaps the refinements of civilization are taking their toll upon the ape man. With somewhat of a raised eyebrow we read: "The march to Aumale was fatiguing to Tarzan, whose equestrian experiences hitherto had been confined to a course of riding lessons in a Parisian academy, and so it was that he quickly sought the comforts of a bed in the Hotel Grossat, while the officers and troops took up their quarters at the military post. Although Tarzan was called early the following morning, the company of spahis was on the march before he had finished his breakfast."
Can this be Tarzan?
Can he who rode Tantor be fatigued by a horse? Will we read anyplace else in the canon of Tarzan seeking "the comforts of a bed"? Tarzan sleeping in late, or at least later than the other macho men? Well, this we know: Tarzan will soon be back to being his old self!
- - - - -UNDERSTATEMENT:
Abdul to Tarzan when the Arab comes in the cafe and starts insulting the ape-man: "He says that 'the dog of a Christian' insulted the Ouled-Nail, who belongs to him. He means trouble, m'sieur."
- - - - -SPECIAL PASSAGE:
Tarzan did not like being laughed at, neither did he relish the terms applied to him by the Arab, but he showed no sign of anger as he arose from his seat upon the bench. A half smile played about his lips, but of a sudden a mighty fist shot into the face of the scowling Arab, and back of it were the terrible muscles of the ape-man.
- - - - -
CHAPTER VIII: THE FIGHT IN THE DESERT
When last we saw Tarzan, he was sitting on a rooftop in Sidi Aissa, along with his friend Abdul and the dancing girl, while an angry mob sought them, below.
The roof proved to be a good hiding place, and the crowd soon dispersed.
The dancing girl, whose name we never learn because she is known only by the name of her occupation, Ouled-Nail, tells Tarzan her story. She is a virtual prisoner, or slave, and longs to return to her family. She respects Tarzan because he gave her two coins in the tavern in a way that was not an insult.
Turning back to the previous chapter, we find no real description of just how Tarzan gave her those coins. Both times, while she was dancing, she "threw her silken handkerchief upon his shoulders" and was "rewarded" with a franc.
So, it must be left to one's imagination how Tarzan would have made such a gift in a non-insulting way, as compared to the degrading ways the usual Arabic clientele would have given her coins.
When she tells Tarzan the name of her father, the ape-man learns it is none other than his new Arab friend, Kadour ben Sader, who is in the city at that very time. Tarzan is able to reunite the Ouled-Nail with her father, and the group sets out for his Bou Saada home the following morning.
Soon, they notice they are being trailed. Eventually, as they near Bou Saada, Tarzan and Abdul drop back in order to take the others on in a fair fight, which is Tarzan and one helper versus six gunmen. Tarzan and Abdul do just fine against the enemy, but Kadour ben Sader notices they are no longer with his group and turns back to give them a helping hand anyway!!
Tarzan spends a couple of days in Bou Saada, learning a bit of the language from the Ouled-Nail, who is described as "the brown-eyed girl." But, duty calls, and the ape-man must return to his secret agent mission. However, he considers that, when it is over, he will return and live out his life among the Arabs.
Back in Sidi Aissa, he spots his quarry, Lt. Gernois, in a tavern, and notices that he is talking to an Arab whose arm is in a sling, thus planting the suspicion that the injured Arab is one who escaped the fight in the desert.
- - - - -THE QUIET MEN?
"Tarzan but nodded his head. He was a man of few words, and possibly it was for this reason as much as any that Kadour ben Saden had taken to him, for if there be one thing that an Arab despises it is a talkative man."
- - - - -CIVILIZATION HAD NOT DIMINISHED TARZAN'S ABILITIES:
"But one came too close, for Tarzan was accustomed to using his eyes in the darkness of the jungle night, than which there is no more utter darkness this side the grave, and with a cry of pain a saddle was emptied."
- - - - -SPECIAL PASSAGE:
Here were people after his own heart! Their wild, rough lives, filled with danger and hardship, appealed to this half-savage man as nothing had appealed to him in the midst of the effeminate civilization of the great cities he had visited. Here was a life that excelled even that of the jungle, for here he might have the society of men -- real men whom he could honor and respect, and yet be near to the wild nature that he loved. In his head revolved an idea that when he had completed his mission he would resign and return to live for the remainder of his life with the tribe of Kadour ben Saden.
CHAPTER IX: NUMA "EL ADREA"
This chapter begins with Tarzan reading a letter from D'Arnot. It's a letter that is important to the advancement of the plot, bringing the reader up to date on several threads which will be woven into the rest of the story.
One of the first revelations in the letter is that Samuel T. Philander, colleague of Professor Porter, is an "old friend" of Tarzan. D'Arnot describes him as such. We don't know much about this friendship; nor when it had time to develop. It's always possible that D'Arnot could have meant it in a flippant sense, but I haven't found much flippancy of that nature in this book.
The letter also reveals that not only is Jane still unmarried, but she has put off her wedding to Clayton several times. This gives the reader hope that Tarzan and Jane may eventually get together after all.
We learn what an excellent memory D'Arnot has, as he is able to quote a five-sentence, 86-word excerpt from Jane's spoken words to him. And, yes, while ERB wasn't flippant in this book, I am flippant in this summary!!
Then, we learn that the current title holder of "Lord Greystoke" has died, and William Cecil Clayton will assume that position. We know, of course, that Tarzan has the true rights to that title.
We learn of one Lord Tennington and his plans to sail his yacht around Africa.
We are also satisfied to learn that Count and Olga de Coude are a happy couple and that Olga has paid her evil brother, Rokoff, 20,000 frances to leave France. In her mind, she is protecting Tarzan from further attempted attacks by Rokoff, and is protecting Rokoff from suffering death at the hands of Tarzan!
Tarzan reads the letter over several times, then gets back to the work of espionage. He tries trailing an Arab-looking fellow who has repeatedly met with the suspicious Lt. Gernois, but "...no amount of espionage or shadowing by Tarzan revealed the Arab's lodgings, the location of which Tarzan was anxious to ascertain." For one who could trail someone by a scent, or follow them on silent feet, it might seem hard to believe that Tarzan could not figure out where this Arab lived. Perhaps the odors of civilization played havoc with his nostrils.
Tarzan's spy "cover" is that he is in Northern Africa to hunt. He is pleased when he is invited, by Capt. Gerard, to accompany the detachment on a mission, as it gives him an opportunity to stay close to Gernois. Some Arab horsemen are following the soldiers at a distance, and Tarzan is suspicious. "He had long been convinced that there were hired assassins on his trail, nor was he in great doubt but that Rokoff was at the bottom of the plot." Tarzan had already mused, earlier in the chapter, that Olga de Coude had probably thrown away her 20,000 francs!
At a certain point, the detachment splits up, with Gerard taking some men and going one way, and Tarzan accepting Gernois's invitation to accompany the latter's group.
However, Gernois's invitation is not given for the purpose of enjoying the ape-man's company, but rather to abandon him at a certain place and set him up for hired killers. Using his authority as a military commander over a civilian, Gernois orders Tarzan to stay behind in a small canyon, while the men make patrols elsewhere. Tarzan soon figures out that this is some kind of trick, and puts his rifle at the ready. However, later he falls asleep, only to be awakened by the frightened whinnying of his horse at the approach of a lion, which the Arabs call "El Adrea."
Tarzan wished he had his bow and arrow handy, but is stuck with dispatching Numa with his high-powered rifle instead. Even though this is not the hand-to-mane combat that Tarzan is accustomed to, he is still exhilarated enough by the kill to give voice to the victory cry of his people.
Tarzan figures he has waited long enough for soldiers to return to where they left him, and starts off on foot (his horse having bolted) to find Gerard's camp. However, he is being followed by a party of assassins.
Will the assassins succeed in their mission to kill Tarzan? Will the next chapter be the last chapter, with all the rest of the pages blank? We will have to read on to find out!
- - - - -CONTRADICTION?
Perhaps ERB was experiencing the pangs of a bit of social conscience as he continued to develop Tarzan's character, and decided that he wanted the noble savage to be just a bit more noble. For he wrote: "In fact, Tarzan had never killed for 'pleasure,' nor to him was there pleasure in killing. It was the joy of righteous battle that he loved -- the ecstasy of victory, and the keen and successful hunt for food in which he pitted his skill and craftiness against the skill and craftiness of another...."
This is at variance with a statement from "Tarzan of the Apes," Chapter 10, that says Tarzan "...joyed in killing, and that he killed with a joyous laugh upon his handsome lips betokened no innate cruelty. He killed for food most often, but, being a man, he sometimes killed for pleasure, a thing which no other animal does; for it has remained for man alone among all creatures to kill senselessly and wantonly for the mere pleasure of inflicting suffering and death."
- - - - -SPECIAL PASSAGE:
But now Numa was crouching for the spring. Very slowly Tarzan raised his gun to his shoulder. He had never killed a large animal with a gun in all his life -- heretofore he had depended upon his spear, his poisoned arrows, his rope, his knife, or his bare hands. Instinctively he wished that he had his arrows and his knife - he would have felt surer with them.
1. Spanish edition: "El regreso de Tarzan."
2. An Italian edition of "The Return of Tarzan."
The title is "Il Ritorno di Tarzan."
From website of Marten Jonker, edgarriceburroughs.nl
CHAPTER X: THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW
Having departed the little valley where Lt. Gernois deserted him, Tarzan makes his way toward Capt. Gerard's camp, but begins to hear soft noises which he soon identifies as the sound of human feet. He realizes these feet belonged to assassins.
Tarzan turns and faces the followers, challenging them and, in the process, making himself a sitting duck. Immediately, an Arab fires, the bullet grazing Tarzan's temple hard enough to knock him unconscious.
One of the Arabs has enough sense to put a gun to Tarzan's head and is about to pull the trigger when another Arab intervenes, pointing out that they will get more money if they bring him back alive. And thus, as in many a story, and many a movie, the hero is spared a certain death!
The Arabs are no better than the cannibals of Tarzan's jungle; he is beset upon by insults and hand-held, improvised missiles of the Arab families when he is brought to their quarters. The head Arab, identified only as "old sheik," stops the harassment. Because Tarzan has killed a lion, he will be treated as a brave man. However, the old sheik will still turn him over to those who will probably kill him.
Soon, we learn what we have suspected all along. Nikolas Rokoff is behind it all. Dressed as an Arab, he comes into the goat-skin tent where Tarzan is tied and begins insulting and kicking the ape-man. Once again, the old sheik intervenes, and Rokoff backs off, but vows he will torture and kill Tarzan on the morrow.
As Tarzan spends the night locked in tortuous bonds, awaiting his fate, "Far up in the mountains he heard a lion roar. How much safer one was, he soliloquized, in the haunts of wild beasts than in the haunts of men. Never in all his jungle life had he been more relentlessly tracked down than in the past few months of his experience among civilized men. Never had he been any nearer death."
The roar of the lion comes closer, and then Tarzan hears stealthy feet approaching the tent. Although he was able to interpret the sound of human feet in the Valley of the Shadow, his senses are dulled here and he interprets the soft padding as that of the approaching lion. Instead, it's the Ouled-Nail, who learned of his capture from other Arabs and made the dangerous journey to free him. She sneaks into the tent, cuts his bonds, and they slip out of the camp.
As they travel on foot across the desert, "It was now a beautiful, moonlit night. The air was crisp and invigorating. Behind them lay the interminable vista of the desert, dotted here and there with an occasional oasis. The date palms of the little fertile spot they had just left, and the circle of goatskin tents, stood out in sharp relief against the yellow sand --a phantom paradise upon a phantom sea. Before them rose the grim and silent mountains. Tarzan's blood leaped in his veins. This was life! He looked down upon the girl beside him--a daughter of the desert walking across the face of a dead world with a son of the jungle. He smiled at the thought. He wished that he had had a sister, and that she had been like this girl. What a bully chum she would have been!"
Ah, poor Ouled-Nail. She was probably harboring thoughts of romance with the tall stranger, and would probably have been flabbergasted if she had known that Tarzan was thinking of her only in terms of sisterhood! But even though Jane is not mentioned in this chapter, and even though Tarzan has come to accept that she is going to marry another, he just isn't thinking in terms of giving his love to another woman.
In fact, if not a sister, then he muses that he could be great friends with her if only she were a man! "He longed for a friend who loved the same wild life that he loved. He had learned to crave companionship, but it was his misfortune that most of the men he knew preferred immaculate linen and their clubs to nakedness and the jungle. It was, of course, difficult to understand, yet it was very evident that they did."
Before they can make it safely back to the camp of the Ouled-Nail's father, Sheik Kabour ben Saden, there is one more trial to face. A lion stands in their path. Tarzan has already dispatched one Northern African lion with a rifle. How will he stand up against this beast with a blade? He borrows the Ouled-Nail's knife and bids her move to a place of safety.
Then, The ape-man stood, half crouching, the long Arab knife glistening in the moonlight. Behind him was the tense figure of the girl, motionless as a carven statue. She leaned slightly forward, her lips parted, her eyes wide. Her only conscious thought was wonder at the bravery of the man who dared face with a puny knife the lord with the large head. A man of her own blood would have knelt in prayer and gone down beneath those awful fangs without resista"The Return of Tarzan," Armed Services Edition, was a "must read" for those who had read the Armed Services Edition of "Tarzan of the Apes." Else, how would they know what became of Tarzan and his noble act of self-renunciation?nce. In either case the result would be the same--it was inevitable; but she could not repress a thrill of admiration as her eyes rested upon the heroic figure before her. Not a tremor in the whole giant frame--his attitude as menacing and defiant as that of El Adrea himself.
- - - - -SPECIAL PASSAGE:
As Tarzan walked down the wild canon beneath the brilliant African moon the call of the jungle was strong upon him. The solitude and the savage freedom filled his heart with life and buoyancy. Again he was Tarzan of the Apes--every sense alert against the chance of surprise by some jungle enemy--yet treading lightly and with head erect, in proud consciousness of his might.
1. "The Return of Tarzan," Armed Services Edition, was a "must read" f
or those who had read the Armed Services Edition of "Tarzan of the Apes."
Else, how would they know what became of Tarzan and his noble act of self-renunciation?
2. This is the back cover of the Armed Services Edition of "The Return of Tarzan."
Photo from Heritage Auctions and Martin Jonker's edgarriceburroughs.nl
CHAPTER XI: JOHN CALDWELL, LONDON
As Chapter 10 closes, Tarzan and the Ouled-Nail, while escaping from Tarzan's captors, are met by Numa, El Adrea. Tarzan borrows the Ouled-Nail's knife and prepares to face the huge lion.
As Chapter 11 begins, the lion attacks, but Tarzan simply sidesteps the beast and attacks it from the side.
Tarzan has lion-killing down to a science. He "grasped him by the mane. The lion reared upon his hind legs like a horse... Tarzan had known that he would do this, and he was ready. A giant arm encircled the black-maned throat, and once, twice, a dozen times a sharp blade darted in and out of the bay-black side behind the left shoulder."
Question: Where's Tarzan's own knife?
Since Tarzan had to borrow a knife from the Ouled-Nail, one wonders at the location of the hunting knife of his long dead sire. Perhaps he had left it in the safe-keeping of D'Arnot while adventuring in Africa. In Chapter 8, when he had been stranded by Gernois and encountered a lion, he was without his knife. We read:
Very slowly Tarzan raised his gun to his shoulder. He had never killed a large animal with a gun in all his life--heretofore he had depended upon his spear, his poisoned arrows, his rope, his knife, or his bare hands. Instinctively he wished that he had his arrows and his knife--he would have felt surer with them.
So, the ape-man did not have his knife, even then. One wonders: Where is the knife that we are to read about in future Tarzan adventure after adventure? Where had he put it for safekeeping? Why was it not with him on his dangerous spy mission? It certainly would have fit his "cover" as a hunter, since hunters traditionally carry hunting knives for gutting and skinning their kills and other utility purposes.
Hearing his frightful victory cry, the girl thinks the encounter has driven Tarzan insane, but his smile quickly reassures her.
Tarzan and the Ouled-Nail come upon their horses, which had been frightened off by El Adrea while the girl was sneaking into the enemy sheik's encampment to help Tarzan escape.
Sheik Kadour ben Saden was tickled to death that Tarzan was back, and urged him to accept adoption into the tribe. Tarzan thought about it, and might have done it had the Ouled-Nail been a man, because "it would have meant a friend after his own heart, with whom he could ride and hunt at will." Tarzan thinks highly of the Ouled-Nail, but he has no romantic interest in her, and realizes that a friendship with an Arab woman would be awkward, at the very least!
When Tarzan finally leaves, the girl -- whom we still know only by her occupation and not by her name -- tells Tarzan that she had prayed that he would remain with them "and now I shall pray that you will return." Tarzan was touched by the pathetic droop at the corners of her mouth and the expression of wistfulness in her beautiful eyes. Then, he rode off into the sunset.
When Tarzan returns to Bou Saada, he collects his mail at the hotel and finds a letter from the French authorities, directing him to drop his present assignment and to travel to Cape Town for further instructions.
Tarzan next looks up Capt. Gerard, who is pleasantly surprised to see him, having heard a false story from Lt. Gernois about how Tarzan "had chosen to remain behind and had gone missing.
Tarzan doesn't bother to tell Gerard his suspicions about Gernois. Instead, he follows a lead that Kadour ben Saden had given him that puts him on the trail of Rokoff. The intelligence leads Tarzan to an obscure dwelling in the city, where he listens at the window as Rokoff and Gernois discuss enemy secrets. Gernois is feeding Rokoff classified information because the latter is blackmailing the former.
After Gernois leaves, Tarzan bursts into the room and gets Rokoff by the throat, a position in which Rokoff has long deserved to be.
"You do not dare kill me," says Rokoff.
"I dare kill you, Rokoff," replies Tarzan.
With Tarzan's fingers about his throat "...the great coward squealed like a stuck pig, until Tarzan had shut off his wind."
However, Tarzan elects not to kill the Russian spy in cold blood, primarily for the sake of the scoundrel's sister, the Countess Olga de Coude. He warns Rokoff, however, that this is a one-time reprieve. The next time, it will be death.
Tarzan leaves Rokoff gasping for breath as he takes the stolen government papers and departs.
As Tarzan leaves Bou Saada astride a horse, he happens to see Gernois on the hotel veranda. Gernois goes white as chalk at seeing Tarzan and mechanically returns the ape-man's salute. Later that morning, Gernois shoots himself.
While awaiting a ship to Cape Town in Algiers, Tarzan sends his employers a written report on the successful completion of his first mission, but retains the secret documents as he does not wish to trust them to the mail.
Tarzan boards the ship under the name of John Caldwell, London. Also aboard the ship are two other characters. The reader assumes, from their behavior, that they are Rokoff and his lieutenant, Paulvitch. Civilization must have dulled Tarzan's sense of smell, as he walks right past the two without recognizing them by their scent. But, maybe they had gone shopping in the Bou Saada marketplace and loaded up with spices and perfumes!!
Though traveling incognito, Tarzan somehow rates a place at the captain's dinner table, where he is introduced to a young woman named Hazel Strong. He recognizes the name as the one whom Jane Porter had written to in the letter that Tarzan had read at the little cabin in "Tarzan of the Apes." Tarzan assumes that this is that very same Hazel Strong, and he is correct.
- - - - -SPECIAL PASSAGE:
"I dare kill you, Rokoff," replied Tarzan, "for no one knows that you are here or that I am here, and Paulvitch would tell them that it was Gernois. I heard you tell Gernois so. But that would not influence me, Rokoff. I would not care who knew that I had killed you; the pleasure of killing you would more than compensate for any punishment they might inflict upon me. You are the most despicable cur of a coward, Rokoff, I have ever heard of. You should be killed. I should love to kill you," and Tarzan approached closer to the man.
- - - - -1967: THE GOOD AND THE BAD
The cover of the 1967 Whitman abridged version of "The Return of Tarzan" depicts the scene in Chapter XI where Tarzan uses the knife of the Ouled-Nail to battle a lion. The Whitman edition is generously illustrated with the front and back covers by Al Anderson and Sparky Moore and includes illustrated endpapers and interiors. Unfortunately, it is missing the first several chapters about Tarzan in Paris and begins with Tarzan's arrival in the Sahara
1. Al Anderson cover of Whitman's heavily abridged 1967 "The Return of Tarzan."
Plus: 2. Back cover art and 3. Endpapers
CHAPTER XII: SHIPS THAT PASS
Burroughs begins this chapter by harkening back to a scene from the previous book, "Tarzan of the Apes." These opening paragraphs serve two purposes. For the reader who is familiar with the first book, it is a refresher, and adds some hitherto unknown but important details. For the reader who has not read "Apes," it serves as a way of bringing the reader up to date on this aspect of the story.
"Apes" ended with Tarzan, Clayton and Professor Porter's party in a railway station in Wisconsin, awaiting the train to take them back to Baltimore. At that point, Tarzan had received the telegram from D'Arnot, revealing that fingerprint evidence showed that he was the rightful heir to the estate and title of Lord Greystoke. In a noble act of self-renunciation, Tarzan simply discarded the telegram without revealing its contents. He did this because the love of his life, Jane Porter, had already pledged herself to William Cecil Clayton, and Tarzan wanted her to at least have the security of the Greystoke estate, which would be going to William Cecil.
What "Return" reveals is that, as the train approached, Clayton stepped from the platform back into the station to retrieve his luggage. At that moment, he saw the discarded telegram on the floor and picked it up and read it. At once he knew the true situation and, in a noble moment, decided to reveal it to the others once they were on the train.
However, it was not until the train was under way that he realized Tarzan had not accompanied the group on the railroad journey.
He reasoned the matter out to himself and the rationalization process began. He decided that the discarded telegram meant that Tarzan never intended to claim his birthright. "If this were so, what right had he, William Cecil Clayton, to thwart the wishes, to balk the self-sacrifice of this strange man? If Tarzan of the Apes could do this thing to save Jane Porter from unhappiness, why should he, to whose care she was intrusting her whole future, do aught to jeopardize her interests?"
One might regard Clayton's thinking as sensible. However, ERB shows his distaste for it, writing: "And so he reasoned until the first generous impulse to proclaim the truth and relinquish his titles and his estates to their rightful owner was forgotten beneath the mass of sophistries which self-interest had advanced."
Thus, ERB tells us Clayton's true character.
Jane, committed to a loveless marriage, keeps postponing the wedding. Eventually, Clayton has to return to England but soon persuades Professor Porter and family to come for a visit, figuring it will be easier to coax Jane to the altar there. However, she continues to put it off until finally Lord Tennington invites the group on a yacht trip around Africa. The trip will take a year, and Jane says she'll marry Clayton after the trip is over.
We have probably all been around a person we wished would keep his mouth shut, so we can probably all relate to Clayton when he "...mentally anathematized Tennington for ever suggesting such a ridiculous trip!"
However, the reader is happy, knowing that a lot can happen in a year and maybe, just maybe, in that time things might change enough for Jane and Tarzan to get back together!
As the yacht sails through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea, we come to the point where this chapter gets its name -- Ships That Pass. As Tennington's yacht, the Lady Alice, sails east, toward the Red Sea, Tarzan (alias John Caldwell) is on a ship heading out into the Atlantic for a business trip to the south of Africa, through the Atlantic.
He is on deck, visiting with Hazel Strong, who he believes to be the same Hazel Strong to whom Jane wrote a letter when she and her party were marooned in the little cabin Tarzan's parents built near the small African harbor.
Tarzan confirms his suspicions by mentioning that he likes Americans, and refers to the Porter family specifically. Hazel happily reveals that she and Jane are lifelong friends.
Then, Hazel, not knowing who John Caldwell really is, reveals her own sentiments about Jane's determination to go through with a loveless marriage.
Through Hazel's comments, we are assured that Jane is every bit as honorable a person as is Tarzan of the Apes himself. She says: "...Jane Porter is peculiarly positive. She has convinced herself that she is doing the only honorable thing that she can do, and nothing in the world will ever prevent her from marrying Lord Greystoke except Greystoke himself, or death."
This comment also serves to put the reader on notice: William Cecil Clayton, Lord Greystoke, is either going to have to call off the wedding himself, or die somewhere in the story. As to the "which" and the "how" and the "when," the reader must wait!
Hazel then begins talking about the jungle man whom Jane really loves. Many people love hearing others talk about them in a positive light, but not Tarzan. "...but when he was the subject of the conversation he was bored and embarrassed."
Later, Tarzan sees Hazel Strong talking to a man whom she introduces as Monsier Thuran. Tarzan knows he has seen the man before and soon figures out that it is none other than Rokoff. He corners the Russian spy privately and tells him to stay away from Hazel Strong. "If you don't, I shall pitch you overboard," continued Tarzan. "Do not forget that I am just waiting for some excuse."
Well, Tarzan wasn't the only one thinking about pitching someone overboard. Rokoff's confederate, Alexis Paulvitch, sneaks into Tarzan's stateroom and steals back the secret documents that Tarzan had taken from Rokoff earlier, and then the two sneak up on Tarzan as he gazes over the ship's railing, their approach muffled by the sound of the waves and the throb of the engine, and -- each grabbing a leg -- loft the surprised ape man into the drink.
Hazel Strong, on a lower deck, sees something the size of a human body flash by. But, hearing no outcry, assumes it was the crew dumping the garbage.
And so ends the life of Tarzan of the Apes.
But wait! No! There are several chapters to go! Maybe Tarzan will somehow survive this catastrophe, marry Jane, and deal with Rokoff and Paulvitch. We'll have to read on to see!
- - - - -TARZAN, THE LOST ADVENTURE
This chapter tells us of a "lost adventure" of Tarzan. We know the ape man traveled to Wisconsin to find Jane, and he probably didn't have any time for sightseeing on his trip west.
But, when the little party boarded the train in Wisconsin, Tarzan told them he planned to drive back to New York in his automobile and see the country. Just how long it took him, and what interesting things he did along the way, is a story Burroughs doesn't tell here. And it was probably nothing like the movie, "Tarzan's New York Adventure"!
However, we can assume that he had many pleasant experiences meeting and talking with U.S. citizens while driving cross-country, because of the statement that is chosen as this chapter's...
"I like America very much, and that means, of course, that I like Americans, for a country is only what its people make it. I met some very delightful people while I was there." -- Tarzan of the Apes
- - - - -TARZAN ON THE PRECIPICE
And, of course, one fan has written a tale of what he thought Tarzan might have encountered during this "Lost Adventre" period of time. Michael A. Sanford's "Tarzan on the Precipice" is available at ERB, Inc.
1. This is an edition of "The Return of Tarzan" in the Books for Boy and Girls series published several times during the 50s decade.
The book has a dust jacket with art by C. Edward Monroe Jr. and endplates on the earlier editions with a map of Tarzan's Africa.
2. The jacket image by C. Edward Monroe Jr. was printed onto the hardbound cover itself
for an edition of "The Return of Tarzan" published in the late 60s.
G&D printed nine of the first 11 Tarzan books with jackets in the Books for Boys and Girls series up until 1960
and then republished all nine again with pictorial board covers later in the 1960s.
3. Without jackets, the Tarzan books in the G&D Books for Boys and Girls series
all have the same distinctive cover design, featuring jungle verdure on the spine and Tarzan astride Tantor on the fronts.
The books, however, come in a variety of colors, including red, tan, green, grey (for Greystoke),
black, orange and some covers which are hard to describe!
A fan's bookshelf of these volumes without DJs will have a colorful rainbow effect!
The Return of Tarzan in C.H.A.S.E.R. Bibliography
Read the Entire Text of The Return of Tarzan
The Pulp Magazine Covers for The Return of Tarzan Featured in
The ERBzine.com Pulp Bibliography
Bill Hillman Returns to Tarzan 1955
Return of Tarzan: 60 Strips from 1929 by Rex Maxon ~ Reprinted in ERBzine
The Return of Tarzan in the Gold Key Comic in ERBzine 2556
The Return of Tarzan in DC Comics: 5 Issues starting at ERBzine 5719
THE RETURN OF TARZAN
Summary and Comments by John Martin
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