The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Volume 0805
Edgar Rice Burroughs

 A Collector's 
Hypertexted and Annotated Storehouse 
of Encyclopedic Resources

The ERBzine Comics Summaries Project

April 24 - June 5, 1932

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Sunday Page Directory

THE LION TAMER ~ 32.04.24

Tarzan, close in spirit to all wild beasts, bitterly resented the caging of animals but when he lived in civilization as Lord Greystoke, he frequently sought their companionship. He might often be seen talking to the apes at the zoo... and he always prowled around the cages at the circus, feeling that he too was caged by the bars of civilized life. One night when the famous lion tamer Lenida was doing her act in a provincial city of France, Tarzan was watching her from a ringside box. That afternoon when the circus was at a railroad siding, lightning had struck the car in which the lions were caged. The cage caught on fire and the lions fought furiously to escape as the flames licked their feet. The flames were put out, but for the rest of the day the beasts were in a ferocious mood, attacking even their faithful keeper when he came to feed them. Their constant roars spread fear; so that, before Lenida went on that night at the circus, the manager pleaded with her not to attempt that part of her act where she put her head between the red lion's jaws. But, supremely confident of her power, the great Lenida had appeared in the ring. When she attempted to put her head between the red lion's jaws. . .  the great beast struck! Then Tarzan leaped into the arena!


As Tarzan dashed into the circus ring, the great red lion stood above Lenida, ready to strike again. But before the death blow could reach its goal, Tarzan leaped for the great cat's back. Numa leaped high in the air, seeking to shake off his fierce antagonist. When he tried to turn and bite, the lion found a steel-muscled hand throttling his windpipe. With his free hand, Tarzan reached for his knife -- the weapon that was almost the sole heritage he had received from his father in the jungle -- a weapon he always carried with him. Again and again the keen edged knife stuck into the lunging beast, which began to sway dizzily while the ape-man increased the ferocity of his attack. Numa lurched and fell lifeless. Then resounded through the arena a cry more blood-freezing than that of any of the beasts. At the sound of it people were frozen in horror or driven to near madness through sheer terror. It was Tarzan uttering the victory cry of the bull ape at the kill. Amid the frenzied turmoil that followed, Tarzan disappeared, running wildly, running like a beast pursued by the hounds of civilization. Not until he had swung himself into the trees of the city park was he again in control of himself -- again he was realizing that his real home had ever to be among the trees -- far off in the jungles.


For months after Tarzan had saved her from death at the claws of her great red lion, Lenida, the lion tamer, lay in a French hospital bed. When the bandages were removed Lenida called for a mirror, but when she saw the ghastly damage that the lion's claws had done, she put her hands before her face to shut out the sight. Then did she resolve never to let anyone see her face again. When she left the hospital she wore a black mask. Later at Marseilles, she mystified customs officials by announcing that she was taking her lions back to Africa. Often had lions been brought from Africa for circus or zoo, but never had they been returned to the jungles. When her lions were put aboard his trading steamer to be transported to the last outpost on the Gumwi River, Captain John Barry was as much mystified as the French officials. But the woman in the black mask never explained. She met all efforts at conversation in silence. Her only talk was for her lions, and she spent much time with them in the cage below decks. But when the Al-Albas attacked the boat. . . Tarzan led his comrades to the protection of the ship's saloon. Locked in, they prepared to defend with their lives the girl who had been the white priestess of the savage tribe.  Then, unleashing her lions, like an avenging fury, the woman in the black mask swept to the attack. Before the onslaught of the beasts, the savages fled wildly. . .  all but one. But as this one prepared to strike, Tarzan, with the speed of Ara, the lightning, sprang from the cabin.


Swiftly did Tarzan strike. Then he hurled the black warrior to his comrades in the canoe below. The Al-Alba tribesmen fled in terror of the ape-man and of the ferocious lions that the woman in the black mask had unleashed upon them. Then she called the two beasts to her and they obeyed like well-trained dogs.

"Again you have saved my life," the woman said. And Tarzan recalled the scene in the French provincial circus, when the great red lion had attacked his tamer, La Belle Lenida. . .  and when Tarzan, himself, had sprung from the audience to rescue her and to kill numa in a desperate fight.

"My face was destroyed," Lenida said, "so I swore no living person would ever look upon it again. It was a judgment upon me for imprisoning wild beasts and I made a vow to return my lions to the jungles."

So, when the boat reached the last outpost on the Gumwi River, the caged beasts were carried ashore. Deep into the jungle Tarzan led the little procession and then the blacks were dismissed. When the blacks had gone afar off, Lenida opened the cage to give jungle freedom to her beloved beasts. But as the lions wandered forth, Tarzan swung into the trees to trail them. He wanted to see how these beasts, raised in captivity, would face the unknown perils of their native wilds.

A CRY IN THE WILDS ~ 32.05.22

Superb, majestic, stood sabor, the lioness, guarding her cubs. Down wind had come the man scent and sabor was alert to danger. But she had not seen hunters aiming at her from ambush. She was never to see them. Their expert shots ended her life. What the huntsmen wanted were her cubs. The beasts were sold to La Belle Lenida, the great lion tamer. Trained for the circus, they never knew the perils of the jungle. But now Lenida had given their freedom back to them and they ventured into their native wilds with Tarzan watching them from the trees above. From a great distance came a drum like sound. It was Bolgani, the gorilla, beating a loud tattoo upon his chest as a challenge to battle. Tarzan quivered as his keen ears heard the noise. The lions, untrained in jungle life, took no notice. But when bolgani was overcome in battle and Toog the great ape, uttered the weird and terrible cry of the bull ape at the kill. . . the circus lions fled. Panic stricken by the unknown terror. They fled back to the woman who had offered them their freedom. By the time Tarzan arrived, the lions had sought the safe comfort of their cage.

"They'll want their food soon," said Lenida.

"Then I will hunt for them," said Tarzan.

Swinging through the trees, Tarzan trailed horta the boar. He had hurled his unerring noose. . .  and had the boar halfway up to him when he suddenly dropped the noose and his prey with it. Through the jungle had come to him the wild scream of a frightened woman.


Defeated in their attempt to capture their lost white goddess, the warriors of the Al-Alba tribe slowly returned to their native village. There, the elders of the tribe backed by the women and children greeted them with denunciations for their failure. The witch doctor consulted the magic omens and found that no luck could ever come to the tribe until the white goddess was brought back. So it was that the black warriors, once more on the trail, came upon Lenida and her lions. It was Lenida's scream of terror that startled Tarzan when he was hunting horta, the boar. Then Lenida called upon her lions to save her. Fearful of numa and sabor were the savage tribesmen, but now they had the lions caged and at their mercy. Running on the branches and leaping from tree to tree came Tarzan of the apes in answer to the woman's cry. From the high branches he leaped into their midst uttering the wild victory cry of the bull ape.

"Release that woman and bow before her," Tarzan commanded. "She is a new high priestess the gods have sent to you."

"She is not a goddess, brave like the other; she is a mere woman who screams," said the blacks.

"She will prove she is a goddess." Tarzan replied. And he ordered Lenida to bring her lions forth. "You will behold white magic," Tarzan promised . "Wait and see."


Since they were cubs, new to captivity, La Belle Lenida had trained her lions. Now she was called upon to save her own life by demonstrating her magic control over these beasts that she had brought back to the jungle. As the savages gathered in a circle to watch her, Tarzan recalled the first night he had seen her with her trained lions in a French provincial circus. Now with Tarzan's aid, she performed the same act in the jungle.

"Next you will see her put her head into numa's mouth," said Tarzan.

A shudder went through the lion tamer as she was called upon to perform this action, for it was when she had put her head in the red lion's mouth at the circus that the great beast had struck. But now numa was as gentle with her as a puppy.

"You say this woman is not brave!" Tarzan exclaimed. "Is there one of you who dares like her to put his head between numa's gaping jaws?"

"I am brave, braver than all women!" cried the warrior Mumkivro. "I will dare what she will dare."

But as the fearless warrior knelt. . .  numa struck!

And so Tarzan made the savages recognize Lenida as braver than their bravest. They had seen the power of her magic as she saved the great warrior Mumkivro from the lion's jaws. They had seen her make numa and sabor obey like children. And now they hailed her as a new goddess and knelt before her to pay her homage.


Volume 0805

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