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Volume 0815
Edgar Rice Burroughs

 A Collector's 
Hypertexted and Annotated Storehouse 
of Encyclopedic Resources

 The ERBzine Comics Summaries Project

Hal Foster
June 17 - September 2, 1934

Flung toward the monster's gaping jaws, Tarzan turned his agile body in mid-air and landed astride the crocodile's back. Writhing and lashing, the beast gradually forced the ape-man toward its tail to fling him into its cavernous mouth. But Tarzan caught up a floating stake from the river and thrust it between the great brute's jaws. Then, fearing a fatal blow from the lashing tail, Tarzan drew his keen blade and stabbed the monster in a vital spot. Astride the dying, but still floating crocodile, he paddled shore ward as two more of the reptiles swam toward him.

Just in time he leaped for an overhanging bough and safety! The ape-man descended then and continued his perilous trek through the swamp and jungle, until he came at last to the precipitous mountains. Here Tarzan sought out the secret cavern through which he had entered this strange Egyptian land. But now the tunnel was laced with iron bars! He tried to squeeze through, but was halted by a roar and a lion sprang at him! The tunnel had been made into a cage of fierce beasts so that never more could any man enter or leave this fearful realm!

When Tarzan saw that the cavern exit from this strange Egyptian land was barred by wild beasts he looked to the precipitous mountains and wondered if he could scale those grim, towering peaks. In a nearby jungle grove he chose the strongest vines and plaited them into a supple rope to aid him in his perilous journey. Then he found a crevice in the rocks and worked his way slowly upward, knowing that a false step would hurl him to his doom. At last he mounted a narrow ledge, where his progress seemed blocked. Tarzan fashioned a lasso of his vine rope, flung it around a jagged rock, and struggled upward.

Toward evening he reached the loftiest ridge. There he remained through the night, and at dawn he began the dangerous descent down the other side. When he neared the end of his mountainous journey Tarzan looked down upon a vista of the sea, and in a hidden cove he saw a strange ship. As he lowered himself from a thin, jutting crag, the rock broke, and the ape-man hurtled dizzily through space! He straightened his body into a perfect dive, and plunged safely into the sea. He crossed the narrow beach, happy to be at home again in the jungle. But suddenly the forest echoed and wild angry shouts, and a  maiden, strangely attired, ran toward him, a cry on her lips -- a cry for deliverance from some frightful danger.

As the mysterious maiden rushed into Tarzan's protecting arms two men pursued her -- one a fierce Malay, the other a villainous Arab. The Malay snarled and raised his pistol. As Tarzan whirled to protect the girl with his own body the Arab cried, " Do not fire, fool! She is precious merchandise and must bear no blemish. We must take them both alive!" He called into the forest. A strange horde surged forth -- Arabs, savage Sudanese, Lascars, snarling Malays, Chinese -- as evil a crew of renegades as was ever assembled from the backwash of Asia and the Barbary Coast.

Grasping the maiden, Tarzan sprang to an overhanging bough hoping to bear her to safety in the jungle. But hardly had he started his aerial escape when a branch snapped, and Tarzan fell with his precious burden into the hands of the enemy. The fugitives were seized and led to the ship in the hidden cove. There the Arab addressed the maiden: "You shall not leave our hands again until the highest bidder claims you in the slave market of Harakeesh! Then he pointed to Tarzan and commanded: "Chain him to an oar so that he may help speed this maiden to her fate!"

A CRY FOR HELP34.07.08: A Cry for Help
Tarzan was startled when the mysterious maiden begged of her captives. "You know my royal lineage. If I am sold into slavery I shall surely die. The Arab laughed cruelly, and the maiden turned an imploring glance on Tarzan as her only friend. The Ape-man determined to aid her if fate allowed. But the Arab ordered him chained to an oar in the row of galley slaves. soon the master of the slaves swung his lash and roused the oarsmen to their bitter labors, for now wind blew to fill the sails. So the strange ship left the hidden cove and shaped her course toward the east. On the first day, an agile Lascar fell from a mast -- though the sea was glassy calm! On the second day, the rudder shifted oddly and the Chinese helmsman was flung into the sea!

The crew grew fearful and whispered among themselves: "There are demons aboard. How do we know what accident may befall us tomorrow?"

One said: "All was well before the maiden came on board."

Another answered: "All will be well again -- if we are rid of her!" Convinced that an evil spirit was in her, they ran to seize her and hurl her into the sea. The maiden cried out in terror. And Tarzan, hearing her cry, strained  at his chains but they would not yield, even to his mighty strength!

When Tarzan tried vainly to break his chains, the master of the galley-slaves laid the lash strongly on his back. Again the maiden's cry reached the ape-man's ears as the sailors rushed to throw her overboard. In the belief that she harbored an evil spirit. Then the Arab slave merchant seeking to protect his precious merchandise, fired into the assailants. One fell; the others slunk away. Later Tarzan was brought on deck to rest, for the slave dealer desired to preserve the strength of his mightiest oarsman. Then came the roll of distant thunder. The sky grew dark. Lightning flashed. The sailors looked aloft and were afraid.

An elder among them spoke: "It is such a storm as I have never seen. Yonder clouds are the chariots of death!" Violent gusts of wind, heralds of the coming gale, struck the ship and heeled her over and waves ran high. The sailors were determined now to appease the wrath of the storm by hurling the maiden into the sea as a sacrifice! When they rushed upon her, the Arab captain fired upon them again, but they would not halt. Then mighty Tarzan battled the fanatic mob to save her but he was overpowered by force of numbers. Pleading for mercy, the hapless maiden was seized, and flung into the raging waters!

When the superstitious sailors hurled the maiden into the sea believing that she had brought the storm upon them Tarzan struggled free from his captors and dived into the raging waters to save her. She was nearly within his grasp when a surging wave cast her away again. But at last he reached her side, gripped her firmly, and began the perilous return to the ship, where he knew not what fate awaited them. There the Arab captain ordered them hauled aboard by the windlass.

On deck, Tarzan stood ready to protect the girl, but he found that those who had menaced her were now in irons. The ape-man demanded that he be freed from his slavery as a reward for rescuing the maiden. But the slave merchant feared Tarzan's miraculous strength and daring, and ordered him chained again to the oar. Then the tempest broke in all its fury. Towering waves washed over the deck. and many of the evil crew were flung into the sea. A fiery bold of lightning struck the vessel and split her side, so that she began to sink? And leaping flames, started by the lightning, spread over the foundering ship!

SEA DOOM34.07.29
When Tarzan saw the ship was doomed, he bent his mighty strength against his chains but they would not yield. His fellow slaves cried out in terror: "Unloose our shackles! If we must die, let us die like men, not rats!" The cowardly slave master paid no heed to their cries, but ran to save himself. As he passed by, Tarzan tripped him and he fell at the ape-man's feet. While he pinned the tyrant down with one foot, Tarzan thrust the shaft of his oar into the flames.

Soon it was burned through, and only the handle remained chained to his arms. Thus freed from the ponderous oar, the ape-man seized the slave master's keys and unlocked his own shackles, and those of the slave behind him. Knowing that the bondmen could now free themselves, Tarzan ran in search of the maiden, to whom he had pledged his aid. In her flame-fringed cabin he found her swooned on a couch that soon would have been her fiery coffin. Tarzan carried her to the swaying deck, and lashed her to a spar. They left the doomed ship and went down into the angry sea. But when night came on, Tarzan wondered if their escape from t he ship had not merely prolonged their final agonies.

Through the long night Tarzan pitted his strength against the angry sea, with little hope that he and the maiden would ever see land again. But as dawn filtered through the darkness, the sea grew calm, and the rising sun revealed in the distance a city of dazzling splendor. They came at last to the white beach, where they rested and recovered their strength. Then they went into the city to seek out a caravan bound for Talarsan, where the maiden's father ruled as sultan. In the bazaar, the girl inquired of a merchant what city this was, and he answered: "Our city is called Sanabar."

In Terror, the girl whispered to Tarzan: "Here dwells the Sultan Bahdin, who is at war with my father!"

They hurried to escape from the city, for if the maiden were discovered she would be taken prisoner. But as they fled a mounted herald patrolled the streets, crying: "To your knees! The Sultan rides forth!"

The people knelt and bowed for the populace was forbidden to look upon the face of their monarch. But Tarzan stood upright. He bowed to no man! Then when the royal procession passed, the maiden could not resist her desire to gaze upon the fierce visage of her father's enemy.

The Sultan's cruel eyes fell upon the two strangers and he demanded: "Who are they who dare to scorn the royal edict? Seize them!" The guards advanced to seize them, but Tarzan stood ready to resist the might of the Sultan to save the maiden and himself from capture!"

When the two mounted guards swooped down on Tarzan and the maiden, the ape-man leaped at one of them and dragged him to the ground. Then he vaulted into the saddle and drew the girl up after him. But as he spurred his horse forward, other guards came to surround him and forced him against the Sultan's camel. Desperately, Tarzan grasped the maiden and vaulted up the camel's side to the royal howdah. The astonished sultan drew his sword, but Tarzan wrested the weapon from him, and urged the camel to a fast trot. The people scattered before him. Tarzan was escaping -- with the Sultan as captive. Then the Sultan cried a command to the camel. The beast heeded his master's voice. It halted, and knelt. The pursuers surrounded and overpowered Tarzan, and the Sultan commanded that the fugitives be taken to the palace for judgment. here, in the throne hall, the monarch whispered to a courtier: "I'll make sport of this savage who thinks himself to strong. Fetch Housan!"

The Sultan then decreed a combat between Tarzan and Housan, Champion of the Royal Troupe of Wrestlers. "If you win," the Sultan said to Tarzan, "you and this maid shall win your freedom. If you lose, you shall lose your heads!"

But when the giant Housan appeared, the maiden resigned herself to death, for even the mighty Tarzan seemed small and frail beside him!

By the Sultan's command Tarzan prepared to meet Housan, Champion Wrestler of the Realm. If he won, he and the maiden would go free -- if he lost, they would lose their heads! The Great Hall filled with high officials of the court, who had been invited to witness the spectacular combat. In a shadowy corner stood the maiden, closely guarded, awaiting the battle that would determine her mate. Then the Sultan gave the signal to begin! Housan made a flying leap at the ape-man, but Tarzan stepped lightly aside, and the massive wrestler fell sprawling to the floor. Housan arose, and the two combatants soon were locked in a furious struggle.

The awkward giant, accustomed to quick victory by force of his weight, grew weary under the wiry ape-man's attack. Then Tarzan drew Housan off balance and threw him to the floor. At last the Great Hall rang with Tarzan's ape-cry of victory. The maiden ran forth to Tarzan, happy that his quest had won their freedom. Now they could journey in peace to her beloved homeland.

Just then the Grand Vizier saw her. He cried: "She is Princess Mihrama, daughter of the Sultan of Palazar, our enemy! Do not let her escape!"

In fury the Sultan shouted: "I have sworn to rid the earth of Palazar and his kin! Fate has delivered his daughter into my hands. I shall begin with her.

When Sultan Bahdin discovered that the mysterious maiden was Princess Mihrama, daughter of his enemy, he decreed that she be executed. Tarzan, enraged by this injustice, sprang at the Sultan's throat crying: "Jackal! You promised us freedom!"

But powerful guards seized the reckless ape-man and the sultan ordered that he too must die for daring to question the royal command. Tarzan and the terrified maiden were led away to the execution chamber. Where the headsman even now was sharpening his monstrous scimitar. The Sultan commanded the princess: "Kneel, and lay your head upon the block!"

Then Tarzan saw his chance. With the swiftness of lightning he seized the executioner's sword, and with it faced his enemies. The Sultan and his henchmen ran screaming down the corridor that led to the throne hall. There Tarzan found the exits blocked by soldiers. The Sultan shouted orders to take the fugitives alive. For in his cruel frenzy he desired to execute them with his own hand! So Tarzan rushed to a window and shattered it with this great sword. With the princess in his arms he leaped to the courtyard, enclosed by a stone wall that bristled with steel spikes. But the outer guard of the palace had heard the alarm, and charged across the court to seize the fugitives!

When the soldiers encircled Tarzan and the princess the Ape-man leaped high and grasped a spike atop the wall. He found a foothold. Then lowered the long sword to the girl. She gripped the hilt, and Tarzan lifted her up just in time. They descended on the other side, and fled through the streets, while sentries in the watch-towers cried out, and the whole city rang with the alarm. The streets filled with soldiers, and a lone horseman rode swiftly toward the fugitives with sword and lance.

Tarzan stood firm, with one mighty swing of his scimitar, he shattered the lance and sent the sword of his foe clattering to the ground. Tarzan sprang upon the cavalryman and dragged him from his horse. Then he and the girl mounted and rode swiftly away. But again the fugitives found their path blocked -- by a whole troop of horsemen. Swinging his sword, Tarzan charged full upon them. With wild fury, he fought his way through the stout cavalcade. As the mounted guards pursued them with fierce shouts, the fugitives turned suddenly into a narrow alleyway, and came upon a barrier. Believing the bulwark had been set up to halt his flight, Tarzan spurred his steed to jump over it. But as the horse cleared the hurdle, Tarzan and the princess found themselves plunging over a hidden precipice into the sea!

September 27, 1931 to May 2, 1937


Volume 0815

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