THE HAND OF FATE ~ 34.03.04As the brigand lifted his knife to strike Tarzan, Kamur toppled his giant body against the outlaw, who fell on his own blade. Swiftly the ape-man arose and freed his friends, and with their bonds the enemy archers were confined. Then Tarzan and Kamur descended to the Brigands' cave. The great stone door was ajar. Awaiting the return of the bowmen. In a cavern hall they saw the outlaws making merry during the absence of their stern chieftain. Swiftly they closed the door and sealed it with the stout crossbar. Advancing silently, they sprang upon the two sentinels, and rescued Nikotris from the dungeon. Nikotris and Kamur departed for the mountain fastnesses of the Ibeks, while Tarzan set out for the city to restore Hotep to his grieving family.
At nightfall Tarzan came to the outskirts of the capital. He avoided the busy city gates, for Hotep was a fugitive from the human sacrifice to Moloch. With the boy clinging to his belt the ape-man scaled the high wall. Inside the city, they sought the darkest streets, but as they neared Hotep's home they fell under spying eyes. The boy's mother wept with joy at sight of her son, but her happiness was checked by the shadow of his fate. Through the secret door she hurried him to concealment in an underground chamber, but as he disappeared, soldiers burst into the room demanding that Hotep be delivered to them in the name of Moloch, the god who hungered for human life!
CONDEMNED ~ 34.03.11
When the temple guard demanded that Hotep be delivered for the sacrifice, his frantic mother Ra-Noon protested he was not there. But the captain answered: "Our eyes are as a thousand eyes, and they beheld your son enter this house. Yield him, or you shall die in his stead. In his underground chamber; Hotep heard, and cried out; for the life of his mother was dearer to him than his own. The soldiers advanced toward the trap-door, but Tarzan, enraged by the cruelty of Hotep's fate, ignored the superior power of the guards and flung himself in their path. The ape-man fought with the fury of a tiger. Two soldiers felt the keen edge of his knife, which flashed like lightning, but at last he was conquered by force of numbers. Then Tarzan, Ra-Noon, and Hotep were led in chains through the streets, and they were brought into the mystic presence of the high priest who dispatched an order that fresh fuel be heaped on the sacrificial fires.
Then he pronounced judgment: "As you have aroused the fiery wrath of Moloch, so shall you perish in flames to appease him."
THE PHARAOH'S COMMAND ~ 34.03.18
When the high priest pronounced the sentence of sacrificial death on Hotep, his mother and the ape-man, Tarzan sought an appeal to the pharaoh.
The priest replied: "Tutamken is gone on a far journey, and Moloch's wrath must be appeased at once." But he knew that the pharaoh would soon return, and feared that the sacrifice would be halted. So the victims were led forth speedily to the sacrifice, as the red hands of Moloch descended to clutch them Tutamken returned, and entered the temple to repeat the prayers which the holy scrolls ordained at the end of the journey.
"Faster! Faster!" cried the high priest to the servitors who operated the heavy chains that moved the arms of the devouring idol. But Tarzan saw the pharaoh and cried the jungle call of distress. Tutamken recognized his friend, and ran to stop the sacrifice.
Then Tarzan related how he had rescued Nikotris, and in return he pleaded that Hotep and Ra-Noon be spared, saying: "Let their guilt rest on me."
Tutamken answered: "The ransom I offered for Nikotris, my sister, was seized by the Brigands. Retrieve it, Tarzan, and you shall all go free."
Two soldiers of the pharaoh's bodyguard were assigned to accompany Tarzan on his perilous mission, But the high priest, remembering the fate of his predecessor at Tarzan's hands, dispatched three of the temple spies to follow with orders that "Tarzan must not return alive!"
TREACHERY ~ 34.03.25
While Hotep and his mother were locked in a secret dungeon Tarzan and the two soldiers journeyed to retrieve the stolen treasure which was the price of freedom for the mother and child. Swiftly they were trailed by the high priest's men, who had vowed to their master that Tarzan should not return alive. Once, while the Ape-man halted to refresh himself with cool water, the pursuers forged ahead and prepared to set upon Tarzan and his companions from ambush. But at the last moment, their coward hearts cautioned them against bold attack.
Then said one to the others: "Let us pretend we are his friends. So shall we approach near to him when he is at ease, and so shall we slay him." They hailed Tarzan and said they were sent by the pharaoh to aid in the quest for the treasure, and Tarzan received them as friends.
The party came at last to the forest atop the brigand's cavern, and the Ape-man advised that the soldiers search the jungle for outlaw sentinels. Tarzan himself crept to the edge of the ravine to survey the entrance to the brigand's stronghold. But the three henchmen of the high priest circled to the rear of him, and approached with drawn knives to slay him and topple his body into the deep ravine!
VAPORS OF DEATH ~ 34.04.01
When his cowardly foes were almost upon him, Tarzan arose from the cliff's edge and they drew back silently into the veil of foliage. The Ape-man set out to explore the forest. Ahead of him he saw a plume of smoke rising from a crevice. By this he knew the brigands in their cave were preparing a feast. Then he conceived a brilliant stratagem. He guided his men to the boiling springs nearby, and gathered sulphur deposited by the steaming waters. They poured the sulphur into the fissure, so that it would fall on the fire below, hoping that the stifling fumes would drive the murderous outlaws from their underground lair. The brigands believed the fire god had become angry and sought to slay them, for some fell gasping and screaming to the earth, and over the others the blue flames of burning sulphur cast the pallor of death. The alarm echoed through the cavern, and the outlaws fled in wild panic before this deadly magic. With fearful frenzy they unsealed the massive door, and scurried up the ladders to safety. Tarzan and his company watched the terrified brigands racing through the forest to escape the demons which they believed were pursuing them. Then the Ape-man descended to find the stolen treasure in the cavern. But one of his treacherous companions made ready to topple the ladder into the abyss!
DOGS OF WAR ~ 34.04.08
When the spy gripped the ladder to hurl Tarzan to his doom, one of his allies whispered: "Spare him now, for we shall need his aid in bearing the treasure through the jungle."
So Tarzan descended to the cavern, now cleared of the fumes of sulphur by which he had routed the brigands. In a secret recess he found the chests of gold. The company transported the treasure to a hidden glade. There to organize their caravan to carry it to the city.
Meanwhile the outlaws continued their headlong flight, still believing they were pursued by demons, and never suspecting they had been victims of Tarzan's trick. They took refuge in their emergency stockade, a stronghold against mortal enemies and ringed around with charms to ward off evil spirits. Here they kept a cage of wild dogs, fiercest of all jungle creatures, to release against those who would besiege them. As the brigands streamed into the stockade, one stumbled against the delicate trigger that controlled the door of the cage. The door sprang open, and the savage dogs took to the hunt, hungry and full of the lust for blood. In the deep forest, their keen nostrils caught the scent of Tarzan and his company. With the precision of a trained army, they rushed to the attack. Tarzan saw their swift charge. He might have escaped into the trees, but his companions had no skill in jungle ways, so he remained to defend them.
TANTOR THE ELEPHANT ~ 34.04.15
As the fierce leader of the wild dogs sprang at Tarzan's throat with fangs bared, the Ape-man dealt a mortal blow with is sharp knife. When they witnessed the swift doom of their leader, the others of the pack knew Tarzan for their strongest foe, and singled him out for attack. The two soldiers of the pharaoh's bodyguard gave him aid, but the cowardly henchmen of the high priest sought to escape, leaving their comrades to the vengeance of the pack. But as they fled, they heard in front of them the trumpeting of a wild elephant, and new fear seized them. Then they were startled by a wild, triumphant cry from Tarzan, the elephant bellowed in answer, and charged toward him. Once Tarzan had saved Tantor the elephant from a trap, and Tantor remembered; so when he saw the Ape-man menaced by the rebels of the jungle, he lunged into the fray. Tantor trampled the savage dogs under foot, and with his powerful trunk he flung them against great trees, until at last they were vanquished. Then, obeying Tarzan, Tantor summoned two more elephants from the jungle. Their broad backs were laden with the chests of gold for the triumphant journey to the city. But when the caravan came to an open expanse in the forest, a brigand sentry spied it from a watchtower of the hidden stockade, and cried and alarm. And the outlaws streamed from the gate vowing to recover their rich loot and wreak vengeance on its captors!
ELEPHANT WARRIORS ~ 34.04.22
The brigand horde swarmed across the plain, their archers flanked by swordsmen and strong armed lancers. Tarzan knew there was no escape except through victory, and victory seemed impossible. So Tarzan resolved on artful warfare, and bound the swords of his men to the trunks and tusks of the elephants.
"To battle, Tantor!" the Ape-man cried.
The giant elephant trumpeted fiercely as he led his companions into the fray! When the outlaws saw the great armed beasts advancing, they were seized with terror and turned to flee, but they were rallied by their stern chieftain Sathor. Thus was the battle joined. Tarzan's company poured arrows into the brigand ranks. But the enemy archers were too close-pressed to draw their bows. The great elephants charged furiously into the battle, swinging their weaponed trunks. A reckless brigand penetrated the phalanx of flashing steel and thrust his sword at Tantor. The elephant swayed and escaped the blow, and trampled the outlaw to the ground. Then agile Sathor swung up Tantor's side to slay Tarzan. The Ape-man met the bold attack and flung off the brigand chieftain. But from the fringe of the outlaw horde, a lancer raised his mighty arm and hurled a spear at Tarzan's head.
TANTOR'S SACRIFICE ~ 34.04.29
The brigands saw the spear flying toward Tarzan's head, and believed that the death of the Ape-man would bring them victory. Then Tantor, the elephant, saw the speeding lance. He reared upward to protect his friend Tarzan and received the spearhead in his trunk. When the marauders beheld the miracle of Tarzan's escape, they cried out: "He is truly a son of the demons, and with their aid he will conquer us."
The tide of panic surged through the outlaw horde, and they fled across the plain, bearing their wounded with them. As the brigands vanished Tarzan removed the spear from Tantor's trunk, and tenderly anointed the wound with a healing balsam. Then the caravan resumed its journey to restore the stolen treasure to the pharaoh. When Ra, the sun, sank in the west Tarzan and his companions halted for the night in a jungle glade. The elephants were ranged about to protect the company from the fierce beasts of the jungle. While the others slept, the three henchmen of the high priest signaled one another and withdrew beyond the guarded circle.
Then one spoke: "Tomorrow we shall come to the city. So, tonight we must slay Tarzan, according to the bidding of our master, the high priest."
"Let us kill them all and bear the treasure in secret to the high priest," said another. "Thus shall we win his favor."
Together the conspirators crept forward to execute their treacherous plot!
THE AVENGING ELEPHANTS ~ 34.05.06
As the high priest's spies crept forward to slay Tarzan and his companions, Tantor the elephant swayed nervously and snapped a twig. Tarzan sprang up in alarm. A cry of dismay escaped his lips at this unforeseen assault. Tantor knew now his friend was in peril. He plunged forward and seized an attacker in his trunk. The other elephants followed his example. Before Tarzan could stay them, the avenging elephants hurled the traitors to their doom!
At dawn Tarzan and the two soldiers of the pharaoh resumed their journey to the Egyptian city, where the caravan was received with rejoicing by the pharaoh Tutamken for Tarzan had saved the kingdom by recovering the stolen treasure. Tutamken dispatched a messenger then to order the release of Hotep and his mother, for Tarzan had paid the price of their freedom.
Then wrathful Haithoreb, the high priest, hastened to the palace for he was an enemy of the pharaoh, and feared Tarzan as Tutamken's ally. Boldly he demanded of the Ape-man: "What have you done with the men I sent to aid you?"
"A just fate befell them," Tarzan answered, and related the strange manner of their death.
"You slew them!" Haithoreb charged. "And it is written that he who is accused of bringing harm to my servants shall stand trial before the court of priests!" Vengeance blazed in the high priest's eyes. For already he pictured the verdict of the court that he controlled, and the tortures that would attend the doom of Tarzan!
THE TRIAL OF TARZAN ~ 34.05.13
Without fear Tarzan awaited the trial for the murder of the high priest's men, for he believed his innocence was his shield. But Haithoreb, the wicked high priest, said to the temple judges in secret conclave: "Tarzan must be destroyed!"
Then Haithoreb conducted his court of priests solemnly to their dais in the Hall of Judgment, where nobles and princes and great ones of the realm were gathered in awe to witness the drama of the Ape-man's trial. Tutamken, the pharaoh, sat on a lower throne, for within these walls the high priest was supreme. All was in readiness. The great gong of the temple boomed, and Tarzan was led forth to judgment. Still the Ape-man knew no fear when the scribe pronounced the charge that he had slain three retainers of the high priest.
Tarzan answered boldly: "They sought my life and my faithful elephants slew them."
Then the high priest declared: "The tongues of men can bear false witness. You shall be judged by Maat, Goddess of Justice."
So Haithoreb commanded that the two sacred caskets of Maat be brought to him, and said, "In each I shall place a token -- one inscribed with the symbol of innocence, and one with the sign of guilt. The invisible hand of the goddess shall guide you to a rightful choice." Then Haithoreb smiled craftily, for both tokens were marked with the symbol of guilt!
TARZAN'S DILEMMA ~ 34.05.20
With anxious hearts, the multitude heard the high priest Haithoreb command Tarzan to choose one of the sacred caskets, saying, "If you are without blame in the death of my men, the Goddess of Justice will guide you to the casket where lies the token of innocence. Choose!"
The Ape-man saw he could not escape this unjust trial, but he believed he had an equal chance to choose aright. He stepped forward. Then Tutamken feigned a fit of coughing, in the midst of which he uttered the monkey cry of warning, for in his boyhood he had learned the monkey language. The Ape-man heard and understood, and he knew some trickery was afoot. His arrow-swift wit told him now that each casket contained a token of guilt! But firmly he seized one of the sacred boxes, while Haithoreb smiled artfully, for now his enemy was surely trapped!
Then Tarzan flung the casket into the fire-urn, crying: "This one I choose! Open the other! Whichever token it contains is the opposite of my choice!"
The high priest could do naught but obey and lift on high the symbol of guilt from the rejected chest. The spectators cheered Tarzan for they believed the chosen casket had contained the sign of innocence and Haithoreb could not deny it. The Ape-man thought himself free, but the old scribe, learned in the law, cried, "Lay hold of him!" -- and read from the book of justice.
THE HOUSE OF DEATH ~ 34.05.27
As special penalty for burning the sacred symbol of Maat, Tarzan was led, away to the House of Death, to await execution. Here skilled workmen hammered out death masks of gold, fashioned coffins, and prepared mummies for the tomb, while priests chanted magic incantations. Tarzan was left free to pace these gloomy chambers, so that his tortured mind might dwell on his approaching fate. In the sixth hour of the day came news of the death of Prince Menotep, general of the army and kinsman of the pharaoh. Soon the artisans were laboring zealously to fit out a funeral worthy of his rank. . . and Tarzan was forgotten. Then came the night before the entombment. In the deserted workroom, Tarzan gazed upon the royal mummy case, and conceived a dangerous plan. Through the mummy case he pierced small holes to give air and vision. Then he disguised himself as a mummy, and descended into the coffin, from which he planned to escape when it was carried out. The pallbearers who came at dawn believed all was in readiness, and bore away the coffin and stone sarcophagus. But outside, an escort of soldiers encircled the bier for the solemn march to the funeral barge. Thus escape was blocked! And Tarzan knew that discovery of his deception would bring tortures more horrible than living burial!
WITHIN THE TOMB ~ 34.06.03
Surrounded by the spears of the military escort, Tarzan dared not spring form the coffin in which he had hidden to escape the House of Death. With solemn rites, the mummy case was soon embarked on the funeral barge, and none suspected that it did not contain the dead prince Menotep. In the wake of the floating bier rode the ceremonial galley of the pharaoh and a host of vessels laden with mourners. At last they reached the Valley of the Royal Tombs. Then, to the doleful rhythm of a dirge, the procession trod the lane of death to the sombre "Mastaba" which had been built as the "Eternal House" of Prince Menotep. Tarzan knew it now for his own tomb! Through a labyrinth of gloomy corridors marched the stately procession to the secret chamber of the vault. There, while the high priest chanted mystic words, the coffin was placed in the sarcophagus, and the pallbearers began to lower it into the shaft.
Then Tarzan's voice boomed from the depths: "I am Prince Menotep. I have visited the realm of the gods and they have granted me a new span of life. Lift me!"
Believing some great magic had been wrought by the gods, the high priest commanded the trembling pallbearers to hoist the sarcophagus. Then Tarzan, in his mummy's disguise, raised the stone lid -- a feat of strength which the onlookers believed could be performed only with divine aid. But as he moved toward freedom, a terrified spectator fell in a faint and struck him. The death mask dropped, and Tarzan's face was revealed!
THE RIVER OF CROCODILES ~ 34.06.10
When the death mask fell and exposed Tarzan's disguise, the high priest frantically summoned the soldiers, who stormed into the chamber of the vault with spears raised to run the Ape-man through. But Tarzan retreated and hoisted the great lid of the sarcophagus as a shield. Thus protected, he crept along the wall, entered the corridor, and blocked the passage with the stone shell. So great was the haste of the soldiers in pulling away the obstruction that it fell and wounded them grievously. Tarzan fled through the corridors and came to the doorway, where the outer guard blocked his escape! But before they could seize him, he leaped to a tree. While the soldiers stood powerless he paused and ripped away the confining mummy bandages. Then he swung from tree to tree down the long lane of death that stretched from the tomb to the river where he found a dugout and set out to brave the crocodile-infested stream. He paddled swiftly, resolved to leave forever this strange Egyptian land where death constantly shadowed his footsteps. But a giant saurian, rising from the slimy depths, capsized the frail craft, and Tarzan was flung toward the gaping jaws of the monster!
JAWS OF DEATH ~ 34.06.17
(coming next week)
The exciting new adventure:
Tarzan and the Mysterious Maiden
Debut June 17, 1933
Hawk of the Desert
Hulvia, The Beautiful
Lenida, The Lion Tamer
Return of Korak
Egyptian Saga I: Monkey Man
Egyptians Saga II: Wrath of Gods
Egyptians Saga III: Sun God
Egyptians Saga IV
Egyptians Saga V: Child/Fire
Egypt Saga VI: Pharaoh Command
The Mysterious Maiden
WEBJED: BILL HILLMAN
Visit our thousands of other sites at:
BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN ECLECTIC STUDIO
All ERB Images© and Tarzan® are Copyright ERB, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work © 1996-2002/2004 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners