Tarzan and the Spanking Safari
|by Eric Blyton|
Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 15 Jun 1998
Kent woke up and found himself swaying. His head was booming in agony from where he had been hit and his arms and legs felt like they were being stretched. It was clear that he was being moved somehow. His eyes felt as if they were glued shut, but he forced them open. The morning sun was shining down through the trees and he had to blink several times before he could see anything. He was hanging from a pole; his arms were tied together by the wrists and his legs by the knees and the rest of his body was dangling. Two black men were caring the pole by the ends and there were other men walking with them. He tried to speak, but his throat was too dry and he only made a croaking sound. It took him a few moments to get some spit on his tongue and he tried again.
"What's going on?" he rasped.
The man behind him grunted and hit him in the head with his knee. Kent saw stars and his head swam. He nearly swooned from the pain but he managed to stay conscious. Trying to shake the cobwebs out of his head, he started to think. Obviously he had been unconscious all night. He remembered seeing the pack boys get killed and hearing Quartermain's voice in the distance telling everyone to run. Since he didn't see anybody else, Kent assumed that the others had gotten away. He had to trust Quartermain to mount a rescue.
The group went on. Here and there, Kent could see the Mirror Lake off to the right. He realized that they were walking towards the other end of the lake. His arms and legs felt like they were going to fall off. All the blood seemed to have run out of them and he couldn't feel his hands. The thirst was overpowering and his tongue felt like it had swelled up to twice it's normal size. His neck felt stiff from holding his head up and sweat was running down his back. Stinging insects were landing on his face and legs and he had no way to swat them. The walk seemed to go on forever, but sun had not yet reached its zenith when they came to a cleared area. Kent saw a small village ahead of them. He had no idea what was in store for him, but at least they would soon be putting him down.
As they marched into the center of the huts, the men began hooting and various other natives came out of the huts. They took Kent to the front of the largest hut and a tall man came out. Like the men who had captured him, he was only wearing a grass skirt, but unlike them, his face was covered by a frightful assortment of colors. He had a bone sticking through the widest nose Kent had ever seen and various feathers ran riot through his tangled hair. In his left hand he held a staff with what was clearly a human skull mounted on it. He grunted something to the men and they cut Kent down.
The boy fell to the ground with a thud. There was no way he could stand even if he had the inclination to try. The tall man muttered something else and the men pulled him up. Much to his dismay, they started stripping off his clothes. The villagers seemed fascinated by his white skin and apparently wanted to know if he was that color all over. Of course, he was even whiter on the areas that hadn't been in the sun, and they pointed at his pale chest and thighs in revolution. In a final indignity, the pulled off his underpants and left him naked in front of the Headman. Kent met the man's piercing gaze as he advanced on him.
"Ooogga, boogga, boogga!" the Head Man said as he leaned down and put his face right up to Kent's. The boy had to turn his face as he was hit by a blast of foul breath. He wanted to get away, but the two men on either side of him were still holding him up by the arms. The Headman ran his sweaty fingers down the boy's chest, as if to see if it were real. When he reached his hairless little cock and balls he gave them a grotesque fondle, causing Kent to shudder in revulsion. The man laughed and the boy gagged as another cloud of rotten breath hit his nose.
Standing back up, the Headman issued a few orders and the villagers cheered. Kent had no idea what the man had said, but the two men dragged him over to one of the huts and threw him in. He looked around. The door was made of stout wood; there would be no getting out that way. However, there was a small window high in the rear wall. Perhaps he could squeeze through, but he would have to recover some strength.
He was laying on a bunch of dirty straw. They had kept his clothes and he found it most uncomfortable against his naked skin. He started massaging his wrists and legs where he had been tied, trying to get the feeling back. There was also a bowl of dirty water and he managed to put a dent in his thirst. After a while he found he could stand, albeit a little unsteady. The window was too high to reach, but in a little while he figured he'd have the energy to climb up to it.
Sitting back down, he listened to the sounds of the village around him. There was a bustle of activity as if they were getting ready for a celebration. Kent's stomach turned over when he realized what the reason for this probably was. Quartermain had said that this tribe were cannibals; why else would they have kept Kent alive if not to eat him? With a gulp, he got back up and tried the window again.
He threw himself up against the wall and on the fourth try, he grasped the windowsill. It took all his strength to pull himself up, but he managed. His head was sticking out and his chest was resting on the sill. It was difficult; the window was tight and he had nothing to push his legs against, but he managed to wiggle forward until he was free down to his hips.
Suddenly, he heard a cry of alarm. Turning his head, he saw a young native girl pointing toward him and yelling her head off. Swearing at the nasty little cannibal, Kent shoved once more with his hands and fell forward. He landed in a tumble on the ground, but immediately sprang to his feet. Breaking into a run, he headed toward the bush, but already he heard sounds of pursuit.
Kent ran his heart out, but it was a doomed effort. Even at full strength he would have had trouble outrunning the warriors, and he was in bad shape. The men overtook him just shy of the tree line and dashed him to the ground. He started to cry in fear and frustration. If only that little bitch hadn't seen him! They dragged him back and he found himself back in front of the Headman. The man jabbered angrily in his face and suddenly Kent found himself getting angry. These people wanted to eat him; what right did they have to get angry if he tried to escape? Gathering his nerve, he spit full in the man's face.
"Take that, you bastard savage!" he yelled to the shocked Headman. The stunned expression on the man's face gave him a moment of unexpected triumph.
It didn't last long, however. The Headman barked out a few more orders and the men threw Kent to the ground. One of them ran into the Headman's hut and came out with what was clearly a rawhide whip. Kent cringed on the ground and tried to get up, but the other man put his foot on his back, pinning him. The Headman took the whip and brought it down on Kent's bare back, CRACK!
Kent screamed in agony. This was nothing like the hidings Quartermain had given him! The whip left a strip of raw agony on his back and already it was descending again, CRACK!
This one landed on his buttocks, breaking the skin and causing him to screech again. The Headman brought the whip down over and over, on Kent's back, bottom and legs. As his skin was laid open, Kent found himself slipping towards blessed unconsciousness, but he never got there. The Headman stopped and handed the whip back to one of his men.
Kent was unable to move. He felt the blood flowing down his body; already beginning to clot in the hot sun of the African afternoon. The only sound coming out of his mouth was a low moaning; he no longer had the energy to scream, even though his entire back half was alight with fire. The Headman spoke again and Kent was pulled back to his feet. The movement caused the pain to intensify and he cried out. He saw that the Headman was holding a sharp wooden spear and he found himself praying that the man was not about to run him through. Instead the Headman just poked him several times, lastly on his shriveled testicles. He didn't know if they planned to unman him, but he hoped that if they were planning to do that, they would kill him first.
To his relief, the Headman put down the spear and stepped back, issuing new orders. The man dragged him toward the other side of the village. His relief evaporated when he saw where they were taking him. Just beyond the huts was standing a huge cast iron pot on top of a bunch of unlit wood. Kent didn't know where these primitive people would have gotten an iron pot, but he understood its purpose well enough. The men took him over to it and threw him in. When the water hit his wounds, he screamed in fresh agony. Thrashing about, he found he could stand. Various vegetables and other plants were floating in the pot with him. When he could think clearly, he realized that the spices in the water were what had burned his raw back and thighs, but fortunately the pain had eased slightly.
The fire had not yet been lit, but most of the village had assembled around the pot. They formed a ring around it and started to dance in a circle. The men held their spears high and they started chanting gibberish. One old man was sitting on a log and he started to beat a wooden drum. The dancers followed the beat and Kent found the whole thing very surreal. He couldn't believe this was happening. Where were his father and Quartermain?
NEARBY, IN THE BUSHES
The drumbeat lead Boy to the village. He knew enough about native music to know that the cannibals were working themselves into a frenzy. If they hadn't killed the white boy, they would soon. There was no time to waste or go get Tarzan. He had to rescue him! What would Tarzan do? Boy figured Tarzan would swing into the center of the village and scare them all. That wouldn't work for Boy. He decided that he'd better have a look before he came up with any plan. Moving quietly, he made it to the edge of the bushes.
He'd come to the side of the village opposite to where the natives were dancing; from where he was, it looked deserted. Seeing that the coast was clear, he dashed from under the protective cover to the back of one of the huts. Ever so quietly and carefully, he eased his way around the building and dashed to the next hut. He could hear the drumbeat getting louder as he made his way through the village. As he reached the other side, he took refuge in an empty hut and looked out the window toward the dancing savages. He could see that someone was in the pot, but the ring of cannibals made it impossible for him to make any details. Boy had no idea how to enact a rescue, but as it was he never got a chance.
He was startled by a loud yell and he turned around to see a girl standing in the doorway of the hut pointing at him. He ran to try and get out, but she tripped him. Boy was vaguely aware that the drumbeat had stopped and then he was swept up by a group of warriors.
"Let me go!" he shouted, but they ignored him. They took him to a man Boy immediately recognized as the village Headman.
"You better let me go!" he said to the Headman. "Tarzan will get you if you don't."
The Headman just threw back his head and laughed. Clearly, this threat didn't faze him. He issued a few orders in a dialect Boy did not understand and the villagers cheers. One of the men held him fast while another stripped of his breechcloth, leaving him naked. They held him up and started taking him in the direction of the pot.
Kent had wondered why the drums and dancing had stopped. He had hoped that Quartermain was beginning to mount a rescue, but now it didn't seem so. Perhaps everyone had been killed when the cannibals attacked. Still, he was shocked to see the villagers returning with a naked white boy held high. They threw him in with Kent and cheered. The drums resumed and the reformed circle of cannibals continued their dance.
"Who are you?" asked Kent when the other boy righted himself and bobbed to the surface.
"I'm Boy," was the answer.
"Well, yes, of course you're a boy, but what's your name?"
"Boy IS my name," Boy said. "What's yours?"
"Kent Attwood. How did you get here. Did you see Mr. Quartermain or my father?"
"No, I didn't see anybody. I was in the village with Tarzan when I heard that the Wamalama had captured a white boy. Tarzan was getting a group together to try and rescue you, but I wanted to try and rescue you myself. I guess I didn't do a very good job."
Kent found this a little hard to follow, but it seemed that there was some hope there.
"Who is Tarzan?"
"He's my father. He's the Lord of the Jungle."
"Do you think he'll come to rescue us?"
"He was getting a group together to attack this village, but he thought he had until tomorrow night. I don't know when he'll come."
"Soon, I hope," Kent said. "These cannibals are getting pretty wild."
Dusk started to fall and one by one, the natives lit torches. The firelight flickered in the clearing as Boy and Kent continued to talk. Neither of them had much hope left, but telling each other their stories kept their mind occupied. Boy was a bit too short to stand, except on tiptoe and he was getting tired of treading water. Kent offered to hold the younger boy, even though it hurt his back to do so. The moon came up, nearly full, but not quite. As the drumming reached a fever pitch, one of the natives threw a torch under the pot. The dry wood quickly lit and soon there was a blazing fire heating the pot. Kent and Boy started to panic. They tried to slosh water out of the pot to put out the fire, but the sides were too high for them to be able to get much out. Kent tried to lift Boy out of the pot, but he was roughly shoved back with a spear. The water was getting hot and Kent could no longer keep his feet on the iron bottom. Kent decided that since he was going to die, he'd rather it be on the end of a spear than being boiled alive. He gathered his flagging strength for one last leap.
Suddenly, there was a loud whoosh and a bright flare streaked across the sky. From the west there came a loud cry.
Furiously treading water so that he could see over the top of the pot, Kent saw a group of men running toward them from the west. A white man with no shirt on was leading them. Turning to the east, he saw another group of men being lead by Quartermain and Jorro. The air was filled with spears, arrows, and the occasional gunshot. Kent saw the Headman spin around with an arrow through his eye. The cannibal clawed at his face as he fell to the ground dead. Kent watched with primal delight as the girl who had spotted him escaping (and had also been responsible for Boy being caught) was impaled by a thrown spear. After an arrow whizzed past his ear, he decided it was safer under the water. He told Boy to take a deep breath and they ducked beneath the rapidly warming water.
They were under for a little less than a minute, but when they broke the surface, they could tell things had changed. The cannibals were dead or fleeing. Kent heard Quartermain's voice cut through the air.
"Tip the pot over! Get them out of there!" Several strong men pushed against the rim, covering their hands with animal skins to protect them and turned the pot on its side. Kent, Boy, and various vegetables came tumbling out along with a flood of water. The fire had been made in a small depression and so the rushing water put it out.
"Are you all right?" Quartermain asked as he rushed up to Kent. Kent didn't answer, he just ran up to the man and gave him a big hug. Quartermain returned it, but Kent stiffened in pain as the his arms brushed up against the boy's wounded back. Quartermain swore softly when he saw the injuries. Tarzan had also reached the pot and Boy was hugging him just as enthusiastically.
"What happened? How did you find us?" Kent asked.
"Not just now, Kent," Quartermain said. Let's finish up here, first. We have a camp set up just beyond that hill. Once we're safely there, I'll tell you everything."
The men were setting fire to the village. There were few survivors from the assault. The children were rounded up to be taken back to Tarzan's village. They'd be raised by foster parents there. The few men who had been captured alive were killed on the spot. The handful of women were taken by men who had no wives. With the cannibal village burning behind them, the victorious party made there way to the camp.
Quartermain had wrapped Kent in his safari jacket and was carrying him on his back. Boy was being led by Tarzan, who was walking on the ground for once. The walk lasted about half an hour and then they reached the camp. There were several men guarding it and they cheered when they saw Kent and Boy safe and sound. Sir George met them and looked at his son holding on the Quartermain's back.
"Good to see you safe, son," he said in a soft voice.
"You to, Dad," Kent said. He knew that was the most he'd ever g