Hans de Groote
"the wild man" (Tarzan) (Che, Lord Forest)
Schmidt (the second mate)
Lum Kip (the Chinaman)
Lascars (East Indian native sailors)
Jabu Singh (a Lascar)
Col. William Cecil, Hugh Percival Leigh
Oubanovich (a Communist)
Thak Chan (a Mayan hunter)
Chal Yip Xiu (high priest of Mayans)
Chuldrup (a Lascar)
Cit Coh Xiu (King of Uxmal Island)
Captain Larsen (named, but unseen)
EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS'
Tarzan and the Castaways
Copyright © 2000
The first story in Tarzan and the Castaways is a solid little Tarzan story beside which the other two in this book are mere bagatelles. We can't credit or blame Burroughs for this grouping because it was Richard A. Lupoff who gathered these late Tarzan stories this way for his Canaveral Press Edition in 1965. (The stories are: "Tarzan and the Castaways", "Tarzan and the Champion", and "Tarzan and the Jungle Murders".)
"Tarzan and the Castaways" is a two-part story. The first part takes place on the high seas. It is a tale of prisoners in iron cages on the deck of a ship that reminds one of Burroughs' The Lad and the Lion, but it is a wonderful little story filled with humor. The second part takes place in a lost city of the Mayans in the middle of the South Seas. The following is a chapter summary of the whole.
In a brief frame, a mysterious person tells of Mayan history -- how an island of Uxmal in the South Pacific was named after Uxmal in Yucatan.
A nasty German animal dealer, Fritz Krause, makes a deal with Abdullah, the Arab, to capture a wild man who suffers from loss of speech -- aphasia.
The wild man is captured and held in a cage for a sea transfer to the animal collector's steamer, the Saigon. Abdullah's dhow is destroyed during the transfer, so he is forced to go to America with Krause and the wild man.
Pretty Janette does not like the fact that a white man is held in a cage; neither does first mate, Hans de Groote, a Dutchman. They transfer the wild man to an iron cage and Janette cuts his bonds. They feed him raw meat, and he eats it, growling like a lion. Abdullah says he is called "Tarzan of the Apes."
The second mate, Schmidt, plans a mutiny. Germany and England have gone to war (WWII) and they plan to take this English ship as a prize of war.
Tarzan knows who he is -- he just can't talk. He knows he can easily bend the bars of his cage, but he is biding his time.
The Chinaman, Lum Kip, tells de Groote that Abdullah and Schmidt along with the evil Lascars (East Indian native sailors) plan to take over the ship, but it is too late. The deed is done.
Schmidt, a psychopath with an inferiority complex, pokes at Tarzan with a harpoon, and Tarzan takes it. Now he is armed.
Janette is put in a wooden cage on deck next to de Groote and Krause, who are put in an iron cage. Schmidt tries to have some "fun" by forcing Janette into Tarzan's cage. Tarzan hands her his harpoon, which angers Schmidt. (Tarzan not only cannot speak, but he cannot understand any language!)
Overnight Tarzan regains his speech and understanding! Tarzan converses with Janette in French. He manages to get a pistol from Schmidt, but he is shot by Jabu Singh, one of the Lascars.
An English yacht happens to pass by, and the pirates take it as well.
Tarzan's head was merely grazed by the bullet. Schmidt puts seven English men and women in two more cages on the deck of the Saigon. They are fed, and Tarzan plays the beast, growling and eating raw meat shocking the English ladies and gentlemen. Tarzan pretends to be a cannibal at the suggestion of Janette.
Tarzan talks with Patricia Leigh-Burden, a young English woman prisoner. Col. William Cecil Hugh Percival Leigh (Patricia's uncle) was inspired to go to the South Seas by reading Beebe's "Arcturus Adventure." They suffer the elements without food in a three-day storm. In the night Tarzan spreads the bars of his cage and steps out.
Tarzan takes the keys from their keeper and frees everyone. Tarzan and de Groote retake the ship and cage the villains (Schmidt and his Lascars). Abdullah tries to shoot Tarzan.
Tarzan overpowers Abdullah and throws him in the cage with Krause and Schmidt. The storm returns. A bunch of Lascars take to a life boat as they approach an island. They make it ashore, so one group is separated form the other. Just before the ship strikes the reef, Tarzan frees the prisoners.
The ship hangs on the reef a moment, "a bally old tub full of wild animals sitting high and dry on top of Mount Ararat." Tarzan saves both the people and the animals. He saves Orangutans, elephants, lions and tigers, but lets the snakes drown. "Histah the snake, has always been by enemy; him we shall destroy."
They set up camp by a stream observed by a dozen strange men.
Tarzan sends the villains away to set up their own camp. The Communist, Oubanovich, makes a speech about Tarzan the bourgeoisie. Tarzan goes hunting with the orangutans and talks to the elephants his has set on the island.
Tarzan saves Thak Chan, a Mayan hunter from one of the lions he has just placed on the island by killing it!
Thak Chan thinks Tarzan is a god, Che, Lord Forest. He thinks the orangs are gods too. Thak Chan takes Tarzan to his city of Chichen Itza. They show him to Chal Yip Xiu, the high priest who decides he is not a god but an excellent sacrifice to the true gods.
Tarzan briefly escapes but is knocked unconscious by a stone from a sling. He is placed in a wooden cage inside a cell made of blocks of lava.
Tarzan quickly removes a bar from the cage and steps out. When a guard enters the room, he kills him with the wooden bar club. He sees a girl (Itzl Cha) about to be sacrificed on an altar and comes to her rescue, carrying her away. They are chased by a howling mob, but they escape into the forest.
The castaways under Colonel Leigh run a model camp. Three of the men, Algernon Wright-Smith, Captain Bolton, and Dr. Crouch go hunting for food and are comically treed by a Bengal tiger.
The party of villains argue amongst themselves over leadership. Schmidt finally gets one of the Lascars (Chuldrup) to go and spy on the other castaways. He decides to desert the villains and join the "good guys" but is eaten by the tiger who has treed the three men.
Tarzan and Itzl Cha meet the orangutans. She is convinced Tarzan is indeed Che, Lord Forest. They ride an elephant back to the castaways. He puts Patricia in charge of the girl. Mrs. Leigh (Penelope) is offended by her nakedness, but Tarzan says, ""It is your evil mind that needs clothes." He warns them of imminent attack from the Mayans.
(The prudery of Penelope is a running commentary throughout this half of the story, sometimes bitter, sometimes comical.)
Nothing happens for six weeks in which Itzl Cha learns English and Tarzan learns Mayan. (Dr. Crouch mentions the possibility of solving the riddles of Mayan hieroglyphs.) During his conversations with Itzl Cha, Tarzan discovers there are also native cannibals living on the island (a thread that is not developed further). They decide to build a ship to escape the island.
The villain's camp splits in two -- the 15 Lascars refuse to take any more orders from the white men. Oubanovich, the Communist, is delighted at this (comical) "uprising of the proletariat." He wants to lead them, but they tell him to "Get Out!" At night, one of the Lascars is eaten by a lion, then another one the next night. Everyone builds sleeping platforms in the trees. For safety's sake, the white men villains decide to join Tarzan's group.
The Lascars follow them. Tarzan decided to explore the island. Patricia follow him after he has refused to take her along. Itzl Cha is jealous.
Finally the Mayans send 100 warriors to retrieve their sacrifice, Itzl Cha. When Krause, Schmidt, Oubanovich, & Abdullah arrive at the camp, they are allowed to remain by Col Bolton (and Penelope's insistence) despite Tarzan's previous orders. Patricia is attacked by a tiger and she shoots her rifle at it.
The men hear the shots and go to help Patricia. The villains take advantage of the situation by taking guns, supplies, and abducting Janette.
Xatl Din and his 100 warriors find Patricia and the dead tiger. She is captured. Col. Leigh's rescue party is attacked by the same warriors but are driven off. The men get lost and arrive back at their own camp to discover the theft and abduction. de Groote, Tibbet, and two other men go to her rescue.
Tarzan hears the gun shots and goes to Schmidt's camp and finds the villains returning with the guns and the girl.
Meanwhile, Patricia is brought to Cit Coh Xiu, King of Uxmal Island. He decides to "keep her awhile" instead of sacrificing her immediately. Patricia claims she is the mate of Lord Forest and is remanded to The Temple of the Virgins.
Tarzan kills Krause with an arrow through the heart. Zip! He tells them to release Janette and they do so. Schmidt fires toward the jungle, and Tarzan shoots him also. Zip! Tarzan and Janette go back to Camp Saigon.
de Groote's party arrives and they shoot Oubanovich and Abdullah. Bang! Bang! (Schmidt is still alive at this time, writhing and screaming in agony with an arrow sticking out of his chest.) They also go back to Camp Saigon.
Tarzan learns of Patricia's abduction by the Mayans. He plans to rescue her by night, so jealous Itzl Cha runs away. de Groote's party arrives back at camp, to Janette's delight. They learn of the deaths of the other villains. "I am glad, said Tarzan, "they were bad men."
Out of jealousy, Itzl betrays Tarzan's planned rescue of Patricia. They reward her by putting her in a cage to await sacrifice. Thus betrayed, Tarzan is captured in a net in the Temple of the Virgins. They take him along with Patricia and Itzl to an extinct volcano. They throw Tarzan into the chasm.
Tarzan swims in a pool 70 feet below the rim of the volcano. Patricia tells him he has to remain afloat until noon (an example of a Mayan "well sacrifice." She also says that she loves him.
Tarzan swims until noon, so they send down a rope. As the confirmed Lord Forest, he tells the priests to reform and walks away with Patricia. He also demands the release of Itzl Cha the betrayer.
Tarzan calls Tantor, and they ride away in peace.
Penelope finds out that Tarzan is really Lord Greystoke, and she changes her mind about him and his nakedness. Patricia learns of Tarzan's marriage, but she says she will always love him.
A ship arrives and all are saved. de Groote plans to marry Janette aboard the ship on their journey home.
*Note: There is a mysterious Captain Larsen, who is the real captain of the Saigon who is never seen in the story. He lies sick in his cabin. He is either dead or Burroughs forgot about him entirely. Perhaps Tarzan did eat him as suggested in chapter six. (Wolf Larsen wolfed by the Ape-Man.)