Exploring the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
ERBLIST FEATURES FAQs, Articles, Reviews, Persona Directory, Hall of Memory SUMMARY PROJECT Summarizing ERB's works one chapter at a time FAN FICTION Shorts, Novels, Poetry, Plays, Pulps ERBmania! Articles, Contributors: Tangor Responds, Edgardemain, ERB: In Focus, Nkima Speaks, Beyond 30W, Tantor Trumpets, Dime Lectures, Korak in Pal-ul-don, Public Domain novels of ERB GLOSSARIES Worlds of: Barsoom, Pellucidar, Moon, Amtor, Caspak, Pal-u-don
Lieutenant Paul D’Arnot
John Clayton - Lord Greystoke, Tarzan
Nikolas Rokoff - Monsieur Thuran
Jane Porter Clayton
Carl - Clayton’s new houseman
Sven Anderssen - cook, Kincaid
Molak - ape king
Mugambi - chief of the Wagambi
Kaviri - chief, near Ugambi River
M'ganwazam - chief, Waganwazam
Tambudza - wife of M’ganwazam
Buulaoo, M’ganwazam’s son
Gust the Swede
Momulla the Maori
Kai Shang of Fachan - "arch fiend"
Schneider - mate, Kincaid
Schmidt - seaman, Kincaid
HM Sloop-of-War Sharewater
EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS'
The Beasts of Tarzan
The Members of ERBList
David A. Adams, editor
David Bruce Bozarth
Copyright © 2001
Three weeks after finishing The Eternal Lover, Burroughs began work on his third Tarzan story in January of 1914 and finished it in one month. First published as a five-part serial in All-Story Cavalier Weekly, May 16, 23, 30; June 6, 13, 1914. The magazine story is shorter than the book; ERB had to add new material near the end to make it book-length. The first hardback edition was by A.C. McClurg, March 4, 1916 in 21 chapters, with the first reprint by A.L. Burt following in 1917. The first edition and some of the reprints contain numerous J. Allen St. John illustrations that Zeuschner describes as "gorgeously and profusely illustrated with black-and-white line drawings." Indeed, the richness of these illustrations makes this novel one of the more desirable ones for the aesthetic value alone.
Chapter 1 - Kidnapped
In the Paris apartments of D’Arnot, John Clayton learns that Rokoff has escaped from prison. He fears for his wife and son in London. Rokoff and Paulvitch hatch their plot, and before Clayton leaves Paris he learns that his son, Jack, has been kidnapped. In London, Jane tells of the daylight abduction, and John is instructed by phone to go alone to an address on the Dover waterfront. A frantic Jane ignores instructions and follows John to Dover. Paulvitch takes Clayton to the steamer “Kincaid” and traps him in the hold. As the ship begins to move, he hears a woman scream on the deck above.
Chapter 2 - Marooned
Jane arrives at the same bar where John and Paulvitch met in Dover. She pays a sailor to row her to the Kincaid, and he too hears the scream as he rows away. Jane is captured by Nikolas Rokoff, who is amazed at his good luck that she should come aboard. She is guarded by Sven Anderssen, the cook, because Rokoff is sea-sick. She knows that John is aboard, for she saw them rowing toward the ship, but she does not know for certain if Jack is aboard also. The cook also brings Tarzan his food, but he only will say to his questions, “Ay tank it blow purty soon purty hard.” They sail for weeks, and Jane refuses to pay any ransom until Rokoff threatens to torture Jack. Paulvitch allows Tarzan up to the deck where he demands a ransom check. He tells him that Jack in not aboard the ship and that he will be killed unless the ransom is paid. Tarzan writes a check for more than his credit at the bank. A naked Tarzan is rowed to shore, which he believes to be the mainland of Africa. When he looks back to the ship he sees a black-bearded man holding a little child over his head. He thinks Jane is safe in London. A hairy thing watches him with evil eyes.
Chapter 3 - Beasts At Bay
Tarzan reads the note left him by one of the sailors. In it Rokoff tells him that he plans to have his son raised by a tribe of savage cannibals and Jane’s fate he leaves to his imagination. Tarzan is attacked by a bull-ape, and he breaks its neck employing a full-Nelson. These apes are of another species than his mangani, but they speak the same language. He learns that he has killed Molak, their king and is challenged by Akut, the next in line. Using the same full-Nelson trick on Akut, he gets him to surrender “Ka-goda.” Tarzan tells Akut he may remain king of his tribe and that he will stand by his side in any ensuing battles. He then makes a knife from brittle, igneous rock with which he formed a bow and arrows and a stout cudgel. He sheds “the thin veneer of civilization.” “Could his fellow peers of the House of Lords have seen him then they would have held up their noble hands in holy horror.” Tarzan kills Bara the deer with his bare hands, just barely taking his prey from Numa the lion. He smears his hands and face with warm blood.
Chapter 4 - Sheeta
Tarzan makes a bow string from tendons of the buck and braids a grass rope. He makes a belt and loin-cloth from the hide of Bara. Tarzan seeks Sheeta, the leopard, for his hide to make a better quiver and loin-cloth and for his gut for a better bow string. Just as Sheeta leaps for Akut, Tarzan kills her with his stone knife. He tells Akut that since he saved his life once again, he must bring the tribe to him whenever he gives the hideous cry of the tribe of Kerchak. “Huh!” assents Akut and the apes. He lives with them for a week, circling about, discovering he is on an island. Tarzan comes upon another Sheeta trapped under a great tree limb. He frees the cat, and it follows him like a hound. They share a deer together, and Tarzan can call Sheeta with a shrill purr. They kill a lion together and each give their victory cries -- bull ape and uncanny scream blended into one. This fearsome wail is heard by a score of painted warriors who have just drawn up a long war-canoe upon the beach.
Chapter 5 - Mugambi
Tarzan gets the apes to accept Sheeta as a hunting partner. Tarzan is attacked by painted Wagambi warriors, but he calls his beasts (apes and leopard) and all are killed except Mugambi, chief of the Wagambi of Ugambi. Tarzan gets his beasts to accept Mugambi, and they hunt together. Mugambi cooks his food, but Tarzan and his beasts eat it raw. Tarzan weaves a bark-cloth sail for one of the canoes, and tries to teach the apes how to paddle, but only Akut is smart enough to learn the skill. He learns from Mugambi that the mainland is close, so they all set sail -- Tarzan, Mugambi, Sheeta, Akut and a dozen great ape males.
Chapter 6: A Hideous Crew
The sail Tarzan devised works well, and within ten hours they arrive at the coastline. On the beach, Mugambi and the apes huddle around a small fire for warmth, but Tarzan and Sheeta go into the jungle to hunt. The next morning they find the Ugambi River that Mugambi and his warriors had paddled to the sea, so Tarzan and the group board the canoe to head upstream. Unobserved by Tarzan, a black warrior sees the group from a distance and runs to warn natives in a nearby village that another white man is coming, to kill and rob as did the black-bearded white man who had been there earlier. Kaviri, the king, calls hunters and fills seven war canoes to attack Tarzan's group. Kaviri's canoe encounters Tarzan's canoe and they realize with horror that the canoe is filled with apes. The warriors are routed, and Kaviri is captured. Kaviri explains to Tarzan that a white man came three moons ago and killed many people. Tarzan asks if there was a baby with the white man. Kaviri explains that the white baby was with the other group, a white man, woman, child, and six porters of the Mosula tribe, who were being pursued by the evil black-bearded white man. Tarzan is certain that the evil man is Rokoff and that the baby is Jack, but who were the others? Kaviri says that some of his warriors will help Tarzan's group, but no warriors are to be found. Tarzan, Sheeta, and the apes herd the villagers back into the village.
Chapter 7: Betrayed
When the villagers come back, Kaviri picks a dozen warriors to accompany Tarzan and his beasts upstream in search of Rokoff's party and the baby. Tarzan is seeking natives with news of the white people, but by the time he and his group arrive at a village, it is always deserted. Tarzan leaves the group and goes alone in search of a village that is not empty. He finds one, and uses a ploy to get the natives to help. Tarzan learns that Rokoff has spent a month in the village, and has left only a week before going into the interior. Tarzan knew that Rokoff had actually left just 3 days before, and learned that three whites, a man, woman, and baby, with several porters, had preceded the Russian by several days. He leaves the village in the middle of the night, and continues the pursuit through the trees. Traveling for several days without rest, he gets closer to Rokoff's group. Finally Tarzan finds a village of cannibals who receive him with apparent friendliness, and the king tells him that Rokoff has left just that morning. Exhausted, Tarzan decides to spend the night in the village where he can get food and sleep unmolested by beasts. The chief sends two warriors on a mission, and maintains perfect silence in the village so Tarzan can sleep. In a few hours a half-dozen white men, sullen and ugly, arrive, led by a black-bearded man. Rokoff promises the chief a rifle, and the chief sends a dozen blacks to capture the sleeping Tarzan. When Tarzan is safely tied up, Rokoff kicks him in the face, and says that he shall tell Tarzan what happened to his wife and child, before the cannibals eat him.
Chapter 8: The Dance of Death
A great lithe body moves sinuously in utter silence upon padded feet, sniffing the air, searching. Coming to the palisade, it jumps to the top of the wooden fence, and silently enters the village. Tarzan lays securely bound, thinking of his son, and in the background are the sounds of the villagers preparing for the entertainment and feast to follow. Tarzan catches a familiar odor, and Sheeta the panther rips a hole in the back of the hut and enters. The beast cannot understand how to chew the ropes, so Tarzan remains bound. A black warrior enters the hut, and Sheeta kills him. The village became silent following the roaring, and after a long while, many warriors came to the hut, frightened. Sheeta exits the hut out the hole in back, and a torch is thrown into the hut, revealing Tarzan still tied up, and the mangled warrior's body on the ground. The warriors run away screaming . Tarzan lies unmolested for an hour, until finally two white men with rifles arrive. When he is certain it is safe, Rokoff enters and urges the chief to kill Tarzan before he can do any more damage. Tarzan is tied to a stake in the center of the village. Certain he cannot move, Rokoff grabs a spear and draws blood from Tarzan's side. Tarzan responds with a smile of contempt. Rokoff is so infuriated that he grabs the spear to kill Tarzan, but the chief stops him. The natives begin shouting and dancing, and Rokoff shouts to Tarzan that Jane is in Africa, but the cries of the cannibals drown him out. The spears begin pricking his body, and Tarzan knows the end will be near, but a shrill scream comes from the jungle, and a few minutes later, Sheeta bounds from the door of the hut that held Tarzan a few hours before. Sheeta stands snarling beside his master, and the blacks and whites are transfixed with terror. Only Tarzan sees what else is emerging from that same hut.
Chapter 9: Chivalry or Villainy
From the cabin port on the Kincaid, Jane Clayton sees Tarzan rowed to Jungle Island, and the ship proceeds upon its way. The only person she sees during the voyage is Sven Anderssen, the Kincaid's taciturn Swedish cook. In response to her questions, he only replies "Ay tank it blow purty soon purty hard." After several days , the ship draws up before a large river, and Rokoff comes to Jane and offers his love, the love of a gentleman of noble blood. Sven Anderssen listens outside the door as Jane refuses him: "I have known you for a scoundrel, M. Rokoff; but until now I had not taken you for a fool." Rokoff screams that he will break her will, and will eat the heart of her baby before her very eyes. Jane turns away wearily. Rokoff begins to strangle her, but Anderssen opens the door and enters. Rokoff screams at him to get out, but he only replies "Ay tank it blow purty soon purty hard." Rokoff speaks to Jane in French saying that they will kill the child tomorrow, then leaves. Sven Anderssen turns to Jane and tells her that he is not so dumb, that he understands French, and he will help her. The next night at midnight the Swede scratches at the panels of her door, and when she opens it, Sven hands her a child wrapped in a blanket. They climb over the ship's side and get into a small boat. The Swede rows confidently up a small tributary of the mighty river. After several hours, they arrive at a village and are put into a hut to sleep. It is broad daylight when they awaken, and curious natives offer them some milk. The child is asleep and Jane does not want to disturb him. A little later, the baby stirs, and Jane moves the blanket to see the face of her child. When she holds the baby at arms length, she sinks to the ground in a swoon.
Chapter 10 - The Swede
David Bruce Bozarth
Rokoff and the blacks flee when Akut's party of apes arrive. In a running battle, the beasts are victorious. Tarzan, however, cannot get the apes to release him since their intelligence is limited. At dawn the blacks return to the village, but their first charge is diverted. The blacks regroup to gather courage, and Tarzan is freed by Mugambi just as they attack again. The defenders take a prisoner, who reveals that Rokoff and party left by canoe upstream. Days of pursuit pass for Tarzan, Mugambi, Sheeta, Akut and five apes, seeking both Rokoff and the preceding white man, white woman, and child. Retreating from a dead end trail, Tarzan finds where the Russian entered the brush traveling north. Seeking information from natives, Tarzan travels in advance. One day he comes upon a black about to slay a white man. Anderssen observes the battle between Tarzan and the warrior, recognizing Greystoke. The black will not surrender, and Tarzan kills him. The Swede, an arrow through a lung, tries to answer the enraged ape-man's questions. "The Russian--he got them." Tarzan learns of the Swede's service to Jane because he thought of his wife Christiania and child. The ape-man expresses regret for his harsh thoughts and words. Anderssen asks Tarzan to kill him, to not leave him to the hyenas. Tarzan can't do this; his whole attitude toward the man changed by knowing the truth. Holding Anderssen for a time, Tarzan waits until the man dies.
Chapter 11 - Tambudza
David Bruce Bozarth
Tarzan buries the Kincaid's cook. Resuming the search, Tarzan's sight and smell are baffled by overlaid native and animal trails. Extra effort is expended to mark his trail for those following him. A week of rainfall obliterates the remaining spoor. Tarzan is lost. Anderssen apparently intended reaching Zanzibar. Would Rokoff do the same? Tarzan turns northeast toward German East Africa. Two days later, he questions a superstitious black, who reveals Rokoff spoke of a white devil leading a pack of demons. Tarzan speaks to the cannibals' chief, M'ganwazam. Rokoff is headed to the East Coast. The Waganwazam (tribe) reports Rokoff hanged some porters and that the remainder would soon desert. M'ganwazam denies knowledge of a white woman; Tarzan knows he lies. Tarzan haggles a meal and overnight. Offered the chief's hut, Tarzan spares the old wife's eviction; he will stay in a hut occupied by young men. M'ganwazam, thinking of Rokoff's reward if Tarzan is slain, instructs his warriors. Tarzan awakens, sensing a stealthy movement. Tambudza, M'ganwazam's old wife, warns of the chief's treachery and reveals Rokoff is nearby. Tambudza offers to lead Tarzan to Rokoff. Buulaoo, the chief's son overhears the conversation. Tarzan and Tambudza leave - - about the same time two runners depart by a different trail. Later, Tarzan asks the old woman about a woman and child: "There was a woman...and...a little white piccaninny. It died...of the fever..."
Chapter 12 - A Black Scoundrel
David Bruce Bozarth
Jane revives. She tells Anderssen the child is not hers. He is startled since this was the only child on the Kincaid. Jane, drawn to the child, cares for it. The Swede says he believes Rokoff thought this child hers. They continue onward with six Mosula porters. Time blurs, but always the child needs Jane. She discovers Anderssen's chivalrous heart. Learning Rokoff is near, Anderssen purchases a canoe, leading the party up the Ugamabi river until forced overland by unnavigable water. The baby contracts fever. Camping near the river, Jane cares for the child. A Mosula reports Rokoff nearby, and they desert one by one. As Rokoff's safari approaches, Anderssen conceals Jane, suggesting she later make for the sea. Jane protests when Anderssen says he will speak to Rokoff, saying she and the child are dead. Anderssen insists she take his rifle and backtracks to meet Rokoff. Intending to assist Anderssen, Jane discovers the infant's health is worse. Succumbing to a panic need for help, Jane races up the trail Anderssen indicated. Sounds of gunfire follow, Anderssen has found the Russian. Stumbling into a village, Jane seeks help from the natives. At midnight the village is disturbed. M'ganwazam, via an interpreter from another tribe, questions Jane. M'ganwazam tells Jane her husband is dead. Stunned, Jane takes another hit; the baby is dead. Jane looks up to see Nikolas Rokoff.
Chapter 13 - Escape
David Bruce Bozarth
Rokoff reveals his plan, that Tarzan's child would be raised by the cannibals of the Waganwazam tribe. Enraged that the child is dead, Jane is silently relieved Rokoff does not know the infant is not hers. He threatens rape then turning Jane over to the cannibal chief as a wife. Jane demands a burial for the child, and Rokoff complies. Jane later follows Rokoff to his camp. Disheartened, believing M'ganwazam's report of Tarzan's death, she contemplates suicide. Rokoff beats Jane nearly unconscious, dragging her into his tent. Jane bides her time, then seizes the Russian's revolver and batters him unconscious. Taking Rokoff's knife, she exits the back of the tent and escapes into the jungle.
Chapter 14 - Alone In the Jungle
Rokoff is furious at Jane’s escape, and more confusion reigns in the camp when runners from M’ganwazam announce that Tarzan is coming with his apes and panther. The natives run off in terror, leaving Rokoff and 7 white sailors deserted and robbed of nearly every article of value. Rokoff berates his men, and they shoot at him. He sees Tarzan coming and runs into the jungle; his men run also, but in the opposite direction. Tarzan lets the men go to their deaths in the jungle. Tambudza suggests that Rokoff has probably returned to M’ganwazam’s village. He agrees, and sets out briskly, leaving the old woman to follow. He thinks Jane must be with Rokoff. Arriving at the village, he finds he is mistaken, so he returns to Rokoff’s camp to pick up the real spoor, which his nose quickly discovers. Jane still has Rokoff’s pistol, but she picks up Anderssen’s big-game rifle and ammunition when she stumbles upon the spot where he had died. Jane sees, Mugambi, the band of apes, and Sheeta traveling together. She is incredulous and flees, not knowing that she was almost saved. Rokoff coming behind her sees the same amazing sight, but he too avoids them knowing they are Tarzan’s allies. Jane comes to the river and launches a canoe just as Rokoff runs up to the shore. Horror-stricken, she notices a trailing rope that Rokoff reaches for just as she pulls away into the river.
Chapter 15 - Down the Ugambi
Tarzan’s tracking reveals that Jane and Rokoff hid while the pack passed them. He comes to the river and sees a man drifting in a canoe. Tarzan heads directly for him, followed by Mugambi, the apes, and Sheeta, skirting the water. Tarzan finds the man is Rokoff; Jane is not with him. Tarzan swims to the canoe, but as he tries to raise himself over the side, a crocodile seizes his leg and Rokoff slams Tarzan's head with an oar, sending the ape-man to the bottom of the river. As Rokoff begins to feel relief, Akut and the others raise defiant screams from the shore. A flashback reveals that Jane has narrowly escaped Rokoff upriver. When Rokoff sees the Kincaid anchored in the bay, he paddles to it. On trying to board, he is faced with the barrel of Jane's gun. She had narrowly escaped back at the canoe scene (in chapter 14) boarded the ship and locked the drunken, sleeping sailors in the forecastle. Rokoff is forced to land his canoe downstream, on the opposite side from the pursuing pack. At dusk a boat approaches.
Chapter 16 - In the Darkness of the Night
Tarzan takes a gulp of air before he goes under water. The crocodile swiftly bears him to its den while Tarzan futilely jabs his knife into it. At the den Tarzan breathes fetid air in the darkness. Amazed, he feels the crocodile die from the knifing. The den is large and empty. Reluctantly, Tarzan tries to retrace his underwater passage. Coming to the surface he hauls himself into a tree before two pursuing crocodiles can reclaim him. He is impeded by his hurt leg. He thinks about the words of Tambudza and wonders if Jane, after all, is safe in London and the baby dead. His rage against the Russian grows. He reaches the bay after dark the same day as Jane and Rokoff. In the blackness he cannot see the ship but hears paddling and what sounds like stepping on a ship's ladder, followed by shots and a woman's scream. He swims toward the sound. Earlier, Rokoff had hailed the dugout and they had proceeded toward the Kincaid. Twice Jane shoots sailors as they approach, then the dugout retreats to the shore until dark. Mugambi had led the beasts away in search of a canoe, so that they may cross the water to attack Rokoff's party. Jane strikes a pact with the two imprisoned sailors, enforced by her revolver, and releases them just before dark to cut the anchor and allow the ship to drift out to sea. As the ship begins to drift, Jane hears shots and a woman's scream. While Jane searches the darkness for more information, the two sailors wrestle her to the deck and a man climbs over the ship's side.
Chapter 17 - On the Deck of the Kincaid
Mugambi loads his group into a canoe about dusk and shoves off to cross the Ugambi. On the water, he finds a woman had been sleeping in the canoe. They proceed down stream until in the darkness they nearly collide with Rokoff's canoe. When Rokoff recognizes them, he orders the sailors to shoot. The woman screams. The Kincaid, caught in an eddy, comes between Tarzan and the canoes. Tarzan boards and pulls the men off Jane. Tarzan and Jane embrace while Rokoff's party boards the ship. Two men shoot, but the others turn to check the boarding of Mugambi and the pack. Rokoff flees to the forecastle, followed by four of his men who throw him back to the deck. Despite the law, Tarzan steps toward Rokoff to be avenged, but Jane comes to Tarzan's side for protection from the apes. Sheeta pursues and kills Rokoff. Tarzan smiles: "For all his countless crimes he was punished in the brief moment of the hideous death that claimed him at the last." In the morning all of Rokoff's party, dead or alive, are accounted for accept Paulvitch. The four alive help get up steam but bad weather keeps them at the river's mouth. Jane tells Tarzan that the dead baby in M'ganwazam's village was not their son and according to Anderssen the baby had never been aboard the Kincaid.
Chapter 18 - Paulvitch Plots Revenge
Paulvitch plots revenge from shore. He heads for the Mosula village for a canoe. He plans to board the Kincaid by night, enlist the survivors of Rokoff's party, and employ a secret weapon hidden in the cabin table. The Mosula chief refuses to give Paulvitch a canoe and orders him to never return. Paulvitch stalks along the stream until he murders a native youth and steals his canoe. He paddles through the coming night back to the river mouth. Under cover of darkness, he boards the Kincaid and tries to enlist the help of one of his former comrades who refuses and asks for a bribe to allow him to leave the ship. Paulvitch and the mate go to Paulvitch's cabin so that Paulvitch can pay the bribe. There he secretly activates a time bomb then reluctantly pays the bribe and paddles back to shore.
CHAPTER 19 - The Last of the Kincaid
Tarzan promises the renegade crew of the Kincaid that the law won't prosecute them for their part in Rokoff's plot; thus they agree to sail the ship for him, notwithstanding their fear of the Apeman's crew of jungle beasts. The Kincaid sails down the Ugambi River and into the Atlantic. Tarzan is chaffing to resume his search for his kidnapped son. There is a sudden explosion - a bomb planted by Paulvitch destroys the Kincaid but miraculously, no one is killed. Lifeboats are lowered; Tarzan leads the successful evacuation of the doomed vessel. Upon landing back on Jungle Island, the beasts of Tarzan rush into the jungle, and to freedom. The humans then watch the burning of the Kincaid. Two hours later, there is a second explosion - the ship is now utterly destroyed.
CHAPTER 20 - Jungle Island Again
The castaways look for food and set up camp. Two weeks pass - no new ships appear anywhere on the horizon. The Kincaid's crew grumble and quarrel. Dissension and suspicion grow apace. Now, on the south coast of the island, are the villains of the Cowrie, including Gust, Momulla the Maori, and Kai Shang of Fachan. These villains have an angry falling-out among themselves. Momulla and Kai Shang ally themselves with Schneider and Schmidt, two of the low-lifes from Tarzan's camp. Gust escapes before these four can carry out their plan to kill him.
CHAPTER 21 - The Law of the Jungle
Kai Shang and his companions kidnap Jane and a Mosula woman. Tarzan, seeking them, meets Gust, who puts the Apeman on Kai Shang's trail. But Kai Shang and his allies are now on the Cowrie, and out to sea. The Cowrie is soon becalmed. Tarzan summons Sheeta, Akut, and the apes; in two skiffs, they reach and board the ship. Tarzan lets loose his savage allies and they kill Kai Shang and all the renegades save Momulla and Schneider. Jane and the Mosula woman are saved. Tarzan returns his beasts to Jungle Island. Two days later, the Cowrie encounters HM Sloop-of-War Sharewater. A radio communication with London reveals that the baby Jack is safe at home. When they finally reach home, Tarzan and Jane learn of the strange set of circumstances that had saved their son's life. Tarzan and Jane are now safely home. With them are Mugambi, and the Mosula woman whom Mugambi had found in the bank of a little tributary of the Ugambi River. Tarzan proposes that they all live together on his African estates in the land of the Waziri.