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Kali Bwana - heroine

Golato - safari headman



Nyamwegi - Utenga warrior

Leopard Men - cannibal cult

Orando - son of Lobongo

Lobongo - Utenga chief

Muzimo - protective spirit (Tarzan)

Imba - Kali Bwana's boy


Utenga - native tribe

Sobito - witch-doctor

The Kid - (Jerry Jerome)

Old Timer - ivory hunter

Bobolo - chief (leopard man)

Lupingu - Utenga warrior

Jerry Jerome - (Kali Bwana's brother)

Gato Mgungu - chief

Lulimi - priest

Imigeg - priest

Mumga - high priestess

Leopard God - leopard

Ubooga - wife of Bobolo

Kapopa - Bobolo's witch-doctor

Little Men - pygmy tribe

Rebega - pygmy chief

Wlala - female pygmy

Betetes - cannibal pygmies (Little Men)

Zu-tho - great ape

Andereya - bearer

Nyalwa - pygmy chief

Hiram (Hi) - Old Timer

To-yat - great ape

Ga-yat - great ape

Nsenene - female of Bobolo's tribe

Jesse Jerome - Kali Bwana

Sam Berger - womanizer


Kibbu - native village

Tumbai - village of Utengas

Watenga country - (variant Utenga)

Gato Mgungu's village

Temple of the Leopard Men

Bobolo's village

Betetes village


amulet of muzimo (protecting spirit)




Tarzan and the Leopard Men

Summarized by
Duane Adams

David Bruce Bozarth,
Managing Editor


Tarzan and the Leopard Men was published as a six part serial in The Blue Book Magazine, August, September, October, November, December 1932; January 1933. The first edition was published in 1935 by Burroughs Inc. and featured dust jacket and illustrations by J. Allen St. John. It is Burroughs' forty-fourth hardback book and the eighteenth Tarzan novel. Publishers Grosset & Dunlap, Tarzana, and Ballantine have all done reprints.

— Robert B. Zeuschner's
The Exhaustive Scholar's and Collector's Descriptive Bibliography.

Chapter One - Storm

The exhausted Kali Bwana awakens as Golato, headman of her safari, enters her tent. He won't leave and lunges for her. The woman fires her revolver. During the storm Tarzan tries to comfort Nkima. Tarzan leaps from the tree as a tornado topples the tree. Nkima finds a great branch pinning the unconscious ape-man to the ground. After courting is girl friend, Nyamwegi leaves the village of Kibbu to return to his village, Tumbai. When the storm hits, he fingers his amulet and prays to his muzimo, his protecting spirit. He seeks shelter but is attacked and killed by four leopard men.

Chapter Two - The Hunter

Orando, son of Lobongo, the chief, says a prayer to his muzimo and leaves the Tumbai village to hunt. He comes across Tarzan pinned under a tree. Nkima runs to safety. Orando prepares to kill the stranger. Tarzan talks to the native telling him that he does not know who he is. With misgivings, Orando frees the ape-man from the branch. They go to hunt game. Tarzan calls Nkima to his shoulder. Orando believes Tarzan to be a demon. They come upon Nyamwegi's body. Tarzan notes that it was the deed of the Leopard Men, a secretive cannibalistic cult. Orando says that Nyamwegi was his friend. Tarzan reads the spoor and says he will punish the four who did this. Orando suggests finding the village then returning to Tumbai to enlist the aid of the Utenga warriors from Watenga country. As they track the Leopard Men, Orando concludes that Tarzan must be his muzimo and that the monkey must be Nyamwegi's ghost. He calls Tarzan, 'Muzimo.' Tarzan goes on ahead through the trees because the wind is at their backs. Orando is inattentive as he follows the trail into a clearing. Four Leopard Men surround him.

Chapter Three - Dead Men Who Spoke

Golato leaves the tent with a bullet in his right arm. The next day the Kali Bwana has to force Imba, her 'boy,' to prepare her bath and meal. The natives prepare to desert her. Under the protection of the askaris, Golato tells Kali Bwana they are returning home. She decides to make camp here and wait for rescue. She builds a boma. Orando spears one of the Leopard Men. Tarzan kills one and rushes towards the other two. Tarzan chokes the larger Leopard Men to death and gives the victory cry of the bull ape. Orando, the Utenga, is puzzled by the animal nature of his muzimo. Orando thinks they should go after the warrior who escaped. Tarzan says he knows where the escapee is going. Tarzan is confused as to who he is. The Muzimo tells Orando they should hunt for food. Tarzan drives an Okapi towards Orando. Before the native can launch his spear, Tarzan drops from a tree and kills Bara with his knife. He gives the victory cry of the bull ape. Tarzan growls at Orando when he gets too close while they are eating.

Chapter Four - Sobito, the Witch-doctor

Two white men, The Kid and Old Timer, reminisce how they met. Old Timer has talked The Kid into coming to Africa to hunt ivory. Old Timer is avoiding women. A native chief, Bobolo, told them there are elephants in the area. They commiserate about being ivory poachers. Sobito, the witch-doctor, disbelieves Orando's story of his Muzimo. Sobito questions the Muzimo's credibility. Tarzan turns the tables on him and walks away. Orando tells his story once more to the council. The young men talk of war with the Leopard Men. Sobito questions the talk of war and suggests that the Muzimo may be leading them into a trap. Orando rallies support amongst the younger warriors to make war with the help of Muzimo. Lobongo councils speaking to the ghosts of the dead chiefs to see if the time is right for war. Sobito conjures up the spirits and reports that there should be no war. Tarzan, believing he is Muzimo, scoffs at the phony ritual. Sobito predicts that Muzimo will die in three days. Tarzan snatches the witch-doctor's fetish, a hyena tail, and throws it into the fire. Sobito leaps at Tarzan. The ape-man disarms him and throws him. Sobito declares that Muzimo will die tonight. A raiding party is selected for an attack on the Leopard Men. Ten warriors from Kibbu come to join the fight. One of the warriors, Lupingu, talks with Sobito and receives a protection amulet plus a devious plan.

Chapter Five - 'Unspeakable Boor!'

Kali Bwana kills a boar and drags it to her camp. Old Timer and three of his bearers hear the shot and find her camp. Old Timer is curt to her. Kali Bwana is indignant. Old Timer learns that she has been abandoned by her safari and is looking for a man named Jerry Jerome. Old Timer tells her that he will get her out of Africa whether she likes it or not. She decides to humor the crazy person. That night their thoughts linger on each other, much to the dismay of Old Timer. The next day Old Timer takes two of his men on an elephant hunt, which proves fruitless. He thinks about the girl all day. When they return, they find the man they left behind mutilated by the Leopard Men and the woman missing. They bury the dead man and start to follow the trail of the Leopard Men.

Chapter Six - The Traitor

Orando has amassed about one hundred warriors to move on the Leopard Men. The secret order of the Leopard Men recruits from many different tribes. Because the Muzimo and Sobito are missing, Lupingu suggests abandoning the effort. Orando attempts to rally his forces when Tarzan drops from a tree with the carcass of a buck. As Tarzan eats his meat raw, the natives are terrified of him. Tarzan tries to remember his past as the warriors get organized. He can't remember. For three days Lupingu predicts disaster. The fourth day Lupingu is missing. Tarzan and Nkima go to reconnoiter the Leopard Man village. Tied about the neck, Kali Bwana is led by three Leopard Men to the village of Gato Mgungu, a Leopard Man chief. Because of the diverse membership of Leopard Men, Gato Mgungu knows everything that goes on in the area. Kali Bwana is brought before the chief. He asks Lulimi, the priest, if he has brought him a present. Lulimi spins the tale of how the brother of the Leopard God told him where to find the white woman and to bring her to the white high priestess in the temple. Realizing Lulimi will soon replace Imigeg, the old high priest, Gato Mgungu declares that the white woman will be brought before Imigeg. A messenger comes, gives the secret sign, and tells Gato Mgungu about the Utenga warriors approaching the village. They prepare a counterattack. The messenger, Lupingu, must return so he will not be missed.

Chapter Seven - The Captive

Kali Bwana watches the Leopard Men prepare for war. Lulimi places her in a canoe and takes her down a river infested with crocodiles to the temple of the Leopard God. Lulimi falsely tells the memory impaired Imigeg that he has brought him the prophesied white priestess. Imigeg has lesser priests take Kali Bwana to prepare her for the induction ceremony. Mumga, an old priestess, is put in charge of preparing the woman for the ritual. Young priestesses rip her clothes off. A description of the female quarters is given. Kali Bwana is anointed with vile smelling oils and clothed in leopard skins. (See J. Allen St. John's frontispiece.)

Chapter Eight - Treason Unmasked

Tarzan and Nkima go to the Leopard Men village, watch Lupingu talking with the chief, and follow him as he returns towards the Utengas. Lupingu hides from the fleeing Leopard Men war party. It is evident that a battle has taken place. Lupingu returns to the Utenga camp. They are gone. He finds the new camp and concocts a story of how he went to scout out the Leopard Men village, killed a Leopard Man, was captured, and escaped. Orando doubts his story but accepts him into the camp. Muzimo drops into the camp. Orando relates the details of the battle with the Leopard Men and tells him that his men wish to leave. Tarzan reveals Lupingu as a traitor. He stops them from killing Lupingu, has him bound, and carries him into the trees.

Chapter Nine - The Leopard God

Old Timer and his two companions track Kali Bwana to Gato Mgungu's village. The blacks tell him, 'It is the village of the Leopard Men.' His servitors remain behind as Old Timer enters the village and walks up to Gato Mgungu. He demands the release of the white woman. The wily chief knows all about Old Timer's small party and has him taken prisoner. That night, Bobolo enters the filthy hut where Old Timer is tied up. He offers to free him for ten ivory tusks. He takes Old Timer's ring as proof that a message to The Kid comes from him. Bobolo has no intention of freeing the white man. As the chief discuss matters with his men, Lupingu's body drops into their midst. They conclude that it was the work of the Muzimo. They decide to take the prisoner to the temple. Thirty canoes are launched. Tarzan and Nkima follow along the shore and through the trees. Old Timer hopes they are taking him to where they are holding Kali Bwana. They arrive at the temple. He is brought before a leopard, the Leopard God. In a human voice, the Leopard God calls for Old Timer's death and the presentation of the new high priestess. A description of the priestess is given. Kali Bwana makes her entrance.

Chapter Ten - While the Priest Slept

Kali Bwana enters the room, and Imigeg pulls her to the dais next to the leopard. She sees that Old Timer is a prisoner also. Tarzan watched and is mystified by the ventriloquism used to make the leopard speak. Nkima asks Tarzan to leave. Muzimo does not know who Tarzan is. Muzimo recognizes one of the priests and leaves. The ceremony comes to a fever pitch with dancing and drinking. Bobolo desires the white woman for himself and devises a plan. He gets Old Timer's guards to join the celebration. He convinces Old Timer to follow him to a back room by promising to return for the girl. He releases Old Timer's bonds. Bobolo convinces Kali Bwana to follow him. Bobolo returns to the ceremony, drinks, and finds a priestess with whom to lie . When the Leopard Men awaken from their drunken orgy, Gato Mgungu sends them on their way. Bobolo forgets about the two white people and leaves with the others by canoe. Old Timer searches for Bobolo but can not find him. They climb out a window and make it to the last canoe. They drift down the river.

Chapter Eleven - Battle

Muzimo returns to Orando and tells him about the Leopard Men's village and temple. He also tells him that their witch-doctor, Sobito, is a Leopard Man priest. They set up an ambush for the returning Leopard Men. In the ensuing battle, most of the Leopard Men are slaughtered. A few escape by canoe. The village is burned. Orando finds Muzimo unconscious. Nkima is afraid. Old Timer and Kali Bwana try to hide from the canoes returning up river. Bobolo captures them. He takes the girl and a different course on the river. With Old Timer back at the temple, Gato Mgungu berates Imigeg's bad medicine. Imigeg has the Leopard God speak of imprisonment for Old Timer and threatens Gato Mgungu.

Chapter Twelve - The Sacrifice

Tarzan awakens and remembers who he is. The Utengas accept him. Tarzan leaves to reconnoiter the temple. Sobito delights in telling Old Timer about his impending torture and death. He also tells him that Bobolo has run off with Kali Bwana. At the great chamber, Imigeg, through the Leopard God, commands Old Time's sacrifice, Bobolo's capture and torture, and the disposition of the white woman. In an increasing frenzy of a dance, they prepare to break Old Timer's legs and arms.

Chapter Thirteen - Down River

Kali Bwana questions Bobolo, who tells her that he is keeping her for himself. Bobolo stops her from jumping into the river and ties her up. He takes her to the village where he is chief. He protects her from his wives and instructs, Ubooga, the old head wife, to protect her, as she will be his new wife. Ubooga berates Bobolo. She grabs Kali Bwana by the hair. Kali Bwana hits her up the side of the head. After ensconcing Kali Bwana in her hut, she talks to a dimwitted warrior who lets it slip that they are Leopard Men. When Bobolo returns, she accuses him of being a Leopard Man. In fear of exposure as a hated Leopard Man, Bobolo agrees to get rid of the white woman. He goes to Kapopa, his witch-doctor, for advice on how to keep the white woman and not have Ubooga reveal that he is a Leopard Man. For the price of one daughter he will help Bobolo house the captive in the village of the little men until Ubooga dies.

Chapter Fourteen - The Return of Sobito

Tarzan pushes all the Leopard Men's canoes into the river except for one, which he hides. As the priestesses make their final approach upon the helpless Old Timer, from the rafters, Tarzan calls to Sobito that Muzimo has come for him. Tarzan's presence freezes the Leopard Men. He tells them that he is taking the white man hostage, in a back room, until Sobito is brought to him. He brings Old Timer to the canoe and sends him on his way. Tarzan returns to the dais. The Leopard Men bring him Sobito. When they go to retrieve Old Timer, Tarzan leaves with Sobito. Imigeg and the others realize that they have been tricked and that they are stranded at the temple. Tarzan brings Sobito to Orando's camp. He leaves with Nkima.

Chapter Fifteen - The Little Men

Bobolo and Kapopa drag Kali Bwana toward the village of the little people. The small warriors recognize the witch-doctor and escort them to Rebega, the old pygmy chief. Bribes are not enough for the old chief to keep the white woman. Kapopa whispers something to Rebega to make him change his mind. Comments on the servitude of power are given. Bobolo and Kapopa leave. Rebega instructs Wlala, a pygmy woman, to keep the white woman in her hut. She begrudgingly takes Kali Bwana to her hut and forces her to help grind corn. Wlala tells her that soon Bobolo will tire of her, and the Betetes, the pygmy tribe, will eat her. After three days Bobolo has not returned with the promised food for the starving pygmies. Kali Bwana gets fed up with Wlala beating her, and she strikes her keeper. The hungry Betetes talk of feasting on the white girl. Although Rebega is afraid of Bobolo and the witch-doctor, he submits to the demands of his people. They drag Kali Bwana from her hut and tie her up.

Chapter Sixteen - A Clue

As the Utengas sleep, Sobito frees himself and commandeers a canoe. He heads for Bobolo's village. Old Timer reaches the area of Bobolo's village and hides his canoe. He sees Sobito paddling towards the village. He spies on the village. Sobito and Bobolo talk. Sobito is trying to gain a place of refuge. Bobolo is trying to figure out how to get rid of him. From the vantage point in a tree, Old Timer hears woman gossiping about Bobolo taking the white woman to the village of the little people. He decides to go there.

Chapter Seventeen - Charging Lions

Tarzan leaves the Utengas by canoe. He and Nkima sleep in a tree that night. Tarzan finds a grassy plain with game. As he stalks his prey, he disturbs a male lion seeking a mate. The lion charges. Tarzan casts his spear into the lion; many more lions start to charge him. Tarzan races to a tree and leaps into it just in time. Around noon the next day the lions leave. Tarzan returns to Nkima, makes a kill, and starts for Bobolo's village. On his way he visits with Zu-tho, the great ape, and his tribe. He approaches the village. He realizes that it is not Bobolo's village, but he catches the scent of Kali Bwana. He observes the village from a tree.

Chapter Eighteen - Arrows Out of the Night

The Kid worries about his friend and his retainers. Old Timer's two remaining bearers return to camp. They tell The Kid that the Leopard Men have killed Old Timer and Andereya, the other bearer. From their tale The Kid surmises that Old Timer may still be alive. He also wonders who the woman is. The bearers agree to go with The Kid as far as Bobolo's village. Old Timer travels in circles. Finally he finds some tracks and follows them to the pygmy village. He sneaks into the village and sees that Kali Bwana is about to be killed. He cries out as he charges the pygmies with his little pocketknife. An arrow pierces Wlala's heart. Old Timer shouts out, a bluff, that the village is surrounded. He runs to the woman's side. Rebega regains his senses and commands his men to kill the intruder. An arrow pierces Rebega. Three more arrows drop three more pygmies. The little people run for their huts. Old Timer picks up Kali Bwana and carries her out of the village. He hears a crash but does not look back to see what it was.

Chapter Nineteen - 'The Demons Are Coming!'

From a tree inside the Betetes' village, Tarzan unleashes his arrows. The branch he is standing on gives away, and he crash to the ground. Pygmies swarm over him, and he is tied up. Fearing an attack, which Old Timer predicted, they guard their gates and drag Tarzan into a hut. Tarzan gives the cry of the great apes, which makes the pygmies believe that they have captured a demon. Nyalwa is chosen as the new pygmy chief. Nkima sneaks into the hut where Tarzan is being held. Nyalwa and five warriors come to the hut to slay Tarzan. They see Nkima leave the hut. They surmise that the demon has changed into a monkey and escaped. Nyalwa enters the hut to check. An ape cry from Tarzan sends the six warriors running. They surround the hut and plan to throw their poison tipped spears through the walls of the hut. Suddenly, Zu-tho and six bull apes appear in the village and carry Tarzan into the jungle.

Chapter Twenty - 'I Hate You!'

Old Timer carries Kali Bwana deep into the jungle and releases her bonds. She tells him of her rescue from the temple. He tells her about the mysterious arrows killing the pygmies. They make a nest in a tree for the night. They eat fruit as they travel. They try to get each other to reveal their real names. But all they can learn is that Old Timer's first name is Hiram or Hi, and that the woman insists on being called Kali. They become a little friendlier towards each other. This emboldens Hiram to grab and kiss her. She says she hates him. He tells her that he loves her.

Chapter Twenty-one - Because Nsenene Loved

Zu-tho and To-yat had a quarrel over a she-ape. Zu-tho took the female and some friends, including Ga-yat, to start a new tribe. They carry Tarzan to a clearing. Nkima gnaws through the rope but can not release the copper wire that binds Tarzan's hands and feet. Tarzan instructs Ga-yat to bring a person to undo the wires. The Kid and his men make it to Bobolo's village. He is looking for help to go to Gato Mgungu's village. The Kid and Bobolo trade insults. The Kid's bluff that soldiers are on the way stops Bobolo from harming the party. They camp close to the village. A young girl, Nsenene, comes to visit. The Kid has flattered her on previous visits. Nsenene is in love with him. She tells him that Bobolo plans to pretend to take them to Gato Mgungu but will kill them along the way. She also tells them about the destruction of Gato's village and about the white woman who was taken to the Betetes. Nsenene becomes jealous when The Kid asks for directions to the pygmy village. He tells Nsenene that the white woman is his sister. He plans to tell his men that Gato's village is out and that they will hunt ivory. But he will lead them towards the pygmy village.

Chapter Twenty-two - In the Crucible of Danger

Old Timer and Kali Bwana make camp, no words are spoken. Old Timer starts to make a bow and arrows. A bull ape enters their camp. Despite his pleading for her to run, Kali Bwana won't leave Old Timer's side. The ape charges, knocks down Kali, and carries Old Timer off into the jungle. With his disappearance, Kali realizes that she is in love with Old Timer. Ga-yat carries Old Timer to Tarzan. The astonished Old Timer unties Tarzan. With their respective stories told, Tarzan starts for Kali Bwana. He tells Nkima to show the tarmangani the way. Nkima is not happy about it but does it anyway. Feeling sorry for herself, Kali breaks down and cries. By the time she has regains her resolve, she notices a leopard creeping towards her. Tarzan leaps onto the cat's back, snaps it's neck, and give the victory cry of the bull ape. Tarzan calms the girl with the news that her friend is following him. Old Timer rushes to greet her. She is cool to his concern. Tarzan wants to bring them to safety, but Kali Bwana plans to keep searching for Jerry Jerome. Tarzan brings them food.

Chapter Twenty-three - Converging Trails

On their way to the river, Tarzan senses a white man's camp and goes to investigate. Tarzan brings Old Timer and Kale Bwana to the camp of soldiers and The Kid. Kali Bwana rushes to The Kid. She calls him Jerry. The soldiers learned about Kali Bwana's porter deserting and have come for her. Old Timer tells the soldiers to arrest Bobolo and Sobito as Leopard Men. Tarzan is surprised that Sobito is still alive. He leaves camp. The Kid tells Old Timer about the coincidence of claiming to Nsenene that the white girl was his sister when she really is his sister, Jesse Jerome. Jerry never told his name to anyone because he believed that he was wanted for the murder of Sam Berger, a notorious womanizer. Sam Berger did not die so Jesse came to Africa to bring him home. They arrive at Bobolo's village and arrest him. They learn that a demon came and took Sobito to the village of Tumbai. The Jeromes and Old Timer leave for America. Jesse confesses her love to Old Timer.