The Diamond of Ashair
Radio Serial Synopsis:
Week 5: Eps 13-15
In the Belgian Congo, on the bank of a tributary of the Ubangi River, the Tarzan-Gregory safari rests for a day. Tarzan, D’Arnot, Gregory and Larson go for a swim in the river while Helen and Magra mend their trail-torn clothing. Wolf realizes that he has been drugged by the very drink he had put in Gregory’s canteen. His sullen brain decides that the native witch doctor tricked him. With his whip he strides to the old man’s tent. Again and again the cruel black snake lash cuts into human flesh. Suddenly the German’s arm is seized in mid-air and like a top he is spun around to look into the stern face of Tarzan.
Tarzan twists the German’s arm and wrests the whip from him. Wolf explains that he was beating the native because he had been stirring up trouble and leading the bearers to mutiny. Tarzan does not believe him and commands him to never beat a native again. The ape-man leaves with the whip and Wolf remains to make up with the witch doctor and to urge him to implement the plan to desert the Gregory safari. The German, still furious with Tarzan, heads back along the trail where he meets with Atan Thome. He explains that the Gregory safari is resting because the women are worn out. He tries to convince Thone that Tarzan is not Brian Gregory but is actually a very dangerous jungle man raised by apes. He also reports that the native bearers are ready to accept bribes to come over to Thone’s side. Thone promises that Wolf and the natives will be well rewarded.
When Wolf returns to camp, Helen makes a show of turning the treasure map over to Tarzan. Tarzan warns them that a tornado is approaching.
As the storm breaks in all its fury, vast clouds of sepia roll over the jungle discharging a host of liquid ramrods. Tarzan and Larson fight their way from tent to tent making them secure against the fury of the tempest. Wolf, soaked to the skin, bursts into the old witch doctor’s flapping shelter.
Wolf orders the witch doctor to lead the bearers – carrying all the supplies – away from camp under cover of the storm’s fury.
Tarzan and his party are camped on the bank of a tributary of the Ubangi River. Behind them on the trail are Atan Thone and Lal Taask. They are after a map which Helen Gregory has given to Tarzan for safekeeping. Before Tarzan and his friends are able to cross the river a jungle storm breaks.
The tornado whips through the forest with a titanic elevated fury. Great trees bend and snap like slender pipe stems.
The heavens are banked with fantastically-shaped black clouds that send down solid sheets of water. The deafening crash and roll of thunder combines with the banshee howl of the wind. The convulsion of sound is maddening. In their tent, Helen, Magra, and Gregory anxiously watch D’Arnot as he peers out into the blackness. Suddenly after a terrific bellowing blast, the tent ropes snap and the four are crashed to the ground beneath a leaden weight of soaked canvas.
Tarzan and Wolf come to the rescue of the party which is trapped under the collapsed tent. Tarzan then leads them to higher ground away from the flooding river. D’Arnot carries the unconscious Helen until she revives. They find shelter under a large mahogany tree where they wait for the storm to abate.
At daybreak they return to the demolished camp to find that the natives have run off with the supplies. Larson is also missing. Tarzan assures them that, despite this setback, they can continue on in their search for Brian Gregory. Tarzan takes to the trees to scout for a safe river crossing but when he returns it is to find the party surrounded by great apes. The apes abduct Helen and Tarzan races to her rescue.
Tarzan and his friends are encamped on the bank of a tributary of the Ubangi River. A tornado destroys their camp – the bearers desert, taking with them most of the supplies - and Larson, the Swede hunter, disappears. Wolf volunteers to search for him. While the ape-man is investigating the swollen river seeking a place to cross, his friends are surrounded by a band of great apes. Tarzan returns at the moment one of the apes snatches Helen from the protecting arms of her father.
D’Arnot cannot shoot the ape which has kidnapped Helen without endangering the girl. The ape drops Helen when it hears Tarzan’s warning cry, “Kreegah!” and sees him racing across the clearing. After a mighty struggle, Tarzan defeats the ape and orders it to leave. He then walks toward the remaining band of great apes and tells them in their own tongue that he is Tarzan, King of the Apes of Kerchak – Mighty Hunter – Mighty Fighter. The apes turn and disperse into the jungle. The Gregory party is amazed – Magra declares Tarzan the “Sovereign of the Forest.” Tarzan makes light of his accomplishments and quickly leads them in erecting a tent to provide shelter until the river goes down.
Back in the Thome safari, the native deserters from the Gregory party are happily going over the stolen supplies. Atan Thome and Lal Taask are conferring with Ambooli, the witch doctor. Thome offers firewater as a bribe if the witch doctor will order the natives to attack and capture the Gregory party. Lal Taask warns them that there is the smell of death and evil in the air. Wolf appears, against orders, explaining that the party think he is out searching for the bearers and Larson. Thome informs Wolf that the native attack will be at moonrise and he must be there when the attack begins.
Like a fresh scar on the green earth, the storm ravaged camp of Tarzan lies steaming in the jungle. A semblance of order has been restored by the ape-man. Two tents have been erected. Near at hand, a third covers the few remaining supplies. Seated before one of the tents, D’Arnot and Gregory are checking over a short list of articles left them by the deserting blacks. In a tent opening Magra and Helen sit watching Tarzan as he unrolls a long canvas wrapped bundle.
Tarzan breaks open his jungle equipment – a bow and arrows, and a rope. Gregory, an accomplished archer, scoffs at Tarzan’s short bow and tries it out. He is surprised, however, when he cannot even bend it. A wounded Larson appears explaining that he had been abandoned in the jungle the night before by the deserting bearers. Just then, Wolf appears on the same trail that Larson had come in on – but suspicions are raised when he reports that he had not seen any sign of Larson.
Over the little camp the sun sinks red and dry leaving the jungle hot in the electric air of mystery and suspense. Twilight comes and passes like a blue breath. Presently a great yellow moon leaps into the sky of black velvet dropping shimmers of silver on the indigo waters of the river. Above the jungle chorus comes the mutter of a drum.
Tarzan and his friends are grouped about a small fire close to the two tents. At the first beat of the drum, the ape-man leaps to his feet. He stares off into the deep shadows.
Tarzan warns his companions that the jungle war drums are very close. He orders the men to pick up their rifles and put out the fire – just as the screaming natives attack.
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