The Diamond of Ashair
1936 Radio Serial Synopsis:
Week 13: Eps 37-39
Tarzan and his friends are confined in the Tower of the Sun in the Forbidden City of Ashair. Akaru offers to assist them to escape if Tarzan will help him recover the Father of Diamonds from Ti-Ra’s quarters where she has it concealed. Thome, who knows where the gem is hidden, agrees to recover it with the help of d’Arnot. As Tarzan goes to release Helen and Magra from the chamber in which they are held as sacrifices to the Hesiaharian god, Ma-At-Chu, Akaru leads Thome and d’Arnot to a secret passage by which they may reach Ti-Ra’s quarters. Akaru himself goes to bring Brian Gregory held in the temple in a state of suspended animation to the rendezvous – the car by which Tarzan and his friends hope to make their escape over the rim of Tuen Baka.
As Thome and d’Arnot proceed along the narrow passage to Ti-Ra’s quarters, a great king cobra with expanded hood, hissing angrily, rises on its tail barring their path. D’Arnot, moving slowly – noiselessly – attempts to pass the reptile. The great head stops its sinister sway – poises itself – and strikes directly at d’Arnot’s face. Thome’s hand drops -- his gun roars in the confines of the narrow passage – lead bullet smashes into the expanded hood of the cobra. The huge head dives harmlessly over d’Arnot’s shoulder to strike the wall behind him. Convulsively writhing and twisting, the deadly serpent drops to the floor. Thome takes two steps quickly forward.
Thome and d’Arnot carry on along the passage – on the lookout for more cobras – until they pass through a door into the queens sleeping chamber. Thome retrieves the golden disc from its secret hiding place in a shrine. They hear the queen approaching and hide the disc in her bed. They then hide behind a stone seat and watch as she enters and opens the shrine.
Meanwhile, Tarzan has left his tower chamber, closed the door and mounted a circular flight of stone steps to the upper landing. Four bronze doors confront him. One of them opens into the room in which Helen and Magra are confined. Unhesitatingly, he moves to the first – applies the pressure of his hand against the stone. The door swings slowly open. A quick glance reveals an empty chamber. Closing the door he goes on to the next. It swings open to his touch. Silent, grimly motionless as a statue the ape-man stands beside the opening. Abruptly a tall Hesiaharian steps noiselessly out into the corridor. A bronze knife flashes –quick as thought Tarzan catches the uplifted arm. Like bands of steel the fingers of his free hand encircle the man’s throat. A long silent moment they stand so – then the ape-man drops the strangled Hesiaharian inside the room. He closes the door and steps swiftly to the port. It opens at his touch. Alert, ready, Tarzan stands waiting.
The open door reveals the two surprised girls. Tarzan tells them they will all leave Ashair at night as soon as Thome and d’Arnot return with the diamond which will break Brian’s spell. They hear the noise of someone approaching.
In Ti-Ra’s chamber, Thome and d’Arnot crouch behind the great stone seat and watch as the queen, having dismissed her guards, approaches the little death’s head shrine. As she places her hand on the opening stone Thome steps noiselessly from behind the bench – crosses the room swiftly to pause directly behind the unsuspecting Ti-Ra. As the little shrine door opens she leans forward to peer into the empty cavity. She straightens, steps back into Atan Thome’s waiting arms. With a quick hand he smothers her cry of amazement and fright.
Ti-Ra lies that she had placed them in the Tower of the Sun so that they would be safe from the Council of 13 until she could get them away from Ashair. She then draws a concealed knife and is about to summon the guards when Thome subdues her again. D’Arnot binds and gags the treacherous queen and they carry off the heavy disc.
Back in the Tower of the Sun in Helen’s and Magra’s chamber Tarzan warns the two young women to silence with a quick gesture and leaps behind the door as it swings slowly open. Two Hesiaharian guards advance into the room, their eyes on the women. As the ape-man moves noiselessly out from his place of concealment, one of the men catches the movement from the corners of his eyes. He turns, whips out his bronze sword, shouts to his companion. With his cry of warning the guard leaps toward Tarzan – the bronze sword raised to strike.
Ti-Ra, Queen of the Hesiahar, promises Tarzan and his friends their freedom in exchange for the Father of Diamonds. Instead, she has them confined to the Tower of the Sun. Akaru offers to help them escape if they will assist him to recover the Hesiaharian talisman from Ti-Ra. Thome, the only member of the party who knows where the gem is concealed, goes to the queen’s chamber, accompanied by d’Arnot, to recover it. Brian Gregory is held in the Temple of Ma-At-Chu in a state of suspended animation and Akaru agrees to bring him to the sinoot – the car which is to convey the party over the rim of Tuen Baka to freedom. Tarzan himself goes to the upper floor of the Tower of the Sun to the chamber where Helen and Magra are confined. As the ape-man and the two young women are preparing to leave, the door begins to swing slowly open. With a gesture of silence to Helen and Magra Tarzan leaps behind the barrier. Two armed Hesiaharians advance into the chamber – their eyes on the young women. As the ape-man moves out from his place of concealment, one of the guards catches the movement from the corner of his eye. He turns -- whips out his bronze sword -- calls to his companion. With a shout he leaps forward – weapon upraised to strike. Tarzan slips under the blow – catches the guard by the arm and waist – lifts him high over his head – hurls him head foremost against the wall. A second Hesiaharian makes a rush for the open door. Before he has taken three steps Tarzan catches him. The man’s mouth opens to shout. Steely fingers bite deep into his throat. A moment later the ape-man tosses the unconscious guard aside. Tarzan leads the girls out and down the stairs and into the street. A guard in the tower spots them and gives the alarm which summons streams of soldiers.
Back in the secret passage leading from Ti-Ra’s quarters, Thome and d’Arnot stagger on under the weight of the Father of Diamonds and its golden disc as swiftly as they can. Bounding past the dead cobra they gain the dim high vaulted corridor of the temple – hurry along it to the little door opening into the passage under the street.
Hearing voices approaching, the two men make a terrific effort to reach the door to the corridor leading to the street. Here they meet and overcome the priest – Ne Shem – one of the Council of 13. Thome who has denied having any knowledge of Hesiaharian culture, gives himself away to d’Arnot by speaking to the priest in his own tongue. They bind and gag him and enter the street under a brilliant moon. While racing to reach the sinoot car, they meet up with Tarzan and the girls. In close pursuit thunders a horde of Hesiaharian officers. They reach the car and Tarzan holds off the guards until Akaru and Brian Gregory arrive. To give them more time d’Arnot rushes out into the mass of Hesiaharians and goes down fighting.
In the Forbidden City of Ashair, Akaru offers to aid Tarzan and his friends escape if they will help him recover the Father of Diamonds. D’Arnot and Thome go after the sacred gem and Akaru sets out to bring Brian Gregory to the sinoot car. On their way from the Tower of the Sun, Tarzan, Helen and Magra are joined by Thome and d’Arnot who have the diamond. A menacing horde of Hesiaharian soldiers gradually closes in on them. As the refugees arrive at the sinoot, Akaru suddenly appears through a secret trap bearing Brian Gregory. While Helen and Magra regain the sinoot, Tarzan, Thome and d’Arnot hold back the enraged Hesiaharians. The Frenchman walks straight into the midst of the snarling pack, only to go down under the weight of a half-dozen. With a cry of warning, Tarzan springs to the aid of his friend. Barring the ape-man’s progress is a huge Hesiaharian – bronze sword upraised. Tarzan stoops grasps the giant by the ankle and with one swift movement heaves the man around in the air. The guards fall right and left as the ape-man with his human war club clears a path to where d’Arnot lies. He raises the Hesiaharian above his head and hurls him crashing into the faces of the closely packed throng. Quickly he lifts the Frenchman to his feet. As they run for the sinoot, the savage Hesiaharians close in closely behind them. The exhausted d’Arnot stumbles – falls – in full stride Tarzan catches him – swings him to a broad shoulder. A final leap and the ape-man free hand grasp the edge of the metal car. With a shriek of grinding metal Tarzan tosses his friend into the car – a mighty bound and the ape-man himself is safe.
As Tarzan and his escaping companions ride the sinoot to the rim of Tuen Baka they notice that Brian Gregory is still silent. When they safely reach the rim, Akaru produces veils, which will allow them to gaze upon the Father of Diamonds without falling into a trance. He then directs Tarzan to press a carved lotus leaf on the golden disc. The disc opens revealing the spectacular diamond and a vial of potion which is the antidote to the trance induced by gazing on the gem. They administer the potion to Brian Gregory and he returns to normal – surprised to see his sister, Thome, Magra and Akaru. They introduce Tarzan and d’Arnot and inform him that he has been unconscious for a year – and that his father has been killed. As promised, Tarzan presents the Father of Diamonds to Akaru in return for their freedom but Thome insists on keeping the diamond for himself. He fires his gun at Tarzan but Magra is hit trying to shield the ape-man.
With the ferocity of a panther the ape-man leaps at Thome – strikes the gun from his hand – iron fingers wrap themselves about his throat. A mighty arm lifts the helpless man from the ground, shakes him like a terrier shakes a rat. Thome’s hands strike futile blows at Tarzan, then drop limply as he loses consciousness.
Akaru pleads for Thome’s life – suggesting that he take him back to Ashair to face the same punishment meted out to Brian Gregory. Leaving Thome with Akaru they rush the injured Magra aboard the other sinoot car and speed down the outer side of the volcano.
Swiftly as a bird the car rushes to the foot of the volcano. Tarzan looks tenderly at the burden in his arms.
When Magra gains consciousness her first thoughts are for Tarzan’s safety. She dies happy in the ape-man’s arms while expressing her love for Tarzan of the Apes.
DIAMOND OF ASHER ~ SERIAL SUMMARIES
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