Carrying the dead Bolgania from the village of the Gomangans, Tarza directed her steps toward the building she had seen from the edge of the valley, for human curiosity overcame the caution of the beast. He wandered into the headwind, and the scent loosening in his nostrils indicated to him that he was approaching the abode of the Bolgans. The smell of the gorillas was accompanied by the smell of gomangans and cooked food, as well as a hint of a scintillating sweet smell that the monkey could not compare to anything other than burning incense, though it was impossible for him that such lemu could spread from the flats of the Bolgans. Perhaps it came from that great building he saw — a building that must have been the work of human hands and where people might still live,
When Tarzan, of the increased intensity of their smell, found himself approaching the Bolgans, he rose with his burdens into the trees so that he would have a better chance of avoiding revelation; and soon he saw between the leaves in front of him a high wall, and behind him the outline of a creepy, strange, and mysterious building, strangely reminiscent of a phenomenon from another world, and behind the wall stinked the smell of Bolganians and the smell of incense Numa, the lion, The jungle had been cleared fifty feet wide next to the wall surrounding the building, so no wood was hanging over this, but Tarzan moved as close as he could, still still remaining somewhat well sheltered in his foliage.
He had chosen a place high enough above the ground and could see from there over the ridge of the wall. The building in the orchard was quite large, and its various parts seemed to have been built at different times, all regardless of uniformity, resulting in a group of interconnected apartments and towers, none of which looked like each other, although the whole offered a pleasant, albeit somewhat bizarre, vision. The building was located on an artificial platform about ten feet high, surrounded by a granite retaining wall, and wide stairs led down to the ground. The building was surrounded by shrubs and trees, some of the latter very old, judging by everything, and, among other things, the immensely large tower was almost completely covered with ivy. The most remarkable feature of the building was its plush and flashy decoration. The polished granite from which it was assembled was fitted with a multi-patterned gold and diamond mosaic. Countless glittering rocks radiated from facades, minarets, domed ceilings and towers.
The orchard was about six or eight acres in area, and most of it was filled by the building itself. The embankment from which this rose ran paths and planted flowers, shrubs, and ornamental trees, while the part of the lower area that was in Tarzan’s sight seemed to be reserved for orchards. There were naked Negroes in the garden and embankment, similar to what he had seen in the village where La had left. There were both men and women, and they worked in the orchard to take care of the growing plantations. Among them were a few gorilla-like creatures, similar to those killed by Tarzan in the village, but these did no work, but rather seemed to lead the Negroes, to whom their tone was arrogant and commanding, sometimes raw. These gorilla men were decorated with plush baubles, as was the case with
As Tarzan curiously watched the play below, two Bolgians came out of the main door, a large vaulted gate, about thirty feet wide and perhaps fifteen feet high. At each end were strips to which long, white feathers were attached. Upon coming out, they stood on either side of the door and kivertäen palms in front of the mouth conceding a series of kimeitä kirahduksia, who strangely resembled the sound of the horn toitotusta. Immediately the Negroes stopped their work and rushed from the embankment to the foot of the stairs descending into the garden. There they lined up on either side of the stairs, and likewise the Bulgarians formed two rows on the embankment from the main door to the stairs as if as a living alley from one to the other. Almost the same sounded screams from inside the building resembling other horns,
First came four Bulgarians in parallel, each with a Korean-feathered headdress, and each carried a large lead-headed rod upright in front of him. Behind these, two reindeer stepped, and twenty steps behind them pawn an extraordinarily large black-bristled lion, led on each side by a pair of rattling Negroes, judging by everything, holding it by a golden chain. It ended with a shimmering diamond neck strap around the animal’s neck. Twenty other Bulgarians marched behind the lion, four in parallel. These had spears, but whether they were to protect the lion from the crowd or to protect people from the lion, Tarzan did not find out.
The position of the Bolganians on either side of the road leading from the main door to the stairs showed extreme reverence, as they bent their bodies from the waist to a deep bow as Numan stepped between their lines. As the animal reached the top of the stairs, the procession stopped, and immediately the gomangans lined up at the bottom leaned down, touching the ground with their foreheads. Numa, who was apparently an elderly lion, stood looking proud, looking at the people who had fallen to the ground in front of him. Its vicious eyes gleamed glassyly as it exposed its gnashing teeth with an ugly grimace, and a ominous roar erupted from its deep lungs, which on hearing the gomangans trembled with unpretentious horror. The monkey thoughtfully frowned. He had never had the opportunity to watch such a strange play, to see a man about to descend in front of an animal. Then the procession continued on its way, descending the stairs and turning right along the path into the garden. And when it was over, the gomangans and bolgans rose up and resumed their interrupted work.
Tarzan remained in his cache, watching them and trying to come up with some explanation for these strange and grim conditions he saw. The lion and his entourage had turned behind the farthest corner of the palace and disappeared from view. What was it for these people, these strange creatures? What did it present? What caused this upside-down species arrangement? Here was a man below the half-animal, and above all, judging by the respect shown to him, was a real beast — a ferocious predator.
The monkey had been contemplating these things and his own remarks for about fifteen minutes after Numa had disappeared behind the east corner of the palace; but now the other grim repetitions caught his attention at the opposite end of the building. Turning his gaze there, he saw the procession reappear and move towards the stairs along which it had entered the garden. As soon as the gleaming call echoed in their ears, the Gomangans and Bolgans returned to their strange positions from the lower end of the stairs to the entrance to the palace, and again showed respect to Numa as it stepped awfully into the building.
Monkey Tarzan stuck his fingers in his messy hair, but in the end he had to shake his head pointlessly, for he could not come up with any explanation as he saw fit. However, his curiosity was so heightened that he decided to explore the palace and its surroundings in more detail before continuing to search for a path leading out of the valley.
Leaving Bolgan’s body, where it had been hidden, he leisurely began to circumnavigate the building in order to explore the surrounding forest from the enveloping foliage. He found that the style of construction was equally unique on each side and that the garden completely surrounded the building, even though part of the south side of the palace had been handed over to courtyards and orchards where numerous goats and considerable chickens were kept. There were also several hundred swaying beehive-shaped huts on this page, similar to what he had seen in a Native Bulgarian village. These he thought were the dwellings of the black slaves who performed all the heavy and serviceable work in the palace.
The high granite wall surrounding the entire orchard had a single gate located on the east end of the palace. It was large and rugged, apparently designed to withstand the attacks of numerous and well-armed enemy forces. It seemed so strong that the monkey could help but assume that it was meant to protect the interior against troops equipped with heavy wall breakers. That such a military force had never moved around this time in the historical era seemed quite a bit plausible, so Tarzan thought the wall and gate came from an almost incomprehensibly distant antiquity, all the way back to the forgotten times of the Atlantic; and perhaps they were built to protect the builders of the Diamond Palace against those well-armed forces,
While the wall, the gate, and the palace itself in many ways alluded to an almost incredibly distant antiquity, they were, however, in such good condition that the residence of the most rational and intelligent beings was evident. On the south side, on the other hand, Tarzan had seen a new tower under construction, in which a group of Negroes, led by the Bulgarians, were touring in the blocking, shaping and placement of granite clumps.
Tarzan had stopped at a tree near the east gate to watch life pulse in the palace area below the old vault door, and as he stared at it he saw a long line of powerful gomangans coming from the forest and stepping into the orchard. Thrown on the years attached between the two slides, this team carried roughly hewn clumps of granite, four men each. A couple, three Bulgarians followed a long line of plaintiffs, preceded and followed by a department of black warriors with killers and spears. The posture and posture of the black bearers, as well as the tone of the Bulgarians, reminded the monkey man only of some kind of donkey caravan, foolishly pushing forward at the behest of its riders. If someone was left behind a bit, he was teased with a spearhead or struck along it. It showed no greater brutality than the usual treatment of a load conductor around the world, and the behavior of the Negroes showed no greater reluctance or rebellion than you see reflected in the face of the load mules stepping in a long line. After all, they were just insane pieces of nature. Slightly they moved through the gate corridor and disappeared from view.
A few minutes later, another team arrived from the forest and entered the palace area. It had well fifty armed Bolgans and twice as many black warriors with spears and killers.
Just surrounded by these armed creatures, four sinewy carriers stepped, dragging small stretchers to which was attached a coffin about two feet wide, four feet long, and nearly two feet deep. This was made of some dark, air-weathered wood and reinforced with rails and corner plates that appeared to be pure gold, even if they were still adorned with numerous diamonds. The contents of the coffin, of course, could not have been foreseen by Tarzan, but that it was considered expensive was evident from the precautions taken to transport it. The coffin was carried directly to a large, ivy-covered tower in the northeast corner of the palace, the entrance to which, as Tarzan had just noticed, was closed by a door as wide and heavy as the eastern gate itself.
At the first occasion where he could do it unnoticed by anyone, Tarzan swung himself over the jungle path and continued his journey through the trees to the tree where he had left Bolgan’s body. Throwing it on his shoulder, he returned to the point just above the path near the east gate and, taking advantage of the moment when the movement had stopped, threw the carcass as close to the vault gate as possible.
– Well, – thought the monkey, – now guess who killed their comrade, if they can.
As we hurried southeast, the mountains rising behind the valley of the Tarza Diamond Palace approached. He often had to make bends to avoid the indigenous villages and stay out of sight of the numerous Bulgarian troops he found moving across the forest. Late in the afternoon, after getting out of the hill, he got the mountains behind him perfectly visible. They were jagged granite hills with abrupt steep peaks rising high above the forest boundary. Right in front of him was a clearly treaded path, leading into a deeply furrowed riverbed that he saw meandering far up to the top. So this was as good a place to start his research as anyone else. And so he, seeing the fairway free, descended from the trees and, taking advantage of the jungle lining the path, moved silently but quickly towards the hills. For the most part, he had to slip through the thickets, as the Gomangans and Bolgans constantly used the path, leaning up in the crowds empty-handed and returning large clumps of granite as their stumps.
As he reached deeper into the middle of the hill law, the jungle gave way to less bushy vegetation, through which he could move much more easily, even though the danger of revelation was considerably greater. But the vigilant and confident instinct of the jungle animal made it possible for him to find refuge even where everyone else would have been perfectly visible to the enemy. In the middle of the mountain cuvée, the path passed through a narrow gorge that was only twenty feet wide, a groove dug into solid granite cliffs. There was no cover of any kind here, and the monkey realized that stepping on it would have revealed himself almost immediately. Glancing around, he noticed that by making a small bend he would reach the top of the gorge,
And he was not disappointed either, for after reaching a favorable position quite above the path he saw in front of him an open pocket in the mountain, and the rocks surrounding it were screened with numerous openings which, to his understanding, could be nothing but tunnels. A rough, wooden ladder extended to a few closer to the rock base, while others hung knotted ropes down to the ground. A few of these tunnels emerged men, carrying soil bags, which they used to stack in a common stack on the edge of a creek running through the gorge. There were other Negroes guarded by the Bulgarians rinsing the mud, but what they hoped to find or find in it, Tarzan could not guess.
On the other side of the quarry trench, there were many other Negroes quarrying granite from the rocks, which had thus been gradually carved into a embankment extending from the permanny of the depression to the top of the cliff. Here, naked Negroes were harassed with original workguns under the watchful eye of ferocious Bulgarians. The miners’ chores were clear, but what others were dragging from the tunnel openings, Tarzan certainly couldn’t know, though he naturally assumed it was gold. So where did they get their diamonds from. Not at all from those old granite rocks.
After a few minutes of sightings, it became clear to Tarzan that the path he had followed from the forest ended in this small impasse, and so he sought a way up and around it to get across the mountain range.
The rest of the day and almost the whole of the next, he used to these efforts, but in the end he had to admit that the valley was not from this side no way out. At several points above the forest boundary he ascended, but there he always faced only perpendicular granite cliffs in front of him, which rose high above him and on the surface of which not even the ape could find a foothold. He continued his research on the south and east sides of the depression, but equally unsuccessfully, and finally he turned his steps toward the forest, intending, after dark, to seek with La through the Opar Valley.
The sun had just set when Tarzan reached the aboriginal village where La had left, but he had barely made it visible when he began to fear that something horrible had happened; not only was the gate clear on its back, but no sign of life was visible from inside the fence, and not even the hammocks moved, which could have been decided by the occupants in them. Always cautiously ambushed the ambush Tarzan carefully before landing in the village. With his practiced discernment, he soon stated that it had been left deserted at least a day ago. Running to the hut where La had been hidden, he hurriedly got up along the rope and carefully decorated the tent. It was empty and showed no trace of the high priestess. After landing on the ground, the monkey began a thorough exploration of the village, in order to obtain some hatred from its inhabitants and La ‘ n fate. He had inspected the interiors of several shacks until his exact eyes noticed one of those swaying cage-like dwellings moving slightly some distance from him. Quickly he leaped the distance and as he approached the hut he saw that no rope was hanging from its doorway. Stopping below it, Tarza’s cucumber into an opening where nothing was visible but the roof of the tent.
“Gomangani,” he shouted, “I’m here, Monkey Tarzan. Come to the opening to tell me what has happened to your comrades and my wife, whom I left here to protect your warriors.”
There was no answer, and Tarzan called again, for he was sure someone was hiding in the shack.
“Come down,” he shouted again, “or I’ll go pick you up.”
Still no answer. A cruel smile vibrated on the monkey man’s lips as he grabbed the sheath of his hunting knife and put it between his teeth. He then jumped cat-like toward the opening and, grabbing it aside, pulled his body into the tent.
If he had waited for resistance, he would not have met anything like that and in a dimly lit interior could not first distinguish anyone. But as his eyes got used to this semi-darkness, he saw a pile of leaves and grass on the opposite wall of the hut. Stepping towards it, he tore it aside, and beneath it, a figure of a frightened woman dug out. Grabbing his shoulder, the monkey pulled him into a sitting position.
“What has happened?” he asked. “Where are the villagers? Where is my wife?”
“Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!” park wife. “I didn’t do it.
It wasn’t my fault.”
“I’m not going to kill you,” Tarzan replied. “Tell me the truth, and you’re safe.”
“The Bolganans took them away,” the wife shouted. “They came when the sun was low on the same day you arrived and were very angry, for they had found the body of their comrade outside the gate of the Diamond Palace. They knew he had come to our village; and no one had seen him alive when he left the palace. They came therefore, they threatened and tortured our people until the warriors finally told them everything. I hid. I don’t know how they didn’t find me, but finally they left, taking everyone else with them, including your wife. They’ll never return. ”
“Do you think the Bolgans will kill them?” Tarzan asked.
“Yes,” replied the Negro woman, “they will kill all who are averse to them.”
Now, alone and freed from responsibility as a patron of La, Tarzan could easily have slipped across the Opar Valley to safety on the other side of the border mountains at night. But such an idea might never have stuck in his head either. Gratitude and loyalty were especially notable traits in the ape man. La had saved him from the arrogance and plots of his people. He had saved him at the cost of everything that was most precious to him — power and status, peace and security. La had put his life in danger for him and gone into exile from his own country. The mere fact that the Bolgans had taken him and possibly intended to kill him was therefore not enough for the monkey man. He needed to know if La was alive, and if he was,
Tarzan spent the rest of the day exploring the palace from outside the area and looking for an opportunity to get inside without anyone noticing, but he found it impossible because not a moment had passed without the Gomangans or Bolgans moving around in the outer garden. But when it got dark, the big east gate was closed, and the inhabitants of the sheds and the palace retreated behind their walls, leaving not a single guard outside them, which clearly proved that the Bolgans had no reason to fear an attack. The slavery of the Gomangans thus seemed perfect, so that the high wall surrounding their palace, which was unnecessarily strong for protection against lions, was only a remnant of ancient times, when a previously powerful but now lost enemy threatened their peace and security.
When full darkness had come, he approached Tarza’s gate, throwing a loop of his grass rope around the neck of a faded lion at the top of one of the gate pillars, and quickly ascended to the ridge of the wall from which he would lightly drop into the garden below. To secure a quick escape route in case he found La, he let go of the heavy gate latches and slammed the halves open. He then sneaked into the eastern tower, clad in ivy, which he had chosen for his purpose as the easiest way to enter the palace, after a day-long investigation. The success of his plan depended greatly on the age and strength of that ivy, which grew almost to the top of the tower, and to its considerable relief, he found that that power well endured his weight.
High above the ground near the top of the tower, he had noticed from the trees surrounding the palace an open window that, like the others in that part of the palace, had not been railed. Dim lights flashed from several tower windows, as well as from other parts of the palace. Avoiding these illuminated openings, Tarzan rose agilely, though cautiously, toward the lattice-free window at the top and raised his eyes after reaching his eyes secretly above the window sill, whereupon he joyfully noticed it opening into an unlit chamber. However, its interior was so veiled in a veil of darkness that he could tell nothing from it. Dragging himself to the level of the window, he sneaked quietly into the room behind it. Searching in the dark, he gently wandered around the inside wall of the room and found a special carved bed, table and a couple of benches. The bed had woven fabrics thrown over soft tanned antelope and panther beds.
Opposite the window from which he had entered was a closed door. He slid it loudly and sounded until he could see from a small opening into a dimly lit corridor, a circular vestibule with a circular opening about four feet wide in the middle, and through it, – quite obviously the original stairs that connected the different floors of the tower to each other. Three equally perpendicular columns perpendicular to the edges of the circular floor opening were supporting the roof. There were other doors around this circle, similar to the one leading to the chamber where the monkey was.
Without hearing any noise and seeing no sign of any other creature, Tarza opened the door and stepped into the wheelhouse. The same scintillating smell of incense that had first greeted him as he approached the palace a few days ago now penetrated his nostrils. But inside the tower, it was much more powerful, in fact surprising all the other scents and putting the monkey man in an almost inaccessible distress while looking for La. Looking at the doors of this single tower floor, he was quite confused when he thought of his almost impossible chore. Searching for this great tower alone and without any help with his exact sense of smell seemed an impossible task for him, if he even wanted to watch out for revelation.
The monkey man’s self-confidence was by no means overbearing arrogance. Knowing his limits, he knew he had little or no chance against even a few Bolgans if he were invented in their palace, where everything was familiar to them and foreign to him. Behind him was an open window, a quiet jungle night, and freedom. Danger ahead, a predetermined loss, and quite possibly death. Which one would he choose? For a moment he stood quietly, thinking, and then, raising his head and straightening his broad shoulders, he defiantly shook his black squats and stepped boldly forward to the nearest door. He searched room after room until he had completely circled the plateau, but his search was fruitless in that he could not find La and no sign of him. He met strange furniture, carpets and upholstery, gold and diamond ornaments, even a Bolganian sleeping in a dimly lit chamber; but so silent were the movements of the monkey man that the sleeper continued without disturbing his sleep, even though Tarzan circled his bed, which had been placed in the middle of the chamber, and examined the veiled closet behind it.
After touring this layer, Tarzan decided to strive upward and only when he returned did he explore the lower plateaus. So according to this plan, he climbed a strange staircase. It was only after ignoring the three plateaus that he finally arrived at the top floor of the tower. Each heritage is surrounded by a perimeter of doors. All the doors were closed, but dimly lit lamps illuminating each plateau dimly — shallow gold bowls, apparently containing tallow, with some sort of hearth floating.
Only three doors left the top plateau, all of which were closed. The roof of this perimeter was the dome roof of the tower itself and in the middle of it again a circular opening from which the stairs penetrated up into the darkness of the night.
As Tarzan opened the door closest to himself, it would snap with its hinges as the first audible sound his research had so far produced. The interior of the room in front of him was unlit, and as he stood quietly like a statue after a few blinks of a hinged twitch, Tarzan suddenly noticed a movement — a very faint rattle — behind him. Turning suddenly, he saw a male figure standing in an open doorway on the other side of the plateau.