how the cinematic tarzans relate
to the wold newton universe
Dennis E Power
Part Two The Weismuller years
We first meet this brain damaged Tarzan-2 in Tarzan the Ape Man . A Safari looking for the mythical Elephant's graveyard travel up to Tarzan's escarpment. (Somehow they escape notice of the Gaboni and Jaconi, perhaps they were already occupied with another unfortunate safari.) The party contains James Parker, his daughter Janet Parker and Henry Holt. James Parker was a member of the English aristocracy but evidently was not titled. His son, Charles became a Chief Inspector for Scotland Yard and married into the Wimsey family. Henry Holt on the other hand was the son of a wealthy man who insisted on his son suceeding on his own. Henry Holt's father was Jack Holt, a tobacco smuggler as depicted in W.M. Thackery's Pendennis.
Although the film and all the films in the series to follow, name her as Jane Parker she was undoubtedly confused with Burroughs' Jane Porter, but they were two demonstrably different people. Whereas Jane Porter was a blonde, Virginian belle Janet Parker was a sophisticated brunette Englishwoman. Janet had insisted upon accompanying her elderly father and Holt. She is a strong willed and independent woman but one quite pampered by the trappings of civilization. However she is apparently dissatisfied with civilized life and makes statements about leaving civilization and becoming a savage prior to meeting Tarzan.
On the escarpment they cross a river and are attacked by pygmies.
Tarzan swings down and rescues and abducts Janet Parker at the same time. He brings her to where the apes live and we see the large mangani and the small mangani living in close proximity.
Her initial attempts to communicate with him is frustrating. He tells her that his name is Tarzan but does not understand that her name is Janet. He either remembers the name from his distant past and cannot get past it or has some cognitive problem. (Despite their many years together, Tarzan language skills and vocabulary never grow all that much nor does he learn to read or write. Which would leave one to believe that the damaged area is still being regenerated.) Another telling aspect of this trauma was that Tarzan does not use either a bow or rope until later films, not until Boy began using them. The only implement he uses with any regularity is his knife. Perhaps food was so plentiful on the escarpment that he never needed to relearn this skill until much later.
The elephants of on the plateau seem to be of a higher level of intelligence than those found outside of the escarpment area. This could be a result of generations of beneficial inbreeding or due to some mutation caused by the escarpment's proximity to a dimensional rift.
The elephants have a sophisticated culture and have the ability to learn and understand spoken English and mangani. On the escarpment they evidently do travel to a communal burial ground when they realize that they are close to death. Yet they also have the intelligence and social skills to make certain that their family members are taken care of upon their passing, fostering their children to other elephants or if necessary to mangani.
Upon Janet's return to her father, the safari is attacked and captured by the pygmies. Tarzan uses an assault force of elephants to destroy the pygmy village. (Evidently, they never recovered from this attack for we never see or hear about them again) Parker and party follow a wounded elephant from this assault to the elephant grave yard. James Parker dies from a stroke. He is buried from in the elephant graveyard.
Janet stays with Tarzan. Henry Holt returns to civilization.
Henry Holt returns to the Mutia Escarpment in Tarzan and His Mate. He has been hired as guide to find the Elephant burial ground by an old chum of his. Holt intends to gather wealth from the ivory and to lure Janet back to civilization. They make the perilous trek through swamp, desert forest and plain and are chased by the Gaboni to the escarpment.
Nearing the top of the escarpment, some of the large mangani hurl boulders down on the safari, remembering no doubt the trouble and deaths that the previous safari had caused. When Janet fails to succumb to Holt's temptations and when Tarzan refuses to lead them to the elephant burial ground,
fatally shoots an elephant, so that it will guide them to the elephant burial ground. Arlington
Once at the burial ground they begin collecting ivory. A herd of elephants, accompanied by Tarzan attacks the safari. In exchange for their lives, the safari agrees to leave the ivory, stating they would leave in the morning. While Tarzan is out getting food,
shoots him and leaves him for dead. When informed of Tarzan's death, Janet agrees to accompany Holt and Arlington back to civilization. A group of natives wearing tusks helmets attack the safari. They back the safari into a rocky alcove and then summon a pride of lions by blowing into giant horns. Arlington
are killed before Tarzan can arrive with a herd of rampaging elephants. Arlington
Janet confirms her love for Tarzan and her willingness to spend the rest of her life in the Jungle.
In Tarzan Escapes, two of Janet Parker's relatives seek her out for her to return to
with them so that they may inherit money from a difficult old uncle who left everything to Janet. She reluctantly agrees to return with them if only so her cousin can go to medical school. England
The cousins are accompanied by a ruthless white hunter who wants to capture Tarzan and several animals for sale to circus or zoo. He makes a deal with the leader of the Zembini to sell the whites into captivity to be used in magical sacrifices so that he may have safe passage through their lands. Captain Fry even manages to convince Tarzan that Janet wanted Tarzan to be caged so that she could return to civilization. The Zembini double-cross Fry and attempt to bring the cage with Tarzan into their village. Tarzan calls for elephants who carry him away, cage and all. Tarzan escapes from the cage and once again uses the elephant troop combined with apes to attack the native village.
Tarzan leads the Safari into a swampland that is taboo to the Zembini. Fry is forced to leave the party and gets eaten by crocodiles.
As they are about the depart the escarpment, Janet's cousin reveals that she really does not have to return to England, a signature would be sufficient for her to inherit the money and transfer it to her cousins. They had tried to trick her to coming out of the jungle but realized that she belong there with her jungle man.
The next film in the Weissmuller series is Tarzan Finds a Son. It begins with a small plane carrying three passengers, Richard Lansing, his wife and their infant son. The mechanics of the plane goes haywire as they travel over the escarpment and it crashes. Cheta hears the wailing of the infant and carries it to Tarzan's tree house.
Tarzan and Janet investigate the plane crash but finds that one of the native tribes had gotten there before them and had done a thorough job of wrecking it and mutilating the bodies.
In the movie five years pass and the boy has learned to be a little Tarzan, friend to the elephants and mangani. Even at five he has a better grasp of English than does his adopted Father.
A safari crosses the plains to the escarpment, once again chased by the the ferocious Gaboni. The safari consists of an elderly man, Sir Thomas Lansing, his nephew, Austin Lansing, the nephew's wife and their guide. They are seeking clues as to the whereabouts of their relative, Richard Lansing and his family who had perished in a plane crash some five years before.
was the favorite nephew of the Earl of Greystoke and had been named his heir. Lansing
Despite their attempted subterfuge, the
figure out that Boy is Richard Lansing. When the uncle insists on taking the boy back to civilization, the younger Lansings balk but then warm to idea, intending claim guardianship of the boy to get the inheritance and title but keep the child tightly under their control. They convince Jane it would be in the boy's best interests to take him to Lansings . So that Tarzan will not interfere she traps him in a steep grotto. As they travel Sir Thomas informs Jane of the England 's plans. She tries to return with Boy to Tarzan but Austin Lansing and Sanderson force Jane to guide them at gun point. They begin traveling off of the escarpment using a path that will take them past any natives but it is densely overgrown. While the Lansing are concentrating on hacking through the brush Sir Thomas attempts to sneak off to warn Tarzan. Lansings shoots his Uncle in the back. The Austin then disbelieve Janet when she attempts to guide them forcing her to take a clearer path, This path leads to them being captured by the Zembini. Lansings
Austin Lansing is killed by the natives during a ritual. Boy manages to escape from the village when Janet creates a diversion which results in her being sorely wounded. Boy and Cheta rescue Tarzan from the grotto and once again the Elephant cavalry saves the day.
's widow and the guide are grateful at being allowed to leave the escarpment with their lives. Tarzan, Jane, Boy, Cheta and the elephants return to their jungle home. Lansing
It is also in this movie that Tarzan whispers into Cheta's ear, causing her to laugh uproariously. As cited before, laughing at a verbal remark is a human trait, not a chimpanzee trait.
Lets examine this crucial film a bit more closely. You may have overlooked the mention that Richard Lansing, sr. was the nephew of the Earl of Greystoke. Wait a minute, then boy is related to Tarzan and also a member of the Wold Newton family! Not so fast, Boy whose real name was Richard Lansing, was indeed a member of the Greystoke family. The real Greystoke family as you will know from reading Burroughs and Farmer Tarzan's Greystoke surname was actually a code name for an undisclosed surname.
However, there was an actual aristocratic Greystoke family distantly related to Tarzan but not of the branch mutated by the Wold Newton Event of 1795. Evidence for this branch of of the Greystoke lineage can be found in a wide rage of sources.
In Robert Anton Wilson's novel's Schrodinger's Cat and Mask of the
Illuminati, Lord Greystoke is a character. This family has connections to
Africa, is related to the Babcocks and Celines (important families in
's work), but is not the same as the Dukes we know. Wilson
In one of Rosemary Edghill's short stories, one of the minor
characters is the Viscount Greystoke.
In A Feast Unknown, Lord Grandrith is racing through the
, when the tires of his vehicle blow and he crashes into a statue of Tarzan Battling a Gorilla which was slated to be unveiled the next day. Grandrith states that Lord Greystoke, who was not Tarzan, was a friend of his, thought the idea of the statue was all in good fun and gave its his support. villageof Greystoke
In Malice Domestic #9, presented by Joan Hess. A story entitled "A
Mishap at the Manor," by Walter Satterthwait, treats of the murder of Lord Greystoke. This Greystoke is not John Clayton, the 7th Duke. His parents were lost in
Africain a plane crash. Cheetah is mentioned, and several other points make it obvious that the movie Tarzan is the character here, or so it appears.
More on Boy's background will be revealed later.
Although perhaps more dramatic, the fact of the matter is that Thomas Lansing did not die of his wound but was nursed back to health by the Tarzan family. Upon recovering, he and Jane worked out a deal that when Boy was of age he would go to a civilized country to receive a good education, in exchange he would leave Tarzan and Janet in loco parentis while he assumed legal guardianship of Boy. Thomas was pragmatic enough to know that he would have to cut some sort of deal with his nephew's wife upon his return to
. The deal was probably something like this, in order to respect Boy's privacy and secure his birthright, the Greystoke title and half of its estates would upon Sir Thomas' death be bestowed upon, England 's widow and her two boys. She had given birth to twins shortly after her return from Austin Africa. Thomas rather suspected that they were Sanderson's but said nothing. The other half of the estate would be held in trust for Boy and his descendants.
A word about Sanderson. Some have speculated that he was the son of Sanders of Sanders of the River fame If so, he was a poor offspring for his father. He became rather renown throughout the Coastal towns of
East Africaas a braggart and a drunk. Often while in his cups, he would tell the tale of the boy who survived the plane crash and was raised by apes. Author Bob Byrd some how heard the tale but changed it so that the boy was raised by lions, believing it was more dramatic. He called his character Ka-Zar.
In Tarzan's Secret Treasure Boy finds a large gold nugget and is intrigued by Janet's description of what one could buy with it in civilization and decides to visit it. He makes his down the Escarpment and saves a small African boy from being killed by a rhino. He follows the boy into his village only to discover that he was a member of the Gaboni. The Gaboni's are currently suffering from a virulent disease which is highly fatal. The African boy, Tumbo appears unaffected by it, although his mother shortly dies from it. Although Tumbo intercedes on his behalf the village witch doctor believes that by sacrificing the son of the great juju man they will lift the plague.
They tie Boy to a stake and prepare to burn him alive. A truckload of scientists arrives in the nick of time and scares the natives away by blowing on the horn of their truck and by shooting into the crowd of natives.
In gratitude, Boy invites the scientists to visit his parents on the escarpment he also takes Tumbo along to become his friend. Tarzan usually does not like visitors on the escarpment but since they had saved Boy's life, he agrees to lead them over the escarpment to a tribe of people they are searching for. They are the Vanussi, a tribe that wandered into
Africafrom Asiacenturies ago.
Boy however showed two of the scientists a chunk of gold and they decide to turn the expedition into a gold hunt. The expedition's photographer comes down with the same disease that affected the Gaboni as does Boy. Tarzan makes some jungle medicine which slowly cures both of them. One of the scientists convinces Jane that Tarzan should go down to their truck and get modern medicines to help the Boy. Worried for his safety she agrees. The leader of the expedition refuses to allow the other scientists to hunt for gold so when he also succumbs to the disease, they allow him to die.
The movie is the last time that the ferocious Jaconi and Gaboni are seen attacking safaris. We can assume that they were decimated by the disease and lost the ability to mass attacks or they underwent a fundamental change in their attitudes.
Tumbo is not mentioned again but it is quite likely that he went back to the remnants of his people.
The story line has a plane land on top of the escarpment The owner of a circus and his animal trainer trap animals for the circus. Tarzan tells to leave at a certain time but they overstay their welcome. Natives attack and it appears as though Jane and Tarzan are killed while coming to the American's aid. They put Boy in the plane and take off. Jane and Tarzan follow them to New York and get Boy back.
First of all as demonstrated earlier planes do not function around the escarpment. So to have the circus land on the escarpment and take off again is purely dramatic. They probably landed on the plain near the escarpment, still having some sort of engine troubles. Boy happened to be in the area, perhaps visiting Tumbo. Boy demonstrated his almost innate ability to communicate with the elephants and had them perform tricks. The circus owner decided to grab the kid over the pilot's objects.
When they grabbed Boy the remnants of Gaboni attacked the plane. The pilot managed to drop one of the circus advertisements out of the window.
Tumbo got a message to Tarzan and Jane. They found the circus advertisement and traveled to either Capetown or Nairobi, where ever the circus was actually centered. With the pilot's aid they managed to get Boy back and return to the jungle. The pilot arranged for them to receive and send mail at regular intervals.
Tarzan's next recorded adventure is not one of the Weissmuller films but rather one of the Gordon Scott films,Tarzan's Hidden Jungle. This highly fictionalized story demonstrated that Tarzan was beginning to expand his horizons beyond the escarpment, encouraged no doubt by Jane and Boy. Tarzan aided a native chief and his small tribe against two trappers and their heavily armed party. Over the course of the next three years, Tarzan would come against some ruthless trappers several times. These events were portrayed in the films Tarzan and the Huntress and Tarzan and the Trappers. Although I suspect that the use of trappers was a simplification and a metaphor for various types of exploitation against the native populations by European colonialists.
Lets mention a word about the native populations, from the mid forties to the late fifties, African natives were portrayed in many Tarzan films and other films supposedly set in Africa as a melange of Incan, Mayan and Polynesian. However, I would discount this, except perhaps in the case of the lost cities that Tarzan occasionally visited in the film series. Even then I suspect that some of those populations were mixed so far as race goes but given the social climate of the era the films could not depict such a state of affairs. It is my opinion that the natives that Tarzan encountered during the normal course of events were Black Africans.
Noteworthy about this period is that Tarzan has begun using the bow and arrow more frequently. This is a good sign that his cognitive skills are regenerating. Perhaps the increased human contact of Janet, Boy and others that have stimulated his brain or perhaps the most of serious damage has finally been regenerated.
Some time around 1939 Janet Parker traveled to London because her mother was quite ill.
In early 1940, the events ofTarzan Triumphs takes place. A group of Nazi's flies over the escarpment and parachutes into the jungle. One of the expedition's leaders had stayed in the lost city of Palandria when he had been on safari a few years earlier. The Palandrians had discovered him dying and nursed him back to health. He had convinced the German High Command that Palandria was rich in mineral, oil and gold, resources that would increase the Reich's power and prestige in the world. Also he was convinced, and he might have been correct, that they were the remnants of an original Aryan colony that had found its way into the heart of Africa. Although there has been some intermarriage or contact with Arabs since many of the population possessed Arabic names.
The German plane has engine trouble and begins to crash as the last paratrooper jumps. He is carried off course and crashes through the jungle where he is rescued by Boy and Tarzan. He manages to conceal his dark motives from Tarzan and Boy as they nurse him back to health. Since he was the radio operator with a still functioning short-wave, he is crucial to the success of the mission. An expedition to find him will be launched from Palandria, after it has been subjegated.
Meanwhile Palandria has been reduced to a slave state. A slave state were slaves are worked to death and shot if they cannot work. Zhandra, the daughter of the Leader of Palandria escapes. A squad of men is detached to find her and bring her back alive. Tarzan sees her running towards him and being fired upon. They manage to elude the squad and go to the tree house. Upon discovering the Nazi in Tarzan's home, she tells Tarzan what the Nazi's have done to Palandria. The Nazi shows his true colors and pulls a gun. Tarzan wrestles with him and the gun goes off killing the Nazi.
Boy and Tarzan go looking for the Nazis and are spotted. Their guns disintegrate the foliage around Tarzan causing him to fall to ground in a thick bed of leaves. Thinking Tarzan dead, the Nazi's capture Boy and take him back to Palandria. Cheta leads Zhandra to Tarzan and she helps him home and cares for him for a few days while he recovers from the fall.
Tarzan and Zhandra travel to Palandria where after various recaptures and imprisonments, they lead an uprising that slaughters the Nazi oppressors. Cheta rescues Tarzan by finding a knife and cutting his bonds, later she can be seen using a fire arm in this film.
In Tarzan's Desert Mystery prompted by Janet's letter asking Tarzan to make some of his jungle medicine which is located in an oasis. This is merely a plot device in the film however I believe that Tarzan's and Boy's trek across the desert was more personal. Janet had probably told them that she would becoming home soon, wanting to leave before the war became too bad. Tarzan and Boy decided to get her a special homecoming gift so Tarzan went to this particular oasis where some special gems were located.
On their journey, probably through the Sudan, they stopped a group of Arabs from capturing a wild stallion which had been promised to the Sheik of the nearby city of Ben Harabi. Further along they stopped another group of Arabs from sawing a woman in half. This woman was an American adventurer, named Connie Bryce. She was a professional entertainer, currently a magician. Connie had been hired to use her status as a magician to deliver a message to the son of the Sheik. The message proved that the American who had become such a powerful business leader in Ben Harabi was in fact a German agent laying the foundation for an easy Nazi take over of the area.
Tarzan was arrested for stealing the stallion upon his arrival in the town. Connie delivers her message but the Sheik's son is murdered by the German Agent shortly afterwards. Connie is accused and convicted of the crime.
Cheta and Boy get Tarzan out of jail. They stampede a herd of horses through the courtyard where Connie's hanging is taking place. They Tarzan frees Connie amidst the stampede. Tarzan, Boy and Connie flee across the desert, traveling to the oasis Tarzan had been heading for. This oasis might be inside another dimensional rift for the vegetation is quite lush for an oasis area and it supports dinosaurs and giant spiders, both of which would need a more substantial foraging ground than a small oasis.
The German Agent and his henchman follow Tarzan onto the oasis. They do not follow him out.
Connie gets her name cleared and is going to America via England. She promises to give Jane a message from Tarzan and Boy. In the film there is a definite spark between the characters of Tarzan and Connie Bryce. This will be dealt with further on.
The next film in the series is Tarzan and the Amazons and it takes place in 1941 or 42. It opens by showing Boy and Tarzan preparing for Jane's arrival home doing some last minute sprucing up. Next they travel on a raft down river to meet Jane's boat. While on the way they save a girl being chased by a leopard. The girl is from Palmyra, a lost city of Amazons. Tarzan takes her back to her city but forbids Boy from coming along. Boy follows them out of curiosity and is stunned to see a hidden city deep in a valley past an almost impassable chasm.
Cheta picks up and stores the golden bracelet which the girl had dropped in knapsack.
They swim out to meet Jane's boat. With Jane is Sir Guy Henderson, an old friend of her father's who is leading a scientific expedition. Cheta gives Jane the gold bracelet and Sir Guy recognizes the symbol and an owner of a trading post sees the gold. After weeks of asking Jane and Tarzan to lead them to the lost city, the scientists are finally lead there by Boy.
The men are surrounded by spear wielding and bow toting female warriors. They are forced to give up their weapons. They are told that it is death for intruders to enter Palmyra. However because Boy had saved the life of one of Palmyra's citizens, he and the rest of the men's lives would be spared. They would spend their lives working in the rock quarries, along with all the other men. The girl whom Boy had saved releases them from prison.
Instead of leaving immediately the Trader and the scientists collect their weapons and begin looting the golden treasures of the city. Boy's friend sounds the gong and is killed for her troubles. The men are surrounded by armed women.
The men fight their way out, losing most to wounds. Two men escape with golden implements. They sink in quicksand. Tarzan retrieves the golden objects and returns them, saving Boy's life.
This is a crucial film in the series for it introduces us to a new Jane and sets the stage for the next Tarzan.
For the first time in the series, Tarzan and Boy are not seen climbing down the escarpment to get to the river. While this could have been excised for expediency, the escarpment is never really shown again in the series. It appears that Tarzan and Boy are no longer living on the escarpment but in the jungle close to it, near a river.
There are several reasons why this could be the case. The Gaboni and Jaconi are evidently no longer a threat, disease and increased contact with the "civilized" world have "tamed" them. It also seemed to Tarzan that his very presence on the escarpment attracted unwelcome visitors and he believed that he could better protect the rare species on the escarpment, (the two remaining mangani tribes and the elephants) by preventing travelers from even climbing the escarpment.
Also Tarzan had no wish to return to the escarpment at least not in the foreseeable future. In January of 1941, Tarzan and Boy had been informed that Janet Parker had been one of the thousands of victims to perish in the London Blitz. After venting his rage/grief in a call that resounded across the escarpment, Tarzan had told Boy they were leaving. Tarzan could no longer live where Jane had lived.
So if Janet had died who was it that Tarzan was meeting?
This Jane was blonde and spoke with a distinct American accent, yet she knew Tarzan and Boy upon site. The man who accompanied Jane, was according the film, Sir Guy Henderson. Sir Guy bore an uncanny resemblance to Sir Thomas Lansing. This is who I believe was in the boat with the woman, who I believe to be Connie Bryce, the American entertainer whom Tarzan and Boy had met the year before.
Miss Bryce and Sir Thomas Lansing were both coming to visit Tarzan and Boy on a condolence visit and a legal visit. Sir Thomas wanted to acquaint Boy with the arrangements that he and Janet Parker had made years before and to check on his guardian's health. Connie Bryce was bringing some of Janet's effects that her family thought Tarzan and Boy might want.
She had also been asked by the British government to ask if Tarzan would aid a group of scientists to find a some tribes north of the river.
The scientists were actually intelligence officers from various European governments sent to look into the activities of the German and Italian African colonies. However the gold bracelet that Cheta found changed all that. Some of the scientists became greedy for the gold others saw a chance to aid in their war effort. However Tarzan refused to lead them to Palmyra so they convinced Boy to do so.
They got into trouble basically as described in the film although there was not a elderly scientist among them as was depicted in the film nor was there a greedy trader.
The Palmyran Amazons may have been descendants of the some of the original Amazons who had emigrated to Africa and retained their matriarchal society but much of their culture and society had changed.
The idol of their Sun God was most demonstrably a Black African so it is likely that their original worship of Apollo and Ares was syncretically blended with local gods such as Ogun or Shango. The Amazons themselves, although depicted as Caucasian must have been pre-dominantly Black Africans since that would have been the most readily available male population from which to have picked mates.
Tarzan rescued Boy from the Amazons but left the others to their own fate. Sir Thomas makes Boy promise to get an education and gives him the information necessary to establish his identity.
Connie Bryce decides to visit a while longer with Tarzan and Boy. She is the woman portrayed in the films Tarzan and the Leopard Woman, Tarzan's Fight for Life and Tarzan and the Mermaids.
Tarzan and the Leopard Woman is a meditation on the goods and the evils of colonialization. The goods of colonialization as depicted in the film is that colonialization brings modern education, modern science and advancement to the natives. Native girls are shown being trained to be teachers and the area's doctor is a native educated in Europe. The evils of colonialization are the destruction of native culture, the often enforced use of natives as laborers and soldiers and the gradual destruction of native populations. Yet the natives in this film are depicted as Polynesian types rather than Black Africans. Despite this portrayal however the natives were quite probably Black Africans.
The doctor although educated and urbane, hates the Europeans for what they have done to his people and longs to return his people to their native culture. He becomes involved with and becomes the de facto leader of a cult that worships leopards. The cult dresses in leopard skins and have weapons that resemble a leopards paw. They attack the caravans traveling between towns in this apparently British Colony. They make especial targets out of the natives who have assimilated into the colonial culture.
Much of the natives' resentment against the colonial government probably came from having many of its able bodied conscripted to fight in a war against enemies they knew nothing about. Also war time conditions made the colonial governments exploit the natives more intensively as agricultural workers, mostly for little or no wages.
Whatever the true facts of the story, the film itself is pretty formulaic with episodes and situations cribbed from other films in the series. Tarzan and his family are captured by the Leopard Cult and Cheta must once more rescue them.
Once again travel up and down escarpment is not shown. Further lending credence to the speculation that the Tarzan family has moved from the escarpment. Tarzan is also shown to be more at ease with people, and in fact wrestles with an Arabian strong man. He is also well known in the town of Randini, and so we can guess he and his family visits there fairly often.
By this time Connie Bryce and Tarzan have apparently become a couple. Tarzan was, even brain damaged, if nothing else pragmatic. Death was not anything to be greatly dwelled on in the jungle. When a loved one died you grieved at once, whole heartedly and then moved on. This is not to say he had forgotten or discarded his great love for Janet Parker but had a great deal of emotional resilience and was able to rebound quickly.
It was shortly after this incident ended, that Boy kept his promise to Sir Thomas and went to school. Janet and Connie had tutored him at home. Since England was in the midst of the Second World War and Connie had connections in the United States, it was decided that Boy would be educated in the United States. He traveled from Capetown to South America and via there to the United States. During a stop over in Rio he takes a day trip to the jungle. An American film crew sees him swinging through the tress and asks his name, Boy facetiously replies, Bomba the Jungle Boy, referring to a series of books he had enjoyed as a child. Upon returning to Hollywood the films producer begins a series of pictures based on the character of Bomba.
The next film in the chronology is Tarzan's Fight for Life. This is a Gordon Scott film but I believe the earliest Gordon Scott films actually depicted the later career of the brain damaged Tarzan-2. In this particular film, Tarzan is recruited by a Dr. Sturdy ( possibly related to Don Sturdy?) to aid in distributing a serum that will cure a plague. Tarzan and Dr. Sturdy are opposed by a witch doctor and a native warrior who see this at a threat to their political power over their people. Tarzan had become increasingly articulate and civilized in his dealing with other people. He knew that the modernization of Africa was inevitable, to think otherwise would have been as reactionary as the witch doctor Futa. He would either have to adapt or leave.
Although there is a boy is called Tartu in this film Boy had already left Africa by this time so this aspect of the film was fictional.
Tarzan and the Mermaids would appear to be a mostly fictionalized story line however I believe that many of its aspects were true. Tarzan-2 and Jane did indeed find a Polynesian type girl in the river by their home. This girl claimed to have come from an island in a great sea that lie in a river passage under a long tunnel. Her people were being exploited by a foreigner who had assumed the guise of their highest god. Intrigued by her tale they followed her through the rapids, through the swamp near the Mutia escarpment and into a deep and rapidly running stream which fed into a cavern underneath the Mutia escarpment. The cavern slanted downwards shot through some very intense rapids and finally fed out of a chasm into a lagoon.
Tarzan and Connie exposed the false god who was a man from Tarzan's world selling the artifacts that his worshippers offered to him. They stayed a while in the this tropical paradise where the sun never set. They were intrigued by tales of vast seas and lands of unspoiled wilderness.
The cavern was a dimensional rift, one of many that dotted
Africaand the Mutia escarpment in particular. This portal opened open up in Pellucidar. Tarzan and Connie returned to their homes, after a good deal of soul searching they decided to go and live in this strange land under the earth. They took as many of the mangani as wished to go, most however wished to stay behind on escarpment.
They informed Boy of their decision and invited him to come along. He declined not wanting to leave the only home he had ever known.
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© 2000 Dennis Power