Four days of weapons-training. Four days rounded off with a tantalising reward for the men. Mtwala breaking out the beer. Recompensing his impatient fighters with nights of laughter and fun.
Getting Tarzan to play his part. Entertaining the troops. Getting their blood-lust going. Giving their raging blood what it desired.
Violence. Pain. Revenge. Pay-back.
Mtwala’s plan for placating his restless warriors. Giving them the tribe’s enemy. Giving them Tarzan’s pain. Tarzan had felt those thwacks with the whip. Blows across his midriff that had knocked the wind out of him. His guards were mean-minded. And fiercely loyal to Mtwala. They’d do their bit. They’d hit the hell out of Tarzan. To honour their chief.
Four nights of that. And if Mtwala got his way .. those four nights were the prelude to the fatal culmination. The fulfilment of Mtwala’s wet dreams. When his warriors blooded themselves on Tarzan’s spilled blood.
Four nights of beatings and agony. But also four days of recovery. Four days of opportunity.
Would Mtwala deny his four hand-picked warriors the weapons-training? Tarzan’s escort, Mtwala’s elite. Four of his best .. not given a hand on a deadly weapon? Fighters as dedicated to him as these? Would he not want them skilled with the guns? Would Mtwala always leave four men glowering over Tarzan? Denying himself these men trained in the use of deadly weapons?
Tarzan reckoned Mtwala’s hand-picked men would be sent for training as well. Leaving only one to keep a watch on the prisoner. After all, Tarzan would have had the crap beaten out of him. A nightly ritual of brutal beatings before boozed-up warriors. Tarzan looking like he could barely breathe, let alone put up a fight.
Once Tarzan had got himself out of those inescapable plastic ties .. that ploy of his, challenging his escort to a fight getting him released .. at worst he’d be back tied in ropes. And conventional bonds held little fear for him. A couple of these minders left to keep an eye on him. Confident Tarzan was not going to give them any trouble .. not the way he looked .. not after the pounding they had given the previous night.
Food. There’d be food and drink. Mtwala would want Tarzan kept alive until the fifth morning’s sacrifice. His guards would offer him something to keep his strength up for that.
Bodily functions too. They’d have to let Tarzan outside. Breathing down his neck as he crapped. But out in the free …..? Those plastic ties gone ….? Tarzan had known worse chances ….
Such thoughts would sustain him. Through the beatings. Through the tears of pain and the crippling hurt. Such hopes of breaking free would keep him going. The thought that an opportunity would arise. Each night they’d torture the hell out of him. Each night his chances of keeping up his strength would diminish .. with each night their hellish beatings would progressively weaken him. But he could not afford to fail. He could not let the tribes down. He could not afford to. He would not lose heart.
They WOULD be warned, the tribes on the other side. Tarzan WOULD get free. He was confident he’d get the message out. He HAD to. He just HAD TO ….! Forewarn the others. Thwart Mtwala’s evil plan. He break free of these minders. For all their physique .. for all their loyalty to their chief .. Tarzan had something they did not have. A mission. Charged to ensure Mtwala’s evil plan was foiled. Avoid a blood-bath.
And when this was over .. when peace was restored .. Tarzan promised himself. He vowed it .. he gave Mtwala his heart-felt pledge. He and Mtwala .. they’d settle their differences .. man-to-man.