A girl sidling up to him .. her eyes eating up the power of his presence .. tempted by the awesome lure of his physique. Every sinew in her body offering herself. Making him look irresistible. To everybody..
Her readiness wormed her way into his manly being. The sense of her willing herself to him .. that crept into his blood .. drawing the best out of him. It got to him. Appealing to his supreme manliness.
A headiness in the air. Seducing him to show the man he was. An intoxicating urge .. to prove himself. The chief’s captain. Leader of their warriors.
And no better chance. What better target? The hated apeman stood defiant here .. his father’s murderer. Who here would not cheer him on? Taking Tarzan on. His father’s son.
The dog had dared soil his father’s memory. Called him the worst .. spat on his name. His warrior blood was up. His spirit fired up. HE had planned this capture .. hauled the apeman back covered in shame. Every urge in his muscular young man’s body willed him on. The apeman had to be shown up, put to shame. His insults would be paid for. His foul mouth silenced. And HE was the man for the job. None better.
So close .. Tarzan had nearly hooked his fish. But still Nkonu was having nothing of it. He intervened. With a nod he indicated what his nephew should be about.
“Even an ape-man needs his drink. To last out his ordeals.”
As if he saw the logic of that .. finding a cover for his frustrations, cocky, young Mwale gave the girl a wink. She visibly fluttered .. clearly knowing where she’d be spending her night. Then the stud visibly preened at this public seduction .. before his swagger sauntered over to Tarzan ..bowl of water in hand. To sustain the victim. Seemingly biting down on his eagerness, doing as his chief had bidden him do.
Covering up that his uncle had foiled his response to Tarzan’s challenge .. but Tarzan sensed he was not happy at being ordered to stand down. Ostensibly the proud young warrior did not look bothered that Nkonu had manipulated him into bringing water to their prisoner. But Tarzan caught a look. He got a whiff of looming danger from the stud as he approached. He sensed a strong itch to get into a fight .. sparks invisible prickling off his skin. Tarzan recognised in his moves the hidden urges of a sneaky predator closing in on its prey.
Encouraged Tarzan did not give up hope. Recognising the barely hidden signs. Tempting Tarzan tried a further twist in his plan. Now he tried making it look like Tarzan had had enough. Nkonu would not be goaded into something stupid …. but watching the swagger as it brought him the water bowl, Tarzan was sure he could keep reeling this vain stud in.
Suddenly Tarzan was behaving like something had snapped. As if Nkonu’s taunting and gloating had got right up his nose .. like his frustration at this capture had pushed him over the top .. angered at being brought down by some over-muscled young stud too full of himself .. suddenly Tarzan was acting like he was taking no more. Like he’d lost it. He’d flipped.
“A coward. Your chief .. he is a COWARD.”
Rash Tarzan yelled out at the surrounding tribe. Face full of scorn. Tarzan stood encircled by the whole tribe .. assembled to gloat at his capture. Tarzan was the centre of attention. He had a captive audience.
“Challenged to a fight. And what does he do?”
Tarzan lips curled in disgust.
“Shivers. In fear. SCARED.”
Tarzan was pulled up to his full impressive height. The muscles of a fighting man stood bristling and ready.
“What warrior will not settle differences in a fight?”
Head up .. a man who feared nothing. Here was a MAN. Broad chest expanded by the urge to take on anyone. Tarzan’s challenging gaze encompassed the whole assembled tribe.
“This chief of yours ….”
Tarzan snorted. Fists clenched. A man busting to settle old scores.
Contempt for Nkonu was written on Tarzan’s face.
“This chief of yours ……”
Tarzan laughed out. Scoffed.
“Fight? This COWARD? He doesn’t dare.”
Young Mwale had stopped. Stock-still. Rooted to the earth. Shocked by the disrespect. Stunned by Tarzan humiliating his uncle publicly like that.
“I challenge you again, Nkonu.”
Tarzan glared at Nkonu again from between the two stakes.
“Fight me. Man to man.”
Aggressively his clenched fist smacked at his own hard-packed chest.
“You and me.”
Without waiting for a reply, Tarzan turned to young Mwale. He yelled.
“See. He doesn’t dare. Your chief is a …..”
Tarzan’s accusation was cut off mid-stream. Young Mwale had thrown the water in his face. Tarzan’s head recoiled away when the young stud then smacked him with the bowl in the face. Young Mwale was on to him, enraged. He threw himself at Tarzan. One hand grabbed Tarzan by the hair. Tarzan was still shaking the water from his eyes when lightning-fast young Mwale thudded a fist low in to Tarzan’s gut.
Tarzan was still reeling from a bowl cracking hard on his jaw. The hard punch in the belly took him unawares. He gasped, shocked. In an instant another incensed blow landed on the same spot. The air was smacked out of his chest with a grunt. Tarzan doubled up, now taking Mwale’s knee smacked up into his belly. Tarzan’s leg lifted under the force. But not enough to fend off another body-crunching fist thwacked in uncontrolled fury into his gut.