Maybe not the best move Tarzan had made .. provoking the young stud. It was like he had been walking blindfolded into Nkonu’s secret trap.
Out-foxed. Tarzan’s had not allowed for that .. Nkonu handing him over to the vain hunk. All the time Tarzan had been working on his own plan .. the one way he had come up with to get free. And THAT was what had now got him into trouble.
Get the vain peacock in a fight. Overpower him .. threaten his life. Warn he’d break his neck. Work on an uncle’s obvious fondness. Use the broken nephew to get himself free.
His one-and-only plan thwarted. Now a gift to the vain man he had goaded .. the son whose father he had insulted. Called his father a coward. Mocked his uncle. Questioned the peacock’s own courage. Insulting him. Berating. In public. Abusing his vanity in front of the tribe.
Now Tarzan was being handed over .. bound, trapped .. to carry out Nkonu’s plans. The wet dreams that had heated his nights for years. The twisted plans he had dreamed up for Tarzan .. tortured ways to settle old scores. Handed over to the perfect tool for Nkonu’s warped thoughts. The deadly weapon Nkonu had been fashioning for years.
He’d have to think things over again .. and fast. Tarzan saw how young Mwale had evaporated through the people, disappeared together with his friends. Off to prepare for his “celebrations” .. Tarzan playing the main part. And when he returned .. Tarzan knew .. from every look he’d got .. from the hatred that oozed out of every pore on the stud’s muscle-stretched skin .. things were going to take a nasty turn.
The strutting peacock had vanished. But the rest of the tribe had stayed. They were eager for more.
“Like I said, Tarzan .. a stupid move.”
Nkonu was still stood near Tarzan. But he was talking loud enough for the rest of the tribe to hear.
“Calling me a coward.”
He chuckled. This transformed Nkonu-now-chief had the confidence not be ashamed at Tarzan’s outburst. He didn’t even looked annoyed. Not afraid to refer publicly to Tarzan’s accusation of cowardice. Tarzan’s old enemy had certainly found confidence and guts .. from somewhere.
“Expecting a CHIEF to fight!”
He shrugged. In a mocking gesture of Tarzan’s stupidity. What folly!
“A chief has champions. Men who fight for him.”
Nkonu was shaking his head. In mock derision at Tarzan being so dumb. It was obvious Tarzan was being played with. Question was .. where did this lead?
Frustrated Tarzan’s hands were gripped on the stakes either side of him. His plans ruined. All he could do for now was glare back. And try and come up with another plan. He’d never get down to grips with Nkonu, one-to-one. That was no way out of this mess. Nkonu had never been hands-on. He’d shaped a hate-filled muscle-stud for that job. Clearly Nkonu ruled here with an iron hand. Tarzan’s hopes rested on out-thinking his old foe. But he suspected Nkonu had spent time planning. Coaxing retribution out of his night-time hard-on. Rejecting one brutal means for another one more deadly. He was years ahead of Tarzan in this.
Nkonu was smirking. Tarzan sensed he’d had some idea up his sleeve. And it was not going to go well for him.
“ .. since you are interested ……”
Nkonu was rubbing his hands together.
“ .. itching to prove yourself …..”
Tarzan read that Nkonu was up to something.
“ .. busting to get down to some action ….”
Clearly he looked pleased with the idea Nkonu had in his head.
“ .. why not get to know my champions?”
His gaze travelled over the torso trapped underneath the ancient tree. Tied there. Signs of punishment on him. Impossible to escape. Surrounded by the tribe. Not going to let this captive make a break for it.
Nkonu had his arms raised. Searching. His head moved from side-to-side. His gaze swept over the tribe standing around. His arms inviting them to join in.
“Let’s hear it for our champions.”
From all around Tarzan a cry went up. Raucous cheering. Men bawling out. Women ululating. Inviting the champions of the tribe to appear. Above the cheering Tarzan heard Nkonu cry out.
“Abadu .. come out. Introduce yourself.”