Sounds of women’s curiosity let Tarzan know they had arrived. He heard a child crying out in fright at the sight. This lost tribe were not used to strangers. And had these children ever seen a white man? They were unwelcome. Through his bag Tarzan sensed a heavy curtain of hostility settling down on them.
The shrine was a cave, not large. But when they’d whipped the bag off his head, when his eyes adjusted to the dimness, one thing stood out. A monstrous evil looking image on the wall. The three-eyed glare of an angry god resenting this intrusion into his realm.
Carter was staring open-mouthed at the giant image of fury –incarnate. Fangs caked with blood. Gaping wide to take a bite. Rip flesh from bones.
A witch-doctor had rattled his magic over Tarzan’s front after the bag had gone. His face hidden behind a grotesque mask. But his every body gesture was riven with anger, disgust, disdain. That strangers had come unbidden. Their arrival had infuriated their god. The witch-doctor retreated to the altar stone. Chanting. Incanting to placate their god. Fervently pleading for mercy .. for failing to keep sacred his domain.
No need for bonds now. There was one entrance only to the shrine .. about twenty armed men blocked any escape. Whatever was planned in this shrine, it would happen whether Tarzan willed it or no.
Hands shoved him forwards .. towards a giant flat-topped stone. A kick in the back of his knee and a push down on his neck ordered Tarzan to kneel, his thighs pressed up against the boulder. Observant Tarzan took in the warning stains. Browns and dark-reds of spilled blood had seeped into the stone. Tarzan was kneeling at their stone of sacrifice.