Tarzan was put to work. To pay. Paying back for his abuse. Expressing remorse for invading their peace. Relentlessly made to labour under a pitiless sun for angering a god. Worked into the ground. Made to cut down trees. Sweating in ferocious humidity hacking trunks down into timber. Knowing the will of a stinging whip if he slacked off to wipe the smarting sweat from his eyes. Labouring to purge his crimes. Earning every swig of stale water with blows of his axe. Making wood for the fires. His punishment for offending an angry god.
The chief’s litany had spelled it out.
“For striking fear into the people …..”
For each wrongdoing the chief’s blows had lain down their stinging pain across Tarzan’s back. Bathing Tarzan in a fiery oil of tortured pain. Each sharp slash of flaming agony across muscular flesh had made him gasp. Making him bite down hard .. clench tight his jaws together. That pressure blown apart by the force that exploded out his lungs.
“ … work him like a slave ……”
Relentless barrages of body-crunching strikes rained down. Pitiless. Without mercy. Shuddering into blood-soaked stone.
The infuriated witch-doctor had hissed out a god’s will.
“Work the dog till he drops.”
The strap swished. Tarzan’s fists crushed together into a pained ball.
“Work him till he begs.”
The evil hiss of leather exploded. Pain snorted out of Tarzan’s nose.
“Work him into the ground ….. Till he screams …..”
Blow after blow .. each like the fiery rod of a god’s fury .. scorching a tortured streak through Tarzan’s spirit. His eyes popped. Pain span in his head like a sickening whirlpool.
Five warriors had been at him all day. Through the pitiless heat .. running with tortured sweat. Exhausting him. Making him swing the axe to express his regrets. Chopping down trees to show his remorse. Splitting wood .. reverberations of repentance jarring through tortured muscle. Worked into the ground. Every moment, every second, never a moment to catch his breath.
Beast of burden .. thick rope digging into his shoulder .. agonisingly slowly .. canes lashed out to make him haul trunk after fallen trunk back. Worked till he dropped. Lashed if he paused. Goaded by spears .. a merciless pace. Worked till his famed strength let him down. No food, only water. And the constant pressure from five warriors ruthlessly lashed out with canes at Tarzan’s tortured back. Driving him on. Driving him to the ground. Driving remorse out of the intruder with every tormented drop of sweat.