End of that body-breaking day Tarzan spied Carter again. Hauling another weighty trunk back. Tarzan was limping with exhaustion. He spotted Carter stretched out, spread-eagled, suspended in the air. Painful, agonising .. but Tarzan had worries of his own. He was shattered by a day doing the labour of many men. Ruthlessly worked till he dropped. Now he was being escorted back into the shrine. Heart filled with dismay at the thought.
And there hung Carter. After a day left hanging. In the baking heat. Roasted by the sun. Carter looked as good as dead. Lifeless, stretched out like a hide drying in the sun .. pulled into a perfect X .. strung up in the air. Could he still be alive? The leather bonds stretching his limbs had shrunken in the sun. Tortured muscles in his straining legs standing out like chiselled. Was Carter dead? Sacrificed to their god? Sacrificed like this? The witch-doctor’s fury at Carter’s outbursts had hung him out. Tortured for blasphemies. Carter’s head was slumped down .. muscles taut, pulled by shrivelled leather. Pure tortured hell. Hard to breathe stretched-out like that. Carter was dead? Sacrificed .. to this brutal death. For his obscenities. His insults at their god. A long revengeful time dying.
If Carter was gone, good riddance. But then …. how did Tarzan track down his son?
And what did this tribe mean for him?
Back in the shrine. “Every night, after sunset .. he brings his remorse to the god for his offence.”
Tarzan’s intrusion had destroyed a god-granted peace. He had angered a deity with his invasion of privacy .. shattering a god-given calm. Regrets had to be earned. Penitence would be taken. Tarzan’s remorse had to be heard.
And then .. after he had cried out his regrets …? A fate like Carter’s?
“This dog will learn. The pig will show respect.”
That night, for a second time, again the chief had had Tarzan stretched out over the stone. Personally he lashed the foul intruder with the cane .. ripping agony into an already bruised backside. Savagely the strap tore into a body shattered by back-breaking hard work. Slashing torture into the damaged muscles down Tarzan’s back.
That night there had been no holding it in. No holding back.
“The god will hear this pig’s songs of remorse.”
The chief’s words had come true. Tortured muscle zinged. Battered flesh shrieked. Discordant Tarzan had sung. The chief had given his god Tarzan’s grating tunes of agony.