Omekono’s brother had mentioned the wheel once. When Omekono had returned. His brother had tried to talk him through the sufferings. Gently easing his brother through his horrors. Once Omekono had started talking about “the wheel”. Then he had clammed up. Bawled at his brother. And ran out shouting into the night.
Tarzan would have fought himself free when he saw what was meant for him. Terror alone would have given him the strength. But his way was blocked.
Escorted by supremely strong warriors to a giant cave, confronting Tarzan with the “wheel”. By the time Tarzan saw the horrors it presented .. word had got around. A new offering to Mzanka had been found. More men had gathered in the cavern, muscled specimens every one. By the time Tarzan had realised the depth of his dilemma .. too late. A dozen more warriors were stood in the entrance .. blocking any escape. Any chance of getting away from that enormous wheel.
The wheel was a massive drum, over a man’s height. When the chief arrived with the priest Tarzan was already stood with his back against the giant barrel, his hands above his head tied to a ring on the barrel.
At the priest’s command Tarzan saw a pair of men set to work at the side of the drum. He felt the pressure .. on his hands .. pulling him upwards. The barrel was revolving .. turning him with it. Pulling him off the ground.
He was still uncertain of the full meaning of this action .. what they were going to do to him. But the priest had made it clear to the chief. The offering’s suffering would lure Mzanka. And Tarzan was that offering. He was now revolving upwards, his feet now well off the ground. His back was pressed hard against the drum, his weight being taken by his arms. Tarzan was feeling the strain growing in his open armpits .. when the drum was stopped.
Tarzan couldn’t see but he felt the hands on his ankles. Felt rope being tied around his legs. After a while, the drum began to revolve again. Slowly he was being turned, his face now looking up into the gloomy darkness of the roof of the cave. Tarzan felt his heartbeat running. He calmed himself, he lessened his nervousness. He sensed he’d need all the strength he could find.
And then he felt a tug. A pull on his legs. The revolving slowed. It came to a halt, forced to come to a stop, his legs pulling him back. Tarzan was now at the top of the drum. His back arched, the arms above his head being pulled downwards, over the backside of the barrel. The pull on his legs had tightened. Clearly the ankle ropes were fastened to the earth, they couldn’t go any further. And Tarzan was stretched over the drum, the leg ropes stopped him from further movement. The drum could not turn anymore. He was being stretched backwards over this giant wheel.