Where Tarzan had stood earlier .. his belly getting a beating .. his hands tied to the overhead chain .. now there was another man. Eyes wide-eyed with terror. Chained up, a villager, dressed in just a pair of faded nylon shorts.
Tarzan hesitated when he saw the look of fear in his black face. But Cooper’s sharp shove from behind pushed him in front of the victim. Tarzan already suspected what was going down.
“Tarzan. That’s what this savage says you’re called.”
Pieters had a stick. He jabbed it uncaring into the man’s side. Making him wince.
“Some kind of one-man vigilante, he says. Rambo of the jungle. Going around .. sticking your nose in where it don’t belong ….”
The news had got Pieters worried. His guys had beaten a story out of the hostages. This muscular white-man who’d defied the crippling force of Cooper’s knuckle-dusters .. some kind of self-appointed policeman of the jungle?
Pieters didn’t credit it for one moment. There had to be more to this. What sucker just turned up without armed backup nearby? Was this prick scouting for the government? Had the military sent in this wildman who knew the jungle? Investigate their defences? Infiltrate the compound at night?
Certainly the sucker had good-as-nearly done that. If they hadn’t built in scanners and defences ….. this prick would have seen all he had to see. And gone scuttling back. That made this fool a threat. Pieters needed to find out more.
“Know what this thing is?”
Pieters jabbed his stick into Tarzan’s belly button. Tarzan yelled out. He doubled-up. Kicked in the gut by some frisky zebra. But twice as hard. Pain threw him to the side. He hit the floor. His head slammed onto the concrete hard.
“Never had a cattle prod in your guts?”
The stick jabbed at Tarzan’s thigh. Pain sent him twisting over the floor. He yelled out in shock.
“Gets even the dumbest ox’s attention.”
Tarzan was still shuddering from the aftershocks. Hands were grabbing him, pulling him up. But worryingly that that thing was still reverberating in sharp shocks of pain through his torso.