A loud bashing and thrashing up above their heads caught everyone’s attention down in the hold. Cursing and kicking at the top of the steps down into their darkness drew every eye to the gap into the overhead deck. Suddenly a man’s body came crashing down the stairs. He hit the floor with a loud thud.
Men down below tried to scramble out of the way. Out of the path of a burly muscled man hurtling down the stairs with a roar. But the neck collars pinned them to the wall. Muscle and anger slammed into them. Elbows smashed out from the torso of brawny muscle. Smacking into the defenceless men underneath.
Tarzan quickly caught sight of a burly man, he was bound hand and foot. Quickly the two guards down in the hold were on to him. Prods out, one stuck his weapon into the man’s gut. He screamed. The other got the man in the thigh.
His screams filled the hold with shuddering dread. Burly muscle kicking and thrashing. Bawling out. Pain and anger mixed. Writhing and lashing out to escape. The guards kept giving it him .. terrifying the tied up slaves. Till his screaming stopped. The poor sucker had passed out.
Earlier Tarzan had got into conversation with the man next to him. The usual sad story. All the men were from the same village. Some aggressive gang of slave-catchers had attacked. Men and women separated. They were all worried for their families, they’d not seen them for days. And the menfolk had now been delivered into slavery by their attackers.
“Got too fucking big for his boots. Coming in here making demands. Demanding more for their catch.”
The boss-man had had enough. Added to which that gang-leader had come up short. Slaves missing. Well, the fucker could fill the gap.
“Forgotten who’s in charge. Whose business is this? The sucker’s just the delivery boy. Brings in fresh cargo. The sucker gets paid for his efforts. End of the fucking matter.”
He was shaking his head at the cheek of the man.
“Almost like he thinks he’s some business partner, the fucker! A equal. That black motherfucker of a savage.”
He smiled at the irony.
“Been delivering fresh batches of slaves. Let the fucker see what life’s like at the sharp end.”
He sneered at the thought. He’d brought in today’s batch of fresh labourers. When he started playing up, the guys had ambushed the arrogant sucker, tied him up tight. And were now they’d just struggled his writhing muscular torso onto the ship.
“Serves the fucker right. Taste of his own medicine.”
“Plenty of work to be squeezed out of big muscles like his.”