Tarzan’s first instincts were always to fight. Bad blood with an enemy … a tribe was pushing its weight around …. Tarzan didn’t run from the problem. Fists clenched he went straight to the heart of the matter.
For weeks there had be no chance. The slavers kept up the constant pressure. Their workers bent to that pressure. Or else the prods were out. Or a worker missed his quota and got a vicious beating. The men worked themselves into the ground to avoid that.
If he couldn’t fight, Tarzan would have to run. Get away, lick his wounds. And come up with something better. Unbeknown to Cody, that had had to become Tarzan’s plan. Run.
It had worked, his subterfuge. His plan had turned out as hoped. And Tarzan kept on running. On his journeys heaving that cart around the island he’d spied the mountains. In the centre of the island. He’d seen the streams flowing from them down to the sea. Tarzan took action. And he ran for the hills.
When he hadn’t turned up to collect the harvested sacks of pods, a guard had been alerted. He’d come alone, the slaves had their quota to fill, he wasn’t going to waste their time. The guard found the cart overturned. An unconscious Tarzan trapped under sacks of pods and chained to the cart. Only way to sort out the mess .. release the slave from his collar. See what-the-fuck the damage was. The plan had worked. Easier than Tarzan could have hoped.
The rock next to Tarzan’s hand had struck. The skull had caved in. To make sure, Tarzan struck again. Gathering the guard’s prod .. just in case .. then with no hesitation, Tarzan had run. All the thinking he’d done before. Cody he had to abandon .. he couldn’t risk hunting him down and trying to rescue him too. There’d be no second chance, Tarzan grabbed the only opportunity he had. Was he exposing Cody to the slavers’ wrath? Maybe. But Tarzan knew he had no choice. He ran.
Wading up a river up to his waist. Slower going but it would throw them off the scent. Tarzan had seen the dogs. Vicious brutes, big, evil-looking, he’d not manage to fight them off. His ears were on constant alert but so far no sound of baying hounds. No sign that they’d discovered him missing. That the manhunt had begun.
He still had four hours of light left. The river was no longer so high, he moved at a faster pace. Tarzan had stayed in the stream as the flow lessened and the mountains began. He looked up at the waterfall, water cascading down over rocks. Rocks leading up the mountain. He knew in landscapes like this, higher up there’d be caves, places he could hide. Places Tarzan could stay out of sight and plan his next move. And the water flowing over wet rocks would wash away his scent. Up that waterfall, water cascading over piles of rocks .. that seemed the right direction to go.