Tarzan – Deposed Jungle Lord
Book II The Capture of Bomba, the Jungle Boy
Author: L. Cross – Approx. 2010.
Moderately enhanced/embellished/expanded/edited by Rick Henry, 10-2021.
Chapter 1 “The Plan in Motion”
The C-130 passes very low and slowly over the old jungle air field piloted by the ship’s copilot Jake, as the hunter and the pilot stand on either side of the large open rear cargo bay door assessing the condition of the old airstrip. Each of the men is wearing headsets plugged into a communications’ panel allowing conversation between the hunter, the pilot, and copilot.
Parked well off the airstrip below in the mid-morning sun is a small, bright yellow helicopter. Two men in jungle camo with shouldered rifles watch the low flying transport as it makes its second low pass over the airstrip.
“Well, Jake, what do you think? Can you set us down here?” asks the hunter.
“It won’t be pretty… but yeah, I can bring her down safely. It looks like your boys know their business. They did a great job clearing and patching up this old air field… it’s a vast improvement when compared to the satellite shots from last week,” replies the copilot.
“Let’s do it then… you and Jack have to be back in Nairobi by this afternoon,” reminds the hunter.
“I never thought I’d be in business together with you, Hunter… don’t take it the wrong way. It’s great… I just never thought I had any useful skill to be used in your type of work. Stand back… I’ll secure the door for landing,” says Jack. The hunter smiles and nods as the pilot pushes a button on the door control. The large rear door slowly retracts down and outward and comes to a stop. Jack pulls his headset jack from the communication panel and gestures to the hunter to follow him forward.
Seconds later the hunter and pilot enter the cockpit. Jake the young red-headed copilot is in the second seat banking the transport slightly preparing to bring the plane around for another low pass over the airstrip. Jack sits in the first seat and buckles in saying, “We’ve seen enough. Prepare for landing, Jake,” orders the captain.
“Sure skipper,” replies Jake.
The hunter buckles into the navigator’s chair behind the second seat and watches as the pilot and copilot begin a going over their checklist in preparation for landing.
“I have the plane, Jake,” says the captain.
“You have the plane, skipper,” sighs Jake in relief at not having to land the big bird on the old airstrip.
The captain smiles at his young partner and says, “You’d do just fine, Jake… when you’re ready to try, you’ll know. You have wisdom, Jake…most guys your age would be too proud to admit their limitations and try before they feel they’re ready—that’s why I took you on with me. Gear down, Jake,” orders the captain.
Jake nods and pulls down on a large handle between the pilot and copilot seat; the plane vibrates slightly as the hydraulics engage and the landing gear extends downward, locking into place.
“Gear down and locked, skipper,” reports Jake as the plane banks hard and then lines up on the on airstrip and begins to lose altitude. The ground crew has set burning red flares on the boundaries of the airstrip to aid the pilot in lining up the transport for landing.
“Brace for landing, Hunter,” warns the captain. “Jake, when we touch down, power down the engines and reverse thrust… I will need help braking the bird, too.”
“I’m here skipper,” replies Jake. He reaches over and puts his large hand on the engine throttle.
The two men below watch in interest as the large C-130 banks hard around and approaches the jungle airstrip. When the landing gear begins to extend and the landing lights blaze bright, the taller man says excitedly “Looks like they’re going for it!”
“The hunter says this pilot is good… real good. He flew transports for the Air Force during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He’s even flown the big ones – C-5’s,” explains the other man.
“What’s this about, anyway?” asks the taller man.
“You know the hunter; secretive about his contracts. All I know is he wanted this airfield operational, and he wants transport for two to Nairobi—and pays good for the work,” replies the other.
“Here it comes,” says the taller man excitedly as the C-130 approaches and drops low. The landing lights attached to the landing gear blaze bright white, and the plane continues to descend as it approaches the jungle airstrip. The aircraft gracefully loses altitude and clears the edge of the jungle. Seconds later there is a loud screech: two gusts of black smoke waft from the far end of the airstrip as the C-130’s tires touchdown on the cracked surface of the strip. Once on the ground, the large transport immediately begins to loudly decelerate… the turbo props in reverse. the craft begins to brake hard. The roar is deafening as the prop-thrust is reversed and brought to full power, slowing down the large transport. Seconds more, the two men feel a gust of hot wind and hear the roar as the plane flashes past their helicopter parked well away from the runway. The transport is still moving a bit fast, approaching the end of the airstrip—both men run onto the strip to watch.
The engines roar even louder, and the old transport shakes hard, gradually coming to a full stop. The engines power down, then ramp up again as the C-130 spins gracefully around 180 degrees: the thrust of the transport’s four engines whip-tear at the leaves of the leafy palms and brush near the runway. The C-130 then slowly begins to taxi back down the jungle airstrip as the wing flaps retract back into take-off position. The men move off the runway and stand next to the helicopter again; the plane slowly passes by them and then comes to stop near their parked jeep. The dull roar of the C-130’s spinning engines continue as the plane remains stationary and the large rear cargo door slowly retracts and opens.
As the rear section opens, the men catch sight of the hunter and Jake standing near the door. Jake is operating the door control and has on a headset that is attached to a black cord that leads to another cord that is coiled in Jake’s hand. The copilot grabs a pair of yellow wooden wheel chocks from within the cargo bay and jumps lightly down to the tarmac followed by the hunter. The hunter slaps Jake on the back and says something to him over the dull roar the engines. Jake nods acknowledgement and then moves off quickly towards the port side aircraft wheels and chocks the large aircraft tires front and back.
Hunter greets the men with handshakes and a shouted greeting over the engine noise, while they wait for the C-130’s engines shutdown. The men watch as Jake plugs the cord to the headset into a recessed jack on the exterior of the aircraft; he drops the coil of black wire and begins to move around the exterior of the aircraft speaking into the headset’s microphones. Jake walks quickly around the starboard wing and moves well out in front of the spinning blades of the C-130. The copilot stands before each of the C-130’s four spinning engines one by one making a visual inspection of each and relaying his findings to the captain. Satisfied everything is in order the copilot draws his right index finger across his throat. The plane’s four turbo prop engines immediately shut off one by one and begin to ramp down. A repeated scenario, each time of their landing gigs.
“That’s better,” says the hunter as he listens to the subsiding engine noise. “Have any trouble boys?”
“Out here?” asks the tall man. “We haven’t seen a soul, two days we’ve been here.
“Good. This spot is perfect for the plan,” says the hunter, and he looks around.
Chapter 2 “The Jungle Airstrip”
(NOTE: The end of Chapter 1, and this following Chapter 2, were practically verbatim repeats, and made little sense. Thus, much of it was simply excised, and severely edited, short as it is… so the story layout could continue and remain as originally numbered.)
“So how’d it go, Shawn?” Hunter asks the tallest of the two men. A leanly tall fellow, with short- cropped blond hair; the now quiet remoteness of the jungle settling around them.
“Same ole, same ole,” Shawn replies. “So many greedy wackos in the world, could probably have sold the Brooklyn Bridge to the local Boy Scout troop for six bucks, just as easy.”
“No hitches, no questions?”
“Show them the money, they squat every time,” agrees the shorter Vince. A bit on the muscly side, but no Adonis or heavyweight. This one has darker features, coloring. No doubt Italian, and proud of it.
Both of the men, Shawn and Vince, have been long associates of the hunter. They were basically the go-fors: front men sent ahead to smooth the way, pave the road, entice the foolish, roll out the carpet… for whatever was to come. Probably could have coerced Miss America into posing for Playboy, with promises of absolute legitimacy, no g-string needed. And a Hollywood contract for Sesame Street, if she’d only smile and peel off her top. The hunter trusted them. They were charmingly devious and thorough.
“Any problems with Bomba’s police commissioner friend, Vince?”
“Are you shittin’ me?” Shawn interjected. “Once we popped open the briefcase with the bills,
his eyes got wide, took a handkerchief to wipe his forehead, and says ‘What d’ya need, fellas—how can I help? Been wanting to retire for a long time….’ And he was off and running, on auto-pilot.”
“No… you had the old man pegged right,” laughs Vince. “With friends like him… Bomba does not need any enemies!”
Chapter 3 “The Trap is Set”
“I figured the police commissioner could not resist the cash,” replies the hunter.
“Pops played it cool. He went through the heart wrenching spiel that Bomba is like a son to him…he could never sell out his boy, Bomba…for any price,” laughs Vince.
“The old goat changed his tune when he saw the cash in the case; heck, he even offered to help. He said he would drug the Jungle Boy and hogtie him while he was unconscious,” snickers Shawn. “Some step-father he is!”
“I explained to him that this had to be done quietly and professionally. There has to be a witness to the fact that Bomba left the village alive and well for personal reasons, for an extended period of time… and that he might not return. Pops will provide a witness and spread the story that Bomba has left the village on a personal matter. Pops will send Bomba on his way here to you at exactly midday tomorrow…he should arrive just after sunset,” explains Vince.
“Perfect. I read that old cop correctly. He’s old and tired… facing the prospect of working that shit job in that shit hole village until he drops dead. I figured he’d sell out Bomba for a retirement incentive,” sneers the hunter.
The pilot and copilot now have arrived to join the group.
“Boys, this is Jack and Jake, friends of mine,” introduces the Hunter as Jack and Jake approach the trio on the side of the jungle airstrip. “Jack and Jake, meet Shawn and Vince—some occasional partners in my acquisition projects.”
As greetings and handshakes take place, Hunter steps out in front of the group of men and claps his hands sharply together. “OKAY! Here’s the plan. Shawn and Vince… you boys take Jake and Jack and chopper out of here, first thing in the morning. I’ll stay here alone…less chance of Bomba spotting anyone. And I’ll be sure to give young Bomba the proper greeting he deserves when he arrives at sunset tomorrow.”
“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay too, Hunter,” asks Vince. Well-skilled as he is in Karate. “Got a look at that Jungle Boy in the village…he’s a big, strapping boy… all muscle! If you were just going to take Bomba out, I wouldn’t be concerned. But you want him alive, and putting that big kid down alone won’t be easy.”
“Thanks, pal, but I’m prepared for Bomba…muscles and all. I brought a little surprise with me for him,” smiles the Hunter slyly. “I’ll be fine. After I deck him, I’ll flush and plug the Jungle Boy for the trans-Atlantic flight. I don’t want to mess up Jack’s plane.”
“Like Tarzan? I appreciate that,” laughs the pilot.
“You boys chopper back here the day after tomorrow, then we’ll settle up and go our separate ways. Jack, Jake and me will go on to deliver the Jungle Boy to his master in San Miguel. Poor kid… he’ll never know what hit him.”
Chapter 4 “The Police Commissioner’s Treachery”
“Ah Bomba…please come in,” chirps the old police commissioner cheerfully as he quickly closes the lid of a metal briefcase sitting on his desk and then secures the case’s latches.
“Hello, commissioner—note say Bomba need come see you,” smiles young Bomba as he steps into the commissioner’s office off the dirt street of the small jungle village.
“Yes, Bomba. I need a favor from you,” says the commissioner.
Bomba, the Jungle Boy, is a good-looking boy nearly twenty years old and stands 6” 3” tall. He is a strapping boy clad only in a skimpy leopard loin cloth, and carries his trademark spear. Bomba is handsome; he has clear tanned skin, brown eyes and curly brown hair. He has an impressive body and the scanty loin cloth reveals Bomba’s powerful thighs and calves – muscular torso with six pack abs, and well-developed pecs – large arms and bulging biceps – the result of growing up wild and on his own in the rugged jungle.
“Bomba glad to help police commissioner,” replies the handsome boy with a friendly smile.
“Thank you, Bomba; I need you to travel west to the abandoned airstrip near Nirenda Ridge, and check on a plane that was reported to have landed there late yesterday afternoon.”
“Trouble commissioner?” asks Bomba.
I’m not sure. It’s a crazy place to make an intentional landing… that old beat-up strip has not been active in over a decade or two. It’s probably nothing sinister… engine trouble… mechanical problem of some type. I’m not sure. Nonetheless I need to have it checked out to be safe… no injuries, drugs… poaching, or funny stuff going on out there. The problem is that Boito and I have to travel to the district headquarters this afternoon, to testify at a hearing,” explains the police commissioner.
“Bomba leave now and check plane at airstrip. Bomba be back quick – tomorrow midday, commissioner,” says Bomba as he turns to leave.
“Thanks Bomba… you’ll never know how much this means to me. Oh, Bomba… travel alone so you’ll make good time. And be careful, Bomba. If there is any sign of trouble at the strip, return for help. Boito and I will be back tonight,” cautions the commissioner.
“Bomba go alone; Bomba travel quick; Bomba always careful,” replies Bomba as he flashes a smile and leaves the office.
As the door shuts the commissioner’s mood changes abruptly; he watches sullenly as the strapping young Jungle Boy hurries past his office window to make his way out of the small jungle village, and towards his demise at the hands of the waiting slaver. The gray-haired commissioner sighs loudly as he sits down behind his desk, unlatches and then opens the lid of the briefcase once more. He gazes intently at the neatly stacked and wrapped bundles of crisp US dollars within the briefcase. “One hundred-thousand dollars, to lure Bomba the Jungle Boy to an abandoned airstrip,” muses the commissioner. “Two minutes of my time to earn all this money! Two minutes, to betray a friend! But an offer I could not refuse! I’m so sorry, Bomba; nothing personal, son. But I’m getting too old to keep doing this job out here in this dreary place – terrorists – poacher’s – drug dealers; you’re my ticket to secure retirement, Bomba,” thinks the commissioner out loud. He scratches the gray hair on his head, and stares with wonder at the briefcase full of cash. “I have a good idea why my clients wanted me to lure you to that old secluded landing strip, Bomba…. Sad; and I’m pretty sure you won’t be coming back.”
“Boito,” yells the commissioner as he closes the lid and latches the briefcase. Seconds pass and there is a quick knock on the door as a local native enters the office.
“Yes, Bwana?” asks Boito.
“Have all my personal belongings from my bungalow been loaded into the Land Rover?” asks the commissioner impatiently.
“Yes, Bwana,” replies Boito.
“Did you see Bomba leave the village alone, just now?” asks the commissioner.
“Yes, Bwana; Bomba go west… alone… very quickly,” replies Boito.
“You said nothing to Bomba,” asks the commissioner sternly.
“No, Bwana. Bomba not see me…and you tell me not to speak to Bomba today. Where Bomba go?” asks Boito.
“Bomba would not say; it is a personal matter, and I had to respect Bomba’s privacy. Bomba did say he would be gone for a very long time, and for us not to worry about him. He says he might not be back. You witnessed Bomba leaving the village… so if Bomba does not return, foul play should not be suspected. Now take that box and put it in the Land Rover; that’s the last of my office files,” instructs the commissioner.
“You not come back, Commissioner?” ask Boito.
“I’m afraid not, Boito. I’m retiring – I know it’s sudden – but circumstances have changed. My replacement will arrive Monday after next. Until then you can mind the store, Boito… make sure the new commissioner knows that Bomba has left the village on a personal errand and intends to be gone a long, long time…perhaps permanently. Therefore, if interested parties voice concern for Bomba’s well-being, they should be informed Bomba left the village of his own free will. And further… you personally witnessed Bomba’s safe departure. Now be off with you,” orders the commissioner.
Boito shakes his head and shrugs, then obeys; he takes the box and leaves the office quickly. After Boito has gone, the commissioner leans back in his chair and considers, “I really will miss Bomba; he has been like a son to me these past few years. I feel bad that it has to end like this for the poor boy. There is not much chance of a happy ending, when someone pays that much money to lure someone somewhere! Most likely Bomba has caught the eye of a slaver; the demand for good-looking white boys has created a huge black market for white slaves… and Bomba certainly fits the bill. The Orientals and Arabs can’t seem to get enough kidnapped white boys to serve as their unwilling slaves… scum… perverts… deviants!”
The commissioner leans back in his chair and closes his eyes, and shudders… contemplating the miseries of Bomba’s soon life as a slave at the mercy of a cruel perverted master. He is disturbed by images in his mind of the strapping boy forced to perform every imaginable deviant act of humiliation for his master’s pleasure. He tries to shake off second thoughts for his brutal betrayal of his would-be son, Bomba. He begins to sweat; he sighs loudly, sits upright in his chair and moans, “What have I done? No! Wait! I need to get a grip! I had to lure Bomba to the airstrip! It was either doing this job until I die, or delivering Bomba! I need a drink… or two!”
He wipes the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand and then opens a side drawer of his desk; he retrieves a bottle of Jack Daniels and a small glass. “The die is cast. I cannot un-ring that bell!” thinks the gray-haired commissioner as he pours a generous amount of Jack into the glass. He stands and raises the glass and offers a toast, “To Bomba, the Jungle Boy! He really was like a son to me!” He voraciously gulps the sour mash whiskey down and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. The old man refills the glass and toasts again, “To Absolution!” He gulps down the second glass and then sighs loudly, as he throws the glass to the stone floor, shattering it into pieces. He takes the briefcase and heads for the Land Rover and his retirement—paid for with Bomba’s precious freedom.
To be continued…