Read Fearless Master of the Jungle (A Bunduki Jungle Adventure Online

Authors: J.T. Edson

Tags: #fantasy novel, #tarzan, #scifi ebooks, #jt edson, #bunduki, #new world fantasy, #zillikian, #new world fantasy online

Fearless Master of the Jungle (A Bunduki Jungle Adventure

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Transported to the primitive planet of
Zillikian by the mysterious ‘Suppliers’, Dawn Drummond-Clayton and
James Allenvale Gunn – better known as Bunduki – found themselves
far removed from the civilized life they had known on Earth. Not
only did the jungles and plains abound with all kinds of danger,
but the human population lived by raiding and warfare.

Possessed of Herculean strength and an expert
in the use of knife, bow, spear and shield, Bunduki proved himself
to be a warrior second to none. For all that, when he was taken
captive by the most implacable of their foes, only Dawn’s courage
and ability stood between him and a very painful death …

 

 

 

FEARLESS MASTER
OF THE JUNGLE

BUNDUKI 4

By J. T.
Edson

First Published
by Transworld Publishers in 1980

Copyright
©
1980, 2016 by J. T. Edson

First
Smashwords Edition: March 2016

Names,
characters and incidents in this book are fictional, and any
resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons
living or dead is purely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part
of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording
or by any information or storage and retrieval system, without the
written permission of the author, except where permitted by
law.

Cover image © 2015 by
Tony
Masero

This is a
Piccadilly Publishing Book ~*~ Text © Piccadilly Publishing

Series Editor:
Ben Bridges

Published by
Arrangement with the Author’s Agent.

 

 

 

For Mike Ward of March,
Cambs,

with apologies for the
delay in getting the dedication included.

 

 

 

Author

s Note

As in the previous volumes of
the Bunduki series, we are employing Earth
’s and not Zillikian’s terms for
distances, transport, measurements of time and animals, with the
exception of the various types of domesticated zebras known
as
‘gatahs

.
We
are also giving details of Dawn Drummond-Clayton’s and James
Allenvale ‘Bunduki’ Gunn’s family background and upbringing in the
form of appendices.

I would like to thank Philip Jose
Farmer for the permission he has granted allowing me to make use of
his characters, Lady Hazel and Sir Armond John
Drummond-Clayton.

 

 

Fearless Master of the Jungle in
Explanation

The following is to help
set the scene for new readers.

When the Land
Rov
er
carrying them through the Ambagasali Wild Life Reserve in Africa
had swerved and toppled over the edge of the Gambuti Gorge, it had
appeared there was no escape for Dawn Drummond-Clayton and her
adoptive cousin, James Allenvale Gunn; whose sobriquet ‘Bunduki’
was derived from the Swahili word meaning a hand-held firearm. Yet
they had not been killed. Instead, Dawn had found herself alive and
unharmed on open plains and Bunduki was in a jungle. Their original
clothing had been changed for simple attire and certain weapons,
which had not been on the vehicle, were now in their possession.
Furthermore, while neither could imagine how the transfer had been
made, each of them had a subconscious idea of where to find the
other. In view of what had happened to them, it was fortunate that
their family backgrounds and upbringings had been such as to equip
them for survival under the conditions with which they found
themselves faced.
i

While searching for Dawn,
Bunduki had come into contact with two members of the peace-loving,
jungle-dwelling, Telonga nation. He had also met a family
group
of a
species of giant
Australopithecus,
a pre-hominid race known to the Telongas as the
‘Hairy People’ who, in addition to possessing a rudimentary form of
speech, used branches and roots as clubs or spears. In the course
of the meetings, he had discovered that he was able to converse
with both humans and
Australopithecus
in their own languages and duplicate the
latter’s various signaling calls.
ii

Before Dawn could locate
Bunduki, she had fallen into the hands of the Mun-Gatahs; a warrior
race who lived on the plains and rode various species of
domesticated zebras known as
gatahs
iii
During the time
that Dawn was being held by the High Priest, Dryaka, Bunduki was
captured by adherents of Charole, and the Protectress of the Quagga
God. Taking advantage of the rivalry that had existed between their
captors, the Earth couple had contrived to escape. Having done so,
they had met one of the beings responsible for their rescue from
the Land Rover, to be told where they were and why they had been
saved.
iv

Dawn and Bunduki were rescued
from what should have been certain death by the ultra sophisticated
technology of a super-intelligent alien
race that had turned Zillikian into a
wild life preserve by transferring many kinds of animals, birds,
reptiles, amphibians, fishes and insects from every continent on
Earth. In addition, they had brought and settled various human and
pre-hominid races. They continued to equip the people with homes,
tools, weapons, other necessities and even some luxury items, and
they were known to the recipients as the ‘Suppliers’. To ensure the
survival of the various nations, they had also instilled cultural
beliefs and customs to govern the people’s behavior and way of
life. Dawn and Bunduki had been selected to act as game wardens on
the planet, with the responsibility for the preservation of the
human beings as well as the animals. Their appointment coincided
with a threat to the existence of one nation.

As there were no harmful,
disease-bearing insects, germs or bacteria on Zillikian, living
conditions were so beneficial that some means of controlling the
human population was essential. With one exception, warfare and
raiding held the size of the various nations at an acceptable
level. To prevent the numbers of the pacific Telongas increasing
until their habitat could no longer support them, the
‘Suppliers’ had
created a system of control between them and the Mun-Gatahs.
Following a ritualized procedure, the former nation’s
‘People-Taker’ and his escort made the rounds of the Telonga
villages twice a year and removed a carefully proscribed number of
young men and women. Morally wrong as the concept might be by
Earth’s standards, the system had worked successfully for
generations. In return for their losses, the prolifically breeding
Telongas had been granted protection from depredations by the other
warrior races.

However, on his latest round of
visits, the People-Taker had removed double the allowable quota.
Then, on orders from the High Priest, he had returned to carry out
an additional levy by abducting almost the entire population of the
Jey-Mat Telgonga village in which the Earth
couple was residing.

Circumstances had prevented
Dawn and Bunduki from intervening. Every Telonga village had a
small force of hunters to protect the otherwise unarmed and
defenseless
community from wild animals. To avoid the bloodshed which would
have ensued if the hunters had tried to resist the levies, and to
save such useful specialists from being claimed by the
People-Taker, the ‘Suppliers’ had arranged that the hunters would
always be absent during the collections. Such effective cultural
barriers had been established that the Mun-Gatahs had never even
heard of the hunters’ existence. Nor, despite realizing that some
action must be taken to limit the People-Taker’s activities before
the Telonga nation was depopulated, had the Earth couple been able
to pierce the wall of silence which surrounded the ‘putting away’
of the hunters. Before they could gain sufficient of their hosts’
confidence to be admitted to the secret of the rite, they had
discovered at firsthand what was entailed. Learning that the
People-Taker was coming, the Elders of the village had removed
Bunduki along with the hunters. On his return, he was told that
Dawn had been drugged so that she could not attempt to interfere
with the ‘putting away’ and subsequent collection.

There had been even more terrible news
for Bunduki!

While the Earth couple had been
held prisoner by the Mun-Gatahs, the superlative quality of their
weapons had aroused their respective captors
’ envy. As the People-Taker had
learned of their presence in the village and knew of Dryaka’s
interest, he had had the Elders tortured in an attempt to find
them. His victims had refused to disclose the secret of the
‘putting away’, but the wife of one of them had betrayed Dawn’s
hiding place in the hope of saving her husband’s life. The
unconscious girl had been carried off with the collected members of
the community. Supported by the hunters, who were enraged by what
they had found at the village, Bunduki had followed to wipe out the
People-Taker’s escort and liberate their prisoners. Unfortunately,
Dawn had already been dispatched to the Mun-Gatahs’ capital city,
Bon Gatah. So, sending his companions back to Jey-Mat with orders
that they make ready to defend themselves, he had set out alone to
rescue her.
v

Since Dawn and Bunduki had
arrived on Zillikian, their attitudes towards each other had
changed radically. They had grown up together on Earth, being
almost as close as a brother
and sister, but their feelings had changed from
warm affection to real love. On the night prior to him being ‘put
away’, she had dressed as a Telonga girl and performed the ‘Dance
Of The Maidens’ in front of him while they were attending the
wedding of their friends, Joar-Fane, The Loving One’, and At-Vee
the Hunter. By tradition, every Telonga spinster did this to
signify she was willing to marry the man before whom she was
dancing.

Bunduki
’s love would have been sufficient
inducement for him to go after Dawn, but he had discovered that
there was another very important reason why she must be set free.
By a series of accidents, one of Dryaka’s adherents had learned how
to produce and make use of gunpowder. With this potent substance at
his disposal, the High Priest had contracted an alliance with the
Protectress of the Quagga God. Using ‘Terrifiers’
vi
filled with the ‘Thunder Powder’,
they had planned to gain control of their entire nation as a
prelude to conquering every other race on Zillikian. However,
before they could hope to achieve undisputed domination of the
Mun-Gatahs, they had been committed to presenting one of the
‘Earths’
vii
as a sacrifice for
their nation’s deity, the Quagga God. With Dawn in their power,
this had seemed possible. Helped by a party of Amazons—one of whom,
Beryl Snowhill,
viii
was a friend from Earth who had also
been transported to Zillikian by the ‘Suppliers’
ix
— Bunduki had effected a
rescue.
x

Reunited, Dawn and Bunduki had left
the Mun-Gatahs engrossed in a civil war and, parting company with
the Amazons, were returning across the plains to the jungle so that
they could help the Telongas to prepare for a new and more rugged
way of life.

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