In the first story of Jungle Tales Of Tarzan, "Tarzan's First Love", we learn that man is present in Tarzan's jungle. According to Tarzan Of The Apes that would make Tarzan at least eighteen. "Thus at eighteen, we find him, an English lord ling, who could speak no English, and yet who could read and write his native language. Never had he seen a human being other than himself, for the little area traversed by his tribe was watered by no great river to bring down the savage natives of the interior." ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes, chapter 9.
We can also deduce that very little time has passed since man's arrival. "Puzzle as he would, however, he could not solve the mystery of the concealed pit for the ways of the blacks were still strange ways to Tarzan. They had entered his jungle but a short time before - the first of their kind to encroach upon the age-old supremacy of the beasts which laird there." ERB-Jungle Tales Of Tarzan, chapter 2.
From these two statements, Edgar Rice Burroughs gave us, we can conclude that Tarzan was eighteen when the events of Tarzan Of The Apes fades out during chapter 11 and the events of Jungle Tales Of Tarzan begin to take place. From the passage in chapter 10 of Jungle Tales Of Tarzan, "He (a monkey) did not know that the dead father of Tarzan of the Apes, reaching back out of the past across a span of twenty years had saved his son's life.", we know that Tarzan is twenty when Jungle Tales Of Tarzan ends.
We also know that Tarzan is still twenty when the events of chapter 11 of Tarzan Of The Apes resumes because of the following passages. Jane's letter in chapter 18 of Tarzan Of The Apes was written February 3, 1909. The year of Tarzan's birth, late 1888, subtracted from early 1909 would show Tarzan to be twenty at the time the letter was written. "Then (D'Arnot) proceeded to read the diary that had been written over twenty years before". ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes, chapter 25. "You forget that for twenty years the dead body of the child who had made those fingerprints lay in the cabin of his father, and that all my life I have seen it lying there, said Tarzan bitterly." ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes, chapter 26. "I was twenty before I saw a white man." ERB-The Return Of Tarzan, chapter 5.
Edgar Rice Burroughs has provided enough clues for us to know that Tarzan is eighteen when Tarzan Of The Apes fades out and Jungle Tales Of Tarzan fades in. Also, Tarzan is twenty when Jungle Tales Of Tarzan fades out and Tarzan Of The Apes fades back in. Through these presented passages we have now proven in Edgar Rice Burroughs' own words that Jungle Tales Of Tarzan covers a two year span of time.
Since Tarzan was ignorant of man's ways in the early part of Jungle Tales Of Tarzan our next step would be to investigate the black's arrival into Kerchak's territory. From Tarzan Of The Apes, chapter 9, we learn that the killing of Kulonga, which occurs on the day after Kala's death, leads to the discovery of Mbonga's village. Upon that discovering visit Tarzan Of The Apes, chapter 10, Tarzan plays the first of his grim jokes and steals some arrows. Afterwards, Tarzan Of The Apes, chapter 11, states he takes his spoils of war and returns to show his tribe. Within a months time the young ape man uses up his supply of arrows and has to return to Mbonga's village to replenish his supply.
In chapter 11 of Tarzan Of The Apes Edgar Rice Burroughs tells us that Tarzan is at his father's cabin when the second visit begins. The jungle lord spends the day reading and accidentally discovers his mothers's locket and father's diary. Early the following morning Tarzan rapidly makes his way to Mbonga's village. He arrives before midday and was in a tree, above the village, for hours. His chance to steal more arrows does not come until the light of day had given way to the darkness of a moonless night.
After witnessing the dance of death, stealing arrows, and playing another grim joke Tarzan retreats a short distance from the village and sleeps. Early the next morning he sets out for home, which I remind you is a half days travel. Along the way the young ape man kills Sabor, the lioness, skins her, and eats of her flesh.
Now Edgar Rice Burroughs states something quite odd. "When the task (skinning the lion) was finished he carried his trophy to the forks of a high tree, and there, curling himself securely in a crotch, he fell into a deep and dreamless slumber. What with the loss of sleep, arduous exercise, and a full belly Tarzan of the Apes slept the sun around, awakening about noon of the following day." ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes. chapter 11.
What makes this passage so odd is that it is contradictory to what has been described about Tarzan's second visit to Mbonga's village. Edgar Rice Burroughs just told us that the jungle lord sat in a tree since midday and waited for hours to steel arrows. This is hardly arduous exercise and he also gets a nights sleep. It should be evident that this second description is not describing Tarzan's second visit to Mbonga's village.
In chapter 11 of Tarzan Of The Apes the night the jungle lord sleeps near Mbonga's village Tarzan Of The Apes fades out and the ape man's actual return trip to the Mangani tribe is left untold. Tarzan's recorded return trip from Mbonga's village on the day he kills Sabor, and sleeps for a day and a half, is really describing the events that take place directly after chapter 12 of Jungle Tales Of Tarzan, "Tarzan Rescues The Moon".
From this short story we learn that Tarzan had abandoned the tribe of Kerchak. For a month the ape man had been staying at the Greystoke's cabin. A lunar eclipse occurs and The Mangani, fearing that the stars were eating the moon, rushed to get their outcast Tarmangani brother to save them. Tarzan rushes back to the tribe with a full quiver of arrows. He climbs to the highest branch in the tallest tree and shoots arrow after arrow into the sky until the moon is rescued. At this moment Jungle Tales Of Tarzan ends.
Tarzan used all his arrows rescuing the moon. Unrecorded by Edgar Rice Burroughs in Tarzan Of The Apes is that after saving the moon the ape man, while still night, traveled back to Mbonga's village to restock his supply of arrows. The ape man arrived shortly before daylight where he successfully stole more arrows. At this point chapter 11 of Tarzan Of The Apes picks back up. It is early that morning when the jungle lord heads back towards the tribe of Mangani, then kills and skins Sabor. Tarzan, exhausted, could now sleep for a day and a half as described.
From all these clues we can see that Jungle Tales Of Tarzan takes place during chapter 11 of Tarzan Of The Apes.
James Michael Moody