Shadows in Zamboula
|"Shadows in Zamboula"|
|Original title||"The Man-Eaters of Zamboula"|
|Publication date||November, |
"Shadows in Zamboula" is one of the original stories by
The story takes place over the course of a night in the desert city of Zamboula, with political intrigue amidst streets filled with roaming
By present-day sensibilities, the story is seriously marred by including a vicious racial stereotype - blacks as cannibals - though Howard strove to lessen this by making it clear that the cannibals in Zamboula are only the specific blacks from Darfar, other blacks being untainted.
Despite the warning he received in a
The woman is captured in their attempt, and forced - via hypnotism - to dance before the high priest until she is exhausted. Conan, after defeating - quite literally - a strangler named Baal-Pteor at his own game, rescues the woman and kills the corrupt priest. Right before Conan could claim his payment, the woman reveals herself as Nafertari,
Conan, however, leaves the city and reveals to the reader how he had recognized the two almost immediately. He takes his revenge on Aram Baksh, by cutting out Baksh's tongue and slicing off his beard. Soon, Conan renders him mute and unrecognizable. Eventually, he turns Baksh over to the hungry cannibals so they can devour him (one of the most profound displays of Conan's ironic sense of humor). After dealing with Aram Baksh, Conan leaves the city with gold and a magic ring which started the night's intrigues (Conan had stolen it from the insane Jungir during their first encounter), with the intent of selling his prize to another interested party.