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|Chapter 206: Tree-men of Mars||Chapter 208: The Black Sapphire of Kalu|
As the smoke fumes nearly overcome the Earth people, Flash Gordon helps his friends take refuge in the hollow interior of a giant tree. While Flash tends to the men, Dale Arden goes missing. Happy Hapgood spies a passageway leading underground, the only way Dale could have been taken, so the three men follow it.
They reach an underground cavern and see that Dale is a captive of the Forest People, who are taking her before their king. Before Flash, Dr. Hans Zarkov and Happy can effect a rescue, they too are set upon by Forest People and, heavily outnumbered, are soon overwhelmed. They are also brought before Turan, King of the Forest People. Turan demands to know who they are and why the destroyed the sacred image of Kalu. Flash denies that the idol's destruction was their doing.
Happy is questioned, but unfortunately his rather bumbling attempt at an explanation only convinces the Forest People of their guilt. Turan orders that the Earth people be taken to the death cell. Once they are out of the way, Turan tells one of his assistants to send word to their master that four Earth people have been captured, and that further orders are awaited.
In the death cell the situation seems hopeless. Zarkov estimates the walls to be thirty feet thick. Flash hopes they might be able to make a break for it when the guards come to feed them, but Happy doubts they will even be given any food. Just then, Zarkov feels the wall growing warmer in one area of the cell. There is a strange vibration also, and then some sort of acid starts seeping through. The humans worry they are about to come to harm but to their surprise a figure bursts through the wall into their cell. It is none other than Prince Barin, their old friend and ally from Mongo.
Barin heard some Earth people were being held prisoner and guessed it would be Flash. He explains that he came here to enlist the aid of the Forest People but they turned on him and made him a prisoner. He managed to break through the walls using a phial of amphitron: "It can eat its way through armor plate.".
Barin further explains that he came to Mars to try and prevent Ming from destroying the Earth. He came to the Forest People for help because they are the only nation on Mars immune to Queen Azura's magic power. In the Temple of Kalu in the Forest Kingdom is a black sapphire, and Queen Azura is powerless to harm anyone who possesses it.
When the guards come they are not expecting five people to be in the cell so are taken by surprise. Barin leads the escape via a secret passage he knows, their aim now is to seize the black sapphire.
Waiting behind as lookouts, Dale and Happy spy the stratosled landing that Ming sent. They see that the Martian soldiers are in league with the Forest People and intend to take Flash prisoner. Happy goes to find Flash to warn him.
Flash meanwhile, planning on swinging into the Temple of Kalu from above, falls when his rope snaps. He is caught in a powerful destructive ray being fired at him from one of the tree tops.
The Forest People, secret allies of / Ming, hold Flash and his friends / prisoners in an underground cell.
Barin, an exiled prince from / Mongo, secretly joins them and / helps them escape.
Flash learns that the sacred / black sapphire is the secret / of Queen Azura's magic power.
Dale, sighting an unguarded / stratosled grasps the oppor- / tunity to help Flash.
- At the start of this chapter, Flash and his friends are all choking, yet there is no sign of smoke.
- An editing and/or continuity error is evident in the scene where Dale is taken before Turan. In the long shot her arms are being held by the guards, but in the close-up shots her arms are free.
- Curiously, both Flash and Happy address Dr. Zarkov as "Zarky" in the course of this chapter, a name the scientist is not usually called.
- The Forest People state the name of another Martian race, the Dwarf People, whom we never get to see.
- Just as Prince Barin is penetrating through the wall, Dale yells "Flash! Look!" This line ends abruptly and appears to have been edited down from a longer shot, which is seen in the opening credits of the early chapters where it is used to illustrate the actress Jean Rogers. Rogers appears to be saying "Flash! Look behind you!"