Chapter 9 - Dress for Success
Tarzan was totally devastated seeing Jane's terrible fall, and it was everything he could to keep from panicking. He tried to remain focused on tending to her relentlessly for hours, stopping bleeding, dabbing wounds and bruises with herbal and plant-derived medicinal poultices, cooling her forehead with fresh vine water, constantly talking to her to keep a connection with her, and just holding her.
She was so still, and this frightened Tarzan more than anything he had faced in his entire life.
It was encouraging to Tarzan that her heart beat seemed strong, and her breathing was regular even though it was shallow. He could only take care of the surface wounds he found all over her. He agnonized and felt helpless about her possible internal wounds - bleeding that could not be stopped inside her body or her head no matter what he did. He didn't see any swelling or bruises that kept growing, but that didn't mean it wasn't happening. He'd lost too many jungle friends to think otherwise.
He dared not move her, lest he damage her more. He wept for 'his Jane' to recover. At one point he became so desperate that he cried out to the spirit who inspired all the brave men of the Bible he'd read about to save her. In the space of knowing Jane only six months, he could not bear to live the rest of his life without her beside him.
At about four hours into his vigil, while changing poultices and soothing her in his arms, to his great relief, she gasped, groaned, and stirred. He was very anxious for what needed to happen next.
As Jane gradually regained consciousness, she felt her head spin, and there was great pain in her side and head. Tarzan's face finally came into focus, with a gravely worried look, and he was applying a poultice to her bruised and cut side and head. He had to remove her blouse and undergarments to treat her many bumps, bruises, and cuts, but she noted he kept her covered modestly with the shreds of her clothing while he tended to her many hurt areas. He was so sweet and understanding. She was in pain everywhere, but felt like nothing was broken, though she could have severely bruised ribs.
"Jane?" he asked expectantly.
She reached weakly and wiped a tear from his eyes.
"I… I'm back, Tarzan. Don't be sad. The vine…I caught my dress on a branch. I heard it rip. There was a sudden stop. I heard a snap, and then I was falling. And… and… oh my… that is about it," she tried to remember.
He explained what happened to her, "Despite the branches and leaves slowing you down, you landed hard, and hit your head on a rock and hit the ground on your side near a stump."
She saw it. Hitting the ground less than a yard to the left and a huge stump with jagged splinters would have run her completely through. No wonder Tarzan was panicked.
"I will be all right," and she tried to sit up, but she groaned in more pain, and reclined again, "Uhh… no… I won't."
"Just rest for awhile and this healing poultice will help. And chew on this."
"I will, Tarzan. Thank you," and smiled at his loving care of her, shakily touching his hand.
The poultice did help, and he gave her analgesic bark to chew on. It tasted like... chalk. The throbbing pain in her head and sides was subsiding. The bark was like aspirin, the new pain killing medicine. Despite the bruises, scrapes, and pulled and strained muscles, it didn't feel like anything was wrong inside her, and eventually she could get up, with Tarzan's help, but was limping. Her yellow blouse was torn and ragged, and was unwearable. Her green skirt had completely ripped off and was hanging in the vines above them. She started to walk toward the treehouse in just her foundations, carrying her bow and arrow, blouse and ripped skirt that Tarzan got back for her, but she continued to limp. Despite her insistence to do it all herself, Tarzan didn't want any more damage to Jane, so he just scooped her up in his arms, and took her all the way to the treehouse that way.
"A girl could get used to being carried everywhere, dear husband," she cooed at him, and kissed him. She felt better just being in his arms.
"'Tarzan's Carriage Service' at your call, ma'am!" he joked, remembering some of the scenes of horse-drawn taxis in the novels he'd read with her.
She giggled and hugged him tighter as he carried her to the treehouse. Her characteristic gentle laugh was such a great relief to him. He gently placed her in their soft bed to rest further, and sat down beside her in a chair to help her with anything she needed.
As she rested, Jane told Tarzan, "I... I had a dream... while I was...oh, dear... out."
"What about?" he asked, to keep her awake and talking.
"You and I were on an afternoon stroll in Hyde Park. I wore my yellow dress, with a parasol, and you wore a very dashing suit. We were holding hands and chatting with each other constantly, and the older couples smiled at us."
"It sounds very nice Jane."
"But then we were suddenly climbing the marble cliffs of Dover in a driving storm. We were drenched and everything was falling apart and my beautiful dress was ripping."
"You reached out your hand to me, and it suddenly felt all right, but I kept slipping. I was about to fall into the English Channel and rocks below."
"I was really holding your hand and talking to you, Jane. It was desperate to keep us connected," said Tarzan fretfully.
"I thought so. I am so glad you did. I heard your voice even though I didn't understand all the words. I hung on to that. But then, you did something else."
"What else did I do? I was helpless, Jane. I could only dress your wounds."
"You said a prayer for me, Jonathan."
"You called upon the spirit in the Bible."
"I had to, Jane. That spirit proved he could do anything. I could not bear to loose you. Not after I just found you."
"That saved me, Jonathan. He saved me... Your prayer lifted me up, and now here I am with you again, " she caressed his face, and the adoration in her eyes penetrated him to his heart.
She kissed him softly, and they just held hands for some time, just holding the moment.
As she started to feel better, she asked anxiously,"When can we start swinging again?"
"Not right away. Maybe a few weeks," Tarzan shook his head negatively.
Jane gave her husband an unhappy look, "That is far too long. Tarzan, you know how I feel about this. It's like having an accident on a high wheeler. If you don't get up and get going again right away; you'll fear ever riding again."
He shook his head, "You are such a brave woman. Rest a day or two and we can start again. We can just relax here in the treehouse and play on the beach until then. Who knows? I just might carry you to and from the beach for awhile."
She smiled at his fun offer, and sighed in healing relief from the fresh poultices. After nightfall and some food, she felt almost normal. She was ready to get up, and had a specific idea to prevent this accident from ever happening again.
"If I am going to be a vine swinger, this skirt has to go," she stated with purpose.
"I would like that very much, Jane," Tarzan quipped.
"My dear husband, not that way," she laughed as she rolled her eyes at him.
The husband and wife pillow talk banter was very fun, they both concluded. The better they understood each other's languages the more she realized how humorous Tarzan was.
She dug through his mother's household items trunk. She found several dark brown bolts of cloth. She found needles and thread in a box under the cloth.
She held them up toward Tarzan's family portrait, and smiled broadly, "I sure wish I had known you in person, Jonathan's mother. You are my kind of woman."
"What is all this, Jane?" Tarzan inquired.
"Our new wardrobe. Take off your loincloth," she ordered.
For once, Tarzan blushed.
She sewed late into the night by lamplight, sending Tarzan to bed without her while she worked. When she was finally finished, she smiled with satisfaction over her seamstress skills, one of her favorite activities with her mother. She was still a little stiff and sore in places, but she wanted above all else to be with Tarzan. She blew out the lamp, dropped her own clothes where she stood, stepped out of them, and crept into their bed, waking her husband. She rubbed seductively up against him, kissed him hard, and said, "This is for taking such good care of me today and being so patient waiting for me."
Then she proceeded to take his breath away again. Never in Tarzan's experience of seeing so many of his friends and other jungle animals mate, did their experiences compare to the way Jane made it so enjoyable, was so open to his advances, and approached him so often with her own desire to join in union with him. He responded in a way that was equally satisfying to her.
Tarzan understood that sexuality among humans was something fundamentally different than for any other animal. Humans clearly had intimate relations for pure enjoyment, and did it very often, and he loved being with her. Female animals, even the gorillas with their frequent year round sexuality, still mostly wanted relations with their mates to give them offspring. Jane taught Tarzan that making love was just another part of simply celebrating the enjoyment of their married lives together.
The next morning, Tarzan tried on his new loincloth. It was a lot softer, and frankly it fit better. He wondered how she knew how big to make it, and the better fitting shape, but realized why quickly, and smiled at his wife.
"Thank you Jane," he noted.
But he immediately forgot about his own new comfort.
Standing before him was a true vision.
Jane was wearing her own, more modest, dark brown two piece loincloth, with a very short skirt that only extended a little below the base of her bottom, framing that most desirable part of her. It was shorter in front than in back with slits up to the loincloth thong snugged to her hips, sewn purposefully to allow Tarzan to see her legs and hips clearly. Her bosom was covered in a loose, revealing top, and it hung open at the bottom hem, for her comfort and coolness, and for Tarzan to catch little glimpses of her curves. Everything else was exposed. He could see her wonderful thin waist and flat stomach revealed almost to her hips, her slender arms, and her long, well proportioned legs. It looked like a modern bikini dress. They had been nearly three weeks in the daily beach sun with the natural oil protection, and the sun had blessed her with an overall, wonderful dark tan almost as deep as Tarzan's. His view was only marred by her scrapes, bruises, and cuts that were healing well already.
His eyes and broad smile said it all.
"So… you like me in this?" she asked happily in gorilla speech, and modeled it for him like an English socialite.
He replied, "You truly are the prettiest animal in the jungle, Jane!"
While he'd said that to her before, she still blushed with his adoring comment. He saw she had made a few extra sets of clothes for him and her to travel with easily and leave some here at the treehouse for the future. She had fashioned a much bigger loincloth for her father.
"Do you think he'll wear that?" asked Tarzan.
"I think so. It will be so much more comfortable than what he has now," she said.
She was more interested in the fun ahead of them, "And now Tarzan, there's a vine and branch roller coaster ride we need to conquer! I feel just fine now."
They went back to the vine and root forest, and they practiced more. She had so much more freedom in her new outfit, and experimented with a bold move.
"Tarzan, on the straightaway before the flat circle, there's a big arch on the top of the branch. I want to jump off and pirouette through the air, and I want you to catch me in the air before we land."
Tarzan was surprised, "You want me to do what? You're going to do a pir-ou-which?"
"Just watch what I do, and don't drop me, ape-man!" she grinned.
Perched on the branch together, they talked through the moves several times, and they knew what they had to do. She raced down the branches with Tarzan with complete freedom of movement in her new outfit. With her waist length long auburn hair flowing behind, her long shapely legs and arms rebalancing and repositioning constantly, she zoomed to the branch's high point. Tarzan was on the next branch over, having just accelerated her down her branch by whipping her arm forward while holding hands. She crouched low and launched herself into the air. She drew her arms around herself as if hugging herself, as she rotated multiple times with her ankles crossed. She was elegant, performing a classic ice skater's maneuver, but far more dangerous than being on any rink in England.
If Tarzan missed catching her, she'd fall into the gorge. She quickly spread out her legs and arms, stopping the spin. It looked as if she was flying through the air. Tarzan overtook her on his vine after leaping off his branch, grabbed her by the waist, and she drew herself into his strong embrace, as he swung both of them effortlessly on the vine. He pulled up to a fork in a tree, alighted gently, and they laughed in delight, talking excitedly. Tarzan praised Jane how beautiful she looked, and she complimented Tarzan for catching her around the waist and how effortlessly they coordinated their maneuver.
"That was perfect, Tarzan!" she exclaimed, as they hugged and kissed each other excitedly with their great achievement.
"I only wish I could see you really ice skate, Jane," Tarzan noted.
Jane blushed, but promised, "Take me to the high mountains with the white tops someday, Tarzan, and I will show you."
Jane's new outfit removed any physical encumberance the skirt provided. It was so much cooler to wear and she knew Tarzan loved how she looked in it. She matched him perfectly.
She quickly perfected her techniques of branch surfing, and without hesitation or further mishap they practiced vine swinging together. The pair was able to complete most of the run through the vine and branch maze another time or two until it was time to get back to the treehouse. They didn't dare be out after dark. The dangers of the caracals were still there, and the big cats thrived in the shadows of the night. They talked more about how to deal with the big cats in what they both believed would be some kind of final encounter. To the death.
There was a lot of laughter that came from the treehouse bed deep into the night, as they celebrated their successes on the vines and branches. Tarzan demonstrated, to Jane's delight, a couple of moves she never expected. Her ecstatic laughter told Tarzan how much she had enjoyed his surprises.