“The Garden of Death and Life!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: John Buscema
Conan comes to a small desert village looking for a place to rest. Instead he runs into a young woman fleeing a mob. Naturally Conan being a noble barbarian rescues her and they flee to the desert. The woman is named Zhadorr and she is a bit off. She tells that there is an oasis close by called Shar-Al-Tjinn. They meet four brigands and flee to the the oasis. When Conan arrives he jumps in the pool for a swim and finds skeletons underneath. He remembers the name of the oasis translates to The Bones of Fools. Coming up he is captured by the brigands who plan to sell him and Zhadorr as slaves.
At night the leader decides to take Zhadorr away to rape her. Conan manages to free himself from his bonds. He goes to rescue Zhadorr but finds nothing but bones of the leader. Zhadorr dies and he buries her. Later he hears screams and finds the other brigands and horses being attacked by the huge tree in the oasis. It picks them up and eats them. It then grabs Conan who manages to throw a torch at the tree and sets it aflame. In the morning the only thing left is a pod that gives birth to Zhadorr. Conan hacks the pod woman to pieces and rides out of the oasis.
So this story was an interesting one. Sort of an invasion of the body snatcher type story. Its obvious from the beginning that Zhadorr is weird. She craves sunlight and never wants to eat. This was a different opponent than Conan has been encountering so that was a nice change of pace. A solid single story for this journey back to the Hyborian lands.