“Riders of the River-Dragons!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: John Buscema
Conan is showing the Black Corsairs some of his fighting techniques. He successfully shows them leverage when Belit decides she wants to test her sword skill against Conan. Conan has no problem beating Belit since she is a bit crazy and flies off the handle. Later The Tigress comes to the village of the Watambi Tribe. They give her tribute in ivory every time she passes by. This time they have no ivory for the Dragon-Riders have stolen it.
After Conan calms Belit down they accept the chief’s invitation to a feast. So they have a feast and dancing before going to sleep. Later that night the Dragon-Riders come. Men riding the backs of large crocodiles they instill fear in the tribe. Only Conan goes on the offensive. He manages to turn the crocodiles against each other and rally his men and the tribe to drive off the riders. Only at the end he finds that Belit was kidnapped. A dying rider tells they attacked to placate Amra a legend that runs with lions. Conan vows bloody vengeance.
So Conan is settling nicely into the pirate life with Belit. Belit is a bit nuts and can be a bit impulsive but the two seem to hit it off. Conan is already a moderating influence on her. So these Dragon-Riders were cool. Plus we hear of Amra. Now Amra was what Conan is known as on the Black Coast so Roy is setting up how Conan got his nickname. I really love the change of pace with adventures in the Hyborian equivalent to Africa. The whole area has such great possibilities for stories and Roy takes advantage of this.