mark where the two vanished.
For a time all was silence within the temple. The slaves were
motionless in terror. The Mahars watched the surface of the water for
the reappearance of their queen, and presently at one end of the tank
her head rose slowly into view. She was backing toward the surface,
her eyes fixed before her as they had been when she dragged the
helpless girl to her doom.
And then to my utter amazement I saw the forehead and eyes of the
maiden come slowly out of the depths, following the gaze of the reptile
just as when she had disappeared beneath the surface. On and on came
the girl until she stood in water that reached barely to her knees, and
though she had been beneath the surface sufficient time to have drowned
her thrice over there was no indication, other than her dripping hair
and glistening body, that she had been submerged at all.
Again and again the queen led the girl into the depths and out again,
until the uncanny weirdness of the thing got on my nerves so that I
could have leaped into the tank to the child's rescue had I not taken a
firm hold of myself.
Once they were below much longer than usual, and when they came to the
surface I was horrified to see that one of the girl's arms was
gone--gnawed completely off at the shoulder--but the poor thing gave no
indication of realizing pain, only the horror in her set eyes seemed
The next time they appeared the other arm was gone, and then the
breasts, and then a part of the face--it was awful. The poor creatures
on the islands awaiting their fate tried to cover their eyes with their
hands to hide the fearful sight, but now I saw that they too were under
the hypnotic spell of the reptiles, so that they could only crouch in
terror with their eyes fixed upon the terrible thing that was
transpiring before them.
Finally the queen was under much longer than ever before, and when she
rose she came alone and swam sleepily toward her bowlder. The moment
she mounted it seemed to be the signal for the other Mahars to enter
the tank, and then commenced, upon a larger scale, a repetition of the
uncanny performance through which the queen had led her victim.
Only the women and children fell prey to the Mahars--they being the
weakest and most tender--and when they had satisfied their appetite for
human flesh, some of them devouring two
I know you did, because you asked me what they contained and commented upon the large letter 'H' which was painted upon each box.Page 6
"He's been gone only ten minutes," he announced.Page 11
I am neither nervous nor highstrung; but the burden of responsibility upon me weighed heavily, so that I was more cautious than is my wont.Page 18
At the bank she paused, removed her belt and dagger, dropping them to the ground at her side; then unfastening the lower edge of her garment from the metal leg-band to which it was attached, slipped it off her left shoulder and let it drop to the ground around her feet.Page 21
the fierce and snarling countenance of a gigantic bear.Page 23
At Ajor's suggestion, made by signs and a few of the words we knew in common, I moved the fire directly to the entrance to the cave so that a beast would have to pass directly through the flames to reach us, and then we sat and waited for the victor of the battle to come and claim his reward; but though we sat for a long time with our eyes glued to the opening, we saw no sign of any beast.Page 27
Ajor tried to explain the matter to me, though it was apparent that she could not conceive how so natural a condition should demand explanation.Page 32
In a far recess of the cavern my captors bade me halt.Page 37
I can take oath to the fact that I did not think it was anything more.Page 41
I would certainly have given a lot for my plane at that moment, for with it, twenty minutes would have landed us within the confines of Ajor's country.Page 43
They will kill me if they find me in the coslupak; so will the Kro-lu if they come upon me before I have won my Kro-lu weapons and jerkin.Page 44
For a moment the women were as terrified by the report of the rifle as they had been by the menace of the lion; but when they saw that the loud noise had evidently destroyed their enemy, they came creeping cautiously back to examine the carcass.Page 46
At first Ajor and So-al were like a couple of stranger cats on a back fence but soon they began to accept each other under something of an armed truce, and later became fast friends.Page 47
Chapter 5 We were sitting before a little fire inside a safe grotto one night shortly after we had quit the cliff-dwellings of the Band-lu, when So-al raised.Page 48
She asked her why she had left her own people and how she had come so far south as the country of the Alus, where I had found her.Page 53
By now I was obtaining some idea of the Caspakian scheme of evolution, which partly accounted for the lack of young among the races I had so far seen.Page 54
I rather imagine that they are a very early life which is rapidly nearing extinction in Caspak, though wherever they are found, they constitute a menace to all forms of life.Page 63
One hut meant a warrior and his mate, and each additional hut in a group indicated an additional female.Page 69
Like a demon of hate he sprang among those Kro-lu fighting-men, tearing, rending, ripping with his long tusks and his mighty jaws.Page 72
"We learned the designs of Al-tan and Du-seen.