possibility. I looked about for some means
of escape from my bonds. Upon the floor between me and the Mahars lay
a tiny surgical instrument which one of them must have dropped. It
looked not unlike a button-hook, but was much smaller, and its point
was sharpened. A hundred times in my boyhood days had I picked locks
with a button-hook. Could I but reach that little bit of polished
steel I might yet effect at least a temporary escape.
Crawling to the limit of my chain, I found that by reaching one hand as
far out as I could my fingers still fell an inch short of the coveted
instrument. It was tantalizing! Stretch every fiber of my being as I
would, I could not quite make it.
At last I turned about and extended one foot toward the object. My
heart came to my throat! I could just touch the thing! But suppose
that in my effort to drag it toward me I should accidentally shove it
still farther away and thus entirely out of reach! Cold sweat broke
out upon me from every pore. Slowly and cautiously I made the effort.
My toes dropped upon the cold metal. Gradually I worked it toward me
until I felt that it was within reach of my hand and a moment later I
had turned about and the precious thing was in my grasp.
Assiduously I fell to work upon the Mahar lock that held my chain. It
was pitifully simple. A child might have picked it, and a moment later
I was free. The Mahars were now evidently completing their work at the
table. One already turned away and was examining other victims,
evidently with the intention of selecting the next subject.
Those at the table had their backs toward me. But for the creature
walking toward us I might have escaped that moment. Slowly the thing
approached me, when its attention was attracted by a huge slave chained
a few yards to my right. Here the reptile stopped and commenced to go
over the poor devil carefully, and as it did so its back turned toward
me for an instant, and in that instant I gave two mighty leaps that
carried me out of the chamber into the corridor beyond, down which I
raced with all the speed I could command.
Where I was, or whither I was going, I knew not. My only thought was
to place as much
The government already possesses a complete official report of my adventures beyond thirty.Page 3
Much of my service had been spent aboard the great merchantmen-of-war.Page 4
"The gravitation-screen generators, sir," he said.Page 5
I was on the bridge, and as we dropped from the brilliant sunlight into the dense vapor of clouds and on down through them to the wild, dark storm strata beneath, it seemed that my spirits dropped with the falling ship, and the buoyancy of hope ran low in sympathy.Page 7
He left the bridge finally and went below.Page 15
Both were sons of naval officers.Page 16
My eyes scanned the waters.Page 17
Delcarte we had left in charge of the boat; but Snider and Taylor were with me,.Page 23
No lighthouse was visible, though one was plainly indicated upon my map.Page 30
I stood there, resting, for a moment, preparatory to turning and retracing my steps to the launch, when, without warning, something whizzed through space straight toward me.Page 35
"There is no such place near by," she said.Page 40
Though she had returned with the old queen, she had not spoken to me, even then.Page 51
The white was the bleached human bones--the skull, collar bones, arms, and a few of the upper ribs of a man.Page 52
Some of the entries had been dated.Page 54
What further might have developed I cannot say, for at that moment a perfect she-devil of a lioness, with keener eyes than her lord and master, discovered us.Page 62
I did not wish to admit to myself that I was angry with this uncultured little savage, that it made the slightest difference to me what she did or what she did not do, or that I could so lower myself as to feel personal enmity towards a common sailor.Page 70
The latter led us across a small parade ground, where a battery of light field guns was parked, and toward a log building, in front of which rose the flagstaff.Page 74
The arms and ammunition of the Abyssinians are greatly inferior to ours, yet they are tremendously effective against the ill-armed barbarians of Europe.Page 75
We passed some lakes, and crossed some old canals before entering the gates.Page 82
It was Victory's.