It could not have been termed a smile, and what emotion it registered
the Englishman was at a loss to guess. No expression whatever altered
the steady gaze of those large, round eyes; there was no color upon the
pasty, sunken cheeks. A death's head grimaced as though a man long
dead raised his parchment-covered skull from an old grave.
The creature stood about the height of an average man but appeared much
taller from the fact that the joints of his long wings rose fully a
foot above his hairless head. The bare arms were long and sinewy,
ending in strong, bony hands with clawlike fingers--almost talonlike in
their suggestiveness. The white robe was separated in front, revealing
skinny legs and the further fact that the thing wore but the single
garment, which was of fine, woven cloth. From crown to sole the
portions of the body exposed were entirely hairless, and as he noted
this, Bradley also noted for the first time the cause of much of the
seeming expressionlessness of the creature's countenance--it had
neither eye-brows or lashes. The ears were small and rested flat
against the skull, which was noticeably round, though the face was
quite flat. The creature had small feet, beautifully arched and plump,
but so out of keeping with every other physical attribute it possessed
as to appear ridiculous.
After eyeing Bradley for a moment the thing approached him. "Where
from?" it asked.
"England," replied Bradley, as briefly.
"Where is England and what?" pursued the questioner.
"It is a country far from here," answered the Englishman.
"Are your people cor-sva-jo or cos-ata-lu?"
"I do not understand you," said Bradley; "and now suppose you answer a
few questions. Who are you? What country is this? Why did you bring
Again the sepulchral grimace. "We are Wieroos--Luata is our father.
Caspak is ours. This, our country, is called Oo-oh. We brought you
here for (literally) Him Who Speaks for Luata to gaze upon and
question. He would know from whence you came and why; but principally
if you be cos-ata-lu."
"And if I am not cos--whatever you call the bloomin' beast--what of it?"
The Wieroo raised his wings in a very human shrug and waved his bony
claws toward the human skulls supporting the ceiling. His gesture was
eloquent; but he embellished it by remarking, "And possibly if you are."
"I'm hungry," snapped Bradley.
The Wieroo motioned him to one of the doors which he threw open,
permitting Bradley to pass out onto another roof on
It was coming straight for me and hissing frightfully--I could hear it above the whir of the propeller.Page 13
In answer to the report of the rifle I had the satisfaction of seeing the brute spring into the air, turning a complete somersault; but it was up again almost instantly, though in the brief second that it took it to scramble to its feet and get its bearings, it exposed its left side fully toward me, and a second bullet went crashing through its heart.Page 15
I had reread Bowen's adventures so often that I knew them almost by heart, and so now I knew that I was looking upon the last remnant of that ancient man-race--the Alus of a forgotten period--the speechless man of antiquity.Page 28
Nor was I to be disappointed; I saw them, all right! We had left the Sto-lu country and literally fought our way through cordons of wild beasts for two days when we decided to make camp a little earlier than usual, owing to the fact that we had reached a line of cliffs running east and west in which were numerous likely cave-lodgings.Page 32
I could not but marvel at the immensity of this great underground grotto.Page 33
Yet I so worried and fretted about her and her future that at last I.Page 36
I had come to doubt if there was such a thing as a mother in Caspak, a mother such as we know.Page 38
there was the other chance that we might find our way to liberty.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 50
It would be dangerous, but there seemed no other way.Page 58
They greeted Chal-az with a volley of questions as they approached slowly from all sides, their heavy bows fitted with long, sharp arrows.Page 59
The Alus were chasing me, and they saw and ran away.Page 68
Instantly I broke into a run, my brain in a whirl of forebodings, for the only firearms in the Kro-lu country were those I had left in the hut with Ajor.Page 74
Here Chal-az bade me farewell, telling me that he hoped to see me soon among the Galus, as he felt that "the call soon would come" to him.Page 79
The arrow caught the doe full in the side, and in the same moment Nobs was after her.Page 81
turn in my direction.Page 82
Gad, how that horse could run! He seemed to flatten out and shoot through the air with the very minimum of exertion, and at his forefoot ran Nobs, doing his best to turn him.Page 83
Instantly he wheeled to dash off at right angles.Page 85
It is a wonder that Ace did not break a leg, so fast he was going when he fell; but he didn't, though with four good legs he was unable to wallow from the mire.Page 88
Neither Bowen nor the party from the _Toreador_ had seen any sign of Bradley and his party.