Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 23

a level lower than
that upon which they had landed earlier in the morning. By daylight
the city appeared even more remarkable than in the moonlight, though
less weird and unreal. The houses of all shapes and sizes were piled
about as a child might pile blocks of various forms and colors. He saw
now that there were what might be called streets or alleys, but they
ran in baffling turns and twists, nor ever reached a destination,
always ending in a dead wall where some Wieroo had built a house across
them.

Upon each house was a slender column supporting a human skull.
Sometimes the columns were at one corner of the roof, sometimes at
another, or again they rose from the center or near the center, and the
columns were of varying heights, from that of a man to those which rose
twenty feet above their roofs. The skulls were, as a rule,
painted--blue or white, or in combinations of both colors. The most
effective were painted blue with the teeth white and the eye-sockets
rimmed with white.

There were other skulls--thousands of them--tens, hundreds of
thousands. They rimmed the eaves of every house, they were set in the
plaster of the outer walls and at no great distance from where Bradley
stood rose a round tower built entirely of human skulls. And the city
extended in every direction as far as the Englishman could see.

All about him Wieroos were moving across the roofs or winging through
the air. The sad sound of their flapping wings rose and fell like a
solemn dirge. Most of them were appareled all in white, like his
captors; but others had markings of red or blue or yellow slashed
across the front of their robes.

His guide pointed toward a doorway in an alley below them. "Go there
and eat," he commanded, "and then come back. You cannot escape. If
any question you, say that you belong to Fosh-bal-soj. There is the
way." And this time he pointed to the top of a ladder which protruded
above the eaves of the roof near-by. Then he turned and reentered the
house.

Bradley looked about him. No, he could not escape--that seemed
evident. The city appeared interminable, and beyond the city, if not a
savage wilderness filled with wild beasts, there was the broad inland
sea infested with horrid monsters. No wonder his captor felt safe in
turning him loose in Oo-oh--he wondered if that was the name of the
country or the

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