Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 24

city and if there were other cities like this upon the

Slowly he descended the ladder to the seemingly deserted alley which
was paved with what appeared to be large, round cobblestones. He
looked again at the smooth, worn pavement, and a rueful grin crossed
his features--the alley was paved with skulls. "The City of Human
Skulls," mused Bradley. "They must have been collectin' 'em since
Adam," he thought, and then he crossed and entered the building through
the doorway that had been pointed out to him.

Inside he found a large room in which were many Wieroos seated before
pedestals the tops of which were hollowed out so that they resembled
the ordinary bird drinking- and bathing-fonts so commonly seen on
suburban lawns. A seat protruded from each of the four sides of the
pedestals--just a flat board with a support running from its outer end
diagonally to the base of the pedestal.

As Bradley entered, some of the Wieroos espied him, and a dismal wail
arose. Whether it was a greeting or a threat, Bradley did not know.
Suddenly from a dark alcove another Wieroo rushed out toward him. "Who
are you?" he cried. "What do you want?"

"Fosh-bal-soj sent me here to eat," replied Bradley.

"Do you belong to Fosh-bal-soj?" asked the other.

"That appears to be what he thinks," answered the Englishman.

"Are you cos-ata-lu?" demanded the Wieroo.

"Give me something to eat or I'll be all of that," replied Bradley.

The Wieroo looked puzzled. "Sit here, jaal-lu," he snapped, and
Bradley sat down unconscious of the fact that he had been insulted by
being called a hyena-man, an appellation of contempt in Caspak.

The Wieroo had seated him at a pedestal by himself, and as he sat
waiting for what was next to transpire, he looked about him at the
Wieroo in his immediate vicinity. He saw that in each font was a
quantity of food, and that each Wieroo was armed with a wooden skewer,
sharpened at one end; with which they carried solid portions of food to
their mouths. At the other end of the skewer was fastened a small
clam-shell. This was used to scoop up the smaller and softer portions
of the repast into which all four of the occupants of each table dipped
impartially. The Wieroo leaned far over their food, scooping it up
rapidly and with much noise, and so great was their haste that a part
of each mouthful always fell back into the common dish; and when they
choked, by reason of

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