Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 28

from the top of the ladder to the doorway,
and Bradley had almost reached his goal when the door flew open and
Fosh-bal-soj stepped out. Immediately the pursuing Wieroos demanded
punishment of the jaal-lu who had so grievously maltreated them.
Fosh-bal-soj listened to their complaints and then with a sudden sweep
of his right hand seized Bradley by the scruff of the neck and hurled
him sprawling through the doorway upon the floor of the chamber.

So sudden was the assault and so surprising the strength of the Wieroo
that the Englishman was taken completely off his guard. When he arose,
the door was closed, and Fosh-bal-soj was standing over him, his
hideous face contorted into an expression of rage and hatred.

"Hyena, snake, lizard!" he screamed. "You would dare lay your low,
vile, profaning hands upon even the lowliest of the Wieroos--the sacred
chosen of Luata!"

Bradley was mad, and so he spoke in a very low, calm voice while a
half-smile played across his lips but his cold, gray eyes were
unsmiling.

"What you did to me just now," he said, "--I am going to kill you for
that," and even as he spoke, he launched himself at the throat of
Fosh-bal-soj. The other Wieroo that had been asleep when Bradley left
the chamber had departed, and the two were alone. Fosh-bal-soj
displayed little of the cowardice of those that had attacked Bradley in
the alleyway, but that may have been because he had so slight
opportunity, for Bradley had him by the throat before he could utter a
cry and with his right hand struck him heavily and repeatedly upon his
face and over his heart--ugly, smashing, short-arm jabs of the sort
that take the fight out of a man in quick time.

But Fosh-bal-soj was of no mind to die passively. He clawed and struck
at Bradley while with his great wings he attempted to shield himself
from the merciless rain of blows, at the same time searching for a hold
upon his antagonist's throat. Presently he succeeded in tripping the
Englishman, and together the two fell heavily to the floor, Bradley
underneath, and at the same instant the Wieroo fastened his long talons
about the other's windpipe.

Fosh-bal-soj was possessed of enormous strength and he was fighting for
his life. The Englishman soon realized that the battle was going
against him. Already his lungs were pounding painfully for air as he
reached for his pistol. It was with difficulty that he drew it from
its holster, and even then, with death staring him

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