Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 46

the bright daylight, Bradley
surveyed what lay beyond. A short distance before him a large building
stood in the center of several acres of grass and tree-covered ground,
spanning the stream which disappeared through an opening in its
foundation wall. From the large saucer-shaped roof and the vivid
colorings of the various heterogeneous parts of the structure he
recognized it as the temple past which he had been borne to the Blue
Place of Seven Skulls.

To and fro flew Wieroos, going to and from the temple. Others passed
on foot across the open grounds, assisting themselves with their great
wings, so that they barely skimmed the earth. To leave the mouth of
the tunnel would have been to court instant discovery and capture; but
by what other avenue he might escape, Bradley could not guess, unless
he retraced his steps up the stream and sought egress from the other
end of the city. The thought of traversing that dark and horror-ridden
tunnel for perhaps miles he could not entertain--there must be some
other way. Perhaps after dark he could steal through the temple
grounds and continue on downstream until he had come beyond the city;
and so he stood and waited until his limbs became almost paralyzed with
cold, and he knew that he must find some other plan for escape.

A half-formed decision to risk an attempt to swim under water to the
temple was crystallizing in spite of the fact that any chance Wieroo
flying above the stream might easily see him, when again a floating
object bumped against him from behind and lodged across his back.
Turning quickly he saw that the thing was what he had immediately
guessed it to be--a headless and wingless Wieroo corpse. With a grunt
of disgust he was about to push it from him when the white garment
enshrouding it suggested a bold plan to his resourceful brain.
Grasping the corpse by an arm he tore the garment from it and then let
the body float downward toward the temple. With great care he draped
the robe about him; the bloody blotch that had covered the severed neck
he arranged about his own head. His haversack he rolled as tightly as
possible and stuffed beneath his coat over his breast. Then he fell
gently to the surface of the stream and lying upon his back floated
downward with the current and out into the open sunlight.

Through the weave of the cloth he could distinguish large objects. He
saw a Wieroo flap dismally above him;

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