Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 50

across his throat.

"He shall not hear," returned the first Wieroo as, with a powerful
motion of his great wings, he launched himself upon the red-robed
figure. The latter dodged the first charge, drew a wicked-looking
curved blade from beneath its red robe, spread its wings and dived for
its antagonist. Beating their wings, wailing and groaning, the two
hideous things sparred for position. The white-robed one being unarmed
sought to grasp the other by the wrist of its knife-hand and by the
throat, while the latter hopped around on its dainty white feet,
seeking an opening for a mortal blow. Once it struck and missed, and
then the other rushed in and clinched, at the same time securing both
the holds it sought. Immediately the two commenced beating at each
other's heads with the joints of their wings, kicking with their soft,
puny feet and biting, each at the other's face.

In the meantime the girl moved about the room, keeping out of the way
of the duelists, and as she did so, Bradley caught a glimpse of her
full face and immediately recognized her as the girl of the place of
the yellow door. He did not dare intervene now until one of the Wieroo
had overcome the other, lest the two should turn upon him at once, when
the chances were fair that he would be defeated in so unequal a battle
as the curved blade of the red Wieroo would render it, and so he
waited, watching the white-robed figure slowly choking the life from
him of the red robe. The protruding tongue and the popping eyes
proclaimed that the end was near and a moment later the red robe sank
to the floor of the room, the curved blade slipping from nerveless
fingers. For an instant longer the victor clung to the throat of his
defeated antagonist and then he rose, dragging the body after him, and
approached the central column. Here he raised the body and thrust it
into the aperture where Bradley saw it drop suddenly from sight.
Instantly there flashed into his memory the circular openings in the
roof of the river vault and the corpses he had seen drop from them to
the water beneath.

As the body disappeared, the Wieroo turned and cast about the room for
the girl. For a moment he stood eying her. "You saw," he muttered,
"and if you tell them, He Who Speaks for Luata will have my wings
severed while still I live and my head will be

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you for all you've done for us.