Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 52

he smile when he was
dead?"

Bradley laughed aloud. "I thought we English were supposed to have the
least sense of humor of any people in the world," he cried; "but now
I've found one human being who hasn't any. Of course you don't know
half I'm saying; but don't worry, little girl; I'm not going to hurt
you, and if I can get you out of here, I'll do it."

Even if she did not understand all he said, she at least read something
in his smiling countenance--something which reassured her. "I do not
fear you," she said; "though I do not understand all that you say even
though you speak my own tongue and use words that I know. But as for
escaping"--she sighed--"alas, how can it be done?"

"I escaped from the Blue Place of Seven Skulls," Bradley reminded her.
"Come!" And he turned toward the shaft and the ladder that he had
ascended from the river. "We cannot waste time here."

The girl followed him; but at the doorway both drew back, for from
below came the sound of some one ascending.

Bradley tiptoed to the door and peered cautiously into the well; then
he stepped back beside the girl. "There are half a dozen of them
coming up; but possibly they will pass this room."

"No," she said, "they will pass directly through this room--they are on
their way to Him Who Speaks for Luata. We may be able to hide in the
next room--there are skins there beneath which we may crawl. They will
not stop in that room; but they may stop in this one for a short
time--the other room is blue."

"What's that go to do with it?" demanded the Englishman.

"They fear blue," she replied. "In every room where murder has been
done you will find blue--a certain amount for each murder. When the
room is all blue, they shun it. This room has much blue; but evidently
they kill mostly in the next room, which is now all blue."

"But there is blue on the outside of every house I have seen," said
Bradley.

"Yes," assented the girl, "and there are blue rooms in each of those
houses--when all the rooms are blue then the whole outside of the house
will be blue as is the Blue Place of Seven Skulls. There are many such
here."

"And the skulls with blue upon them?" inquired Bradley. "Did they
belong to murderers?"

"They were murdered--some of them; those with only a small amount of
blue were

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