Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 53

murderers--known murderers. All Wieroos are murderers. When
they have committed a certain number of murders without being caught at
it, they confess to Him Who Speaks for Luata and are advanced, after
which they wear robes with a slash of some color--I think yellow comes
first. When they reach a point where the entire robe is of yellow,
they discard it for a white robe with a red slash; and when one wins a
complete red robe, he carries such a long, curved knife as you have in
your hand; after that comes the blue slash on a white robe, and then, I
suppose, an all blue robe. I have never seen such a one."

As they talked in low tones they had moved from the room of the death
shaft into an all blue room adjoining, where they sat down together in
a corner with their backs against a wall and drew a pile of hides over
themselves. A moment later they heard a number of Wieroos enter the
chamber. They were talking together as they crossed the floor, or the
two could not have heard them. Halfway across the chamber they halted
as the door toward which they were advancing opened and a dozen others
of their kind entered the apartment.

Bradley could guess all this by the increased volume of sound and the
dismal greetings; but the sudden silence that almost immediately ensued
he could not fathom, for he could not know that from beneath one of the
hides that covered him protruded one of his heavy army shoes, or that
some eighteen large Wieroos with robes either solid red or slashed with
red or blue were standing gazing at it. Nor could he hear their
stealthy approach.

The first intimation he had that he had been discovered was when his
foot was suddenly seized, and he was yanked violently from beneath the
hides to find himself surrounded by menacing blades. They would have
slain him on the spot had not one clothed all in red held them back,
saying that He Who Speaks for Luata desired to see this strange
creature.

As they led Bradley away, he caught an opportunity to glance back
toward the hides to see what had become of the girl, and, to his
gratification, he discovered that she still lay concealed beneath the
hides. He wondered if she would have the nerve to attempt the river
trip alone and regretted that now he could not accompany her. He felt
rather all in, himself, more so than

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