and the party, now reduced to Bradley
and five Wieroos, was ushered across the threshold into a large,
irregularly shaped room in which a single, giant Wieroo whose robe was
solid blue sat upon a raised dais.
The creature's face was white with the whiteness of a corpse, its dead
eyes entirely expressionless, its cruel, thin lips tight-drawn against
yellow teeth in a perpetual grimace. Upon either side of it lay an
enormous, curved sword, similar to those with which some of the other
Wieroos had been armed, but larger and heavier. Constantly its
clawlike fingers played with one or the other of these weapons.
The walls of the chamber as well as the floor were entirely hidden by
skins and woven fabrics. Blue predominated in all the colorations.
Fastened against the hides were many pairs of Wieroo wings, mounted so
that they resembled long, black shields. Upon the ceiling were painted
in blue characters a bewildering series of hieroglyphics and upon
pedestals set against the walls or standing out well within the room
were many human skulls.
As the Wieroos approached the figure upon the dais, they leaned far
forward, raising their wings above their heads and stretching their
necks as though offering them to the sharp swords of the grim and
"O Thou Who Speakest for Luata!" exclaimed one of the party. "We bring
you the strange creature that Fosh-bal-soj captured and brought thither
at thy command."
So this then was the godlike figure that spoke for divinity! This
arch-murderer was the Caspakian representative of God on Earth! His
blue robe announced him the one and the seeming humility of his minions
the other. For a long minute he glared at Bradley. Then he began to
question him--from whence he came and how, the name and description of
his native country, and a hundred other queries.
"Are you cos-ata-lu?" the creature asked.
Bradley replied that he was and that all his kind were, as well as
every living thing in his part of the world.
"Can you tell me the secret?" asked the creature.
Bradley hesitated and then, thinking to gain time, replied in the
"What is it?" demanded the Wieroo, leaning far forward and exhibiting
every evidence of excited interest.
Bradley leaned forward and whispered: "It is for your ears alone; I
will not divulge it to others, and then only on condition that you
carry me and the girl I saw in the place of the yellow door near to
that of Fosh-bal-soj back to her own country."
The thing rose in wrath, holding one
rolled cigarets.Page 13
Jonas Prim screamed.Page 15
He was widely travelled, had an independent fortune, and was far from unhandsome.Page 26
Although his clothing was soggy with rain he knew that his matches would still be dry, for this pocket and its flap he had ingeniously lined with waterproof material from a discarded slicker he had found--years of tramping having taught him the discomforts of a fireless camp.Page 30
It was the little one who murdered him--the one they called 'Jimmie' and 'The Oskaloosa Kid.Page 38
From below came an occasional rattle of the chain, followed after a few minutes by the now familiar clanking as the iron links scraped across the flooring.Page 46
"What do ye want to buy, eh? How much money ye got? Looks suspicious.Page 56
"He come to our house an' bought some vittles an' stuff.Page 62
Then Willie told of the arrival of the great detective, of the reward that had been offered and of his decision to win it and become rich and famous in a single stroke.Page 63
His pleasant 'Good morning!' brought the girl around, facing him.Page 68
"You told Giova that you followed the footprints of herself and her bear; but you had not said anything about a bear to us.Page 70
"They must be.Page 73
There is no question but that I am the soft mark, and I wonder why it is--why a kid I never saw before last night has a strangle hold on my heart that I can't shake loose--and don't want to.Page 74
"Now he know you my frien'.Page 77
" Willie Case had heard enough.Page 82
The floor was littered with papers, and a single electric light bulb relieved the gloom of the unsavory place.Page 85
It would have killed my father.Page 86
First they rifled his pockets, and joked as they did it, one of them saying that they weren't getting as much as they had planned on; but that a little was better than nothing.Page 87
"The sheriff just had a message from the chief at Toledo saying that The Oskaloosa Kid is dying in a hospital there following an automobile accident.Page 93
On the trip back to Oakdale, Abigail Prim cuddled in the back seat beside her father, told him all that she could think to tell of Bridge and his goodness to her.