Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 56

of its swords above its head.

"Who are you to make terms for Him Who Speaks for Luata?" it shrilled.
"Tell me the secret or die where you stand!"

"And if I die now, the secret goes with me," Bradley reminded him.
"Never again will you get the opportunity to question another of my
kind who knows the secret." Anything to gain time, to get the rest of
the Wieroos from the room, that he might plan some scheme for escape
and put it into effect.

The creature turned upon the leader of the party that had brought
Bradley.

"Is the thing with weapons?" it asked.

"No," was the response.

"Then go; but tell the guard to remain close by," commanded the high
one.

The Wieroos salaamed and withdrew, closing the door behind them. He
Who Speaks for Luata grasped a sword nervously in his right hand. At
his left side lay the second weapon. It was evident that he lived in
constant dread of being assassinated. The fact that he permitted none
with weapons within his presence and that he always kept two swords at
his side pointed to this.

Bradley was racking his brain to find some suggestion of a plan whereby
he might turn the situation to his own account. His eyes wandered past
the weird figure before him; they played about the walls of the
apartment as though hoping to draw inspiration from the dead skulls and
the hides and the wings, and then they came back to the face of the
Wieroo god, now working in anger.

"Quick!" screamed the thing. "The secret!"

"Will you give me and the girl our freedom?" insisted Bradley.

For an instant the thing hesitated, and then it grumbled "Yes." At the
same instant Bradley saw two hides upon the wall directly back of the
dais separate and a face appear in the opening. No change of
expression upon the Englishman's countenance betrayed that he had seen
aught to surprise him, though surprised he was for the face in the
aperture was that of the girl he had but just left hidden beneath the
hides in another chamber. A white and shapely arm now pushed past the
face into the room, and in the hand, tightly clutched, was the curved
blade, smeared with blood, that Bradley had dropped beneath the hides
at the moment he had been discovered and drawn from his concealment.

"Listen, then," said Bradley in a low voice to the Wieroo. "You shall
know the secret of cos-ata-lu as well as do I; but none other

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