Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 6

It had big round eyes that looked all cold and
dead, and its cheeks were sunken in deep, and I could see its yellow
teeth behind thin, tight-drawn lips--like a man who had been dead a
long while, sir," he added, turning toward Bradley.

"Yes!" James had not spoken since the apparition had passed over them,
and now it was scarce speech which he uttered--rather a series of
articulate gasps. "Yes--dead--a--long--while. It--means something.
It--come--for some--one. For one--of us. One--of us is goin'--to die.
I'm goin' to die!" he ended in a wail.

"Come! Come!" snapped Bradley. "Won't do. Won't do at all. Get to
work, all of you. Waste of time. Can't waste time."

His authoritative tones brought them all up standing, and presently
each was occupied with his own duties; but each worked in silence and
there was no singing and no bantering such as had marked the making of
previous camps. Not until they had eaten and to each had been issued
the little ration of smoking tobacco allowed after each evening meal
did any sign of a relaxation of taut nerves appear. It was Brady who
showed the first signs of returning good spirits. He commenced humming
"It's a Long Way to Tipperary" and presently to voice the words, but he
was well into his third song before anyone joined him, and even then
there seemed a dismal note in even the gayest of tunes.

A huge fire blazed in the opening of their rocky shelter that the
prowling carnivora might be kept at bay; and always one man stood on
guard, watchfully alert against a sudden rush by some maddened beast of
the jungle. Beyond the fire, yellow-green spots of flame appeared,
moved restlessly about, disappeared and reappeared, accompanied by a
hideous chorus of screams and growls and roars as the hungry
meat-eaters hunting through the night were attracted by the light or
the scent of possible prey.

But to such sights and sounds as these the five men had become callous.
They sang or talked as unconcernedly as they might have done in the
bar-room of some publichouse at home.

Sinclair was standing guard. The others were listening to Brady's
description of traffic congestion at the Rush Street bridge during the
rush hour at night. The fire crackled cheerily. The owners of the
yellow-green eyes raised their frightful chorus to the heavens.
Conditions seemed again to have returned to normal. And then, as
though the hand of Death had reached out and touched

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