Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 60

of the room and approached
the rags. Stooping he lifted a corner of them. Yes, there was the man
asleep. Bradley shook him--there was no response. He stooped lower
and in the dim light examined An-Tak; then he stood up with a sigh. A
rat leaped from beneath the coverings and scurried away. "Poor devil!"
muttered Bradley.

He crossed the room to swing himself to the perch preparatory to
quitting the Blue Place of Seven Skulls forever. Beneath the perch he
paused. "I'll not give them the satisfaction," he growled. "Let them
believe that he escaped."

Returning to the pile of rags he gathered the man into his arms. It
was difficult work raising him to the high perch and dragging him
through the small opening and thus down the ladder; but presently it
was done, and Bradley had lowered the body into the river and cast it
off. "Good-bye, old top!" he whispered.

A moment later he had rejoined the girl and hand in hand they were
following the dark corridor upstream toward the farther end of the
city. She told him that the Wieroos seldom frequented these lower
passages, as the air here was too chill for them; but occasionally they
came, and as they could see quite as well by night as by day, they
would be sure to discover Bradley and the girl.

"If they come close enough," she said, "we can see their eyes shining
in the dark--they resemble dull splotches of light. They glow, but do
not blaze like the eyes of the tiger or the lion."

The man could not but note the very evident horror with which she
mentioned the creatures. To him they were uncanny; but she had been
used to them for a year almost, and probably all her life she had
either seen or heard of them constantly.

"Why do you fear them so?" he asked. "It seems more than any ordinary
fear of the harm they can do you."

She tried to explain; but the nearest he could gather was that she
looked upon the Wieroo almost as supernatural beings. "There is a
legend current among my people that once the Wieroo were unlike us only
in that they possessed rudimentary wings. They lived in villages in
the Galu country, and while the two peoples often warred, they held no
hatred for one another. In those days each race came up from the
beginning and there was great rivalry as to which was the higher in

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