Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 62

of falling water, which
increased in volume as they moved forward until at last it filled the
corridor with a deafening sound. Then the corridor ended in a blank
wall; but in a niche to the right was a ladder leading aloft, and to
the left was a door opening onto the river. Bradley tried the latter
first and as he opened it, felt a heavy spray against his face. The
little shelf outside the doorway was wet and slippery, the roaring of
the water tremendous. There could be but one explanation--they had
reached a waterfall in the river, and if the corridor actually
terminated here, their escape was effectually cut off, since it was
quite evidently impossible to follow the bed of the river and ascend
the falls.

As the ladder was the only alternative, the two turned toward it and,
the man first, began the ascent, which was through a well similar to
that which had led him to the upper floors of the temple. As he
climbed, Bradley felt for openings in the sides of the shaft; but he
discovered none below fifty feet. The first he came to was ajar,
letting a faint light into the well. As he paused, the girl climbed to
his side, and together they looked through the crack into a low-ceiled
chamber in which were several Galu women and an equal number of hideous
little replicas of the full-grown Wieroos with which Bradley was not
quite familiar.

He could feel the body of the girl pressed close to his tremble as her
eyes rested upon the inmates of the room, and involuntarily his arm
encircled her shoulders as though to protect her from some danger which
he sensed without recognizing.

"Poor things," she whispered. "This is their horrible fate--to be
imprisoned here beneath the surface of the city with their hideous
offspring whom they hate as they hate their fathers. A Wieroo keeps
his children thus hidden until they are full-grown lest they be
murdered by their fellows. The lower rooms of the city are filled with
many such as these."

Several feet above was a second door beyond which they found a small
room stored with food in wooden vessels. A grated window in one wall
opened above an alley, and through it they could see that they were
just below the roof of the building. Darkness was coming, and at
Bradley's suggestion they decided to remain hidden here until after
dark and then to ascend to the roof and reconnoiter.

Shortly after they had settled themselves

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