Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 64

the killing of Him Who Speaks for Luata," whispered
the girl. "Soon they will spread in all directions searching for us."

"And will they find us?"

"As surely as Lua gives light by day," she replied; "and when they find
us, they will tear us to pieces, for only the Wieroos may murder--only
they may practice tas-ad."

"But they will not kill you," said Bradley. "You did not slay him."

"It will make no difference," she insisted. "If they find us together
they will slay us both."

"Then they won't find us together," announced Bradley decisively. "You
stay right here--you won't be any worse off than before I came--and
I'll get as far as I can and account for as many of the beggars as
possible before they get me. Good-bye! You're a mighty decent little
girl. I wish that I might have helped you."

"No," she cried. "Do not leave me. I would rather die. I had hoped
and hoped to find some way to return to my own country. I wanted to go
back to An-Tak, who must be very lonely without me; but I know that it
can never be. It is difficult to kill hope, though mine is nearly
dead. Do not leave me."

"An-Tak!" Bradley repeated. "You loved a man called An-Tak?"

"Yes," replied the girl. "An-Tak was away, hunting, when the Wieroo
caught me. How he must have grieved for me! He also was cos-ata-lu,
twelve moons older than I, and all our lives we have been together."

Bradley remained silent. So she loved An-Tak. He hadn't the heart to
tell her that An-Tak had died, or how.

At the door of Fosh-bal-soj's storeroom they halted to listen. No
sound came from within, and gently Bradley pushed open the door. All
was inky darkness as they entered; but presently their eyes became
accustomed to the gloom that was partially relieved by the soft
starlight without. The Englishman searched and found those things for
which he had come--two robes, two pairs of dead wings and several
lengths of fiber rope. One pair of the wings he adjusted to the girl's
shoulders by means of the rope. Then he draped the robe about her,
carrying the cowl over her head.

He heard her gasp of astonishment when she realized the ingenuity and
boldness of his plan; then he directed her to adjust the other pair of
wings and the robe upon him. Working with strong, deft fingers

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