Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 70

up the man saw a
white-robed Wieroo circling slowly above him. That he had been
discovered he could not doubt since the creature even dropped to a
lower altitude as though to assure itself that what it saw was a man.
Then it rose rapidly and winged away toward the city.

For two days Bradley and the girl lived in a constant state of
apprehension, awaiting the moment when the hunters would come for them;
but nothing happened until just after dawn of the third day, when the
flapping of wings apprised them of the approach of Wieroos. Together
they went to the edge of the wood and looked up to see five red-robed
creatures dropping slowly in ever-lessening spirals toward their little
amphitheater. With no attempt at concealment they came, sure of their
ability to overwhelm these two fugitives, and with the fullest measure
of self-confidence they landed in the clearing but a few yards from the
man and the girl.

Following a plan already discussed Bradley and the girl retreated
slowly into the woods. The Wieroos advanced, calling upon them to give
themselves up; but the quarry made no reply. Farther and farther into
the little wood Bradley led the hunters, permitting them to approach
ever closer; then he circled back again toward the clearing, evidently
to the great delight of the Wieroos, who now followed more leisurely,
awaiting the moment when they should be beyond the trees and able to
use their wings. They had opened into semicircular formation now with
the evident intention of cutting the two off from returning into the
wood. Each Wieroo advanced with his curved blade ready in his hand,
each hideous face blank and expressionless.

It was then that Bradley opened fire with his pistol--three shots,
aimed with careful deliberation, for it had been long since he had used
the weapon, and he could not afford to chance wasting ammunition on
misses. At each shot a Wieroo dropped; and then the remaining two
sought escape by flight, screaming and wailing after the manner of
their kind. When a Wieroo runs, his wings spread almost without any
volition upon his part, since from time immemorial he has always used
them to balance himself and accelerate his running speed so that in the
open they appear to skim the surface of the ground when in the act of
running. But here in the woods, among the close-set boles, the
spreading of their wings proved their undoing--it hindered and stopped
them and threw them to the ground, and then Bradley was

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