Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 81

are you and from whence do you
come?" he asked; and then Co-Tan gave a little, glad cry and sprang
forward with out-stretched arms.

"Oh, Tan!" she exclaimed. "Do you not know your little Co-Tan?"

The warrior stared, incredulous, for a moment, and then he, too, ran
forward and when they met, took the girl in his arms. It was then that
Bradley experienced to the full a sensation that was new to him--a
sudden hatred for the strange warrior before him and a desire to kill
without knowing why he would kill. He moved quickly to the girl's side
and grasped her wrist.

"Who is this man?" he demanded in cold tones.

Co-Tan turned a surprised face toward the Englishman and then of a
sudden broke forth into a merry peal of laughter. "This is my father,
Brad-lee," she cried.

"And who is Brad-lee?" demanded the warrior.

"He is my man," replied Co-Tan simply.

"By what right?" insisted Tan.

And then she told him briefly of all that she had passed through since
the Wieroos had stolen her and of how Bradley had rescued her and
sought to rescue An-Tak, her brother.

"You are satisfied with him?" asked Tan.

"Yes," replied the girl proudly.

It was then that Bradley's attention was attracted to the edge of the
plateau by a movement there, and looking closely he saw a horse bearing
two figures sliding down the steep declivity. Once at the bottom, the
animal came charging across the meadowland at a rapid run. It was a
magnificent animal--a great bay stallion with a white-blazed face and
white forelegs to the knees, its barrel encircled by a broad surcingle
of white; and as it came to a sudden stop beside Tan, the Englishman
saw that it bore a man and a girl--a tall man and a girl as beautiful
as Co-Tan. When the girl espied the latter, she slid from the horse
and ran toward her, fairly screaming for joy.

The man dismounted and stood beside Tan. Like Bradley he was garbed
after the fashion of the surrounding warriors; but there was a subtle
difference between him and his companion. Possibly he detected a
similar difference in Bradley, for his first question was, "From what
country?" and though he spoke in Galu Bradley thought he detected an
accent.

"England," replied Bradley.

A broad smile lighted the newcomer's face as he held out his hand. "I
am Tom Billings of Santa Monica, California," he said. "I know all
about you, and I'm mighty glad to find you alive."

"How did you get here?"

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