Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 9

when the water was brought, threw a cupful in the man's
face. Slowly Tippet regained consciousness and sat up. At first he
looked curiously into the faces of the men about him; then an
expression of terror overspread his features. He shot a startled
glance up into the black void above and then burying his face in his
arms began to sob like a child.

"What's wrong, man?" demanded Bradley. "Buck up! Can't play cry-baby.
Waste of energy. What happened?"

"Wot 'appened, sir!" wailed Tippet. "Oh, Gord, sir! Hit came back.
Hit came for me, sir. Right hit did, sir; strite hat me, sir; hand
with long w'ite 'ands it clawed for me. Oh, Gord! Hit almost caught
me, sir. Hi'm has good as dead; Hi'm a marked man; that's wot Hi ham.
Hit was a-goin' for to carry me horf, sir."

"Stuff and nonsense," snapped Bradley. "Did you get a good look at it?"

Tippet said that he did--a much better look than he wanted. The thing
had almost clutched him, and he had looked straight into its
eyes--"dead heyes in a dead face," he had described them.

"Wot was it after bein', do you think?" inquired Brady.

"Hit was Death," moaned Tippet, shuddering, and again a pall of gloom
fell upon the little party.

The following day Tippet walked as one in a trance. He never spoke
except in reply to a direct question, which more often than not had to
be repeated before it could attract his attention. He insisted that he
was already a dead man, for if the thing didn't come for him during the
day he would never live through another night of agonized apprehension,
waiting for the frightful end that he was positive was in store for
him. "I'll see to that," he said, and they all knew that Tippet meant
to take his own life before darkness set in.

Bradley tried to reason with him, in his short, crisp way, but soon saw
the futility of it; nor could he take the man's weapons from him
without subjecting him to almost certain death from any of the
numberless dangers that beset their way.

The entire party was moody and glum. There was none of the bantering
that had marked their intercourse before, even in the face of blighting
hardships and hideous danger. This was a new menace that threatened
them, something that they couldn't explain; and so, naturally, it
aroused within them superstitious fear which Tippet's attitude only

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Page 1
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He bent low and raised the tear-stained face to his own.