of the skirmish of the previous
expedition shortly after noon, for they were now traveling a known
trail and no time was lost in exploring.
From there on the elephant-track led straight to Mbonga's village. It
was but two o'clock when the head of the column halted upon the edge of
Lieutenant Charpentier, who was in command, immediately sent a portion
of his force through the jungle to the opposite side of the village.
Another detachment was dispatched to a point before the village gate,
while he remained with the balance upon the south side of the clearing.
It was arranged that the party which was to take its position to the
north, and which would be the last to gain its station should commence
the assault, and that their opening volley should be the signal for a
concerted rush from all sides in an attempt to carry the village by
storm at the first charge.
For half an hour the men with Lieutenant Charpentier crouched in the
dense foliage of the jungle, waiting the signal. To them it seemed
like hours. They could see natives in the fields, and others moving in
and out of the village gate.
At length the signal came--a sharp rattle of musketry, and like one
man, an answering volley tore from the jungle to the west and to the
The natives in the field dropped their implements and broke madly for
the palisade. The French bullets mowed them down, and the French
sailors bounded over their prostrate bodies straight for the village
So sudden and unexpected the assault had been that the whites reached
the gates before the frightened natives could bar them, and in another
minute the village street was filled with armed men fighting hand to
hand in an inextricable tangle.
For a few moments the blacks held their ground within the entrance to
the street, but the revolvers, rifles and cutlasses of the Frenchmen
crumpled the native spearmen and struck down the black archers with
their bows halfdrawn.
Soon the battle turned to a wild rout, and then to a grim massacre; for
the French sailors had seen bits of D'Arnot's uniform upon several of
the black warriors who opposed them.
They spared the children and those of the women whom they were not
forced to kill in self-defense, but when at length they stopped,
panting, blood covered and sweating, it was because there lived to
oppose them no single warrior of all the savage village of Mbonga.
Carefully they ransacked every hut and corner of the village, but no
sign of D'Arnot could they
You would surely have thought that I had been detected in no less a heinous crime than the purloining of the Crown Jewels from the Tower, or putting poison in the coffee of His Majesty the King.Page 1
Then Perry interested me in his invention.Page 7
For another hour I saw that pitiless column of mercury rise and rise until at four hundred and ten miles it stood at 153 degrees.Page 15
Involuntarily I glanced backward to discover the origin of this new and menacing note with the result that I missed my footing and went sprawling once more upon my face in the deep muck.Page 16
In the meantime I had been straining my eyes to catch a glimpse of Perry, but nowhere about could I see him, although the clump of trees in which he had first taken refuge was in full view.Page 20
Here they got down to work, and we were soon convinced that if we were not to die to make a Roman holiday, we were to die for some other purpose.Page 28
Again the weary and apparently interminable marching became a perfect nightmare of horrors to me.Page 39
The Hairy One only considered the horrible fate that would be ours were we discovered; but at last I prevailed upon him to accept my plan as the only feasible one, and when I had assured him that I would take all the responsibility for it were we captured, he accorded a reluctant assent.Page 42
It seemed to me that a bean shooter would have been as effective against the mighty monster as these pitiful weapons.Page 43
At the sound of the roaring of the tiger the bull's bellowing became a veritable frenzy of rageful noise.Page 62
It was all a matter of chance and so I set off down that which seemed the easiest going, and in this I made the same mistake that many of us do in selecting the path along which we shall follow out the course of our lives, and again learned that it is not always best to follow the line of least resistance.Page 64
He seemed to realize that escape for me was impossible, and I could have sworn that his huge, fanged jaws grinned in pleasurable appreciation of my predicament, or was it in anticipation of the juicy morsel which would so soon be pulp between those formidable teeth? He was about fifty feet from me when I heard a voice.Page 66
He would not listen to any thanks for his attempt to save me, which had come so near miscarrying.Page 77
To one of these chambers my guard escorted me, and before leaving they chained me to a side wall.Page 78
Slowly and cautiously I made the effort.Page 87
There was a bare chance of saving Ghak and Perry, and as I reached the branching of the canyon I took the chance.Page 91
by the twisting and turning of the canyons and gullies, for I did not come to the land of Sari then, nor for a long time thereafter.Page 99
And then he was upon me.Page 103
Coming from the brilliant light of the noonday sun into the semidarkness of the.Page 113
The thing beneath the skin was not Dian--it was a hideous Mahar.