something of the smaller openings
in the walls, for almost immediately there crawled from them, like
giant spiders, a score or more of the hideous heads. Each sought one of
the recumbent bodies and fastened itself in place. Immediately the
bodies reacted to the intelligent direction of the heads. They arose,
the hands adjusted the leather collars and put the balance of the
harness in order, then the creatures crossed the room to where Tara of
Helium stood. She noted that their leather was more highly ornamented
than that worn by any of the others she had previously seen, and so she
guessed that these must be higher in authority than the others. Nor was
she mistaken. The demeanor of her captor indicated it. He addressed
them as one who holds intercourse with superiors.
Several of those who examined her felt her flesh, pinching it gently
between thumb and forefinger, a familiarity that the girl resented. She
struck down their hands. "Do not touch me!" she cried, imperiously, for
was she not a princess of Helium? The expression on those terrible
faces did not change. She could not tell whether they were angry or
amused, whether her action had filled them with respect for her, or
contempt. Only one of them spoke immediately.
"She will have to be fattened more," he said.
The girl's eyes went wide with horror. She turned upon her captor. "Do
these frightful creatures intend to devour me?" she cried.
"That is for Luud to say," he replied, and then he leaned closer so
that his mouth was near her ear. "That noise you made which you called
song pleased me," he whispered, "and I will repay you by warning you
not to antagonize these kaldanes. They are very powerful. Luud listens
to them. Do not call them frightful. They are very handsome. Look at
their wonderful trappings, their gold, their jewels."
"Thank you," she said. "You called them kaldanes--what does that mean?"
"We are all kaldanes," he replied.
"You, too?" and she pointed at him, her slim finger directed toward his
"No, not this," he explained, touching his body; "this is a rykor; but
this," and he touched his head, "is a kaldane. It is the brain, the
intellect, the power that directs all things. The rykor," he indicated
his body, "is nothing. It is not so much even as the jewels upon our
harness; no, not so much as the harness itself. It carries us about. It
is true that we would find difficulty getting along without it; but it
has less value than harness or jewels because it is less
To attempt to ride out such a storm upon the surface seemed suicidal, for the Coldwater was not designed for surface navigation except under fair weather conditions.Page 8
"The regulations are explicit, and if the Coldwater crosses thirty it devolves upon you to place Lieutenant Turck under arrest and immediately exert every endeavor to bring the ship back into Pan-American waters.Page 10
"Lieutenant Alvarez attacked me!" he cried.Page 20
Straight as a torpedo it rushed for Delcarte, and, as Taylor and I stumbled on through the tall grass toward our unfortunate comrade, we saw the tiger rear upon him and crush him to the earth.Page 29
I guessed that no bullet would kill him instantly.Page 33
Maybe they are still there.Page 43
Presently two warriors entered.Page 46
"They are searching for me," said the girl.Page 49
What right had man within this palace of the beasts? Again he opened his giant jaws, and this time there rumbled forth a warning roar.Page 55
Go on! Go on!" But she only waited until we were again swimming side by side, and I saw that she had drawn her long knife, and was holding it between her teeth.Page 57
She did not, however, reaching the opposite bank as fresh, apparently, as when she entered the water.Page 66
The very thought of remaining in this utter wilderness for the rest of our lives was impossible.Page 68
I expected a blow the moment that I came within the view of the occupants, but no blow fell.Page 69
But they refused to come, and so he gave orders that resulted in my hands being secured at my back, after which the company marched away, straight toward the east.Page 74
Often we passed small posts similar to that at which the colonel's regiment had been quartered, finding in each instance that only a single company or troop remained for defence, the balance having been withdrawn toward the northeast, in the same direction in which we were moving.Page 76
The emperor rode in a golden howdah upon the back of a huge elephant so covered with rich hangings and embellished with scintillating gems that scarce more than the beast's eyes and feet were visible.Page 77
gifts brought in from the far outlying districts by the commanding officers of the frontier posts.Page 81
The yellow men were bombarding New Gondar again.Page 82
At sight of me, he gave voice to a roar of anger.Page 85
A woman seized a gun and brained a court dignitary, whose horse had trampled her child to death.