It was unthinkable. Such a
horrid fact could not be; and yet my reason told me that within thirty
days my incomparable Princess would be fought over in the arena of the
First Born by those very wild beasts; that her bleeding corpse would be
dragged through the dirt and the dust, until at last a part of it would
be rescued to be served as food upon the tables of the black nobles.
I think that I should have gone crazy but for the sound of my
approaching jailer. It distracted my attention from the terrible
thoughts that had been occupying my entire mind. Now a new and grim
determination came to me. I would make one super-human effort to
escape. Kill my jailer by a ruse, and trust to fate to lead me to the
outer world in safety.
With the thought came instant action. I threw myself upon the floor of
my cell close by the wall, in a strained and distorted posture, as
though I were dead after a struggle or convulsions. When he should
stoop over me I had but to grasp his throat with one hand and strike
him a terrific blow with the slack of my chain, which I gripped firmly
in my right hand for the purpose.
Nearer and nearer came the doomed man. Now I heard him halt before me.
There was a muttered exclamation, and then a step as he came to my
side. I felt him kneel beside me. My grip tightened upon the chain.
He leaned close to me. I must open my eyes to find his throat, grasp
it, and strike one mighty final blow all at the same instant.
The thing worked just as I had planned. So brief was the interval
between the opening of my eyes and the fall of the chain that I could
not check it, though in that minute interval I recognized the face so
close to mine as that of my son, Carthoris.
God! What cruel and malign fate had worked to such a frightful end!
What devious chain of circumstances had led my boy to my side at this
one particular minute of our lives when I could strike him down and
kill him, in ignorance of his identity! A benign though tardy
Providence blurred my vision and my mind as I sank into unconsciousness
across the lifeless body of my only son.
When I regained consciousness it was to feel a cool, firm hand pressed
At sight of me his ears went flat, and his lips parted in a characteristic grin.Page 5
"Aye-aye, sir!" she replied faintly, and again her lips drooped, and her long lashes swept the firm, fair texture of her skin.Page 14
" I merely inclined my head.Page 21
to the conning tower.Page 26
Only two of us were armed; but the heart seemed to have gone out of the boches, and they put up but half-hearted resistance.Page 37
" Bradley's face fell.Page 40
I didn't warn my fellows of the danger--it could have but caused them useless apprehension, for if we were to be smashed against the rocky wall, no power on earth could avert the quick end that would come to us.Page 49
The line was made fast to a small tree, and at the same time I had the stern anchor dropped.Page 50
Our first concern was to fill the water tanks of the U-33 with fresh water, and that having been accomplished, we set.Page 56
He, being a Prussian and a gentleman, couldn't stoop to such menial labor in the presence of his men, and I didn't see fit to ask it of him, as the work was purely voluntary upon our part.Page 60
Neanderthal man possessed a language.Page 68
Cautioning Nobs to silence, and he had learned many lessons in the value of obedience since we had entered Caspak, I slunk forward, taking advantage of whatever cover I could find, until from behind a bush I could distinctly see the creatures assembled by the fire.Page 70
"We may as well keep on in search of another refuge.Page 71
"You see," I cried to his fellows, "that I can kill you wherever you may be.Page 73
"After a while we go there.Page 75
The entire sky was still completely blotted out by dense clouds; nor was there any landmark visible by which I might have taken my bearings.Page 77
Look at me--look at my clothing and my weapons.Page 81
They would kill you.Page 82
I wanted myself to die, and yet I clung to life--useless and hopeless and harrowing a thing as it had become.Page 86
For a time Nobs had been all the protection she required; but one day he disappeared--nor has she seen him since.