the looting are over. I am
"And thou, Hor Vastus," I asked, "what has been thy success?"
"A million veteran fighting-men from Helium's thin waterways man the
battleships, the transports, and the convoys," he replied. "Each is
sworn to loyalty and secrecy, nor were enough recruited from a single
district to cause suspicion."
"Good!" I cried. "Each has done his duty, and now, Kantos Kan, may we
not repair at once to Hastor and get under way before to-morrow's sun?"
"We should lose no time, Prince," replied Kantos Kan. "Already the
people of Hastor are questioning the purpose of so great a fleet fully
manned with fighting-men. I wonder much that word of it has not before
reached Zat Arrras. A cruiser awaits above at your own dock; let us
leave at--" A fusillade of shots from the palace gardens just without
cut short his further words.
Together we rushed to the balcony in time to see a dozen members of my
palace guard disappear in the shadows of some distant shrubbery as in
pursuit of one who fled. Directly beneath us upon the scarlet sward a
handful of guardsmen were stooping above a still and prostrate form.
While we watched they lifted the figure in their arms and at my command
bore it to the audience chamber where we had been in council. When
they stretched the body at our feet we saw that it was that of a red
man in the prime of life--his metal was plain, such as common soldiers
wear, or those who wish to conceal their identity.
"Another of Zat Arrras' spies," said Hor Vastus.
"So it would seem," I replied, and then to the guard: "You may remove
"Wait!" said Xodar. "If you will, Prince, ask that a cloth and a
little thoat oil be brought."
I nodded to one of the soldiers, who left the chamber, returning
presently with the things that Xodar had requested. The black kneeled
beside the body and, dipping a corner of the cloth in the thoat oil,
rubbed for a moment on the dead face before him. Then he turned to me
with a smile, pointing to his work. I looked and saw that where Xodar
had applied the thoat oil the face was white, as white as mine, and
then Xodar seized the black hair of the corpse and with a sudden wrench
tore it all away, revealing a hairless pate beneath.
Guardsmen and nobles pressed close about the silent witness upon the
marble floor. Many were the exclamations
They were splendid--they and their crew.Page 3
It must have been carried far below, held to its mother ship by a single rope which finally parted to.Page 4
The sea was littered with wreckage among which floated the pitiful forms of women and children, buoyed up by their useless lifebelts.Page 15
With a rueful smile, I directed that our original course be resumed, and once again we set off toward merry England.Page 21
It seemed remarkable that we could cross the Atlantic almost to the coast of the American continent without glimpsing smoke or sail, and at last I came to the conclusion that we were way off our course, but whether to the north or to the south of it I could not determine.Page 24
He didn't shoot me the next morning as he had promised, and it has never been clear to me why he postponed the execution of my sentence.Page 32
" He didn't die for a half-hour after that; nor did he speak again--aloud; but just a few seconds before he went to meet his Maker, his lips moved in a faint whisper; and as I leaned closer to catch his words, what do you suppose I heard? "Now--I--lay me--down--to--sleep" That was all; Benson was dead.Page 41
A shiver ran down into the tower as the thing closed upon the periscope.Page 44
When I glanced up, that little head on the end of its long neck was coming straight down on top of me, and once more I tumbled into greater safety, sprawling upon the floor of the centrale.Page 46
And so at last we turned into our narrow bunks, hopeful, happy and at peace with ourselves, our lives and our God, to awaken the following morning refreshed and still optimistic.Page 47
It was more the heat of a steam-room than of an oven.Page 52
Our shots rang out together.Page 62
When this is done, I shall be through.Page 65
Some hideous member of the ape-man tribe had entered the fort and carried her off.Page 72
Lys' head had drooped to my breast, and my arm was still about her.Page 73
One of them said: "Back there we may have known him.Page 79
The question puzzled me.Page 82
At last I gave up the search and set off toward Fort Dinosaur.Page 84
There is, though, something about marksmanship which is quite beyond all scientific laws.Page 85
"The she is mine," he cried.