for Issus. The women do nothing, absolutely
nothing. Slaves wash them, slaves dress them, slaves feed them. There
are some, even, who have slaves that talk for them, and I saw one who
sat during the rites with closed eyes while a slave narrated to her the
events that were transpiring within the arena.
The first event of the day was the Tribute to Issus. It marked the end
of those poor unfortunates who had looked upon the divine glory of the
goddess a full year before. There were ten of them--splendid beauties
from the proud courts of mighty Jeddaks and from the temples of the
Holy Therns. For a year they had served in the retinue of Issus;
to-day they were to pay the price of this divine preferment with their
lives; tomorrow they would grace the tables of the court functionaries.
A huge black entered the arena with the young women. Carefully he
inspected them, felt of their limbs and poked them in the ribs.
Presently he selected one of their number whom he led before the throne
of Issus. He addressed some words to the goddess which I could not
hear. Issus nodded her head. The black raised his hands above his
head in token of salute, grasped the girl by the wrist, and dragged her
from the arena through a small doorway below the throne.
"Issus will dine well to-night," said a prisoner beside me.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"That was her dinner that old Thabis is taking to the kitchens. Didst
not note how carefully he selected the plumpest and tenderest of the
I growled out my curses on the monster sitting opposite us on the
"Fume not," admonished my companion; "you will see far worse than that
if you live even a month among the First Born."
I turned again in time to see the gate of a nearby cage thrown open and
three monstrous white apes spring into the arena. The girls shrank in
a frightened group in the centre of the enclosure.
One was on her knees with imploring hands outstretched toward Issus;
but the hideous deity only leaned further forward in keener
anticipation of the entertainment to come. At length the apes spied
the huddled knot of terror-stricken maidens and with demoniacal shrieks
of bestial frenzy, charged upon them.
A wave of mad fury surged over me. The cruel cowardliness of the
power-drunk creature whose malignant mind conceived such frightful
forms of torture stirred to their uttermost depths my resentment
" And as he saw the bear apparently upon the verge of deciding to charge him, he encouraged the idea by backing rapidly away, knowing that an angry beast will more often charge one who moves than one who lies still.Page 2
Already since they had disembarked from the U-33 after its perilous trip through the subterranean channel beneath the barrier cliffs had brought them into the inland sea of Caspak, had they encountered what had appeared to be three distinct types of these creatures.Page 8
"Can't waste ammunition.Page 9
At first he looked curiously into the faces of the men about him; then an expression of terror overspread his features.Page 14
As the man sprang to his feet, his rifle ready in his hand, Sinclair awoke and took in the scene in a single swift glance.Page 16
that into the mind of neither entered the thought or the temptation to desert his companion--they would reach the fort together if both survived, or neither would reach it.Page 20
Nor was he mistaken.Page 26
Outside were several Wieroos that had been eating at the pedestals within.Page 28
from the top of the ladder to the doorway, and Bradley had almost reached his goal when the door flew open and Fosh-bal-soj stepped out.Page 32
" "And what of you?" asked Bradley.Page 34
" Each of the creatures raised a hand, the back against its face, as though in salute.Page 36
Bradley lay motionless and listened.Page 45
With an oath he pushed his gruesome companion out into mid-stream to float on down toward the great pool and the awaiting scavengers of the deep.Page 49
"Come with me," he said, "and you shall have your life; remain here and He Who Speaks for Luata will claim you for his own; and when he is done with you, your skull will bleach at the top of a tall staff while your body feeds the reptiles at the mouth of the River of Death.Page 54
At last the party halted in a room in which were many Wieroos who gathered about Bradley questioning his captors and examining him and his apparel.Page 62
As he paused, the girl climbed to his side, and together they looked through the crack into a low-ceiled chamber in which were several Galu women and an equal number of hideous little replicas of the full-grown Wieroos with which Bradley was not quite familiar.Page 70
up the man saw a white-robed Wieroo circling slowly above him.Page 76
" And to the Englishmen: "This is Co-Tan.Page 78
Often the vessel was brought to a stop, and always there were anxious eyes scanning the shore for an answering signal.Page 80
Put me ashore, my man, and I will go meet them.