crazed by the affront I
had put upon their goddess, just as Issus disappeared into the black
depths beneath me.
DOOMED TO DIE
For an instant I stood there before they fell upon me, but the first
rush of them forced me back a step or two. My foot felt for the floor
but found only empty space. I had backed into the pit which had
received Issus. For a second I toppled there upon the brink. Then I
too with the boy still tightly clutched in my arms pitched backward
into the black abyss.
We struck a polished chute, the opening above us closed as magically as
it had opened, and we shot down, unharmed, into a dimly lighted
apartment far below the arena.
As I rose to my feet the first thing I saw was the malignant
countenance of Issus glaring at me through the heavy bars of a grated
door at one side of the chamber.
"Rash mortal!" she shrilled. "You shall pay the awful penalty for your
blasphemy in this secret cell. Here you shall lie alone and in
darkness with the carcass of your accomplice festering in its
rottenness by your side, until crazed by loneliness and hunger you feed
upon the crawling maggots that were once a man."
That was all. In another instant she was gone, and the dim light which
had filled the cell faded into Cimmerian blackness.
"Pleasant old lady," said a voice at my side.
"Who speaks?" I asked.
"'Tis I, your companion, who has had the honour this day of fighting
shoulder to shoulder with the greatest warrior that ever wore metal
"I thank God that you are not dead," I said. "I feared for that nasty
cut upon your head."
"It but stunned me," he replied. "A mere scratch."
"Maybe it were as well had it been final," I said. "We seem to be in a
pretty fix here with a splendid chance of dying of starvation and
"Where are we?"
"Beneath the arena," I replied. "We tumbled down the shaft that
swallowed Issus as she was almost at our mercy."
He laughed a low laugh of pleasure and relief, and then reaching out
through the inky blackness he sought my shoulder and pulled my ear
close to his mouth.
"Nothing could be better," he whispered. "There are secrets within the
secrets of Issus of which Issus herself does not dream."
"What do you mean?"
"I laboured with the other slaves a year since in the remodelling of
these subterranean galleries, and at that time we
As the mucker rushed upward toward him Mallory had all the advantage of position and preparedness, and had he done what Billy Byrne would have done under like circumstances he would have planted a kick in the midst of the mucker's facial beauties with all the power and weight and energy at his command; but Billy Mallory could no more have perpetrated a cowardly trick such as this than he could have struck a woman.Page 48
distrust that had tinged her thoughts of him earlier in their acquaintance, while his heroic act in descending into the forecastle in the face of the armed and desperate Byrne had thrown a glamour of romance about him that could not help but tend to fascinate a girl of Barbara Harding's type.Page 64
" While they were waiting for Byrne to return with the two recruits one of the sleepers in Simms' camp stirred.Page 112
The color mounted to Billy Byrne's face, and then he went very white.Page 121
They did not hear any further firing behind them.Page 132
" The following morning the sporting sheets hailed "Sailor" Byrne as the greatest "white hope" of them all.Page 134
"Any answer?" he asked.Page 136
Instead he crossed the library to the telephone.Page 142
But his eyes persisted in boring through the white paper and the black type to scenes that were not in any paper.Page 143
Billy realized that it had been these lessons that had spurred him on to the mad scheme that was to end now with the verdict of "Guilty"--he had wished to vindicate his honor.Page 145
had leaped from the moving train dragging his guard after him.Page 203
"He'll be worth all you pay him--if you can appreciate him, which I doubt, Grayson.Page 207
Because of this ingrained caution Billy had long since secured the tops of the two sacks together, leaving only a sufficient opening to permit of their each being filled without delay or inconvenience.Page 208
Now Bridge, sleeping the sleep of utter exhaustion that the boom of a cannon might not have disturbed, did that inexplicable thing which every one of us has done a hundred times in our lives.Page 211
"Did no one see him leave?" Bridge was upon the point of saying that he had seen him and that he had ridden north, when it occurred to him that a thousand dollars--even a thousand dollars Mex--was a great deal of money, and that it would carry both himself and Billy to Rio and leave something for pleasure beside.Page 229
Billy Byrne smiled.Page 267
Whatever happens don't let one of them get close enough to fire the house.Page 269
Barbara Harding ran forward to assist her champion but as the men rolled and tumbled over the ground she could find no opening for a blow that might not endanger Billy Byrne quite as much as it endangered his antagonist; but presently she discovered that the American required no assistance.Page 271
Wish I could give you something more substantial than thanks; but that's all I have now and shortly Pesita won't even leave me that much.Page 274
Billy was for moving on at once before the reinforcements, for which he was sure Rozales had dispatched his messenger, could overtake them.