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 my
manhood. The blood-red haze that presaged death to my foes swam before
The guard lolled before the unbarred gate of the cage which confined
me. What need of bars,
His slender frame shook, as with ague, and at times was racked by a convulsive shudder.Page 1
Wealthy by inheritance, he had chosen the field of education for his life work solely from a desire to be of some material benefit to mankind since the meager salary which accompanied his professorship was not of sufficient import to influence him in the slightest degree.Page 13
Professor Maxon scarcely ever left the central enclosure.Page 14
"I cannot answer your question, Miss Maxon," he said, finally, "for your father's strictest injunction has been that I divulge to no one the slightest happening within the court of mystery.Page 15
To one another we may say what we would not think of suggesting to outsiders.Page 27
His captive sank to the ground, too weak from the effects of nervous shock to escape, and with horror-filled eyes watched the two who battled over her.Page 32
von Horn," said Virginia, "but if to explain to me will necessitate betraying my.Page 34
Your father told me it in so many words when I asked his permission to pay court to you myself--you are to marry Number Thirteen when his education is complete.Page 38
You have seen the creatures in the campong next to yours?" "I have seen," replied Bududreen, with a shudder.Page 52
But von Horn did not abate his watchfulness as he stole silently within the precincts of the north campong, and, hugging the denser shadows of the palisade, crept toward the house.Page 53
I wish to fetch some of my belongings--all within the bungalow are dead.Page 60
A score of equally ferocious faces peered down from behind the foremost.Page 68
Parangs flashed.Page 74
The old rajah succeeded in gathering some fifty warriors about him from the crews of the two boats which lay near his.Page 82
Somewhere behind her upon the broad river she was sure a long, narrow native prahu was being urged forward in pursuit, and that in command of it was the young giant who was now never for a moment absent from her thoughts.Page 86
A half hour's work was sufficient to repair the damage, and then the two boats continued their journey toward the mouth of the river up which those they sought had passed the night before.Page 89
Do you understand?" Muda Saffir nodded.Page 93
We have no souls.Page 94
"Let us take them by force then," and he started after Number Three.Page 107
At last they drew nearer the shore.