you if Buckingham gets his hands on you. He is a bad
man. He wishes to have me for his woman so that he may be king. He
would kill anyone who befriended me, for fear that I might become
"Didn't you say that Buckingham is already the king?" I asked.
"He is. He took my mother for his woman after he had killed Wettin.
But my mother will die soon--she is very old--and then the man to whom
I belong will become king."
Finally, after much questioning, I got the thing through my head. It
appears that the line of descent is through the women. A man is merely
head of his wife's family--that is all. If she chances to be the
oldest female member of the "royal" house, he is king. Very naively
the girl explained that there was seldom any doubt as to whom a child's
This accounted for the girl's importance in the community and for
Buckingham's anxiety to claim her, though she told me that she did not
wish to become his woman, for he was a bad man and would make a bad
king. But he was powerful, and there was no other man who dared
dispute his wishes.
"Why not come with me," I suggested, "if you do not wish to become
"Where would you take me?" she asked.
Where, indeed! I had not thought of that. But before I could reply to
her question she shook her head and said, "No, I cannot leave my
people. I must stay and do my best, even if Buckingham gets me, but
you must go at once. Do not wait until it is too late. The lions have
had no offering for a long time, and Buckingham would seize upon the
first stranger as a gift to them."
I did not perfectly understand what she meant, and was about to ask her
when a heavy body leaped upon me from behind, and great arms encircled
my neck. I struggled to free myself and turn upon my antagonist, but
in another instant I was overwhelmed by a half dozen powerful,
half-naked men, while a score of others surrounded me, a couple of whom
seized the girl.
I fought as best I could for my liberty and for hers, but the weight of
numbers was too great, though I had the satisfaction at least of giving
them a good fight.
When they had overpowered me, and I stood, my hands bound behind me, at
I had not asked any of my officers to accompany me, as I wished to be alone, and very glad am I now that I had not.Page 14
We can't catch the Coldwater, and we can't cross the Atlantic in this.Page 16
Mine were the first American eyes to rest upon it for more than two hundred years.Page 32
"It is similar to my own.Page 33
"They are bad men," she replied.Page 34
Professor Cortoran, since my return to Pan-America, has suggested another theory which is not entirely without claim to serious consideration.Page 37
A man is merely head of his wife's family--that is all.Page 44
It seemed impossible to believe that in this peaceful woodland setting the frightful thing was to occur which must come with the passing of the next lion who chanced within sight or smell of the crumbling arch.Page 46
And, still upon my knees, I turned, and taking the girl's hand in mine, I kissed it.Page 49
Upon the dais stood two great chairs, highbacked and with great arms.Page 64
He was as primitive and uncouth in appearance as the Grabritins--a shaggy, unkempt savage, clothed in a shirt of skin cured with the head on, the latter surmounting his own head to form a bonnet, and giving to him a most fearful and ferocious aspect.Page 65
Victory in the hands of these abysmal brutes! It was frightful.Page 66
Was I? I tried to think that I was.Page 69
A young officer called and beckoned to them.Page 80
I have not attempted to fully describe my sensations at the moment I recognized Victory, because, I can assure you, they were entirely indescribable.Page 81
I walked straight toward the soldier, my mind made up in an instant.Page 82
We struggled about the room, striking one another, knocking over furniture, and rolling upon the floor.Page 83
Half stunned, I rose from the lifeless body of my antagonist just in time to see Victory stagger to her feet and turn toward me.Page 84
Within the stables I groped about until I had found saddles and bridles for two horses.Page 88
You know how a fleet was sent across the Atlantic to search for me, how the restrictions against crossing thirty to one hundred seventy-five were removed forever, and how the officers were brought to Peking, arriving upon the very day that Victory and I were married at the imperial court.