settled into the
frightful Maelstrom beneath us and at the same time mentally computing
the hours which must elapse before aid could reach us, the wireless
operator clambered up the ladder to the bridge, and, disheveled and
breathless, stood before me at salute. It needed but a glance at him
to assure me that something was amiss.
"What now?" I asked.
"The wireless, sir!" he cried. "My God, sir, I cannot send."
"But the emergency outfit?" I asked.
"I have tried everything, sir. I have exhausted every resource. We
cannot send," and he drew himself up and saluted again.
I dismissed him with a few kind words, for I knew that it was through
no fault of his that the mechanism was antiquated and worthless, in
common with the balance of the Coldwater's equipment. There was no
finer operator in Pan-America than he.
The failure of the wireless did not appear as momentous to me as to
him, which is not unnatural, since it is but human to feel that when
our own little cog slips, the entire universe must necessarily be put
out of gear. I knew that if this storm were destined to blow us across
thirty, or send us to the bottom of the ocean, no help could reach us
in time to prevent it. I had ordered the message sent solely because
regulations required it, and not with any particular hope that we could
benefit by it in our present extremity.
I had little time to dwell upon the coincidence of the simultaneous
failure of the wireless and the buoyancy generators, since very shortly
after the Coldwater had dropped so low over the waters that all my
attention was necessarily centered upon the delicate business of
settling upon the waves without breaking my ship's back. With our
buoyancy generators in commission it would have been a simple thing to
enter the water, since then it would have been but a trifling matter of
a forty-five degree dive into the base of a huge wave. We should have
cut into the water like a hot knife through butter, and have been
totally submerged with scarce a jar--I have done it a thousand
times--but I did not dare submerge the Coldwater for fear that it would
remain submerged to the end of time--a condition far from conducive to
the longevity of commander or crew.
Most of my officers were older men than I. John Alvarez, my first
officer, is twenty years my senior. He stood at my side on the bridge
as the ship glided
" "Provided," suggested Thuvan Dihn, "you do not chance to collide with some other night wanderer in the meanwhile.Page 12
"Now fetch me the Heliumetic metal you wrought some days since," commanded Vas Kor.Page 25
The damage to the buoyancy tanks had evidently been more grievous than he had at first believed.Page 39
No longer was sign of life visible upon wall or roof top.Page 47
" "But," exclaimed Carthoris, "this is not real food--it was not here an instant since, and real food does not materialize out of thin air.Page 51
He was leaning forward with eyes no longer half closed, but wide with a startled expression in them.Page 54
She knew that Carthoris of Helium would fight for her; but whether to save her for himself or another, she was in doubt.Page 57
If he could but know how and whence the hand of death was to strike, he could meet it unafraid, but to suffer longer the hideous tension of this blighting ignorance of the plans of their assassins was telling upon him grievously.Page 64
I do but call them into being now, and in a way direct their general actions.Page 65
They must plan together for the future.Page 67
Even as he emerged from the mouth of the passage to look across the foothills in the direction of Aaanthor, a Ptarth battle fleet was winging its majestic way slowly toward the twin cities of Helium, while from far distant Kaol raced another mighty armada to join forces with its ally.Page 71
A brave smile of encouragement lit his face.Page 72
CHAPTER XI GREEN MEN AND WHITE APES A Torquasian sword smote a glancing blow across the forehead of Carthoris.Page 85
He knew that in the tyrant's heart there pulsed no single throb of love for any creature.Page 86
Some other hand to strike the blow--with that face, with those eyes before him, he could never do it.Page 100
One by one the pursuers were distanced,.Page 102
A moment later the boarding tackle dropped from the keel of the Thuria, and from a dozen points along either side stout, knotted leathern lines trailed downward.Page 104
He roared encouragement and commands at his battling utans, and then, as they charged further and further from the Thuria, he could no longer withstand the lure of battle.Page 105
Nor am I blind to the lofty honour that has caused you, Carthoris, to risk your life and hers to save mine, though you thought that that very act would rob you of the chance to keep her for your own.Page 108
With the exception of the face, the head is covered by a tangled mass of jet-black hair some eight or ten inches in length.