The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 84

to push me
from her. "You called me a barbarian!" she said.

Ah, so that was it! That still rankled. I crushed her to me.

"You could not love a barbarian," she went on, but she had ceased to
struggle.

"But I do love a barbarian, Victory!" I cried, "the dearest barbarian
in the world."

She raised her eyes to mine, and then her smooth, brown arms encircled
my neck and drew my lips down to hers.

"I love you--I have loved you always!" she said, and then she buried
her face upon my shoulder and sobbed. "I have been so unhappy," she
said, "but I could not die while I thought that you might live."

As we stood there, momentarily forgetful of all else than our new found
happiness, the ferocity of the bombardment increased until scarce
thirty seconds elapsed between the shells that rained about the palace.

To remain long would be to invite certain death. We could not escape
the way that we had entered the apartment, for not only was the
corridor now choked with debris, but beyond the corridor there were
doubtless many members of the emperor's household who would stop us.

Upon the opposite side of the room was another door, and toward this I
led the way. It opened into a third apartment with windows overlooking
an inner court. From one of these windows I surveyed the courtyard.
Apparently it was empty, and the rooms upon the opposite side were
unlighted.

Assisting Victory to the open, I followed, and together we crossed the
court, discovering upon the opposite side a number of wide, wooden
doors set in the wall of the palace, with small windows between. As we
stood close behind one of the doors, listening, a horse within neighed.

"The stables!" I whispered, and, a moment later, had pushed back a door
and entered. From the city about us we could hear the din of great
commotion, and quite close the sounds of battle--the crack of thousands
of rifles, the yells of the soldiers, the hoarse commands of officers,
and the blare of bugles.

The bombardment had ceased as suddenly as it had commenced. I judged
that the enemy was storming the city, for the sounds we heard were the
sounds of hand-to-hand combat.

Within the stables I groped about until I had found saddles and bridles
for two horses. But afterward, in the darkness, I could find but a
single mount. The doors of the opposite side, leading to the street,
were open, and we could see great

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