"Yes," he said, realizing that he must humor her--it was difficult
to remember that this lovely girl was insane. "Let me see, now just
what was I in prison for? I do not seem to be able to recall it. In
Nebraska, they used to hang men for horse stealing; so I am sure it
must have been something else not quite so bad. Do you happen to
"When the king, your father, died you were thirteen years old," the
girl explained, hoping to reawaken the sleeping mind, "and then your
uncle, Prince Peter of Blentz, announced that the shock of your
father's death had unbalanced your mind. He shut you up in Blentz
then, where you have been for ten years, and he has ruled as regent.
Now, my father says, he has recently discovered a plot to take your
life so that Peter may become king. But I suppose you learned of
that, and because of it you escaped!"
"This Peter person is all-powerful in Lutha?" he asked.
"He controls the army," the girl replied.
"And you really believe that I am the mad king Leopold?"
"You are the king," she said in a convincing manner.
"You are a very brave young lady," he said earnestly. "If all the
mad king's subjects were as loyal as you, and as brave, he would not
have languished for ten years behind the walls of Blentz."
"I am a Von der Tann," she said proudly, as though that was
explanation sufficient to account for any bravery or loyalty.
"Even a Von der Tann might, without dishonor, hesitate to accompany
a mad man through the woods," he replied, "especially if she
happened to be a very--a very--" He halted, flushing.
"A very what, your majesty?" asked the girl.
"A very young woman," he ended lamely.
Emma von der Tann knew that he had not intended saying that at all.
Being a woman, she knew precisely what he had meant to say, and she
discovered that she would very much have liked to hear him say it.
"Suppose," said Barney, "that Peter's soldiers run across us--what
"They will take you back to Blentz, your majesty."
"I do not think that they will dare lay hands on me, though it is
possible that Peter might do so. He hates my father even more now
than he did when the old king lived."
"I wish," said Mr. Custer, "that I had gone down after my guns. Why
didn't you tell me, in the first place, that I was a king, and that
I might get you in trouble
Even prior to this, transoceanic commerce had practically ceased, owing to the perils and hazards of the mine-strewn waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.Page 5
Old Admiral Sanchez was wont to maintain that he could smell thirty, and the men of the first ship in which I sailed claimed that Coburn, the navigating officer, knew by name every wave along thirty from 60dN.Page 10
Even while these thoughts were passing through my mind I was busy with the details of my duties.Page 11
The crew, with the exception of those whose duties kept them below, were ranged on deck below the bridge.Page 15
Snider was in the minority, and so we continued toward the east.Page 24
Then, in deep tones, one who was in advance of the others and whom I took to be the chief or leader of the party replied in a tongue which while intelligible to us, was so distorted from the English language from which it evidently had sprung, that it was with difficulty that we interpreted it.Page 25
Here was a lifelong inhabitant of the Isle of Wight who never had heard of either Germany or England! I turned to him quite suddenly with a new question.Page 28
" But what a different creature was this fierce-eyed demon, palpitating with life and vigor, glossy of coat, alert, growling, magnificent, from the dingy, moth-eaten replicas beneath their glass cases in the stuffy halls of our public museums.Page 32
She was of medium height, well formed, and with fine, clear-cut features.Page 51
Toward morning I dozed, and the sun was well up when Victory aroused me by gently shaking my shoulder.Page 61
As a matter of fact, Snider, it seemed to me, was taking advantage of every opportunity, however slight, to show insubordination, and I determined then that at the first real breach of discipline I should take action that would remind Snider, ever after, that I was still his commanding officer.Page 64
We had covered about half the distance to the river, when I suddenly came face to face with a man.Page 65
Delcarte and Taylor came up a moment later, and the three of us worked over the fellow, hoping to revive him that he might tell us what had happened, and what had become of the others.Page 68
To my relief, the mechanism responded--the launch was uninjured.Page 69
I then decided to retrace our journey, letting Taylor handle the launch, while Delcarte and I, upon opposite sides of the river, searched for some sign of the spot where Victory had landed.Page 71
But I was soon.Page 76
Troops were pouring in from the west and south, and pouring out toward the east.Page 83
I--I--" What was I about to say? I was very close to her as a great light broke over me.Page 86
To my delight I found that the officer into whose presence we were conducted spoke Abyssinian fluently.