The Mad King

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 110

give her prisoner
physical proof of the weapon he could not see she thrust the muzzle
against his side.

"I'll take your word for the gun," said Barney, "if you'll just turn
it in the other direction. Go ahead--I'll follow you."

"No, you won't," replied the girl. "You'll go first; but before
that you'll raise your hands above your head. I want to search you."

Barney did as he was bid and a moment later felt deft fingers
running over his clothing in search of concealed weapons. Satisfied
at last that he was unarmed, the girl directed him to precede her,
guiding his steps from behind with a hand upon his arm. Occasionally
he felt the muzzle of her revolver touch his body. It was a most
unpleasant sensation.

They crossed the room to a door which his captor directed him to
open, and after they had passed through and she had closed it behind
them the girl struck a match and lit a candle which stood upon a
little bracket on the partition wall. The dim light of the tallow
dip showed Barney that he was in a narrow hall from which several
doors opened into different rooms. At one end of the hall a stairway
led to the floor below, while at the opposite end another flight
disappeared into the darkness above.

"This way," said the girl, motioning toward the stairs that led
upward.

Barney had turned toward her as she struck the match, obtaining an
excellent view of her features. They were clear-cut and regular. Her
eyes were large and very dark. Dark also was her hair, which was
piled in great heaps upon her finely shaped head. Altogether the
face was one not easily to be forgotten. Barney could scarce have
told whether the girl was beautiful or not, but that she was
striking there could be no doubt.

He preceded her up the stairway to a door at the top. At her
direction he turned the knob and entered a small room in which was a
cot, an ancient dresser and a single chair.

"You will remain here," she said, "until Stefan returns. Stefan will
know what to do with you." Then she left him, taking the light with
her, and Barney heard a key turn in the lock of the door after she
had closed it. Presently her footfalls died out as she descended to
the lower floors.

"Anyhow," thought the American, "this is better than the Austrians.
I don't know what Stefan will do with me, but I have a rather vivid
idea of what the Austrians would have done to

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