The Mad King

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 116

standing before the wall of a low brick
building. Barney noticed that there were no windows in the wall. It
suddenly occurred to him that there was something peculiarly grim
and sinister in the appearance of the dead, blank surface of
weather-stained brick. For the first time since he had faced the
military court he awakened to a full realization of what it all
meant to him--he was going to be lined up against that ominous brick
wall with these other men--they were going to shoot them.

A momentary madness seized him. He looked about upon the other
prisoners and guards. A sudden break for liberty might give him
temporary respite. He could seize a rifle from the nearest soldier,
and at least have the satisfaction of selling his life dearly. As he
looked he saw more soldiers entering the factory yard.

A sudden apathy overwhelmed him. What was the use? He could not
escape. Why should he wish to kill these soldiers? It was not they
who were responsible for his plight--they were but obeying orders.
The close presence of death made life seem very desirable. These
men, too, desired life. Why should he take it from them uselessly?
At best he might kill one or two, but in the end he would be killed
as surely as though he took his place before the brick wall with the

He noticed now that these others evinced no inclination to contest
their fates. Why should he, then? Doubtless many of them were as
innocent as he, and all loved life as well. He saw that several were
weeping silently. Others stood with bowed heads gazing at the
hard-packed earth of the factory yard. Ah, what visions were their
eyes beholding for the last time! What memories of happy firesides!
What dear, loved faces were limned upon that sordid clay!

His reveries were interrupted by the hoarse voice of a sergeant,
breaking rudely in upon the silence and the dumb terror. The fellow
was herding the prisoners into position. When he was done Barney
found himself in the front rank of the little, hopeless band.
Opposite them, at a few paces, stood the firing squad, their gun
butts resting upon the ground.

The young lieutenant stood at one side. He issued some instructions
in a low tone, then he raised his voice.

"Ready!" he commanded. Fascinated by the horror of it, Barney
watched the rifles raised smartly to the soldiers' hips--the
movement was as precise as though the men were upon parade. Every
bolt clicked in unison with its fellows.

"Aim!" the pieces leaped to

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Tarzan the Untamed

Page 7
His pursuit of the murderers had not been characterized by excessive speed; but rather more in keeping with his mental attitude, which was marked by a dogged determination to require from the Germans more than an eye for an eye and more than a tooth for a tooth, the element of time entering but slightly into his calculations.
Page 8
Dark clouds moving swiftly across the heavens now and again eclipsed the bright face of Goro, the moon, and forewarned the ape-man of impending storm.
Page 9
Tarzan braced himself against the bole of the tree and leaned closer toward Sheeta.
Page 13
A tiny stream from Kilimanjaro's eternal snow cap still trickled over the edge of the rocky wall at the upper end of the gulch, forming a little pool at the bottom of the cliff from which a small rivulet wound downward to the tunnel through which it passed to the gorge beyond.
Page 33
Now he heard Sabor in the bushes to his rear, but not yet too close.
Page 40
They call you, too, Tarmangani," he concluded, smiling.
Page 48
There was a small clump of trees near.
Page 65
"I came for you, too," he said.
Page 67
He would cross the dry country and come to.
Page 73
Circling slowly he dropped closer and closer to the dying man.
Page 102
grace of every movement that harmonized so well with the symmetry and perfection of his figure.
Page 134
Why he should be doing this when he had her in his power and had also captured and secured the only creature in the jungle who might wish to defend her in so far as the black could know, Tarzan could not guess, for he knew nothing of Usanga's twenty-four dream wives nor of the black's fear of the horrid temper of Naratu, his present mate.
Page 140
Tarzan of the Apes stood in the center of the clearing watching the plane shrinking to diminutive toy-like proportions in the eastern sky.
Page 145
As this tribe had no contact whatsoever with white men in so far as Tarzan knew, their motive was doubtless due to a desire to torture the beast to death that they might enjoy to the utmost his dying agonies.
Page 150
"What earthly good would it do other than to.
Page 158
"Yes," replied the ape-man, "but not the sort of natives which we would expect to find here in this part of Africa where others all go unshod with the exception of a few of Usanga's renegade German native troops who wear German army shoes.
Page 164
He of the black coat tremendously outclassed his adversary in point of size and strength as well as in ferocity.
Page 197
" For several minutes the two sat in silence, and then the younger woman turned to the older.
Page 221
He poised to make a second effort to follow his escaping quarry when his nose picked up a hitherto unnoticed quality in the scent spoor of his intended prey.
Page 234
"At the foot of the stairs," she said, "is a room full of armed men.