the hollows of the men's shoulders.
The leveled barrels were upon a line with the breasts of the
condemned. A man at Barney's right moaned. Another sobbed.
"Fire!" There was the hideous roar of the volley. Barney Custer
crumpled forward to the ground, and three bodies fell upon his. A
moment later there was a second volley--all had not fallen at the
first. Then the soldiers came among the bodies, searching for signs
of life; but evidently the two volleys had done their work. The
sergeant formed his men in line. The lieutenant marched them away.
Only silence remained on guard above the pitiful dead in the factory
The day wore on and still the stiffening corpses lay where they had
fallen. Twilight came and then darkness. A head appeared above the
top of the wall that had enclosed the grounds. Eyes peered through
the night and keen ears listened for any sign of life within. At
last, evidently satisfied that the place was deserted, a man crawled
over the summit of the wall and dropped to the ground within. Here
again he paused, peering and listening.
What strange business had he here among the dead that demanded such
caution in its pursuit? Presently he advanced toward the pile of
corpses. Quickly he tore open coats and searched pockets. He ran his
fingers along the fingers of the dead. Two rings had rewarded his
search and he was busy with a third that encircled the finger of a
body that lay beneath three others. It would not come off. He pulled
and tugged, and then he drew a knife from his pocket.
But he did not sever the digit. Instead he shrank back with a
muffled scream of terror. The corpse that he would have mutilated
had staggered suddenly to its feet, flinging the dead bodies to one
side as it rose.
"You fiend!" broke from the lips of the dead man, and the ghoul
turned and fled, gibbering in his fright.
The tramp of soldiers in the street beyond ceased suddenly at the
sound from within the factory yard. It was a detail of the guard
marching to the relief of sentries. A moment later the gates swung
open and a score of soldiers entered. They saw a figure dodging
toward the wall a dozen paces from them, but they did not see the
other that ran swiftly around the corner of the factory.
This other was Barney Custer of Beatrice. When the command to fire
had been given to the squad of riflemen, a single bullet had creased
the top of his
The Prison Isle of Shador XI.Page 7
Naked and unarmed, as I was, my end would have been both speedy and horrible at the hands of these cruel creatures had I had time to put my resolve into execution, but at the moment of the shriek each member of the herd turned.Page 8
That I was indeed upon Mars I now had no doubt, for here were members of the wild hordes that people the dead sea bottoms and deserted cities of that dying planet.Page 23
Many years ago you heard the story of the woman who taught me the thing that green Martians are reared to hate, the woman who taught me to love.Page 44
"Then if the Father of Therns puts credence in his story, another hour will see the galleries and chambers, the courts and gardens, filled with searchers.Page 61
Later I was to learn, and she, too, in a most horrible manner.Page 87
My only sorrow now is that my mother must mourn me as she has for ten long years mourned my father.Page 88
"That is the least of our troubles,.Page 102
The boy followed me.Page 105
CHAPTER XIII A BREAK FOR LIBERTY Xodar listened in incredulous astonishment to my narration of the events which had transpired within the arena at the rites of Issus.Page 106
Even the bravest of the brave among them are terrorized at the mere thought of deep water, for it has been ages since their forebears saw a lake, a river or a sea.Page 121
" They did not like it, but both were good soldiers, and it had been agreed that I should command.Page 126
But unless I could find my way back to that point the chances were most excellent that I would wander for days through the awful blackness, until, overcome by thirst and hunger, I lay down to die, or--What was that! A faint shuffling sounded behind me, and as I cast a hasty glance over my shoulder my blood froze in my veins for the thing I saw there.Page 129
It is enough that within another minute or two, Tars Tarkas, wearing the metal of a Warhoon chief, was hurrying down the corridor toward the spiral runway, bearing the Warhoon's torch to light his way.Page 142
The people in the temple plaza and in the streets for a distance of a full mile were standing as close packed as it was possible for them to get.Page 149
It was a sad and sombre party that sat at the feast of welcome in the great dining hall of the palace of the Prince of Helium that day.Page 151
"The new captive was a very beautiful girl.Page 157
one condition.Page 160
"And I went to the palace of the Prince of Helium with any such demand, they would laugh at me and, into the bargain, would more than likely throw me headforemost into the avenue.Page 169
The battleships passed through to take an advanced position, and the combined fleets moved slowly over the ice cap, hugging the surface closely to prevent detection by the therns whose land we were approaching.