The Mad King

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 168

this to your lieutenant," he said, "and tell him to hand it to
Prince Peter before dawn tomorrow. Do not fail."

A moment later the three were riding down the winding road toward
Blentz. Barney had no further need of the officer who rode with
them. He would be glad to be rid of him, for he anticipated that the
fellow might find ample opportunity to betray them as they passed
through the Austrian lines, which they must do to reach Lustadt.

He had told the captain that they were going to Tann in order that,
should the man find opportunity to institute pursuit, he might be
thrown off the track. The Austrian sentries were no great distance
ahead when Barney ordered a halt.

"Dismount," he directed the captain, leaping to the ground himself
at the same time. "Put your hands behind your back."

The officer did as he was bid, and Barney bound his wrists securely
with a strap and buckle that he had removed from the cantle of his
saddle as he rode. Then he led him off the road among some weeds and
compelled him to lie down, after which he bound his ankles together
and stuffed a gag in his mouth, securing it in place with a bit of
stick and the chinstrap from the man's helmet. The threat of the
revolver kept Captain Krantzwort silent and obedient throughout the
hasty operations.

"Good-bye, captain," whispered Barney, "and let me suggest that you
devote the time until your discovery and release in pondering the
value of winning your king's confidence in the future. Had you
chosen your associates more carefully in the past, this need not
have occurred."

Barney unsaddled the captain's horse and turned him loose, then he
remounted and, with the princess at his side, rode down toward



As the two riders approached the edge of the village of Blentz a
sentry barred their way. To his challenge the American replied that
they were "friends from the castle."

"Advance," directed the sentry, "and give the countersign."

Barney rode to the fellow's side, and leaning from the saddle
whispered in his ear the word "Slankamen."

Would it pass them out as it had passed Maenck in? Barney scarcely
breathed as he awaited the result of his experiment. The soldier
brought his rifle to present and directed them to pass. With a sigh
of relief that was almost audible the two rode into the village and
the Austrian lines.

Once within they met with no further obstacle until they reached the
last line of sentries upon the far side of the town. It

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