and let us work together for the salvation of our country
and your majesty's throne."
Barney laid his hand upon the old man's shoulder. It seemed a shame
to carry the deception further, but the American well knew that only
so could he accomplish aught for Lutha or the Von der Tanns. Once
the old chancellor suspected the truth as to his identity he would
be the first to denounce him.
"I think that you and I can work together, Prince Ludwig," he said.
"I have sent for the Serbian and Austrian ministers. The former
should be here immediately."
Nor did they have long to wait before the tall Slav was announced.
Barney lost no time in getting down to business. He asked no
questions. What Von der Tann had told him, what he had seen with his
own eyes since he had entered Lutha, and what he had overheard in
the inn at Burgova was sufficient evidence that the fate of Lutha
hung upon the prompt and energetic decisions of the man who sat upon
Lutha's throne for the next few days.
Had Leopold been the present incumbent Lutha would have been lost,
for that he would play directly into the hands of Austria was not to
be questioned. Were Von der Tann to seize the reins of government a
state of revolution would exist that would divide the state into two
bitter factions, weaken its defense, and give Austria what she most
desired--a plausible pretext for intervention.
Lutha's only hope lay in united defense of her liberties under the
leadership of the one man whom all acknowledged king--Leopold. Very
well, Barney Custer, of Beatrice, would be Leopold for a few days,
since the real Leopold had proven himself incompetent to meet the
General Petko, the Serbian minister to Lutha, brought to the
audience the memory of a series of unpleasant encounters with the
king. Leopold had never exerted himself to hide his pro-Austrian
sentiments. Austria was a powerful country--Serbia, a relatively
weak neighbor. Leopold, being a royal snob, had courted the favor of
the emperor and turned up his nose at Serbia. The general was
prepared for a repetition of the veiled affronts that Leopold
delighted in according him; but this time he brought with him a
reply that for two years he had been living in the hope of some day
being able to deliver to the young monarch he so cordially despised.
It was an ultimatum from his government--an ultimatum couched in
terms from which all diplomatic suavity had been stripped. If Barney
Custer, of Beatrice, could have read it he would have smiled,
But when I spoke I hid the fear which haunted me.Page 14
More and more rapidly was the tree top inclining toward the ground.Page 17
As they bore me along, my mind was occupied with a thousand bewildering thoughts.Page 20
"Quite high enough to play the deuce with us, though," I replied.Page 25
" "Jubal the Ugly One placed his trophy before my father's house.Page 29
On the march, or during halts, Dian refused consistently to notice me--when her eyes wandered in my direction she looked either over my head or directly through me.Page 30
"He has taken the girl that you would not have," he continued, glancing at me.Page 44
Swinging his bloody horns from side to side the beast cut a wide swath before him straight upward toward our seats.Page 45
of the amphitheater had grown fainter and fainter until now all was as silent as the tomb about me.Page 48
the haste with which he came which seemed quite sufficiently menacing, so that I did not need the added evidence of brandishing spear and scowling face to warn me that I was in no safe position, but whither to flee was indeed a momentous question.Page 53
There I met his mate, a comely girl with a nursing baby in her arms.Page 58
There was no hypnotism here--just the plain, brutal ferocity of the beast of prey, tearing, rending, and gulping its meat, but at that it was less horrible than the uncanny method of the Mahars.Page 67
Afterward I should return and visit him--if I could ever find his island.Page 74
Upon the left shoulder of each a mark was burned--the mark of the Mahars--which will forever protect these two from slaving parties.Page 81
The pain I suffered was intense, but it only served to spur me to greater efforts to overcome my antagonist.Page 87
" The Sagoths were gaining on me rapidly.Page 96
Finally I suggested that we make some attempt to gain my cave, where we might escape the searching Jubal, for I am free to admit that I had no considerable desire to meet the formidable and ferocious creature, of whose mighty prowess Dian had told me when I first met her.Page 102
"What has he to do with it?" I asked.Page 111
With a large force of men we marched to the great iron mole, which Perry soon had hoisted into position with its nose pointed back toward the outer crust.Page 115
I had it packed on a special reel at his suggestion, as it was his idea that he could fasten one end here before he left and by paying it out through the end of the prospector lay a telegraph line between the outer and inner worlds.