"What is it?" he asked. "What is the matter?"
For a moment he had forgotten the part that he had been
playing--forgot that the Princess Emma was ignorant of his identity.
He had come to her to share with her the happiness of the hour--the
glory of the victorious arms of Lutha. For a time he had almost
forgotten that he was not the king, and now he was forgetting that
he was not Barney Custer to the girl who stood before him with
misery and hopelessness writ so large upon her countenance.
For a brief instant the girl did not reply. She was weighing the
problematical value of an attempt to enlist the king in the cause of
the American. Leopold had shown a spark of magnanimity when he had
written a pardon for Mr. Custer; might he not rise again above his
petty jealousy and save the American's life? It was a forlorn hope
to the woman who knew the true Leopold so well; but it was a hope.
"What is the matter?" the king repeated.
"I have just received word that Prince Peter has ignored your
commands, sire," replied the girl, "and that Mr. Custer is to be
Barney's eyes went wide with incredulity. Here was a pretty pass,
indeed! The princess came close to him and seized his arm.
"You promised, sire," she said, "that he would not be harmed--you
gave your royal word. You can save him. You have an army at your
command. Do not forget that he once saved you."
The note of appeal in her voice and the sorrow in her eyes gave
Barney Custer a twinge of compunction. The necessity for longer
concealing his identity in so far as the salvation of Lutha was
concerned seemed past; but the American had intended to carry the
deception to the end.
He had given the matter much thought, but he could find no grounds
for belief that Emma von der Tann would be any happier in the
knowledge that her future husband had had nothing to do with the
victory of his army. If she was doomed to a life at his side, why
not permit her the grain of comfort that she might derive from the
memory of her husband's achievements upon the battlefield of
Lustadt? Why rob her of that little?
But now, face to face with her, and with the evidence of her
suffering so plain before him, Barney's intentions wavered. Like
most fighting men, he was tender in his dealings with women. And now
the last straw came in the form
"Are the men of Gathol such boors, then?" "They are neither boors nor fools," he replied, quietly.Page 19
The groaning tackle bespoke the mad fury of the gale, while the worried faces of those members of the crew whose duties demanded their presence on the straining craft gave corroborative evidence of the gravity of the situation.Page 22
The tower meant to her the habitation of man, suggesting the presence of water and, perhaps, of food.Page 35
Instantly the big, round head collapsed, almost as a punctured balloon collapses, as a grayish, semi-fluid matter spurted from it.Page 38
The tunnel was some seven feet in diameter and flattened on the bottom to form a walk.Page 51
She had watched from her window the opening and closing of the gate that led from the enclosure out into the fields and she knew how the great latch operated.Page 56
It has no value.Page 63
Then he saw it stumble and go down and instantly its pursuers were upon it.Page 64
The watcher saw the creature take its prisoner by the arm and lead it back to the enclosure, and even across the distance that separated them from him he could note dejection and utter hopelessness in the bearing of the prisoner, and, too, he was half convinced that it was a woman, perhaps a red Martian of his own race.Page 70
Luud sent for her.Page 75
Ghek led the way, grasping one of Tara's hands the more easily to guide and assist her, while Gahan of Gathol followed a few paces in their rear, his bared sword ready for the assault that all realized must come upon them now before ever they reached the enclosure and the flier.Page 76
Ah, if she could but endow these.Page 94
"You are right, Tara of Helium," he replied and sheathed his sword.Page 140
"No," replied Turan, who had not the faintest idea to whom or what the fellow referred.Page 143
"I would that I might dissuade the friend of my friend O-Zar from such.Page 151
The weaving blades gleamed in the brilliant sunlight, ringing to the parries of cut and thrust.Page 156
Seldom have we looked upon more noble swordplay.Page 157
Val Dor and Floran threw open the gates beneath the royal enclosure, opening the tunnel that led to the avenue in the city beyond the Towers.Page 179
He told her so.Page 192
His crown was a fillet supporting carved feathers of the same metal as the mask.