The Mad King

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 39

them were well grounded.

The man ahead had halted at the sound of Barney's voice, and swung
about in the saddle.

"What's the trouble?" he asked.

"He don't want to go to the Old Forest," explained his companion,
and for the first time Barney saw one of them grin. It was not at
all a pleasant grin, nor reassuring.

"He don't, eh?" growled the other. "Well, he ain't goin', is he?
Who ever said he was?"

And then he, too, laughed.

"I'm going back the way I came," said Barney, starting around the
horse that blocked his way.

"No, you ain't," said the horseman. "You're goin' with us."

And Barney found himself gazing down the muzzle of one of the wicked
looking pistols.

For a moment he stood in silence, debating mentally the wisdom of
attempting to rush the fellow, and then, with a shake of his head,
he turned back up the trail between his captors.

"Yes," he said, "on second thought I have decided to go with you.
Your logic is most convincing."




VI

A KING'S RANSOM

For another mile the two brigands conducted their captor along the
mountainside, then they turned into a narrow ravine near the summit
of the hills--a deep, rocky, wooded ravine into whose black shadows
it seemed the sun might never penetrate.

A winding path led crookedly among the pines that grew thickly in
this sheltered hollow, until presently, after half an hour of rough
going, they came upon a small natural clearing, rock-bound and
impregnable.

As they filed from the wood Barney saw a score of villainous fellows
clustered about a camp fire where they seemed engaged in cooking
their noonday meal. Bits of meat were roasting upon iron skewers,
and a great iron pot boiled vigorously at one side of the blaze.

At the sound of their approach the men sprang to their feet in
alarm, and as many weapons as there were men leaped to view; but
when they saw Barney's companions they returned their pistols to
their holsters, and at sight of Barney they pressed forward to
inspect the prisoner.

"Who have we here?" shouted a big blond giant, who affected
extremely gaudy colors in his selection of wearing apparel, and
whose pistols and knife had their grips heavily ornamented with
pearl and silver.

"A stranger in Lutha he calls himself," replied one of Barney's
captors. "But from the sword I take it he is one of old Peter's
wolfhounds."

"Well, he's found the wolves at any rate," replied the giant, with a
wide grin at his witticism. "And if Yellow Franz is the particular
wolf you're after, my friend, why here I am," he

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the following changes to the text: PAGE LINE ORIGINAL CHANGED TO 10 12 of or 14 19 of animals life of animals 31 26 is arms his arms 37 14 above this above his 37 23 Bradley, Bradley 54 18 man man 57 14 and of Oo-oh of Oo-oh 62 18 spend spent 63 31 and mumbled the mumbled 64 9 things thing 80 30 east cast 104 16 proaching proached 106 30 cos-at-lu cos-ata-lu 126 17 not artistic not an artistic 126 25 close below hands close below 130 1 internals intervals 132 9 than .