from that to Blentz, and the four who were to fetch the king wheeled
their horses into the left-hand fork and cantered off upon their
The direct road between Lustadt and Tafelberg is but little more
than half the distance of that which Coblich and his companions had
to traverse because of the wide detour they had made by riding
almost to Blentz first, and so it was that when they cantered into
the little mountain town near midnight Barney Custer and Lieutenant
Butzow were but a mile or two behind them.
Had the latter had even the faintest of suspicions that the identity
of the hiding place of the king might come to the knowledge of Peter
of Blentz they could have reached Tafelberg ahead of Coblich and his
party, but all unsuspecting they rode slowly to conserve the energy
of their mounts for the return trip.
In silence the two men approached the grounds surrounding the
sanatorium. In the soft dirt of the road the hoofs of their mounts
made no sound, and the shadows of the trees that border the front of
the enclosure hid them from the view of the trooper who held four
riderless horses in a little patch of moonlight that broke through
the opening in the trees at the main gate of the institution.
Barney was the first to see the animals and the man.
"S-s-st," he hissed, reining in his horse.
Butzow drew alongside the American.
"What can it mean?" asked Barney. "That fellow is a trooper, but I
cannot make out his uniform."
"Wait here," said Butzow, and slipping from his horse he crept
closer to the man, hugging the dense shadows close to the trees.
Barney reined in nearer the low wall. From his saddle he could see
the grounds beyond through the branches of a tree. As he looked his
attention was suddenly riveted upon a sight that sent his heart into
Three men were dragging a struggling, half-naked figure down the
gravel walk from the sanatorium toward the gate. One kept a hand
clapped across the mouth of the prisoner, who struck and fought his
assailants with all the frenzy of despair.
Barney leaped from his saddle and ran headlong after Butzow. The
lieutenant had reached the gate but an instant ahead of him when the
trooper, turning suddenly at some slight sound of the officer's foot
upon the ground, detected the man creeping upon him. In an instant
the fellow had whipped out a revolver, and raising it fired
point-blank at Butzow's chest; but in the same instant a figure shot
Swift as I was I was none too soon, for the green warrior had been overtaken ere he had made half the distance to the forest, and now he stood with his back to a boulder, while the herd, temporarily balked, hissed and screeched about him.Page 17
But even the two best swords in a world of fighters can avail not for ever against overwhelming numbers of fierce and savage brutes that know not what defeat means until cold steel teaches their hearts no longer to beat, and so, step by step, we were forced back.Page 18
Torn and bleeding from many cruel wounds, I lay panting upon the ground within the hollow.Page 25
"If you have not been here all these years where indeed have you been, and how is it that I find you here to-day?" "I have been back to Earth," I replied.Page 43
She, too, had noted the questioning attitude of the thern who had borne Sator Throg away.Page 84
The prison was divided into several rooms by partitions twenty feet high.Page 89
the attempt, and guide me to the shaft that lets from the dome of this abysmal sea to the light of God's pure air above.Page 92
None who enters the domains of the First Born ever leave.Page 93
The First Born do no work.Page 94
The girls shrank in a frightened group in the centre of the enclosure.Page 110
As I passed the guard-house the thought of all the good blades lying there gave me pause, for if ever men were to have need of swords it was my companions and I on the perilous trip upon which we were about to embark.Page 113
To have attempted to dive below her would have put us entirely at her mercy, and precisely where she wanted us.Page 125
Up this, then, I hastened, searching for the light, and stopping to listen occasionally for a repetition of the sound; but soon I was forced to admit that I must have been following a blind lead, as only darkness and silence rewarded my efforts.Page 130
See, I have it here," and as she spoke she drew Tan Gama's short-sword from beneath her sleeping silks and furs.Page 141
"It is enough," he said, "that I jeopardize my life here and hereafter by countenancing you at all--do not ask me to add still further to my sins by listening to what I have always been taught was the rankest heresy.Page 155
empire until we should be ready to assemble it for the dash upon Omean.Page 159
All I ask is that you wear it, that I may know that my wish has been realized.Page 160
It is very simple, and such a harmless act that it could be condemned by no one.Page 166
Directly beneath us upon the scarlet sward a handful of guardsmen were stooping above a still and prostrate form.Page 167
Should the therns attempt to check us at the southern verge of the ice cap it may result in the wrecking of all our plans and the total destruction of the expedition.