The Mad King

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 73

but not before the
American's point had found him twice to leave him streaming blood
from two deep flesh wounds.

Neither of those who fought in the service of the king saw the
trembling, weak-kneed figure, which had stood behind them, turn and
scurry through the gateway, leaving the men who battled for him to
their fate.

The trooper whom Barney had felled had regained consciousness and as
he came to his feet rubbing his swollen jaw he saw a disheveled,
half-dressed figure running toward him from the sanatorium grounds.
The fellow was no fool, and knowing the purpose of the expedition as
he did he was quick to jump to the conclusion that this fleeing
personification of abject terror was Leopold of Lutha; and so it was
that as the king emerged from the gateway in search of freedom he
ran straight into the widespread arms of the trooper.

Maenck and Coblich had seen the king's break for liberty, and the
latter maneuvered to get himself between Butzow and the open gate
that he might follow after the fleeing monarch.

At the same instant Maenck, seeing that Stein was being worsted by
the American, rushed in upon the latter, and thus relieved, the
rat-faced doctor was enabled to swing a heavy cut at Barney which
struck him a glancing blow upon the head, sending him stunned and
bleeding to the sward.

Coblich and the governor of Blentz hastened toward the gate, pausing
for an instant to overwhelm Butzow. In the fierce scrimmage that
followed the lieutenant was overthrown, though not before his sword
had passed through the heart of the rat-faced one. Deserting their
fallen comrade the two dashed through the gate, where to their
immense relief they found Leopold safe in the hands of the trooper.

An instant later the precious trio, with Leopold upon the horse of
the late Dr. Stein, were galloping swiftly into the darkness of the
wood that lies at the outskirts of Tafelberg.

When Barney regained consciousness he found himself upon a cot
within the sanatorium. Close beside him lay Butzow, and above them
stood an interne and several nurses. No sooner had the American
regained his scattered wits than he leaped to the floor. The interne
and the nurses tried to force him back upon the cot, thinking that
he was in the throes of a delirium, and it required his best efforts
to convince them that he was quite rational.

During the melee Butzow regained consciousness; his wound being as
superficial as that of the American, the two men were soon donning
their clothing, and, half-dressed, rushing toward the outer gate.

The interne

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Page 2
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