and so it does. I am the son of the
runaway Princess Victoria of Lutha."
Both Leopold and Ludwig looked their surprise, and to the king's
eyes came a sudden look of fear. With the royal blood in his veins,
what was there to prevent this popular hero from some day striving
for the throne he had once refused? Leopold knew that the minds of
men were wont to change most unaccountably.
"Butzow," he said suddenly to the lieutenant of horse, "how many do
you imagine know positively that he who has ruled Lutha for the past
two days and he who was crowned in the cathedral this noon are not
one and the same?"
"Only a few besides those who are in this room, your majesty,"
replied Butzow. "Peter and Coblich have known it from the first, and
then there is Kramer, the loyal old shopkeeper of Tafelberg, who
followed Coblich and Maenck all night and half a day as they dragged
the king to the hiding-place where we found him. Other than these
there may be those who guess the truth, but there are none who
For a moment the king sat in thought. Then he rose and commenced
pacing back and forth the length of the apartment.
"Why should they ever know?" he said at last, halting before the
three men who had been standing watching him. "For the sake of Lutha
they should never know that another than the true king sat upon the
throne even for an hour."
He was thinking of the comparison that might be drawn between the
heroic figure of the American and his own colorless part in the
events which had led up to his coronation. In his heart of hearts he
felt that old Von der Tann rather regretted that the American had
not been the king, and he hated the old man accordingly, and was
commencing to hate the American as well.
Prince Ludwig stood looking at the carpet after the king had spoken.
His judgment told him that the king's suggestion was a wise one; but
he was sorry and ashamed that it had come from Leopold. Butzow's
lips almost showed the contempt that he felt for the ingratitude of
Barney Custer was the first to speak.
"I think his majesty is quite right," he said, "and tonight I can
leave the palace after dark and cross the border some time tomorrow
evening. The people need never know the truth."
Leopold looked relieved.
"We must reward you, Mr. Custer," he said. "Name that which it lies
within our power to grant you and it
I think that we should have succeeded, even though the ship was wracked from stem to stern by the terrific buffetings she received, and though she were half submerged the greater part of the time, had no further accident befallen us.Page 19
It came from the direction of the launch, and in an instant we three were running for the boat as fast as our legs would carry us.Page 23
Their heads, however, were shapely, and their eyes, though fierce and warlike, were intelligent.Page 25
"No one lives there," he replied.Page 27
Never in my life had I seen such a beast, nor did I at first recognize it, so different in appearance is the live reality.Page 31
I saw his companion crawling slowly to his feet, and the others of the party racing down upon me.Page 33
The legend says our people never returned.Page 35
" Here, evidently, were a people slightly superior to those of the Isle of Wight.Page 39
It was evident that he was far from popular.Page 40
I began to.Page 46
"Where shall we hide?" I didn't relish hiding.Page 48
Through this same portal, within these very marble halls, had Gray and Chamberlin and Kitchener and Shaw, perhaps, come and gone with the other great ones of the past.Page 49
We had made our way about half the distance across one end of the great apartment when a low growl from the far end brought us to a startled halt.Page 50
Up this we backed, Victory just behind me, as the first of the remaining lions leaped from the throne room and sprang for the stairs.Page 60
I suggested that we cross the Channel and ascertain if we could not discover a more enlightened and civilized people upon the continent.Page 71
Later, I learned that my surmise was correct, and this was but one of a great chain of similar posts that dotted the new frontier of the black nation into whose hands I had fallen.Page 77
And then soldiers commenced coming in from the east, but not with the gay assurance of those who came from the south and west--no, these others came in covered wagons, blood-soaked and suffering.Page 78
The tables were removed.Page 82
Yes, voices were coming from beyond and one was a woman's, level and cold and filled with scorn.Page 84
Assisting Victory to the open, I followed, and together we crossed the court, discovering upon the opposite side a number of wide, wooden doors set in the wall of the palace, with small windows between.