time. "I wish some excuse would pop up to
which I might hang a reason for beating it to Europe. There's
something doing there. Nearly everybody has declared war upon
everybody else, and here I am stagnating in peace. I'd even welcome
His excuse was to come sooner than he imagined. That night, after
the other members of his family had retired, Barney sat smoking
within a screened porch off the living-room. His thoughts were upon
a trim little figure in riding togs, as he had first seen it nearly
two years before, clinging desperately to a runaway horse upon the
narrow mountain road above Tafelberg.
He lived that thrilling experience through again as he had many
times before. He even smiled as he recalled the series of events
that had resulted from his resemblance to the mad king of Lutha.
They had come to a culmination at the time when the king, whom
Barney had placed upon a throne at the risk of his own life,
discovered that his savior loved the girl to whom the king had been
betrothed since childhood and that the girl returned the American's
love even after she knew that he had but played the part of a king.
Barney's cigar, forgotten, had long since died out. Not even its
former fitful glow proclaimed his presence upon the porch, whose
black shadows completely enveloped him. Before him stretched a wide
acreage of lawn, tree dotted at the side of the house. Bushes hid
the stone wall that marked the boundary of the Custer grounds and
extended here and there out upon the sward among the trees. The
night was moonless but clear. A faint light pervaded the scene.
Barney sat staring straight ahead, but his gaze did not stop upon
the familiar objects of the foreground. Instead it spanned two
continents and an ocean to rest upon the little spot of woodland and
rugged mountain and lowland that is Lutha. It was with an effort
that the man suddenly focused his attention upon that which lay
directly before him. A shadow among the trees had moved!
Barney Custer sat perfectly still, but now he was suddenly alert and
watchful. Again the shadow moved where no shadow should be moving.
It crossed from the shade of one tree to another. Barney came
cautiously to his feet. Silently he entered the house, running
quickly to a side door that opened upon the grounds. As he drew it
back its hinges gave forth no sound. Barney looked toward the spot
where he had seen the shadow. Again he saw it scuttle
I have always admired Nobs; but this was the first time that it had ever occurred to me that I might wish to be Nobs.Page 7
her further to thwart the chill.Page 9
"I know her well.Page 17
Most of the time we drifted idly upon the surface, but toward noon we sighted smoke due west, and having found that only enemies inhabited the world for us, I ordered that the other engine be started so that we could move out of the path of the oncoming steamer.Page 21
Presently he touched my arm.Page 25
not yet reached the level of the deck: "It's the raider, the German raider _Geier_!" I saw that we had reached the end of our rope.Page 26
I covered him with my revolver, and at the same instant the torpedo struck the raider, the terrific explosion drowning the German's command to his men.Page 27
That evening the girl asked permission to go on deck.Page 31
When he saw her, he raised his pistol and fired point-blank at her, but he missed and she fired--and didn't miss.Page 34
Straight from the ocean's depths rose towering cliffs, shot with brown and blues and greens--withered moss and lichen and the verdigris of copper, and everywhere the rusty ocher of iron pyrites.Page 35
"What are you going to do, sir?" asked Olson.Page 41
We were in the middle of a broad and now sluggish river the banks of which were lined by giant, arboraceous ferns, raising their mighty fronds fifty, one hundred, two hundred feet into the quiet air.Page 44
The thing stopped then and looked at me a moment as much as to say: "Why this thing has a stinger! I must be careful.Page 46
Olson's to get all the steaks for himself.Page 51
out to hunt for game and explore inland for a short distance.Page 59
Evidently her new-found philosophy had tumbled about her ears, for she was seemingly taking herself seriously.Page 65
These brutes are enormous and exceedingly ferocious.Page 76
When I could look up, I saw a number of giant figures pinioning me down, while others stood about surveying me.Page 81
So-ta said that she would enter alone; I must not be seen if I did not intend to remain, as it was forbidden that one should return and live after having advanced this far.Page 86
"Bowen!" she cried.