It looked much like a camp fire, and as Billy drew nearer he saw that
such it was, and he heard a voice, too. Billy approached more carefully.
He must be careful always to see before being seen. The little fire
burned upon the bank of a stream which the track bridged upon a concrete
Billy dropped once more from the right of way, and climbed a fence into
a thin wood. Through this he approached the camp fire with small chance
of being observed. As he neared it the voice resolved itself into
articulate words, and presently Billy leaned against a tree close behind
the speaker and listened.
There was but a single figure beside the small fire--that of a man
squatting upon his haunches roasting something above the flames. At one
edge of the fire was an empty tin can from which steam arose, and an
aroma that was now and again wafted to Billy's nostrils.
Coffee! My, how good it smelled. Billy's mouth watered. But the
voice--that interested Billy almost as much as the preparations for the
We'll dance a merry saraband from here to drowsy Samarcand.
Along the sea, across the land, the birds are flying South,
And you, my sweet Penelope, out there somewhere you wait for me,
With buds of roses in your hair and kisses on your mouth.
The words took hold of Billy somewhere and made him forget his hunger.
Like a sweet incense which induces pleasant daydreams they were wafted
in upon him through the rich, mellow voice of the solitary camper, and
the lilt of the meter entered his blood.
But the voice. It was the voice of such as Billy Byrne always had
loathed and ridiculed until he had sat at the feet of Barbara Harding
and learned many things, including love. It was the voice of culture
and refinement. Billy strained his eyes through the darkness to have a
closer look at the man. The light of the camp fire fell upon frayed and
bagging clothes, and upon the back of a head covered by a shapeless, and
disreputable soft hat.
Obviously the man was a hobo. The coffee boiling in a discarded tin can
would have been proof positive of this without other evidence; but there
seemed plenty more. Yes, the man was a hobo. Billy continued to stand
The mountains are all hid in mist, the valley is like amethyst,
The poplar leaves they turn and twist, oh, silver, silver green!
Even prior to this, transoceanic commerce had practically ceased, owing to the perils and hazards of the mine-strewn waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.Page 4
I explained our predicament, and stated that with what screening force remained I should continue in the air, making as rapid headway toward St.Page 11
The crew had known almost as soon as I that we were doomed to cross thirty, and I am inclined to believe that every man jack of them was tickled to death, for the spirits of adventure and romance still live in the hearts of men of the twenty-second century, even though there be little for them to feed upon between thirty and one hundred seventy-five.Page 13
"They've repaired the engines and the generators both," exclaimed one of the men.Page 14
It was absolutely beyond the pale of possibility that Alvarez should desert me.Page 15
"It is the nearest land," I replied.Page 24
"What is England?" "Why this is a part of England!" I exclaimed.Page 25
"No one lives there," he replied.Page 26
London they had never heard of, and they assured me that I would find no human beings upon the mainland.Page 44
They were naturally rough and brutal, as primitive men are supposed to have been since the dawn of humanity, but they did not go out of their way to maltreat me.Page 45
He lashed his tail against his sides now, instead of simply twitching its tip, and his low moan became a thunderous roar.Page 47
Then, too, I can find my friends easiest in this direction, for the River Thames runs through this place you call the Camp of the Lions, and it is farther down the Thames that my friends are awaiting me.Page 49
Instantly eight or ten of the other beasts leaped to their feet.Page 52
Naturally I was much handicapped by the presence of the girl.Page 56
"The blow you struck her with the.Page 63
An antelope rested peacefully in a bed of daisies where, perhaps, two hundred years ago a big gun belched its terror-laden messages of death, of hate, of destruction against the works of man and God alike.Page 65
"Snider--" He paused, tried to speak again, raised a hand, and pointed down-river.Page 75
As I witnessed it, I could not but speculate upon the moral effect upon his troops of a sovereign's presence in the midst of battle.Page 79
But at the same instant Menelek raised his hand in a gesture that halted the officer.Page 85
They were men of medium height, with olive complexions and almond eyes.