might now be expected to receive the news that eight of his
troopers had been killed and his two "guests" safely removed from the
sphere of his hospitality.
And even as his mind dwelt delightedly upon the subject a ragged Indian
carrying a carbine and with heavy silver spurs strapped to his bare feet
approached and saluted him.
"General Pesita wishes Senor Capitan Byrne to report to him at once,"
said the man.
"Sure Mike!" replied Billy, and made his way through the pandemonium of
the camp toward the headquarters tent.
As he went he slipped his hand inside his shirt and loosened something
which hung beneath his left arm.
"Li'l ol' ace-in-the-hole," he murmured affectionately.
He found Pesita pacing back and forth before his tent--an energetic
bundle of nerves which no amount of hard riding and fighting could tire
As Billy approached Pesita shot a quick glance at his face, that he
might read, perhaps, in his new officer's expression whether anger or
suspicion had been aroused by the killing of his American friend, for
Pesita never dreamed but that Bridge had been dead since mid-forenoon.
"Well," said Pesita, smiling, "you left Senor Bridge and Miguel safely
at their destination?"
"I couldn't take 'em all the way," replied Billy, "cause I didn't have
no more men to guard 'em with; but I seen 'em past the danger I guess
an' well on their way."
"You had no men?" questioned Pesita. "You had six troopers."
"Oh, they was all croaked before we'd been gone two hours. You see it
happens like this: We got as far as that dry arroyo just before the
trail drops down into the valley, when up jumps a bunch of this here
Villa's guys and commenced takin' pot shots at us.
"Seein' as how I was sent to guard Bridge an' Mig, I makes them dismount
and hunt cover, and then me an' my men wades in and cleans up the bunch.
They was only a few of them but they croaked the whole bloomin' six o'
"I tell you it was some scrap while it lasted; but I saved your guests
from gettin' hurted an' I know that that's what you sent me to do. It's
too bad about the six men we lost but, leave it to me, we'll get even
with that Villa guy yet. Just lead me to 'im."
As he spoke Billy commenced scratching himself beneath the left arm, and
then, as though to better reach the point of irritation, he slipped his
hand inside his shirt. If Pesita noticed the apparently innocent little
act, or interpreted it
I did not dare follow him there beneath the moonlight, since it best suited my plans not to interrupt his--I wished him to reach his destination unsuspecting, that I might learn just where that destination lay and the business that awaited the night prowler there.Page 19
The other thern was engaging me at the time, and I was forcing him back--touching him here and there with my point until he was bleeding from a dozen wounds, yet not being able to penetrate his marvelous guard to reach a vulnerable spot for the brief instant that would have been sufficient to send him to his ancestors.Page 23
As I was about to lay the thing aside as of no value in my present predicament my eyes chanced upon a few strange characters roughly and freshly scratched upon the soft gold of the case.Page 37
Slowly the stricken flier sank to the ground, and when I had freed myself and Woola from the entangling wreckage I found that we were upon the verge of a natural forest--so rare a thing upon the bosom of dying Mars that, outside of the forest in the Valley Dor beside the Lost Sea of Korus, I never before had.Page 59
" Kulan Tith went white.Page 62
Fortunately none of us was injured, and when we had disentangled ourselves from the wreckage, and the lesser moon had burst again from below the horizon, we found that we were at the foot of a mighty ice-barrier, from which outcropped great patches of the granite hills which hold it from encroaching farther toward the south.Page 64
From this repelling portal the horrid stench was emanating, and as Thuvan Dihn espied the place he halted with an exclamation of profound astonishment.Page 67
Further, I advised him to call upon Kulan Tith and the son of Thuvan Dihn for warriors and ships that the expedition might be sufficiently strong to insure success at the first blow.Page 70
With their sharp hooks the combatants attempted to take hold of an adversary, but like lightning the cupshaped shield would spring before the darting weapon and into its hollow the hook would plunge.Page 78
No meals are served in these houses, but generally a public eating place adjoins them.Page 82
" Then I saw the black scoundrel go upon his knees beside her, fairly groveling in the dirt, pleading with her.Page 84
At his right stood Matai Shang, and behind them a score of guardsmen.Page 85
Presently the yellow ruler turned to one of his officers.Page 86
" Thurid nodded.Page 94
It was evidently hastily formed--an afterthought.Page 96
"Yes," muttered Solan, "I have often thought upon that very thing.Page 98
security, go on with thy red princess to the freedom of--death.Page 103
Now a panel crashed inward upon the floor, and Mors Kajak sprang to the opening to defend the way until we should have time to release the others.Page 109
I was fighting to reach the switch, Solan to prevent me; and, though we stood not three feet from it, I could not win an inch toward it, for he forced me back an inch for the first five minutes of our battle.Page 111
Her hands were still manacled behind her, evidently to prevent suicide.