stretched forth a clawlike hand for
"Good!" exclaimed Barbara. "Now start at once," and she dropped the
silver coins into the old man's palm.
It was dusk when Captain Billy Byrne was summoned to the tent of Pesita.
There he found a weazened, old Indian squatting at the side of the
"Jose," said Pesita, "has word for you."
Billy Byrne turned questioningly toward the Indian.
"I have been sent, Senor Capitan," explained Jose, "by the beautiful
senorita of El Orobo Rancho to tell you that your friend, Senor Bridge,
has been captured by General Villa, and is being held at Cuivaca, where
he will doubtless be shot--if help does not reach him before tomorrow
Pesita was looking questioningly at Byrne. Since the gringo had returned
from Cuivaca with the loot of the bank and turned the last penny of it
over to him the outlaw had looked upon his new captain as something just
short of superhuman. To have robbed the bank thus easily while Villa's
soldiers paced back and forth before the doorway seemed little short of
an indication of miraculous powers, while to have turned the loot
over intact to his chief, not asking for so much as a peso of it, was
Pesita could not understand this man; but he admired him greatly and
feared him, too. Such a man was worth a hundred of the ordinary run of
humanity that enlisted beneath Pesita's banners. Byrne had but to ask a
favor to have it granted, and now, when he called upon Pesita to
furnish him with a suitable force for the rescue of Bridge the brigand
enthusiastically acceded to his demands.
"I will come," he exclaimed, "and all my men shall ride with me. We will
take Cuivaca by storm. We may even capture Villa himself."
"Wait a minute, bo," interrupted Billy Byrne. "Don't get excited. I'm
lookin' to get my pal outen' Cuivaca. After that I don't care who
you capture; but I'm goin' to get Bridgie out first. I ken do it with
twenty-five men--if it ain't too late. Then, if you want to, you can
shoot up the town. Lemme have the twenty-five, an' you hang around the
edges with the rest of 'em 'til I'm done. Whaddaya say?"
Pesita was willing to agree to anything, and so it came that half an
hour later Billy Byrne was leading a choice selection of some two dozen
cutthroats down through the hills toward Cuivaca. While a couple of
miles in the rear followed Pesita with the balance of his band.
Billy rode until the few remaining lights of
Come, my good fellow, and what may be the one contingency I have overlooked?" As he spoke Carthoris observed the servant closely for the first time.Page 32
Beside him he dragged a captive, and as the surrounding warriors parted to let the two pass, Carthoris caught a fleeting glimpse of the prisoner.Page 34
Instead of remaining to battle with the red man, Hortan Gur promised him his attention after he had disposed of the presumptuous citizens of the walled city, and, leaping astride his thoat, galloped off to meet the rapidly advancing bowmen.Page 42
Few people were in evidence.Page 46
" "Yes,".Page 47
We chew, we swallow, we digest.Page 48
Sometimes, as to-day, we find other food for him.Page 50
" "But why, then, your cringing manner of approaching the throne?" "Tario demands it.Page 53
No slender shafts pierced her tender side.Page 55
"Let us face the issue at once, for only one of us may leave this chamber alive with Thuvia of Ptarth.Page 56
"Die!" he shrieked.Page 58
Better to cling to the smooth stone he kicked off his sandals of zitidar hide and with his bare feet braced himself against the sickening tilt, at the same time throwing his arms supportingly about the girl.Page 59
Slowly and with dignity the mighty beast advanced into the room.Page 66
All was peace.Page 68
He knew that the man was unarmed, and that he was apparently a Lotharian, for his skin was white and his hair auburn.Page 72
Carthoris saw her flush of mortification, and in an instant regretted his words.Page 84
It would cost me my throne, Astok, and that I have no mind to lose.Page 87
I have spoken.Page 101
Jeddak of Okar.