to whose society she had been driven by
loneliness and fear, and appeared on deck frequently during the daylight
watches. Here, one afternoon, she came face to face with Theriere
for the first time since her abduction. The officer lifted his cap
deferentially; but the girl met his look of expectant recognition with
a cold, blank stare that passed through and beyond him as though he had
been empty air.
A tinge of color rose to the man's face, and he continued on his way for
a moment as though content to accept her rebuff; but after a step or two
he turned suddenly and confronted her.
"Miss Harding," he said, respectfully, "I cannot blame you for the
feeling of loathing and distrust you must harbor toward me; but in
common justice I think you should hear me before finally condemning."
"I cannot imagine," she returned coldly, "what defense there can be for
the cowardly act you perpetrated."
"I have been utterly deceived by my employers," said Theriere, hastening
to take advantage of the tacit permission to explain which her reply
contained. "I was given to understand that the whole thing was to be but
a hoax--that I was taking part in a great practical joke that Mr. Divine
was to play upon his old friends, the Hardings and their guests. Until
they wrecked and deserted the Lotus in mid-ocean I had no idea that
anything else was contemplated, although I felt that the matter, even
before that event, had been carried quite far enough for a joke.
"They explained," he continued, "that before sailing you had expressed
the hope that something really exciting and adventurous would befall
the party--that you were tired of the monotonous humdrum of
twentieth-century existence--that you regretted the decadence of piracy,
and the expunging of romance from the seas.
"Mr. Divine, they told me, was a very wealthy young man, to whom you
were engaged to be married, and that he could easily afford the
great expense of the rather remarkable hoax we were supposed to be
perpetrating. I saw no harm in taking part in it, especially as I knew
nothing of the supposititious purpose of the cruise until just before we
reached Honolulu. Before that I had been led to believe that it was but
a pleasure trip to the South Pacific that Mr. Divine intended.
"You see, Miss Harding, that I have been as badly deceived as you. Won't
you let me help to atone for my error by being your friend? I can assure
you that you will need one whom you can trust amongst this shipload of
Now she was positive that she was indeed with the mad king of Lutha, but she had no fear of him, for since childhood she had heard her father scout the idea that Leopold was mad.Page 28
"We must traverse a main corridor of the castle to reach her suite, and then return by the same way.Page 53
" "Who are you?" asked the man.Page 61
"Did your majesty speak?" asked Butzow.Page 77
The first that the artillerymen knew of the enemy in their rear was a shout of warning from one of the powder-men at a caisson, who had caught a glimpse of the grim line advancing through the trees at his rear.Page 94
"Let me go!" she whispered.Page 107
Behind him, Barney was sure he heard evidences of pursuit.Page 110
It was a most unpleasant sensation.Page 111
The sound of voices came to him with an uncanny distinctness that made it seem that the speakers must be in this very chamber, but a glance about the blank walls convinced him that he was alone.Page 120
Feigning intoxication he answered the challenge in dubious Austrian that he hoped his maudlin tongue would excuse.Page 121
Instantly the drunken Austrian was transformed into a very sober and active engine of destruction.Page 137
Her mount, surefooted as a chamois, seemed in his element.Page 138
For several minutes she surged and tugged upon the unyielding metal strand.Page 140
So he flew through the familiar main street of the quaint old village at a speed that was little, if any less, than fifty miles an hour.Page 168
"Put your hands behind your back.Page 175
Von der Tann bowed himself out as the Austrian entered the king's presence.Page 179
At a rapid trot the men moved forward behind the extreme left end of the Luthanian left wing.Page 185
But the soldiers only laughed at him, and finally threatened to come in and beat him if he again interrupted their conversation.Page 187
He was commencing, under this line of reasoning, to achieve a certain hopeful content when the door to his prison opened and Peter of Blentz, black and scowling, entered.Page 192
He was afraid to declare his identity.