straight, black eyebrows puckered into a
studious frown, drinking in every word. Now he straightened up. "I guess
I made a mistake," he said, apologetically. "You ain't tramps at all.
You're thieves and murderers and things like that." His eyes opened a
bit wider and his voice sank to a whisper as the words passed his lips.
"But you haven't so much on me, at that," he went on, "for I'm a regular
burglar, too," and from the bulging pockets of his coat he drew two
handfuls of greenbacks and jewelry. The eyes of the six registered
astonishment, mixed with craft and greed. "I just robbed a house in
Oakdale," explained the boy. "I usually rob one every night."
For a moment his auditors were too surprised to voice a single emotion;
but presently one murmured, soulfully: "Pipe de swag!" He of the frock
coat, golf cap, and years waved a conciliatory hand. He tried to look at
the boy's face; but for the life of him he couldn't raise his eyes above
the dazzling wealth clutched in the fingers of those two small,
slim hands. From one dangled a pearl necklace which alone might have
ransomed, if not a king, at least a lesser member of a royal family,
while diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds scintillated in the
flaring light of the fire. Nor was the fistful of currency in the other
hand to be sneezed at. There were greenbacks, it is true; but there were
also yellowbacks with the reddish gold of large denominations. The Sky
Pilot sighed a sigh that was more than half gasp.
"Can't yuh take a kid?" he inquired. "I knew youse all along. Yuh can't
fool an old bird like The Sky Pilot--eh, boys?" and he turned to his
comrades for confirmation.
"He's The Oskaloosa Kid," exclaimed one of the company. "I'd know 'im
"Pull up and set down," invited another.
The boy stuffed his loot back into his pockets and came closer to the
fire. Its warmth felt most comfortable, for the Spring night was growing
chill. He looked about him at the motley company, some half-spruce in
clothing that suggested a Kuppenmarx label and a not too far association
with a tailor's goose, others in rags, all but one unshaven and all
more or less dirty--for the open road is close to Nature, which is
"Shake hands with Dopey Charlie," said The Sky Pilot, whose age and
corpulency appeared to stamp him with the hall mark of authority. The
youth did as he was bid, smiling into the sullen, chalk-white face and
taking the clammy hand
The lad insisted on being always at her side, and when at last she was safely ensconced in the bottom of the craft that was to bear them shoreward her grandson dropped catlike after her.Page 26
African wilds.Page 39
More than a single man was approaching.Page 43
There was a sense of stretching of the skin about his ears, for all the world as though those members were flattening back against his skull in preparation for deadly combat.Page 71
It was a boyish, handsome face, nut-brown like her own.Page 77
A river flowed near by.Page 83
Without waiting for Akut who was coming slowly along some distance in his rear, Korak swung rapidly in the direction of the chattering mob.Page 85
But he realized, as he looked upon her now, that she was no longer such a little girl as he had first seen playing with Geeka beneath the great tree just within the palisade.Page 130
But the thing that baffled them all was her instant consciousness of the presence of carnivora that others, exerting their faculties to the utmost, could neither see nor hear.Page 140
Meriem was entranced.Page 153
In a moment of wakefulness he had heard the report of Hanson's rifle far out across the plain, and wondered what it might mean.Page 162
When she had been snatched from him his sorrow had been so deep that the thought of ever mingling again with human beings grew still more unutterably distasteful.Page 174
Affectionately the sinuous trunk encircled him, and he was swung to the mighty back where so often before he had lolled and dreamed the long afternoon away.Page 177
Once inside this she turned and glanced back.Page 183
Very feebly the man essayed to turn over.Page 188
Abdul Kamak examined it carefully, comparing it, feature by feature with the girl sitting on the ground looking up into his face.Page 202
Morison's request for funds straight to his own solicitors.Page 203
Now he hoped that they would send the ransom--he would gladly pay all that he was worth to be out of this hole.Page 205
Not even the wild Arab curs heard his passage, so silently he went--a shadow passing through shadows.Page 224
As soon as the young lady had come and he had been presented he would make his departure.