for and sent for the police. When they came he told them he had
killed a man by the name of Paynter at Oakdale last night and the chief
called up to ask what we knew about it. The Kid confessed to clear
his pal who was only slightly injured in the smash-up. His story
corroborates Miss Penning's in every detail, he also said that after
killing Paynter he had shot a girl witness and thrown her from the car
to prevent her squealing."
Once again the telephone bell rang, long and insistently. The butler
almost ran into the room. "Payson wants you, sir," he cried to Burton,
"in a hurry, sir, it's a matter of life and death, sir!"
Burton sprang to the phone. When he left it he only stopped at the
doorway of the living room long enough to call in: "A mob has the two
prisoners at Payson and are about to lynch them, and, my God, they're
innocent. We all know now who killed Paynter and I have known since
morning who murdered Baggs, and it wasn't either of those men; but
they've found Miss Prim's jewelry on the fellow called Bridge and
they've gone crazy--they say he murdered her and the young one did for
Paynter. I'm going to Payson," and dashed from the house.
"Wait," cried Jonas Prim, "I'm going with you," and without waiting to
find a hat he ran quickly after the detective. Once in the car he leaned
forward urging the driver to greater speed.
"God in heaven!" he almost cried, "the fools are going to kill the only
man who can tell me anything about Abigail."
With oaths and threats the mob, brainless and heartless, cowardly,
bestial, filled with the lust for blood, pushed and jammed into the
narrow corridor before the cell door where the two prisoners awaited
their fate. The single guard was brushed away. A dozen men wielding
three railroad ties battered upon the grating of the door, swinging the
ties far back and then in unison bringing them heavily forward against
the puny iron.
Bridge spoke to them once. "What are you going to do with us?" he asked.
"We're goin' to hang you higher 'n' Haman, you damned kidnappers an'
murderers," yelled a man in the crowd.
"Why don't you give us a chance?" asked Bridge in an even tone,
unaltered by fear or excitement. "You've nothing on us. As a matter of
Below this repulsive orifice the face was quite blank to the chin, for the thing had no mouth that I could discover.Page 11
As we bent to the slaughter, far above us rose that shrill, weird cry which I had heard once before, and which had called the herd to the attack upon their victims.Page 12
We had just finished the last of our immediate antagonists as he spoke, and I turned in surprised wonderment at the sound of my name.Page 21
Together we wormed our way along the waving pathway, but when we reached the end of the branch we found that our combined weight so depressed the limb that the cave's mouth was now too far above us to be reached.Page 28
From then on for the better part of an hour one hideous creature after another was launched upon us, springing apparently from the empty air about us.Page 42
In an instant I was asleep.Page 43
"For even though this fellow dared not chance accusing you in error, there be those above with power sufficient to demand a closer scrutiny, and that, Prince, would indeed prove fatal.Page 53
We had stumbled upon a two-man flier.Page 54
Dying at the hands of nameless black men in the gardens of the cruel therns.Page 61
The girl stamped her little foot in a peremptory manner.Page 67
" "But do you not by every means encourage the superstition among those of the outside world?" I argued.Page 70
"It was thus that one did escape the therns in bygone times; but none has ever escaped the First Born," said Xodar, with a touch of pride in his voice.Page 77
Slowly we moved through endless corridors of unthinkable beauty; through magnificent apartments, and noble halls.Page 87
"It is Issus' wish that you two be confined in the same room," said the guard when he had returned to our cell.Page 108
I could see him plainly in the upper works of the ship, and as I watched I saw him spread his sleeping silks upon the tiny platform in which he was stationed.Page 121
he stepped out to meet them.Page 155
How long I slept I do not know.Page 173
The therns.Page 174
Wherever thern ship met ship of the First Born was a battle royal, and in this I thought I saw our salvation.Page 181
It was hot and stifling work, but at last I reached a point where the fire lit up the corridor sufficiently for me to see that no soldier of Helium lay between me and the conflagration--what was in it or upon the far side I could not know, nor could any man have passed through that seething hell of chemicals and lived to learn.