Paul of Merely was a brave man, but he shuddered at the thought of dying
uselessly at the hands of a mere boy. He would not call upon his friends
for aid, but presently, to his relief, Beauchamp sprang between them
with drawn sword, crying "Enough, gentlemen, enough! You have no
quarrel. Sheathe your swords."
But the boy's only response was, "En garde, cochon," and Beauchamp found
himself taking the center of the stage in the place of his friend. Nor
did the boy neglect Paul of Merely, but engaged them both in swordplay
that caused the eyes of Greystoke to bulge from their sockets.
So swiftly moved his flying blade that half the time it was a sheet of
gleaming light, and now he was driving home his thrusts and the smile
had frozen upon his lips--grim and stern.
Paul of Merely and Beauchamp were wounded in a dozen places when
Greystoke rushed to their aid, and then it was that a little, wiry, gray
man leaped agilely from the kitchen doorway, and with drawn sword took
his place beside the boy. It was now two against three and the three may
have guessed, though they never knew, that they were pitted against the
two greatest swordsmen in the world.
"To the death," cried the little gray man, "a mort, mon fils." Scarcely
had the words left his lips ere, as though it had but waited permission,
the boy's sword flashed into the heart of Paul of Merely, and a Saxon
gentleman was gathered to his fathers.
The old man engaged Greystoke now, and the boy turned his undivided
attention to Beauchamp. Both these men were considered excellent
swordsmen, but when Beauchamp heard again the little gray man's "a mort,
mon fils," he shuddered, and the little hairs at the nape of his neck
rose up, and his spine froze, for he knew that he had heard the sentence
of death passed upon him; for no mortal had yet lived who could vanquish
such a swordsman as he who now faced him.
As Beauchamp pitched forward across a bench, dead, the little old man
led Greystoke to where the boy awaited him.
"They are thy enemies, my son, and to thee belongs the pleasure of
revenge; a mort, mon fils."
Greystoke was determined to sell his life dearly, and he rushed the lad
as a great bull might rush a teasing dog, but the boy gave back not
an inch and, when Greystoke stopped, there was a foot of cold steel
protruding from his back.
Together they buried the knights at the bottom of the
What boy has not sighed for the good old days of wars, revolutions, and riots; how I used to pore over the chronicles of those old days, those dear old days, when workmen went armed to their labors; when they fell upon one another with gun and bomb and dagger, and the streets ran red with blood! Ah, but those were the times when life was worth the living; when a man who went out by night knew not at which dark corner a "footpad" might leap upon and slay him; when wild beasts roamed the forest and the jungles, and there were savage men, and countries yet unexplored.Page 4
I explained our predicament, and stated that with what screening force remained I should continue in the air, making as rapid headway toward St.Page 7
As it became more and more apparent that the Coldwater, under my seamanship, was weathering the tempest and giving promise of pulling through safely, I could have sworn that I perceived a shade of annoyance and disappointment growing upon his dark countenance.Page 8
"Then give them the gaff, lieutenant," I shouted back, and hung up the receiver.Page 9
I rejoiced that I should leave neither wife nor child to bear the burden of my shame throughout their lives.Page 15
"It is the nearest land," I replied.Page 35
"There is no such place near by," she said.Page 37
I fought as best I could for my liberty and for hers, but the weight of numbers was too great, though I had the satisfaction at least of giving them a good fight.Page 39
He will not be king for long.Page 42
Did you give my message to the queen? Will she come? Where is she?" The child's sobs increased, and she flung herself upon the dirt floor of the hut, apparently overcome by grief.Page 44
But I knew the reprieve would be but for a short time, and though I had no wish to die, I must confess that I rather wished the ordeal over and the peace of oblivion upon me.Page 50
The stairs were very narrow--that was all that saved us--for as I backed slowly upward, but a single lion could attack me at a time, and the carcasses of those I slew impeded the rushes of the others.Page 52
The diary has cleared up at least one mystery that had puzzled me not a little, and now I am surprised that I had not guessed its solution myself--the presence of African and Asiatic beasts in England.Page 53
Releasing my hold upon the ivy, I dropped the remaining distance to the ground, saved from laceration only because the lion's paw struck the thick stem of ivy.Page 55
Our case looked hopeless.Page 56
"You are not dead!" she cried.Page 62
Although I had feared as much, since our experience in England, I could not but own to a feeling of marked disappointment, and to the gravest fears of the future, which induced a mental depression that was in no way dissipated by the continued familiarity between Victory and Snider.Page 70
The flag flying from a tall staff inside the palisade was one which I had never before seen nor heard of.Page 81
He glanced up as I emerged from the room, the occupants of which had not seen me.Page 83
"Why should I hate you?" she repeated.