"Then will I starve you out," he cried at length.
"Gladly will I starve in preference to falling into thy foul hands,"
replied the girl. "But thy old servant here will starve first, for she
be very old and not so strong as I. Therefore, how will it profit you to
kill two and still be robbed of thy prey?"
Peter of Colfax entertained no doubt but that his fair prisoner would
carry out her threat and so he set his men to work with cold chisels,
axes and saws upon the huge door.
For hours, they labored upon that mighty work of defence, and it was
late at night ere they made a little opening large enough to admit a
hand and arm, but the first one intruded within the room to raise the
bars was drawn quickly back with a howl of pain from its owner. Thus
the keen dagger in the girl's hand put an end to all hopes of entering
without completely demolishing the door.
To this work, the men without then set themselves diligently while Peter
of Colfax renewed his entreaties, through the small opening they had
made. Bertrade replied but once.
"Seest thou this poniard?" she asked. "When that door falls, this point
enters my heart. There is nothing beyond that door, with thou, poltroon,
to which death in this little chamber would not be preferable."
As she spoke, she turned toward the man she was addressing, for the
first time during all those weary, hideous hours removing her glance
from the old hag. It was enough. Silently, but with the quickness of a
tigress the old woman was upon her back, one claw-like paw grasping the
wrist which held the dagger.
"Quick, My Lord!" she shrieked, "the bolts, quick."
Instantly Peter of Colfax ran his arm through the tiny opening in the
door and a second later four of his men rushed to the aid of the old
Easily they wrested the dagger from Bertrade's fingers, and at the
Baron's bidding, they dragged her to the great hall below.
As his retainers left the room at his command, Peter of Colfax strode
back and forth upon the rushes which strewed the floor. Finally he
stopped before the girl standing rigid in the center of the room.
"Hast come to thy senses yet, Bertrade de Montfort?" he asked angrily.
"I have offered you your choice; to be the honored wife of Peter of
Colfax, or, by force, his mistress. The good priest waits without, what
be your answer now?"
"The same as it has been these past two days," she
But he took to it as a duck takes to water.Page 8
I stood up on a thwart and waved my soggy coat above my head.Page 12
As I arose, I cast a single glance at my opponent.Page 17
"I think I've found out who's doin' the mischief," he whispered, and nodded his head toward the girl's room.Page 22
"And," I concluded, "we can't make another five hundred knots without oil; our provisions are running low and so is our water.Page 26
"While they are stunned, we must overcome them.Page 35
"If it's a man, it may mean that Caprona is inhabited, or it may merely mean that some poor devils were shipwrecked here.Page 37
The branch was carried down by a river, and we are going to find that river.Page 39
"A U-boat isn't constructed to navigate space, but it is designed to travel below the surface of the water.Page 42
The bullet struck the thing in the neck, just above its body; but instead of disabling it, merely increased its rage.Page 47
It was more the heat of a steam-room than of an oven.Page 59
I wanted to take her in my arms and tell her how I loved her, and had taken her hand from the rail and started to draw her toward me when Olson came blundering up on deck with his bedding.Page 60
One of these is a giant Indian maize--a lofty perennial often fifty and sixty feet in height, with ears the size of a man's body and kernels as large as your fist.Page 64
" Low and sweet and tender came the answer: "I love you beyond all conception.Page 65
I imagine they correspond with the cave-hyena of prehistoric times.Page 67
These creatures fed together in perfect amity; nor did they show any great indications of terror when Nobs and I approached.Page 70
"I am going to seek shelter in one of these caves; nor will the man-things prevent.Page 76
And now, that day, all the long hours that I had put into careful study, practice and training brought me in two or three minutes a full return upon my investment.Page 79
Then I made him promise not to hurt the she again, upon pain of worse punishment.Page 85
"I kill! I kill!" I had had to discard my rifle before I commenced the rapid descent of the cliff, so that now I was armed only with a hunting knife, and this I whipped from its scabbard as Kho leaped toward me.