from a great distance recollection of the
once familiar tongue returned to her.
"I should like to go free," she said, "and go back to Korak."
"You would like to go with us?" persisted Malbihn.
"No," said Meriem.
Malbihn turned to Kovudoo. "She does not wish to go with us," he said.
"You are men," returned the black. "Can you not take her by force?"
"It would only add to our troubles," replied the Swede. "No, Kovudoo,
we do not wish her; though, if you wish to be rid of her, we will take
her away because of our friendship for you."
Now Kovudoo knew that he had made a sale. They wanted her. So he
commenced to bargain, and in the end the person of Meriem passed from
the possession of the black chieftain into that of the two Swedes in
consideration of six yards of Amerikan, three empty brass cartridge
shells and a shiny, new jack knife from New Jersey. And all but Meriem
were more than pleased with the bargain.
Kovudoo stipulated but a single condition and that was that the
Europeans were to leave his village and take the girl with them as
early the next morning as they could get started. After the sale was
consummated he did not hesitate to explain his reasons for this demand.
He told them of the strenuous attempt of the girl's savage mate to
rescue her, and suggested that the sooner they got her out of the
country the more likely they were to retain possession of her.
Meriem was again bound and placed under guard, but this time in the
tent of the Swedes. Malbihn talked to her, trying to persuade her to
accompany them willingly. He told her that they would return her to
her own village; but when he discovered that she would rather die than
go back to the old sheik, he assured her that they would not take her
there, nor, as a matter of fact, had they had an intention of so doing.
As he talked with the girl the Swede feasted his eyes upon the
beautiful lines of her face and figure. She had grown tall and
straight and slender toward maturity since he had seen her in The
Sheik's village on that long gone day. For years she had represented
to him a certain fabulous reward. In his thoughts she had been but the
personification of the pleasures and luxuries that many francs would
purchase. Now as she stood before him pulsing with
"Half after twelve.Page 20
Twice my bearers missed their footing, and my heart ceased beating as we plunged toward instant death among the tangled deadwood beneath.Page 28
For a moment she stood thus in silence, and then her head went high, and she turned her back upon me as she had upon Hooja.Page 30
When a man of Pellucidar intervenes between another man and the woman the other man would have, the woman belongs to the victor.Page 31
I had not thought of her except as a welcome friend in a strange, cruel world.Page 32
V SLAVES As we descended the broad staircase which led to the main avenue of Phutra I caught my first sight of the dominant race of the inner world.Page 41
A man and woman were pushed into the arena by a couple of Sagoth guardsmen.Page 43
For a moment the bull stood bellowing and quivering with pain and rage, its cloven hoofs widespread, its tail lashing viciously from side to side, and then, in a mad orgy of bucking it went careening about the arena in frenzied attempt to unseat its rending rider.Page 57
She was backing toward the surface, her eyes fixed before her as they had been when she dragged the helpless girl to her doom.Page 58
devouring two and three of the slaves, there were only a score of full-grown men left, and I thought that for some reason these were to be spared, but such was far from the case, for as the last Mahar crawled to her rock the queen's thipdars darted into the air, circled the temple once and then, hissing like steam engines, swooped down upon the remaining slaves.Page 65
But he insisted that he knew what he was doing and was in no danger himself.Page 66
When he saw me clambering up that spear he let out a hiss that fairly shook the ground, and came charging after me at a terrific rate.Page 69
"It is what a brave man and a good friend should do," he said; "yet it seems most foolish, for the Mahars will most certainly condemn you to death for running away, and so you will be accomplishing nothing for your friends by.Page 73
"Do you happen to know," he asked, "what the Mahars do to slaves who lie to them?" "No," I replied, "nor does it interest me, as I have no intention of lying to the Mahars.Page 79
However it seemed likely that it would carry me once more safely through the crowded passages and chambers of the upper levels, and so I set out with Perry and Ghak--the stench of the illy cured pelts fairly choking me.Page 95
He cannot be far behind me now.Page 97
My heart was sad and heavy, and I wanted to make her feel badly by suggesting that something terrible might happen to me--that I might, in fact, be killed.Page 101
"I do as I please.Page 103
I had taken a hundred steps in absolute silence, and then Dian spoke.Page 104
" "But I didn't spurn you, dear," I cried.