instant that his finger tightened upon
the trigger--an accident to which Meriem owed her life--the
providential presence of a water-logged tree trunk, one end of which
was embedded in the mud of the river bottom and the other end of which
floated just beneath the surface where the prow of Malbihn's canoe ran
upon it as he fired. The slight deviation of the boat's direction was
sufficient to throw the muzzle of the rifle out of aim. The bullet
whizzed harmlessly by Meriem's head and an instant later she had
disappeared into the foliage of the tree.
There was a smile on her lips as she dropped to the ground to cross a
little clearing where once had stood a native village surrounded by its
fields. The ruined huts still stood in crumbling decay. The rank
vegetation of the jungle overgrew the cultivated ground. Small trees
already had sprung up in what had been the village street; but
desolation and loneliness hung like a pall above the scene. To Meriem,
however, it presented but a place denuded of large trees which she must
cross quickly to regain the jungle upon the opposite side before
Malbihn should have landed.
The deserted huts were, to her, all the better because they were
deserted--she did not see the keen eyes watching her from a dozen
points, from tumbling doorways, from behind tottering granaries. In
utter unconsciousness of impending danger she started up the village
street because it offered the clearest pathway to the jungle.
A mile away toward the east, fighting his way through the jungle along
the trail taken by Malbihn when he had brought Meriem to his camp, a
man in torn khaki--filthy, haggard, unkempt--came to a sudden stop as
the report of Malbihn's rifle resounded faintly through the tangled
forest. The black man just ahead of him stopped, too.
"We are almost there, Bwana," he said. There was awe and respect in
his tone and manner.
The white man nodded and motioned his ebon guide forward once more. It
was the Hon. Morison Baynes--the fastidious--the exquisite. His face
and hands were scratched and smeared with dried blood from the wounds
he had come by in thorn and thicket. His clothes were tatters. But
through the blood and the dirt and the rags a new Baynes shone forth--a
handsomer Baynes than the dandy and the fop of yore.
In the heart and soul of every son of woman lies the germ of manhood
and honor. Remorse for a scurvy act, and an honorable desire
The black hair, the steel-gray eyes, brave and smiling,.Page 6
I cannot think of Gathol as existing today, possibly because I have never before seen a Gatholian.Page 25
trifle too far away for her to see them distinctly in the waning light of the dying day, but she knew that they were too large, they were out of proportion to the perfectly proportioned bodies, and they were oblate in form.Page 27
And presently the time approached when she felt she must return to her flier lest she be caught in the revealing light of low swinging Thuria.Page 29
CHAPTER IV CAPTURED As Thuria, swift racer of the night, shot again into the sky the scene changed.Page 33
Her only hope lay in flight.Page 42
"Come," admonished Ghek, and took her by the arm, and Tara of Helium came.Page 46
" "How horrible!" she exclaimed.Page 71
Instantly the king realized the menace to himself and sought to fasten his eyes upon the eyes of Gahan, and in doing so he was forced to relax his concentration upon the rykor in whose embraces Tara struggled, so that almost immediately the girl found herself able to tear away from the awful, headless thing.Page 75
She was not accustomed to being either commanded or ignored, but with all her royal pride she was no fool, and she knew the man was right, that he was risking his life to save hers, so she hastened on with Ghek as she was bid, and after the first flush of anger she smiled, for the realization came to her that this fellow was but a rough untutored warrior, skilled not in the finer usages of cultured courts.Page 96
Then they passed through a great doorway into the chamber beyond, a large, square room in which a dozen mounted warriors lolled in their saddles.Page 97
"I was a prisoner in Bantoom.Page 98
"We are a just people," he continued without waiting for a reply, "and had you one to fight for you he might win to freedom for himself and you as well.Page 101
Within the main entrance to The Tower of Jetan lolled a half-dozen warriors.Page 131
In a dimly-lighted chamber beneath the palace of O-Tar the jeddak, Turan the panthan lowered Tara of Helium from his arms and faced her.Page 133
Who are you? What do you here in the pits of O-Tar?" "I might ask you the same, young man," replied the other.Page 146
Bend close your ears, slaves of O-Tar, that no cruel enemy may hear my words," and Gahan of Gathol whispered in low tones the daring plan he had conceived.Page 154
Every trick, every subterfuge, known to the art of fence these men employed.Page 156
" While the jeddak was speaking the little, old man, failing clearly to discern the features of the Black Chief, reached into his pocket-pouch and drew forth a pair of thick-lensed spectacles, which he placed upon his nose.Page 178
Not so in the days of I-Gos' youth.