by the proportions
of the conflict which his abduction of the Ptarthian princess had
induced, nor was he over comfortable with the weight of responsibility
which the possession of such a prisoner entailed.
His one thought was to get her to Dusar, and there let his father
assume the responsibility. In the meantime he would be as careful
as possible to do nothing to affront her, lest they all might be
captured and he have to account for his treatment of the girl to
one of the great jeddaks whose interest centred in her.
And so at last they came to Dusar, where Astok hid his prisoner in
a secret room high in the east tower of his own palace. He had
sworn his men to silence in the matter of the identity of the girl,
for until he had seen his father, Nutus, Jeddak of Dusar, he dared
not let any one know whom he had brought with him from the south.
But when he appeared in the great audience chamber before the
cruel-lipped man who was his sire, he found his courage oozing,
and he dared not speak of the princess hid within his palace. It
occurred to him to test his father's sentiments upon the subject,
and so he told a tale of capturing one who claimed to know the
whereabouts of Thuvia of Ptarth.
"And if you command it, Sire," he said, "I will go and capture
her--fetching her here to Dusar."
Nutus frowned and shook his head.
"You have done enough already to set Ptarth and Kaol and Helium
all three upon us at once should they learn your part in the theft
of the Ptarth princess. That you succeeded in shifting the guilt
upon the Prince of Helium was fortunate, and a masterly move of
strategy; but were the girl to know the truth and ever return to
her father's court, all Dusar would have to pay the penalty, and to
have her here a prisoner amongst us would be an admission of guilt
from the consequences of which naught could save us. It would cost
me my throne, Astok, and that I have no mind to lose.
"If we had her here--" the elder man suddenly commenced to muse,
repeating the phrase again and again. "If we had her here, Astok,"
he exclaimed fiercely. "Ah, if we but had her here and none knew
that she was here! Can you not guess, man? The guilt of Dusar
might be for ever buried with her bones," he concluded in a low,
The assistant secretary had heard of Caproni and his discoveries, but admitted that he never had taken much stock in the one nor the other.Page 2
the others; the last Bowen knew of them, there were six left, all told--the mate Bradley, the engineer Olson, and Wilson, Whitely, Brady and Sinclair.Page 6
Chapter 2 I'll never forget my first impressions of Caspak as I circled in, high over the surrounding cliffs.Page 9
Their lives, too, might be sacrificed to my suicidal foolishness.Page 16
Her silvery laugh rang merrily when I in turn essayed to speak to her, as though my language was the quaintest thing she ever had heard.Page 20
It was.Page 29
In his black hair.Page 31
But they all showed a rather remarkable aptitude for delineation which further fortified Bowen's comparisons between these people and the extinct Cro-Magnons whose ancient art is still preserved in the caverns of Niaux and Le Portel.Page 34
Life is the cheapest thing in Caspak, as it is the cheapest thing on earth and, doubtless, the cheapest cosmic production.Page 37
At first, wherever it had been possible, we had walked hand in hand lest we become separated, and later, when I saw that Ajor was weakening rapidly, we went side by side, I supporting her with an arm about her waist.Page 39
"Where are we?" "We are at the end of the corridor," I replied, "and daylight is coming in from the outside world just ahead.Page 41
He has the face of a Galu, but his weapons and the strange skins he wears upon his body are not of the Galus nor of Caspak.Page 58
However, he is a good chief and a mighty warrior, and if Du-seen persuades him to his cause, the Galus may find themselves under a Kro-lu chieftain before long--Du-seen as well as the others, for Al-tan would never consent to occupy a subordinate position, and once he plants a victorious foot in Galu, he will not withdraw it without a struggle.Page 64
Shortly after the commotion at the gate had subsided, Ajor and I arose to enter the hut, and at the same time a warrior appeared from one of the twisted alleys which, lying between the irregularly placed huts and groups of huts, form the streets of the Kro-lu village.Page 65
Lying about among the warriors or wandering restlessly to and fro were a number of savage dogs.Page 71
It was Chal-az.Page 79
The arrow caught the doe full in the side, and in the same moment Nobs was after her.Page 81
turn in my direction.Page 85
He had run into one of those numerous springs which cover Caspak.Page 90
"Good-bye old man," I said.