to his side, and
passing him looked into the aperture at our right.
Before me was a fair-sized chamber that, from its appointments, I
knew must have at one time been a guardroom. There were racks for
weapons, and slightly raised platforms for the sleeping silks and
furs of the warriors, but now its only occupants were two of the
therns who had been of the party with Thurid and Matai Shang.
The men were in earnest conversation, and from their tones it was
apparent that they were entirely unaware that they had listeners.
"I tell you," one of them was saying, "I do not trust the black
one. There was no necessity for leaving us here to guard the way.
Against what, pray, should we guard this long-forgotten, abysmal
path? It was but a ruse to divide our numbers.
"He will have Matai Shang leave others elsewhere on some pretext or
other, and then at last he will fall upon us with his confederates
and slay us all."
"I believe you, Lakor," replied the other, "there can never be
aught else than deadly hatred between thern and First Born. And
what think you of the ridiculous matter of the light? 'Let the
light shine with the intensity of three radium units for fifty
tals, and for one xat let it shine with the intensity of one radium
unit, and then for twenty-five tals with nine units.' Those were
his very words, and to think that wise old Matai Shang should listen
to such foolishness."
"Indeed, it is silly," replied Lakor. "It will open nothing other
than the way to a quick death for us all. He had to make some
answer when Matai Shang asked him flatly what he should do when he
came to the Temple of the Sun, and so he made his answer quickly
from his imagination--I would wager a hekkador's diadem that he
could not now repeat it himself."
"Let us not remain here longer, Lakor," spoke the other thern.
"Perchance if we hasten after them we may come in time to rescue
Matai Shang, and wreak our own vengeance upon the black dator.
What say you?"
"Never in a long life," answered Lakor, "have I disobeyed a single
command of the Father of Therns. I shall stay here until I rot if
he does not return to bid me elsewhere."
Lakor's companion shook his head.
"You are my superior," he said; "I cannot do other than you sanction,
though I still believe that we are foolish to remain."
I, too, thought that they were foolish
Did vain compunction stir his youthful breast? Did he regret the safe respectability of the plumber's apprentice? Or, if he had not been a plumber's apprentice did he yearn to once again assume the unharried peace of whatever legitimate calling had been his before he bent his steps upon the broad boulevard of sin? We think he did.Page 10
" "We can go to Sout' America on dat stuff an' live like gents," muttered Dopey Charlie.Page 16
The Oakdale Tribune got out an extra that afternoon giving a resume of such evidence as had appeared in the regular edition and hinting at all the numerous possibilities suggested by such matter as had come to hand since.Page 19
The stranger halted.Page 22
"Here we are!" cried Bridge, "and spooks or no spooks we'll find a dry spot in that old ruin.Page 26
Beneath them the stairs creaked now and the chain thumped slowly from one to another as it was dragged upward toward them.Page 36
" "You gotta crust, bo," observed Dopey Charlie, belligerently.Page 38
"Let me go.Page 47
" The Oskaloosa Kid peeled a five dollar bill from his roll and proffered it to the farmer.Page 48
Case after him.Page 51
What's the news?" "Plenty! Plenty!" exclaimed the carrier.Page 56
"He come to our house an' bought some vittles an' stuff.Page 58
No sooner had he departed than Willie Case disappeared, nor did he answer at noon to the repeated ringing of the big, farm dinner bell.Page 62
"Tell me the truth, or I kill you," and she half raised the knife that he might profit in his decision by this most potent of arguments.Page 68
The dress and appearance of the dead man lent themselves to a furtherance of my belief and the wisp of brown hair clutched in his fingers added still further proof.Page 73
As he entered the store to make his purchases a foxeyed man saw him and stepped quickly behind the huge stove which had not as yet been taken down for the summer.Page 78
" "Again?" queried Burton.Page 79
He flashed a quick light around the interior revealing four forms stretched upon the floor, deep in slumber.Page 85
Burton," Jonas Prim's voice was crisp and cold.Page 88
for and sent for the police.