my left hand to my forehead, that the ring might be
visible to one who sought it. Simultaneously one of the waiting
warriors raised his left hand, ostensibly to brush back his hair,
and upon one of his fingers I saw the duplicate of my own ring.
A quick look of intelligence passed between us, after which I kept
my eyes turned away from the warrior and did not look at him again,
for fear that I might arouse the suspicion of the Okarians. When
we reached the edge of the pit I saw that it was very deep, and
presently I realized I was soon to judge just how far it extended
below the surface of the court, for he who held the rope passed it
about my body in such a way that it could be released from above
at any time; and then, as all the warriors grasped it, he pushed
me forward, and I fell into the yawning abyss.
After the first jerk as I reached the end of the rope that had
been paid out to let me fall below the pit's edge they lowered me
quickly but smoothly. The moment before the plunge, while two or
three of the men had been assisting in adjusting the rope about
me, one of them had brought his mouth close to my cheek, and in
the brief interval before I was cast into the forbidding hole he
breathed a single word into my ear:
The pit, which my imagination had pictured as bottomless, proved
to be not more than a hundred feet in depth; but as its walls were
smoothly polished it might as well have been a thousand feet, for
I could never hope to escape without outside assistance.
For a day I was left in darkness; and then, quite suddenly, a
brilliant light illumined my strange cell. I was reasonably hungry
and thirsty by this time, not having tasted food or drink since
the day prior to my incarceration.
To my amazement I found the sides of the pit, that I had thought
smooth, lined with shelves, upon which were the most delicious
viands and liquid refreshments that Okar afforded.
With an exclamation of delight I sprang forward to partake of
some of the welcome food, but ere ever I reached it the light was
extinguished, and, though I groped my way about the chamber, my
hands came in contact with nothing beside the smooth, hard wall
that I had felt on my first examination of my prison.
Immediately the pangs of hunger and thirst began to
God alone knows how many hundreds of our ancient ships fell prey to the roving steel sharks of blood-frenzied Europe.Page 1
Beyond was the great unknown.Page 6
He stood at my side on the bridge as the ship glided.Page 8
And then he saluted me, and strode from the bridge, a martyr to loyalty and friendship, for, though no man might know.Page 14
2 What could it mean? I had left Alvarez in command.Page 15
To remain at sea is to perish.Page 17
Had a city ever stood there, no sign of it remained.Page 20
forward, shouting, to attract the beast's attention from Delcarte until we should all be quite close enough to attack with the greatest assurance of success.Page 21
He came from under the tiger with a broad grin on his handsome face, nor could I perceive that a muscle trembled or that his voice showed the least indication of nervousness or excitement.Page 39
It was only when I took into consideration their mode of living, their scant apparel, the lack of every least luxury among them, that I was forced to admit that they were, in truth, but ignorant savages.Page 40
Blustering and storming, he ordered the people back to their huts, at the same time directing two of his warriors to confine me in a dugout in one of the trenches close to his own shelter.Page 43
But, alas, they came.Page 44
Greatest of kings are thou! To thee we humbly bow! Peace to our camp allow.Page 48
But when I had come to that part of the city which I judged to have contained the relics I sought I found havoc that had been wrought there even greater than elsewhere.Page 55
that she would turn off in some other direction.Page 56
Alone, I floated upon the bosom of the Thames.Page 60
I was sure that some trace of the ancient culture and greatness of Europe must remain.Page 67
There could be no close bonds of interest between us.Page 80
Almost immediately the officer reappeared and started back in the direction of the throne room.Page 88
One is the opportunity to rescue Europe from barbarism, the other is a little barbarian, and the greater of these is--Victory.