At sight of Bradley the creature became furious. "Whence came
this reptile?" it demanded of the girl. "How long has it been
here with you?"
"It came through the doorway just ahead of you," Bradley answered
for the girl.
The Wieroo looked relieved. "It is well for the girl that
this is so," it said, "for now only you will have to die."
And stepping to the door the creature raised its voice in
one of those uncanny, depressing wails.
The Englishman looked toward the girl. "Shall I kill it?" he
asked, half drawing his pistol. "What is best to do?--I do not
wish to endanger you."
The Wieroo backed toward the door. "Defiler!" it screamed.
"You dare to threaten one of the sacred chosen of Luata!"
"Do not kill him," cried the girl, "for then there could be no
hope for you. That you are here, alive, shows that they may not
intend to kill you at all, and so there is a chance for you if
you do not anger them; but touch him in violence and your
bleached skull will top the loftiest pedestal of Oo-oh."
"And what of you?" asked Bradley.
"I am already doomed," replied the girl; "I am cos-ata-lo."
"Cos-ata-lo! cos-ata-lu!" What did these phrases mean that
they were so oft repeated by the denizens of Oo-oh? Lu and
lo, Bradley knew to mean man and woman; ata; was
employed variously to indicate life, eggs, young, reproduction
and kindred subject; cos was a negative; but in combination
they were meaningless to the European.
"Do you mean they will kill you?" asked Bradley.
"I but wish that they would," replied the girl. "My fate is to<<BackPagesTo menuNext>>