"They have heard of the killing of Him Who Speaks for Luata,"
whispered the girl. "Soon they will spread in all directions
searching for us."
"And will they find us?"
"As surely as Lua gives light by day," she replied; "and when
they find us, they will tear us to pieces, for only the Wieroos
may murder--only they may practice tas-ad."
"But they will not kill you," said Bradley. "You did not slay him."
"It will make no difference," she insisted. "If they find us
together they will slay us both."
"Then they won't find us together," announced Bradley decisively.
"You stay right here--you won't be any worse off than before I
came--and I'll get as far as I can and account for as many of the
beggars as possible before they get me. Good-bye! You're a mighty
decent little girl. I wish that I might have helped you."
"No," she cried. "Do not leave me. I would rather die. I had
hoped and hoped to find some way to return to my own country.
I wanted to go back to An-Tak, who must be very lonely without me;
but I know that it can never be. It is difficult to kill hope,
though mine is nearly dead. Do not leave me."
"An-Tak!" Bradley repeated. "You loved a man called An-Tak?"
"Yes," replied the girl. "An-Tak was away, hunting, when the
Wieroo caught me. How he must have grieved for me! He also was
cos-ata-lu, twelve moons older than I, and all our lives we
have been together."
Bradley remained silent. So she loved An-Tak. He hadn't the
heart to tell her that An-Tak had died, or how.
At the door of Fosh-bal-soj's storeroom they halted to listen.<<BackPagesTo menuNext>>