Across the Zodiac eBook

Percy Greg
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 587 pages of information about Across the Zodiac.
The roof was occupied by a score of men armed with the lightning weapon, and among them glanced the familiar badge—­the band and silver star.  Clambering over the walls of the wide enclosure, and threatening to storm the house, were a mob perhaps a thousand in number, many of them similarly armed, the rest with staves, spears, or such rude weapons as chance might afford.  Two minutes brought me immediately over them.  In another, I was descending more rapidly than prudence would have suggested.  The strife seemed for a moment to cease, as one of the crowd pointed, not to the impending destruction overhead, but to some object apparently at an equal elevation to westward.  A shout of welcome from the remaining defenders of the house called right upward the eyes of their assailants.  For an instant they felt the bitterness of death; a cry of agony and terror that pierced even the thick walls and windows of the Astronaut reached my ears.  Then a violent shock threw me from my feet.  Springing up, I knew what wholesale slaughter had avenged Eveena and her father, preserved her family, and given a last victory to the Symbol she so revered.  In another instant I was on the roof, and my hands clasped in Zulve’s.

“We know,” she said.  “Our darling’s esve brought us a line that told all; and what is left of those who were all to me, of her who was so much to you, will now be returned to us almost at once.”

We were interrupted.  A cry drew my eyes to the right, where, springing from a balloon to the car of which was attached a huge flag emblazoned with the crimson and silver colours of the Suzerain, Ergimo stood before us.

“I am too late,” he said, “to save life; in time only to put an end to rebellion and avert murder.  The Prince has fulfilled his promise to you; has repealed the law that was to be a weapon in the hands that aimed at his life and throne, as at the Star and its children.  The traitors, save one, the worst, have met by this time their just doom.  That one I am here to arrest.  But where is our Chief?  And,” noticing for the first time the group of women, who in the violence of alarm and agony of sorrow had burst for once unconsciously the restraints of a lifetime—­“where ...  Are you alone?”

“Alone for ever,” I said; and as I spoke the procession that with bare and bent heads carried two veiled forms into the peristyle below told all he sought to know.  I need not dwell on the scene that followed.  I scarcely remember anything, till a chest of gold, bearing the cipher which though seldom seen I knew so well, was placed in my hands.  I turned to Zulve, and to Ergimo, who stood beside her.

“Have you need of me?” I said.  “If I can serve her house I will remain willingly, and as long as I can help or comfort.”

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Across the Zodiac from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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