Instinctively every eye was cast in that direction, but nothing rewarded the scrutiny. Then the vision swept along the shores, every portion of which, as will be remembered, was in plain view.
Almost at the same moment; Ziffak uttered an excited exclamation, and pointed to the northern shore. As the gaze of every one was directed thither, they caught sight of the craft for which they were so eagerly hunting.
WATCHING AND WAITING.
When Professor Ernest Grimcke realized that his desperate flight from the besieged building had been attended with complete success, and that he was standing among the dense shadows of the forest, with no enemy near, he devoutly uncovered his head, and, looking upward, uttered his fervent thanks to heaven for its amazing mercy.
“If ever a man was snatched from the jaws of death,” he said, “I am that man.”
“And I am another,” added Jared Long, who approached in the gloom. “It seems to me like a veritable miracle.”
The New Englander explained that, after his furious dash for shelter from the building, he did not believe his chances were any better than those of the man he left behind him. He started, with the intention of making his way by a circuitous course to the river, but had not gone far when he was struck by the baseness of his desertion of his friend. He, therefore, turned about with the resolve to try to do something for him, but had no more than caught sight of the structure again when he descried the Professor coming like a whirlwind for the trees.
Long moved to the point at which he saw he was aiming, and held his Winchester ready to open on any pursuers that might try to follow him. He would have picked off a dozen or so, for he was cool and collected, and fully determined to stand by his friend to the death.
Fortunately, however, for all parties concerned, none of the Murhapas pursued the Professor, though, as has been told, a number under the leadership of Ziffak dashed off in another direction, without endangering the fugitives in the least.
It was a marvellous deliverance, indeed, for our friends, and they understood the part the giant head chieftain had taken in extricating them from the peril. Their hearts glowed with gratitude to the savage, whose friendship for them they could not understand, but who had proven it in such a striking manner.
But it could not be said that they were yet free from danger; and there was much to do before they could breathe freely.
It needed but a brief consultation to agree that after what had taken place, it was the height of madness to attempt to push on to the enchanted lake and burning mountain. King Haffgo was so roused that there was not the slightest chance of escape. The only earthly probability of accomplishing anything in that direction, was by bringing a force strong enough to sweep the warlike Murhapas from their path.