The Green Mummy (Chapter 5, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 5

After that one cry of agony from Widow Anne, there was silence for
quite one minute. The terrible contents of the packing case startled
and terrified all present. Faint and white, Lucy clung to the arm of
her lover to keep herself from sinking to the ground, as Mrs. Bolton had
done. Archie stared at the grotesque rigidity of the body, as though he
had been changed into stone, while Professor Braddock stared likewise,
scarcely able to credit the evidence of his eyes. Only the Kanaka was
unmoved and squatted on his hams, indifferently surveying the living
and the dead. As a savage he could not be expected to have the nerves of
civilized man.

Braddock, who had dropped chisel and hammer in the first movement of
surprise, was the quickest to recover his powers of speech. The sole
question he asked, revealed the marvelous egotism of a scientist,
nominated by one idea. "Where is the mummy of Inca Caxas?" he murmured
with a bewildered air.

Widow Anne, groveling on the floor, pulled her gray locks into wild
confusion, and uttered a cry of mingled rage and grief. "He asks that?
he asks that?" she cried, stammering and choking, "when he has murdered
my poor boy Sid."

"What's that?" demanded Braddock sharply, and recovering from a
veritable stupor, which the disappearance of the mummy and the sight of
his dead assistant had thrown him into. "Kill your son: how could I
kill your son? What advantage would it have been to me had I killed your
son?"

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