The Adventures of Kathlyn (Chapter 9, page 1 of 14)


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Chapter 9

The colonel and Umballa swayed back and forth. Umballa sank to his
knees and then fought madly to rise but the hands at his throat were
the hands of a madman, steel, resistless. The colonel's chains clinked
sharply. Lower and lower went Umballa's head; he saw death peering
into the cell. His cry rattled in his throat.

Not a sound from Kathlyn. She watched the battle, unfeeling as marble.
Let the wretch die; let him feel the fear of death; let him suffer as
he had made others suffer. What new complications might follow
Umballa's death did not alarm her. How could she be any worse off than
she was? He had polluted her cheeks with his kisses. He had tortured
and shamed her as few white women have been. Mercy? He had said that
day that he knew not the word.

"Ah, you dog! Haven't I prayed God for days for this chance? You
black caha! Die!"

But Umballa was not to die at that moment or in that fashion.

That nervous energy which had infused the colonel with the strength of
a lion went out like a spark, and as quickly. Umballa rolled from his
paralyzed fingers and lay on the floor, gasping and sobbing. Hare fell
back against the pillar, groaning. The cessation of dynamic nerve
force filled him with racking pains and a pitiable weakness. But for
the pillar he would have hung by his chains.

Kathlyn, with continued apathy, stared down at her enemy. He was not
dead. He would kill them both now. Why, she asked with sudden
passion, why this misery? What had she done in her young life to merit
it? Under-fed, dressed in grass, harassed by men and wild beasts--why?

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