The Adventures of Kathlyn (Chapter 3, page 1 of 12)


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Chapter 3

Umballa was not a coward; he was only ruthless and predatory after the
manner of his kind. A thrill of admiration tingled his spine. The
women of his race were chattels, lazy and inert, without fire, merely
drudges or playthings. Here was one worth conquering, a white flame to
be controlled. To bend her without breaking her, that must be his
method of procedure. The skin under her chin was as white as the heart
of a mangosteen, and the longing to sweep her into his arms was almost
irresistible.

A high priest spoke to Kathlyn.

"What does he say?" she asked.

"That you must marry me."

"Tell him that I refuse!"

Umballa shrugged and repeated her words. Here the Council of Three
interposed, warning Kathlyn that she must submit to the law as it read.
There was no appeal from it.

"Then I shall appeal to the British Raj."

"How?" asked Umballa urbanely.

Swiftly she stepped to the front of the platform and extended her arms.
It was an appeal. She pointed to Umballa and shook her head. Her arms
went out again. A low murmur rippled over the pressing crowd; it grew
in volume; and a frown of doubt flitted over Umballa's brow. The
soldiers were swaying restlessly. Kathlyn saw this sign and was quick
to seize upon its possibilities. She renewed her gesture toward them.
It seemed that she must burst forth in their maddening tongue: "I
appeal to the chivalry of Allaha! . . . Soldiers, you now wear my
uniform! Liberate me!" But her tongue was mute; yet her eyes, her
face, her arms spoke eloquently enough to the turbulent soldiers.
Besides, they welcomed the opportunity to show the populace how strong
they were and how little they feared Umballa. At a nod from their
leader they came romping up the steps to this dais and surrounded
Kathlyn. A roar came from the populace; an elephant trumpeted; the
pariah dogs barked.

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