As he squatted there watching the proceeding beneath him, he saw the warriors seize upon the cage once more and drag it between two huts.
He saw that Numa was still alive and that the guards were even dozing beside the cage. A lion is no great novelty to a black man in the lion country, and the first keen edge of their desire to worry the brute having worn off, the villagers paid little or no attention to the great cat, preferring now to await the grand event of the night.
With the lion's skin under one arm the ape-man dropped to the ground in the dense shadows beneath the tree and then circled behind the huts until he came out directly in the rear of the cage, in which Numa paced nervously to and fro.
This is just a most unfortunate affair; but what would ye have me do -- boxed up in this bee-skep of a cage
of mine -- but just set my friends to the cartes, when I can get them?
The racks without your cages
are filled with blades."
Once more he sighted the top of the cage
that held Astok and Vas Kor.
"There have been used in this cage," continued the other, "two hundred and twenty great bolts of iron, of nine feet, and of eight, the rest of medium length, with the rowels, caps and counterbands appertaining to the said bolts; weighing, the said iron in all, three thousand, seven hundred and thirty-five pounds; beside eight great squares of iron, serving to attach the said cage in place with clamps and nails weighing in all two hundred and eighteen pounds, not reckoning the iron of the trellises for the windows of the chamber wherein the cage hath been placed, the bars of iron for the door of the cage and other things."
At this oath, which was the favorite of Louis XI., some one seemed to awaken in the interior of the cage; the sound of chains was heard, grating on the floor, and a feeble voice, which seemed to issue from the tomb was uplifted.
The lamentable voice which had proceeded from the cage had frozen all present, even Master Olivier himself.
In the hurry they have forgotten to shut your cage, and the upper window is open.
Instinctively the Clerk obeyed; with a few strokes of his wings he was out of the cage; but at the same moment the door, which was only ajar, and which led to the next room, began to creak, and supple and creeping came the large tomcat into the room, and began to pursue him.
At a signal from Dak Kova the doors of two cages
were thrown open and a dozen green Martian females were driven to the center of the arena.