Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Under the Andes Rex Stout

The Beginning Of The End

Page 3 of 8

Table Of Contents: Under the Andes

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

Her back was toward me. As I emerged from the opening the Incas seated round the vast amphitheater and the king, seated on the golden throne in the alcove, rose involuntarily from their seats in astonished wonder.

Desiree saw the movement and, turning, caught sight of me. A sudden cry of amazement burst from her lips; she made a hasty step forward and fell fainting into my arms.

I shook her violently, but she remained unconscious, and this added catastrophe all but unnerved me. For a moment I stood on the upper step with the upper half of my body, swaying from side to side, extending beyond the top of the column; then I turned and began to descend with Desiree in my arms.

Every step of that descent was unspeakable agony. Feeling was hardly in me; my whole body was an engine of pain. Somehow, I staggered and stumbled downward; at every step I expected to fall headlong to the bottom with my burden. Desiree's form remained limp and lifeless in my arms.

I reached the ledge on which the vats had been placed and passed it; air entered my burning lungs like a breeze from the mountains. Every step now made the next one easier. I began to think that I might, after all, reach the bottom in safety. Another twenty steps and I could see the beginning of the tunnel below.

Desiree's form stirred slightly in my arms. A glance showed me her eyes looking up into mine as her head lay back on my shoulder.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"Why?" she moaned. "In the name of Heaven above us, why?" I had no time for answer; my lips were locked tightly together as I sought the step below with a foot that had no feeling even for the stone. We were nearly to the bottom; we reached it.

I placed Desiree on her feet.

"Can you stand?" I gasped; and the words were torn from my throat with a great effort.

"But you!" she cried, and I saw that her eyes were filled with horror. No doubt I was a pitiful thing to look at.

But there was no time to be lost, and, seeing that her feet supported her, I grasped her arm and started down the tunnel just as Harry's voice, raised in a great shout, came to us from its farther end.

"No!" cried Desiree, shrinking back in terror. "Paul--" I dragged her forward.

Then, as Harry's cry was repeated, she seemed to understand and sprang forward beside me.

Another second wasted and we would have been too late. Just as we reached Harry's side, at the end of the tunnel, the Incas, warned by my appearance at the top of the column, appeared above on the stairway, at the foot of which Harry had made his stand.

At the sight of Desiree Harry uttered a cry of joy, then gazed in astonishment as I appeared behind her.

Page 3 of 8 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Under the Andes
Rex Stout

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004