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The Quest of the Sacred Slipper Sax Rohmer

Second Attempt On The Safe

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The contrivance which he carried, as did the other who had escaped, was a sling, of the ancient Persian type. In place of stones, heavy lumps of clay were used, which operated much the same as a sand-bag, whilst enabling the operator to work from a considerable distance.

Hidden, over by the ancient chapel it might be, one of this evil twain had struck down Morris, the constable; from the shelter of the trees, from many yards away, they had shot their singular missiles through the open windows at Bristol and myself. Bristol had succumbed, and now, with a redness showing through his close-cut hair immediately behind the right ear, lay wholly unconscious at my feet.

It had been a divine accident which had caused me to drop my revolver, and, stooping to recover it, unknowingly to frustrate the design of the second slinger upon myself. The light of the lamp fell upon the face of the dead Hashishin. He lay forward upon his hands, crouching almost, but with his face, his dreadful, featureless face, twisted up at me from under his left shoulder.

God knows he deserved his end; but that mutilated face is often grinning, bloodily, in my dreams.

And then as I stood, between that horrid exultation which is born of killing and the panic which threatened me out of the darkness, I saw something advancing . . . slowly . . . slowly . . . from the elmen shades toward the loggia.

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It was a shape-it was a shadow. Silent it came - on - and on. Where the dusk lay deepest it paused, undefined; for I could give it no name of man or spirit. But a horror seemed to proceed from it as light from a lamp.

I groped about the table near to me, never taking my eyes from that sinister form outside. As my fingers closed upon the telephone, distant voices and the sound of running footsteps (of those who had heard the shots) came welcome to my ears.

The form stirred, seeming to raise phantom arms in execration, and a stray moonbeam pierced the darkness shrouding it. For a fleeting instant something flashed venemously.

The sounds grew nearer. I could tell that the newcomers had found Morris lying at the gate. Yet still I stood, frozen with uncanny fear, and watching - watching the spot to which that stray beam had pierced; the spot where I had seen the moon gleam upon the ring of the Prophet!

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The Quest of the Sacred Slipper
Sax Rohmer

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