Page:Harris Dickson--The black wolf's breed.djvu/245

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

him in. Be not slow about it either, thou chicken-hearted bullies; pitch him in."

The men started to obey this savage order.

"Hound of hell!" I screamed, tortured beyond endurance, and struggling at my bonds.

Ortez slapped me in the face with his gauntlet, then laying his hand upon my shoulder said with assumed gentleness:

"Calm yourself, my dear brother; think of your unbandaged wounds; they may bleed afresh."

Philip was conscious as the men bore him to the edge of the well, but powerless to resist four stout fellows who cast him headlong amongst the dead and dying to mingle his groans and blood with theirs. Oh, that God should permit to men such deeds, and grant that men should witness them! When the last body had been disposed of, Ortez led the way to the banquet hall, inviting all his rabble to join the feast. The banquet hall, used as it was to scenes of turbulence, never perhaps had looked upon such a throng as that. I occupied the head of my own table, strapped helpless in my seat. On either side were vacant chairs. Ortez sat at the foot. Between, the soldiery ranged themselves as they pleased. One of the troopers coming in late would have taken his place beside me, but his Captain stopped him:

"Not there, Gardier; we have other and fairer guests for whom those seats are kept."

Almost as he spoke the chairs on either side of me