Without a word or a warning, I snatched the piece from his grasp, and, at the same time struck him a terrific blow between the eyes with my clenched fist. He staggered back in surprise, too dumbfounded even to cry out, and then I clubbed his rifle and felled him with a single mighty blow. 7 inch strap on
A moment later, I had burst into the room beyond. It was empty! big strap on toys
I gazed about, mad with disappointment. Two doors opened from this to other rooms. I ran to the nearer and listened. Yes, voices were coming from beyond and one was a woman's, level and cold and filled with scorn. There was no terror in it. It was Victory's.
I turned the knob and pushed the door inward just in time to see Menelek seize the girl and drag her toward the far end of the apartment. At the same instant there was a deafening roar just outside the palace--a shell had struck much nearer than any of its predecessors. The noise of it drowned my rapid rush across the room.
But in her struggles, Victory turned Menelek about so that he saw me. She was striking him in the face with her clenched fist, and now he was choking her.
At sight of me, he gave voice to a roar of anger.
"What means this, slave?" he cried. "Out of here! Out of here! Quick, before I kill you!"
But for answer I rushed upon him, striking him with the butt of the rifle. He staggered back, dropping Victory to the floor, and then he cried aloud for the guard, and came at me. Again and again I struck him; but his thick skull might have been armor plate, for all the damage I did it.
He tried to close with me, seizing the rifle, but I was stronger than he, and, wrenching the weapon from his grasp, tossed it aside and made for his throat with my bare hands. I had not dared fire the weapon for fear that its report would bring the larger guard stationed at the farther end of the corridor.
We struggled about the room, striking one another, knocking over furniture, and rolling upon the floor. Menelek was a powerful man, and he was fighting for his life. Continually he kept calling for the guard, until I succeeded in getting a grip upon his throat; but it was too late. His cries had been heard, and suddenly the door burst open, and a score of armed guardsmen rushed into the apartment.