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Richmond planet. [volume] (Richmond, Va.) 1883-1938, December 27, 1930, ILLUSTRATED FEATURE SECTION, Image 9

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84025841/1930-12-27/ed-1/seq-9/

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The BLACK LILYcd**^*^
A Story of Romance and Daring, Laid
j in the Intrigue of a Strange South American Cult
Dolores is Frightened as She Watches the
Fearsome Tribal Ritual
_ *>- — ■■ ■ —
John Northington, young Howard graduate and athlete, helping his mil
lionaire South American class-mate, Ramon Montea, to save his fiancee from
the clutches of THE PRIESTS OF THE BLACK LILY, is wounded by a
poison arrow. DOLORES MONTEZ, Ramon’s fiancee, trying to warn him of
a trap sei by the priests, has escaped clad only in an altar cloth. She is in
time to suck the wound free of poison.
With Northington she makes her way to within a short distance of
the camp where Ramon is waiting only to find him being put to the tor
ture by his subjects. She and Northington find a pirogue, and after he has
slain the guard and taken his accoutrements they embark.
Seeing a man peering from the underbrush as they are about to get
awav, Northington is startled into an attack, as the man rushes into the
water past a crocodile and grasps the side of the pirogue. The man is Ramon.
Although Norhtington strikes before he is aware of Ramon’s identity, he
onlv wounds him.
He floats in the pirogue on down stream to a spot where he sees a
guard hidden. By a ruse he slays him, and, to hide the trail, takes the body
into the boat where he faints from exhaustion.
With a little gasping cry
Dolores sprang to the fallen
man’s side. Ramon, with
quick presence of mind in
stantly retrieved the fallen
paddle as it bumped uncer
tainly against the pirogue in
the waves set up by its own
f->rce as it fell.
j He leaned across the stiffened body
of the grey-clad captive to reach the
paddle. As he straightened up he
noted that a bloody froth had gath
ered on his lips. Ramon’s own
tightened and a look of relief dawned
in his eyes. “Is he"—? The relief
changed to anxiety. He looked to
ward the place where Dolores leant
nnes oi me cruwueu puugue mouc
the transfer an awkward maneuver.
“Just a minute. Querida, mia, this”
—Ramon pointed to the still figure
of the guard—“the poison arrow
found its mark. We must get rid of
this. But we must leave no traces.
The call will bring them in our direc
tion but—he had not time to tell
them the exact spot. I was too quick
for that.
“They will wonder why the answer
did not come to that last question of
the drums. They will know that only
death or gagging hands could stop it.
They will search, until they find but
there is always the ‘black death.’” He
pointed to a black snout floating
near the surface like an old log.
The “Black Death”
Dolores, pillowing John’s head on a
to ihe water without looking—"is use
less if we leave things as they are.”
A gleam of indomitable courage
sprang into the eyes of Dolores. "I
can do anyzing for you, caro mio,”
she whispered. Seizing the heavy
paddle in her hands she set to work
and although every movement sent
waves of pain shooting through her
wounded arm she closed her lips
grimly and bent to the task.
Back at the spot where Northing
to had. dragged the scratching,
screaming guard into the boat.
Ramon by almost herculean efforts
clambered out onto the point of land.
At his request, Dolores handed him
the single dirty sandal that he had
taken from the foot of the slain pur
He carried it up the torn and mud
dy path to the spot where the great
black head had lain half submerged
in the slimy mud. Here he very de
liberately lay down and with much
turning of his body and thrashing of
his good arm and ooth legs created
the semblan j o* a frantic battlefield.
Then dragging himself painfully in
a prone, half crawling position along
the way of the prints left by the sau
rian creature, he came to the edge of
the infested water.
At this point a grave danger threat
ened. Off shore, moving swiftly with
the stream another sinister black
body was approaching. A‘. sight of
the prone figure of the man wrig
gling slowly toward the shore if
With a mighty effort he drew himself erect just as the black snout emerged.
above his l'riend.
“It is only a swoon.” Dolores cut
> hope breathing in her softly
spoken words. "Zee heat and ex
haustion. Can you help me weez ze
shelter for heem, Ramcn, mio.” She
as re-adjusting the rude shelter
i at had shaded her and Ramon, over
john Northington. The narrow con
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i soft roll of fur, turned to the grim
task of helping the speaker in what
he was doing to the sinister thing in
the bottom of the boat. His left arm
dangling helplessly because of the
broken bone, Ramon tugged at the
body with his strong right, until he
had it near the edge. Then he care
fully removed one sandal and with
the help of the girl lifted the body
and slid it with a sickening splash
into the more rapidly flowing waters.
A flash of black—a crunching,
grinding sound, heard above the
slashing glug-glug of the water—and
the body disappeared with a jerk un
der the surface. Both of the two
turned their heads awav ir. a shud
der of horro: at the sounds and sight
of a slowly reddening space of wrater
that gradually became only an at
tenuated pink.
“We must make *he work complete
before we leave,” said Ramon, scan
ning the point of land at his right
carefully. 'Here—pull back, and in,
to the same place where John land
ed. “Do you think you can?” He
looked anxiously at the frail girl.
“You know with on], one aim I
cannot paddle. But that”—he pointed
turned inward.
Dolores saw it. She screamed.
Just at the edge of the water, Ramon
sensed his danger. With a mighty
effort he drew himself erect just as
the black snout emerged at a point
almost directly in front of him.
At the same moment a shot rang
out. The reptile sank slowly back
into the water. Dolores, with North
ington’s smoking gun in her hand,
was at Ramon's side helping him.
When the first panic of fear was
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over, they looked up to see the pi
rogue with its unconscious occupant
slowly drifting out to the center of
the stream.
The Questing Call
The two wounded fugitives sent a
despairing glance after the vessel as
the crocodile infested watei widened
between them and it. As they look
ed, a piercing call keened high and
far across the water.
Without more ado, the two shrank
back and making a slight detour so
as to enter the undergrowth from the
nearest point, they disappeared into
the deep shadows of the forest just
as the cry shrilled out a second time.
A third time it sounded. Almost
it seemed that it was upon them so
close it vibrated through the hot air.
They shrank closer together.
“The questing call!" Ramon whis
pered the word breathlessly.
The girl nodded. Her eyes were
wide with the straining effort-of lis
tening .
Again thq drum beat was heard.
This time it was quickened. Menace
seemed to breathe from it through
the forests.
"They have found his last trail
mark. It will not be long now. We
must get away from this spot. The
dead guard that Jack left, despoiled,
has aroused their anger. God pity
him if they find and take him, now.
They will know that it was an out
lander who dared la. hands on the
sacred person of a priestly guard.
Even I would not thus have awakened
their unreasoning and fiendish en
Ramon was gradually moving far
ther into the shelter of the thick af
ternoon darkness beneath the trees
as he talked. The girl followed.
Almost Trappec
At the next step he tripped in a
huge vine and fell with a groan on
his wounded arm.'
With difficulty Dolores helped him
to his feet. Her own wound was
throbbing and burning with feverish
Continued on Page Tour
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