"You murdering dog!" roared Harston. "Will you slay my men behind my back while they fight for your filthy hide as well as for mine?"
On all sides men ceased eating and drinking to gape in amazement.
"What do you mean?" sputtered Villiers.
"You've set your men to murdering mine at their posts!" bellowed Harston.
"You lie!" Smoldering hate burst into sudden flame.
With a howl Harston heaved up his cutlass and cut at the Frenchman's head. Villiers caught the blow on his armored left arm and sparks flew as he staggered back, ripping out his own sword.
"You cursed fools, will you throw away all our lives?"
Harston was frothing, and Villiers was bawling for assistance. A buccaneer ran at Vulmea and cut at him from behind. The Irishman half turned and caught his arm, checking the stroke in midair.
"Look, you fools!" he roared, pointing with his sword.
Something in his tone caught the attention of the battle-crazed mob. Men froze in their places, with lifted swords, and twisted their heads to stare. Vulmea was pointing at a soldier on the wall. The man was reeling, clawing the air, choking as he tried to shout. Suddenly he pitched to the ground and all saw the shaft standing up between his shoulders.
A yell of alarm rose from the compound. On the heels of the shout came a clamor of blood-freezing screams, the shattering impact of axes on the gate. Flaming arrows arched over the wall and stuck in logs, and thin wisps of blue smoke curled upward. Then from behind the huts along the south wall dark figures came gliding.
"The Indians are in!" roared Vulmea.
- "Swords of the Red Brotherhood," from the collection Black Vulmea's Vengeance, Robert E. Howard