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Chapter 10 The Red Hawk by Edgar Rice Burroughs

There was still much fighting to be done, for though we had driven the Kalkars from The Capital they held the country to the south and west and we could not be satisfied until we had driven them into the sea, and so we prepared to ride to the front again that very night, but before we left I wanted a word with Bethelda who was to remain here with a proper retinue and a sufficient guard in the home of her people. Leading Red Lightning I searched about the grounds around the ruins and at last I came upon her beneath a great oak tree that grew at the northeast corner of the structure, its mighty limbs outspreading above the ruin. She was alone and I came and stood beside her.

“I am going now,” I said, “to drive your enemies and mine into the sea. I have come to say good-bye.”

“Good-bye, Julian.” She held out her hand to me.

I had come full of brave words and mighty resolve, but when I took that slim and tender hand in mine I could but stand there mute and trembling. I, Julian 20th, The Red Hawk, for the first time in all my life, knew fear. A Julian quailed before an Or-tis.

For a full minute I stood there trying to speak and could not, and then I dropped to my knee at the feet of my enemy and with my lips against her fair hand I murmured what I had been too great a coward to look into her eyes and say: “I love you!”

She raised me to my feet then and lifted her lips to mine and I took her into my arms and covered her mouth with kisses; and thus ended the ancient feud between Julian and Or-tis, that had endured four hundred years and wrecked a world.

Two years later and we had driven the Kalkars into the sea, the remnants of them flying westward in great canoes which they had built and launched upon a beauteous bay a hundred miles or more south of The Capital.

The Rain Cloud said that if they were not overcome by storms and waves they might sail on and on around the world and come again to the eastern shores of America, but the rest of us knew that they would sail to the edge of the Earth and tumble off and that would be the end of them.

We live in such peace now that it is difficult to find an enemy upon whom to try one’s lance, but I do not mind much, since my time is taken with the care of my flocks and herds, the business of my people and the training of Julian 21st, the son of a Julian and an Or-tis, who will one day be Jemadar of all America over which, once more, there flies but a single flag—The Flag.

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