The Pool of the Black One - Robert E. Howard - ebook

The Pool of the Black One ebook

Robert E. Howard

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The Pool of the Black One is one of the original short stories starring the sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan becoming the captain of a pirate vessel and encountering a remote island with a mysterious pool that has powers of transmutation.

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Liczba stron: 57

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Contents

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II

CHAPTER III

CHAPTER I

Into the west, unknown of man, Ships have sailed since the world began. Read, if you dare, what Skelos wrote, With dead hands fumbling his silken coat; And follow the ships through the wind-blown wrack– Follow the ships that come not back.

SANCHA, once of Kordava, yawned daintily, stretched her supple limbs luxuriously, and composed herself more comfortably on the ermine-fringed silk spread on the carack’s poop-deck. That the crew watched her with burning interest from waist and forecastle she was lazily aware, just as she was also aware that her short silk kirtle veiled little of her voluptuous contours from their eager eyes. Wherefore she smiled insolently and prepared to snatch a few more winks before the sun, which was just thrusting his golden disk above the ocean, should dazzle her eyes.

But at that instant a sound reached her ears unlike the creaking of timbers, thrum of cordage and lap of waves. She sat up, her gaze fixed on the rail, over which, to her amazement, a dripping figure clambered. Her dark eyes opened wide, her red lips parted in an O of surprise. The intruder was a stranger to her. Water ran in rivulets from his great shoulders and down his heavy arms. His single garment–a pair of bright crimson silk breeks – was soaking wet, as was his broad gold-buckled girdle and the sheathed sword it supported. As he stood at the rail, the rising sun etched him like a great bronze statue. He ran his fingers through his streaming black mane, and his blue eyes lit as they rested on the girl.

“Who are you?” she demanded. “Whence did you come?”

He made a gesture toward the sea that took in a whole quarter of the compass, while his eyes did not leave her supple figure.

“Are you a merman, that you rise up out of the sea?” she asked, confused by the candor of his gaze, though she was accustomed to admiration.

Before he could reply, a quick step sounded on the boards, and the master of the carack was glaring at the stranger, fingers twitching at sword-hilt.

“Who the devil are you, sirrah?” this one demanded in no friendly tone.

“I am Conan,” the other answered imperturbably. Sancha pricked up her ears anew; she had never heard Zingaran spoken with such an accent as the stranger spoke it.

“And how did you get aboard my ship?” The voice grated with suspicion.

“I swam.”

“Swam!” exclaimed the master angrily. “Dog, would you jest with me? We are far beyond sight of land. Whence do you come?”

Conan pointed with a muscular brown arm toward the east, banded in dazzling gold by the lifting sun.

“I came from the Islands.”

“Oh!” The other regarded him with increased interest. Black brows drew down over scowling eyes, and the thin lip lifted unpleasantly.

“So you are one of those dogs of the Barachans.”

A faint smile touched Conan’s lips.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.