"They are weapons," I replied, "weapons which kill at a great distance." I pointed to the women in the pool beneath us. "With this," I said, tapping my pistol, "I could kill as many of those women as I cared to, without moving a step from where we now stand."
He looked his incredulity, but I went on. "And with this"--I weighed my rifle at the balance in the palm of my right hand--"I could slay one of those distant warriors." And I waved my left hand toward the tiny figures of the hunters far to the north.
The fellow laughed. "Do it," he cried derisively, "and then it may be that I shall believe the balance of your strange story."
"But I do not wish to kill any of them," I replied. "Why should I?"
"Why not?" he insisted. "They would have killed you when they had you prisoner. They would kill you now if they could get their hands on you, and they would eat you into the bargain. But I know why you do not try it--it is because you have spoken lies; your weapon will not kill at a great distance. It is only a queerly wrought club. For all I know, you are nothing more than a lowly Bo-lu."
"Why should you wish me to kill your own people?" I asked.
"They are no longer my people," he replied proudly. "Last night, in the very middle of the night, the call came to me. Like that it came into my head"--and he struck his hands together smartly once--"that I had risen. I have been waiting for it and expecting it for a long time; today I am a Krolu. Today I go into the coslupak" (unpeopled country, or literally, no man's land) "between the Band-lu and the Kro-lu, and there I fashion my bow and my arrows and my shield; there I hunt the red deer for the leathern jerkin which is the badge of my new estate. When these things are done, I can go to the chief of the Kro-lu, and he dare not refuse me. That is why you may kill those low Band-lu if you wish to live, for I am in a hurry.
"But why do you wish to kill me?" I asked.
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