_Painted in Oils from a Scene in "The Ape-Men of Xlotli."_
SLAVES OF THE DUST SOPHIE WENZEL ELLIS 295
_Fate's Retribution Was Adequate. There Emerged a Rat with a
Man's Head and Face._
THE PIRATE PLANET CHARLES W. DIFFIN 310
_It is War. Interplanetary War. And on Far-Distant Venus Two
Fighting Earthlings Stand Up Against a Whole Planet Run Amuck._
(Part Two of a Four-Part Novel.)
THE SEA TERROR CAPTAIN S. P. MEEK 336
_The Trail of Mystery Gold Leads Carnes and Dr. Bird to a
Tremendous Monster of the Deep._
GRAY DENIM HARL VINCENT 354
_The Blood of the Van Dorn's Ran in Karl's Veins. He Rode
the Skies Like an Avenging God._
THE APE-MEN OF XLOTLI DAVID R. SPARKS 370
_A Beautiful Face in the Depths of a Geyser--and Kirby Plunges
into a Desperate Mid-Earth Conflict with the Dreadful
Feathered Serpent._ (A Complete Novelette.)
THE READERS' CORNER ALL OF US 421
_A Meeting place for Readers of Astounding Stories._
* * * * *
Single Copies, 20 Cents (In Canada, 25 Cents)
Yearly Subscription, $2.00
Issued monthly by Readers' Guild, Inc., 80 Lafayette St., New York, N.Y.
W. M. Clayton, President; Francis P. Pace, Secretary. Entered as
second-class matter December 7, 1929, at the Post Office at New York.
N.Y., under Act of March 3. 1879. Title registered as a Trade Mark in
the U.S. Patent Office. Member Newsstand Group--Men's List. For
advertising rates address E. R. Crow & Co., Inc., 25 Vanderbilt Ave.,
New York; or 225 North Michigan Ave., Chicago.
* * * * *
Slaves of the Dust
_By Sophie Wenzel Ellis_
Fate's retribution was adequate. There emerged a rat with a man's
head and face.
_It's a poor science that would hide from us the great, deep,
sacred infinitude of Nescience, whither we can never penetrate, on
which all science swims as mere superficial film._
[Illustration: _Sir Basil showed his teeth in his ugly smile. "A creator
is never merciful."_]
The two _batalões_ turned from the open waters of the lower Tapajos
River into the _igarapé_, the lily-smothered shallows that often mark an
Indian settlement in the jungles of Brazil. One of the two half-breed
rubber-gatherers suddenly stopped his _batalõe_ by thrusting a paddle
against a giant clump of lilies. In a corruption of the Tupi dialect, he
called over to the white man occupying the other frail craft.
"We dare go no farther, master. The country of the Ungapuks is
bewitched. It is too dangerous."
Fearfully he stared over his shoulder toward a spot in the slimy water
where a dim bulk moved, which was only an alligator hunting for his
Hale Oakham, as long and lanky and level-eyed as Charles Lindbergh, ran
despairing fingers through his damp hair and groaned.
"But how can I find this jungle village without a guide?"
The _caboclo_ shrugged. "The village will find you. It is bewitched,
master. But you will soon see the path through the _matto_."
"Can't you stay by me until time to land? I don't like the looks of
"It is better for a white man to face an alligator than for a _caboclo_
to face an Ungapuk. Once they used to kill and eat us for our strength.
Now--" Again his shrug was eloquent.
"Now?" Hale prompted impatiently.
"The white god who put a spell on these one-time cannibals will bewitch
us and make us wash and rejoice when it is time to die."
* * * * *
He shuddered and spat at a cayman that was lumbering away from his
Hale Oakham laughed, a hearty boyish laugh for a rather learned young
"Is that all they do to you?" he asked.
"No. All who enter this magic _matto_ die soon, rejoicing. Before the
last breath comes, it is said their bodies turn into a handful of silver
dust--poof!--like that." He snapped his dirty fingers. "Then the life
that leaves them goes into rocks that walk."
Hale sighed resignedly. There wasn't any use to argue.
"Unload your _batalõe_," he ordered testily, "and get your filthy