Man and Centaur fought to free a girl--and the fate of all mankind hung in the balance ...
“I will go talk to Gomar," Lion thought desperately. "Gomar will know what to do."
With one last look at the thing resting in the valley, he turned toward the mountain, toward the cave where Gomar lived. Gomar had been friendly with him in the past. Gomar would help him now --he hoped. His need was so desperate that only Gomar's great wisdom could help him.
"Ho, Gomar!" he called at the mouth of the cave. "Ho, Gomar! Come out. It is I, Lion, come to talk to you."
He heard a grunt in the cave, then hoofs clicked softly on the sandy floor, and Gomar, blinking owlishly at the light, stood in the entrance.
Gomar was the last of the horse people. He had the body of a small horse, the trunk, the arms, and the head of a human.
"What is it, Lion of the almost-ape people, what is it that you want?" He sounded cross.
"Tansy," Lion said.
"Tansy is gone."
Thoughtfully Gomar studied the man who stood before him. For Lion was
a man, although neither Lion nor any of his tribe had made that discovery as yet. Unlike the shambling apes, Lion stood as straight as a tree, with broad
shoulders, and long strong arms, and-- what was far more important-- a high forehead. Lion could think. It was for this reason that, young as he was, he was the leader of the almost-ape people, the strong, straight-standing leader of a new race. In his hands he held a flint-headed club. He had no other weapons.
"And who," Gomar asked, "is Tansy?"
Lion had forgotten that Gomar did not know who Tansy was. Lion assumed that all of the people of the forests and all of those who lived on the mountains knew Tansy, Tansy of the clean, lithe limbs, Tansy of the gray eyes, skilled, clever Tansy, who sang and laughed and who made something inside Lion sing and laugh with her.
"Tansy--" he faltered. Then he remembered a way that might describe Tansy so that Gomar would know for certain who she was. "Tansy-- when the leaves die once more and then turn green again, Tansy will be my wife," Lion said.
"Ah," Gomar said. "Now I remember. Tansy is that pleasing girl you brought to see me one time. Next spring you will marry her. Yes. Yes. That is good. Tansy will give you fine sons and daughters and your race will grow strong. Ah--" Gomar blinked.
"Has something happened to her?"
"Yes," Lion said. "The Creatures of the Bird captured her this morning."
Robert Moore Williams (1907—1977), was an American writer, primarily of science fiction. Pseudonyms included John S Browning, H. H. Hermon, Russell Storm and E. K. Jarvis. His first published story was Zero as a Limit, which appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in 1937, under the pseudonym of "Robert Moore". He was a prolific author throughout his career, by the 1960's he had published over 150 stories.