'Peril hides in the house of Aram Baksh!'
The speaker's voice quivered with earnestness and his lean, black-nailed fingers clawed at Conan's mightily muscled arm as he croaked his warning. He was a wiry, sun-burnt man with a straggling black beard, and his ragged garments proclaimed him a nomad. He looked smaller and meaner than ever in contrast to the giant Cimmerian with his black brows, broad chest, and powerful limbs. They stood in a corner of the Sword-Makers' Bazar, and on either side of them flowed past the many-tongued, many-colored stream of the Zamboula streets, which is exotic, hybrid, flamboyant and clamorous.
Conan pulled his eyes back from following a bold-eyed, red-lipped Ghanara whose short skirt bared her brown thigh at each insolent step, and frowned down at his importunate companion.
'What do you mean by peril?' he demanded.
The desert man glanced furtively over his shoulder before replying, and lowered his voice.
'Who can say? But desert men and travelers have slept in the house of Aram Baksh, and never been seen or heard of again. What became of them? He swore they rose and went their way--and it is true that no citizen of the city has ever disappeared from his house. But no one saw the travelers again, and men say that goods and equipment recognized as theirs have been seen in the bazars. If Aram did not sell them, after doing away with their owners, how came they here?'
'I have no goods,' growled the Cimmerian, touching the shagreen-bound hilt of the broadsword that hung at his hip. 'I have even sold my horse.'
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About the Author
Robert Ervin Howard (1906¿1936) wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. He is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian and is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre. Howard spent time in his late teens bodybuilding, eventually taking up amateur boxing—which he also wrote stories about. His tales of heroic & supernatural fantasy won him a huge audience across the world and influenced a whole generation of writers, from Robert Jordan to Raymond E. Feist.
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