Pirates of Venus

By Edgar Rice Burroughs; F. Paul Wilson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Catastrophe

At the same moment that the ongyan, Moosko, ordered his soldiers to repel any attempt to board his ship, her captain ordered full speed ahead and threw her helm to starboard. She veered away from us and leaped ahead in an effort to escape. Of course I could have sunk her, but her loot would have been of no value to me at the bottom of the sea; instead I directed the trumpeter at my side to sound full speed ahead to the officer in the tower, and the chase was on.

The Yan, whose name was now discernible across her stern, was much faster than Kiron had led me to believe; but the Sofal was exceptionally speedy, and it soon became obvious to all that the other ship could not escape her. Slowly we regained the distance that we had lost in the first, unexpected spurt of the Yan ; slowly but surely we were closing up on her. Then the captain of the Yan did just what I should have done had I been in his place; he kept the Sofal always directly astern of him and opened fire on us with his after tower gun and with a gun similarly placed in the stern on the lower deck. The maneuver was tactically faultless, since it greatly reduced the number of guns that we could bring into play without changing our course, and was the only one that might offer him any hope of escape.

There was something eery in the sound of that first heavy Amtorian gun that I had heard. I saw nothing, neither smoke nor flame;

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