William Murray Graydon, (1864-1946): An extremely prolific American writer for the juvenile market, Graydon moved to England around 1898, where he continued to write for the British story papers. His Sexton Blake in the Congo (1907) is well regarded
He died in Cornwall after a long illness, April 5, 1946, aged 83.
The situation of the fugitives seemed now more hopeless than ever. It was impossible to prevent the flames from igniting the inflammable stuff within the temple, for if they stood up to rake the rubbish out of the way they would offer a deadly mark to the two Sepoys. And should they rush out it would be to court the same fate, since Namgy Paltu and his surviving comrade were doubtless ambushed in some near-by spot.
So Jewan and the lads crouched in helpless terror at their posts, while the heat grew almost unbearable, and the smoke rolled thickly around them. Guy and Bob were soon driven over to the Hindoo's position on the right, and at Jewan's summons Mary crept down the gallery and joined the three. The girl was outwardly composed, but the horror in her eyes was pitiable to see.
"Do you think we will be burned to death?" she asked of Bob, who was alongside of her.
"Yes, unless we make a rush," was the hoarse reply.
"And you won't let me be taken alive?"
She shuddered as she spoke.
"No, no," Bob muttered, not knowing what he was saying.
The flames had now actually entered the temple on the left side, and were licking up the dried grass and limbs.
"Sahibs, are we to die by fire or bullet?" exclaimed Jewan. "There is at least a chance----"
"Yes, let us rush out," cried Guy. "Bob and I will go first, and draw the fire of the Sepoys. Then you and the girl will be able to escape, Jewan."
"No, I shall be the first," declared the Hindoo. "Leave the mem-sahib till the last----"
He was interrupted by a frightful roar, and as the fugitives gazed in wonder through the opening they saw a strange thing. A huge black panther sprang from around the rear angle of the temple, where it had been lying all this time, until driven out by the flames. The beast crouched for a second, and then made a bound that carried it a dozen feet through the leafy jungle. Instantly a terrified cry was heard, and a pair of dusky arms were thrust out of the grass. The panther had lighted on top of one of the two Sepoys, who was lying there in ambush.
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