n hell first."
"You're a fool!" exclaimed Amalrus. "You are in our hands, and we can take both crown and life at our pleasure!"
Conan's answer was neither kingly nor dignified, but characteristically instinctive in the man, whose barbaric nature had never been submerged in his adopted culture. He spat full in Amalrus' eyes. The king of Ophir leaped up with a scream of outraged fury, groping for his slender sword. Drawing it, he rushed at the Cimmerian, but Tsotha intervened.
"Wait, your majesty; this man is my prisoner."
"Aside, wizard!" shrieked Amalrus, maddened by the glare in the Cimmerian's blue eyes.
"Back, I say!" roared Tsotha, roused to awesome wrath. His lean hand came from his wide sleeve and cast a shower of dust into the Ophirean's contorted face. Amalrus cried out and staggered back, clutching at his eyes, the sword falling from his hand. He dropped limply on the divan, while the Kothian guards looked on stolidly and King Strabonus hurriedly gulped another gobl