“And he sprang like a hungry panther. He had his long, corded arms cradling for the leader’s body when something flashed blue in the light and darted forward. The Spaniard held the long barrel jammed against his middle. McKeon checked in full career, with the muzzle pressing into his flesh, and his hands stayed. The other two had drawn knives…

“The leader smiled. ‘It is a pity you are not supplied with arms, señor,’ he purred throatily. ‘You are sudden.  José,’ he called. ‘To your post! Unloose the engine.'”

— From “McKeon’s Graft” by John Russell, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth in 1912