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deadly tritonian crawlers

"...The children grow weak, from hunger.  There us but one recourse left us.  That is to hunt Crawlers."

Carter was dismayed and stared at Kur-saa in horror.

"Hunt Crawlers?  Kur-saa, you know that's suicide.  If you go into those marshes and try that - "

"There is no other way."  The old man shrugged hopelessly.  "Some of our young men are scouting the marshes now.  If they find - "

A shrill, agonized cry interrupted the old man's words... 

Carter's heart sank at what he saw...  from the direction of the great reed-marsh eastward, came a small group of young tribesmen carrying two limp burdens.

They put them down.  A chorus of heart-broken wails came from the women.  Carter stepped forward and took a look and then turned away, a little sick.

He'd seen men before who had been caught by the Crawlers and pulped.  But it was still a stomach-churning sight.  The two corpses were just skeletons with skin round them.  When a Crawler caught a man and pulped him, every bit of blood and tissue was sucked out of him...

>>  Edmond Hamilton, Trouble on Triton (Startling Stories, Fall 1945)

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