At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 61

serve to guide me in a straight
line.

As it was I must have walked for a great distance since I ate four
times and slept twice before I reached the sea, but at last I did so,
and my pleasure at the sight of it was greatly enhanced by the chance
discovery of a hidden canoe among the bushes through which I had
stumbled just prior to coming upon the beach.

I can tell you that it did not take me long to pull that awkward craft
down to the water and shove it far out from shore. My experience with
Ja had taught me that if I were to steal another canoe I must be quick
about it and get far beyond the owner's reach as soon as possible.

I must have come out upon the opposite side of the island from that at
which Ja and I had entered it, for the mainland was nowhere in sight.
For a long time I paddled around the shore, though well out, before I
saw the mainland in the distance. At the sight of it I lost no time in
directing my course toward it, for I had long since made up my mind to
return to Phutra and give myself up that I might be once more with
Perry and Ghak the Hairy One.

I felt that I was a fool ever to have attempted to escape alone,
especially in view of the fact that our plans were already well
formulated to make a break for freedom together. Of course I realized
that the chances of the success of our proposed venture were slim
indeed, but I knew that I never could enjoy freedom without Perry so
long as the old man lived, and I had learned that the probability that
I might find him was less than slight.

Had Perry been dead, I should gladly have pitted my strength and wit
against the savage and primordial world in which I found myself. I
could have lived in seclusion within some rocky cave until I had found
the means to outfit myself with the crude weapons of the Stone Age, and
then set out in search of her whose image had now become the constant
companion of my waking hours, and the central and beloved figure of my
dreams.

But, to the best of my knowledge, Perry still lived and it was my duty
and wish to be again with him, that we might share the dangers and
vicissitudes of the strange world we had discovered. And Ghak,

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