At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 65

me from
the direction of the bluff at my left. I looked and could have shouted
in delight at the sight that met my eyes, for there stood Ja, waving
frantically to me, and urging me to run for it to the cliff's base.

I had no idea that I should escape the monster that had marked me for
his breakfast, but at least I should not die alone. Human eyes would
watch me end. It was cold comfort I presume, but yet I derived some
slight peace of mind from the contemplation of it.

To run seemed ridiculous, especially toward that steep and unscalable
cliff, and yet I did so, and as I ran I saw Ja, agile as a monkey,
crawl down the precipitous face of the rocks, clinging to small
projections, and the tough creepers that had found root-hold here and
there.

The labyrinthodon evidently thought that Ja was coming to double his
portion of human flesh, so he was in no haste to pursue me to the cliff
and frighten away this other tidbit. Instead he merely trotted along
behind me.

As I approached the foot of the cliff I saw what Ja intended doing, but
I doubted if the thing would prove successful. He had come down to
within twenty feet of the bottom, and there, clinging with one hand to
a small ledge, and with his feet resting precariously upon tiny bushes
that grew from the solid face of the rock, he lowered the point of his
long spear until it hung some six feet above the ground.

To clamber up that slim shaft without dragging Ja down and
precipitating both to the same doom from which the copper-colored one
was attempting to save me seemed utterly impossible, and as I came near
the spear I told Ja so, and that I could not risk him to try to save
myself.

But he insisted that he knew what he was doing and was in no danger
himself.

"The danger is still yours," he called, "for unless you move much more
rapidly than you are now, the sithic will be upon you and drag you back
before ever you are halfway up the spear--he can rear up and reach you
with ease anywhere below where I stand."

Well, Ja should know his own business, I thought, and so I grasped the
spear and clambered up toward the red man as rapidly as I could--being
so far removed from my simian ancestors as I am. I imagine the
slow-witted sithic, as Ja called him, suddenly realized our

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