Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 10

to augment. To add further to their gloom, their way led
through a dense forest, where, on account of the underbrush, it was
difficult to make even a mile an hour. Constant watchfulness was
required to avoid the many snakes of various degrees of repulsiveness
and enormity that infested the wood; and the only ray of hope they had
to cling to was that the forest would, like the majority of Caspakian
forests, prove to be of no considerable extent.

Bradley was in the lead when he came suddenly upon a grotesque creature
of Titanic proportions. Crouching among the trees, which here
commenced to thin out slightly, Bradley saw what appeared to be an
enormous dragon devouring the carcass of a mammoth. From frightful
jaws to the tip of its long tail it was fully forty feet in length.
Its body was covered with plates of thick skin which bore a striking
resemblance to armor-plate. The creature saw Bradley almost at the
same instant that he saw it and reared up on its enormous hind legs
until its head towered a full twenty-five feet above the ground. From
the cavernous jaws issued a hissing sound of a volume equal to the
escaping steam from the safety-valves of half a dozen locomotives, and
then the creature came for the man.

"Scatter!" shouted Bradley to those behind him; and all but Tippet
heeded the warning. The man stood as though dazed, and when Bradley
saw the other's danger, he too stopped and wheeling about sent a bullet
into the massive body forcing its way through the trees toward him.
The shot struck the creature in the belly where there was no protecting
armor, eliciting a new note which rose in a shrill whistle and ended in
a wail. It was then that Tippet appeared to come out of his trance,
for with a cry of terror he turned and fled to the left. Bradley,
seeing that he had as good an opportunity as the others to escape, now
turned his attention to extricating himself; and as the woods seemed
dense on the right, he ran in that direction, hoping that the close-set
boles would prevent pursuit on the part of the great reptile. The
dragon paid no further attention to him, however, for Tippet's sudden
break for liberty had attracted its attention; and after Tippet it
went, bowling over small trees, uprooting underbrush and leaving a wake
behind it like that of a small tornado.

Bradley, the moment he had discovered the thing was pursuing Tippet,
had followed

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