Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 15

covered a front leg, and as the tail snapped
aloft, fired. With a hideous roar the mighty flesh-eater lurched
forward to the ground with both front legs broken. It was an easy
accomplishment in the instant before the beast charged--after, it would
have been well-nigh an impossible feat. Brady stepped close in and
finished him with a shot in the base of the brain lest his terrific
roarings should attract his mate or others of their kind.

Then the two men turned and looked at one another. "Where is
Lieutenant Bradley?" asked Sinclair. They walked to the fire. Only a
few smoking embers remained. A few feet away lay Bradley's rifle.
There was no evidence of a struggle. The two men circled about the
camp twice and on the last lap Brady stooped and picked up an object
which had lain about ten yards beyond the fire--it was Bradley's cap.
Again the two looked questioningly at one another, and then,
simultaneously, both pairs of eyes swung upward and searched the sky.
A moment later Brady was examining the ground about the spot where
Bradley's cap had lain. It was one of those little barren, sandy
stretches that they had found only upon this stony plateau. Brady's
own footsteps showed as plainly as black ink upon white paper; but his
was the only foot that had marred the smooth, windswept surface--there
was no sign that Bradley had crossed the spot upon the surface of the
ground, and yet his cap lay well toward the center of it.

Breakfastless and with shaken nerves the two survivors plunged madly
into the long day's march. Both were strong, courageous, resourceful
men; but each had reached the limit of human nerve endurance and each
felt that he would rather die than spend another night in the hideous
open of that frightful land. Vivid in the mind of each was a picture
of Bradley's end, for though neither had witnessed the tragedy, both
could imagine almost precisely what had occurred. They did not discuss
it--they did not even mention it--yet all day long the thing was
uppermost in the mind of each and mingled with it a similar picture
with himself as victim should they fail to make Fort Dinosaur before
dark.

And so they plunged forward at reckless speed, their clothes, their
hands, their faces torn by the retarding underbrush that reached forth
to hinder them. Again and again they fell; but be it to their credit
that the one always waited and helped the other and

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