Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 3

had features with just a shade more of the human cast about
them. Then there were men like Ahm, whom they had captured and
confined at the fort--Ahm, the club-man. "Well-known club-man," Tyler
had called him. Ahm and his people had knowledge of a speech. They
had a language, in which they were unlike the race just inferior to
them, and they walked much more erect and were less hairy: but it was
principally the fact that they possessed a spoken language and carried
a weapon that differentiated them from the others.

All of these peoples had proven belligerent in the extreme. In common
with the rest of the fauna of Caprona the first law of nature as they
seemed to understand it was to kill--kill--kill. And so it was that
Bradley had no desire to follow up the little stream toward the pool
near which were sure to be the caves of some savage tribe, but fortune
played him an unkind trick, for the pool was much closer than he
imagined, its southern end reaching fully a mile south of the point at
which they crossed the stream, and so it was that after forcing their
way through a tangle of jungle vegetation they came out upon the edge
of the pool which they had wished to avoid.

Almost simultaneously there appeared south of them a party of naked men
armed with clubs and hatchets. Both parties halted as they caught
sight of one another. The men from the fort saw before them a hunting
party evidently returning to its caves or village laden with meat.
They were large men with features closely resembling those of the
African Negro though their skins were white. Short hair grew upon a
large portion of their limbs and bodies, which still retained a
considerable trace of apish progenitors. They were, however, a
distinctly higher type than the Bo-lu, or club-men.

Bradley would have been glad to have averted a meeting; but as he
desired to lead his party south around the end of the pool, and as it
was hemmed in by the jungle on one side and the water on the other,
there seemed no escape from an encounter.

On the chance that he might avoid a clash, Bradley stepped forward with
upraised hand. "We are friends," he called in the tongue of Ahm, the
Bo-lu, who had been held a prisoner at the fort; "permit us to pass in
peace. We will not harm you."

At this the hatchet-men set up a great

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