Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 39

reverted to his plaintive mumbling for
food and recurrence to the statement that there was a way out; but by
firmness and patience the Englishman drew out piece-meal a more or less
lucid exposition of the remarkable scheme of evolution that rules in
Caspak. In it he found explanations of the hitherto inexplicable. He
discovered why he had seen no babes or children among the Caspakian
tribes with which he had come in contact; why each more northerly tribe
evinced a higher state of development than those south of them; why
each tribe included individuals ranging in physical and mental
characteristics from the highest of the next lower race to the lowest
of the next higher, and why the women of each tribe immersed themselves
each morning for an hour or more in the warm pools near which the
habitations of their people always were located; and, too, he
discovered why those pools were almost immune from the attacks of
carnivorous animals and reptiles.

He learned that all but those who were cos-ata-lu came up cor-sva-jo,
or from the beginning. The egg from which they first developed into
tadpole form was deposited, with millions of others, in one of the warm
pools and with it a poisonous serum that the carnivora instinctively
shunned. Down the warm stream from the pool floated the countless
billions of eggs and tadpoles, developing as they drifted slowly toward
the sea. Some became tadpoles in the pool, some in the sluggish stream
and some not until they reached the great inland sea. In the next
stage they became fishes or reptiles, An-Tak was not positive which,
and in this form, always developing, they swam far to the south, where,
amid the rank and teeming jungles, some of them evolved into
amphibians. Always there were those whose development stopped at the
first stage, others whose development ceased when they became reptiles,
while by far the greater proportion formed the food supply of the
ravenous creatures of the deep.

Few indeed were those that eventually developed into baboons and then
apes, which was considered by Caspakians the real beginning of
evolution. From the egg, then, the individual developed slowly into a
higher form, just as the frog's egg develops through various stages
from a fish with gills to a frog with lungs. With that thought in mind
Bradley discovered that it was not difficult to believe in the
possibility of such a scheme--there was nothing new in it.

From the ape the individual, if it survived, slowly developed into the
lowest order of man--the Alu--and then

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