Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 66

dawn they took shelter in a thicket beside the stream. At no
time did they hear the cry of a carnivore, and though many startled
animals fled as they approached, they were not once menaced by a wild
beast. When Bradley expressed surprise at the absence of the fiercest
beasts that are so numerous upon the mainland of Caprona, the girl
explained the reason that is contained in one of their ancient legends.

"When the Wieroos first developed wings upon which they could fly, they
found this island devoid of any life other than a few reptiles that
live either upon land or in the water and these only close to the
coast. Requiring meat for food the Wieroos carried to the island such
animals as they wished for that purpose. They still occasionally bring
them, and this with the natural increase keeps them provided with
flesh."

"As it will us," suggested Bradley.

The first day they remained in hiding, eating only the dried food that
Bradley had brought with him from the temple storeroom, and the next
night they set out again up the river, continuing steadily on until
almost dawn, when they came to low hills where the river wound through
a gorge--it was little more than rivulet now, the water clear and cold
and filled with fish similar to brook trout though much larger. Not
wishing to leave the stream the two waded along its bed to a spot where
the gorge widened between perpendicular bluffs to a wooded acre of
level land. Here they stopped, for here also the stream ended. They
had reached its source--many cold springs bubbling up from the center
of a little natural amphitheater in the hills and forming a clear and
beautiful pool overshadowed by trees upon one side and bounded by a
little clearing upon the other.

With the coming of the sun they saw they had stumbled upon a place
where they might remain hidden from the Wieroos for a long time and
also one that they could defend against these winged creatures, since
the trees would shield them from an attack from above and also hamper
the movements of the creatures should they attempt to follow them into
the wood.

For three days they rested here before trying to explore the
neighboring country. On the fourth, Bradley stated that he was going
to scale the bluffs and learn what lay beyond. He told the girl that
she should remain in hiding; but she refused to be left, saying that
whatever fate was to be his, she

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