Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 78

the night of
September 14th when he had disappeared so mysteriously from the camp
upon the plateau. Now he learned for the first time that Bowen J.
Tyler, Jr., and Miss La Rue had been missing even longer than he and
that no faintest trace of them had been discovered.

Olson told him of how the Germans had returned and waited in ambush for
them outside the fort, capturing them that they might be used to assist
in the work of refining the oil and later in manning the U-33, and
Plesser told briefly of the experiences of the German crew under von
Schoenvorts since they had escaped from Caspak months before--of how
they lost their bearings after having been shelled by ships they had
attempted to sneak farther north and how at last with provisions gone
and fuel almost exhausted they had sought and at last found, more by
accident than design, the mysterious island they had once been so glad
to leave behind.

"Now," announced Bradley, "we'll plan for the future. The boat has
fuel, provisions and water for a month, I believe you said, Plesser;
there are ten of us to man it. We have a last sad duty here--we must
search for Miss La Rue and Mr. Tyler. I say a sad duty because we know
that we shall not find them; but it is none the less our duty to comb
the shoreline, firing signal shells at intervals, that we at least may
leave at last with full knowledge that we have done all that men might
do to locate them."

None dissented from this conviction, nor was there a voice raised in
protest against the plan to at least make assurance doubly sure before
quitting Caspak forever.

And so they started, cruising slowly up the coast and firing an
occasional shot from the gun. Often the vessel was brought to a stop,
and always there were anxious eyes scanning the shore for an answering
signal. Late in the afternoon they caught sight of a number of Band-lu
warriors; but when the vessel approached the shore and the natives
realized that human beings stood upon the back of the strange monster
of the sea, they fled in terror before Bradley could come within
hailing distance.

That night they dropped anchor at the mouth of a sluggish stream whose
warm waters swarmed with millions of tiny tadpolelike organisms--minute
human spawn starting on their precarious journey from some inland pool
toward "the beginning"--a journey which one in millions, perhaps, might
survive to complete. Already almost at the inception

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