Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 8

be gained by retracing their steps
along the base of the cliffs he decided to strike due south through the
unexplored country between them and the fort.

That night (September 9, 1916), they made camp a short distance from
the cliffs beside one of the numerous cool springs that are to be found
within Caspak, oftentimes close beside the still more numerous warm and
hot springs which feed the many pools. After supper the men lay
smoking and chatting among themselves. Tippet was on guard. Fewer
night prowlers threatened them, and the men were commenting upon the
fact that the farther north they had traveled the smaller the number of
all species of animals became, though it was still present in what
would have seemed appalling plenitude in any other part of the world.
The diminution in reptilian life was the most noticeable change in the
fauna of northern Caspak. Here, however, were forms they had not met
elsewhere, several of which were of gigantic proportions.

According to their custom all, with the exception of the man on guard,
sought sleep early, nor, once disposed upon the ground for slumber,
were they long in finding it. It seemed to Bradley that he had
scarcely closed his eyes when he was brought to his feet, wide awake,
by a piercing scream which was punctuated by the sharp report of a
rifle from the direction of the fire where Tippet stood guard. As he
ran toward the man, Bradley heard above him the same uncanny wail that
had set every nerve on edge several nights before, and the dismal
flapping of huge wings. He did not need to look up at the
white-shrouded figure winging slowly away into the night to know that
their grim visitor had returned.

The muscles of his arm, reacting to the sight and sound of the menacing
form, carried his hand to the butt of his pistol; but after he had
drawn the weapon, he immediately returned it to its holster with a
shrug.

"What for?" he muttered. "Can't waste ammunition." Then he walked
quickly to where Tippet lay sprawled upon his face. By this time
James, Brady and Sinclair were at his heels, each with his rifle in
readiness.

"Is he dead, sir?" whispered James as Bradley kneeled beside the
prostrate form.

Bradley turned Tippet over on his back and pressed an ear close to the
other's heart. In a moment he raised his head. "Fainted," he
announced. "Get water. Hurry!" Then he loosened Tippet's shirt at
the throat and

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