Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 104

long strips for drying when we
should be out in the sunlight once more.

At last all was done. We were ready to embark. I had no difficulty in
getting Raja aboard the dugout; but Ranee--as we christened her after I
had explained to Dian the meaning of Raja and its feminine
equivalent--positively refused for a time to follow her mate aboard.
In fact, we had to shove off without her. After a moment, however, she
plunged into the water and swam after us.

I let her come alongside, and then Juag and I pulled her in, she
snapping and snarling at us as we did so; but, strange to relate, she
didn't offer to attack us after we had ensconced her safely in the
bottom alongside Raja.

The canoe behaved much better under sail than I had hoped--infinitely
better than the battle-ship Sari had--and we made good progress almost
due west across the gulf, upon the opposite side of which I hoped to
find the mouth of the river of which Juag had told me.

The islander was much interested and impressed by the sail and its
results. He had not been able to understand exactly what I hoped to
accomplish with it while we were fitting up the boat; but when he saw
the clumsy dugout move steadily through the water without paddles, he
was as delighted as a child. We made splendid headway on the trip,
coming into sight of land at last.

Juag had been terror-stricken when he had learned that I intended
crossing the ocean, and when we passed out of sight of land he was in a
blue funk. He said that he had never heard of such a thing before in
his life, and that always he had understood that those who ventured far
from land never returned; for how could they find their way when they
could see no land to steer for?

I tried to explain the compass to him; and though he never really
grasped the scientific explanation of it, yet he did learn to steer by
it quite as well as I. We passed several islands on the
journey--islands which Juag told me were entirely unknown to his own
island folk. Indeed, our eyes may have been the first ever to rest
upon them. I should have liked to stop off and explore them, but the
business of empire would brook no unnecessary delays.

I asked Juag how Hooja expected to reach the mouth of the river which
we were in search of if he didn't cross

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