Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 106

not visible from our position!

Our plight seemed hopeless to me, but I dared not let Dian and Juag
guess how utterly dismayed I was; though, as I soon discovered, there
was nothing to be gained by trying to keep the worst from Juag--he knew
it quite as well as I. He had always known, from the legends of his
people, the dangers of the open sea beyond the sight of land. The
compass, since he had learned its uses from me, had been all that he
had to buoy his hope of eventual salvation from the watery deep. He
had seen how it had guided me across the water to the very coast that I
desired to reach, and so he had implicit confidence in it. Now that it
was gone, his confidence had departed, also.

There seemed but one thing to do; that was to keep on sailing straight
before the wind--since we could travel most rapidly along that
course--until we sighted land of some description. If it chanced to be
the mainland, well and good; if an island--well, we might live upon an
island. We certainly could not live long in this little boat, with
only a few strips of dried thag and a few quarts of water left.

Quite suddenly a thought occurred to me. I was surprised that it had
not come before as a solution to our problem. I turned toward Juag.

"You Pellucidarians are endowed with a wonderful instinct," I reminded
him, "an instinct that points the way straight to your homes, no matter
in what strange land you may find yourself. Now all we have to do is
let Dian guide us toward Amoz, and we shall come in a short time to the
same coast whence we just were blown."

As I spoke I looked at them with a smile of renewed hope; but there was
no answering smile in their eyes. It was Dian who enlightened me.

"We could do all this upon land," she said. "But upon the water that
power is denied us. I do not know why; but I have always heard that
this is true--that only upon the water may a Pellucidarian be lost.
This is, I think, why we all fear the great ocean so--even those who go
upon its surface in canoes. Juag has told us that they never go beyond
the sight of land."

We had lowered the sail after the blow while we were discussing the
best course to pursue. Our little

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