Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 109

look for it now."

So saying he commenced to scull the canoe's nose before the wind, while
I made fast the primitive sheets that held our crude sail. We thought
it time to be going.

There wasn't much wind at the time, and the heavy, lumbering dugout was
slow in getting under way. I thought it never would gain any momentum.
And all the while Hooja's canoe was drawing rapidly nearer, propelled
by the strong arms of his twenty paddlers. Of course, their dugout was
much larger than ours, and, consequently, infinitely heavier and more
cumbersome; nevertheless, it was coming along at quite a clip, and ours
was yet but barely moving. Dian and I remained out of sight as much as
possible, for the two craft were now well within bow-shot of one
another, and I knew that Hooja had archers.

Hooja called to Juag to stop when he saw that our craft was moving. He
was much interested in the sail, and not a little awed, as I could tell
by his shouted remarks and questions. Raising my head, I saw him
plainly. He would have made an excellent target for one of my guns,
and I had never been sorrier that I had lost them.

We were now picking up speed a trifle, and he was not gaining upon us
so fast as at first. In consequence, his requests that we stop
suddenly changed to commands as he became aware that we were trying to
escape him.

"Come back!" he shouted. "Come back, or I'll fire!"

I use the word fire because it more nearly translates into English the
Pellucidarian word trag, which covers the launching of any deadly
missile.

But Juag only seized his paddle more tightly--the paddle that answered
the purpose of rudder, and commenced to assist the wind by vigorous
strokes. Then Hooja gave the command to some of his archers to fire
upon us. I couldn't lie hidden in the bottom of the boat, leaving Juag
alone exposed to the deadly shafts, so I arose and, seizing another
paddle, set to work to help him. Dian joined me, though I did my best
to persuade her to remain sheltered; but being a woman, she must have
her own way.

The instant that Hooja saw us he recognized us. The whoop of triumph
he raised indicated how certain he was that we were about to fall into
his hands. A shower of arrows fell about us. Then Hooja caused his
men to cease firing--he wanted us

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