Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 111

enough.

We had a strong gale for a considerable time, and eventually dropped
Hooja's fleet so far astern that we could no longer discern them. And
then--ah, I shall never forget that moment--Dian sprang to her feet
with a cry of "Land!"

Sure enough, dead ahead, a long, low coast stretched across our bow.
It was still a long way off, and we couldn't make out whether it was
island or mainland; but at least it was land. If ever shipwrecked
mariners were grateful, we were then. Raja and Ranee were commencing
to suffer for lack of food, and I could swear that the latter often
cast hungry glances upon us, though I am equally sure that no such
hideous thoughts ever entered the head of her mate. We watched them
both most closely, however. Once while stroking Ranee I managed to get
a rope around her neck and make her fast to the side of the boat. Then
I felt a bit safer for Dian. It was pretty close quarters in that
little dugout for three human beings and two practically wild,
man-eating dogs; but we had to make the best of it, since I would not
listen to Juag's suggestion that we kill and eat Raja and Ranee.

We made good time to within a few miles of the shore. Then the wind
died suddenly out. We were all of us keyed up to such a pitch of
anticipation that the blow was doubly hard to bear. And it was a blow,
too, since we could not tell in what quarter the wind might rise again;
but Juag and I set to work to paddle the remaining distance.

Almost immediately the wind rose again from precisely the opposite
direction from which it had formerly blown, so that it was mighty hard
work making progress against it. Next it veered again so that we had
to turn and run with it parallel to the coast to keep from being
swamped in the trough of the seas.

And while we were suffering all these disappointments Hooja's fleet
appeared in the distance!

They evidently had gone far to the left of our course, for they were
now almost behind us as we ran parallel to the coast; but we were not
much afraid of being overtaken in the wind that was blowing. The gale
kept on increasing, but it was fitful, swooping down upon us in great
gusts and then going almost calm for an instant. It was after one of
these momentary

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