By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 114

as this? Were there
far-distant lands of which none of my people had ever heard, where a
race had so greatly outstripped all other races of this inner world?

The man with the glass had lowered it and was shouting to us. I could
not make out his words, but presently I saw that he was pointing aloft.
When I looked I saw a pennant fluttering from the peak of the forward
lateen yard--a red, white, and blue pennant, with a single great white
star in a field of blue.

Then I knew. My eyes went even wider than they had before. It was the
navy! It was the navy of the empire of Pellucidar which I had
instructed Perry to build in my absence. It was MY navy!

I dropped my paddle and stood up and shouted and waved my hand. Juag
and Dian looked at me as if I had gone suddenly mad. When I could stop
shouting I told them, and they shared my joy and shouted with me.

But still Hooja was coming nearer, nor could the leading felucca
overhaul him before he would be along-side or at least within bow-shot.

Hooja must have been as much mystified as we were as to the identity of
the strange fleet; but when he saw me waving to them he evidently
guessed that they were friendly to us, so he urged his men to redouble
their efforts to reach us before the felucca cut him off.

He shouted word back to others of his fleet--word that was passed back
until it had reached them all--directing them to run alongside the
strangers and board them, for with his two hundred craft and his eight
or ten thousand warriors he evidently felt equal to overcoming the
fifty vessels of the enemy, which did not seem to carry over three
thousand men all told.

His own personal energies he bent to reaching Dian and me first,
leaving the rest of the work to his other boats. I thought that there
could be little doubt that he would be successful in so far as we were
concerned, and I feared for the revenge that he might take upon us
should the battle go against his force, as I was sure it would; for I
knew that Perry and his Mezops must have brought with them all the arms
and ammunition that had been contained in the prospector. But I was
not prepared for what happened next.

As Hooja's canoe reached a point some twenty yards from us a

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