Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 117

vessel seemed rather remarkable, for
though I had warned him against turreted battle-ships, armor, and like
useless show, I had fully expected that when I beheld his navy I should
find considerable attempt at grim and terrible magnificence, for it was
always Perry's idea to overawe these ignorant cave men when we had to
contend with them in battle. But I had soon learned that while one
might easily astonish them with some new engine of war, it was an utter
impossibility to frighten them into surrender.

I learned later that Ja had gone carefully over the plans of various
craft with Perry. The old man had explained in detail all that the
text told him of them. The two had measured out dimensions upon the
ground, that Ja might see the sizes of different boats. Perry had
built models, and Ja had had him read carefully and explain all that
they could find relative to the handling of sailing vessels. The
result of this was that Ja was the one who had chosen the felucca. It
was well that Perry had had so excellent a balance wheel, for he had
been wild to build a huge frigate of the Nelsonian era--he told me so
himself.

One thing that had inclined Ja particularly to the felucca was the fact
that it included oars in its equipment. He realized the limitations
of his people in the matter of sails, and while they had never used
oars, the implement was so similar to a paddle that he was sure they
quickly could master the art--and they did. As soon as one hull was
completed Ja kept it on the water constantly, first with one crew and
then with another, until two thousand red warriors had learned to row.
Then they stepped their masts and a crew was told off for the first
ship.

While the others were building they learned to handle theirs. As each
succeeding boat was launched its crew took it out and practiced with it
under the tutorage of those who had graduated from the first ship, and
so on until a full complement of men had been trained for every boat.

Well, to get back to the battle: The Hoojans kept on coming at us, and
as fast as they came we mowed them down. It was little else than
slaughter. Time and time again I cried to them to surrender, promising
them their lives if they would do so. At last there were but ten
boatloads left. These turned

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