By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 12

had entirely forgotten the rifle in my hand and the revolvers at my
belt; one does not readily synchronize his thoughts with the stone age
and the twentieth century simultaneously.

Now from past habit I still thought in the stone age, and in my
thoughts of the stone age there were no thoughts of firearms.

The fellow was almost upon Perry when the feel of the gun in my hand
awoke me from the lethargy of terror that had gripped me. From behind
my boulder I threw up the heavy express rifle--a mighty engine of
destruction that might bring down a cave bear or a mammoth at a single
shot--and let drive at the Sagoth's broad, hairy breast.

At the sound of the shot he stopped stock-still. His spear dropped
from his hand.

Then he lunged forward upon his face.

The effect upon the others was little less remarkable. Perry alone
could have possibly guessed the meaning of the loud report or explained
its connection with the sudden collapse of the Sagoth. The other
gorilla-men halted for but an instant. Then with renewed shrieks of
rage they sprang forward to finish Perry.

At the same time I stepped from behind my boulder, drawing one of my
revolvers that I might conserve the more precious ammunition of the
express rifle. Quickly I fired again with the lesser weapon.

Then it was that all eyes were directed toward me. Another Sagoth fell
to the bullet from the revolver; but it did not stop his companions.
They were out for revenge as well as blood now, and they meant to have

As I ran forward toward Perry I fired four more shots, dropping three
of our antagonists. Then at last the remaining seven wavered. It was
too much for them, this roaring death that leaped, invisible, upon them
from a great distance.

As they hesitated I reached Perry's side. I have never seen such an
expression upon any man's face as that upon Perry's when he recognized
me. I have no words wherewith to describe it. There was not time to
talk then--scarce for a greeting. I thrust the full, loaded revolver
into his hand, fired the last shot in my own, and reloaded. There were
but six Sagoths left then.

They started toward us once more, though I could see that they were
terrified probably as much by the noise of the guns as by their
effects. They never reached us. Half-way the three that remained
turned and fled, and we let them

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