Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 121

and reel, they
had kept a fairly accurate record of their course from the time they
had set out. Four of the feluccas were equipped with these
instruments, and all of the captains had been instructed in their use.

I was very greatly surprised at the ease with which these savages had
mastered the rather intricate detail of this unusual work, but Perry
assured me that they were a wonderfully intelligent race, and had been
quick to grasp all that he had tried to teach them.

Another thing that surprised me was the fact that so much had been
accomplished in so short a time, for I could not believe that I had
been gone from Anoroc for a sufficient period to permit of building a
fleet of fifty feluccas and mining iron ore for the cannon and balls,
to say nothing of manufacturing these guns and the crude muzzle-loading
rifles with which every Mezop was armed, as well as the gunpowder and
ammunition they had in such ample quantities.

"Time!" exclaimed Perry. "Well, how long were you gone from Anoroc
before we picked you up in the Sojar Az?"

That was a puzzler, and I had to admit it. I didn't know how much time
had elapsed and neither did Perry, for time is nonexistent in
Pellucidar.

"Then, you see, David," he continued, "I had almost unbelievable
resources at my disposal. The Mezops inhabiting the Anoroc Islands,
which stretch far out to sea beyond the three principal isles with
which you are familiar, number well into the millions, and by far the
greater part of them are friendly to Ja. Men, women, and children
turned to and worked the moment Ja explained the nature of our
enterprise.

"And not only were they anxious to do all in their power to hasten the
day when the Mahars should be overthrown, but--and this counted for
most of all--they are simply ravenous for greater knowledge and for
better ways of doing things.

"The contents of the prospector set their imaginations to working
overtime, so that they craved to own, themselves, the knowledge which
had made it possible for other men to create and build the things which
you brought back from the outer world.

"And then," continued the old man, "the element of time, or, rather,
lack of time, operated to my advantage. There being no nights, there
was no laying off from work--they labored incessantly stopping only to
eat and, on rare occasions, to sleep. Once we had discovered iron ore
we had enough mined in an incredibly short time to build a

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