By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 14

and with it has gone the
First Empire of Pellucidar."

We both had to smile at the use of my royal title, yet I was indeed
still "Emperor of Pellucidar," and some day I meant to rebuild what the
vile act of the treacherous Hooja had torn down.

But first I would find my empress. To me she was worth forty empires.

"Have you no clue as to the whereabouts of Dian?" I asked.

"None whatever," replied Perry. "It was in search of her that I came
to the pretty pass in which you discovered me, and from which, David,
you saved me.

"I knew perfectly well that you had not intentionally deserted either
Dian or Pellucidar. I guessed that in some way Hooja the Sly One was
at the bottom of the matter, and I determined to go to Amoz, where I
guessed that Dian might come to the protection of her brother, and do
my utmost to convince her, and through her Dacor the Strong One, that
we had all been victims of a treacherous plot to which you were no

"I came to Amoz after a most trying and terrible journey, only to find
that Dian was not among her brother's people and that they knew naught
of her whereabouts.

"Dacor, I am sure, wanted to be fair and just, but so great were his
grief and anger over the disappearance of his sister that he could not
listen to reason, but kept repeating time and again that only your
return to Pellucidar could prove the honesty of your intentions.

"Then came a stranger from another tribe, sent I am sure at the
instigation of Hooja. He so turned the Amozites against me that I was
forced to flee their country to escape assassination.

"In attempting to return to Sari I became lost, and then the Sagoths
discovered me. For a long time I eluded them, hiding in caves and
wading in rivers to throw them off my trail.

"I lived on nuts and fruits and the edible roots that chance threw in
my way.

"I traveled on and on, in what directions I could not even guess; and
at last I could elude them no longer and the end came as I had long
foreseen that it would come, except that I had not foreseen that you
would be there to save me."

We rested in our camp until Perry had regained sufficient strength to
travel again. We planned much, rebuilding all our shattered
air-castles; but above all we planned most to find Dian.

I could not believe

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