By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 17

might require a year or more. The land we seek must lie upon the
opposite side of the mountains."

"Then we must cross them," I insisted.

Perry shrugged.

"We can't do it, David," he repeated. "We are dressed for the tropics.
We should freeze to death among the snows and glaciers long before we
had discovered a pass to the opposite side."

"We must cross them," I reiterated. "We will cross them."

I had a plan, and that plan we carried out. It took some time.

First we made a permanent camp part way up the slopes where there was
good water. Then we set out in search of the great, shaggy cave bear
of the higher altitudes.

He is a mighty animal--a terrible animal. He is but little larger than
his cousin of the lesser, lower hills; but he makes up for it in the
awfulness of his ferocity and in the length and thickness of his shaggy
coat. It was his coat that we were after.

We came upon him quite unexpectedly. I was trudging in advance along a
rocky trail worn smooth by the padded feet of countless ages of wild
beasts. At a shoulder of the mountain around which the path ran I
came face to face with the Titan.

I was going up for a fur coat. He was coming down for breakfast. Each
realized that here was the very thing he sought.

With a horrid roar the beast charged me.

At my right the cliff rose straight upward for thousands of feet.

At my left it dropped into a dim, abysmal canyon.

In front of me was the bear.

Behind me was Perry.

I shouted to him in warning, and then I raised my rifle and fired into
the broad breast of the creature. There was no time to take aim; the
thing was too close upon me.

But that my bullet took effect was evident from the howl of rage and
pain that broke from the frothing jowls. It didn't stop him, though.

I fired again, and then he was upon me. Down I went beneath his ton of
maddened, clawing flesh and bone and sinew.

I thought my time had come. I remember feeling sorry for poor old
Perry, left all alone in this inhospitable, savage world.

And then of a sudden I realized that the bear was gone and that I was
quite unharmed. I leaped to my feet, my rifle still clutched in my
hand, and looked about for my antagonist.

I thought that

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