Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 29

as bad as it looks. Give me
a hand with this rope, and we'll drag her up as far as we can; and then
when the tide goes out we'll try another scheme. I think we can make a
go of her yet."

Well, we managed to get her up into shallow water. When the tide
receded she lay there on her side in the mud, quite a pitiable object
for the premier battle-ship of a world--"the terror of the seas" was
the way Perry had occasionally described her.

We had to work fast; but before the tide came in again we had stripped
her of her sails and masts, righted her, and filled her about a quarter
full of rock ballast. If she didn't stick too fast in the mud I was
sure that she would float this time right side up.

I can tell you that it was with palpitating hearts that we sat upon the
river-bank and watched that tide come slowly in. The tides of
Pellucidar don't amount to much by comparison with our higher tides of
the outer world, but I knew that it ought to prove ample to float the
Sari.

Nor was I mistaken. Finally we had the satisfaction of seeing the
vessel rise out of the mud and float slowly upstream with the tide. As
the water rose we pulled her in quite close to the bank and clambered
aboard.

She rested safely now upon an even keel; nor did she leak, for she was
well calked with fiber and tarry pitch. We rigged up a single short
mast and light sail, fastened planking down over the ballast to form a
deck, worked her out into midstream with a couple of sweeps, and
dropped our primitive stone anchor to await the turn of the tide that
would bear us out to sea.

While we waited we devoted the time to the construction of an upper
deck, since the one immediately above the ballast was some seven feet
from the gunwale. The second deck was four feet above this. In it was
a large, commodious hatch, leading to the lower deck. The sides of the
ship rose three feet above the upper deck, forming an excellent
breastwork, which we loopholed at intervals that we might lie prone and
fire upon an enemy.

Though we were sailing out upon a peaceful mission in search of my
friend Ja, we knew that we might meet with people of some other island
who would prove unfriendly.

At last the tide turned.

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