By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 30

We weighed anchor. Slowly we drifted down
the great river toward the sea.

About us swarmed the mighty denizens of the primeval deep--plesiosauri
and ichthyosauria with all their horrid, slimy cousins whose names were
as the names of aunts and uncles to Perry, but which I have never been
able to recall an hour after having heard them.

At last we were safely launched upon the journey to which we had looked
forward for so long, and the results of which meant so much to me.



The Sari proved a most erratic craft. She might have done well enough
upon a park lagoon if safely anchored, but upon the bosom of a mighty
ocean she left much to be desired.

Sailing with the wind she did her best; but in quartering or when
close-hauled she drifted terribly, as a nautical man might have guessed
she would. We couldn't keep within miles of our course, and our
progress was pitifully slow.

Instead of making for the island of Anoroc, we bore far to the right,
until it became evident that we should have to pass between the two
right-hand islands and attempt to return toward Anoroc from the
opposite side.

As we neared the islands Perry was quite overcome by their beauty.
When we were directly between two of them he fairly went into raptures;
nor could I blame him.

The tropical luxuriance of the foliage that dripped almost to the
water's edge and the vivid colors of the blooms that shot the green
made a most gorgeous spectacle.

Perry was right in the midst of a flowery panegyric on the wonders of
the peaceful beauty of the scene when a canoe shot out from the nearest
island. There were a dozen warriors in it; it was quickly followed by
a second and third.

Of course we couldn't know the intentions of the strangers, but we
could pretty well guess them.

Perry wanted to man the sweeps and try to get away from them, but I
soon convinced him that any speed of which the Sari was capable would
be far too slow to outdistance the swift, though awkward, dugouts of
the Mezops.

I waited until they were quite close enough to hear me, and then I
hailed them. I told them that we were friends of the Mezops, and that
we were upon a visit to Ja of Anoroc, to which they replied that they
were at war with Ja, and that if we would wait a minute they'd board us
and throw our corpses to the azdyryths.

I warned them that

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