Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 31

they would get the worst of it if they didn't leave
us alone, but they only shouted in derision and paddled swiftly toward
us. It was evident that they were considerably impressed by the
appearance and dimensions of our craft, but as these fellows know no
fear they were not at all awed.

Seeing that they were determined to give battle, I leaned over the rail
of the Sari and brought the imperial battle-squadron of the Emperor of
Pellucidar into action for the first time in the history of a world.
In other and simpler words, I fired my revolver at the nearest canoe.

The effect was magical. A warrior rose from his knees, threw his
paddle aloft, stiffened into rigidity for an instant, and then toppled
overboard.

The others ceased paddling, and, with wide eyes, looked first at me and
then at the battling sea-things which fought for the corpse of their
comrade. To them it must have seemed a miracle that I should be able
to stand at thrice the range of the most powerful javelin-thrower and
with a loud noise and a smudge of smoke slay one of their number with
an invisible missile.

But only for an instant were they paralyzed with wonder. Then, with
savage shouts, they fell once more to their paddles and forged rapidly
toward us.

Again and again I fired. At each shot a warrior sank to the bottom of
the canoe or tumbled overboard.

When the prow of the first craft touched the side of the Sari it
contained only dead and dying men. The other two dugouts were
approaching rapidly, so I turned my attention toward them.

I think that they must have been commencing to have some doubts--those
wild, naked, red warriors--for when the first man fell in the second
boat, the others stopped paddling and commenced to jabber among
themselves.

The third boat pulled up alongside the second and its crews joined in
the conference. Taking advantage of the lull in the battle, I called
out to the survivors to return to their shore.

"I have no fight with you," I cried, and then I told them who I was and
added that if they would live in peace they must sooner or later join
forces with me.

"Go back now to your people," I counseled them, "and tell them that you
have seen David I, Emperor of the Federated Kingdoms of Pellucidar, and
that single-handed he has overcome you, just as he intends overcoming
the Mahars and the Sagoths and any other peoples of Pellucidar who
threaten the peace and

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