By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 32

welfare of his empire."

Slowly they turned the noses of their canoes toward land. It was
evident that they were impressed; yet that they were loath to give up
without further contesting my claim to naval supremacy was also
apparent, for some of their number seemed to be exhorting the others to
a renewal of the conflict.

However, at last they drew slowly away, and the Sari, which had not
decreased her snail-like speed during this, her first engagement,
continued upon her slow, uneven way.

Presently Perry stuck his head up through the hatch and hailed me.

"Have the scoundrels departed?" he asked. "Have you killed them all?"

"Those whom I failed to kill have departed, Perry," I replied.

He came out on deck and, peering over the side, descried the lone canoe
floating a short distance astern with its grim and grisly freight.
Farther his eyes wandered to the retreating boats.

"David," said he at last, "this is a notable occasion. It is a great
day in the annals of Pellucidar. We have won a glorious victory.

"Your majesty's navy has routed a fleet of the enemy thrice its own
size, manned by ten times as many men. Let us give thanks."

I could scarce restrain a smile at Perry's use of the pronoun "we," yet
I was glad to share the rejoicing with him as I shall always be glad to
share everything with the dear old fellow.

Perry is the only male coward I have ever known whom I could respect
and love. He was not created for fighting; but I think that if the
occasion should ever arise where it became necessary he would give his
life cheerfully for me--yes, I KNOW it.

It took us a long time to work around the islands and draw in close to
Anoroc. In the leisure afforded we took turns working on our map, and
by means of the compass and a little guesswork we set down the
shoreline we had left and the three islands with fair accuracy.

Crossed sabers marked the spot where the first great naval engagement
of a world had taken place. In a note-book we jotted down, as had been
our custom, details that would be of historical value later.

Opposite Anoroc we came to anchor quite close to shore. I knew from my
previous experience with the tortuous trails of the island that I could
never find my way inland to the hidden tree-village of the Mezop
chieftain, Ja; so we remained aboard the Sari, firing our express
rifles at intervals

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