Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 36

a few
small sailing-boats that could be manned by four or five men.

I was to proceed to Sari, and while prosecuting my search for Dian
attempt at the same time the rehabilitation of the federation. Perry
was going as far as possible by water, with the chances that the entire
trip might be made in that manner, which proved to be the fact.

With a couple of Mezops as companions I started for Sari. In order to
avoid crossing the principal range of the Mountains of the Clouds we
took a route that passed a little way south of Phutra. We had eaten
four times and slept once, and were, as my companions told me, not far
from the great Mahar city, when we were suddenly confronted by a
considerable band of Sagoths.

They did not attack us, owing to the peace which exists between the
Mahars and the Mezops, but I could see that they looked upon me with
considerable suspicion. My friends told them that I was a stranger
from a remote country, and as we had previously planned against such a
contingency I pretended ignorance of the language which the human
beings of Pellucidar employ in conversing with the gorilla-like
soldiery of the Mahars.

I noticed, and not without misgivings, that the leader of the Sagoths
eyed me with an expression that betokened partial recognition. I was
sure that he had seen me before during the period of my incarceration
in Phutra and that he was trying to recall my identity.

It worried me not a little. I was extremely thankful when we bade them
adieu and continued upon our journey.

Several times during the next few marches I became acutely conscious of
the sensation of being watched by unseen eyes, but I did not speak of
my suspicions to my companions. Later I had reason to regret my
reticence, for--

Well, this is how it happened:

We had killed an antelope and after eating our fill I had lain down to
sleep. The Pellucidarians, who seem seldom if ever to require sleep,
joined me in this instance, for we had had a very trying march along
the northern foothills of the Mountains of the Clouds, and now with
their bellies filled with meat they seemed ready for slumber.

When I awoke it was with a start to find a couple of huge Sagoths
astride me. They pinioned my arms and legs, and later chained my
wrists behind my back. Then they let me up.

I saw my companions; the brave fellows lay dead

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