Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 45

I hoped to find the little valley I became
more and more confident of success. Every landmark was familiar to me,
and I was sure now that I knew the exact location of the cave.

It was at about this time that I sighted a number of the half-naked
warriors of the human race of Pellucidar. They were marching across
our front. At sight of us they halted; that there would be a fight I
could not doubt. These Sagoths would never permit an opportunity for
the capture of slaves for their Mahar masters to escape them.

I saw that the men were armed with bows and arrows, long lances and
swords, so I guessed that they must have been members of the
federation, for only my people had been thus equipped. Before Perry
and I came the men of Pellucidar had only the crudest weapons wherewith
to slay one another.

The Sagoths, too, were evidently expecting battle. With savage shouts
they rushed forward toward the human warriors.

Then a strange thing happened. The leader of the human beings stepped
forward with upraised hands. The Sagoths ceased their war-cries and
advanced slowly to meet him. There was a long parley during which I
could see that I was often the subject of their discourse. The
Sagoths' leader pointed in the direction in which I had told him the
valley lay. Evidently he was explaining the nature of our expedition
to the leader of the warriors. It was all a puzzle to me.

What human being could be upon such excellent terms with the
gorilla-men?

I couldn't imagine. I tried to get a good look at the fellow, but the
Sagoths had left me in the rear with a guard when they had advanced to
battle, and the distance was too great for me to recognize the features
of any of the human beings.

Finally the parley was concluded and the men continued on their way
while the Sagoths returned to where I stood with my guard. It was time
for eating, so we stopped where we were and made our meal. The Sagoths
didn't tell me who it was they had met, and I did not ask, though I
must confess that I was quite curious.

They permitted me to sleep at this halt. Afterward we took up the last
leg of our journey. I found the valley without difficulty and led my
guard directly to the cave. At its mouth the Sagoths halted and I
entered alone.

I

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