Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 47

their race, might now
be irretrievably lost.

Presently I could see that she who presided was communicating something
to the Sagoth interpreter--doubt-less something to be transmitted to me
which might give me a forewarning of the fate which lay in store for
me. One thing I had decided definitely: If they would not free Dian I
should turn loose upon Phutra with my little arsenal. Alone I might
even win to freedom, and if I could learn where Dian was imprisoned it
would be worth the attempt to free her. My thoughts were interrupted
by the interpreter.

"The mighty Mahars," he said, "are unable to reconcile your statement
that the document is lost with your action in sending it to them by a
special messenger. They wish to know if you have so soon forgotten the
truth or if you are merely ignoring it."

"I sent them no document," I cried. "Ask them what they mean."

"They say," he went on after conversing with the Mahar for a moment,
"that just before your return to Phutra, Hooja the Sly One came,
bringing the great secret with him. He said that you had sent him
ahead with it, asking him to deliver it and return to Sari where you
would await him, bringing the girl with him."

"Dian?" I gasped. "The Mahars have given over Dian into the keeping of
Hooja."

"Surely," he replied. "What of it? She is only a gilak," as you or I
would say, "She is only a cow."



CHAPTER VI

A PENDENT WORLD

The Mahars set me free as they had promised, but with strict
injunctions never to approach Phutra or any other Mahar city. They
also made it perfectly plain that they considered me a dangerous
creature, and that having wiped the slate clean in so far as they were
under obligations to me, they now considered me fair prey. Should I
again fall into their hands, they intimated it would go ill with me.

They would not tell me in which direction Hooja had set forth with
Dian, so I departed from Phutra, filled with bitterness against the
Mahars, and rage toward the Sly One who had once again robbed me of my
greatest treasure.

At first I was minded to go directly back to Anoroc; but upon second
thought turned my face toward Sari, as I felt that somewhere in that
direction Hooja would travel, his own country lying in that general
direction.

Of my journey to Sari it is only necessary to say that it was fraught
with the usual excitement and adventure, incident

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