Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 48

to all travel across
the face of savage Pellucidar. The dangers, however, were greatly
reduced through the medium of my armament. I often wondered how it had
happened that I had ever survived the first ten years of my life within
the inner world, when, naked and primitively armed, I had traversed
great areas of her beast-ridden surface.

With the aid of my map, which I had kept with great care during my
march with the Sagoths in search of the great secret, I arrived at Sari
at last. As I topped the lofty plateau in whose rocky cliffs the
principal tribe of Sarians find their cave-homes, a great hue and cry
arose from those who first discovered me.

Like wasps from their nests the hairy warriors poured from their caves.
The bows with their poison-tipped arrows, which I had taught them to
fashion and to use, were raised against me. Swords of hammered
iron--another of my innovations--menaced me, as with lusty shouts the
horde charged down.

It was a critical moment. Before I should be recognized I might be
dead. It was evident that all semblance of intertribal relationship
had ceased with my going, and that my people had reverted to their
former savage, suspicious hatred of all strangers. My garb must have
puzzled them, too, for never before of course had they seen a man
clothed in khaki and puttees.

Leaning my express rifle against my body I raised both hands aloft. It
was the peace-sign that is recognized everywhere upon the surface of
Pellucidar. The charging warriors paused and surveyed me. I looked
for my friend Ghak, the Hairy One, king of Sari, and presently I saw
him coming from a distance. Ah, but it was good to see his mighty,
hairy form once more! A friend was Ghak--a friend well worth the
having; and it had been some time since I had seen a friend.

Shouldering his way through the throng of warriors, the mighty
chieftain advanced toward me. There was an expression of puzzlement
upon his fine features. He crossed the space between the warriors and
myself, halting before me.

I did not speak. I did not even smile. I wanted to see if Ghak, my
principal lieutenant, would recognize me. For some time he stood there
looking me over carefully. His eyes took in my large pith helmet, my
khaki jacket, and bandoleers of cartridges, the two revolvers swinging
at my hips, the large rifle resting against my body. Still I stood
with my

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