Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 50

lied until he had turned the kingdoms one
against another and destroyed the federation.

"When we had him in our power we were foolish to let him live. Next
time--"

Ghak did not need to finish his sentence.

"He has become a very powerful enemy now," I replied. "That he is
allied in some way with the Mahars is evidenced by the familiarity of
his relations with the Sagoths who were accompanying me in search of
the great secret, for it must have been Hooja whom I saw conversing
with them just before we reached the valley. Doubtless they told him
of our quest and he hastened on ahead of us, discovered the cave and
stole the document. Well does he deserve his appellation of the Sly
One."

With Ghak and his head men I held a number of consultations. The
upshot of them was a decision to combine our search for Dian with an
attempt to rebuild the crumbled federation. To this end twenty
warriors were despatched in pairs to ten of the leading kingdoms, with
instructions to make every effort to discover the whereabouts of Hooja
and Dian, while prosecuting their missions to the chieftains to whom
they were sent.

Ghak was to remain at home to receive the various delegations which we
invited to come to Sari on the business of the federation. Four
hundred warriors were started for Anoroc to fetch Perry and the
contents of the prospector, to the capitol of the empire, which was
also the principal settlements of the Sarians.

At first it was intended that I remain at Sari, that I might be in
readiness to hasten forth at the first report of the discovery of Dian;
but I found the inaction in the face of my deep solicitude for the
welfare of my mate so galling that scarce had the several units
departed upon their missions before I, too, chafed to be actively
engaged upon the search.

It was after my second sleep, subsequent to the departure of the
warriors, as I recall, that I at last went to Ghak with the admission
that I could no longer support the intolerable longing to be personally
upon the trail of my lost love.

Ghak tried to dissuade me, though I could tell that his heart was with
me in my wish to be away and really doing something. It was while we
were arguing upon the subject that a stranger, with hands above his
head, entered the village. He was immediately surrounded by warriors
and conducted to Ghak's presence.

The fellow was a

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