By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 53

situated the Mahar
city which took such heavy toll of the Thurians.

Thus were the unhappy people now between two fires, with Hooja upon one
side and the Mahars upon the other. I did not wonder that they sent
out an appeal for succor.

Though Ghak and Kolk both attempted to dissuade me, I was determined to
set out at once, nor did I delay longer than to make a copy of my map
to be given to Perry that he might add to his that which I had set down
since we parted. I left a letter for him as well, in which among other
things I advanced the theory that the Sojar Az, or Great Sea, which
Kolk mentioned as stretching eastward from Thuria, might indeed be the
same mighty ocean as that which, swinging around the southern end of a
continent ran northward along the shore opposite Phutra, mingling its
waters with the huge gulf upon which lay Sari, Amoz, and Greenwich.

Against this possibility I urged him to hasten the building of a fleet
of small sailing-vessels, which we might utilize should I find it
impossible to entice Hooja's horde to the mainland.

I told Ghak what I had written, and suggested that as soon as he could
he should make new treaties with the various kingdoms of the empire,
collect an army and march toward Thuria--this of course against the
possibility of my detention through some cause or other.

Kolk gave me a sign to his father--a lidi, or beast of burden, crudely
scratched upon a bit of bone, and beneath the lidi a man and a flower;
all very rudely done perhaps, but none the less effective as I well
knew from my long years among the primitive men of Pellucidar.

The lidi is the tribal beast of the Thurians; the man and the flower in
the combination in which they appeared bore a double significance, as
they constituted not only a message to the effect that the bearer came
in peace, but were also Kolk's signature.

And so, armed with my credentials and my small arsenal, I set out alone
upon my quest for the dearest girl in this world or yours.

Kolk gave me explicit directions, though with my map I do not believe
that I could have gone wrong. As a matter of fact I did not need the
map at all, since the principal landmark of the first half of my
journey, a gigantic mountain-peak, was plainly visible from Sari, though
a good hundred miles away.

At the southern base of this mountain

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