By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 56

distance at sea, a great island. This I assumed
to be the stronghold of Hooja, nor did I doubt that upon it even now
was Dian.

The way was most difficult, since shortly after leaving the river I
encountered lofty cliffs split by numerous long, narrow fiords, each of
which necessitated a considerable detour. As the crow flies it is
about twenty miles from the mouth of the river to Thuria, but before I
had covered half of it I was fagged. There was no familiar fruit or
vegetable growing upon the rocky soil of the cliff-tops, and I would
have fared ill for food had not a hare broken cover almost beneath my

I carried bow and arrows to conserve my ammunition-supply, but so quick
was the little animal that I had no time to draw and fit a shaft. In
fact my dinner was a hundred yards away and going like the proverbial
bat when I dropped my six-shooter on it. It was a pretty shot and when
coupled with a good dinner made me quite contented with myself.

After eating I lay down and slept. When I awoke I was scarcely so
self-satisfied, for I had not more than opened my eyes before I became
aware of the presence, barely a hundred yards from me, of a pack of
some twenty huge wolf-dogs--the things which Perry insisted upon
calling hyaenodons--and almost simultaneously I discovered that while I
slept my revolvers, rifle, bow, arrows, and knife had been stolen from

And the wolf-dog pack was preparing to rush me.



I have never been much of a runner; I hate running. But if ever a
sprinter broke into smithereens all world's records it was I that day
when I fled before those hideous beasts along the narrow spit of rocky
cliff between two narrow fiords toward the Sojar Az. Just as I reached
the verge of the cliff the foremost of the brutes was upon me. He
leaped and closed his massive jaws upon my shoulder.

The momentum of his flying body, added to that of my own, carried the
two of us over the cliff. It was a hideous fall. The cliff was almost
perpendicular. At its foot broke the sea against a solid wall of rock.

We struck the cliff-face once in our descent and then plunged into the
salt sea. With the impact with the water the hyaenodon released his
hold upon my shoulder.

As I came sputtering to the surface I looked about

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