Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 63

perturbation.
I did not want Raja to attack any of the people upon whose friendship I
so greatly depended, nor did I want him injured or slain by them.

I wondered if Raja would stand for a leash. His head as he paced
beside me was level with my hip. I laid my hand upon it caressingly.
As I did so he turned and looked up into my face, his jaws parting and
his red tongue lolling as you have seen your own dog's beneath a love
pat.

"Just been waiting all your life to be tamed and loved, haven't you,
old man?" I asked. "You're nothing but a good pup, and the man who put
the hyaeno in your name ought to be sued for libel."

Raja bared his mighty fangs with upcurled, snarling lips and licked my
hand.

"You're grinning, you old fraud, you!" I cried. "If you're not, I'll
eat you. I'll bet a doughnut you're nothing but some kid's poor old
Fido, masquerading around as a real, live man-eater."

Raja whined. And so we walked on together toward Thuria--I talking to
the beast at my side, and he seeming to enjoy my company no less than I
enjoyed his. If you don't think it's lonesome wandering all by
yourself through savage, unknown Pellucidar, why, just try it, and you
will not wonder that I was glad of the company of this first dog--this
living replica of the fierce and now extinct hyaenodon of the outer
crust that hunted in savage packs the great elk across the snows of
southern France, in the days when the mastodon roamed at will over the
broad continent of which the British Isles were then a part, and
perchance left his footprints and his bones in the sands of Atlantis as
well.

Thus I dreamed as we moved on toward Thuria. My dreaming was rudely
shattered by a savage growl from Raja. I looked down at him. He had
stopped in his tracks as one turned to stone. A thin ridge of stiff
hair bristled along the entire length of his spine. His yellow green
eyes were fastened upon the scrubby jungle at our right.

I fastened my fingers in the bristles at his neck and turned my eyes in
the direction that his pointed. At first I saw nothing. Then a slight
movement of the bushes riveted my attention. I thought it must be some
wild beast, and was glad of the primitive weapons I had taken from the
bodies of

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