Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 66

that
the robber must have taken the token too; but they didn't believe me.
As proof that I was one of Hooja's people, they pointed to my weapons,
which they said were ornamented like those of the island clan.
Further, they said that no good man went in company with a jalok--and
that by this line of reasoning I certainly was a bad man.

I saw that they were not naturally a war-like tribe, for they preferred
that I leave in peace rather than force them to attack me, whereas the
Sarians would have killed a suspicious stranger first and inquired into
his purposes later.

I think Raja sensed their antagonism, for he kept tugging at his leash
and growling ominously. They were a bit in awe of him, and kept at a
safe distance. It was evident that they could not comprehend why it
was that this savage brute did not turn upon me and rend me.

I wasted a long time there trying to persuade Goork to accept me at my
own valuation, but he was too canny. The best he would do was to give
us food, which he did, and direct me as to the safest portion of the
island upon which to attempt a landing, though even as he told me I am
sure that he thought my request for information but a blind to deceive
him as to my true knowledge of the insular stronghold.

At last I turned away from them--rather disheartened, for I had hoped
to be able to enlist a considerable force of them in an attempt to rush
Hooja's horde and rescue Dian. Back along the beach toward the hidden
canoe we made our way.

By the time we came to the cairn I was dog-tired. Throwing myself upon
the sand I soon slept, and with Raja stretched out beside me I felt a
far greater security than I had enjoyed for a long time.

I awoke much refreshed to find Raja's eyes glued upon me. The moment I
opened mine he rose, stretched himself, and without a backward glance
plunged into the jungle. For several minutes I could hear him crashing
through the brush. Then all was silent.

I wondered if he had left me to return to his fierce pack. A feeling
of loneliness overwhelmed me. With a sigh I turned to the work of
dragging the canoe down to the sea. As I entered the jungle where the
dugout lay a hare darted from beneath the boat's side, and a

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