Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 67

well-aimed
cast of my javelin brought it down. I was hungry--I had not realized
it before--so I sat upon the edge of the canoe and devoured my repast.
The last remnants gone, I again busied myself with preparations for my
expedition to the island.

I did not know for certain that Dian was there; but I surmised as much.
Nor could I guess what obstacles might confront me in an effort to
rescue her. For a time I loitered about after I had the canoe at the
water's edge, hoping against hope that Raja would return; but he did
not, so I shoved the awkward craft through the surf and leaped into it.

I was still a little downcast by the desertion of my new-found friend,
though I tried to assure myself that it was nothing but what I might
have expected.

The savage brute had served me well in the short time that we had been
together, and had repaid his debt of gratitude to me, since he had
saved my life, or at least my liberty, no less certainly than I had
saved his life when he was injured and drowning.

The trip across the water to the island was uneventful. I was mighty
glad to be in the sunshine again when I passed out of the shadow of the
dead world about half-way between the mainland and the island. The hot
rays of the noonday sun did a great deal toward raising my spirits, and
dispelling the mental gloom in which I had been shrouded almost
continually since entering the Land of Awful Shadow. There is nothing
more dispiriting to me than absence of sunshine.

I had paddled to the southwestern point, which Goork said he believed
to be the least frequented portion of the island, as he had never seen
boats put off from there. I found a shallow reef running far out into
the sea and rather precipitous cliffs running almost to the surf. It
was a nasty place to land, and I realized now why it was not used by
the natives; but at last I managed, after a good wetting, to beach my
canoe and scale the cliffs.

The country beyond them appeared more open and park-like than I had
anticipated, since from the mainland the entire coast that is visible
seems densely clothed with tropical jungle. This jungle, as I could
see from the vantage-point of the cliff-top, formed but a relatively
narrow strip between the sea and the more open forest and meadow of the
interior. Farther back

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