Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 69

hand. I peered to left and right,
but I saw nothing. Then, all quite suddenly, there fell about my neck
and shoulders, around my arms and body, a number of pliant fiber ropes.

In a jiffy I was trussed up as neatly as you might wish. One of the
nooses dropped to my ankles and was jerked up with a suddenness that
brought me to my face upon the ground. Then something heavy and hairy
sprang upon my back. I fought to draw my knife, but hairy hands
grasped my wrists and, dragging them behind my back, bound them
securely.

Next my feet were bound. Then I was turned over upon my back to look
up into the faces of my captors.

And what faces! Imagine if you can a cross between a sheep and a
gorilla, and you will have some conception of the physiognomy of the
creature that bent close above me, and of those of the half-dozen
others that clustered about. There was the facial length and great
eyes of the sheep, and the bull-neck and hideous fangs of the gorilla.
The bodies and limbs were both man and gorilla-like.

As they bent over me they conversed in a mono-syllabic tongue that was
perfectly intelligible to me. It was something of a simplified
language that had no need for aught but nouns and verbs, but such words
as it included were the same as those of the human beings of
Pellucidar. It was amplified by many gestures which filled in the
speech-gaps.

I asked them what they intended doing with me; but, like our own North
American Indians when questioned by a white man, they pretended not to
understand me. One of them swung me to his shoulder as lightly as if I
had been a shoat. He was a huge creature, as were his fellows,
standing fully seven feet upon his short legs and weighing considerably
more than a quarter of a ton.

Two went ahead of my bearer and three behind. In this order we cut to
the right through the forest to the foot of the hill where precipitous
cliffs appeared to bar our farther progress in this direction. But my
escort never paused. Like ants upon a wall, they scaled that seemingly
unscalable barrier, clinging, Heaven knows how, to its ragged
perpendicular face. During most of the short journey to the summit I
must admit that my hair stood on end. Presently, however, we topped
the thing and stood upon the level mesa

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