Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 79

that on which dwelt the tribe of Gr-gr-gr.

As I sat gazing at it a figure appeared at the very edge. It was that
of a young girl in whose hair was a gorgeous bloom plucked from some
flowering tree of the forest. I had seen her pass beneath me but a
short while before and enter the small cave that had swallowed all of
the returning tribesmen.

The mystery was solved. The cave was but the mouth of a passage that
led upward through the cliff to the summit of the hill. It served
merely as an avenue from their lofty citadel to the valley below.

No sooner had the truth flashed upon me than the realization came that
I must seek some other means of reaching the village, for to pass
unobserved through this well-traveled thoroughfare would be impossible.
At the moment there was no one in sight below me, so I slid quickly
from my arboreal watch-tower to the ground and moved rapidly away to
the right with the intention of circling the hill if necessary until I
had found an unwatched spot where I might have some slight chance of
scaling the heights and reaching the top unseen.

I kept close to the edge of the forest, in the very midst of which the
hill seemed to rise. Though I carefully scanned the cliff as I
traversed its base, I saw no sign of any other entrance than that to
which my guides had led me.

After some little time the roar of the sea broke upon my ears. Shortly
after I came upon the broad ocean which breaks at this point at the
very foot of the great hill where Hooja had found safe refuge for
himself and his villains.

I was just about to clamber along the jagged rocks which lie at the
base of the cliff next to the sea, in search of some foothold to the
top, when I chanced to see a canoe rounding the end of the island. I
threw myself down behind a large boulder where I could watch the
dugout and its occupants without myself being seen.

They paddled toward me for a while and then, about a hundred yards from
me, they turned straight in toward the foot of the frowning cliffs.
From where I was it seemed that they were bent upon self-destruction,
since the roar of the breakers beating upon the perpendicular rock-face
appeared to offer only death to any one who might venture within their
relentless clutch.

A mass of rock would soon

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