By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 83

she would be able to learn
the whereabouts of her mate. Just now I was going to the other end of
the island to see if a boat lay there, and if the way was clear for our
escape. Most of the boats are always away now, for a great many of
Hooja's men and nearly all the slaves are upon the Island of Trees,
where Hooja is having many boats built to carry his warriors across the
water to the mouth of a great river which he discovered while he was
returning from Phutra--a vast river that empties into the sea there."

The speaker pointed toward the northeast. "It is wide and smooth and
slow-running almost to the land of Sari," he added.

"And where is Dian the Beautiful One now?" I asked.

I had released my prisoner as soon as I found that he was Hooja's
enemy, and now the pair of us were squat-ting beside the boulder while
he told his story.

"She returned to the cave where she had been imprisoned," he replied,
"and is awaiting me there."

"There is no danger that Hooja will come while you are away?"

"Hooja is upon the Island of Trees," he replied.

"Can you direct me to the cave so that I can find it alone?" I asked.

He said he could, and in the strange yet explicit fashion of the
Pellucidarians he explained minutely how I might reach the cave where
he had been imprisoned, and through the hole in its wall reach Dian.

I thought it best for but one of us to return, since two could
accomplish but little more than one and would double the risk of
discovery. In the meantime he could make his way to the sea and guard
the boat, which I told him lay there at the foot of the cliff.

I told him to await us at the cliff-top, and if Dian came alone to do
his best to get away with her and take her to Sari, as I thought it
quite possible that, in case of detection and pursuit, it might be
necessary for me to hold off Hooja's people while Dian made her way
alone to where my new friend was to await her. I impressed upon him
the fact that he might have to resort to trickery or even to force to
get Dian to leave me; but I made him promise that he would sacrifice
everything, even his life, in an attempt to rescue Dacor's sister.

Then we parted--he

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" Note: I have made the following changes to the text: PAGE LINE ORIGINAL CHANGED TO 25 10 noislessly noiselessly 40 34 hole bole 41 45 later latter 53 43 but "but 66 19 half-smiled half-smile 69 45 to many too many 75 16 fine find 81 3 forth fourth 86 14 hoplessly hopelessly 86 42 interferred interfered 93 15 born borne 101 40 Englishman Englishmen 108 16 divertisements divertissements 110 29 asid .