Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 89

in my arms just for an instant--I felt,
somehow, that it might be for the last time. For the life of me I
couldn't see how both of us could escape.

I asked her if she could make the descent alone--if she were not
afraid. She smiled up at me bravely and shrugged her shoulders. She
afraid! So beautiful is she that I am always having difficulty in
remembering that she is a primitive, half-savage cave girl of the stone
age, and often find myself mentally limiting her capacities to those of
the effete and overcivilized beauties of the outer crust.

"And you?" she asked as she swung over the edge of the cliff.

"I shall follow you after I take a shot or two at our friends," I
replied. "I just want to give them a taste of this new medicine which
is going to cure Pellucidar of all its ills. That will stop them long
enough for me to join you. Now hurry, and tell Juag to be ready to
shove off the moment I reach the boat, or the instant that it becomes
apparent that I cannot reach it.

"You, Dian, must return to Sari if anything happens to me, that you may
devote your life to carrying out with Perry the hopes and plans for
Pellucidar that are so dear to my heart. Promise me, dear."

She hated to promise to desert me, nor would she; only shaking her head
and making no move to descend. The tribesmen were nearing us. Juag
was shouting up to us from below. It was evident that he realized from
my actions that I was attempting to persuade Dian to descend, and that
grave danger threatened us from above.

"Dive!" he cried. "Dive!"

I looked at Dian and then down at the abyss below us. The cove appeared
no larger than a saucer. How Juag ever had hit it I could not guess.

"Dive!" cried Juag. "It is the only way--there is no time to climb
down."



CHAPTER XI

ESCAPE

Dian glanced downward and shuddered. Her tribe were hill people--they
were not accustomed to swimming other than in quiet rivers and placid
lakelets. It was not the steep that appalled her. It was the
ocean--vast, mysterious, terrible.

To dive into it from this great height was beyond her. I couldn't
wonder, either. To have attempted it myself seemed too preposterous
even for thought. Only one consideration could have prompted me to
leap headforemost from that giddy height--suicide; or at

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