Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 90

least so I
thought at the moment.

"Quick!" I urged Dian. "You cannot dive; but I can hold them until you
reach safety."

"And you?" she asked once more. "Can you dive when they come too
close? Otherwise you could not escape if you waited here until I
reached the bottom."

I saw that she would not leave me unless she thought that I could make
that frightful dive as we had seen Juag make it. I glanced once
downward; then with a mental shrug I assured her that I would dive the
moment that she reached the boat. Satisfied, she began the descent
carefully, yet swiftly. I watched her for a moment, my heart in my
mouth lest some slight mis-step or the slipping of a finger-hold should
pitch her to a frightful death upon the rocks below.

Then I turned toward the advancing Hoojans--"Hoosiers," Perry dubbed
them--even going so far as to christen this island where Hooja held
sway Indiana; it is so marked now upon our maps. They were coming on
at a great rate. I raised my revolver, took deliberate aim at the
foremost warrior, and pulled the trigger. With the bark of the gun the
fellow lunged forward. His head doubled beneath him. He rolled over
and over two or three times before he came to a stop, to lie very
quietly in the thick grass among the brilliant wild flowers.

Those behind him halted. One of them hurled a javelin toward me, but
it fell short--they were just beyond javelin-range. There were two
armed with bows and arrows; these I kept my eyes on. All of them
appeared awe-struck and frightened by the sound and effect of the
firearm. They kept looking from the corpse to me and jabbering among
themselves.

I took advantage of the lull in hostilities to throw a quick glance
over the edge toward Dian. She was half-way down the cliff and
progressing finely. Then I turned back toward the enemy. One of the
bowmen was fitting an arrow to his bow. I raised my hand.

"Stop!" I cried. "Whoever shoots at me or advances toward me I shall
kill as I killed him!"

I pointed at the dead man. The fellow lowered his bow. Again there
was animated discussion. I could see that those who were not armed
with bows were urging something upon the two who were.

At last the majority appeared to prevail, for simu-taneously the two
archers raised their weapons. At

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