Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 95

urged me not to attempt it,
since we had but a single paddle and no water or food. I had to admit
the wisdom of his advice, but the desire to explore this great waterway
was strong upon me, arousing in me at last a determination to make the
attempt after first gaining the mainland and rectifying our
deficiencies.

We landed several miles north of Thuria in a little cove that seemed to
offer protection from the heavier seas which sometimes run, even upon
these usually pacific oceans of Pellucidar. Here I outlined to Dian
and Juag the plans I had in mind. They were to fit the canoe with a
small sail, the purposes of which I had to explain to them both--since
neither had ever seen or heard of such a contrivance before. Then they
were to hunt for food which we could transport with us, and prepare a
receptacle for water.

These two latter items were more in Juag's line, but he kept muttering
about the sail and the wind for a long time. I could see that he was
not even half convinced that any such ridiculous contraption could make
a canoe move through the water.

We hunted near the coast for a while, but were not rewarded with any
particular luck. Finally we decided to hide the canoe and strike
inland in search of game. At Juag's suggestion we dug a hole in the
sand at the upper edge of the beach and buried the craft, smoothing the
surface over nicely and throwing aside the excess material we had
excavated. Then we set out away from the sea. Traveling in Thuria is
less arduous than under the midday sun which perpetually glares down on
the rest of Pellucidar's surface; but it has its draw-backs, one of
which is the depressing influence exerted by the everlasting shade of
the Land of Awful Shadow.

The farther inland we went the darker it became, until we were moving
at last through an endless twilight. The vegetation here was sparse
and of a weird, colorless nature, though what did grow was wondrous in
shape and form. Often we saw huge lidi, or beasts of burden, striding
across the dim landscape, browsing upon the grotesque vegetation or
drinking from the slow and sullen rivers that run down from the Lidi
Plains to empty into the sea in Thuria.

What we sought was either a thag--a sort of gigantic elk--or one of the
larger species of antelope, the flesh of either of which dries nicely
in the

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