By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 96

sun. The bladder of the thag would make a fine water-bottle,
and its skin, I figured, would be a good sail. We traveled a
considerable distance inland, entirely crossing the Land of Awful
Shadow and emerging at last upon that portion of the Lidi Plains which
lies in the pleasant sunlight. Above us the pendent world revolved
upon its axis, filling me especially--and Dian to an almost equal
state--with wonder and insatiable curiosity as to what strange forms of
life existed among the hills and valleys and along the seas and rivers,
which we could plainly see.

Before us stretched the horizonless expanses of vast Pellucidar, the
Lidi Plains rolling up about us, while hanging high in the heavens to
the northwest of us I thought I discerned the many towers which marked
the entrances to the distant Mahar city, whose inhabitants preyed upon
the Thurians.

Juag suggested that we travel to the northeast, where, he said, upon
the verge of the plain we would find a wooded country in which game
should be plentiful. Acting upon his advice, we came at last to a
forest-jungle, through which wound innumerable game-paths. In the
depths of this forbidding wood we came upon the fresh spoor of thag.

Shortly after, by careful stalking, we came within javelin-range of a
small herd. Selecting a great bull, Juag and I hurled our weapons
simultaneously, Dian reserving hers for an emergency. The beast
staggered to his feet, bellowing. The rest of the herd was up and away
in an instant, only the wounded bull remaining, with lowered head and
roving eyes searching for the foe.

Then Juag exposed himself to the view of the bull--it is a part of the
tactics of the hunt--while I stepped to one side behind a bush. The
moment that the savage beast saw Juag he charged him. Juag ran
straight away, that the bull might be lured past my hiding-place. On
he came--tons of mighty bestial strength and rage.

Dian had slipped behind me. She, too, could fight a thag should
emergency require. Ah, such a girl! A rightful empress of a stone age
by every standard which two worlds might bring to measure her!

Crashing down toward us came the bull thag, bellowing and snorting,
with the power of a hundred outer-earthly bulls. When he was opposite
me I sprang for the heavy mane that covered his huge neck. To tangle
my fingers in it was the work of but an instant. Then I was running
along at the

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