The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 22

Hurrying to the tower, I
looked at the compass. It showed that we were holding steadily upon
our westward course. Either the sun was rising in the south, or the
compass had been tampered with. The conclusion was obvious.

I went back to Bradley and told him what I had discovered. "And," I
concluded, "we can't make another five hundred knots without oil; our
provisions are running low and so is our water. God only knows how far
south we have run."

"There is nothing to do," he replied, "other than to alter our course
once more toward the west; we must raise land soon or we shall all be
lost."

I told him to do so; and then I set to work improvising a crude sextant
with which we finally took our bearings in a rough and most
unsatisfactory manner; for when the work was done, we did not know how
far from the truth the result might be. It showed us to be about 20º
north and 30º west--nearly twenty-five hundred miles off our course.
In short, if our reading was anywhere near correct, we must have been
traveling due south for six days. Bradley now relieved Benson, for we
had arranged our shifts so that the latter and Olson now divided the
nights, while Bradley and I alternated with one another during the days.

I questioned both Olson and Benson closely in the matter of the
compass; but each stoutly maintained that no one had tampered with it
during his tour of duty. Benson gave me a knowing smile, as much as to
say: "Well, you and I know who did this." Yet I could not believe
that it was the girl.

We kept to our westerly course for several hours when the lookout's cry
announced a sail. I ordered the U-33's course altered, and we bore
down upon the stranger, for I had come to a decision which was the
result of necessity. We could not lie there in the middle of the
Atlantic and starve to death if there was any way out of it. The
sailing ship saw us while we were still a long way off, as was
evidenced by her efforts to escape. There was scarcely any wind,
however, and her case was hopeless; so when we drew near and signaled
her to stop, she came into the wind and lay there with her sails
flapping idly. We moved in quite close to her. She was the Balmen of
Halmstad, Sweden, with a general

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