The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 36

the smallness of the beach, the enormous depth of
surrounding water and the great distance at which Caprona lies from her
nearest neighbor.

As Nobs and I approached the recumbent figure farther up the beach, I
was appraised by my nose that whether man or not, the thing had once been
organic and alive, but that for some time it had been dead. Nobs
halted, sniffed and growled. A little later he sat down upon his
haunches, raised his muzzle to the heavens and bayed forth a most
dismal howl. I shied a small stone at him and bade him shut up--his
uncanny noise made me nervous. When I had come quite close to the
thing, I still could not say whether it had been man or beast. The
carcass was badly swollen and partly decomposed. There was no sign of
clothing upon or about it. A fine, brownish hair covered the chest and
abdomen, and the face, the palms of the hands, the feet, the shoulders
and back were practically hairless. The creature must have been about
the height of a fair sized man; its features were similar to those of a
man; yet had it been a man?

I could not say, for it resembled an ape no more than it did a man.
Its large toes protruded laterally as do those of the semiarboreal
peoples of Borneo, the Philippines and other remote regions where low
types still persist. The countenance might have been that of a cross
between Pithecanthropus, the Java ape-man, and a daughter of the
Piltdown race of prehistoric Sussex. A wooden cudgel lay beside the
corpse.

Now this fact set me thinking. There was no wood of any description in
sight. There was nothing about the beach to suggest a wrecked mariner.
There was absolutely nothing about the body to suggest that it might
possibly in life have known a maritime experience. It was the body of
a low type of man or a high type of beast. In neither instance would
it have been of a seafaring race. Therefore I deduced that it was
native to Caprona--that it lived inland, and that it had fallen or been
hurled from the cliffs above. Such being the case, Caprona was
inhabitable, if not inhabited, by man; but how to reach the inhabitable
interior! That was the question. A closer view of the cliffs than had
been afforded me from the deck of the U-33 only confirmed my conviction
that no mortal man could

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