The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 40

the black opening in
the great cliff. It was an opening that would have admitted a
half-dozen U-boats at one and the same time, roughly cylindrical in
contour--and dark as the pit of perdition.

As I gave the command which sent the U-33 slowly ahead, I could not but
feel a certain uncanny presentiment of evil. Where were we going?
What lay at the end of this great sewer? Had we bidden farewell
forever to the sunlight and life, or were there before us dangers even
greater than those which we now faced? I tried to keep my mind from
vain imagining by calling everything which I observed to the eager ears
below. I was the eyes of the whole company, and I did my best not to
fail them. We had advanced a hundred yards, perhaps, when our first
danger confronted us. Just ahead was a sharp right-angle turn in the
tunnel. I could see the river's flotsam hurtling against the rocky
wall upon the left as it was driven on by the mighty current, and I
feared for the safety of the U-33 in making so sharp a turn under such
adverse conditions; but there was nothing for it but to try. I didn't
warn my fellows of the danger--it could have but caused them useless
apprehension, for if we were to be smashed against the rocky wall, no
power on earth could avert the quick end that would come to us. I gave
the command full speed ahead and went charging toward the menace. I
was forced to approach the dangerous left-hand wall in order to make
the turn, and I depended upon the power of the motors to carry us
through the surging waters in safety. Well, we made it; but it was a
narrow squeak. As we swung around, the full force of the current
caught us and drove the stern against the rocks; there was a thud which
sent a tremor through the whole craft, and then a moment of nasty
grinding as the steel hull scraped the rock wall. I expected
momentarily the inrush of waters that would seal our doom; but
presently from below came the welcome word that all was well.

In another fifty yards there was a second turn, this time toward the
left! but it was more of a gentle curve, and we took it without
trouble. After that it was plain sailing, though as far as I could
know, there might be most anything ahead of us, and my

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