The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 42

flapped
the wings of gigantic creatures such as we are taught have been extinct
throughout countless ages.

"Look!" cried Olson. "Would you look at the giraffe comin' up out o'
the bottom of the say?" We looked in the direction he pointed and saw
a long, glossy neck surmounted by a small head rising above the surface
of the river. Presently the back of the creature was exposed, brown
and glossy as the water dripped from it. It turned its eyes upon us,
opened its lizard-like mouth, emitted a shrill hiss and came for us.
The thing must have been sixteen or eighteen feet in length and closely
resembled pictures I had seen of restored plesiosaurs of the lower
Jurassic. It charged us as savagely as a mad bull, and one would have
thought it intended to destroy and devour the mighty U-boat, as I
verily believe it did intend.

We were moving slowly up the river as the creature bore down upon us
with distended jaws. The long neck was far outstretched, and the four
flippers with which it swam were working with powerful strokes,
carrying it forward at a rapid pace. When it reached the craft's side,
the jaws closed upon one of the stanchions of the deck rail and tore it
from its socket as though it had been a toothpick stuck in putty. At
this exhibition of titanic strength I think we all simultaneously
stepped backward, and Bradley drew his revolver and fired. The bullet
struck the thing in the neck, just above its body; but instead of
disabling it, merely increased its rage. Its hissing rose to a shrill
scream as it raised half its body out of water onto the sloping sides
of the hull of the U-33 and endeavored to scramble upon the deck to
devour us. A dozen shots rang out as we who were armed drew our
pistols and fired at the thing; but though struck several times, it
showed no signs of succumbing and only floundered farther aboard the
submarine.

I had noticed that the girl had come on deck and was standing not far
behind me, and when I saw the danger to which we were all exposed, I
turned and forced her toward the hatch. We had not spoken for some
days, and we did not speak now; but she gave me a disdainful look,
which was quite as eloquent as words, and broke loose from my grasp. I
saw I could do nothing with her unless I exerted force, and

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