The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 44

at high speed, I gave orders to reduce and moved slowly
and majestically through the plunging, hissing mass. I was mighty glad
that our entrance into the interior of Caprona had been inside a
submarine rather than in any other form of vessel. I could readily
understand how it might have been that Caprona had been invaded in the
past by venturesome navigators without word of it ever reaching the
outside world, for I can assure you that only by submarine could man
pass up that great sluggish river, alive.

We proceeded up the river for some forty miles before darkness overtook
us. I was afraid to submerge and lie on the bottom overnight for fear
that the mud might be deep enough to hold us, and as we could not hold
with the anchor, I ran in close to shore, and in a brief interim of
attack from the reptiles we made fast to a large tree. We also dipped
up some of the river water and found it, though quite warm, a little
sweeter than before. We had food enough, and with the water we were all
quite refreshed; but we missed fresh meat. It had been weeks, now,
since we had tasted it, and the sight of the reptiles gave me an
idea--that a steak or two from one of them might not be bad eating. So
I went on deck with a rifle, twenty of which were aboard the U-33. At
sight of me a huge thing charged and climbed to the deck. I retreated
to the top of the conning-tower, and when it had raised its mighty bulk
to the level of the little deck on which I stood, I let it have a
bullet right between the eyes.

The thing stopped then and looked at me a moment as much as to say:
"Why this thing has a stinger! I must be careful." And then it reached
out its long neck and opened its mighty jaws and grabbed for me; but I
wasn't there. I had tumbled backward into the tower, and I mighty near
killed myself doing it. When I glanced up, that little head on the end
of its long neck was coming straight down on top of me, and once more I
tumbled into greater safety, sprawling upon the floor of the centrale.

Olson was looking up, and seeing what was poking about in the tower,
ran for an ax; nor did he hesitate a moment when he returned with one,

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