The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 5

parted; and one hand was raised
toward me in a mute appeal for succor. She lived! She was not dead! I
leaned over the boat's side and drew her quickly in to the comparative
safety which God had given me. I removed her life-belt and my soggy
coat and made a pillow for her head. I chafed her hands and arms and
feet. I worked over her for an hour, and at last I was rewarded by a
deep sigh, and again those great eyes opened and looked into mine.

At that I was all embarrassment. I have never been a ladies' man; at
Leland-Stanford I was the butt of the class because of my hopeless
imbecility in the presence of a pretty girl; but the men liked me,
nevertheless. I was rubbing one of her hands when she opened her eyes,
and I dropped it as though it were a red-hot rivet. Those eyes took me
in slowly from head to foot; then they wandered slowly around the
horizon marked by the rising and falling gunwales of the lifeboat.
They looked at Nobs and softened, and then came back to me filled with
questioning.

"I--I--" I stammered, moving away and stumbling over the next thwart.
The vision smiled wanly.

"Aye-aye, sir!" she replied faintly, and again her lips drooped, and
her long lashes swept the firm, fair texture of her skin.

"I hope that you are feeling better," I finally managed to say.

"Do you know," she said after a moment of silence, "I have been awake
for a long time! But I did not dare open my eyes. I thought I must be
dead, and I was afraid to look, for fear that I should see nothing but
blackness about me. I am afraid to die! Tell me what happened after
the ship went down. I remember all that happened before--oh, but I wish
that I might forget it!" A sob broke her voice. "The beasts!" she
went on after a moment. "And to think that I was to have married one
of them--a lieutenant in the German navy."

Presently she resumed as though she had not ceased speaking. "I went
down and down and down. I thought I should never cease to sink. I
felt no particular distress until I suddenly started upward at
ever-increasing velocity; then my lungs seemed about to burst, and I
must have lost consciousness, for I remember nothing more until I
opened my eyes after listening to a torrent of invective against
Germany

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