The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 54

me!" I set off at a rapid run in the direction of
the harbor.

We ran for the better part of a mile without hearing anything more from
the direction of the harbor, and then I reduced the speed to a walk,
for the exercise was telling on us who had been cooped up for so long
in the confined interior of the U-33. Puffing and panting, we plodded
on until within about a mile of the harbor we came upon a sight that
brought us all up standing. We had been passing through a little
heavier timber than was usual to this part of the country, when we
suddenly emerged into an open space in the center of which was such a
band as might have caused the most courageous to pause. It consisted
of upward of five hundred individuals representing several species
closely allied to man. There were anthropoid apes and gorillas--these
I had no difficulty in recognizing; but there were other forms which I
had never before seen, and I was hard put to it to say whether they
were ape or man. Some of them resembled the corpse we had found upon
the narrow beach against Caprona's sea-wall, while others were of a
still lower type, more nearly resembling the apes, and yet others were
uncannily manlike, standing there erect, being less hairy and
possessing better shaped heads.

There was one among the lot, evidently the leader of them, who bore a
close resemblance to the so-called Neanderthal man of La
Chapelle-aux-Saints. There was the same short, stocky trunk upon which
rested an enormous head habitually bent forward into the same curvature
as the back, the arms shorter than the legs, and the lower leg
considerably shorter than that of modern man, the knees bent forward
and never straightened. This creature and one or two others who
appeared to be of a lower order than he, yet higher than that of the
apes, carried heavy clubs; the others were armed only with giant
muscles and fighting fangs--nature's weapons. All were males, and all
were entirely naked; nor was there upon even the highest among them a
sign of ornamentation.

At sight of us they turned with bared fangs and low growls to confront
us. I did not wish to fire among them unless it became absolutely
necessary, and so I started to lead my party around them; but the
instant that the Neanderthal man guessed my intention, he evidently
attributed it to cowardice upon our part, and with a wild cry he leaped
toward us, waving

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