The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 7

her further to thwart
the chill. But it was of no avail; as I sat watching her, the
moonlight marking out the graceful curves of her slender young body, I
saw her shiver.

"Isn't there something I can do?" I asked. "You can't lie there
chilled through all night. Can't you suggest something?"

She shook her head. "We must grin and bear it," she replied after a
moment.

Nobbler came and lay down on the thwart beside me, his back against my
leg, and I sat staring in dumb misery at the girl, knowing in my heart
of hearts that she might die before morning came, for what with the
shock and exposure, she had already gone through enough to kill almost
any woman. And as I gazed down at her, so small and delicate and
helpless, there was born slowly within my breast a new emotion. It had
never been there before; now it will never cease to be there. It made
me almost frantic in my desire to find some way to keep warm the
cooling lifeblood in her veins. I was cold myself, though I had almost
forgotten it until Nobbler moved and I felt a new sensation of cold
along my leg against which he had lain, and suddenly realized that in
that one spot I had been warm. Like a great light came the
understanding of a means to warm the girl. Immediately I knelt beside
her to put my scheme into practice when suddenly I was overwhelmed with
embarrassment. Would she permit it, even if I could muster the courage
to suggest it? Then I saw her frame convulse, shudderingly, her
muscles reacting to her rapidly lowering temperature, and casting
prudery to the winds, I threw myself down beside her and took her in my
arms, pressing her body close to mine.

She drew away suddenly, voicing a little cry of fright, and tried to
push me from her.

"Forgive me," I managed to stammer. "It is the only way. You will die
of exposure if you are not warmed, and Nobs and I are the only means we
can command for furnishing warmth." And I held her tightly while I
called Nobs and bade him lie down at her back. The girl didn't
struggle any more when she learned my purpose; but she gave two or
three little gasps, and then began to cry softly, burying her face on
my arm, and thus she fell asleep.



Chapter 2

Toward morning, I must have dozed, though it

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