The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 71

remain if
she is afraid, and we will keep her; but the he must depart."

"The he won't depart," I replied, and approached still nearer. Rough
and narrow ledges formed by nature gave access to the upper caves. A
man might scale them if unhampered and unhindered, but to clamber
upward in the face of a belligerent tribe of half-men and with a girl
to assist was beyond my capability.

"I do not fear you," screamed the creature. "You were close to Tsa;
but I am far above you. You cannot harm me as you harmed Tsa. Go away!"

I placed a foot upon the lowest ledge and clambered upward, reaching
down and pulling Lys to my side. Already I felt safer. Soon we would
be out of danger of the beasts again closing in upon us. The man above
us raised his stone hatchet above his head and leaped lightly down to
meet us. His position above me gave him a great advantage, or at least
so he probably thought, for he came with every show of confidence. I
hated to do it, but there seemed no other way, and so I shot him down
as I had shot down Tsa.

"You see," I cried to his fellows, "that I can kill you wherever you
may be. A long way off I can kill you as well as I can kill you near
by. Let us come among you in peace. I will not harm you if you do not
harm us. We will take a cave high up. Speak!"

"Come, then," said one. "If you will not harm us, you may come. Take
Tsa's hole, which lies above you."

The creature showed us the mouth of a black cave, but he kept at a
distance while he did it, and Lys followed me as I crawled in to
explore. I had matches with me, and in the light of one I found a
small cavern with a flat roof and floor which followed the cleavage of
the strata. Pieces of the roof had fallen at some long-distant date,
as was evidenced by the depth of the filth and rubble in which they
were embedded. Even a superficial examination revealed the fact that
nothing had ever been attempted that might have improved the livability
of the cavern; nor, should I judge, had it ever been cleaned out. With
considerable difficulty I loosened some of the larger pieces of broken
rock which littered the floor and placed

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