The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 74

and filled with
billions of tadpoles. They waded in to where the water was about a
foot deep and lay down in the mud. They remained there from one to two
hours and then returned to the cliff. While we were with them, we saw
this same thing repeated every morning; but though we asked them why
they did it we could get no reply which was intelligible to us. All
they vouchsafed in way of explanation was the single word Ata. They
tried to get Lys to go in with them and could not understand why she
refused. After the first day I went hunting with the men, leaving my
pistol and Nobs with Lys, but she never had to use them, for no reptile
or beast ever approached the pool while the women were there--nor, so
far as we know, at other times. There was no spoor of wild beast in
the soft mud along the banks, and the water certainly didn't look fit
to drink.

This tribe lived largely upon the smaller animals which they bowled
over with their stone hatchets after making a wide circle about their
quarry and driving it so that it had to pass close to one of their
number. The little horses and the smaller antelope they secured in
sufficient numbers to support life, and they also ate numerous
varieties of fruits and vegetables. They never brought in more than
sufficient food for their immediate needs; but why bother? The food
problem of Caspak is not one to cause worry to her inhabitants.

The fourth day Lys told me that she thought she felt equal to
attempting the return journey on the morrow, and so I set out for the
hunt in high spirits, for I was anxious to return to the fort and learn
if Bradley and his party had returned and what had been the result of
his expedition. I also wanted to relieve their minds as to Lys and
myself, as I knew that they must have already given us up for dead. It
was a cloudy day, though warm, as it always is in Caspak. It seemed
odd to realize that just a few miles away winter lay upon the
storm-tossed ocean, and that snow might be falling all about Caprona;
but no snow could ever penetrate the damp, hot atmosphere of the great
crater.

We had to go quite a bit farther than usual before we could surround a
little bunch of antelope, and as I was helping

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