The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 78

would do so tomorrow, that it was too late today and that I
might come to their village and spend the night with them. I was loath
to lose so much time; but the fellow was obdurate, and so I accompanied
them. The two dead men they left where they had fallen, nor gave them
a second glance--thus cheap is life upon Caspak.

These people also were cave-dwellers, but their caves showed the result
of a higher intelligence that brought them a step nearer to civilized
man than the tribe next "toward the beginning." The interiors of their
caverns were cleared of rubbish, though still far from clean, and they
had pallets of dried grasses covered with the skins of leopard, lynx,
and bear, while before the entrances were barriers of stone and small,
rudely circular stone ovens. The walls of the cavern to which I was
conducted were covered with drawings scratched upon the sandstone.
There were the outlines of the giant red-deer, of mammoths, of tigers
and other beasts. Here, as in the last tribe, there were no children
or any old people. The men of this tribe had two names, or rather
names of two syllables, and their language contained words of two
syllables; whereas in the tribe of Tsa the words were all of a single
syllable, with the exception of a very few like Atis and Galus. The
chief's name was To-jo, and his household consisted of seven females
and himself. These women were much more comely, or rather less hideous
than those of Tsa's people; one of them, even, was almost pretty, being
less hairy and having a rather nice skin, with high coloring.

They were all much interested in me and examined my clothing and
equipment carefully, handling and feeling and smelling of each article.
I learned from them that their people were known as Band-lu, or
spear-men; Tsa's race was called Sto-lu--hatchet-men. Below these in
the scale of evolution came the Bo-lu, or club-men, and then the Alus,
who had no weapons and no language. In that word I recognized what to
me seemed the most remarkable discovery I had made upon Caprona, for
unless it were mere coincidence, I had come upon a word that had been
handed down from the beginning of spoken language upon earth, been
handed down for millions of years, perhaps, with little change. It was
the sole remaining thread of the ancient woof of a dawning culture
which had been woven when Caprona was a fiery mount upon a great

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