The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 8

seemed to me at the time
that I had lain awake for days, instead of hours. When I finally
opened my eyes, it was daylight, and the girl's hair was in my face,
and she was breathing normally. I thanked God for that. She had
turned her head during the night so that as I opened my eyes I saw her
face not an inch from mine, my lips almost touching hers.

It was Nobs who finally awoke her. He got up, stretched, turned around
a few times and lay down again, and the girl opened her eyes and looked
into mine. Hers went very wide at first, and then slowly comprehension
came to her, and she smiled.

"You have been very good to me," she said, as I helped her to rise,
though if the truth were known I was more in need of assistance than
she; the circulation all along my left side seeming to be paralyzed
entirely. "You have been very good to me." And that was the only
mention she ever made of it; yet I know that she was thankful and that
only reserve prevented her from referring to what, to say the least,
was an embarrassing situation, however unavoidable.

Shortly after daylight we saw smoke apparently coming straight toward
us, and after a time we made out the squat lines of a tug--one of those
fearless exponents of England's supremacy of the sea that tows sailing
ships into French and English ports. I stood up on a thwart and waved
my soggy coat above my head. Nobs stood upon another and barked. The
girl sat at my feet straining her eyes toward the deck of the oncoming
boat. "They see us," she said at last. "There is a man answering your
signal." She was right. A lump came into my throat--for her sake
rather than for mine. She was saved, and none too soon. She could not
have lived through another night upon the Channel; she might not have
lived through the coming day.

The tug came close beside us, and a man on deck threw us a rope.
Willing hands dragged us to the deck, Nobs scrambling nimbly aboard
without assistance. The rough men were gentle as mothers with the
girl. Plying us both with questions they hustled her to the captain's
cabin and me to the boiler-room. They told the girl to take off her
wet clothes and throw them outside the door that they might be dried,
and then to slip into

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