The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 80

it is locked in the bosom of
the Sphinx. Who knows? I do not.

Thinking the thoughts of a lunatic or a dope-fiend, I fell asleep; and
when I awoke, my hands and feet were securely tied and my weapons had
been taken from me. How they did it without awakening me I cannot tell
you. It was humiliating, but it was true. To-jo stood above me. The
early light of morning was dimly filtering into the cave.

"Tell me," he demanded, "how to throw a man over my head and break his
neck, for I am going to kill you, and I wish to know this thing before
you die."

Of all the ingenuous declarations I have ever heard, this one copped
the proverbial bun. It struck me as so funny that, even in the face of
death, I laughed. Death, I may remark here, had, however, lost much of
his terror for me. I had become a disciple of Lys' fleeting philosophy
of the valuelessness of human life. I realized that she was quite
right--that we were but comic figures hopping from the cradle to the
grave, of interest to practically no other created thing than ourselves
and our few intimates.

Behind To-jo stood So-ta. She raised one hand with the palm toward
me--the Caspakian equivalent of a negative shake of the head.

"Let me think about it," I parried, and To-jo said that he would wait
until night. He would give me a day to think it over; then he left,
and the women left--the men for the hunt, and the women, as I later
learned from So-ta, for the warm pool where they immersed their bodies
as did the shes of the Sto-lu. "Ata," explained So-ta, when I
questioned her as to the purpose of this matutinal rite; but that was
later.

I must have lain there bound and uncomfortable for two or three hours
when at last So-ta entered the cave. She carried a sharp knife--mine,
in fact, and with it she cut my bonds.

"Come!" she said. "So-ta will go with you back to the Galus. It is
time that So-ta left the Band-lu. Together we will go to the Kro-lu,
and after that the Galus. To-jo will kill you tonight. He will kill
So-ta if he knows that So-ta aided you. We will go together."

"I will go with you to the Kro-lu," I replied, "but then I must return
to my own people `toward the beginning.'"

"You cannot go back," she said.

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