The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 85

a beast crumpled in
its tracks!

From my ledge to the base of the cliff is a matter of several thousand
feet of dangerous climbing; yet I venture to say that the first ape
from whose loins my line has descended never could have equaled the
speed with which I literally dropped down the face of that rugged
escarpment. The last two hundred feet is over a steep incline of loose
rubble to the valley bottom, and I had just reached the top of this
when there arose to my ears an agonized cry--"Bowen! Bowen! Quick, my
love, quick!"

I had been too much occupied with the dangers of the descent to glance
down toward the valley; but that cry which told me that it was indeed
Lys, and that she was again in danger, brought my eyes quickly upon her
in time to see a hairy, burly brute seize her and start off at a run
toward the near-by wood. From rock to rock, chamoislike, I leaped
downward toward the valley, in pursuit of Lys and her hideous abductor.

He was heavier than I by many pounds, and so weighted by the burden he
carried that I easily overtook him; and at last he turned, snarling, to
face me. It was Kho of the tribe of Tsa, the hatchet-men. He
recognized me, and with a low growl he threw Lys aside and came for me.
"The she is mine," he cried. "I kill! I kill!"

I had had to discard my rifle before I commenced the rapid descent of
the cliff, so that now I was armed only with a hunting knife, and this
I whipped from its scabbard as Kho leaped toward me. He was a mighty
beast, mightily muscled, and the urge that has made males fight since
the dawn of life on earth filled him with the blood-lust and the thirst
to slay; but not one whit less did it fill me with the same primal
passions. Two abysmal beasts sprang at each other's throats that day
beneath the shadow of earth's oldest cliffs--the man of now and the
man-thing of the earliest, forgotten then, imbued by the same deathless
passion that has come down unchanged through all the epochs, periods
and eras of time from the beginning, and which shall continue to the
incalculable end--woman, the imperishable Alpha and Omega of life.

Kho closed and sought my jugular with his teeth. He seemed to forget
the hatchet dangling by its aurochs-hide thong at his hip, as I forgot,
for the moment,

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