The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 12

personally announced
it to the eager, waiting men.

"Men," I said, stepping forward to the handrail and looking down into
their upturned, bronzed faces, "you are anxiously awaiting information
as to the ship's position. It has been determined at latitude fifty
degrees seven minutes north, longitude twenty degrees sixteen minutes
west."

I paused and a buzz of animated comment ran through the massed men
beneath me. "Beyond thirty. But there will be no change in commanding
officers, in routine or in discipline, until after we have docked again
in New York."

As I ceased speaking and stepped back from the rail there was a roar of
applause from the deck such as I never before had heard aboard a ship
of peace. It recalled to my mind tales that I had read of the good old
days when naval vessels were built to fight, when ships of peace had
been man-of-war, and guns had flashed in other than futile target
practice, and decks had run red with blood.

With the subsistence of the sea, we were able to go to work upon the
damaged engines to some effect, and I also set men to examining the
gravitation-screen generators with a view to putting them in working
order should it prove not beyond our resources.

For two weeks we labored at the engines, which indisputably showed
evidence of having been tampered with. I appointed a board to
investigate and report upon the disaster. But it accomplished nothing
other than to convince me that there were several officers upon it who
were in full sympathy with Johnson, for, though no charges had been
preferred against him, the board went out of its way specifically to
exonerate him in its findings.

All this time we were drifting almost due east. The work upon the
engines had progressed to such an extent that within a few hours we
might expect to be able to proceed under our own power westward in the
direction of Pan-American waters.

To relieve the monotony I had taken to fishing, and early that morning
I had departed from the Coldwater in one of the boats on such an
excursion. A gentle west wind was blowing. The sea shimmered in the
sunlight. A cloudless sky canopied the west for our sport, as I had
made it a point never voluntarily to make an inch toward the east that
I could avoid. At least, they should not be able to charge me with a
willful violation of the dead lines regulation.

I had with me only the boat's ordinary

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