The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 15

cruise, and this time, among others, I have maps of
Europe and her surrounding waters. I was studying them as we came away
from the Coldwater this morning, and luckily I have them with me."

"You are going to try to make Europe, sir?" asked Taylor, the young man
who had last spoken.

"It is the nearest land," I replied. "I have always wanted to explore
the forgotten lands of the Eastern Hemisphere. Here's our chance. To
remain at sea is to perish. None of us ever will see home again. Let
us make the best of it, and enjoy while we do live that which is
forbidden the balance of our race--the adventure and the mystery which
lie beyond thirty."

Taylor and Delcarte seized the spirit of my mood but Snider, I think,
was a trifle sceptical.

"It is treason, sir," I replied, "but there is no law which compels us
to visit punishment upon ourselves. Could we return to Pan-America, I
should be the first to insist that we face it. But we know that's not
possible. Even if this craft would carry us so far, we haven't enough
water or food for more than three days.

"We are doomed, Snider, to die far from home and without ever again
looking upon the face of another fellow countryman than those who sit
here now in this boat. Isn't that punishment sufficient for even the
most exacting judge?"

Even Snider had to admit that it was.

"Very well, then, let us live while we live, and enjoy to the fullest
whatever of adventure or pleasure each new day brings, since any day
may be our last, and we shall be dead for a considerable while."

I could see that Snider was still fearful, but Taylor and Delcarte
responded with a hearty, "Aye, aye, sir!"

They were of different mold. Both were sons of naval officers. They
represented the aristocracy of birth, and they dared to think for
themselves.

Snider was in the minority, and so we continued toward the east.
Beyond thirty, and separated from my ship, my authority ceased. I held
leadership, if I was to hold it at all, by virtue of personal
qualifications only, but I did not doubt my ability to remain the
director of our destinies in so far as they were amenable to human
agencies. I have always led. While my brain and brawn remain
unimpaired I shall continue always to lead. Following is an art which
Turcks do not easily learn.

It was not until

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