The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 18

and following my example, each engaged in the fascinating
sport of prospecting for antiques. Each of us uncovered a great number
of these bricks, until we commenced to weary of the monotony of it,
when Snider suddenly gave an exclamation of excitement, and, as I
turned to look, he held up a human skull for my inspection.

I took it from him and examined it. Directly in the center of the
forehead was a small round hole. The gentleman had evidently come to
his end defending his country from an invader.

Snider again held aloft another trophy of the search--a metal spike and
some tarnished and corroded metal ornaments. They had lain close
beside the skull.

With the point of his cutlass Snider scraped the dirt and verdigris
from the face of the larger ornament.

"An inscription," he said, and handed the thing to me.

They were the spike and ornaments of an ancient German helmet. Before
long we had uncovered many other indications that a great battle had
been fought upon the ground where we stood. But I was then, and still
am, at loss to account for the presence of German soldiers upon the
English coast so far from London, which history suggests would have
been the natural goal of an invader.

I can only account for it by assuming that either England was
temporarily conquered by the Teutons, or that an invasion of so vast
proportions was undertaken that German troops were hurled upon the
England coast in huge numbers and that landings were necessarily
effected at many places simultaneously. Subsequent discoveries tend to
strengthen this view.

We dug about for a short time with our cutlasses until I became
convinced that a city had stood upon the spot at some time in the past,
and that beneath our feet, crumbled and dead, lay ancient Devonport.

I could not repress a sigh at the thought of the havoc war had wrought
in this part of England, at least. Farther east, nearer London, we
should find things very different. There would be the civilization
that two centuries must have wrought upon our English cousins as they
had upon us. There would be mighty cities, cultivated fields, happy
people. There we would be welcomed as long-lost brothers. There would
we find a great nation anxious to learn of the world beyond their side
of thirty, as I had been anxious to learn of that which lay beyond our
side of the dead line.

I turned back toward the boat.

"Come, men!" I said. "We will

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