The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 22

I agreed, "for their extreme boldness and
fearlessness in the presence of man would suggest either that man is
entirely unknown to them, or that they are extremely familiar with him
as their natural and most easily procured prey."

"But where did they come from?" asked Delcarte. "Could they have
traveled here from Asia?"

I shook my head. The thing was a puzzle to me. I knew that it was
practically beyond reason to imagine that tigers had crossed the
mountain ranges and rivers and all the great continent of Europe to
travel this far from their native lairs, and entirely impossible that
they should have crossed the English Channel at all. Yet here they
were, and in great numbers.

We continued up the Tamar several miles, filled our casks, and then
landed to cook some of our deer steak, and have the first square meal
that had fallen to our lot since the Coldwater deserted us. But scarce
had we built our fire and prepared the meat for cooking than Snider,
whose eyes had been constantly roving about the landscape from the
moment that we left the launch, touched me on the arm and pointed to a
clump of bushes which grew a couple of hundred yards away.

Half concealed behind their screening foliage I saw the yellow and
black of a big tiger, and, as I looked, the beast stalked majestically
toward us. A moment later, he was followed by another and another, and
it is needless to state that we beat a hasty retreat to the launch.

The country was apparently infested by these huge Carnivora, for after
three other attempts to land and cook our food we were forced to
abandon the idea entirely, as each time we were driven off by hunting
tigers.

It was also equally impossible to obtain the necessary ingredients for
our chemical fuel, and, as we had very little left aboard, we
determined to step our folding mast and proceed under sail, hoarding
our fuel supply for use in emergencies.

I may say that it was with no regret that we bid adieu to Tigerland, as
we rechristened the ancient Devon, and, beating out into the Channel,
turned the launch's nose southeast, to round Bolt Head and continue up
the coast toward the Strait of Dover and the North Sea.

I was determined to reach London as soon as possible, that we might
obtain fresh clothing, meet with cultured people, and learn from the
lips of Englishmen the secrets of the two centuries since the East had
been divorced from the West.

Our first

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