The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 23

stopping place was the Isle of Wight. We entered the Solent
about ten o'clock one morning, and I must confess that my heart sank as
we came close to shore. No lighthouse was visible, though one was
plainly indicated upon my map. Upon neither shore was sign of human
habitation. We skirted the northern shore of the island in fruitless
search for man, and then at last landed upon an eastern point, where
Newport should have stood, but where only weeds and great trees and
tangled wild wood rioted, and not a single manmade thing was visible to
the eye.

Before landing, I had the men substitute soft bullets for the
steel-jacketed projectiles with which their belts and magazines were
filled. Thus equipped, we felt upon more even terms with the tigers,
but there was no sign of the tigers, and I decided that they must be
confined to the mainland.

After eating, we set out in search of fuel, leaving Taylor to guard the
launch. For some reason I could not trust Snider alone. I knew that
he looked with disapproval upon my plan to visit England, and I did not
know but what at his first opportunity, he might desert us, taking the
launch with him, and attempt to return to Pan-America.

That he would be fool enough to venture it, I did not doubt.

We had gone inland for a mile or more, and were passing through a
park-like wood, when we came suddenly upon the first human beings we
had seen since we sighted the English coast.

There were a score of men in the party. Hairy, half-naked men they
were, resting in the shade of a great tree. At the first sight of us
they sprang to their feet with wild yells, seizing long spears that had
lain beside them as they rested.

For a matter of fifty yards they ran from us as rapidly as they could,
and then they turned and surveyed us for a moment. Evidently
emboldened by the scarcity of our numbers, they commenced to advance
upon us, brandishing their spears and shouting horribly.

They were short and muscular of build, with long hair and beards
tangled and matted with filth. Their heads, however, were shapely, and
their eyes, though fierce and warlike, were intelligent.

Appreciation of these physical attributes came later, of course, when I
had better opportunity to study the men at close range and under
circumstances less fraught with danger and excitement. At the moment I
saw, and with unmixed wonder, only a

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