The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 24

score of wild savages charging
down upon us, where I had expected to find a community of civilized and
enlightened people.

Each of us was armed with rifle, revolver, and cutlass, but as we stood
shoulder to shoulder facing the wild men I was loath to give the
command to fire upon them, inflicting death or suffering upon strangers
with whom we had no quarrel, and so I attempted to restrain them for
the moment that we might parley with them.

To this end I raised my left hand above my head with the palm toward
them as the most natural gesture indicative of peaceful intentions
which occurred to me. At the same time I called aloud to them that we
were friends, though, from their appearance, there was nothing to
indicate that they might understand Pan-American, or ancient English,
which are of course practically identical.

At my gesture and words they ceased their shouting and came to a halt a
few paces from us. Then, in deep tones, one who was in advance of the
others and whom I took to be the chief or leader of the party replied
in a tongue which while intelligible to us, was so distorted from the
English language from which it evidently had sprung, that it was with
difficulty that we interpreted it.

"Who are you," he asked, "and from what country?"

I told him that we were from Pan-America, but he only shook his head
and asked where that was. He had never heard of it, or of the Atlantic
Ocean which I told him separated his country from mine.

"It has been two hundred years," I told him, "since a Pan-American
visited England."

"England?" he asked. "What is England?"

"Why this is a part of England!" I exclaimed.

"This is Grubitten," he assured me. "I know nothing about England, and
I have lived here all my life."

It was not until long after that the derivation of Grubitten occurred
to me. Unquestionably it is a corruption of Great Britain, a name
formerly given to the large island comprising England, Scotland and
Wales. Subsequently we heard it pronounced Grabrittin and Grubritten.

I then asked the fellow if he could direct us to Ryde or Newport; but
again he shook his head, and said that he never had heard of such
countries. And when I asked him if there were any cities in this
country he did not know what I meant, never having heard the word
cities.

I explained my meaning as best I could by stating that by city I
referred to

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