The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 25

a place where many people lived together in houses.

"Oh," he exclaimed, "you mean a camp! Yes, there are two great camps
here, East Camp and West Camp. We are from East Camp."

The use of the word camp to describe a collection of habitations
naturally suggested war to me, and my next question was as to whether
the war was over, and who had been victorious.

"No," he replied to this question. "The war is not yet over. But it
soon will be, and it will end, as it always does, with the Westenders
running away. We, the Eastenders, are always victorious."

"No," I said, seeing that he referred to the petty tribal wars of his
little island, "I mean the Great War, the war with Germany. Is it
ended--and who was victorious?"

He shook his head impatiently.

"I never heard," he said, "of any of these strange countries of which
you speak."

It seemed incredible, and yet it was true. These people living at the
very seat of the Great War knew nothing of it, though but two centuries
had passed since, to our knowledge, it had been running in the height
of its titanic frightfulness all about them, and to us upon the far
side of the Atlantic still was a subject of keen interest.

Here was a lifelong inhabitant of the Isle of Wight who never had heard
of either Germany or England! I turned to him quite suddenly with a
new question.

"What people live upon the mainland?" I asked, and pointed in the
direction of the Hants coast.

"No one lives there," he replied.

"Long ago, it is said, my people dwelt across the waters upon that
other land; but the wild beasts devoured them in such numbers that
finally they were driven here, paddling across upon logs and driftwood,
nor has any dared return since, because of the frightful creatures
which dwell in that horrid country."

"Do no other peoples ever come to your country in ships?" I asked.

He never heard the word ship before, and did not know its meaning. But
he assured me that until we came he had thought that there were no
other peoples in the world other than the Grubittens, who consist of
the Eastenders and the Westenders of the ancient Isle of Wight.

Assured that we were inclined to friendliness, our new acquaintances
led us to their village, or, as they call it, camp. There we found a
thousand people, perhaps, dwelling in rude shelters, and living upon
the fruits of the chase and such

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