The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 30

him, and as he struggled to rise,
clawing viciously at me, I put a bullet in his spine.

That finished him, and I am free to admit that I was mighty glad of it.
There was a great tree close behind me, and, stepping within its shade,
I leaned against it, wiping the perspiration from my face, for the day
was hot, and the exertion and excitement left me exhausted.

I stood there, resting, for a moment, preparatory to turning and
retracing my steps to the launch, when, without warning, something
whizzed through space straight toward me. There was a dull thud of
impact as it struck the tree, and as I dodged to one side and turned to
look at the thing I saw a heavy spear imbedded in the wood not three
inches from where my head had been.

The thing had come from a little to one side of me, and, without
waiting to investigate at the instant, I leaped behind the tree, and,
circling it, peered around the other side to get a sight of my would-be
murderer.

This time I was pitted against men--the spear told me that all too
plainly--but so long as they didn't take me unawares or from behind I
had little fear of them.

Cautiously I edged about the far side of the trees until I could obtain
a view of the spot from which the spear must have come, and when I did
I saw the head of a man just emerging from behind a bush.

The fellow was quite similar in type to those I had seen upon the Isle
of Wight. He was hairy and unkempt, and as he finally stepped into
view I saw that he was garbed in the same primitive fashion.

He stood for a moment gazing about in search of me, and then he
advanced. As he did so a number of others, precisely like him, stepped
from the concealing verdure of nearby bushes and followed in his wake.
Keeping the trees between them and me, I ran back a short distance
until I found a clump of underbrush that would effectually conceal me,
for I wished to discover the strength of the party and its armament
before attempting to parley with it.

The useless destruction of any of these poor creatures was the farthest
idea from my mind. I should have liked to have spoken with them, but I
did not care to risk having to use my high-powered rifle upon them
other than in the last extremity.

Once in my new place of concealment,

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