The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 31

I watched them as they approached
the tree. There were about thirty men in the party and one woman--a
girl whose hands seemed to be bound behind her and who was being pulled
along by two of the men.

They came forward warily, peering cautiously into every bush and
halting often. At the body of the lion, they paused, and I could see
from their gesticulations and the higher pitch of their voices that
they were much excited over my kill.

But presently they resumed their search for me, and as they advanced I
became suddenly aware of the unnecessary brutality with which the
girl's guards were treating her. She stumbled once, not far from my
place of concealment, and after the balance of the party had passed me.
As she did so one of the men at her side jerked her roughly to her feet
and struck her across the mouth with his fist.

Instantly my blood boiled, and forgetting every consideration of
caution, I leaped from my concealment, and, springing to the man's
side, felled him with a blow.

So unexpected had been my act that it found him and his fellow
unprepared; but instantly the latter drew the knife that protruded from
his belt and lunged viciously at me, at the same time giving voice to a
wild cry of alarm.

The girl shrank back at sight of me, her eyes wide in astonishment, and
then my antagonist was upon me. I parried his first blow with my
forearm, at the same time delivering a powerful blow to his jaw that
sent him reeling back; but he was at me again in an instant, though in
the brief interim I had time to draw my revolver.

I saw his companion crawling slowly to his feet, and the others of the
party racing down upon me. There was no time to argue now, other than
with the weapons we wore, and so, as the fellow lunged at me again with
the wicked-looking knife, I covered his heart and pulled the trigger.

Without a sound, he slipped to the earth, and then I turned the weapon
upon the other guard, who was now about to attack me. He, too,
collapsed, and I was alone with the astonished girl.

The balance of the party was some twenty paces from us, but coming
rapidly. I seized her arm and drew her after me behind a nearby tree,
for I had seen that with both their comrades down the others were
preparing to launch their spears.

With the girl safe behind the

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