The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 35


But I am forgetting the continuity of my narrative--a continuity which
I desire to maintain, though I fear that I shall often be led astray,
so numerous and varied are the bypaths of speculation which lead from
the present day story of the Grabritins into the mysterious past of
their forbears.

As I stood talking with the girl I presently recollected that she still
was bound, and with a word of apology, I drew my knife and cut the
rawhide thongs which confined her wrists at her back.

She thanked me, and with such a sweet smile that I should have been
amply repaid by it for a much more arduous service.

"And now," I said, "let me accompany you to your home and see you
safely again under the protection of your friends."

"No," she said, with a hint of alarm in her voice; "you must not come
with me--Buckingham will kill you."

Buckingham. The name was famous in ancient English history. Its
survival, with many other illustrious names, is one of the strongest
arguments in refutal of Professor Cortoran's theory; yet it opens no
new doors to the past, and, on the whole, rather adds to than
dissipates the mystery.

"And who is Buckingham," I asked, "and why should he wish to kill me?"

"He would think that you had stolen me," she replied, "and as he wishes
me for himself, he will kill any other whom he thinks desires me. He
killed Wettin a few days ago. My mother told me once that Wettin was
my father. He was king. Now Buckingham is king."

Here, evidently, were a people slightly superior to those of the Isle
of Wight. These must have at least the rudiments of civilized
government since they recognized one among them as ruler, with the
title, king. Also, they retained the word father. The girl's
pronunciation, while far from identical with ours, was much closer than
the tortured dialect of the Eastenders of the Isle of Wight. The
longer I talked with her the more hopeful I became of finding here,
among her people, some records, or traditions, which might assist in
clearing up the historic enigma of the past two centuries. I asked her
if we were far from the city of London, but she did not know what I
meant. When I tried to explain, describing mighty buildings of stone
and brick, broad avenues, parks, palaces, and countless people, she but
shook her head sadly.

"There is no such place near by," she said. "Only the

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