The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 39

to believe that
I was not among my own. It was only when I took into consideration
their mode of living, their scant apparel, the lack of every least
luxury among them, that I was forced to admit that they were, in truth,
but ignorant savages.

Buckingham had relieved me of my weapons, though he had not the
slightest idea of their purpose or uses, and when we reached the camp
he exhibited both me and my arms with every indication of pride in this
great capture.

The inhabitants flocked around me, examining my clothing, and
exclaiming in wonderment at each new discovery of button, buckle,
pocket, and flap. It seemed incredible that such a thing could be,
almost within a stone's throw of the spot where but a brief two
centuries before had stood the greatest city of the world.

They bound me to a small tree that grew in the middle of one of their
crooked streets, but the girl they released as soon as we had entered
the enclosure. The people greeted her with every mark of respect as
she hastened to a large hut near the center of the camp.

Presently she returned with a fine looking, white-haired woman, who
proved to be her mother. The older woman carried herself with a regal
dignity that seemed quite remarkable in a place of such primitive
squalor.

The people fell aside as she approached, making a wide way for her and
her daughter. When they had come near and stopped before me the older
woman addressed me.

"My daughter has told me," she said, "of the manner in which you
rescued her from the men of the elephant country. If Wettin lived you
would be well treated, but Buckingham has taken me now, and is king.
You can hope for nothing from such a beast as Buckingham."

The fact that Buckingham stood within a pace of us and was an
interested listener appeared not to temper her expressions in the
slightest.

"Buckingham is a pig," she continued. "He is a coward. He came upon
Wettin from behind and ran his spear through him. He will not be king
for long. Some one will make a face at him, and he will run away and
jump into the river."

The people began to titter and clap their hands. Buckingham became red
in the face. It was evident that he was far from popular.

"If he dared," went on the old lady, "he would kill me now, but he does
not dare. He is too great

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