The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 44

one of the party in a
voice husky with awe.

Here the party knelt, while Buckingham recited a weird, prayer-like
chant. It was rather long, and I recall only a portion of it, which
ran, if my memory serves me, somewhat as follows:

Lord of Grabritin, we
Fall on our knees to thee,
This gift to bring.
Greatest of kings are thou!
To thee we humbly bow!
Peace to our camp allow.
God save thee, king!

Then the party rose, and dragging me to the crumbling arch, made me
fast to a huge, corroded, copper ring which was dangling from an
eyebolt imbedded in the masonry.

None of them, not even Buckingham, seemed to feel any personal
animosity toward me. They were naturally rough and brutal, as
primitive men are supposed to have been since the dawn of humanity, but
they did not go out of their way to maltreat me.

With the coming of dawn the number of lions about us seemed to have
greatly diminished--at least they made less noise--and as Buckingham
and his party disappeared into the woods, leaving me alone to my
terrible fate, I could hear the grumblings and growlings of the beasts
diminishing with the sound of the chant, which the party still
continued. It appeared that the lions had failed to note that I had
been left for their breakfast, and had followed off after their
worshippers instead.

But I knew the reprieve would be but for a short time, and though I had
no wish to die, I must confess that I rather wished the ordeal over and
the peace of oblivion upon me.

The voices of the men and the lions receded in the distance, until
finally quiet reigned about me, broken only by the sweet voices of
birds and the sighing of the summer wind in the trees.

It seemed impossible to believe that in this peaceful woodland setting
the frightful thing was to occur which must come with the passing of
the next lion who chanced within sight or smell of the crumbling arch.

I strove to tear myself loose from my bonds, but succeeded only in
tightening them about my arms. Then I remained passive for a long
time, letting the scenes of my lifetime pass

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