The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 45

in review before my mind's
eye.

I tried to imagine the astonishment, incredulity, and horror with which
my family and friends would be overwhelmed if, for an instant, space
could be annihilated and they could see me at the gates of London.

The gates of London! Where was the multitude hurrying to the marts of
trade after a night of pleasure or rest? Where was the clang of
tramcar gongs, the screech of motor horns, the vast murmur of a dense
throng?

Where were they? And as I asked the question a lone, gaunt lion strode
from the tangled jungle upon the far side of the clearing.
Majestically and noiselessly upon his padded feet the king of beasts
moved slowly toward the gates of London and toward me.

Was I afraid? I fear that I was almost afraid. I know that I thought
that fear was coming to me, and so I straightened up and squared my
shoulders and looked the lion straight in the eyes--and waited.

It is not a nice way to die--alone, with one's hands fast bound,
beneath the fangs and talons of a beast of prey. No, it is not a nice
way to die, not a pretty way.

The lion was halfway across the clearing when I heard a slight sound
behind me. The great cat stopped in his tracks. He lashed his tail
against his sides now, instead of simply twitching its tip, and his low
moan became a thunderous roar.

As I craned my neck to catch a glimpse of the thing that had aroused
the fury of the beast before me, it sprang through the arched gateway
and was at my side--with parted lips and heaving bosom and disheveled
hair--a bronzed and lovely vision to eyes that had never harbored hope
of rescue.

It was Victory, and in her arms she clutched my rifle and revolver. A
long knife was in the doeskin belt that supported the doeskin skirt
tightly about her lithe limbs. She dropped my weapons at my feet, and,
snatching the knife from its resting place, severed the bonds that held
me. I was free, and the lion was preparing to charge.

"Run!" I cried to the girl, as I bent and seized my rifle. But she
only stood there at my side, her bared blade ready in her hand.

The lion was bounding toward us now in prodigious leaps. I raised the
rifle and fired. It was a lucky shot, for I had no time to aim
carefully, and when the

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