The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 64

of the view with the crack of a rifle and the death
of one of those beautiful creatures before us. But it had to be
done--we must eat. I left the work to Delcarte, however, and in a
moment we had two antelope and the landscape to ourselves.

After eating, we boarded the launch and continued up the river. For
two days we passed through a primeval wilderness. In the afternoon of
the second day we landed upon the west bank of the river, and, leaving
Snider and Thirty-six to guard Victory and the launch, Delcarte,
Taylor, and I set out after game.

We tramped away from the river for upwards of an hour before
discovering anything, and then only a small red deer, which Taylor
brought down with a neat shot of two hundred yards. It was getting too
late to proceed farther, so we rigged a sling, and the two men carried
the deer back toward the launch while I walked a hundred yards ahead,
in the hope of bagging something further for our larder.

We had covered about half the distance to the river, when I suddenly
came face to face with a man. He was as primitive and uncouth in
appearance as the Grabritins--a shaggy, unkempt savage, clothed in a
shirt of skin cured with the head on, the latter surmounting his own
head to form a bonnet, and giving to him a most fearful and ferocious
aspect.

The fellow was armed with a long spear and a club, the latter dangling
down his back from a leathern thong about his neck. His feet were
incased in hide sandals.

At sight of me, he halted for an instant, then turned and dove into the
forest, and, though I called reassuringly to him in English he did not
return nor did I again see him.

The sight of the wild man raised my hopes once more that elsewhere we
might find men in a higher state of civilization--it was the society of
civilized man that I craved--and so, with a lighter heart, I continued
on toward the river and the launch.

I was still some distance ahead of Delcarte and Taylor, when I came in
sight of the Rhine again. But I came to the water's edge before I
noticed that anything was amiss with the party we had left there a few
hours before.

My first intimation of disaster was the absence of the launch from its
former moorings. And then, a moment later--I discovered the body of a
man lying upon the bank.

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