The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 70

which seemed strange to me. But
when, late in the afternoon, we arrived at their encampment, I
discovered that my captors were cavalrymen.

In the center of a plain stood a log fort, with a blockhouse at each of
its four corners. As we approached, I saw a herd of cavalry horses
grazing under guard outside the walls of the post. They were small,
stocky horses, but the telltale saddle galls proclaimed their calling.
The flag flying from a tall staff inside the palisade was one which I
had never before seen nor heard of.

We marched directly into the compound, where the company was dismissed,
with the exception of a guard of four privates, who escorted me in the
wake of the young officer. The latter led us across a small parade
ground, where a battery of light field guns was parked, and toward a
log building, in front of which rose the flagstaff.

I was escorted within the building into the presence of an old negro, a
fine looking man, with a dignified and military bearing. He was a
colonel, I was to learn later, and to him I owe the very humane
treatment that was accorded me while I remained his prisoner.

He listened to the report of his junior, and then turned to question
me, but with no better results than the former had accomplished. Then
he summoned an orderly, and gave some instructions. The soldier
saluted, and left the room, returning in about five minutes with a
hairy old white man--just such a savage, primeval-looking fellow as I
had discovered in the woods the day that Snider had disappeared with
the launch.

The colonel evidently expected to use the fellow as interpreter, but
when the savage addressed me it was in a language as foreign to me as
was that of the blacks. At last the old officer gave it up, and,
shaking his head, gave instructions for my removal.

From his office I was led to a guardhouse, in which I found about fifty
half-naked whites, clad in the skins of wild beasts. I tried to
converse with them, but not one of them could understand Pan-American,
nor could I make head or tail of their jargon.

For over a month I remained a prisoner there, working from morning
until night at odd jobs about the headquarters building of the
commanding officer. The other prisoners worked harder than I did, and
I owe my better treatment solely to the kindliness and discrimination
of the old colonel.

What had become of Victory, of

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