The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 73

his sovereign's displeasure.

Some fifty years before, the young emperor, Menelek XIV, was ambitious.
He knew that a great world lay across the waters far to the north of
his capital. Once he had crossed the desert and looked out upon the
blue sea that was the northern boundary of his dominions.

There lay another world to conquer. Menelek busied himself with the
building of a great fleet, though his people were not a maritime race.
His army crossed into Europe. It met with little resistance, and for
fifty years his soldiers had been pushing his boundaries farther and
farther toward the north.

"The yellow men from the east and north are contesting our rights here
now," said the colonel, "but we shall win--we shall conquer the world,
carrying Christianity to all the benighted heathen of Europe, and Asia
as well."

"You are a Christian people?" I asked.

He looked at me in surprise, nodding his head affirmatively.

"I am a Christian," I said. "My people are the most powerful on earth."

He smiled, and shook his head indulgently, as a father to a child who
sets up his childish judgment against that of his elders.

Then I set out to prove my point. I told him of our cities, of our
army, of our great navy. He came right back at me asking for figures,
and when he was done I had to admit that only in our navy were we
numerically superior.

Menelek XIV is the undisputed ruler of all the continent of Africa, of
all of ancient Europe except the British Isles, Scandinavia, and
eastern Russia, and has large possessions and prosperous colonies in
what once were Arabia and Turkey in Asia.

He has a standing army of ten million men, and his people possess
slaves--white slaves--to the number of ten or fifteen million.

Colonel Belik was much surprised, however, upon his part to learn of
the great nation which lay across the ocean, and when he found that I
was a naval officer, he was inclined to accord me even greater
consideration than formerly. It was difficult for him to believe my
assertion that there were but few blacks in my country, and that these
occupied a lower social plane than the whites.

Just the reverse is true in Colonel Belik's land. He considered whites
inferior beings, creatures of a lower order, and assuring me that even
the few white freemen of Abyssinia were never accorded anything
approximating a position of social equality with the blacks. They live
in the poorer districts of the cities, in

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