schöner wohnen beispiele wohnzimmer

schöner wohnen beispiele wohnzimmer

chapter xiii"a sight which i shall never forget" just as the sun was setting upon thatmelancholy night i saw the lonely figure of the indian upon the vast plain beneath me,and i watched him, our one faint hope of salvation, until he disappeared in the rising mists of evening which lay, rose-tinted from the setting sun, between the far-off river and me. it was quite dark when i at last turnedback to our stricken camp, and my last vision as i went was the red gleam ofzambo's fire, the one point of light in the wide world below, as was his faithfulpresence in my own shadowed soul.

and yet i felt happier than i had donesince this crushing blow had fallen upon me, for it was good to think that the worldshould know what we had done, so that at the worst our names should not perish with our bodies, but should go down to posterityassociated with the result of our labors. it was an awesome thing to sleep in thatill-fated camp; and yet it was even more unnerving to do so in the jungle. one or the other it must be.prudence, on the one hand, warned me that i should remain on guard, but exhaustednature, on the other, declared that i should do nothing of the kind.

i climbed up on to a limb of the greatgingko tree, but there was no secure perch on its rounded surface, and i shouldcertainly have fallen off and broken my neck the moment i began to doze. i got down, therefore, and pondered overwhat i should do. finally, i closed the door of the zareba,lit three separate fires in a triangle, and having eaten a hearty supper dropped offinto a profound sleep, from which i had a strange and most welcome awakening. in the early morning, just as day wasbreaking, a hand was laid upon my arm, and starting up, with all my nerves in a tingleand my hand feeling for a rifle, i gave a

cry of joy as in the cold gray light i sawlord john roxton kneeling beside me. it was he--and yet it was not he.i had left him calm in his bearing, correct in his person, prim in his dress. now he was pale and wild-eyed, gasping ashe breathed like one who has run far and fast. his gaunt face was scratched and bloody,his clothes were hanging in rags, and his hat was gone.i stared in amazement, but he gave me no chance for questions. he was grabbing at our stores all the timehe spoke.

"quick, young fellah!quick!" he cried. "every moment counts. get the rifles, both of them.i have the other two. now, all the cartridges you can gather.fill up your pockets. now, some food. half a dozen tins will do.that's all right! don't wait to talk or think.get a move on, or we are done!" still half-awake, and unable to imaginewhat it all might mean, i found myself hurrying madly after him through the wood,a rifle under each arm and a pile of

various stores in my hands. he dodged in and out through the thickestof the scrub until he came to a dense clump of brush-wood. into this he rushed, regardless of thorns,and threw himself into the heart of it, pulling me down by his side."there!" he panted. "i think we are safe here. they'll make for the camp as sure as will be their first idea. but this should puzzle 'em.""what is it all?" i asked, when i had got my breath.

"where are the professors?and who is it that is after us?" "the ape-men," he cried."my god, what brutes! don't raise your voice, for they have longears--sharp eyes, too, but no power of scent, so far as i could judge, so i don'tthink they can sniff us out. where have you been, young fellah? you were well out of it."in a few sentences i whispered what i had done."pretty bad," said he, when he had heard of the dinosaur and the pit. "it isn't quite the place for a rest cure.what?

but i had no idea what its possibilitieswere until those devils got hold of us. the man-eatin' papuans had me once, butthey are chesterfields compared to this crowd.""how did it happen?" i asked. "it was in the early mornin'.our learned friends were just stirrin'. hadn't even begun to argue yet.suddenly it rained apes. they came down as thick as apples out of atree. they had been assemblin' in the dark, isuppose, until that great tree over our heads was heavy with them.

i shot one of them through the belly, butbefore we knew where we were they had us spread-eagled on our backs. i call them apes, but they carried sticksand stones in their hands and jabbered talk to each other, and ended up by tyin' ourhands with creepers, so they are ahead of any beast that i have seen in mywanderin's. ape-men--that's what they are--missin'links, and i wish they had stayed missin'. they carried off their wounded comrade--hewas bleedin' like a pig--and then they sat around us, and if ever i saw frozen murderit was in their faces. they were big fellows, as big as a man anda deal stronger.

curious glassy gray eyes they have, underred tufts, and they just sat and gloated and gloated. challenger is no chicken, but even he wascowed. he managed to struggle to his feet, andyelled out at them to have done with it and get it over. i think he had gone a bit off his head atthe suddenness of it, for he raged and cursed at them like a lunatic. if they had been a row of his favoritepressmen he could not have slanged them worse.""well, what did they do?"

i was enthralled by the strange story whichmy companion was whispering into my ear, while all the time his keen eyes wereshooting in every direction and his hand grasping his cocked rifle. "i thought it was the end of us, butinstead of that it started them on a new line.they all jabbered and chattered together. then one of them stood out besidechallenger. you'll smile, young fellah, but 'pon myword they might have been kinsmen. i couldn't have believed it if i hadn'tseen it with my own eyes. this old ape-man--he was their chief--was asort of red challenger, with every one of

our friend's beauty points, only just atrifle more so. he had the short body, the big shoulders,the round chest, no neck, a great ruddy frill of a beard, the tufted eyebrows, the'what do you want, damn you!' look about the eyes, and the whole catalogue. when the ape-man stood by challenger andput his paw on his shoulder, the thing was complete.summerlee was a bit hysterical, and he laughed till he cried. the ape-men laughed too--or at least theyput up the devil of a cacklin'--and they set to work to drag us off through theforest.

they wouldn't touch the guns and things--thought them dangerous, i expect--but they carried away all our loose food. summerlee and i got some rough handlin' onthe way--there's my skin and my clothes to prove it--for they took us a bee-linethrough the brambles, and their own hides are like leather. but challenger was all right.four of them carried him shoulder high, and he went like a roman emperor.what's that?" it was a strange clicking noise in thedistance not unlike castanets. "there they go!" said my companion,slipping cartridges into the second double

barrelled "express." "load them all up, young fellah my lad, forwe're not going to be taken alive, and don't you think it!that's the row they make when they are excited. by george! they'll have something to excitethem if they put us up. the 'last stand of the grays' won't be init. 'with their rifles grasped in theirstiffened hands, mid a ring of the dead and dyin',' as some fathead sings.can you hear them now?" "very far away."

"that little lot will do no good, but iexpect their search parties are all over the wood.well, i was telling you my tale of woe. they got us soon to this town of theirs--about a thousand huts of branches and leaves in a great grove of trees near theedge of the cliff. it's three or four miles from here. the filthy beasts fingered me all over, andi feel as if i should never be clean again. they tied us up--the fellow who handled mecould tie like a bosun--and there we lay with our toes up, beneath a tree, while agreat brute stood guard over us with a club in his hand.

when i say 'we' i mean summerlee andmyself. old challenger was up a tree, eatin' pinesand havin' the time of his life. i'm bound to say that he managed to getsome fruit to us, and with his own hands he loosened our bonds. if you'd seen him sitting up in that treehob-nobbin' with his twin brother--and singin' in that rollin' bass of his, 'ringout, wild bells,' cause music of any kind seemed to put 'em in a good humor, you'd have smiled; but we weren't in much moodfor laughin', as you can guess. they were inclined, within limits, to lethim do what he liked, but they drew the

line pretty sharply at us. it was a mighty consolation to us all toknow that you were runnin' loose and had the archives in your keepin'."well, now, young fellah, i'll tell you what will surprise you. you say you saw signs of men, and fires,traps, and the like. well, we have seen the natives themselves.poor devils they were, down-faced little chaps, and had enough to make them so. it seems that the humans hold one side ofthis plateau--over yonder, where you saw the caves--and the ape-men hold this side,and there is bloody war between them all

the time. that's the situation, so far as i couldfollow it. well, yesterday the ape-men got hold of adozen of the humans and brought them in as prisoners. you never heard such a jabberin' andshriekin' in your life. the men were little red fellows, and hadbeen bitten and clawed so that they could hardly walk. the ape-men put two of them to death thereand then--fairly pulled the arm off one of them--it was perfectly beastly.plucky little chaps they are, and hardly

gave a squeak. but it turned us absolutely sick.summerlee fainted, and even challenger had as much as he could stand.i think they have cleared, don't you?" we listened intently, but nothing save thecalling of the birds broke the deep peace of the forest.lord roxton went on with his story. "i think you have had the escape of yourlife, young fellah my lad. it was catchin' those indians that put youclean out of their heads, else they would have been back to the camp for you as sureas fate and gathered you in. of course, as you said, they have beenwatchin' us from the beginnin' out of that

tree, and they knew perfectly well that wewere one short. however, they could think only of this newhaul; so it was i, and not a bunch of apes, that dropped in on you in the morning.well, we had a horrid business afterwards. my god! what a nightmare the whole thingis! you remember the great bristle of sharpcanes down below where we found the skeleton of the american? well, that is just under ape-town, andthat's the jumpin'-off place of their prisoners.i expect there's heaps of skeletons there, if we looked for 'em.

they have a sort of clear parade-ground onthe top, and they make a proper ceremony about it. one by one the poor devils have to jump,and the game is to see whether they are merely dashed to pieces or whether they getskewered on the canes. they took us out to see it, and the wholetribe lined up on the edge. four of the indians jumped, and the caneswent through 'em like knittin' needles through a pat of butter. no wonder we found that poor yankee'sskeleton with the canes growin' between his was horrible--but it was doocedly

interestin' too. we were all fascinated to see them take thedive, even when we thought it would be our turn next on the spring-board."well, it wasn't. they kept six of the indians up for to-day--that's how i understood it--but i fancy we were to be the star performers in the show.challenger might get off, but summerlee and i were in the bill. their language is more than half signs, andit was not hard to follow them. so i thought it was time we made a breakfor it. i had been plottin' it out a bit, and hadone or two things clear in my mind.

it was all on me, for summerlee was uselessand challenger not much better. the only time they got together they gotslangin' because they couldn't agree upon the scientific classification of these red-headed devils that had got hold of us. one said it was the dryopithecus of java,the other said it was pithecanthropus. madness, i call it--loonies, both.but, as i say, i had thought out one or two points that were helpful. one was that these brutes could not run asfast as a man in the open. they have short, bandy legs, you see, andheavy bodies. even challenger could give a few yards in ahundred to the best of them, and you or i

would be a perfect shrubb.another point was that they knew nothin' about guns. i don't believe they ever understood howthe fellow i shot came by his hurt. if we could get at our guns there was nosayin' what we could do. "so i broke away early this mornin', gavemy guard a kick in the tummy that laid him out, and sprinted for the camp.there i got you and the guns, and here we are." "but the professors!"i cried, in consternation. "well, we must just go back and fetch 'em.i couldn't bring 'em with me.

challenger was up the tree, and summerleewas not fit for the effort. the only chance was to get the guns and trya rescue. of course they may scupper them at once inrevenge. i don't think they would touch challenger,but i wouldn't answer for summerlee. but they would have had him in any case. of that i am i haven't made matters any worse by boltin'.but we are honor bound to go back and have them out or see it through with them. so you can make up your soul, young fellahmy lad, for it will be one way or the other

before evenin'." i have tried to imitate here lord roxton'sjerky talk, his short, strong sentences, the half-humorous, half-reckless tone thatran through it all. but he was a born leader. as danger thickened his jaunty manner wouldincrease, his speech become more racy, his cold eyes glitter into ardent life, and hisdon quixote moustache bristle with joyous excitement. his love of danger, his intenseappreciation of the drama of an adventure-- all the more intense for being held tightlyin--his consistent view that every peril in

life is a form of sport, a fierce game betwixt you and fate, with death as aforfeit, made him a wonderful companion at such hours. if it were not for our fears as to the fateof our companions, it would have been a positive joy to throw myself with such aman into such an affair. we were rising from our brushwood hiding-place when suddenly i felt his grip upon my arm."by george!" he whispered, "here they come!" from where we lay we could look down abrown aisle, arched with green, formed by

the trunks and branches.along this a party of the ape-men were passing. they went in single file, with bent legsand rounded backs, their hands occasionally touching the ground, their heads turning toleft and right as they trotted along. their crouching gait took away from theirheight, but i should put them at five feet or so, with long arms and enormous chests. many of them carried sticks, and at thedistance they looked like a line of very hairy and deformed human beings.for a moment i caught this clear glimpse of them.

then they were lost among the bushes."not this time," said lord john, who had caught up his rifle."our best chance is to lie quiet until they have given up the search. then we shall see whether we can't get backto their town and hit 'em where it hurts most.give 'em an hour and we'll march." we filled in the time by opening one of ourfood tins and making sure of our breakfast. lord roxton had had nothing but some fruitsince the morning before and ate like a starving man. then, at last, our pockets bulging withcartridges and a rifle in each hand, we

started off upon our mission of rescue. before leaving it we carefully marked ourlittle hiding-place among the brush-wood and its bearing to fort challenger, that wemight find it again if we needed it. we slunk through the bushes in silenceuntil we came to the very edge of the cliff, close to the old camp.there we halted, and lord john gave me some idea of his plans. "so long as we are among the thick treesthese swine are our masters," said he. "they can see us and we cannot see them.but in the open it is different. there we can move faster than they.

so we must stick to the open all we can.the edge of the plateau has fewer large trees than further that's our line of advance. go slowly, keep your eyes open and yourrifle ready. above all, never let them get you prisonerwhile there is a cartridge left--that's my last word to you, young fellah." when we reached the edge of the cliff ilooked over and saw our good old black zambo sitting smoking on a rock below us. i would have given a great deal to havehailed him and told him how we were placed, but it was too dangerous, lest we should beheard.

the woods seemed to be full of the ape-men;again and again we heard their curious clicking chatter. at such times we plunged into the nearestclump of bushes and lay still until the sound had passed away. our advance, therefore, was very slow, andtwo hours at least must have passed before i saw by lord john's cautious movementsthat we must be close to our destination. he motioned to me to lie still, and hecrawled forward himself. in a minute he was back again, his facequivering with eagerness. "come!" said he.

"come quick!i hope to the lord we are not too late already!" i found myself shaking with nervousexcitement as i scrambled forward and lay down beside him, looking out through thebushes at a clearing which stretched before us. it was a sight which i shall never forgetuntil my dying day--so weird, so impossible, that i do not know how i am tomake you realize it, or how in a few years i shall bring myself to believe in it if i live to sit once more on a lounge in thesavage club and look out on the drab

solidity of the embankment.i know that it will seem then to be some wild nightmare, some delirium of fever. yet i will set it down now, while it isstill fresh in my memory, and one at least, the man who lay in the damp grasses by myside, will know if i have lied. a wide, open space lay before us--somehundreds of yards across--all green turf and low bracken growing to the very edge ofthe cliff. round this clearing there was a semi-circleof trees with curious huts built of foliage piled one above the other among thebranches. a rookery, with every nest a little house,would best convey the idea.

the openings of these huts and the branchesof the trees were thronged with a dense mob of ape-people, whom from their size i tookto be the females and infants of the tribe. they formed the background of the picture,and were all looking out with eager interest at the same scene which fascinatedand bewildered us. in the open, and near the edge of thecliff, there had assembled a crowd of some hundred of these shaggy, red-hairedcreatures, many of them of immense size, and all of them horrible to look upon. there was a certain discipline among them,for none of them attempted to break the line which had been formed.

in front there stood a small group ofindians--little, clean-limbed, red fellows, whose skins glowed like polished bronze inthe strong sunlight. a tall, thin white man was standing besidethem, his head bowed, his arms folded, his whole attitude expressive of his horror anddejection. there was no mistaking the angular form ofprofessor summerlee. in front of and around this dejected groupof prisoners were several ape-men, who watched them closely and made all escapeimpossible. then, right out from all the others andclose to the edge of the cliff, were two figures, so strange, and under othercircumstances so ludicrous, that they

absorbed my attention. the one was our comrade, professorchallenger. the remains of his coat still hung instrips from his shoulders, but his shirt had been all torn out, and his great beardmerged itself in the black tangle which covered his mighty chest. he had lost his hat, and his hair, whichhad grown long in our wanderings, was flying in wild disorder. a single day seemed to have changed himfrom the highest product of modern civilization to the most desperate savagein south america.

beside him stood his master, the king ofthe ape-men. in all things he was, as lord john hadsaid, the very image of our professor, save that his coloring was red instead of black. the same short, broad figure, the sameheavy shoulders, the same forward hang of the arms, the same bristling beard mergingitself in the hairy chest. only above the eyebrows, where the slopingforehead and low, curved skull of the ape- man were in sharp contrast to the broadbrow and magnificent cranium of the european, could one see any markeddifference. at every other point the king was an absurdparody of the professor.

all this, which takes me so long todescribe, impressed itself upon me in a few seconds.then we had very different things to think of, for an active drama was in progress. two of the ape-men had seized one of theindians out of the group and dragged him forward to the edge of the cliff.the king raised his hand as a signal. they caught the man by his leg and arm, andswung him three times backwards and forwards with tremendous violence.then, with a frightful heave they shot the poor wretch over the precipice. with such force did they throw him that hecurved high in the air before beginning to

drop. as he vanished from sight, the wholeassembly, except the guards, rushed forward to the edge of the precipice, and there wasa long pause of absolute silence, broken by a mad yell of delight. they sprang about, tossing their long,hairy arms in the air and howling with exultation. then they fell back from the edge, formedthemselves again into line, and waited for the next victim.this time it was summerlee. two of his guards caught him by the wristsand pulled him brutally to the front.

his thin figure and long limbs struggledand fluttered like a chicken being dragged from a coop. challenger had turned to the king and wavedhis hands frantically before him. he was begging, pleading, imploring for hiscomrade's life. the ape-man pushed him roughly aside andshook his head. it was the last conscious movement he wasto make upon earth. lord john's rifle cracked, and the kingsank down, a tangled red sprawling thing, upon the ground."shoot into the thick of them! shoot! sonny, shoot!" cried my companion.

there are strange red depths in the soul ofthe most commonplace man. i am tenderhearted by nature, and havefound my eyes moist many a time over the scream of a wounded hare. yet the blood lust was on me now. i found myself on my feet emptying onemagazine, then the other, clicking open the breech to re-load, snapping it to again,while cheering and yelling with pure ferocity and joy of slaughter as i did so. with our four guns the two of us made ahorrible havoc. both the guards who held summerlee weredown, and he was staggering about like a

drunken man in his amazement, unable torealize that he was a free man. the dense mob of ape-men ran about inbewilderment, marveling whence this storm of death was coming or what it might mean.they waved, gesticulated, screamed, and tripped up over those who had fallen. then, with a sudden impulse, they allrushed in a howling crowd to the trees for shelter, leaving the ground behind themspotted with their stricken comrades. the prisoners were left for the momentstanding alone in the middle of the clearing.challenger's quick brain had grasped the situation.

he seized the bewildered summerlee by thearm, and they both ran towards us. two of their guards bounded after them andfell to two bullets from lord john. we ran forward into the open to meet ourfriends, and pressed a loaded rifle into the hands of each.but summerlee was at the end of his strength. he could hardly totter.already the ape-men were recovering from their panic.they were coming through the brushwood and threatening to cut us off. challenger and i ran summerlee along, oneat each of his elbows, while lord john

covered our retreat, firing again and againas savage heads snarled at us out of the bushes. for a mile or more the chattering bruteswere at our very heels. then the pursuit slackened, for theylearned our power and would no longer face that unerring rifle. when we had at last reached the camp, welooked back and found ourselves alone. so it seemed to us; and yet we weremistaken. we had hardly closed the thornbush door ofour zareba, clasped each other's hands, and thrown ourselves panting upon the groundbeside our spring, when we heard a patter

of feet and then a gentle, plaintive cryingfrom outside our entrance. lord roxton rushed forward, rifle in hand,and threw it open. there, prostrate upon their faces, lay thelittle red figures of the four surviving indians, trembling with fear of us and yetimploring our protection. with an expressive sweep of his hands oneof them pointed to the woods around them, and indicated that they were full ofdanger. then, darting forward, he threw his armsround lord john's legs, and rested his face upon them. "by george!" cried our peer, pulling at hismoustache in great perplexity, "i say--what

the deuce are we to do with these people?get up, little chappie, and take your face off my boots." summerlee was sitting up and stuffing sometobacco into his old briar. "we've got to see them safe," said he."you've pulled us all out of the jaws of death. my word! it was a good bit of work!""admirable!" cried challenger. "admirable! not only we as individuals, but europeanscience collectively, owe you a deep debt of gratitude for what you have done.

i do not hesitate to say that thedisappearance of professor summerlee and myself would have left an appreciable gapin modern zoological history. our young friend here and you have donemost excellently well." he beamed at us with the old paternalsmile, but european science would have been somewhat amazed could they have seen theirchosen child, the hope of the future, with his tangled, unkempt head, his bare chest,and his tattered clothes. he had one of the meat-tins between hisknees, and sat with a large piece of cold australian mutton between his fingers. the indian looked up at him, and then, witha little yelp, cringed to the ground and

clung to lord john's leg. "don't you be scared, my bonnie boy," saidlord john, patting the matted head in front of him."he can't stick your appearance, challenger; and, by george! i don't wonder.all right, little chap, he's only a human, just the same as the rest of us.""really, sir!" cried the professor. "well, it's lucky for you, challenger, thatyou are a little out of the ordinary. if you hadn't been so like the king----""upon my word, lord john, you allow yourself great latitude."

"well, it's a fact.""i beg, sir, that you will change the subject.your remarks are irrelevant and unintelligible. the question before us is what are we to dowith these indians? the obvious thing is to escort them home,if we knew where their home was." "there is no difficulty about that," saidi. "they live in the caves on the other sideof the central lake." "our young friend here knows where theylive. i gather that it is some distance.""a good twenty miles," said i.

summerlee gave a groan. "i, for one, could never get there.surely i hear those brutes still howling upon our track." as he spoke, from the dark recesses of thewoods we heard far away the jabbering cry of the ape-men.the indians once more set up a feeble wail of fear. "we must move, and move quick!" said lordjohn. "you help summerlee, young fellah.these indians will carry stores. now, then, come along before they can seeus."

in less than half-an-hour we had reachedour brushwood retreat and concealed ourselves. all day we heard the excited calling of theape-men in the direction of our old camp, but none of them came our way, and thetired fugitives, red and white, had a long, deep sleep. i was dozing myself in the evening whensomeone plucked my sleeve, and i found challenger kneeling beside me. "you keep a diary of these events, and youexpect eventually to publish it, mr. malone," said he, with solemnity."i am only here as a press reporter," i

answered. " may have heard some rather fatuous remarks of lord john roxton's which seemedto imply that there was some--some resemblance----" "yes, i heard them.""i need not say that any publicity given to such an idea--any levity in your narrativeof what occurred--would be exceedingly offensive to me." "i will keep well within the truth." "lord john's observations are frequentlyexceedingly fanciful, and he is capable of

attributing the most absurd reasons to therespect which is always shown by the most undeveloped races to dignity and character. you follow my meaning?""entirely." "i leave the matter to your discretion." then, after a long pause, he added: "theking of the ape-men was really a creature of great distinction--a most remarkablyhandsome and intelligent personality. did it not strike you?" "a most remarkable creature," said i.and the professor, much eased in his mind, settled down to his slumber once more.

> chapter xiv"those were the real conquests" we had imagined that our pursuers, the ape-men, knew nothing of our brush-wood hiding- place, but we were soon to find out ourmistake. there was no sound in the woods--not a leafmoved upon the trees, and all was peace around us--but we should have been warnedby our first experience how cunningly and how patiently these creatures can watch andwait until their chance comes. whatever fate may be mine through life, iam very sure that i shall never be nearer death than i was that morning.

but i will tell you the thing in its dueorder. we all awoke exhausted after the terrificemotions and scanty food of yesterday. summerlee was still so weak that it was aneffort for him to stand; but the old man was full of a sort of surly courage whichwould never admit defeat. a council was held, and it was agreed thatwe should wait quietly for an hour or two where we were, have our much-neededbreakfast, and then make our way across the plateau and round the central lake to the caves where my observations had shown thatthe indians lived. we relied upon the fact that we could countupon the good word of those whom we had

rescued to ensure a warm welcome from theirfellows. then, with our mission accomplished andpossessing a fuller knowledge of the secrets of maple white land, we should turnour whole thoughts to the vital problem of our escape and return. even challenger was ready to admit that weshould then have done all for which we had come, and that our first duty from thattime onwards was to carry back to civilization the amazing discoveries we hadmade. we were able now to take a more leisurelyview of the indians whom we had rescued. they were small men, wiry, active, andwell-built, with lank black hair tied up in

a bunch behind their heads with a leathernthong, and leathern also were their loin- clothes. their faces were hairless, well formed, andgood-humored. the lobes of their ears, hanging ragged andbloody, showed that they had been pierced for some ornaments which their captors hadtorn out. their speech, though unintelligible to us,was fluent among themselves, and as they pointed to each other and uttered the word"accala" many times over, we gathered that this was the name of the nation. occasionally, with faces which wereconvulsed with fear and hatred, they shook

their clenched hands at the woods round andcried: "doda! doda!" which was surely their term fortheir enemies. "what do you make of them, challenger?"asked lord john. "one thing is very clear to me, and that isthat the little chap with the front of his head shaved is a chief among them." it was indeed evident that this man stoodapart from the others, and that they never ventured to address him without every signof deep respect. he seemed to be the youngest of them all,and yet, so proud and high was his spirit that, upon challenger laying his great handupon his head, he started like a spurred

horse and, with a quick flash of his dark eyes, moved further away from theprofessor. then, placing his hand upon his breast andholding himself with great dignity, he uttered the word "maretas" several times. the professor, unabashed, seized thenearest indian by the shoulder and proceeded to lecture upon him as if he werea potted specimen in a class-room. "the type of these people," said he in hissonorous fashion, "whether judged by cranial capacity, facial angle, or anyother test, cannot be regarded as a low one; on the contrary, we must place it as

considerably higher in the scale than manysouth american tribes which i can mention. on no possible supposition can we explainthe evolution of such a race in this place. for that matter, so great a gap separatesthese ape-men from the primitive animals which have survived upon this plateau, thatit is inadmissible to think that they could have developed where we find them." "then where the dooce did they drop from?"asked lord john. "a question which will, no doubt, beeagerly discussed in every scientific society in europe and america," theprofessor answered. "my own reading of the situation for whatit is worth--" he inflated his chest

enormously and looked insolently around himat the words--"is that evolution has advanced under the peculiar conditions of this country up to the vertebrate stage,the old types surviving and living on in company with the newer ones. thus we find such modern creatures as thetapir--an animal with quite a respectable length of pedigree--the great deer, and theant-eater in the companionship of reptilian forms of jurassic type. so much is clear.and now come the ape-men and the indian. what is the scientific mind to think oftheir presence?

i can only account for it by an invasionfrom outside. it is probable that there existed ananthropoid ape in south america, who in past ages found his way to this place, andthat he developed into the creatures we have seen, some of which"--here he looked hard at me--"were of an appearance andshape which, if it had been accompanied by corresponding intelligence, would, i do nothesitate to say, have reflected credit upon any living race. as to the indians i cannot doubt that theyare more recent immigrants from below. under the stress of famine or of conquestthey have made their way up here.

faced by ferocious creatures which they hadnever before seen, they took refuge in the caves which our young friend has described,but they have no doubt had a bitter fight to hold their own against wild beasts, and especially against the ape-men who wouldregard them as intruders, and wage a merciless war upon them with a cunningwhich the larger beasts would lack. hence the fact that their numbers appear tobe limited. well, gentlemen, have i read you the riddlearight, or is there any point which you would query?" professor summerlee for once was toodepressed to argue, though he shook his

head violently as a token of generaldisagreement. lord john merely scratched his scanty lockswith the remark that he couldn't put up a fight as he wasn't in the same weight orclass. for my own part i performed my usual roleof bringing things down to a strictly prosaic and practical level by the remarkthat one of the indians was missing. "he has gone to fetch some water," saidlord roxton. "we fitted him up with an empty beef tinand he is off." "to the old camp?" i asked."no, to the brook.

it's among the trees can't be more than a couple of hundred yards. but the beggar is certainly taking histime." "i'll go and look after him," said i. i picked up my rifle and strolled in thedirection of the brook, leaving my friends to lay out the scanty breakfast. it may seem to you rash that even for soshort a distance i should quit the shelter of our friendly thicket, but you willremember that we were many miles from ape- town, that so far as we knew the creatures

had not discovered our retreat, and that inany case with a rifle in my hands i had no fear of them.i had not yet learned their cunning or their strength. i could hear the murmur of our brooksomewhere ahead of me, but there was a tangle of trees and brushwood between meand it. i was making my way through this at a pointwhich was just out of sight of my companions, when, under one of the trees, inoticed something red huddled among the as i approached it, i was shocked to seethat it was the dead body of the missing indian.

he lay upon his side, his limbs drawn up,and his head screwed round at a most unnatural angle, so that he seemed to belooking straight over his own shoulder. i gave a cry to warn my friends thatsomething was amiss, and running forwards i stooped over the body. surely my guardian angel was very near methen, for some instinct of fear, or it may have been some faint rustle of leaves, mademe glance upwards. out of the thick green foliage which hunglow over my head, two long muscular arms covered with reddish hair were slowlydescending. another instant and the great stealthyhands would have been round my throat.

i sprang backwards, but quick as i was,those hands were quicker still. through my sudden spring they missed afatal grip, but one of them caught the back of my neck and the other one my face. i threw my hands up to protect my throat,and the next moment the huge paw had slid down my face and closed over them. i was lifted lightly from the ground, and ifelt an intolerable pressure forcing my head back and back until the strain uponthe cervical spine was more than i could bear. my senses swam, but i still tore at thehand and forced it out from my chin.

looking up i saw a frightful face with coldinexorable light blue eyes looking down into mine. there was something hypnotic in thoseterrible eyes. i could struggle no longer. as the creature felt me grow limp in hisgrasp, two white canines gleamed for a moment at each side of the vile mouth, andthe grip tightened still more upon my chin, forcing it always upwards and back. a thin, oval-tinted mist formed before myeyes and little silvery bells tinkled in my ears.

dully and far off i heard the crack of arifle and was feebly aware of the shock as i was dropped to the earth, where i laywithout sense or motion. i awoke to find myself on my back upon thegrass in our lair within the thicket. someone had brought the water from thebrook, and lord john was sprinkling my head with it, while challenger and summerleewere propping me up, with concern in their faces. for a moment i had a glimpse of the humanspirits behind their scientific masks. it was really shock, rather than anyinjury, which had prostrated me, and in half-an-hour, in spite of aching head andstiff neck, i was sitting up and ready for

anything. "but you've had the escape of your life,young fellah my lad," said lord roxton. "when i heard your cry and ran forward, andsaw your head twisted half-off and your stohwassers kickin' in the air, i thoughtwe were one short. i missed the beast in my flurry, but hedropped you all right and was off like a george! i wish i had fifty men with rifles. i'd clear out the whole infernal gang ofthem and leave this country a bit cleaner than we found it."

it was clear now that the ape-men had insome way marked us down, and that we were watched on every side. we had not so much to fear from them duringthe day, but they would be very likely to rush us by night; so the sooner we got awayfrom their neighborhood the better. on three sides of us was absolute forest,and there we might find ourselves in an ambush. but on the fourth side--that which slopeddown in the direction of the lake--there was only low scrub, with scattered treesand occasional open glades. it was, in fact, the route which i hadmyself taken in my solitary journey, and it

led us straight for the indian caves.this then must for every reason be our road. one great regret we had, and that was toleave our old camp behind us, not only for the sake of the stores which remainedthere, but even more because we were losing touch with zambo, our link with the outsideworld. however, we had a fair supply of cartridgesand all our guns, so, for a time at least, we could look after ourselves, and we hopedsoon to have a chance of returning and restoring our communications with ournegro. he had faithfully promised to stay where hewas, and we had not a doubt that he would

be as good as his word. it was in the early afternoon that westarted upon our journey. the young chief walked at our head as ourguide, but refused indignantly to carry any burden. behind him came the two surviving indianswith our scanty possessions upon their backs.we four white men walked in the rear with rifles loaded and ready. as we started there broke from the thicksilent woods behind us a sudden great ululation of the ape-men, which may havebeen a cheer of triumph at our departure or

a jeer of contempt at our flight. looking back we saw only the dense screenof trees, but that long-drawn yell told us how many of our enemies lurked among them. we saw no sign of pursuit, however, andsoon we had got into more open country and beyond their power. as i tramped along, the rearmost of thefour, i could not help smiling at the appearance of my three companions in front. was this the luxurious lord john roxton whohad sat that evening in the albany amidst his persian rugs and his pictures in thepink radiance of the tinted lights?

and was this the imposing professor who hadswelled behind the great desk in his massive study at enmore park? and, finally, could this be the austere andprim figure which had risen before the meeting at the zoological institute? no three tramps that one could have met ina surrey lane could have looked more hopeless and bedraggled. we had, it is true, been only a week or soupon the top of the plateau, but all our spare clothing was in our camp below, andthe one week had been a severe one upon us all, though least to me who had not toendure the handling of the ape-men.

my three friends had all lost their hats,and had now bound handkerchiefs round their heads, their clothes hung in ribbons aboutthem, and their unshaven grimy faces were hardly to be recognized. both summerlee and challenger were limpingheavily, while i still dragged my feet from weakness after the shock of the morning,and my neck was as stiff as a board from the murderous grip that held it. we were indeed a sorry crew, and i did notwonder to see our indian companions glance back at us occasionally with horror andamazement on their faces. in the late afternoon we reached the marginof the lake, and as we emerged from the

bush and saw the sheet of water stretchingbefore us our native friends set up a shrill cry of joy and pointed eagerly infront of them. it was indeed a wonderful sight which laybefore us. sweeping over the glassy surface was agreat flotilla of canoes coming straight for the shore upon which we stood. they were some miles out when we first sawthem, but they shot forward with great swiftness, and were soon so near that therowers could distinguish our persons. instantly a thunderous shout of delightburst from them, and we saw them rise from their seats, waving their paddles andspears madly in the air.

then bending to their work once more, theyflew across the intervening water, beached their boats upon the sloping sand, andrushed up to us, prostrating themselves with loud cries of greeting before theyoung chief. finally one of them, an elderly man, with anecklace and bracelet of great lustrous glass beads and the skin of some beautifulmottled amber-colored animal slung over his shoulders, ran forward and embraced mosttenderly the youth whom we had saved. he then looked at us and asked somequestions, after which he stepped up with much dignity and embraced us also each inturn. then, at his order, the whole tribe laydown upon the ground before us in homage.

personally i felt shy and uncomfortable atthis obsequious adoration, and i read the same feeling in the faces of roxton andsummerlee, but challenger expanded like a flower in the sun. "they may be undeveloped types," said he,stroking his beard and looking round at them, "but their deportment in the presenceof their superiors might be a lesson to some of our more advanced europeans. strange how correct are the instincts ofthe natural man!" it was clear that the natives had come outupon the war-path, for every man carried his spear--a long bamboo tipped with bone--his bow and arrows, and some sort of club

or stone battle-axe slung at his side. their dark, angry glances at the woods fromwhich we had come, and the frequent repetition of the word "doda," made itclear enough that this was a rescue party who had set forth to save or revenge the old chief's son, for such we gathered thatthe youth must be. a council was now held by the whole tribesquatting in a circle, whilst we sat near on a slab of basalt and watched theirproceedings. two or three warriors spoke, and finallyour young friend made a spirited harangue with such eloquent features and gesturesthat we could understand it all as clearly

as if we had known his language. "what is the use of returning?" he said."sooner or later the thing must be done. your comrades have been murdered.what if i have returned safe? these others have been done to death. there is no safety for any of us.we are assembled now and ready." then he pointed to us."these strange men are our friends. they are great fighters, and they hate theape-men even as we do. they command," here he pointed up toheaven, "the thunder and the lightning. when shall we have such a chance again?

let us go forward, and either die now orlive for the future in safety. how else shall we go back unashamed to ourwomen?" the little red warriors hung upon the wordsof the speaker, and when he had finished they burst into a roar of applause, wavingtheir rude weapons in the air. the old chief stepped forward to us, andasked us some questions, pointing at the same time to the woods. lord john made a sign to him that he shouldwait for an answer and then he turned to "well, it's up to you to say what you willdo," said he; "for my part i have a score to settle with these monkey-folk, and if itends by wiping them off the face of the

earth i don't see that the earth need fretabout it. i'm goin' with our little red pals and imean to see them through the scrap. what do you say, young fellah?" "of course i will come.""and you, challenger?" "i will assuredly co-operate.""and you, summerlee?" "we seem to be drifting very far from theobject of this expedition, lord john. i assure you that i little thought when ileft my professional chair in london that it was for the purpose of heading a raid ofsavages upon a colony of anthropoid apes." "to such base uses do we come," said lordjohn, smiling.

"but we are up against it, so what's thedecision?" "it seems a most questionable step," saidsummerlee, argumentative to the last, "but if you are all going, i hardly see how ican remain behind." "then it is settled," said lord john, andturning to the chief he nodded and slapped his rifle. the old fellow clasped our hands, each inturn, while his men cheered louder than ever. it was too late to advance that night, sothe indians settled down into a rude bivouac.on all sides their fires began to glimmer

and smoke. some of them who had disappeared into thejungle came back presently driving a young iguanodon before them. like the others, it had a daub of asphaltupon its shoulder, and it was only when we saw one of the natives step forward withthe air of an owner and give his consent to the beast's slaughter that we understood at last that these great creatures were asmuch private property as a herd of cattle, and that these symbols which had soperplexed us were nothing more than the marks of the owner.

helpless, torpid, and vegetarian, withgreat limbs but a minute brain, they could be rounded up and driven by a child. in a few minutes the huge beast had beencut up and slabs of him were hanging over a dozen camp fires, together with great scalyganoid fish which had been speared in the lake. summerlee had lain down and slept upon thesand, but we others roamed round the edge of the water, seeking to learn somethingmore of this strange country. twice we found pits of blue clay, such aswe had already seen in the swamp of the pterodactyls.

these were old volcanic vents, and for somereason excited the greatest interest in lord john. what attracted challenger, on the otherhand, was a bubbling, gurgling mud geyser, where some strange gas formed greatbursting bubbles upon the surface. he thrust a hollow reed into it and criedout with delight like a schoolboy then he was able, on touching it with a lightedmatch, to cause a sharp explosion and a blue flame at the far end of the tube. still more pleased was he when, inverting aleathern pouch over the end of the reed, and so filling it with the gas, he was ableto send it soaring up into the air.

"an inflammable gas, and one markedlylighter than the atmosphere. i should say beyond doubt that it containeda considerable proportion of free hydrogen. the resources of g. e. c. are not yetexhausted, my young friend. i may yet show you how a great mind moldsall nature to its use." he swelled with some secret purpose, butwould say no more. there was nothing which we could see uponthe shore which seemed to me so wonderful as the great sheet of water before us. our numbers and our noise had frightenedall living creatures away, and save for a few pterodactyls, which soared round highabove our heads while they waited for the

carrion, all was still around the camp. but it was different out upon the rose-tinted waters of the central lake. it boiled and heaved with strange life. great slate-colored backs and high serrateddorsal fins shot up with a fringe of silver, and then rolled down into thedepths again. the sand-banks far out were spotted withuncouth crawling forms, huge turtles, strange saurians, and one great flatcreature like a writhing, palpitating mat of black greasy leather, which flopped itsway slowly to the lake. here and there high serpent heads projectedout of the water, cutting swiftly through

it with a little collar of foam in front,and a long swirling wake behind, rising and falling in graceful, swan-like undulationsas they went. it was not until one of these creatureswriggled on to a sand-bank within a few hundred yards of us, and exposed a barrel-shaped body and huge flippers behind the long serpent neck, that challenger, and summerlee, who had joined us, broke outinto their duet of wonder and admiration. "plesiosaurus!a fresh-water plesiosaurus!" cried summerlee. "that i should have lived to see such asight!

we are blessed, my dear challenger, aboveall zoologists since the world began!" it was not until the night had fallen, andthe fires of our savage allies glowed red in the shadows, that our two men of sciencecould be dragged away from the fascinations of that primeval lake. even in the darkness as we lay upon thestrand, we heard from time to time the snort and plunge of the huge creatures wholived therein. at earliest dawn our camp was astir and anhour later we had started upon our memorable expedition.often in my dreams have i thought that i might live to be a war correspondent.

in what wildest one could i have conceivedthe nature of the campaign which it should be my lot to report!here then is my first despatch from a field of battle: our numbers had been reinforced during thenight by a fresh batch of natives from the caves, and we may have been four or fivehundred strong when we made our advance. a fringe of scouts was thrown out in front,and behind them the whole force in a solid column made their way up the long slope ofthe bush country until we were near the edge of the forest. here they spread out into a long stragglingline of spearmen and bowmen.

roxton and summerlee took their positionupon the right flank, while challenger and i were on the left. it was a host of the stone age that we wereaccompanying to battle--we with the last word of the gunsmith's art from st. james'street and the strand. we had not long to wait for our enemy. a wild shrill clamor rose from the edge ofthe wood and suddenly a body of ape-men rushed out with clubs and stones, and madefor the center of the indian line. it was a valiant move but a foolish one,for the great bandy-legged creatures were slow of foot, while their opponents were asactive as cats.

it was horrible to see the fierce bruteswith foaming mouths and glaring eyes, rushing and grasping, but forever missingtheir elusive enemies, while arrow after arrow buried itself in their hides. one great fellow ran past me roaring withpain, with a dozen darts sticking from his chest and mercy i put a bullet through his skull, and he fell sprawling among the aloes. but this was the only shot fired, for theattack had been on the center of the line, and the indians there had needed no help ofours in repulsing it. of all the ape-men who had rushed out intothe open, i do not think that one got back

to cover.but the matter was more deadly when we came among the trees. for an hour or more after we entered thewood, there was a desperate struggle in which for a time we hardly held our own. springing out from among the scrub the ape-men with huge clubs broke in upon the indians and often felled three or four ofthem before they could be speared. their frightful blows shattered everythingupon which they fell. one of them knocked summerlee's rifle tomatchwood and the next would have crushed his skull had an indian not stabbed thebeast to the heart.

other ape-men in the trees above us hurleddown stones and logs of wood, occasionally dropping bodily on to our ranks andfighting furiously until they were felled. once our allies broke under the pressure,and had it not been for the execution done by our rifles they would certainly havetaken to their heels. but they were gallantly rallied by theirold chief and came on with such a rush that the ape-men began in turn to give way. summerlee was weaponless, but i wasemptying my magazine as quick as i could fire, and on the further flank we heard thecontinuous cracking of our companion's rifles.

then in a moment came the panic and thecollapse. screaming and howling, the great creaturesrushed away in all directions through the brushwood, while our allies yelled in theirsavage delight, following swiftly after their flying enemies. all the feuds of countless generations, allthe hatreds and cruelties of their narrow history, all the memories of ill-usage andpersecution were to be purged that day. at last man was to be supreme and the man-beast to find forever his allotted place. fly as they would the fugitives were tooslow to escape from the active savages, and from every side in the tangled woods weheard the exultant yells, the twanging of

bows, and the crash and thud as ape-men were brought down from their hiding-placesin the trees. i was following the others, when i foundthat lord john and challenger had come across to join us. "it's over," said lord john."i think we can leave the tidying up to them.perhaps the less we see of it the better we shall sleep." challenger's eyes were shining with thelust of slaughter. "we have been privileged," he cried,strutting about like a gamecock, "to be

present at one of the typical decisivebattles of history--the battles which have determined the fate of the world. what, my friends, is the conquest of onenation by another? it is meaningless.each produces the same result. but those fierce fights, when in the dawnof the ages the cave-dwellers held their own against the tiger folk, or theelephants first found that they had a master, those were the real conquests--thevictories that count. by this strange turn of fate we have seenand helped to decide even such a contest. now upon this plateau the future must everbe for man."

it needed a robust faith in the end tojustify such tragic means. as we advanced together through the woodswe found the ape-men lying thick, transfixed with spears or arrows. here and there a little group of shatteredindians marked where one of the anthropoids had turned to bay, and sold his lifedearly. always in front of us we heard the yellingand roaring which showed the direction of the pursuit. the ape-men had been driven back to theircity, they had made a last stand there, once again they had been broken, and now wewere in time to see the final fearful scene

of all. some eighty or a hundred males, the lastsurvivors, had been driven across that same little clearing which led to the edge ofthe cliff, the scene of our own exploit two days before. as we arrived the indians, a semicircle ofspearmen, had closed in on them, and in a minute it was over, thirty or forty diedwhere they stood. the others, screaming and clawing, werethrust over the precipice, and went hurtling down, as their prisoners had ofold, on to the sharp bamboos six hundred feet below.

it was as challenger had said, and thereign of man was assured forever in maple white land. the males were exterminated, ape town wasdestroyed, the females and young were driven away to live in bondage, and thelong rivalry of untold centuries had reached its bloody end. for us the victory brought much advantage.once again we were able to visit our camp and get at our stores. once more also we were able to communicatewith zambo, who had been terrified by the spectacle from afar of an avalanche of apesfalling from the edge of the cliff.

"come away, massas, come away!" he cried,his eyes starting from his head. "the debbil get you sure if you stay upthere." "it is the voice of sanity!" said summerleewith conviction. "we have had adventures enough and they areneither suitable to our character or our position. i hold you to your word, challenger.from now onwards you devote your energies to getting us out of this horrible countryand back once more to civilization." chapter xv"our eyes have seen great wonders" i write this from day to day, but i trustthat before i come to the end of it, i may

be able to say that the light shines, atlast, through our clouds. we are held here with no clear means ofmaking our escape, and bitterly we chafe against it. yet, i can well imagine that the day maycome when we may be glad that we were kept, against our will, to see something more ofthe wonders of this singular place, and of the creatures who inhabit it. the victory of the indians and theannihilation of the ape-men, marked the turning point of our fortunes. from then onwards, we were in truth mastersof the plateau, for the natives looked upon

us with a mixture of fear and gratitude,since by our strange powers we had aided them to destroy their hereditary foe. for their own sakes they would, perhaps, beglad to see the departure of such formidable and incalculable people, butthey have not themselves suggested any way by which we may reach the plains below. there had been, so far as we could followtheir signs, a tunnel by which the place could be approached, the lower exit ofwhich we had seen from below. by this, no doubt, both ape-men and indianshad at different epochs reached the top, and maple white with his companion hadtaken the same way.

only the year before, however, there hadbeen a terrific earthquake, and the upper end of the tunnel had fallen in andcompletely disappeared. the indians now could only shake theirheads and shrug their shoulders when we expressed by signs our desire to may be that they cannot, but it may also be that they will not, help us to get away. at the end of the victorious campaign thesurviving ape-folk were driven across the plateau (their wailings were horrible) andestablished in the neighborhood of the indian caves, where they would, from now onwards, be a servile race under the eyesof their masters.

it was a rude, raw, primeval version of thejews in babylon or the israelites in egypt. at night we could hear from amid the treesthe long-drawn cry, as some primitive ezekiel mourned for fallen greatness andrecalled the departed glories of ape town. hewers of wood and drawers of water, suchwere they from now onwards. we had returned across the plateau with ourallies two days after the battle, and made our camp at the foot of their cliffs. they would have had us share their caveswith them, but lord john would by no means consent to it considering that to do sowould put us in their power if they were treacherously disposed.

we kept our independence, therefore, andhad our weapons ready for any emergency, while preserving the most friendlyrelations. we also continually visited their caves,which were most remarkable places, though whether made by man or by nature we havenever been able to determine. they were all on the one stratum, hollowedout of some soft rock which lay between the volcanic basalt forming the ruddy cliffsabove them, and the hard granite which formed their base. the openings were about eighty feet abovethe ground, and were led up to by long stone stairs, so narrow and steep that nolarge animal could mount them.

inside they were warm and dry, running instraight passages of varying length into the side of the hill, with smooth graywalls decorated with many excellent pictures done with charred sticks and representing the various animals of theplateau. if every living thing were swept from thecountry the future explorer would find upon the walls of these caves ample evidence ofthe strange fauna--the dinosaurs, iguanodons, and fish lizards--which hadlived so recently upon earth. since we had learned that the hugeiguanodons were kept as tame herds by their owners, and were simply walking meat-stores, we had conceived that man, even

with his primitive weapons, had establishedhis ascendancy upon the plateau. we were soon to discover that it was notso, and that he was still there upon tolerance. it was on the third day after our formingour camp near the indian caves that the tragedy occurred. challenger and summerlee had gone offtogether that day to the lake where some of the natives, under their direction, wereengaged in harpooning specimens of the great lizards. lord john and i had remained in our camp,while a number of the indians were

scattered about upon the grassy slope infront of the caves engaged in different ways. suddenly there was a shrill cry of alarm,with the word "stoa" resounding from a hundred tongues. from every side men, women, and childrenwere rushing wildly for shelter, swarming up the staircases and into the caves in amad stampede. looking up, we could see them waving theirarms from the rocks above and beckoning to us to join them in their refuge.we had both seized our magazine rifles and ran out to see what the danger could be.

suddenly from the near belt of trees therebroke forth a group of twelve or fifteen indians, running for their lives, and attheir very heels two of those frightful monsters which had disturbed our camp andpursued me upon my solitary journey. in shape they were like horrible toads, andmoved in a succession of springs, but in size they were of an incredible bulk,larger than the largest elephant. we had never before seen them save atnight, and indeed they are nocturnal animals save when disturbed in their lairs,as these had been. we now stood amazed at the sight, for theirblotched and warty skins were of a curious fish-like iridescence, and the sunlightstruck them with an ever-varying rainbow

bloom as they moved. we had little time to watch them, however,for in an instant they had overtaken the fugitives and were making a dire slaughteramong them. their method was to fall forward with theirfull weight upon each in turn, leaving him crushed and mangled, to bound on after theothers. the wretched indians screamed with terror,but were helpless, run as they would, before the relentless purpose and horribleactivity of these monstrous creatures. one after another they went down, and therewere not half-a-dozen surviving by the time my companion and i could come to theirhelp.

but our aid was of little avail and onlyinvolved us in the same peril. at the range of a couple of hundred yardswe emptied our magazines, firing bullet after bullet into the beasts, but with nomore effect than if we were pelting them with pellets of paper. their slow reptilian natures cared nothingfor wounds, and the springs of their lives, with no special brain center but scatteredthroughout their spinal cords, could not be tapped by any modern weapons. the most that we could do was to checktheir progress by distracting their attention with the flash and roar of ourguns, and so to give both the natives and

ourselves time to reach the steps which ledto safety. but where the conical explosive bullets ofthe twentieth century were of no avail, the poisoned arrows of the natives, dipped inthe juice of strophanthus and steeped afterwards in decayed carrion, couldsucceed. such arrows were of little avail to thehunter who attacked the beast, because their action in that torpid circulation wasslow, and before its powers failed it could certainly overtake and slay its assailant. but now, as the two monsters hounded us tothe very foot of the stairs, a drift of darts came whistling from every chink inthe cliff above them.

in a minute they were feathered with them,and yet with no sign of pain they clawed and slobbered with impotent rage at thesteps which would lead them to their victims, mounting clumsily up for a few yards and then sliding down again to theground. but at last the poison worked. one of them gave a deep rumbling groan anddropped his huge squat head on to the earth. the other bounded round in an eccentriccircle with shrill, wailing cries, and then lying down writhed in agony for someminutes before it also stiffened and lay

still. with yells of triumph the indians cameflocking down from their caves and danced a frenzied dance of victory round the deadbodies, in mad joy that two more of the most dangerous of all their enemies hadbeen slain. that night they cut up and removed thebodies, not to eat--for the poison was still active--but lest they should breed apestilence. the great reptilian hearts, however, eachas large as a cushion, still lay there, beating slowly and steadily, with a gentlerise and fall, in horrible independent life.

it was only upon the third day that theganglia ran down and the dreadful things were still. some day, when i have a better desk than ameat-tin and more helpful tools than a worn stub of pencil and a last, tattered note-book, i will write some fuller account of the accala indians--of our life amongst them, and of the glimpses which we had ofthe strange conditions of wondrous maple memory, at least, will never fail me, forso long as the breath of life is in me, every hour and every action of that periodwill stand out as hard and clear as do the first strange happenings of our childhood.

no new impressions could efface those whichare so deeply cut. when the time comes i will describe thatwondrous moonlit night upon the great lake when a young ichthyosaurus--a strangecreature, half seal, half fish, to look at, with bone-covered eyes on each side of his snout, and a third eye fixed upon the topof his head--was entangled in an indian net, and nearly upset our canoe before wetowed it ashore; the same night that a green water-snake shot out from the rushes and carried off in its coils the steersmanof challenger's canoe. i will tell, too, of the great nocturnalwhite thing--to this day we do not know

whether it was beast or reptile--whichlived in a vile swamp to the east of the lake, and flitted about with a faintphosphorescent glimmer in the darkness. the indians were so terrified at it thatthey would not go near the place, and, though we twice made expeditions and saw iteach time, we could not make our way through the deep marsh in which it lived. i can only say that it seemed to be largerthan a cow and had the strangest musky odor. i will tell also of the huge bird whichchased challenger to the shelter of the rocks one day--a great running bird, fartaller than an ostrich, with a vulture-like

neck and cruel head which made it a walkingdeath. as challenger climbed to safety one dart ofthat savage curving beak shore off the heel of his boot as if it had been cut with achisel. this time at least modern weapons prevailedand the great creature, twelve feet from head to foot--phororachus its name,according to our panting but exultant professor--went down before lord roxton's rifle in a flurry of waving feathers andkicking limbs, with two remorseless yellow eyes glaring up from the midst of it. may i live to see that flattened viciousskull in its own niche amid the trophies of

the albany. finally, i will assuredly give some accountof the toxodon, the giant ten-foot guinea pig, with projecting chisel teeth, which wekilled as it drank in the gray of the morning by the side of the lake. all this i shall some day write at fullerlength, and amidst these more stirring days i would tenderly sketch in these lovelysummer evenings, when with the deep blue sky above us we lay in good comradeship among the long grasses by the wood andmarveled at the strange fowl that swept over us and the quaint new creatures whichcrept from their burrows to watch us, while

above us the boughs of the bushes were heavy with luscious fruit, and below usstrange and lovely flowers peeped at us from among the herbage; or those longmoonlit nights when we lay out upon the shimmering surface of the great lake and watched with wonder and awe the hugecircles rippling out from the sudden splash of some fantastic monster; or the greenishgleam, far down in the deep water, of some strange creature upon the confines ofdarkness. these are the scenes which my mind and mypen will dwell upon in every detail at some future day.

but, you will ask, why these experiencesand why this delay, when you and your comrades should have been occupied day andnight in the devising of some means by which you could return to the outer world? my answer is, that there was not one of uswho was not working for this end, but that our work had been in fact we had very speedily discovered: the indians would do nothing to help us. in every other way they were our friends--one might almost say our devoted slaves-- but when it was suggested that they shouldhelp us to make and carry a plank which would bridge the chasm, or when we wished

to get from them thongs of leather or lianato weave ropes which might help us, we were met by a good-humored, but an invincible,refusal. they would smile, twinkle their eyes, shaketheir heads, and there was the end of it. even the old chief met us with the sameobstinate denial, and it was only maretas, the youngster whom we had saved, who lookedwistfully at us and told us by his gestures that he was grieved for our thwartedwishes. ever since their crowning triumph with theape-men they looked upon us as supermen, who bore victory in the tubes of strangeweapons, and they believed that so long as we remained with them good fortune would betheirs.

a little red-skinned wife and a cave of ourown were freely offered to each of us if we would but forget our own people and dwellforever upon the plateau. so far all had been kindly, however farapart our desires might be; but we felt well assured that our actual plans of adescent must be kept secret, for we had reason to fear that at the last they mighttry to hold us by force. in spite of the danger from dinosaurs(which is not great save at night, for, as i may have said before, they are mostlynocturnal in their habits) i have twice in the last three weeks been over to our old camp in order to see our negro who stillkept watch and ward below the cliff.

my eyes strained eagerly across the greatplain in the hope of seeing afar off the help for which we had prayed. but the long cactus-strewn levels stillstretched away, empty and bare, to the distant line of the cane-brake."they will soon come now, massa malone. before another week pass indian come backand bring rope and fetch you down." such was the cheery cry of our excellentzambo. i had one strange experience as i came fromthis second visit which had involved my being away for a night from my companions. i was returning along the well-rememberedroute, and had reached a spot within a mile

or so of the marsh of the pterodactyls,when i saw an extraordinary object approaching me. it was a man who walked inside a frameworkmade of bent canes so that he was enclosed on all sides in a bell-shaped i drew nearer i was more amazed still to see that it was lord john roxton. when he saw me he slipped from under hiscurious protection and came towards me laughing, and yet, as i thought, with someconfusion in his manner. "well, young fellah," said he, "who wouldhave thought of meetin' you up here?" "what in the world are you doing?"i asked.

"visitin' my friends, the pterodactyls,"said he. "but why?""interestin' beasts, don't you think? but unsociable! nasty rude ways with strangers, as you mayremember. so i rigged this framework which keeps themfrom bein' too pressin' in their attentions." "but what do you want in the swamp?"he looked at me with a very questioning eye, and i read hesitation in his face. "don't you think other people besidesprofessors can want to know things?" he

said at last."i'm studyin' the pretty dears. that's enough for you." "no offense," said i.his good-humor returned and he laughed. "no offense, young fellah.i'm goin' to get a young devil chick for challenger. that's one of my, i don't want your company. i'm safe in this cage, and you are long, and i'll be back in camp by night- fall." he turned away and i left him wandering onthrough the wood with his extraordinary

cage around him.if lord john's behavior at this time was strange, that of challenger was more so. i may say that he seemed to possess anextraordinary fascination for the indian women, and that he always carried a largespreading palm branch with which he beat them off as if they were flies, when theirattentions became too pressing. to see him walking like a comic operasultan, with this badge of authority in his hand, his black beard bristling in front ofhim, his toes pointing at each step, and a train of wide-eyed indian girls behind him, clad in their slender drapery of barkcloth, is one of the most grotesque of all

the pictures which i will carry back withme. as to summerlee, he was absorbed in theinsect and bird life of the plateau, and spent his whole time (save thatconsiderable portion which was devoted to abusing challenger for not getting us out of our difficulties) in cleaning andmounting his specimens. challenger had been in the habit of walkingoff by himself every morning and returning from time to time with looks of portentoussolemnity, as one who bears the full weight of a great enterprise upon his shoulders. one day, palm branch in hand, and his crowdof adoring devotees behind him, he led us

down to his hidden work-shop and took usinto the secret of his plans. the place was a small clearing in thecenter of a palm grove. in this was one of those boiling mudgeysers which i have already described. around its edge were scattered a number ofleathern thongs cut from iguanodon hide, and a large collapsed membrane which provedto be the dried and scraped stomach of one of the great fish lizards from the lake. this huge sack had been sewn up at one endand only a small orifice left at the other. into this opening several bamboo canes hadbeen inserted and the other ends of these canes were in contact with conical clayfunnels which collected the gas bubbling up

through the mud of the geyser. soon the flaccid organ began to slowlyexpand and show such a tendency to upward movements that challenger fastened thecords which held it to the trunks of the surrounding trees. in half an hour a good-sized gas-bag hadbeen formed, and the jerking and straining upon the thongs showed that it was capableof considerable lift. challenger, like a glad father in thepresence of his first-born, stood smiling and stroking his beard, in silent, self-satisfied content as he gazed at the creation of his brain.

it was summerlee who first broke thesilence. "you don't mean us to go up in that thing,challenger?" said he, in an acid voice. "i mean, my dear summerlee, to give yousuch a demonstration of its powers that after seeing it you will, i am sure, haveno hesitation in trusting yourself to it." "you can put it right out of your head now,at once," said summerlee with decision, "nothing on earth would induce me to commitsuch a folly. lord john, i trust that you will notcountenance such madness?" "dooced ingenious, i call it," said ourpeer. "i'd like to see how it works."

"so you shall," said challenger."for some days i have exerted my whole brain force upon the problem of how weshall descend from these cliffs. we have satisfied ourselves that we cannotclimb down and that there is no tunnel. we are also unable to construct any kind ofbridge which may take us back to the pinnacle from which we came. how then shall i find a means to convey us?some little time ago i had remarked to our young friend here that free hydrogen wasevolved from the geyser. the idea of a balloon naturally followed. i was, i will admit, somewhat baffled bythe difficulty of discovering an envelope

to contain the gas, but the contemplationof the immense entrails of these reptiles supplied me with a solution to the problem. behold the result!"he put one hand in the front of his ragged jacket and pointed proudly with the other. by this time the gas-bag had swollen to agoodly rotundity and was jerking strongly upon its lashings."midsummer madness!" snorted summerlee. lord john was delighted with the wholeidea. "clever old dear, ain't he?" he whisperedto me, and then louder to challenger. "what about a car?"

"the car will be my next care.i have already planned how it is to be made and attached. meanwhile i will simply show you howcapable my apparatus is of supporting the weight of each of us.""all of us, surely?" "no, it is part of my plan that each inturn shall descend as in a parachute, and the balloon be drawn back by means which ishall have no difficulty in perfecting. if it will support the weight of one andlet him gently down, it will have done all that is required of it.i will now show you its capacity in that direction."

he brought out a lump of basalt of aconsiderable size, constructed in the middle so that a cord could be easilyattached to it. this cord was the one which we had broughtwith us on to the plateau after we had used it for climbing the was over a hundred feet long, and though it was thin it was very strong. he had prepared a sort of collar of leatherwith many straps depending from it. this collar was placed over the dome of theballoon, and the hanging thongs were gathered together below, so that thepressure of any weight would be diffused over a considerable surface.

then the lump of basalt was fastened to thethongs, and the rope was allowed to hang from the end of it, being passed threetimes round the professor's arm. "i will now," said challenger, with a smileof pleased anticipation, "demonstrate the carrying power of my balloon."as he said so he cut with a knife the various lashings that held it. never was our expedition in more imminentdanger of complete annihilation. the inflated membrane shot up withfrightful velocity into the air. in an instant challenger was pulled off hisfeet and dragged after it. i had just time to throw my arms round hisascending waist when i was myself whipped

up into the air. lord john had me with a rat-trap grip roundthe legs, but i felt that he also was coming off the ground. for a moment i had a vision of fouradventurers floating like a string of sausages over the land that they hadexplored. but, happily, there were limits to thestrain which the rope would stand, though none apparently to the lifting powers ofthis infernal machine. there was a sharp crack, and we were in aheap upon the ground with coils of rope all over us.

when we were able to stagger to our feet wesaw far off in the deep blue sky one dark spot where the lump of basalt was speedingupon its way. "splendid!" cried the undaunted challenger,rubbing his injured arm. "a most thorough and satisfactorydemonstration! i could not have anticipated such asuccess. within a week, gentlemen, i promise that asecond balloon will be prepared, and that you can count upon taking in safety andcomfort the first stage of our homeward journey." so far i have written each of the foregoingevents as it occurred.

now i am rounding off my narrative from theold camp, where zambo has waited so long, with all our difficulties and dangers leftlike a dream behind us upon the summit of those vast ruddy crags which tower aboveour heads. we have descended in safety, though in amost unexpected fashion, and all is well with us. in six weeks or two months we shall be inlondon, and it is possible that this letter may not reach you much earlier than we doourselves. already our hearts yearn and our spiritsfly towards the great mother city which holds so much that is dear to us.

it was on the very evening of our perilousadventure with challenger's home-made balloon that the change came in ourfortunes. i have said that the one person from whomwe had had some sign of sympathy in our attempts to get away was the young chiefwhom we had rescued. he alone had no desire to hold us againstour will in a strange land. he had told us as much by his expressivelanguage of signs. that evening, after dusk, he came down toour little camp, handed me (for some reason he had always shown his attentions to me,perhaps because i was the one who was nearest his age) a small roll of the bark

of a tree, and then pointing solemnly up atthe row of caves above him, he had put his finger to his lips as a sign of secrecy andhad stolen back again to his people. i took the slip of bark to the firelightand we examined it together. it was about a foot square, and on theinner side there was a singular arrangement of lines, which i here reproduce: they were neatly done in charcoal upon thewhite surface, and looked to me at first sight like some sort of rough musicalscore. "whatever it is, i can swear that it is ofimportance to us," said i. "i could read that on his face as he gaveit."

"unless we have come upon a primitivepractical joker," summerlee suggested, "which i should think would be one of themost elementary developments of man." "it is clearly some sort of script," saidchallenger. "looks like a guinea puzzle competition,"remarked lord john, craning his neck to have a look at it. then suddenly he stretched out his hand andseized the puzzle. "by george!" he cried, "i believe i've gotit. the boy guessed right the very first time. see here!how many marks are on that paper?

eighteen. well, if you come to think of it there areeighteen cave openings on the hill-side above us.""he pointed up to the caves when he gave it to me," said i. "well, that settles it.this is a chart of the caves. what! eighteen of them all in a row, some short,some deep, some branching, same as we saw's a map, and here's a cross on it. what's the cross for?

it is placed to mark one that is muchdeeper than the others." "one that goes through," i cried."i believe our young friend has read the riddle," said challenger. "if the cave does not go through i do notunderstand why this person, who has every reason to mean us well, should have drawnour attention to it. but if it does go through and comes out atthe corresponding point on the other side, we should not have more than a hundred feetto descend." "a hundred feet!" grumbled summerlee. "well, our rope is still more than ahundred feet long," i cried.

"surely we could get down.""how about the indians in the cave?" summerlee objected. "there are no indians in any of the cavesabove our heads," said i. "they are all used as barns and store-houses. why should we not go up now at once and spyout the land?" there is a dry bituminous wood upon theplateau--a species of araucaria, according to our botanist--which is always used bythe indians for torches. each of us picked up a faggot of this, andwe made our way up weed-covered steps to the particular cave which was marked in thedrawing.

it was, as i had said, empty, save for agreat number of enormous bats, which flapped round our heads as we advanced intoit. as we had no desire to draw the attentionof the indians to our proceedings, we stumbled along in the dark until we hadgone round several curves and penetrated a considerable distance into the cavern. then, at last, we lit our was a beautiful dry tunnel with smooth gray walls covered with native symbols, acurved roof which arched over our heads, and white glistening sand beneath our feet. we hurried eagerly along it until, with adeep groan of bitter disappointment, we

were brought to a halt. a sheer wall of rock had appeared beforeus, with no chink through which a mouse could have slipped.there was no escape for us there. we stood with bitter hearts staring at thisunexpected obstacle. it was not the result of any convulsion, asin the case of the ascending tunnel. the end wall was exactly like the sideones. it was, and had always been, a cul-de-sac."never mind, my friends," said the indomitable challenger. "you have still my firm promise of aballoon."

summerlee groaned."can we be in the wrong cave?" i suggested. "no use, young fellah," said lord john,with his finger on the chart. "seventeen from the right and second fromthe left. this is the cave sure enough." i looked at the mark to which his fingerpointed, and i gave a sudden cry of joy. "i believe i have it!follow me! follow me!" i hurried back along the way we had come,my torch in my hand.

"here," said i, pointing to some matchesupon the ground, "is where we lit up." "exactly." "well, it is marked as a forked cave, andin the darkness we passed the fork before the torches were lit.on the right side as we go out we should find the longer arm." it was as i had said.we had not gone thirty yards before a great black opening loomed in the wall.we turned into it to find that we were in a much larger passage than before. along it we hurried in breathlessimpatience for many hundreds of yards.

then, suddenly, in the black darkness ofthe arch in front of us we saw a gleam of dark red light. we stared in amazement.a sheet of steady flame seemed to cross the passage and to bar our way.we hastened towards it. no sound, no heat, no movement came fromit, but still the great luminous curtain glowed before us, silvering all the caveand turning the sand to powdered jewels, until as we drew closer it discovered acircular edge. "the moon, by george!" cried lord john."we are through, boys! we are through!"

it was indeed the full moon which shonestraight down the aperture which opened upon the cliffs. it was a small rift, not larger than awindow, but it was enough for all our purposes. as we craned our necks through it we couldsee that the descent was not a very difficult one, and that the level groundwas no very great way below us. it was no wonder that from below we had notobserved the place, as the cliffs curved overhead and an ascent at the spot wouldhave seemed so impossible as to discourage close inspection.

we satisfied ourselves that with the helpof our rope we could find our way down, and then returned, rejoicing, to our camp tomake our preparations for the next evening. what we did we had to do quickly andsecretly, since even at this last hour the indians might hold us back.our stores we would leave behind us, save only our guns and cartridges. but challenger had some unwieldy stuffwhich he ardently desired to take with him, and one particular package, of which i maynot speak, which gave us more labor than any. slowly the day passed, but when thedarkness fell we were ready for our

departure. with much labor we got our things up thesteps, and then, looking back, took one last long survey of that strange land, sooni fear to be vulgarized, the prey of hunter and prospector, but to each of us a dreamland of glamour and romance, a landwhere we had dared much, suffered much, and learned much--our land, as we shall everfondly call it. along upon our left the neighboring caveseach threw out its ruddy cheery firelight into the gloom.from the slope below us rose the voices of the indians as they laughed and sang.

beyond was the long sweep of the woods, andin the center, shimmering vaguely through the gloom, was the great lake, the motherof strange monsters. even as we looked a high whickering cry,the call of some weird animal, rang clear out of the was the very voice of maple white land bidding us good-bye. we turned and plunged into the cave whichled to home. two hours later, we, our packages, and allwe owned, were at the foot of the cliff. save for challenger's luggage we had nevera difficulty. leaving it all where we descended, westarted at once for zambo's camp.

in the early morning we approached it, butonly to find, to our amazement, not one fire but a dozen upon the plain.the rescue party had arrived. there were twenty indians from the river,with stakes, ropes, and all that could be useful for bridging the chasm. at least we shall have no difficulty now incarrying our packages, when to-morrow we begin to make our way back to the amazon.and so, in humble and thankful mood, i close this account. our eyes have seen great wonders and oursouls are chastened by what we have endured.each is in his own way a better and deeper

man. it may be that when we reach para we shallstop to refit. if we do, this letter will be a mail ahead.if not, it will reach london on the very day that i do. in either case, my dear mr. mcardle, i hopevery soon to shake you by the hand. chapter xvi"a procession! a procession!" i should wish to place upon record here ourgratitude to all our friends upon the amazon for the very great kindness andhospitality which was shown to us upon our return journey.

very particularly would i thank senhorpenalosa and other officials of the brazilian government for the specialarrangements by which we were helped upon our way, and senhor pereira of para, to whose forethought we owe the completeoutfit for a decent appearance in the civilized world which we found ready for usat that town. it seemed a poor return for all thecourtesy which we encountered that we should deceive our hosts and benefactors,but under the circumstances we had really no alternative, and i hereby tell them that they will only waste their time and theirmoney if they attempt to follow upon our

traces. even the names have been altered in ouraccounts, and i am very sure that no one, from the most careful study of them, couldcome within a thousand miles of our unknown land. the excitement which had been causedthrough those parts of south america which we had to traverse was imagined by us to bepurely local, and i can assure our friends in england that we had no notion of the uproar which the mere rumor of ourexperiences had caused through europe. it was not until the ivernia was withinfive hundred miles of southampton that the

wireless messages from paper after paperand agency after agency, offering huge prices for a short return message as to our actual results, showed us how strained wasthe attention not only of the scientific world but of the general public. it was agreed among us, however, that nodefinite statement should be given to the press until we had met the members of thezoological institute, since as delegates it was our clear duty to give our first report to the body from which we had received ourcommission of investigation. thus, although we found southampton full ofpressmen, we absolutely refused to give any

information, which had the natural effectof focussing public attention upon the meeting which was advertised for theevening of november 7th. for this gathering, the zoological hallwhich had been the scene of the inception of our task was found to be far too small,and it was only in the queen's hall in regent street that accommodation could befound. it is now common knowledge the promotersmight have ventured upon the albert hall and still found their space too scanty. it was for the second evening after ourarrival that the great meeting had been fixed.for the first, we had each, no doubt, our

own pressing personal affairs to absorb us. of mine i cannot yet may be that as it stands further from me i may think of it, and even speak of it,with less emotion. i have shown the reader in the beginning ofthis narrative where lay the springs of my action. it is but right, perhaps, that i shouldcarry on the tale and show also the results.and yet the day may come when i would not have it otherwise. at least i have been driven forth to takepart in a wondrous adventure, and i cannot

but be thankful to the force that drove me.and now i turn to the last supreme eventful moment of our adventure. as i was racking my brain as to how ishould best describe it, my eyes fell upon the issue of my own journal for the morningof the 8th of november with the full and excellent account of my friend and fellow-reporter macdona. what can i do better than transcribe hisnarrative--head-lines and all? i admit that the paper was exuberant in thematter, out of compliment to its own enterprise in sending a correspondent, butthe other great dailies were hardly less full in their account.

thus, then, friend mac in his report:the new world great meeting at the queen's hallscenes of uproar extraordinary incidentwhat was it? nocturnal riot in regent street(special) "the much-discussed meeting of thezoological institute, convened to hear the report of the committee of investigationsent out last year to south america to test the assertions made by professor challenger as to the continued existence ofprehistoric life upon that continent, was held last night in the greater queen'shall, and it is safe to say that it is

likely to be a red letter date in the history of science, for the proceedingswere of so remarkable and sensational a character that no one present is everlikely to forget them." (oh, brother scribe macdona, what amonstrous opening sentence!) "the tickets were theoretically confined tomembers and their friends, but the latter is an elastic term, and long before eighto'clock, the hour fixed for the commencement of the proceedings, all partsof the great hall were tightly packed. the general public, however, which mostunreasonably entertained a grievance at having been excluded, stormed the doors ata quarter to eight, after a prolonged melee

in which several people were injured,including inspector scoble of h. division, whose leg was unfortunatelybroken. after this unwarrantable invasion, whichnot only filled every passage, but even intruded upon the space set apart for thepress, it is estimated that nearly five thousand people awaited the arrival of thetravelers. when they eventually appeared, they tooktheir places in the front of a platform which already contained all the leadingscientific men, not only of this country, but of france and of germany. sweden was also represented, in the personof professor sergius, the famous zoologist

of the university of upsala. the entrance of the four heroes of theoccasion was the signal for a remarkable demonstration of welcome, the wholeaudience rising and cheering for some minutes. an acute observer might, however, havedetected some signs of dissent amid the applause, and gathered that the proceedingswere likely to become more lively than harmonious. it may safely be prophesied, however, thatno one could have foreseen the extraordinary turn which they were actuallyto take.

"of the appearance of the four wandererslittle need be said, since their photographs have for some time beenappearing in all the papers. they bear few traces of the hardships whichthey are said to have undergone. professor challenger's beard may be moreshaggy, professor summerlee's features more ascetic, lord john roxton's figure moregaunt, and all three may be burned to a darker tint than when they left our shores, but each appeared to be in most excellenthealth. as to our own representative, the well-known athlete and international rugby football player, e.d. malone, he lookstrained to a hair, and as he surveyed the

crowd a smile of good-humored contentmentpervaded his honest but homely face." (all right, mac, wait till i get youalone!) "when quiet had been restored and theaudience resumed their seats after the ovation which they had given to thetravelers, the chairman, the duke of durham, addressed the meeting. 'he would not,' he said, 'stand for morethan a moment between that vast assembly and the treat which lay before them. it was not for him to anticipate whatprofessor summerlee, who was the spokesman of the committee, had to say to them, butit was common rumor that their expedition

had been crowned by extraordinary success.' (applause.) 'apparently the age of romance was notdead, and there was common ground upon which the wildest imaginings of thenovelist could meet the actual scientific investigations of the searcher for truth. he would only add, before he sat down, thathe rejoiced--and all of them would rejoice- -that these gentlemen had returned safe andsound from their difficult and dangerous task, for it cannot be denied that any disaster to such an expedition would haveinflicted a well-nigh irreparable loss to

the cause of zoological science.'(great applause, in which professor challenger was observed to join.) "professor summerlee's rising was thesignal for another extraordinary outbreak of enthusiasm, which broke out again atintervals throughout his address. that address will not be given in extensoin these columns, for the reason that a full account of the whole adventures of theexpedition is being published as a supplement from the pen of our own specialcorrespondent. some general indications will thereforesuffice. having described the genesis of theirjourney, and paid a handsome tribute to his

friend professor challenger, coupled withan apology for the incredulity with which his assertions, now fully vindicated, had been received, he gave the actual course oftheir journey, carefully withholding such information as would aid the public in anyattempt to locate this remarkable plateau. having described, in general terms, theircourse from the main river up to the time that they actually reached the base of thecliffs, he enthralled his hearers by his account of the difficulties encountered by the expedition in their repeated attemptsto mount them, and finally described how they succeeded in their desperateendeavors, which cost the lives of their

two devoted half-breed servants." (this amazing reading of the affair was theresult of summerlee's endeavors to avoid raising any questionable matter at themeeting.) "having conducted his audience in fancy tothe summit, and marooned them there by reason of the fall of their bridge, theprofessor proceeded to describe both the horrors and the attractions of thatremarkable land. of personal adventures he said little, butlaid stress upon the rich harvest reaped by science in the observations of thewonderful beast, bird, insect, and plant life of the plateau.

peculiarly rich in the coleoptera and inthe lepidoptera, forty-six new species of the one and ninety-four of the other hadbeen secured in the course of a few weeks. it was, however, in the larger animals, andespecially in the larger animals supposed to have been long extinct, that theinterest of the public was naturally centered. of these he was able to give a goodly list,but had little doubt that it would be largely extended when the place had beenmore thoroughly investigated. he and his companions had seen at least adozen creatures, most of them at a distance, which corresponded with nothingat present known to science.

these would in time be duly classified andexamined. he instanced a snake, the cast skin ofwhich, deep purple in color, was fifty-one feet in length, and mentioned a whitecreature, supposed to be mammalian, which gave forth well-marked phosphorescence in the darkness; also a large black moth, thebite of which was supposed by the indians to be highly poisonous. setting aside these entirely new forms oflife, the plateau was very rich in known prehistoric forms, dating back in somecases to early jurassic times. among these he mentioned the gigantic andgrotesque stegosaurus, seen once by mr.

malone at a drinking-place by the lake, anddrawn in the sketch-book of that adventurous american who had firstpenetrated this unknown world. he described also the iguanodon and thepterodactyl--two of the first of the wonders which they had encountered. he then thrilled the assembly by someaccount of the terrible carnivorous dinosaurs, which had on more than oneoccasion pursued members of the party, and which were the most formidable of all thecreatures which they had encountered. thence he passed to the huge and ferociousbird, the phororachus, and to the great elk which still roams upon this upland.

it was not, however, until he sketched themysteries of the central lake that the full interest and enthusiasm of the audiencewere aroused. one had to pinch oneself to be sure thatone was awake as one heard this sane and practical professor in cold measured tonesdescribing the monstrous three-eyed fish- lizards and the huge water-snakes whichinhabit this enchanted sheet of water. next he touched upon the indians, and uponthe extraordinary colony of anthropoid apes, which might be looked upon as anadvance upon the pithecanthropus of java, and as coming therefore nearer than any known form to that hypothetical creation,the missing link.

finally he described, amongst somemerriment, the ingenious but highly dangerous aeronautic invention of professorchallenger, and wound up a most memorable address by an account of the methods by which the committee did at last find theirway back to civilization. "it had been hoped that the proceedingswould end there, and that a vote of thanks and congratulation, moved by professorsergius, of upsala university, would be duly seconded and carried; but it was soon evident that the course of events was notdestined to flow so smoothly. symptoms of opposition had been evidentfrom time to time during the evening, and

now dr. james illingworth, of edinburgh,rose in the center of the hall. dr. illingworth asked whether an amendmentshould not be taken before a resolution. "the chairman: 'yes, sir, if there must bean amendment.' "dr. illingworth: 'your grace, there mustbe an amendment.' "the chairman: 'then let us take it atonce.' "professor summerlee (springing to hisfeet): 'might i explain, your grace, that this man is my personal enemy ever sinceour controversy in the quarterly journal of science as to the true nature ofbathybius?' "the chairman: 'i fear i cannot go intopersonal matters.

proceed.' "dr. illingworth was imperfectly heard inpart of his remarks on account of the strenuous opposition of the friends of theexplorers. some attempts were also made to pull himdown. being a man of enormous physique, however,and possessed of a very powerful voice, he dominated the tumult and succeeded infinishing his speech. it was clear, from the moment of hisrising, that he had a number of friends and sympathizers in the hall, though theyformed a minority in the audience. the attitude of the greater part of thepublic might be described as one of

attentive neutrality. "dr. illingworth began his remarks byexpressing his high appreciation of the scientific work both of professorchallenger and of professor summerlee. he much regretted that any personal biasshould have been read into his remarks, which were entirely dictated by his desirefor scientific truth. his position, in fact, was substantiallythe same as that taken up by professor summerlee at the last meeting. at that last meeting professor challengerhad made certain assertions which had been queried by his colleague.

now this colleague came forward himselfwith the same assertions and expected them to remain unquestioned.was this reasonable? ('yes,' 'no,' and prolonged interruption,during which professor challenger was heard from the press box to ask leave from thechairman to put dr. illingworth into the street.) a year ago one man said certain four men said other and more startling ones. was this to constitute a final proof wherethe matters in question were of the most revolutionary and incredible character?

there had been recent examples of travelersarriving from the unknown with certain tales which had been too readily accepted.was the london zoological institute to place itself in this position? he admitted that the members of thecommittee were men of character. but human nature was very complex.even professors might be misled by the desire for notoriety. like moths, we all love best to flutter inthe light. heavy-game shots liked to be in a positionto cap the tales of their rivals, and journalists were not averse fromsensational coups, even when imagination

had to aid fact in the process. each member of the committee had his ownmotive for making the most of his results. ('shame! shame!')he had no desire to be offensive. ('you are!' and interruption.) the corroboration of these wondrous taleswas really of the most slender description. what did it amount to?some photographs. {was it possible that in this age ofingenious manipulation photographs could be accepted as evidence?} what more? we have a story of a flight and a descentby ropes which precluded the production of

larger was ingenious, but not convincing. it was understood that lord john roxtonclaimed to have the skull of a phororachus. he could only say that he would like to seethat skull. "lord john roxton: 'is this fellow callingme a liar?' (uproar.)"the chairman: 'order! order! dr. illingworth, i must direct you to bringyour remarks to a conclusion and to move your amendment.'"dr. illingworth: 'your grace, i have more to say, but i bow to your ruling. i move, then, that, while professorsummerlee be thanked for his interesting

address, the whole matter shall be regardedas 'non-proven,' and shall be referred back to a larger, and possibly more reliablecommittee of investigation.' "it is difficult to describe the confusioncaused by this amendment. a large section of the audience expressedtheir indignation at such a slur upon the travelers by noisy shouts of dissent andcries of, 'don't put it!' 'withdraw!' 'turn him out!'on the other hand, the malcontents--and it cannot be denied that they were fairlynumerous--cheered for the amendment, with cries of 'order!'

'chair!' and 'fair play!'a scuffle broke out in the back benches, and blows were freely exchanged among themedical students who crowded that part of the hall. it was only the moderating influence of thepresence of large numbers of ladies which prevented an absolute riot.suddenly, however, there was a pause, a hush, and then complete silence. professor challenger was on his feet.his appearance and manner are peculiarly arresting, and as he raised his hand fororder the whole audience settled down expectantly to give him a hearing.

"'it will be within the recollection ofmany present,' said professor challenger, 'that similar foolish and unmannerly scenesmarked the last meeting at which i have been able to address them. on that occasion professor summerlee wasthe chief offender, and though he is now chastened and contrite, the matter couldnot be entirely forgotten. i have heard to-night similar, but evenmore offensive, sentiments from the person who has just sat down, and though it is aconscious effort of self-effacement to come down to that person's mental level, i will endeavor to do so, in order to allay anyreasonable doubt which could possibly exist

in the minds of anyone.'(laughter and interruption.) 'i need not remind this audience that,though professor summerlee, as the head of the committee of investigation, has beenput up to speak to-night, still it is i who am the real prime mover in this business, and that it is mainly to me that anysuccessful result must be ascribed. i have safely conducted these threegentlemen to the spot mentioned, and i have, as you have heard, convinced them ofthe accuracy of my previous account. we had hoped that we should find upon ourreturn that no one was so dense as to dispute our joint conclusions.

warned, however, by my previous experience,i have not come without such proofs as may convince a reasonable man. as explained by professor summerlee, ourcameras have been tampered with by the ape- men when they ransacked our camp, and mostof our negatives ruined.' (jeers, laughter, and 'tell us another!'from the back.) 'i have mentioned the ape-men, and i cannotforbear from saying that some of the sounds which now meet my ears bring back mostvividly to my recollection my experiences with those interesting creatures.' (laughter.)

'in spite of the destruction of so manyinvaluable negatives, there still remains in our collection a certain number ofcorroborative photographs showing the conditions of life upon the plateau. did they accuse them of having forged thesephotographs?' (a voice, 'yes,' and considerableinterruption which ended in several men being put out of the hall.) 'the negatives were open to the inspectionof experts. but what other evidence had they? under the conditions of their escape it wasnaturally impossible to bring a large

amount of baggage, but they had rescuedprofessor summerlee's collections of butterflies and beetles, containing manynew species. was this not evidence?'(several voices, 'no.') 'who said no?' "dr. illingworth (rising): 'our point isthat such a collection might have been made in other places than a prehistoricplateau.' "professor challenger: 'no doubt, sir, wehave to bow to your scientific authority, although i must admit that the name isunfamiliar. passing, then, both the photographs and theentomological collection, i come to the

varied and accurate information which webring with us upon points which have never before been elucidated. for example, upon the domestic habits ofthe pterodactyl--'(a voice: 'bosh,' and uproar)--'i say, that upon the domestichabits of the pterodactyl we can throw a flood of light. i can exhibit to you from my portfolio apicture of that creature taken from life which would convince you----'"dr. illingworth: 'no picture could convince us of anything.' "professor challenger: 'you would requireto see the thing itself?'

"dr. illingworth: 'undoubtedly.'"professor challenger: 'and you would accept that?' "dr. illingworth (laughing): 'beyond adoubt.' "it was at this point that the sensation ofthe evening arose--a sensation so dramatic that it can never have been paralleled inthe history of scientific gatherings. professor challenger raised his hand in theair as a signal, and at once our colleague, mr. e.d. malone, was observed to rise andto make his way to the back of the platform. an instant later he re-appeared in companyof a gigantic negro, the two of them

bearing between them a large squarepacking-case. it was evidently of great weight, and wasslowly carried forward and placed in front of the professor's chair. all sound had hushed in the audience andeveryone was absorbed in the spectacle before them.professor challenger drew off the top of the case, which formed a sliding lid. peering down into the box he snapped hisfingers several times and was heard from the press seat to say, 'come, then, pretty,pretty!' in a coaxing voice. an instant later, with a scratching,rattling sound, a most horrible and

loathsome creature appeared from below andperched itself upon the side of the case. even the unexpected fall of the duke ofdurham into the orchestra, which occurred at this moment, could not distract thepetrified attention of the vast audience. the face of the creature was like thewildest gargoyle that the imagination of a mad medieval builder could have conceived. it was malicious, horrible, with two smallred eyes as bright as points of burning coal. its long, savage mouth, which was heldhalf-open, was full of a double row of shark-like teeth.

its shoulders were humped, and round themwere draped what appeared to be a faded gray was the devil of our childhood in person. there was a turmoil in the audience--someone screamed, two ladies in the front row fell senseless from their chairs, andthere was a general movement upon the platform to follow their chairman into theorchestra. for a moment there was danger of a generalpanic. professor challenger threw up his hands tostill the commotion, but the movement alarmed the creature beside him.

its strange shawl suddenly unfurled,spread, and fluttered as a pair of leathery wings.its owner grabbed at its legs, but too late to hold it. it had sprung from the perch and wascircling slowly round the queen's hall with a dry, leathery flapping of its ten-footwings, while a putrid and insidious odor pervaded the room. the cries of the people in the galleries,who were alarmed at the near approach of those glowing eyes and that murderous beak,excited the creature to a frenzy. faster and faster it flew, beating againstwalls and chandeliers in a blind frenzy of

alarm.'the window! for heaven's sake shut that window!' roaredthe professor from the platform, dancing and wringing his hands in an agony ofapprehension. alas, his warning was too late! in a moment the creature, beating andbumping along the wall like a huge moth within a gas-shade, came upon the opening,squeezed its hideous bulk through it, and was gone. professor challenger fell back into hischair with his face buried in his hands, while the audience gave one long, deep sighof relief as they realized that the

incident was over. "then--oh! how shall one describe what tookplace then--when the full exuberance of the majority and the full reaction of theminority united to make one great wave of enthusiasm, which rolled from the back of the hall, gathering volume as it came,swept over the orchestra, submerged the platform, and carried the four heroes awayupon its crest?" (good for you, mac!) "if the audience had done less thanjustice, surely it made ample amends. every one was on his feet.every one was moving, shouting,

gesticulating. a dense crowd of cheering men were roundthe four travelers. 'up with them! up with them!' cried ahundred voices. in a moment four figures shot up above thecrowd. in vain they strove to break loose.they were held in their lofty places of honor. it would have been hard to let them down ifit had been wished, so dense was the crowd around them.'regent street! regent street!' sounded the voices.

there was a swirl in the packed multitude,and a slow current, bearing the four upon their shoulders, made for the door.out in the street the scene was extraordinary. an assemblage of not less than a hundredthousand people was waiting. the close-packed throng extended from theother side of the langham hotel to oxford circus. a roar of acclamation greeted the fouradventurers as they appeared, high above the heads of the people, under the vividelectric lamps outside the hall. 'a procession!

a procession!' was the a dense phalanx, blocking the streets from side to side, the crowd set forth,taking the route of regent street, pall mall, st. james's street, and piccadilly. the whole central traffic of london washeld up, and many collisions were reported between the demonstrators upon the one sideand the police and taxi-cabmen upon the other. finally, it was not until after midnightthat the four travelers were released at the entrance to lord john roxton's chambersin the albany, and that the exuberant crowd, having sung 'they are jolly good

fellows' in chorus, concluded their programwith 'god save the king.' so ended one of the most remarkableevenings that london has seen for a considerable time." so far my friend macdona; and it may betaken as a fairly accurate, if florid, account of the proceedings. as to the main incident, it was abewildering surprise to the audience, but not, i need hardly say, to us. the reader will remember how i met lordjohn roxton upon the very occasion when, in his protective crinoline, he had gone tobring the "devil's chick" as he called it,

for professor challenger. i have hinted also at the trouble which theprofessor's baggage gave us when we left the plateau, and had i described our voyagei might have said a good deal of the worry we had to coax with putrid fish theappetite of our filthy companion. if i have not said much about it before, itwas, of course, that the professor's earnest desire was that no possible rumorof the unanswerable argument which we carried should be allowed to leak out until the moment came when his enemies were to beconfuted. one word as to the fate of the londonpterodactyl.

nothing can be said to be certain upon thispoint. there is the evidence of two frightenedwomen that it perched upon the roof of the queen's hall and remained there like adiabolical statue for some hours. the next day it came out in the eveningpapers that private miles, of the coldstream guards, on duty outsidemarlborough house, had deserted his post without leave, and was thereforecourtmartialed. private miles' account, that he dropped hisrifle and took to his heels down the mall because on looking up he had suddenly seenthe devil between him and the moon, was not accepted by the court, and yet it may havea direct bearing upon the point at issue.

the only other evidence which i can adduceis from the log of the ss. friesland, a dutch-american liner, which asserts that atnine next morning, start point being at the time ten miles upon their starboard quarter, they were passed by somethingbetween a flying goat and a monstrous bat, which was heading at a prodigious pacesouth and west. if its homing instinct led it upon theright line, there can be no doubt that somewhere out in the wastes of the atlanticthe last european pterodactyl found its end. and gladys--oh, my gladys!--gladys of themystic lake, now to be re-named the

central, for never shall she haveimmortality through me. did i not always see some hard fiber in hernature? did i not, even at the time when i wasproud to obey her behest, feel that it was surely a poor love which could drive alover to his death or the danger of it? did i not, in my truest thoughts, alwaysrecurring and always dismissed, see past the beauty of the face, and, peering intothe soul, discern the twin shadows of selfishness and of fickleness glooming atthe back of it? did she love the heroic and the spectacularfor its own noble sake, or was it for the glory which might, without effort orsacrifice, be reflected upon herself?

or are these thoughts the vain wisdom whichcomes after the event? it was the shock of my life.for a moment it had turned me to a cynic. but already, as i write, a week has passed,and we have had our momentous interview with lord john roxton and--well, perhapsthings might be worse. let me tell it in a few words. no letter or telegram had come to me atsouthampton, and i reached the little villa at streatham about ten o'clock that nightin a fever of alarm. was she dead or alive? where were all my nightly dreams of theopen arms, the smiling face, the words of

praise for her man who had risked his lifeto humor her whim? already i was down from the high peaks andstanding flat-footed upon earth. yet some good reasons given might stilllift me to the clouds once more. i rushed down the garden path, hammered atthe door, heard the voice of gladys within, pushed past the staring maid, and strodeinto the sitting-room. she was seated in a low settee under theshaded standard lamp by the piano. in three steps i was across the room andhad both her hands in mine. "gladys!" i cried, "gladys!"she looked up with amazement in her face.

she was altered in some subtle way.the expression of her eyes, the hard upward stare, the set of the lips, was new to me. she drew back her hands."what do you mean?" she said. "gladys!"i cried. "what is the matter? you are my gladys, are you not--littlegladys hungerton?" "no," said she, "i am gladys potts.let me introduce you to my husband." how absurd life is! i found myself mechanically bowing andshaking hands with a little ginger-haired

man who was coiled up in the deep arm-chairwhich had once been sacred to my own use. we bobbed and grinned in front of eachother. "father lets us stay here.we are getting our house ready," said gladys. "oh, yes," said i."you didn't get my letter at para, then?" "no, i got no letter.""oh, what a pity! it would have made all clear." "it is quite clear," said i."i've told william all about you," said she."we have no secrets.

i am so sorry about it. but it couldn't have been so very deep,could it, if you could go off to the other end of the world and leave me here're not crabby, are you?" "no, no, not at all. i think i'll go.""have some refreshment," said the little man, and he added, in a confidential way,"it's always like this, ain't it? and must be unless you had polygamy, onlythe other way round; you understand." he laughed like an idiot, while i made forthe door. i was through it, when a sudden fantasticimpulse came upon me, and i went back to my

successful rival, who looked nervously atthe electric push. "will you answer a question?" i asked."well, within reason," said he. "how did you do it? have you searched for hidden treasure, ordiscovered a pole, or done time on a pirate, or flown the channel, or what?where is the glamour of romance? how did you get it?" he stared at me with a hopeless expressionupon his vacuous, good-natured, scrubby little face."don't you think all this is a little too

personal?" he said. "well, just one question," i cried."what are you? what is your profession?""i am a solicitor's clerk," said he. "second man at johnson and merivale's, 41chancery lane." "good-night!" said i, and vanished, likeall disconsolate and broken-hearted heroes, into the darkness, with grief and rage andlaughter all simmering within me like a boiling pot. one more little scene, and i have done.last night we all supped at lord john roxton's rooms, and sitting togetherafterwards we smoked in good comradeship

and talked our adventures over. it was strange under these alteredsurroundings to see the old, well-known faces and figures. there was challenger, with his smile ofcondescension, his drooping eyelids, his intolerant eyes, his aggressive beard, hishuge chest, swelling and puffing as he laid down the law to summerlee. and summerlee, too, there he was with hisshort briar between his thin moustache and his gray goat's-beard, his worn faceprotruded in eager debate as he queried all challenger's propositions.

finally, there was our host, with hisrugged, eagle face, and his cold, blue, glacier eyes with always a shimmer ofdevilment and of humor down in the depths of them. such is the last picture of them that ihave carried away. it was after supper, in his own sanctum--the room of the pink radiance and the innumerable trophies--that lord john roxtonhad something to say to us. from a cupboard he had brought an oldcigar-box, and this he laid before him on the table. "there's one thing," said he, "that maybe ishould have spoken about before this, but i

wanted to know a little more clearly wherei was. no use to raise hopes and let them downagain. but it's facts, not hopes, with us may remember that day we found the pterodactyl rookery in the swamp--what? well, somethin' in the lie of the land tookmy notice. perhaps it has escaped you, so i will tellyou. it was a volcanic vent full of blue clay." the professors nodded."well, now, in the whole world i've only had to do with one place that was avolcanic vent of blue clay.

that was the great de beers diamond mine ofkimberley--what? so you see i got diamonds into my head. i rigged up a contraption to hold off thosestinking beasts, and i spent a happy day there with a spud.this is what i got." he opened his cigar-box, and tilting itover he poured about twenty or thirty rough stones, varying from the size of beans tothat of chestnuts, on the table. "perhaps you think i should have told youthen. well, so i should, only i know there are alot of traps for the unwary, and that stones may be of any size and yet of littlevalue where color and consistency are clean

off. therefore, i brought them back, and on thefirst day at home i took one round to spink's, and asked him to have it roughlycut and valued." he took a pill-box from his pocket, andspilled out of it a beautiful glittering diamond, one of the finest stones that ihave ever seen. "there's the result," said he. "he prices the lot at a minimum of twohundred thousand pounds. of course it is fair shares between us.i won't hear of anythin' else. well, challenger, what will you do withyour fifty thousand?"

"if you really persist in your generousview," said the professor, "i should found a private museum, which has long been oneof my dreams." "and you, summerlee?" "i would retire from teaching, and so findtime for my final classification of the chalk fossils." "i'll use my own," said lord john roxton,"in fitting a well-formed expedition and having another look at the dear oldplateau. as to you, young fellah, you, of course,will spend yours in gettin' married." "not just yet," said i, with a ruefulsmile.

"i think, if you will have me, that i wouldrather go with you." lord roxton said nothing, but a brown handwas stretched out to me across the table.