Out of Time's Abyss
This is the tale of Bradley after he left Fort Dinosaur upon the west coast of the great lake
that is in the center of the island.
Upon the fourth day of September, 1916, he set out with four companions, Sinclair,
Brady, James, and Tippet, to search along the base of the barrier cliffs for a point at
which they might be scaled.
Through the heavy Caspakian air, beneath the swollen sun, the five men marched
northwest from Fort Dinosaur, now waist-deep in lush, jungle grasses starred with myriad
gorgeous blooms, now across open meadow-land and parklike expanses and again
plunging into dense forests of eucalyptus and acacia and giant arboreous ferns with
feathered fronds waving gently a hundred feet above their heads.
About them upon the ground, among the trees and in the air over them moved and swung
and soared the countless forms of Caspak's teeming life. Always were they menaced by
some frightful thing and seldom were their rifles cool, yet even in the brief time they had
dwelt upon Caprona they had become callous to danger, so that they swung along
laughing and chatting like soldiers on a summer hike.
"This reminds me of South Clark Street," remarked Brady, who had once served on the
traffic squad in Chicago; and as no one asked him why, he volunteered that it was
"because it's no place for an Irishman."
"South Clark Street and heaven have something in common, then," suggested Sinclair.
James and Tippet laughed, and then a hideous growl broke from a dense thicket ahead
and diverted their attention to other matters.
"One of them behemoths of 'Oly Writ," muttered Tippet as they came to a halt and with
guns ready awaited the almost inevitable charge.
"Hungry lot o' beggars, these," said Bradley; "always trying to eat everything they see."
For a moment no further sound came from the thicket. "He may be feeding now,"
suggested Bradley. "We'll try to go around him. Can't waste ammunition. Won't last
forever. Follow me." And he set off at right angles to their former course, hoping to avert
a charge. They had taken a dozen steps, perhaps, when the thicket moved to the advance
of the thing within it, the leafy branches parted, and the hideous head of a gigantic bear
"Pick your trees," whispered Bradley. "Can't waste ammunition."