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Chapter 4. Friendship And Treachery
The Sari proved a most erratic craft. She might have done well enough upon a park
lagoon if safely anchored, but upon the bosom of a mighty ocean she left much to be
Sailing with the wind she did her best; but in quarter- ing or when close-hauled she
drifted terribly, as a nautical man might have guessed she would. We couldn't keep
within miles of our course, and our progress was pitifully slow.
Instead of making for the island of Anoroc, we bore far to the right, until it became
evident that we should have to pass between the two right-hand islands and attempt to
return toward Anoroc from the opposite side.
As we neared the islands Perry was quite overcome by their beauty. When we were
directly between two of them he fairly went into raptures; nor could I blame him.
The tropical luxuriance of the foliage that dripped almost to the water's edge and the
vivid colors of the blooms that shot the green made a most gorgeous spectacle.
Perry was right in the midst of a flowery panegyric on the wonders of the peaceful beauty
of the scene when a canoe shot out from the nearest island. There were a dozen warriors
in it; it was quickly followed by a second and third.
Of course we couldn't know the intentions of the strangers, but we could pretty well
guess them.
Perry wanted to man the sweeps and try to get away from them, but I soon convinced him
that any speed of which the Sari was capable would be far too slow to outdistance the
swift, though awkward, dugouts of the Mezops.
I waited until they were quite close enough to hear me, and then I hailed them. I told
them that we were friends of the Mezops, and that we were upon a visit to Ja of Anoroc,
to which they replied that they were at war with Ja, and that if we would wait a minute
they'd board us and throw our corpses to the azdyryths.
I warned them that they would get the worst of it if they didn't leave us alone, but they
only shouted in derision and paddled swiftly toward us. It was evident that they were
considerably impressed by the appear- ance and dimensions of our craft, but as these
fellows know no fear they were not at all awed.
Seeing that they were determined to give battle, I leaned over the rail of the Sari and
brought the im- perial battle-squadron of the Emperor of Pellucidar into action for the
first time in the history of a world. In other and simpler words, I fired my revolver at the
nearest canoe.