The Land that Time Forgot
October 8, 1916: This is the last entry I shall make upon my manuscript. When this is
done, I shall be through. Though I may pray that it reaches the haunts of civilized man,
my better judgment tells me that it will never be perused by other eyes than mine, and
that even though it should, it would be too late to avail me. I am alone upon the summit
of the great cliff overlooking the broad Pacific. A chill south wind bites at my marrow,
while far below me I can see the tropic foliage of Caspak on the one hand and huge
icebergs from the near Antarctic upon the other. Presently I shall stuff my folded
manuscript into the thermos bottle I have carried with me for the purpose since I left the
fort--Fort Dinosaur we named it--and hurl it far outward over the cliff-top into the
Pacific. What current washes the shore of Caprona I know not; whither my bottle will be
borne I cannot even guess; but I have done all that mortal man may do to notify the world
of my whereabouts and the dangers that threaten those of us who remain alive in Caspak-
-if there be any other than myself.
About the 8th of September I accompanied Olson and von Schoenvorts to the oil-geyser.
Lys came with us, and we took a number of things which von Schoenvorts wanted for the
purpose of erecting a crude refinery. We went up the coast some ten or twelve miles in
the U-33, tying up to shore near the mouth of a small stream which emptied great
volumes of crude oil into the sea--I find it difficult to call this great lake by any other
name. Then we disembarked and went inland about five miles, where we came upon a
small lake entirely filled with oil, from the center of which a geyser of oil spouted.
On the edge of the lake we helped von Schoenvorts build his primitive refinery. We
worked with him for two days until he got things fairly well started, and then we returned
to Fort Dinosaur, as I feared that Bradley might return and be worried by our absence.
The U-33 merely landed those of us that were to return to the fort and then retraced its
course toward the oil-well. Olson, Whitely, Wilson, Miss La Rue, and myself
disembarked, while von Schoenvorts and his German crew returned to refine the oil. The
next day Plesser and two other Germans came down overland for ammunition. Plesser
said they had been attacked by wild men and had exhausted a great deal of ammunition.
He also asked permission to get some dried meat and maize, saying that they were so
busy with the work of refining that they had no time to hunt. I let him have everything he
asked for, and never once did a suspicion of their intentions enter my mind. They
returned to the oil-well the same day, while we continued with the multitudinous duties
of camp life.