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Chapter 14. Gore And Dreams
It was a two-masted felucca with lateen sails! The craft was long and low. In it were more
than fifty men, twenty or thirty of whom were at oars with which the craft was being
propelled from the lee of the land. I was dumbfounded.
Could it be that the savage, painted natives I had seen on shore had so perfected the art of
navigation that they were masters of such advanced building and rigging as this craft
proclaimed? It seemed impossible! And as I looked I saw another of the same type swing
into view and follow its sister through the narrow strait out into the ocean.
Nor were these all. One after another, following closely upon one another's heels, came
fifty of the trim, graceful vessels. They were cutting in between Hooja's fleet and our
little dugout,
When they came a bit closer my eyes fairly popped from my head at what I saw, for in
the eye of the leading felucca stood a man with a sea-glass leveled upon us. Who could
they be? Was there a civilization within Pellucidar of such wondrous advancement as
this? Were there far-distant lands of which none of my people had ever heard, where a
race had so greatly outstripped all other races of this inner world?
The man with the glass had lowered it and was shouting to us. I could not make out his
words, but presently I saw that he was pointing aloft. When I looked I saw a pennant
fluttering from the peak of the forward lateen yard--a red, white, and blue pen- nant, with
a single great white star in a field of blue.
Then I knew. My eyes went even wider than they had before. It was the navy! It was the
navy of the empire of Pellucidar which I had instructed Perry to build in my absence. It
was MY navy!
I dropped my paddle and stood up and shouted and waved my hand. Juag and Dian
looked at me as if I had gone suddenly mad. When I could stop shouting I told them, and
they shared my joy and shouted with me.
But still Hooja was coming nearer, nor could the leading felucca overhaul him before he
would be along- side or at least within bow-shot.
Hooja must have been as much mystified as we were as to the identity of the strange
fleet; but when he saw me waving to them he evidently guessed that they were friendly to
us, so he urged his men to redouble their efforts to reach us before the felucca cut him
He shouted word back to others of his fleet--word that was passed back until it had
reached them all-- directing them to run alongside the strangers and board them, for with
his two hundred craft and his eight or ten thousand warriors he evidently felt equal to