The People That Time Forgot HTML version

Chapter 3
When I awoke, it was daylight, and I found Ajor squatting before a fine bed of coals
roasting a large piece of antelope-meat. Believe me, the sight of the new day and the
delicious odor of the cooking meat filled me with renewed happiness and hope that had
been all but expunged by the experience of the previous night; and perhaps the slender
figure of the bright-faced girl proved also a potent restorative. She looked up and smiled
at me, showing those perfect teeth, and dimpling with evident happiness--the most
adorable picture that I had ever seen. I recall that it was then I first regretted that she was
only a little untutored savage and so far beneath me in the scale of evolution.
Her first act was to beckon me to follow her outside, and there she pointed to the
explanation of our rescue from the bear--a huge saber-tooth tiger, its fine coat and its
flesh torn to ribbons, lying dead a few paces from our cave, and beside it, equally
mangled, and disemboweled, was the carcass of a huge cave-bear. To have had one's life
saved by a saber-tooth tiger, and in the twentieth century into the bargain, was an
experience that was to say the least unique; but it had happened--I had the proof of it
before my eyes.
So enormous are the great carnivora of Caspak that they must feed perpetually to support
their giant thews, and the result is that they will eat the meat of any other creature and
will attack anything that comes within their ken, no matter how formidable the quarry.
From later observation--I mention this as worthy the attention of paleontologists and
naturalists--I came to the conclusion that such creatures as the cave-bear, the cave-lion
and the saber-tooth tiger, as well as the larger carnivorous reptiles make, ordinarily, two
kills a day--one in the morning and one after night. They immediately devour the entire
carcass, after which they lie up and sleep for a few hours. Fortunately their numbers are
comparatively few; otherwise there would be no other life within Caspak. It is their very
voracity that keeps their numbers down to a point which permits other forms of life to
persist, for even in the season of love the great males often turn upon their own mates and
devour them, while both males and females occasionally devour their young. How the
human and semihuman races have managed to survive during all the countless ages that
these conditions must have existed here is quite beyond me.
After breakfast Ajor and I set out once more upon our northward journey. We had gone
but a little distance when we were attacked by a number of apelike creatures armed with
clubs. They seemed a little higher in the scale than the Alus. Ajor told me they were Bo-
lu, or clubmen. A revolver-shot killed one and scattered the others; but several times later
during the day we were menaced by them, until we had left their country and entered that
of the Sto-lu, or hatchet-men. These people were less hairy and more man-like; nor did
they appear so anxious to destroy us. Rather they were curious, and followed us for some
distance examining us most closely. They called out to us, and Ajor answered them; but
her replies did not seem to satisfy them, for they gradually became threatening, and I
think they were preparing to attack us when a small deer that had been hiding in some