The People That Time Forgot HTML version

Chapter 1
I am forced to admit that even though I had traveled a long distance to place Bowen
Tyler's manuscript in the hands of his father, I was still a trifle skeptical as to its sincerity,
since I could not but recall that it had not been many years since Bowen had been one of
the most notorious practical jokers of his alma mater. The truth was that as I sat in the
Tyler library at Santa Monica I commenced to feel a trifle foolish and to wish that I had
merely forwarded the manuscript by express instead of bearing it personally, for I confess
that I do not enjoy being laughed at. I have a well-developed sense of humor--when the
joke is not on me.
Mr. Tyler, Sr., was expected almost hourly. The last steamer in from Honolulu had
brought information of the date of the expected sailing of his yacht Toreador, which was
now twenty-four hours overdue. Mr. Tyler's assistant secretary, who had been left at
home, assured me that there was no doubt but that the Toreador had sailed as promised,
since he knew his employer well enough to be positive that nothing short of an act of God
would prevent his doing what he had planned to do. I was also aware of the fact that the
sending apparatus of the Toreador's wireless equipment was sealed, and that it would
only be used in event of dire necessity. There was, therefore, nothing to do but wait, and
we waited.
We discussed the manuscript and hazarded guesses concerning it and the strange events it
narrated. The torpedoing of the liner upon which Bowen J. Tyler, Jr., had taken passage
for France to join the American Ambulance was a well-known fact, and I had further
substantiated by wire to the New York office of the owners, that a Miss La Rue had been
booked for passage. Further, neither she nor Bowen had been mentioned among the list of
survivors; nor had the body of either of them been recovered.
Their rescue by the English tug was entirely probable; the capture of the enemy U-33 by
the tug's crew was not beyond the range of possibility; and their adventures during the
perilous cruise which the treachery and deceit of Benson extended until they found
themselves in the waters of the far South Pacific with depleted stores and poisoned water-
casks, while bordering upon the fantastic, appeared logical enough as narrated, event by
event, in the manuscript.
Caprona has always been considered a more or less mythical land, though it is vouched
for by an eminent navigator of the eighteenth century; but Bowen's narrative made it
seem very real, however many miles of trackless ocean lay between us and it. Yes, the
narrative had us guessing. We were agreed that it was most improbable; but neither of us
could say that anything which it contained was beyond the range of possibility. The weird
flora and fauna of Caspak were as possible under the thick, warm atmospheric conditions
of the super-heated crater as they were in the Mesozoic era under almost exactly similar
conditions, which were then probably world-wide. The assistant secretary had heard of
Caproni and his discoveries, but admitted that he never had taken much stock in the one