The People That Time Forgot HTML version

Chapter 7
To run up the inclined surface of the palisade and drop to the ground outside was the
work of but a moment, or would have been but for Nobs. I had to put my rope about him
after we reached the top, lift him over the sharpened stakes and lower him upon the
outside. To find Ajor in the unknown country to the north seemed rather hopeless; yet I
could do no less than try, praying in the meanwhile that she would come through
unscathed and in safety to her father.
As Nobs and I swung along in the growing light of the coming day, I was impressed by
the lessening numbers of savage beasts the farther north I traveled. With the decrease
among the carnivora, the herbivora increased in quantity, though anywhere in Caspak
they are sufficiently plentiful to furnish ample food for the meateaters of each locality.
The wild cattle, antelope, deer, and horses I passed showed changes in evolution from
their cousins farther south. The kine were smaller and less shaggy, the horses larger.
North of the Kro-lu village I saw a small band of the latter of about the size of those of
our old Western plains--such as the Indians bred in former days and to a lesser extent
even now. They were fat and sleek, and I looked upon them with covetous eyes and with
thoughts that any old cow-puncher may well imagine I might entertain after having
hoofed it for weeks; but they were wary, scarce permitting me to approach within bow-
and-arrow range, much less within roping-distance; yet I still had hopes which I never
Twice before noon we were stalked and charged by man-eaters; but even though I was
without firearms, I still had ample protection in Nobs, who evidently had learned
something of Caspakian hunt rules under the tutelage of Du-seen or some other Galu, and
of course a great deal more by experience. He always was on the alert for dangerous foes,
invariably warning me by low growls of the approach of a large carnivorous animal long
before I could either see or hear it, and then when the thing appeared, he would run
snapping at its heels, drawing the charge away from me until I found safety in some tree;
yet never did the wily Nobs take an unnecessary chance of a mauling. He would dart in
and away so quickly that not even the lightning-like movements of the great cats could
reach him. I have seen him tantalize them thus until they fairly screamed in rage.
The greatest inconvenience the hunters caused me was the delay, for they have a nasty
habit of keeping one treed for an hour or more if balked in their designs; but at last we
came in sight of a line of cliffs running east and west across our path as far as the eye
could see in either direction, and I knew that we reached the natural boundary which
marks the line between the Kro-lu and Galu countries. The southern face of these cliffs
loomed high and forbidding, rising to an altitude of some two hundred feet, sheer and
precipitous, without a break that the eye could perceive. How I was to find a crossing I
could not guess. Whether to search to the east toward the still loftier barrier-cliffs
fronting upon the ocean, or westward in the direction of the inland sea was a question
which baffled me. Were there many passes or only one? I had no way of knowing. I
could but trust to chance. It never occurred to me that Nobs had made the crossing at least