Savage Pellucidar

Part I: The Return to Pellucidar


Edgar Rice Burroughs

GHAK THE HAIRY ONE, with a thousand warriors, marched up to Kali. He did not know that Fash, the king of Suvi, had conquered it; so he was surprised when his advance guard was attacked as they neared the cliff. However, it made no difference to Ghak the Hairy One whether he fought Suvian or Kalian.

Fash had thought that the advance guard constituted the whole force with which he had to deal, as it was his own custom to hold all his warriors in one body when he attacked. He did not know that David Innes had taught the Sarians a different method of warfare, which was unfortunate for Fash.

When Ghak’s main body came up, Fash’s men scattered in all directions. A number retreated to the eaves of Kali. The Sarians swarmed up after them before they could remove the ladders. Men fought hand to hand on the narrow ledges all the way up to the highest ledge. Here, cornered Suvians leaped to their death; and at last Ghak the Hairy One stood victorious above the eaves of Kali.

Then the Sarian prisoners came from their prison eaves and for the first time Ghak learned that David’s little force had been either killed or made prisoner and that David was missing. All agreed that he must be dead.

Ghak’s force rested and fed at the Kali cliff; and then victorious but sad, started back to their ships waiting on the Lural Az. They had scarcely left the cliff when a strange figure of a man came dashing out of the forest a toothless little old man with an enormous white beard. His beard was stained with juice of berries and the pulp of fruit. He jibbered and yammered like the little hairy men who live in the trees of the forest.

The warriors of Sari had never seen a creature like this before; so they captured him, as they might have captured any strange animal and took him to show to Ghak.

“Who are you?” demanded Ghak.

“Are you going to kill me?” The old man was whimpering, the tears rolling down his cheeks.

“No,” Ghak assured him. “Tell me who you are and what you are doing here.”,

“My name is not Dolly Dorcas,” said the old man, “and I was going to divide O-aa with the others, but Hodon wanted to kill me.”

“Hodon!” exclaimed Ghak. “What do you know of Hodon?”

“I know that he was going to kill me, but I ran away.”

“Where is Hodon?” demanded Ghak.

“He and David and O-aa are in the cave. The sabertooth men are waiting to eat them.”

“What cave? Where is it?” asked Ghak.

“If I told you, you’d take me back there and Hodon would kill me,” said the old man.

“If you lead us to where David and Hodon are, no one will kill you. I promise you that,” Ghak assured him.

“And you’ll see that I get plenty to eat?”

“All you can hold.”

“Then follow me, but look out for the sabertooths; they will eat you all unless you kill them.”

Savage Pellucidar - Contents    |     Part I: The Return to Pellucidar - XIV

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