Click here to Download The Lost Continent PDF Book by C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne Language English having PDF Size 2.1 MB and No of Pages 148.
We were both of us not a little stiff as the result of sleeping out in the open all that night, for even in Grand Canary the dew-fall and the comparative chill of darkness are not to be trifled with. For myself on these occasions I like a bit of a run as an early refresher. But here on this rough ground in the middle of the island there were not three yards of level to be found.
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And so as Coppinger proceeded to go through some sort of dumb-bell exercises with a couple of lumps of bristly lava, I followed his example. Coppinger has done a good deal of roughing it in his time, but being a doctor of medicine amongst other things—he takes out a new degree of some sort on an average every other year—he is great on health theories, and practises them like a religion.
There had been rain two days before, and as there was still a bit of stream trickling along at the bottom of the barranca, we went down there and had a wash, and brushed our teeth. Greatest luxury imaginable, a toothbrush, on this sort of expedition. “Now,” said Coppinger when we had emptied our pockets, “there’s precious little grub left, and it’s none the better for being carried in a local Spanish newspaper.”
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“Yours is mostly tobacco ashes.” “It’ll get worse if we leave it. We’ve a lot more bad scrambling ahead of us.” That was obvious. So we sat down beside the stream there at the bottom of the barranca, and ate up all of what was left. It was a ten-mile tramp to the fonda at Santa Brigida, where we had set down our traps.
And as Coppinger wanted to take a lot more photographs and measurements before we left this particular group of caves, it was likely we should be pretty sharp set before we got our next meal, and our next taste of the PATRON’S splendid old country wine. My faith! If only they knew down in the English hotels in Las Palmas what magnificent wines one could get—with diplomacy—up in some of the mountain villages.
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The old vintage would become a thing of the past in a week. Now to tell the truth, the two mummies he had gathered already quite satisfied my small ambition. The goatskins in which they were sewn up were as brittle as paper, and the poor old things themselves gave out dust like a puffball whenever they were touched. But you know what Coppinger is.
He thought he’d come upon traces of an old Guanche university, or sacred college, or something of that kind, like the one there is on the other side of the island, and he wouldn’t be satisfied till he’d ransacked every cave in the whole face of the cliff. He’d plenty of stuff left for the flashlight thing, and twenty-eight more films in his kodak.
And said we might as well get through with the job then as make a return journey all on purpose. So he took the crowbar, and I shouldered the rope, and away we went up to the ridge of the cliff, where we had got such a baking from the sun the day before. Of course these caves were not easy to come at, or else they would have been raided years before. The Lost Continent PDF Book
Coppinger, who on principle makes out he knows all about these things, says that in the old Guanche days they had ladders of goatskin rope which they could pull up when they were at home, and so keep out undesirable callers; and as no other plan occurs to me, perhaps he may be right.
Anyway the mouths of the caves were in a more or less level row thirty feet below the ridge of the cliff, and fifty feet above the bottom; and Spanish curiosity doesn’t go in much where it cannot walk. Now laddering such caves from below would have been cumbersome, but a light knotted rope is easily carried, and though it would have been hard to climb up this.
Our plan was to descend on each cave mouth from above, and then slip down to the foot of the cliffs, and start again AB INITIO for the next. Coppinger is plucky enough, and he has a good head on a height, but there is no getting over the fact that he is portly and nearer fifty than forty-five. So you can see he must have been pretty keen. The Lost Continent PDF Book
Of course I went first each time, and got into the cave mouth, and did what I could to help him in; but when you have to walk down a vertical cliff face fly-fashion, with only a thin bootlace of a rope for support, it is not much real help the man below can give, except offer you his best wishes.
I wanted to save him as much as I could, and as the first three caves I climbed to were small and empty, seeming to be merely store-places, I asked him to take them for granted, and save himself the rest. But he insisted on clambering down to each one in person, and as he decided that one of my granaries was a prison.
And another a pot-making factory, and another a schoolroom for young priests, he naturally said he hadn’t much reliance on my judgment, and would have to go through the whole lot himself. You know what these thorough-going archaeologists are for imagination. But as the day went on, and the sun rose higher, Coppinger began clearly to have had enough of it. The Lost Continent PDF Book
Though he was very game, and insisted on going on much longer than was safe. I must say I didn’t like it. You see the drop was seldom less than eighty feet from the top of the cliffs. However, at last he was forced to give it up. I suggested marching off to Santa Brigida forthwith, but he wouldn’t do that.
There were three more cave-openings to be looked into, and if I wouldn’t do them for him, he would have to make another effort to get there himself. He tried to make out he was conferring a very great favour on me by offering to take a report solely from my untrained observation, but I flatly refused to look at it in that light.
I was pretty tired also; I was soaked with perspiration from the heat; my head ached from the violence of the sun; and my hands were cut raw with the rope. Coppinger might be tired, but he was still enthusiastic. He tried to make me enthusiastic also. “Look here,” he said, “there’s no knowing what you may find up there, and if you do lay hands on anything, remember it’s your own. The Lost Continent PDF Book
I shall have no claim whatever.” “Very kind of you, but I’ve got no use for any more mummies done up in goatskin bags.” “Bah! That’s not a burial cave up there. Don’t you know the difference yet in the openings? Now, be a good fellow. It doesn’t follow that because we have drawn all the rest blank, you won’t stumble across a good find for yourself up there.”
Promptly Tob set going the machine on our own “Bear,” and bawled his orders right and left to the other ships. The crew might be weak with scurvy, but they were quick to obey. Instantly the five vessels were all started, and because our Lord the Sun was shining brightly, got soon to the full of their pace.
The whole of our small navy converged, singling out one ship of their opponents, and she, not being ready for so swift an attack, got flurried, and endeavoured to turn and run for room, instead of trying to meet us bows on. As a consequence, the whole of our five ships hit her together on the broadside, tearing her planking with their underwater beaks, and sinking her before we had backed clear from the engage. The Lost Continent PDF Book Download
But if we thus brought the enemy’s number down to five, and so equal to our own, the advantage did not remain with us for long. The three nimble galleys formed into line: their boatswains’ whips cracked as the slaves bent to their oars, and presently one of our own ships was gored and sunk, the men on her being killed in the water without hope of rescue.
And then commenced a tight-locked melee that would have warmed the heart of the greatest warrior alive. The ships and the galleys were forced together and lay savagely grinding one another upon the swells, as though they had been sentient animals. The men on board them shot their arrows, slashed with axes, thrust and hacked with swords, and hurled the throwing fire.
But in every way the fight converged upon the “Bear.” It was on her that the enemy spent the fiercest of their spite; it was to the “Bear,” that the other crews of Tatho’s navy rallied as their own vessels caught fire, or were sunk or taken. Battle is an old acquaintance with us of the Priestly Clan, and for those of us who have had to carve out territories for the new colonies. The Lost Continent PDF Book Download
It comes with enough frequency to cloy even the most chivalrous appetite. So I can speak here as a man of experience. Up till that time, for half a life-span, I had heard men shout “Deucalion” as a battlecry, and in my day had seen some lusty encounters. But this sea-fight surprised even me in its savage fierceness.
The bleak, unstable element which surrounded us; the swaying decks on which we fought; the throwing fire, which burnt flesh and wood alike with its horrid flame; the great gluttonous man-eating birds that hovered in the sky overhead; the man-eating fish that swarmed up from the seas around, gnawing and quarrelling over those that fell into the waters,.
All went to make up a circumstance fit to daunt the bravest men-at-arms ever gathered for an army. But these tarry shipmen faced it all with an indomitable courage, and never a cry of quailing. Life on the seas is so hard, and (from the beasts that haunt the great waters) so full of savage dangers, that Death has lost half his terrors to them through sheer familiarity. The Lost Continent PDF Book Download
They were fellows who from pure lust for a fray would fight to a finish amongst themselves in the taverns ashore; and so here, in this desperate sea-battle, the passion for killing burned in them, as a fire stone from Heaven rages in a forest; and they took even their death-wounds laughing.
On our side the battle-cry was “Tob!” and the name of this obscure ship-captain seemed to carry a confidence with it for our own crews that many a well-known commander might have envied. The enemy had a dozen rallying cries, and these confused them. But as their other ship-commanders one by one were killed, and Dason remained, active with mischief, “Dason!”
Became the shout which was thrown back at us in response to our “Tob!” However, I will not load my page with farther long account of this obscure sea-fight, whose only glory was its ferocity. One by one all the ships of either side were sunk or lay with all their people killed, till finally only Dason’s galley and our own “Bear” were left. The Lost Continent PDF Book Download
For the moment we were being mastered. We had a score of men remaining out of all those that manned the navy when it sailed from Yucatan, and the enemy had boarded us and made the decks of the “Bear” the field of battle. But they had been over busy with the throwing fire, and presently, as we raged at one another.
The smoke and the flame from the sturdy vessel herself let us very plainly know that she was past salvation. It was plain that we were going from beneath the open sky to the apartments which lay inside the vast stone mazes of the pyramid, and without thinking, the instinct of custom and reverence that had become part of my nature caused me to turn to where.
The towering rocks of the Sacred Mountain frowned above the city, and make the usual obeisance, and offer up in silence the prescribed prayer. I say I did this thing unthinking, and as a matter of common custom, but when I rose to my feet, I could have sworn I heard a titter of laughter from somewhere in that fancifully bedecked crowd of onlookers. The Lost Continent PDF Book Free
I glanced in the direction of the scoffers, frowningly enough, and then I turned to Phorenice to demand their prompt punishment for the disrespect. But here was a strange thing. I had looked to see her in the act and article of rising from an obeisance; but there she was, standing erect, and had clearly never touched her forehead to the ground.
Moreover, she was regarding me with a queer look which I could not fathom. But whatever was in her mind, she had no plan to bawl about it then before the people collected in the square. She said to me, “Come,” and, turning to the doorway, cried for entrance, giving the secret word appointed for the day.
The ponderous stone blocks, which barred the porch, swung back on their hinges, and with stately tread she passed out of the hot sunshine into the cool gloom beyond, with the fan-girl following decorously at her heels. The Lost Continent PDF Book Free