The Cave Girl is a lost world novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs.
In an instant there sloughed from the heart and mind and soul of Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones every particle of civilization and culture and refinement that has required countless ages in the building, stripping him naked, age on age, down to the primordial beast that has begot his first human progenitor. He saw red as he leaped for the throat of the man-beast whose ruthless hands were upon Nadara Rolling, tearing and biting, they battled-each seeking a death hold on the other. Nadara’s eyes were wide with fascination. She leaned forward with parted lips, drinking in every detail of the conflict between the two beasts. Ah, but was the yellow-haired giant really fighting for the possession of her, or merely in protection, because she is a woman?



part two - recap

Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones was not overly courageous. He had been reared among surroundings of culture plus and ultra-intellectuality in the exclusive Back Bay home of his ancestors. He had been taught to look with contempt upon all that savored of muscular superiority; such things were gross, brutal, primitive. It had been a giant intellect only that he had craved, he and a fond mother, and their wishes had been fulfilled. At twenty-one Waldo was an animated encyclopedia, and about as muscular as a real one.

Swept overboard during a during a South Seas voyage intended to ease his ill- health, Waldo finds himself carried ashore on a primitive jungle island, where all his book learning can’t help him survive, particularly in the face of the terrifying ape-like throwbacks to mankind’s early evolutionary history who live on the island. From these people, and from Nagoola the mighty panther, Waldo continually flees in screaming terror.

And then he encounters – rescues, even, albeit mistakenly – Nadara, “The Cavegirl”. Regarding him as a hero, she teaches him the arts of survival and her primitive language.
We join our story now as Nadara is taking Waldo back to her tribe – who turn out to be Paleolithic cave people. If he is to stay among them, Waldo must prove his worth by fighting and killing the strongest.






LATE in the afternoon the girl suggested that they start that night upon the journey
toward her village.

"The bad men will not be abroad after dark," she said. "With you at my side, I shall not fear Nagoola."

"How far is it to your village?" asked Waldo.

"It will take us three nights," she replied. "By day we must hide, for even you could not vanquish a great number of bad men should they attack you at once."

"No," said Waldo; "I presume not."

"It was very wonderful to watch you, though," she went on, "when you battled upon the cliff-side, beating them down as they came upon you. How brave you were! How terrible! You trembled from rage."

"Yes," admitted Waldo, "I was quite angry. I always tremble like that when my ire is excited. Sometimes I get so bad that my knees knock together. If you ever see them do that you will realize how exceedingly angry I am."

"Yes," murmured the girl.

Presently Waldo saw that she was laughing quietly to herself.

A great fear rose in his breast. Could it be that she was less gullible than she had appeared? Did she, after all, penetrate the bombast with which he had sought to cloak his cowardice?

He finally mustered sufficient courage to ask: "Why do you laugh?"

"I think of the surprise that awaits old Flatfoot and Korth and the others when I lead you to them."

"Why will they be surprised?" asked Waldo. "At the way you will crack their heads." Waldo shuddered.
"Why should I crack their heads?" he asked.

"Why should you crack their heads!" It was apparently incredible to the girl that he should not understand.

"How little you know," she said. "You cannot swim, you do not know the language which men may understand, you would be lost in the woods were I to leave you, and now you say that you do not know that when you come to a strange tribe they will try to kill you, and only take you as one of them when you have proven your worth by killing at least one of their strongest men."

"At least one!" said Waldo, half to himself.

He was dazed by this information. He had expected to be welcomed with open arms into the best society that the girl's community afforded. He had thought of it in just this way, for he had not even yet learned that there might be a whole people living under entirely different conditions than those which existed in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her reference to his ignorance also came as a distinct shock to him. He had always considered himself a man of considerable learning. It had been his secret boast and his mother's open pride. And now to be pitied for his ignorance by one who probably thought the earth flat, if she ever thought about such matters at all—by one who could neither read nor write. And the worst of it all was that her indictment was correct—only she had not gone far enough.

There was little of practical value that he did know. With the realization of his limitations Waldo Emerson took, unknown to himself, a great stride toward a broader wisdom than his narrow soul had ever conceived.

That night, after the sun had set and the stars and moon come out, the two set forth from their retreat toward the northwest, where the girl said that the village of her people lay. They walked hand in hand through the dark wood, the girl directing their steps, the

young man grasping his long cudgel in his right hand and searching into the shadows for the terrible creatures conjured by his cowardly brain, but mostly for the two awesome spots of fire which he had gathered from the girl's talk would mark the presence of Nagoola.

Strange noises assailed his ears, and once the girl crouched close to him as her quick ears caught the sound of the movement of a great body through the underbrush at their left.

Waldo Emerson was almost paralyzed by terror; but at length the creature, whatever it may have been, turned off into the forest without molesting them. For several hours thereafter they suffered no alarm, but the constant tension of apprehension on the man's already over-wrought nerves had reduced him to a state of such abject nervous terror that he was no longer master of himself.

So it was that when the girl suddenly halted him with an affrighted little gasp and, pointing straight ahead, whispered, "Nagoola," he went momentarily mad with fear.

For a bare instant he paused in his tracks, and then breaking away from her, he raised his club above his head, and with an awful shriek dashed straight toward the panther.

In the minds of some there may be a doubt as to which of the two—the sleek, silent, black cat or the grinning, screaming Waldo—was the most awe-inspiring.

Be that as it may, it was quite evident that no doubt assailed the mind of the cat, for with a single answering scream, he turned and faded into the blackness of the black night.

But Waldo did not see him go. Still shrieking, he raced on through the forest until he tripped over a creeper and fell exhausted to the earth. There he lay panting, twitching, and trembling until the girl found him, an hour after sunrise.

At the sound of her voice he would have struggled to his feet and dashed on into the woods, for he felt that he could never face her again after the spectacle of cowardice with which he had treated her a few hours before.

But even as he gained his feet her first words reassured him, and dissipated every vestige of his intention to elude her.

"Did you catch him?" she cried.

"No," panted Waldo Emerson quite truthfully. "He got away."

They rested a little while, and then Waldo insisted that they resume their journey by day instead of by night. He had positively determined that he never should or could endure another such a night of mental torture. He would much rather take the chance of meeting with the bad men than suffer the constant feeling that unseen enemies were peering out of the darkness at him every moment.

In the day they would at least have the advantage of seeing their foes before they were struck. He did not give these reasons to the girl, however. Under the circumstances he felt that another explanation would be better adapted to her ears.

"You see," he said, "if it hadn't been so dark Nagoola might not have escaped me. It is too bad—too bad."

"Yes," agreed the girl, "it is too bad. We shall travel by day. It will be safe now. We have left the country of the bad men, and there are few men living between us and my people."

That night they spent in a cave they found in the steep bank of a small river.

It was damp and muddy and cold, but they were both very tired, and so they fell asleep and slept as soundly as though the best of mattresses lay beneath them. The girl probably slept better, since she had never been accustomed to anything much superior to this in all her life.

The journey required five days, instead of three, and during all that time Waldo was learning more and more woodcraft from the girl. At first his attitude had been such that he could profit but little from her greater practical knowledge, for he had been inclined to look down upon her as an untutored savage.

Now, however, he was a willing student, and when Waldo Emerson elected to study there was nothing that he could not master and retain in a remarkable manner. He had a well-trained mind—the principal trouble with it being that it had been crammed full of useless knowledge. His mother had always made the error of confusing knowledge with wisdom.

Waldo was not the only one to learn new things upon this journey. The girl learned something, too—something which had been threatening for days to rise above the threshold of her conscious mind, and now she realized that it had lain in her heart almost ever since the first moment that she had been with this strange young man.

Waldo Emerson had been endowed by nature with a chivalrous heart, and his training

had been such that he mechanically accorded to all women the gallant little courtesies and consideration which are of the fine things that go with breeding. Nor was he one whit less punctilious in his relations with this wild cave girl than he would have been with the daughter of the finest family of his own aristocracy.

He had been kind and thoughtful and sympathetic always, and to the girl, who had never been accustomed to such treatment from men, nor had ever seen a man accord it to any woman, it seemed little short of miraculous that such gentle tenderness could belong to a nature so warlike and ferocious as that with which she had endowed Waldo Emerson.
But she was quite satisfied that it should be so.

She would not have cared for him had he been gentle with her, yet cowardly. Had she dreamed of the real truth—had she had the slightest suspicion that Waldo Emerson was at heart the most arrant poltroon upon whom the sun had ever shone, she would have loathed and hated him, for in the primitive code of ethics which governed the savage community which was her world there was no place for the craven or the weakling— and Waldo Emerson was both.

As the realization of her growing sentiment toward the man awakened, it imparted to her ways with him a sudden coyness and maidenly aloofness which had been entirely wanting before. Until then their companionship, in so far as the girl was concerned, had been rather that of one youth toward another; but now that she found herself thrilling at his slightest careless touch, she became aware of a paradoxical impulse to avoid him.

For the first time in her life, too, she realized her nakedness, and was ashamed. Possibly this was due to the fact that Waldo appeared so solicitous in endeavoring to coerce his rags into the impossible feat of entirely covering his body.

As they neared their journey's end Waldo became more and more perturbed. During the last night horrible visions of Flatfoot and Korth haunted his dreams. He saw the great, hairy beasts rushing upon him in all the ferocity of their primeval savagery—tearing him limb from limb in their bestial rage.

With a shriek he awoke. To the girl's startled inquiry he replied that he had been but dreaming.

"Did you dream of Flatfoot and Korth?" she laughed. "Of the things that you will do to them tomorrow?"

"Yes," replied Waldo; "I dreamed of Flatfoot and Korth."

But the girl did not see how he trembled and hid his head in the hollow of his arm.

The last day's march was the most agonizing experience of Waldo Emerson's life. He was positive that he was going to his death, but to him the horror of the thing lay more in the manner of his coming death than in the thought of death itself. As a matter of fact, he had again reached a point when he would have welcomed death.

The future held for him nothing but a life of discomfort and misery and constant mental anguish, superinduced by the condition of awful fear under which he must drag out his existence in this strange and terrible land.

Waldo had not the slightest conception as to whether he was upon some mainland or an unknown island. That the tidal wave had come upon them somewhere in the South Pacific was all that he knew; but long since he had given up hope that succor would reach him in time to prevent him perishing miserably far from his home and his poor mother.

He could not dwell long upon this dismal theme, because it always brought tears of self- pity to his eyes, and for some unaccountable reason Waldo shrunk from the thought of exhibiting this unmanly weakness before the girl. All day long he racked his brain for some valid excuse whereby he might persuade his companion to lead him elsewhere than to her village. A thousand times better would be some secluded little garden such
as that which had harbored them for the ten days following their escape from the cave men.

If they could but come upon such a place near the coast, where Waldo could keep a constant watch for passing vessels, he would have been as happy as he ever expected it would be possible for him in such a savage land.

He wanted the girl with him for companionship; he was more afraid when he was alone. Of course, he realized that she was no fit companion for a man of his mental attainments; but then she was a human being, and her society much better than none at all. While hope had still lingered that he might live to escape and return to his beloved Boston, he had often wondered whether he would dare tell his mother of his unconventional acquaintance with this young woman.

Of course, it would be out of the question for him to go at all into details. He would not, for example, dare to attempt a description of her toilet to his prim parent.

The fact that they had been alone together, day and night, for weeks was another item which troubled Waldo considerably. He knew that the shock of such information might

prostrate his mother, and for a long time he debated the wisdom of omitting any mention of the girl whatever.

At length he decided that a little, white lie would be permissible, inasmuch as his mother's health and the girl's reputation were both at stake. So he had decided to mention that the girl's aunt had been with them in the capacity of chaperon; that fixed it nicely, and on this point Waldo's mind was more at ease.

Late in the afternoon they wound down a narrow trail that led from the plateau into a narrow, beautiful valley. A tree-bordered river meandered through the center of the level plain that formed the valley's floor, while beyond rose precipitous cliffs, which trailed off in either direction as far as the eye could reach.

"There live my people," said the girl, pointing toward the distant barrier. Waldo groaned inwardly.
"Let us rest here," he said, "until tomorrow, that we may come to your home rested and refreshed."

"Oh, no," cried the girl; "we can reach the caves before dark. I can scarcely wait until I shall have seen how you shall slay Flatfoot, and maybe Korth also. Though I think that after one of them has felt your might the others will be glad to take you into the tribe at the price of your friendship."

"Is there not some way," ventured the distracted Waldo, "that I may come into your village without fighting? I should dislike to kill one of your friends," said Waldo solemnly.

The girl laughed.

"Neither Flatfoot nor Korth are friends of mine," she replied; "I hate them both. They are terrible men. It would be better for all the tribe were they killed. They are so strong and cruel that we all hate them, since they use their strength to abuse those who are weaker.

"They make us all work very hard for them. They take other men's mates, and if the other men object they kill them. There is scarcely a moon passes that does not see either
Korth or Flatfoot kill someone.

"Nor is it always men they kill. Often when they are angry they kill women and little children just for the pleasure of killing; but when you come among us there will be no

more of that, for you will kill them both if they be not good."

Waldo was too horrified by this description of his soon-to-be antagonists to make any reply—his tongue clung to the roof of his mouth—all his vocal organs seemed paralyzed.

But the girl did not notice. She went on joyously, ripping Waldo's nervous system out of him and tearing it into shreds.

"You see," she continued, "Flatfoot and Korth are greater than the other men of my tribe. They can do as they will. They are frightful to look upon, and I have often thought that the hearts of others dried up when they saw either of them coming for them.

"And they are so strong! I have seen Korth crush the skull of a full-grown man with a single blow from his open palm; while one of Flatfoot's amusements is the breaking of men's arms and legs with his bare hands."

They had entered the valley now, and in silence they continued on toward the fringe of trees which grew beside the little river.

Nadara led the way toward a ford, which they quickly crossed. All the way across the valley Waldo had been searching for some avenue of escape. He dared not enter that awful village and face those terrible men, and he was almost equally averse to admitting to the girl that he was afraid. He would gladly have died to have escaped either alternative, but he preferred to choose the manner of his death.

The thought of entering the village and meeting a horrible end at the hands of the brutes who awaited him there and of being compelled to demonstrate before the girl's eyes that he was neither a mighty fighter nor a hero was more than he could endure.

Occupied with these harrowing speculations, Waldo and Nadara came to the farther side of the forest, whence they could see the towering cliffs rising steeply from the valley's bed, three hundred yards away.

Along their face and at their feet Waldo descried a host of half-naked men, women, and children moving about in the consummation of their various duties. Involuntarily he halted.

The girl came to his side. Together they looked out upon the scene, the like of which Waldo Emerson never before had seen. It was as though he had been suddenly snatched back through countless ages to a long-dead past and dropped into the midst of the

prehistoric life of his paleolithic progenitors.

Upon the narrow ledges before their caves, women, with long, flowing hair, ground food in rude stone mortars. Naked children played about them, perilously close to the precipitous cliff-edge.

Hairy men squatted, gorilla-like, before pieces of flat stone, upon which green hides were stretched, while they scraped, scraped, scraped with the sharp edge of smaller bits of stone. There was no laughter and no song.

Occasionally Waldo saw one of the fierce creatures address another, and sometimes one would raise his thick lips in a nasty snarl that exposed his fighting fangs; but they were too far away for their words to reach the young man.

"COME," said the girl, "let us make haste. I cannot wait to be home again! How good it

Waldo gazed at her in horror. It did not seem credible that this beautiful young creature could be of such clay as that he looked upon. It was revolting to believe that she had sprung from the loins of one of those half-brutes, or that a woman as fierce, repulsive, such as those he saw before him, could have borne her. It made him sick with disgust.

He turned from her. "Go to your people, Nadara," he said, for an idea had come to him.

He had evolved a scheme for escaping a meeting with Flatfoot and Korth, and the sudden disgust which he felt for the girl made it easier for him to carry out his design.

"Are you not coming with me?" she cried.

"Not at once," replied Waldo, quite truthfully. "I wish you to go first. Were we to go together they might harm you when they rushed out to attack me."

The girl had no fear of this, but she felt that it was very thoughtful of the man to consider her welfare so tenderly. To humor him, she acceded to his request.

"As you wish, Thandar," she answered, smiling.

Thandar was a name of her own choosing, after Waldo had informed her in answer to a request for his name, that she might call him Mr. Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones. "I shall call you Thandar," she had replied; "it is shorter, more easily remembered, and describes you. It means the Brave One." And so Thandar he had become.

The girl had scarcely emerged from the forest on her way toward the cliffs when Thandar the Brave One, turned and ran at top speed in the opposite direction. When he

came to the river he gave immediate evidence of the strides he had taken in woodcraft during the brief weeks that he had been under the girl's tutorage, for he plunged immediately into the water, setting out up-stream upon the gravelly bottom where he would leave no spoor to be tracked down by the eagle eyes of these primitive men.

He supposed that the girl would search for him; but he felt no compunction at having deserted her so scurvily. Of course, he had no suspicion of her real sentiments toward him—it would have shocked him to have imagined that a low-born person, such as she, had become infatuated with him.

It would have been embarrassing and unfortunate, but, of course, quite impossible— since Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones could never form an alliance beneath him. As for the girl herself, he might as readily have considered the possibility of marrying a cow, so far from any such thoughts of her had he been.

On and on he stumbled through the cold water. Sometimes it was above his head, but Waldo had learned to swim—the girl had made him, partly by pleas, but largely by the fear that she would ridicule him.

As night came on he commenced to become afraid, but his fear now was not such a horribly prostrating thing as it had been a few weeks before. Without being aware of the fact, Waldo had grown a trifle less timid, though he was still far from lion-like.

That night he slept in the crotch of a tree. He selected a small one, which, though less comfortable, was safer from the approach of Nagoola than a larger tree would have been. This also had he learned from Nadara.

Had he paused to consider, he would have discovered that all he knew that was worthwhile he had had from the savage little girl whom he, from the high pinnacle of his erudition, regarded with such pity. But Waldo had not as yet learned enough to realize how very little he knew.

In the morning he continued his flight, gathering his breakfast from tree and shrub as he fled. Here again was he wholly indebted to Nadara, for without her training he would have been restricted to a couple of fruits, whereas now he had a great variety of fruits, roots, berries, and nuts to choose from in safety. The stream that he had been following had now become a narrow, rushing, mountain torrent. It leaped suddenly over little precipices in wild and picturesque waterfalls; it rioted in foaming cascades; and ever it led Waldo farther into high and rugged country.

The climbing was difficult and oftentimes dangerous. Waldo was surprised at the steeps

he negotiated—perilous ascents from which he would have shrunk in palsied fear a few weeks earlier. Waldo was coming on.

Another fact which struck him with amazement at the same time that it filled him with rejoicing, was that he no longer coughed. It was quite beyond belief, too, since never in his life had he been so exposed to cold and wet and discomfort. At home, he realized, he would long since have curled up and died had he been subjected to one-tenth the
exposure that he had undergone since the great wave had lifted him bodily from the deck of the steamer to land him unceremoniously in the midst of this new life of hardships and terrors.

Toward noon Waldo began to travel with less haste. He had seen or heard no evidence of pursuit. At times he stopped to look back along the trail he had passed, but though he could see the little valley below him for a considerable distance he discovered nothing to arouse alarm.

Presently he realized that he was very lonely. A dozen times in as many minutes he thought of observations he would have been glad to make had there been someone with him to hear. There were queries, too, relative to this new country that he should have liked very much to propound, and it flashed upon him that in all the world there was only one whom he knew who could give him correct answers to these queries.

He wondered what the girl had thought when he did not follow her into the village, and set upon Flatfoot and Korth. At the thought he found himself flushing in a most unaccountable manner.

What would the girl think! Would she guess the truth?

Well, what difference if she did? What was her opinion to a cultured gentleman such as Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones? But yet he found his mind constantly reverting to this unhappy speculation; it was most annoying.

As he thought of her he discovered with what distinctness he recalled every feature of her piquant little face, her olive skin tinged beautifully by the ruddy glow of health; her fine, straight nose and delicate nostrils, her perfect eyes, soft, yet filled with the fire of courage and intelligence. Waldo wondered why it was that he recalled these things now, and dwelt upon them; he had been with her for weeks without realizing that he had particularly noticed them.

But most vividly he conjured again the memory of her soft, liquid speech, her ready retorts, her bright, interesting observations on the little happenings of their daily life; her

thoughtful kindliness to him, a stranger within her gates, and—again he flushed hotly— her sincere, though remarkable, belief in his prowess.

It took Waldo a long time to admit to himself that he missed the girl; it must have been weeks before he finally did so unreservedly. Simultaneously he determined to return to her village and find her. He had even gone so far as to start the return journey when the memory of her description of Flatfoot and Korth brought him to a sudden halt—a most humiliating halt.

The blood surged to his face—he could feel it burning there. And then Waldo did two things which he had never done before: he looked at his soul and saw himself as he was, and—he swore.

"Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones," he said aloud, "you're a darned coward! Worse than that, you're an unthinkable cad. That girl was kind to you. She treated you with the tender solicitude of a mother. And how have you returned her kindness? By looking down upon her with arrogant condescension. By pitying her.

"Pitying her! You—you miserable weakling—you ingrate, pitying that fine, intelligent, generous girl. You, with your pitiful little store of secondhand knowledge, pitying that girl's ignorance. Why, she's forgotten more real things than you ever heard of, you—you
—" Words utterly failed him.

Waldo's awakening was thorough—painfully thorough. It left no tiny hidden recess of his contemptible little soul unrevealed from his searching self-analysis. Looking back over the twenty-one years of his uneventful life, he failed to resurrect but a single act of which he might now be proud, and that, strange to say, in the light of his past training, had to do neither with culture, intellect, birth, breeding, nor knowledge.

It was a purely gross, physical act. It was hideously, violently, repulsively animal—it was no other than the instant of heroism in which he had turned back upon the cliff's face to battle with the horrible, hairy man who had threatened to prevent Nadara's escape.

Even now Waldo could not realize that it had been he who ventured so foolhardy an act; but nonetheless his breast swelled with pride as he recalled it. It put into the heart of the man a new hope and into his head a new purpose—a purpose that would have caused his Back Bay mother to seek an early grave could she have known of it.

Nor did Waldo Emerson lose any time in initiating the new regime which was eventually to fit him for the consummation of his splendid purpose. He thought of it as splendid now, though a few weeks before the vulgar atrocity of it would have nauseated


Far up in the hills, near the source of the little river, Waldo had found a rocky cave. This he had chosen as his new home. He cleaned it out with scrupulous care, littering the floor with leaves and grasses.

Before the entrance he piled a dozen large boulders, so arranged that three of them could be removed or replaced either from within or without, thus forming a means of egress and ingress which could be effectually closed against intruders.

From the top of a high promontory, a half mile beyond his cave, Waldo could obtain a view of the ocean, some eight or ten miles distant. It was always in his mind that someday a ship would come, and Waldo longed to return to the haunts of civilization, but he did not expect the ship before his plans had properly matured and been put into execution. He argued that he could not sail away from this shore forever without first seeing Nadara, and restoring the confidence in him which he felt his recent desertion had unquestionably shaken to its foundations.

As a part of his new regime, Waldo required exercise, and to this end he set about making a trip to the ocean at least once each week. The way was rough and hazardous, and the first few times Waldo found it almost beyond his strength to make even one leg of the journey between sunrise and dark.

This necessitated sleeping out overnight; but this, too, accorded with the details of the task he had set himself, and so he did it quite cheerfully and with a sense of martyrdom that he found effectually stilled his most poignant fits of cowardice.

As time went on he was able to cover the whole distance to the ocean and return in a single day. He never coughed now, nor did he glance fearfully from side to side as he strode through the woods and open places of his wild domain.

His eyes were bright and clear, his head and shoulders were thrown well back, and the mountain climbing had expanded his chest to a degree that appalled him—all the while it gave him much secret satisfaction. It was a very different Waldo from the miserable creature which had been vomited up by the ocean upon the sand of that distant beach.

The days that Waldo did not make a trip to the ocean he spent in rambling about the hills in the vicinity of his cave. He knew every rock and tree within five miles of his lair. He knew where Nagoola hid by day, and the path that he took down to the valley by night.
Nor did he longer tremble at sight of the great, black cat.

True, Waldo avoided him, but it was through cool and deliberate caution, which is quite another thing from the senseless panic of fear. Waldo was biding his time. He would not always avoid Nagoola. Nagoola was a part of Waldo's great plan, but Waldo was not ready for him yet.

The young man still bore his cudgel, and in addition he had practiced throwing rocks until he could almost have hit a near-by bird upon the wing. Besides these weapons Waldo was working upon a spear. It had occurred to him that a spear would be a mighty handy weapon against either man or beast, and so he had set to work to fashion one.

He found a very straight young sapling, a little over an inch in diameter and ten feet long. By means of a piece of edged flint he succeeded in tapering it to a sharp point. A rawhide thong, plaited from many pieces of small bits of hide taken from the little animals that had fallen before his missiles, served to sling the crude weapon across his shoulders when he walked.

With his spear he practiced hour upon hour each day, until he could transfix a fruit the size of an apple three times out of five, at a distance of fifty feet, and at a hundred hit a target the size of a man almost without a miss.

Six months had passed since he had fled from an encounter with Flatfoot and Korth.

Then Waldo had been a skinny, cowardly weakling; now his great frame had filled out with healthy flesh, while beneath his skin hard muscles rolled as he bent to one of the many Herculean tasks he had set for himself.

For six months he had worked with a single purpose in view, but still he felt that the day was not yet come when he might safely venture to put his newfound manhood to the test. Down, far down, in the depth of his soul he feared that he was yet a coward at heart— and he dared not take the risk. It was too much to expect, he told himself, that a man should be entirely metamorphosed in a brief half year. He would wait a little longer.

It was about this time that Waldo first saw a human being after his last sight of Nadara.

It was while he was on his way to the ocean, on one of the trips that had by this time become thrice weekly affairs, that he suddenly came face to face with a skulking, hairy brute. Waldo halted to see what would happen.

The man eyed him with those small, cunning, red-rimmed eyes that reminded Waldo of the eyes of a pig.

Finally Waldo spoke in the language of Nadara. "Who are you?" he asked.
"Sag the Killer," replied the man. "Who are you?" "Thandar," answered Waldo.
"I do not know you," said Sag; "but I can kill you."

He lowered his bull head and came for Waldo like a battering ram.

The young man dropped the point of his ready spear, bracing his feet. The point entered Sag's breast below the collarbone, stopping only after it had passed entirely through the savage heart. Waldo had not moved; the momentum of the man's body had been sufficient to impale him.

As the body rolled over, stiffening after a few convulsive kicks, Waldo withdrew his spear from it. Blood smeared its point for a distance of a foot, but Waldo showed no sign of loathing or disgust.

Instead he smiled. It had been so much easier than he had anticipated.

Leaving Sag where he had fallen he continued toward the ocean. An hour later he heard unusual noises behind him.

He stopped to listen. He was being pursued. From the sounds he estimated that there must be several in the party, and a moment later, as he was crossing a clearing, he got his first view of them as they emerged from the forest he had just quitted.

There were at least twenty powerfully muscled brutes. In skin bags thrown across their shoulders each carried a supply of stones, and these they began to hurl at Waldo as they raced toward him. For a moment the man held his ground, but he quickly realized the futility of pitting himself against such odds.

Turning, he ran toward the forest upon the other side of the clearing while a shower of rocks whizzed about him. Once within the shelter of the trees there was less likelihood of his being hit by one of the missiles, but occasionally a well-aimed rock would strike him a glancing blow. Waldo hoped that they would tire of the chase before the beach was reached, for he knew that there could be but one outcome of a battle in which one man faced twenty.

As the pursued and the pursuers raced on through the forest one of the latter, fleeter than his companions, commenced to close up the gap which had existed between Waldo and the twenty. On and on he came, until a backward glance showed Waldo that in another moment this swift foe-man would be upon him. He was younger than his fellows and more active, and, having thrown all his stones, was free from any burden of weight other than the single garment about his hips.

Waldo still clung to his tattered ducks, which from lack of support and more or less rapid disintegration were continually slipping down from his hips, so that they tended to hinder his movements and reduce his speed.

Had he been as naked as his pursuer he would doubtless have distanced him; but he was not, and it was evident that because of this fact he must take a chance in a hand-to-hand encounter that might delay him sufficiently to permit the balance of the horde to reach him—that would be the end of everything.

But Waldo Emerson neither screamed in terror nor trembled. When he wheeled to meet the now close savage there was a smile upon his lips, for Waldo Emerson had "killed his man," and there was no longer the haunting fear within his soul that at heart he was a coward.

As he turned with couched spear the cave man came to a sudden stop.

This was not what Waldo had anticipated. The other savages were running rapidly toward him, but the fellow who had first overhauled him remained at a safe twenty feet from the point of his weapon.

Waldo was being cleverly held until the remainder of the enemy could arrive and overwhelm him. He knew that if he turned to run the fellow who danced and yelled just beyond his reach would plunge forward and be upon his back in an instant.

He tried rushing the man, but the other retreated nimbly, drawing Waldo still closer to those who were coming on. There was no time to be lost. A moment more and the entire twenty would be upon him; but there were possibilities in a spear that the cave man in his ignorance dreamed not of. There was a lightning-like movement of Waldo's arm, and the aborigine saw the spear darting swiftly through space toward his breast. He tried to dodge, but was too late. Down he went, clutching madly at the slender thing which protruded from his heart.

Although one of the dead man's companions was now quite close, Waldo could not relinquish his weapon without an effort—it had cost him considerable time to make, and

twice today it had saved his life. Forgetful that he had ever been a coward he leaped toward the fallen man, reaching his side at the same instant as his foremost pursuer.

The two came together like mad bulls—the savage reaching for Waldo's throat, Waldo wielding his light cudgel. For a moment they struggled backward and forward, turning and twisting, the cave man in an effort to close upon Waldo's wind, Waldo to hold the other at arm's length for the brief instant that would be necessary for one sudden, effective blow from the cudgel.

The other savages were almost upon them when the young man found his antagonist's throat. Throwing all his weight and strength into the effort, Waldo forced the cave man back until there was room between them for the play of the stick. A single blow was sufficient.

As the limp body of his foe-man slipped from his grasp, Waldo snatched his precious spear from the heart of its victim, and with the hands of the infuriated pack almost upon him, turned once more into his flight toward the ocean.

The howling band was close upon his heels now, nor could he greatly increase the distance that separated him from them. He wondered what the outcome of the matter was to be; he did not wish to die. His thoughts kept reverting to his boyhood home, to his indulgent mother, to the friends that had been his. He felt that at the last moment he was about to lose his nerve—that, after all, his hard earned manliness was counterfeit.

Then there came to him a vision of an oval, olive face framed by a mass of soft, black hair; and before it the fear of death dissolved into a grim smile. He did not pause to analyze the reason for it—nor could he have done so then had he tried. He only knew that with those eyes upon him he could not be aught else than courageous.

A moment later he burst through the last fringe of underbrush to emerge upon the clearing that faced the sea. There by a tiny rivulet he saw a sight that filled him with thanksgiving, and farther out upon the ocean that which he had been waiting and hoping for for all these long, hard months—a ship.

SEAMEN upon the beach were filling water-casks. There were a dozen of them, and as
Waldo plunged from the forest they looked with startled apprehension at the strange apparition. A great, brown giant they saw, clad in a few ragged strings of white duck, for Waldo had kept his apparel as immaculately clean as hard rubbing in cold water would permit.

In one hand the strange creature carried a long, bloody spear, in the other a light cudgel. Long, yellow hair streamed back over his broad shoulders.

Several of the men—those who were armed—leveled guns and revolvers at him; but when, as he drew closer, they saw a broad grin upon his face, and heard in perfectly good English, "Don't shoot; I'm a white man," they lowered their weapons and awaited him.

He had scarcely reached them when they saw a swarm of naked men dash from the forest in his wake. Waldo saw their eyes directed past him and knew that his pursuers had come into view.

"You'll have to shoot at them, I imagine," he said. "They're not exactly domesticated. Try firing over their heads at first; maybe you can scare them away without hurting any of them."

He disliked the idea of seeing the poor savages slaughtered. It didn't seem just like fair play to mow them down with bullets.

The sailors followed his suggestion. At the first reports the cave men halted in surprise and consternation.

"Let's rush 'em," suggested one of the men, and this was all that was needed to send them scurrying back into the woods.

Waldo found that the ship was English, and that all the men spoke his mother tongue in more or less understandable fashion. The second mate, who was in charge of the landing party, proved to have originated in Boston. It was much like being at home again.

Waldo was so excited and wanted to ask so many questions all at once that he became almost unintelligible. It seemed scarcely possible that a ship had really come.

He realized now that he had never actually entertained any very definite belief that a ship ever would come to this out-of-the-way corner of the world. He had hoped and dreamed, but down in the bottom of his heart he must have felt that years might elapse before he would be rescued.

Even now it was difficult to believe that these were really civilized beings like himself. They were on their way to a civilized world; they would soon be surrounded by their families and friends, and he, Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones, was going with them! In a few months he would see his mother and his father and all his friends—he would be among his books once more.

Even as the last thought flashed through his mind it was succeeded by mild wonderment that this outlook failed to raise his temperature as he might have expected that it would. His books had been his real life in the past—could it be that they had lost something of their glamour? Had his brief experience with the realities of life dulled the edge of his appetite for second-hand hopes, aspirations, deeds, and emotions?

It had.

Waldo yet craved his books, but they alone would no longer suffice. He wanted something bigger, something more real and tangible—he wanted to read and study, but even more he wanted to do. And back there in his own world there would be plenty awaiting the doing.

His heart thrilled at the possibilities that lay before the new Waldo Emerson— possibilities of which he never would have dreamed but for the strange chance which had snatched him bodily from one life to throw him into this new one, which had forced upon him the development of attributes of self-reliance, courage, initiative, and resourcefulness that would have lain dormant within him always but for the necessity which had given birth to them.

Yes, Waldo realized that he owed a great deal to this experience ... a great deal to ... And then a sudden realization of the truth rushed in upon him—he owed everything to


"I was never shipwrecked on a desert island," said the second mate, breaking in upon Waldo's reveries, "but I can imagine just about how good you feel at the thought that you are at last rescued and that in an hour or so you will see the shoreline of your prison growing smaller and smaller upon the southern horizon."

"Yes," acquiesced Waldo in a far away voice, "it's awfully good of you, but I am not going with you."

Two hours later Waldo Emerson stood alone upon the beach, watching the diminishing hull of a great ship as it dropped over the rim of the world far to the north. A vague hint of tears dimmed his vision; then he threw back his shoulders, swallowed the thing that had risen into his throat, and with high held head turned back into the forest.

In one hand he carried a razor and a plug of tobacco—the sole mementos of his recent brief contact with the world of civilization. The kindly sailors had urged him to reconsider his decision, but when he remained obdurate they had insisted that they be permitted to leave some of the comforts of life with him.

The only thing that he could think of that he wanted very badly was a razor—firearms he would not accept, for he had worked out a rather fine chivalry of his own here in this savage world—a chivalry which would not permit him to take any advantage over the primeval inhabitants he had found here other than what his own hands and head might give him.

At the last moment one of the seamen, prompted by a generous heart and a keen realization of what life must be without even bare necessities, had thrust upon Waldo the plug of tobacco.

As he looked at it now the young man smiled.

"That would indeed be the last step, according to mother's ideas," he soliloquized. "No lower could I sink."

The ship that bore away Waldo's chance of escape carried also a long letter to Waldo's mother. In portions it was rather vague and rambling. It mentioned, among other things, that he had an obligation to fulfill before he could leave his present habitat; but that the moment he was free he should "take the first steamer for Boston."

The skipper of the ship which had just sailed away had told Waldo that in so far as he

knew there might never be another ship touch his island, which was so far out of the beaten course that only the shoreline of it had ever been explored, and scarce a score of vessels had reported it since Captain Cook discovered it in 1773.

Yet it was in the face of this that Waldo had refused to leave. As he walked slowly through the wood on his way back toward his cave he tried to convince himself that he had acted purely from motives of gratitude and fairness—that as a gentleman he could do no less than see Nadara and thank her for the friendly services she had rendered him; but for some reason this seemed a very futile and childish excuse for relinquishing what might easily be his only opportunity to return to civilization.

His final decision was that he had acted the part of a fool; yet as he walked he hummed a joyous tune, and his heart was full of happiness and pleasant expectations of what he could not have told.

To one thing he had made up his mind, and that was that the next sun would see him on his way to the village of Nadara. His experience with the savages that day had convinced him that he might with reasonable safety face Flatfoot and Korth. The more he dwelt upon this idea the more lighthearted he became—he could not understand it. He should be plunged into the blackest despair, for had he not but just relinquished a chance to return home, and was he not within a day or two to enter the village of the ferocious Flatfoot and the mighty Korth? Even so, his heart sang.

Waldo saw nothing of his enemies of the earlier part of the day as he moved cautiously through the forest or crossed the little plains and meadows which lay along the route between the ocean and his lair; but his thoughts often reverted to them and to his adventures of the morning, and the result was that he became aware of a deficiency in his equipment—a deficiency which his recent battle made glaringly apparent.

In fact, there were two points that might be easily remedied. One was the lack of a shield. Had he had protection of this nature he would have been in comparatively little danger from the shower of missiles that the savages had flung at him. The other was a sword. With a sword and shield he could have let his enemies come to very close quarters with perfect impunity to himself and then have run them through with infinite ease.

This new idea would necessitate a delay in his plans; he must finish both shield and sword before he departed for the village of Flatfoot. What with his meditation and his planning, Waldo had made poor time on the return journey from the coast, so that it was after sunset when he entered the last deep ravine beyond the farther summit of which lay his rocky home. In the depths of the ravine it was already quite dark, though a dim  
twilight still hung upon the surrounding hilltops.

He had about completed the arduous ascent of the last steep trail, at the crest of which was his journey's end, when above him, silhouetted against the darkening sky, loomed a great black, crouching mass, from the center of which blazed two balls of fire. It was Nagoola, and he occupied the center of the only trail that led over the edge of the ridge from the ravine below.

"I had almost forgotten you, Nagoola," murmured Waldo Emerson. "I could never have gone upon my journey without first interviewing you, but I could have wished a different time and place than this. Let us postpone the matter for a day or so," he concluded aloud; but the only response from Nagoola was an ominous growl. Waldo felt rather uncomfortable.

He could not have come upon the great, black panther at a more inopportune time or place. It was too dark for Waldo's human eyes, and the cat was above him and Waldo upon a steep hillside that under the best of conditions offered but a precarious foothold. He tried to shoo the formidable beast away by shouts and menacing gesticulations, but Nagoola would not shoo. Instead he crept slowly forward, edging his sinuous body inch by inch along the rocky trail until it hung poised above the waiting man a dozen feet below him.

Six months before Waldo would long since have been shrieking in meteor-like flight down the bed of the ravine behind him. That a wonderful transformation had been wrought within him was evident from the fact that no cry of fright escaped him, and that, far from fleeing, he edged inch by inch upward toward the menacing creature hanging there above him. He carried his spear with the point leveled a trifle below those baleful eyes. He had advanced but a foot or two, however, when, with an awful shriek, the terrible beast launched itself full upon him. As the heavy body struck him Waldo went over backward down the cliff, and with him went Nagoola. Clawing, tearing, and scratching, the two rolled and bounded down the rocky hillside until, near the bottom, they came to a sudden stop against a large tree.

The growling and screeching ceased, the clawing paws and hands were still. Presently the tropic moon rose over the hilltop to look down upon a little tangled mound of man and beast that lay very quiet against the bole of a great tree near the bottom of a dark ravine.