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Volume 3966
The land was alive with crawling, leaping, running, flying things.
Part Five
Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr.
(Dedicated to George McWhorter)

(Chapters 5-6)
B. Bowen Tyler, Jr. (continued)
Chapter 5 opens with everyone happy and feeling good. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? The dinosaur steaks are delicious. Bowen even lets his dog eat at the table with them and gives the lucky dog a big portion of the juicy reptile. Things even seem to be improving between Bowen and Lys, that is until Olson spoils the mood by suggesting that the dinosaur they are eating is the same one who ate the German.
“It was sometime before we could persuade the girl to continue her meal, but at last Bradley prevailed upon her, pointing out that we had come upstream nearly forty miles since the boche had been seized, and that during that time we had seen literally thousands of these denizens of the river, indicating that the chances were very remote that this was the same Plesiosaur. ‘And anyway,’ he concluded, ‘it was only a scheme of Mr. Olson’s to get all the steaks for himself.’”  (LTF/5.)
Good old Bradley. He really gets to the heart of things. Quick and effective. They decide they would only search long enough to get fresh water and such meats and fruits that they may procure freely and then get as quickly away as they can. They retire and wake up early the next morning all refreshed and optimistic. They discover that there are no dinosaurs hanging around, for their activity is mainly between noon to midnight.
“As a matter of fact, we didn’t see one of them all the time we were getting under way, though I had the cannon raised to the deck and manned against an assault. I hoped, but I was none too sure, that shells might discourage them. The trees were full of monkeys of all sizes and shades, and once we thought we saw a manlike creature watching us from the depth of the forest.
“Shortly after we resumed our course upstream, we saw the mouth of another and smaller river emptying into the main channel from the south – that is, upon our right; and almost immediately after we came upon a large island five or six miles in length; and at fifty miles there was a still larger river than the last coming in from the northwest, the course of the main stream having now changed to northeast by southwest. The water was quite free of reptiles, and the vegetation upon the banks of the river had altered to more open and parklike forest, with eucalyptus and acacia mingled with a scattering of tree ferns, as though two distinct time periods of geologic time had overlapped and merged. The grass, too, was less flowering, though there were still gorgeous patches mottling the greensward; and lastly, the fauna was less multitudinous.
“Six or seven miles farther, and the river widened considerably; before us opened an expanse of water to the farther horizon, and then we sailed out upon an inland sea so large that only the shore-line upon our side was visible to us. The waters all about us were alive with life. There were still a few reptiles; but there were fish by the thousands, by the millions.
“The water of the inland sea was very warm, almost hot, and the atmosphere was hot and heavy above it. It seemed strange that beyond the buttressed walls of Caprona icebergs floated and the south wind was biting, for only a gentle breezed moved across the face of these living waters, and that was damp and warm. Gradually, we commenced to divest ourselves of our clothing, retaining only sufficient for modesty; but the sun was not hot. It was more the heat of a steam-room than an oven.” (LTF/5.)
I know what most of you men were thinking. How much did “the girl” take off? How much was sufficient for modesty? Too bad, we are never told. Note how Bowen almost always refers to Lys as “the girl.” No wonder she treats him coldly. Now back to the National Geographic travelogue:
“We coasted up the shore of the lake in a northwesterly direction, sounding all the time. We found the lake deep and the bottom rocky and steeply shelving toward the center, and once when I moved straight out from shore to take other soundings we could find no bottom whatsoever. In open spaces along the shore we caught occasional glimpses of the distant cliffs, and here they appeared only a trifle less precipitous than those which bound Caprona on the seaward side.
My theory is that in a far distant era Caprona was a mighty mountain – perhaps the world’s mightiest volcanic action blew off the entire crest, blew thousands of feet of the mountain upward and outward and onto the surrounding continent, leaving a great crater; and then, possibly, the continent sank as ancient continents have been known to do, leaving only the summit of Caprona above the sea. The encircling walls, the central lake, the hot springs which feed the lake, all point to a conclusion, and the fauna and the flora bear indisputable evidence that Caprona was once part of some great land-mass.
“As we cruised up along the coast, the landscape continued a more or less open forest, with here and there a small plain where we saw animals grazing. With my glass I could make out a species of large red deer, some antelope and what appeared to be a species of horse; and once I saw the shaggy form of what might have been a monstrous bison. Here was game a plenty! There seemed little danger of starving upon Caprona. The game, however, seemed wary; for the instant the animals discovered us, they threw up their heads and tails and went cavorting off, those farther inland following the example of the others until all were lost in the mazes of the distant forest. Only the great, shaggy ox stood his ground. With lowered head he watched us until we had passed, and then continued feeding.
“About twenty miles up the coast from the mouth of the river we encountered low cliffs of sandstone, broken and tortured evidence of the great upheaval which had torn Caprona asunder in the past, intermingling upon a common level the rock formations of widely separated eras, fusing some and leaving others untouched.
“We ran along beside them for a matter of ten miles, arriving off a broad cleft which led into what appeared to be another lake. As we were in search of pure water, we did not wish to overlook any portion of the coast, and so after sounding and finding that we had ample depth, I ran the U-33 between head-lands into as pretty a landlocked harbor a sailorman could care to see, with good water right up to within a few yards of the shore. As we cruised slowly along, two of the boches again saw what they believed to be a man, or manlike creature, watching us from a fringe of trees a hundred yards inland, and shortly after we discovered the mouth of a small stream empyting into the bay. It was the first stream we had found since leaving the river, and I at once made preparations to test its water. To land, it would be necessary to run the U-33 close in to the shore, at least as close as we could, for even these waters were infested, though not so thickly, by savage reptiles. I ordered sufficient water let into the diving-tanks to lower us about a foot, and I ran the bow slowly toward the shore, confident that should we run aground, we still had sufficient lifting force to free us when the water should be pumped out of the tanks; but the bow nosed its way gently into the reeds and touched the shore with the keel still clear.” (LTF/5.)
So far, so good. Now we come to a part where it is deja vu all over again. Bowen believes he can act as an United Nations ambassador, and that lofty ideals and common sense can overcome mere ideas like national boundaries and wartime. The even more common sense maxim, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,” hasn’t even entered into his mind. When things begin to break down for Bowen in the future, he really has no one else but himself to blame.
“My men were all armed now with both rifles and pistols, each having plenty of ammunition. I ordered one of the Germans ashore with a line, and sent two of my own men to guard him, for from what little we had seen of Caprona, or Caspak as we learned later to call the interior, we realized that any instant some new and horrible danger might confront us. The line was made fast to a small tree, and at the same time I had the stern anchor dropped.
“As soon as the boche and his guard were aboard again, I called all hands on deck, including von Schoenvorts, and there I explained to them that the time had come for us to enter into some sort of an agreement among ourselves that would relieve us of the annoyance and embarrassment of being divided into two antagonistic parts – prisoners and captors. I told them that it was obvious our very existence depended upon our unity of action, that we were to all intent and purpose entering a new world as far from the seat and causes of our own worldwar as if millions of miles of space and eons of time separated us from our past lives and habitations.” (LTF/5.)
Really! Isn’t this the last place in the world you would think you could trust these guys? After all, they were all so truthful the last time they gave you their word, weren’t they? Oh, they weren’t? Yes, but can’t bygones be bygones?
“‘There is no reason why we should carry our racial and political hatreds into Caprona,’ I insisted. ‘The Germans among us might kill all the English, or the English might kill the last German, without affecting in the slightest degree either the outcome of even the smallest skirmish upon the western front or the opinion of a single individual in any belligerent or neutral country. I therefore put the issue squarely to you all; shall we bury our animosities and work together with and for one another while we remain upon Caprona, or must we continue thus divided and but half armed, possibly until death has claimed the last of us? And let me tell you, if you have not already realized it, the chances are a thousand to one that not one of us ever will see the outside world again. We are safe now in the matter of food and water; we could provision the U-33 for a long cruise; but we are practically out of fuel, and without fuel we cannot hope to reach the ocean, as only a submarine can pass through the barrier cliffs. What is your answer? I turned to von Schoenvorts.
“He eyed me in that disagreeable way of his and demanded to know, in case they accepted my suggestion, what their status would be in event of our finding a way to escape with the U-33. I replied that I felt that if we had all worked loyally together we should leave Caprona upon a common footing, and to that end I suggested that should the remote possibility of our escape in the submarine develop into reality, we should then immediately make for the nearest neutral port and give ourselves into the hands of the authorities, when we should all probably be interned for the duration of the war. To my surprise he agreed that this was fair and told me that they would accept my conditions and that I could depend upon their loyalty to the common cause.” (LTF/5.)
Yes, if this were a situation comedy on television, you would have heard the laugh track loud and clear during Bowen’s statement of those conditions and von Schoenvorts’ acceptance of them! Of course, von Schoenvorts is aware that these conditions actually leave the decision as to when they are actually in a position to escape to him and the Germans. And no one even sees it coming! But wait, the fool’s parade is far from being over:
“I thanked him and then addressed each one of his men individually, and each gave me his word that he would abide by all that I had outlined. It was further understood that we were to act as a military organization under military rules and discipline – I as commander, with Bradley as my first lieutenant and Olson as my second, in command of the Englishmen; while von Schoenvorts was to act as an additional second lieutenant and have charge of his own men. The four of us were to constitute a military court under which men might be tried and sentenced to punishment for infraction of military rules and discipline, even to the passing of the death-sentence.
“I then had arms and ammunition issued to the Germans, and leaving Bradley and five men to guard the U-33, the balance of us went ashore.” (LTF/5.)
That’s right, von Schoenvorts is put in command of his own men and then they are all armed. And still, no one can see it coming.
“The first thing we did was to taste the water of the little stream – which, to our delight, we found sweet, pure and cold. This stream was entirely free from dangerous reptiles, because, as I later discovered, they become immediately dormant when subjected to a much lower temperature than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They dislike cold water and keep as far away from it as possible. There were countless brook-trout here, and deep holes that invited us to bathe, and along the bank of the stream were trees bearing a close resemblance to ash and beech and oak, their characteristics evidently induced by the lower temperatures of the air above the cold water and by the fact that their roots were watered by the waters from the stream rather than from the warm springs which we afterward found in such abundance elsewhere.
“Our first concern was to fill the water tanks of the U-33 with fresh water, and that having been accomplished, we set out to hunt for game and explore inland for a short distance. Olson, von Schoenvorts, two Englishmen and two Germans accompanied me, leaving ten to guard the ship and the girl. I had intended on leaving Nobs behind, but he got away and joined me and was so happy over it that I hadn’t the heart to send him back. We followed the stream upward through a beautiful country for about five miles, and then came upon its source in a little boulder-strewn clearing. From among the rocks bubbled fully twenty ice-cold springs. North of the clearing rose sandstone cliffs to a height of some fifty to seventy-five feet, with tall trees growing at their base and almost concealing them from our view. To the west the country was flat and sparsely wooded, and here it was that we saw our first game – a large red deer. It was grazing away from us and had not seen us when one of my men called my attention to it. Motioning for silence and having the rest of the party lie down, I crept toward the quarry, accompanied only by Whitely. We got within a hundred yards of the deer when he suddenly raised his antlered head and pricked up his great ears. We both fired at once and had the satisfaction of seeing the buck drop; then we ran forward to finish him with our knives. The deer lay in a small open space close to a clump of acacias, and we had advanced to within several yards of our kill when we both halted suddenly and simultaneously. Whitely looked at me, and I looked at Whitely, and then we both looked back in the direction of the deer.
“‘Blime!’ he said. ‘Wot is hit, sir?’
“‘It looks to me, Whitely, like an error,’ I said; ‘some assistant god who had been creating elephants must have been temporarily transferred to the lizarddepartment.’
“‘Hi wouldn’t s’y that, sir,’ said Whitely; ‘it sounds blasphemous.’
“‘It is no more blasphemous than that thing which is swiping our meat,’ I replied, for whatever the thing was, it had leaped upon our deer and was devouring it in great mouthfuls which it swallowed without mastication. The creature appeared to be a great lizard at least ten feet high, with a huge, powerful tail as long as its torso, mighty hind legs and short forelegs. When it had advanced from the wood, it hopped much after the fashion of a kangaroo, using its hind feet and tail to propel it, and when it stood erect, it sat upon its tail. Its head was long and thick, with a blunt muzzle, and the opening of the jaws ran back to a point behind the eyes, and the jaws were armed with long sharp teeth. The scaly body was covered with black and yellow spots about a foot in diameter and irregular in contour. These spots were outlined in red with edgings about an inch wide. The underside of the chest, body and tail were a greenish white.
“‘Wot s’y we pot the bloomin’ bird, sir?’ suggested Whitely.
“I told him to wait until I gave the word; then we would fire simultaneously, he at the heart and I at the spine.
“‘Hat the ‘eart, sir – yes, sir,’ he replied, and raised his piece to his shoulder.
“Our shots rang out together. The thing raised its head and looked about until its eyes rested upon us; then it gave vent to a most appalling hiss that rose in the crescendo of a terrific shriek and came for us.
“‘Beat it, Whitely!’ I cried as I turned to run.
“We were about a quarter of a mile from the rest of our party, and in full sight of them as they lay in the tall grass, watching us. That they saw all that had happened was evidenced by the fact that they now rose and ran toward us, and at their head leaped Nobs. The creature in our rear was gaining on us rapidly when Nobs flew past me like a meteor and rushed straight for the frightful reptile. I tried to recall him, but he would pay no attention to me, and as I couldn’t see him sacrificed, I, too, stopped and faced the monster. The creature appeared to be more impressed with Nobs than by us and our firearms, for it stopped as the Airedale dashed at it growling, and struck at him viciously with its powerful jaws.
“Nobs, though, was lightning by comparison with the slow-thinking beast and dodged his opponent’s thrust with ease. Then he raced to the rear of the tremendous thing and seized it by the tail. There Nobs made the error of his life. Within that mottled organ were the muscles of a Titan, the force of a dozen mighty catapults, and the owner of the tail was fully aware of the possibilities which it contained. With a single flip of the tip it sent poor Nobs sailing through the air a hundred feet above the ground, straight back into the clump of acacias from which the beast had leaped upon our kill – and then the grotesque thing sank lifeless to the ground.” (LTF/5.)
It’s time for a little light humor, wouldn’t you say? And ERB is right on time with a ludicrous theory about why it takes so long for a dinosaur to realize that it is dead.
“Olson and von Schoenvorts came up a minute later with their men; then we all cautiously approached the still form upon the ground. The creature was quite dead, and an examination resulted in disclosing the fact that Whitely’s bullet had pierced its heart, and mine had severed the spinal cord.
“‘But why didn’t it die instantly?’ I exclaimed.
“‘Because,’ said von Schoenvorts in his disagreeable way, ‘the beast is so large, and its nervous organization of so low a caliber, that it took all this time for the intelligence of death to reach and be impressed upon the minute brain. The thing was dead when your bullets struck it; but it did not know it for several seconds – possibly a minute. If I am not mistaken, it is an Allosaurus of the Upper Jurassic, remains of which have been found in Central Wyoming, in the suburbs of New York.’” (LTF/5.)
There, American pig! Surely you can see that an education at Stanford is nothing compared with a Prussian nobleman’s! Sure, Bowen has been making some good observations during his exploration of the strange new world, but you have to hand it to von Schoenvorts, he not only figured out a logical reason for the creature’s delay time in death, but right-on identified the creature in its name and history. 

They go back to the submarine and all decide that their first priority should be in the building of a camp with a palisade. As they approach the boat at the beginning of Chapter 6, they are startled from a shell exploding from the U-boat. Bowen commands them to drop the deer carcass and hasten back to the boat. When they get within a mile of the vessel, they are confronted with an unbelievable sight:

“We had been passing through a little heavier timber than was usual to this part of the country, when we suddenly emerged into an open space in the center of which was such a band as might have caused the most courageous to pause. It consisted of upward of five hundred individuals representing several species closely allied to man. There were anthropoid apes and gorillas – these I had no difficulty in recognizing; but there were other forms which I had never before seen, and I was hard put to it to say whether they were ape or man. Some of them resembled the corpse we had found upon the narrow beach against Caprona’s seawall, while others were of a still lower type, more nearly resembling the apes, and yet others were uncannily manlike, standing there erect, being less hairy and possessing better shaped heads.
“There was one among the lot, evidently the leader of them, who bore a close resemblance to the so-called Neanderthal man of La Chapelle-aux-Saints. There was the same short, stocky trunk upon which rested an enormous head habitually bent forward into the same curvature as the back, the arms shorter than the legs, and the lower leg considerably shorter than that of modern man, the knees bent forward and never straightened. This creature and one or two others who appeared to be of a lower order than he, yet higher than that of the apes, carried heavy clubs; the others were armed only with giant muscles and fighting fangs – nature’s weapons. All were males, and all were entirely naked; nor was there upon even the highest among them a sign of ornamentation.
“At sight of us they turned with bared fangs and low growls to confront us. I did not wish to fire among them unless it became absolutely necessary, and so I started to lead my party around them; but the instant that the Neanderthal man guessed my intention, he evidently attributed it to cowardice upon our part, and with a wild cry he leaped toward us, waving his cudgel above his head. The others followed him, and in a minute we should have been overwhelmed. I gave the order to fire, and at the first volley six of them went down, including the Neanderthal man. The others hesitated a moment and then broke for the trees, some running nimbly among the branches, while others lost themselves to us between the boles. Both von Schoenvorts and I noticed that at least two of the higher, manlike types took to the trees quite as nimbly as the apes, while others that more nearly approached man in carriage and appearance sought safety upon the ground with the gorillas.
“An examination disclosed that five of our erstwhile opponents were dead and the sixth, the Neanderthal man, was but slightly wounded, a bullet having glanced from his thick skull, stunning him. We decided to take him with us to camp, and by means of belts we managed to secure his hands behind his back and place a leash around his neck before he regained consciousness. We then retraced our steps for our meat, being convinced by our experience that those aboard the U-33 had been able to frighten off this party with a single shell– but when we came to where we left the deer it had disappeared.” (LTF/6.)
Bowen and Whitely are able to hunt ahead and bag a couple of antelopes on the way home. They find all is safe back at the U-boat, and they count about twenty corpses of the apemen on the shore where they had been killed when attacking Bradley and his party. 

They all work very hard on the camp, all except von Schoenvorts, who will not do manual labor; instead, he spends his time making a swagger-stick from a branch of jarrah. His class-consciousness soon clashes with Bowen’s American spirit of egalitarianism soon after they chase off a killer pterodactyl:

“Two of the men, both Germans, were stripping a felled tree of its branches. Von Schoenvorts had completed his swagger-stick, and he and I were pressing close to where the two worked.
“One of them threw to his rear a small branch that he had just chopped-off, and as misfortune would have it, it struck von Schoenvorts across the face. It couldn’t have hurt him, for it didn’t leave a mark; but he flew into a terrific rage, shouting: ‘Attention!’ in a loud voice. The sailor immediately straightened up, faced his officer, clicked his heels together and saluted. ‘Pig!’ roared the Baron, and struck the fellow across the face, breaking his nose. I grabbed von Schoenvorts’ arm and jerked him away before he could strike again, if such had been his intention, and then he raised his little stick to strike me; but before it descended the muzzle of my pistol was against his belly and he must have seen in my eyes that nothing would suit be better than an excuse to pull the trigger.” (LTF/6.)
Yes, as it turns out, nothing would have suited him better than to pull the trigger at that instant. Doesn’t he yet realize that all of the Germans aboard will not hesitate to obey their commander when he is in command? Doesn’t Bowen even have a clue at how much he has insulted the honor of a Prussian nobleman? No, he gloats in the psychological jabberwocky of some incredible theory that von Schoenvorts is actually a coward at heart:
“Like all his kind and all other bullies, von Schoenvorts was a coward at heart, and so he dropped his hand to his side and started to turn away; but I pulled him back, and there before his men I told him that such a thing must never again occur – that no man was to be struck or otherwise punished other than in due process of the laws that we had made and the court that we had established. All the time the sailor stood rigidly at attention, nor could I tell from his expression whether he most resented the blow his officer had struck him or my interference in the gospel of the Kaiser-breed. Nor did he move until I said to him: ‘Plesser, you may return to your quarters and dress your wound.’ Then he saluted and marched stiffly off toward the U-33.” (LTF/6.)
So, a man armed with only a wooden swagger-stick is a coward if he decides to back down after you pull a pistol to his stomach with the eye of the tiger? I think it more likely that von Schoenvorts is a super-intelligent, cold, calculating, brave enemy adversary who will live to make you regret your naive American attitudes, Mr. Bowen Tyler, Jr.

They make steaks of the antelopes and have a feast. Bowen sets guards and appoints Olson first watch on deck for the night. And it is here where we are confronted with Miss La Rue’s abysmal, all-pervading pessimism:

“After dinner we all went on deck and watched the unfamiliar scenes of a Capronian night – that is, all but von Schoenvorts. There was less to see than to hear. From the great inland behind us came the hissing and the screaming of counltess saurians. Above us we heard the flap of giant wings, while from the shore rose the multitudinous voices of a tropical jungle – of a warm, damp atmosphere such as must have enveloped the entire earth during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. But here were intermingled the voices of later eras – the scream of the panther, the roar of the lion, the baying of wolves and a thunderous growling which we could attribute to nothing earthly but which one day we were to connect with the most fearsome of ancient creatures.
“One by one the others went to their rooms, until the girl and I were left alone together, for I had permitted the watch to go below for a few minutes, knowing that I would be on deck. Miss La Rue was very quiet, though she replied graciously enough to whatever I had to say that required reply. I asked her if she did not feel well.
“Yes,’ she said, ‘but I am depressed by the awfulness of it all. I feel of so little consequence – so small and helpless in the face of all these myriad manifestations of life stripped to the bone of its savagery and brutality. I realize as never before how cheap and valueless a thing is life. Life seems a joke, a cruel, grim joke. You are a laughable incident or a terrifying one as you happen to be less powerful or more powerful than some other form of life which crosses your path; but as a rule you are of no moment whatsoever to anything but yourself. You are a comic little figure, hopping from the cradle to the grave. Yes, that is our trouble – we take ourselves too seriously; but Caprona should be a sure cure for that.’ She paused and laughed.
“You have evolved a beautiful philosophy,’ I said. ‘It fills such a longing in the human breast. It is full, it is satisfying, it is ennobling. What wondrous strides toward perfection the human race might have made if the first man had evolved it and it had persisted until now as the creed of humanity.’
“‘I don’t like irony,’ she said; ‘it indicates a small soul.’” (LTF/6.)
By George, her philosophy may suck, but she has nailed Bowen to a T, for he has done everything to give her the idea that he has a small soul.
“‘What other sort of soul, then, would you expect from “a comic little figure hopping from the cradle to the grave”?’ I inquired. ‘And what difference does it make, anyway, what you like and what you don’t like? You are here for but an instant, and you mustn’t take yourself too seriously.’
“She looked up at me with a smile. ‘I imagine that I am frightened and blue,’ she said, ‘and I know that I am very, very homesick and lonely.’ There was almost a sob in her voice as she concluded. It was the first time that she had spoken thus to me. Involuntarily, I laid my hand upon hers where it rested on the rail.
“‘I know how difficult your position is,’ I said; ‘but don’t feel that you are alone. There is – is one here who – who would do anything in the world for you,’ I ended lamely. She did not withdraw her hand, and she looked up into my face with tears on her cheeks and I read in her eyes the thanks her lips could not voice. Then she looked away across the weird moonlit landscape and sighed. Evidently her new-found philosophy had tumbled about her ears, for she was seemingly taking herself seriously. I wanted to take her in my arms and tell her how I loved her, and had taken her hand from the rail and started to draw her toward me when Olson came blundering up on deck with his bedding.” (LTF/6.)
Perhaps Lys knows that Bowen is the best she can do in the situation. He may be a bungling fool when it comes to love and women, but at least he is strong and brave. They continue building the camp, with Lys spending time with the Neanderthal to learn his language. It is a simple one, and soon Lys is able to teach it to Bowen. I think most things to come are revealed by a close reading of the following paragraph:
“It took us three weeks to build all the houses, which we constructed close by a cold spring some two miles from the harbor.
“We changed our plans a trifle when it came to building the palisade, for we found a rotted cliff near by where we could get all the flat building-stone we needed, and so we constructed a stone wall entirely around the buildings. It was in the form of a square, with bastions and towers at each corner which would permit an enfilading fire along any side of the fort, and was about one hundred and thirty-five feet square on the outside, with walls three feet thick at the bottom and about a foot and half wide at the top, and fifteen feet high. It took a long time to build that wall, and we all turned in and helped except von Schoenvorts, who, by the way, had not spoken to me except in the line of official business since our encounter – a condition of armed neutrality which suited me to a T. We have just finished it, the last touches being put on today. I quit about a week ago and commenced working on this chronicle of our strange adventures, which will account for any minor errors in chronology which may have crept in; there was so much material that I may have made some mistakes, but I think they are but minor and few.” (LTF/6.)
What was it about the last week that caused Bowen to believe that writing a chronicle of their adventures was more important than finishing the fort? We are not told. But in the meantime, Lys and Bowen have learned that the Neanderthal is called Ahm and that he refers to them as Galus, of whom he claims he will also soon be a member. They also learn from Ahm that the interior of Caprona is known as Caspak. This is essential information for the grasping of the Caspakian revelation, since they learn that there are allegedly many more Galus living north of their location. Ahm goes hunting with them, showing them what kinds of fruits, tubers, and herbs are edible. They start preserving food, largely by the smoking process and begin the construction of a second storehouse to keep it. With the noted entry of “September 3, 1916” – a date exactly three months after their liner was torpedoed – the chronicle begins to get strange. They all settle down in the camp, which we later learn is called Fort Dinosaur, having accepted their negative fate that they will never see the outer world again. Everyone is eager, however, to explore more of Caspak because of Ahm’s repeated claims that there are lots of Galus living north of them. Bowen sends out a search party led by Bradley, accompanied by Ahm, who is now allowed to come and go freely.

They trek 25 miles west of the camp. After Bradley’s return, Bowen incorporates Bradley’s first person report of the expedition, causing us to have to revise our first person narrative structure:

B. Bowen Tyler, Jr. (continued):

i. Bradley’s report:
“Marched fifteen miles in the first day, camping on the bank of a large stream which runs southward. Game was plentiful and we saw several varieties which we had not before encountered in Caspak. Just before making camp we were charged by an enormous wooly rhinoceros, which Plesser dropped with a perfect shot. We had rhinoceros-steaks for supper. Ahm called the thing ‘Atis.’ It was almost a continuous battle from the time we left the fort until we arrived at camp. The mind of man can scarce conceive the plethora of carnivorous life in this lost world; and their prey, of course, is even more abundant.
“The second day we marched about ten miles to the foot of the cliffs. Passed through dense forests close to the base of the cliffs. Saw manlike creatures and a low order of ape in one band, and some of the men swore that there was a white man among them. They were inclined to attack us at first; but a volley from our rifles caused them to change their minds. We scaled the cliffs as far as we could; but near the top they are absolutely perpendicular without any sufficient cleft or protuberance to give hand or foot-hold. All were disappointed, for we hungered for a view of the ocean and the outside world. We even had a hope that we might see and attract the attention of a passing ship. Our exploration has determined one thing which will probably be of little value to us and never heard of beyond Caprona’s walls – this crater was once entirely filled with water. Indisputable evidence of this is on the face of the cliffs.
“Our return journey occupied two days and was filled with adventure as usual. We are all becoming accustomed to adventure. It is beginning to pall on us. We suffered no casualties and there was no illness.” (LTF/6.)
B. Bowen Tyler, Jr. (continued):
As one can plainly see, Bradley makes things short and simple, a fact of which even Bowen takes note:
“I had to smile as I read Bradley’s report. In those four days he had doubtless passed through more adventures than an African big-game hunter experiences in a lifetime, and yet he covered it all in a few lines. Yes, we are becoming accustomed to adventure.” (LTF/6.)
Killing huge beasts has become an everyday experience. They have even learned to give the animals the necessary time between the killing blow and the animal’s realization that it is dead. And then we come to the ”September 7, 1916" entry:
“Much has happened since I last wrote. Bradley is away again on another exploration expedition to the cliffs. He expects to gone several weeks and to follow along their base in search of a point where they may be scaled. He took Sinclair, Brady, James, and Tippet with him. Ahm has disappeared. He has been gone about three days; but the most startling thing I have to record is that von Schoenvorts and Olson while hunting the other day discovered oil about fifteen miles north of us beyond the sandstone cliffs. Olson says there is a geyser of oil there, and von Schoenvorts is making preparations to refine it. If he succeeds, we shall have the means for leaving Caspak and returning to our own world. I can scarce believe the truth of it. We are all elated to the seventh heaven of bliss. Pray God we shall not be disappointed.
“I have tried on several occasions to broach the subject of my love to Lys; but she will not listen.” (LTF/6.)
And so ends Chapter 6. Can anyone see what’s wrong here? We are not told whether the oil was discovered before or after Bradley’s second search party left. If it was after, then Bowen is an even bigger a fool than I had originally pegged him for. Did you note how many Englishmen were in his party? Sinclair, Brady, James and Tippet. That doesn’t leave hardly any Englishmen behind: let’s see, that leaves Bowen, Olson, Whitely, and – oh, yes, remember him? – Wilson. And all eight of the Germans. Four against eight! And what a time to be outnumbered.

Can anyone recall the terms of the truce? Wasn’t it valid until there was a viable means of escape? And with the discovery of oil, isn’t it clear to everyone that that time has arrived?

Note on the U-boat’s portholes. A WWI documentary on the History Channel shows lots of footage of German U-boats during this period in history. The conning towers appeared to be constructed of four connected oval panels, each of which had two tiny portholes near the top. You have to really look twice to see them, they are so small. But they are there.
Continued in Part Six
(For any comments, contact

Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr.
(Dedicated to George McWhorter)
ERBzine Refs
The Land that Time Forgot - eText edition

CASPAK IN REVIEW by Steve Servello
Caspak Dictionary by Banks Miller
Wieroo of Caprona by Den Valdron
The Mystery of Caprona by Den Valdron
Caspak Maps
Caspakian Demography
Caspakian Fauna
Caspak Art by Mahlon Blaine
Sociology of the Wieroo by Rick Johnson
Popular Science and the Land That Time Forgot by Phil Burger
LOOSE STRING ~ COS-ATA-LO by Sailor Barsoom
The Land That Time Forgot - Film Version
The Land That Time Forgot - ERB C.H.A.S.E.R.

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