Leaping and scrambling over the rocks, they plunged into the mouths of the caves and disappeared...all but one, a little baby, that had been dropped in the excitement close to the base of the bluff.
In the hurry and confusion it had happened that all had not gained their own caves. Some of the young ones had sought refuge in other caves.
"And ever since that long-gone day have the dead of this fabled land been carried to the Carrion Caves
, that in death and decay they might serve their country and warn away invading enemies.
But the arrows of the invaders were taking a much heavier toll than the nooses of the defenders and I fore-saw that it was but a matter of time before Hooja's forces must conquer unless the brute-men changed their tactics, or the cave
men tired of the battle.
Her first act was to beckon me to follow her outside, and there she pointed to the explanation of our rescue from the bear--a huge saber-tooth tiger, its fine coat and its flesh torn to ribbons, lying dead a few paces from our cave
, and beside it, equally mangled, and disemboweled, was the carcass of a huge cave-bear.
Now while he lay and wondered, the mouth of the cave
was darkened, and through it entered that same lad who had done battle with the lioness and been overthrown by her, bearing a dead buck upon his shoulders.
If every living thing were swept from the country the future explorer would find upon the walls of these caves
ample evidence of the strange fauna--the dinosaurs, iguanodons, and fish lizards--which had lived so recently upon earth.
And verily, we spake and thought long enough together ere Zarathustra came home to his cave
, for me not to be unaware that we ARE different.
That he could see me in the dim light of the cave
I was sure for the early morning sun was falling full upon me through the opening.
As I stood there, tense and silent, listening for the first faint sound that should announce the approach of my enemies, a slight noise from within the cave
's black depths attracted my attention.
Before day-dawn, Judge Thatcher and the handful of searchers with him were tracked out, in the cave
, by the twine clews they had strung behind them, and informed of the great news.
When the people heard this resolve of his, they came and told him there was a pitiless dragon in human disguise in the Haunted Cave
, a dread creature which no knight had yet been bold enough to face, and begged him to rid the land of its desolating presence.