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In the Morning of Time   By: (1860-1943)

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IN THE MORNING OF TIME

IN THE MORNING OF TIME

BY

CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS

Author of "The Kindred of the Wild," etc.

[Illustration]

NEW YORK

FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY

PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1922, by

Frederick A. Stokes Company

All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I The World Without Man 1 II The King of the Triple Horn 20 III The Finding of Fire 41 IV The Children of the Shining One 70 V The Puller Down of Trees 97 VI The Battle of the Brands 123 VII The Rescue of A ya 149 VIII The Bending of the Bow 174 IX The Destroying Splendor 198 X The Terrors of the Dark 219 XI The Feasting of the Cave Folk 243 XII On the Face of the Waters 259 XIII The Fear 278 XIV The Lake of Long Sleep 295

IN THE MORNING OF TIME

IN THE MORNING OF TIME

CHAPTER I

THE WORLD WITHOUT MAN

It lay apparently afloat on the sluggish, faintly discolored tide a placid, horse faced, shovel nosed head, with bumpy holes for ears and immense round eyes of a somewhat anxious mildness.

The anxiety in the great eyes was not without reason, for their owner had just arrived in the tepid and teeming waters of this estuary, and the creatures which he had already seen about him were both unknown and menacing. But the inshore shallows were full of water weeds of a rankness and succulence far beyond anything he had enjoyed in his old habitat, and he was determined to secure himself a place here.

From time to time, as some new monster came in sight, the ungainly head would shoot up amazingly to a distance of five or ten, or even fifteen feet, on a swaying pillar of a neck, in order to get a better view of the stranger. Then it would slowly sink back again to its repose on the water.

The water at this point was almost fresh, because the estuary, though fully two miles wide, was filled with the tide of the great river rolling slowly down from the heart of the continent. The further shore was so flat that nothing could be seen of it but an endless, pale green forest of giant reeds. But the nearer shore was skirted, at a distance of perhaps half a mile from the water, by a rampart of abrupt, bright, rust red cliffs. The flat land between the waterside and the cliffs, except for the wide strip of beach, was clothed with an enormous and riotous growth of calamaries, tree ferns, cane and palm, which rocked and crashed in places as if some colossal wayfarers were pushing through them. Here and there along the edge of the cliffs sat tall beings with prodigious, saw toothed beaks, like some species of bird conceived in a nightmare.

Far out across the water one of these creatures was flapping slowly in from the sea. Its wings eighteen feet across from tip to tip were not the wings of a bird, but of a bat or a hobgoblin. It had dreadful, hand like claws on its wing elbows; and its feet were those of a lizard.

As this startling shape came flapping shoreward, the head afloat upon the water eyed it with interest, but not, as it seemed, with any great apprehension. Yet it certainly looked formidable enough to excite misgivings in most creatures. Its flight was not the steady, even winging of a bird, but spasmodic and violent. It came on at a height of perhaps twenty feet above the sluggish tide, and its immense, circular eyes appeared to take no notice of the strange head that watched it from the water's surface... Continue reading book >>




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