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George Barr McCutcheon
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about Nedra.

Behind him lay the beach and the fringe of the jungle; to seaward rose the rocky point full two hundred feet higher than the spot on which he stood, panting for breath; to his right, descending gradually, ran the lofty hill to a place, not more than a quarter of a mile away, where it merged into the forest.  The ridge on which he stood was not more than one hundred feet wide, a flat, narrow, sloping table.  Filled with curiosity, he strode to the opposite side and found himself upon the edge of a sharp decline, almost perpendicular in its fall to the valley below, which was apparently lower than the beach from which he had come.

As far as the eye could reach inland there was a mass of bright green trees, luxuriant and beautiful.  Below him was water, a natural harbor of tiny dimensions, running back from the sea which lay off to the far right as he faced the head of this peculiar elevation.  Plain to his eye was the contour of this great rock.  It resembled the letter L. Along the sea line it stretched high and ugly for nearly a mile, a solid wall, he imagined, some three hundred feet above the water, narrow at the top, like a great backbone.  The little cove below him was perhaps a mile across.  The opposite shore was low and verdure-clad.  The rocky eminence that formed the wall on two sides was the only high ground to be seen for miles around.

Down the slope he sped, dusky shadows beginning to tell of the coming night.  His feet finally touched upon the grass-covered soil; he was off the barren rock and at the edge of the dismal forest.  Without a quiver he hurried under the great leaves and among the trees.  The ground sloped gently downward to the now invisible harbor.  He turned in that direction.  Monkeys chattered in the trees and strange birds hurtled through the dense growth.  His foot struck against a queer green object and an instant later he gave a shout of joy.  It was a cocoanut, green and smooth.

Food!  In an instant he realized that he had found something that could appease the cravings of hunger for the time being, at least.  He searched eagerly, feverishly in the matted grass, and soon had a dozen great nuts piled at the edge of the wood.  Then he renewed his search for the water that must keep life in their famished bodies.

The lapping of waves grew louder as he pushed his way through the trees, and a moment later he narrowly escaped plunging into the waters of the shimmering little bay.  The coast was semicircular in shape, rising high and black to his left, running low and green to his right.  Not one hundred feet to the left were the first signs of the rocky promontory, small, jagged boulders standing like a picket line before the grout mass beyond.  Along the rocky side of the wall, sonic distance away, he saw an overhanging shelf of dark gray stone, protruding over the natural floor beneath.  An inky darkness back of the projection impressed him with the idea that a cave lay beyond.

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