The warriors hesitated. “It is Hor’s command,” said one of the priests; “and with Gamba and the Noada dead, Hor will rule the city; so you had better obey him, if you know what’s good for you.”
The warriors thought so, too; and they hurried off toward the square. When they had gone, the two priests opened the gates and passed out of the city. Turning to the right, they crossed to a forest into which they disappeared; and as soon as they were out of sight of the city, they removed their masks and their robes of office.
“You are not only a very brave girl,” said Gamba, “but you are a very smart one.”
“I am afraid that I shall have to be a whole lot smarter,” replied Dian, “if I am ever to get back to Sari.”
“What is Sari?” asked Gamba.
“It is the country from which I came.”
“I thought you came from Karana,” said Gamba.
“Oh, no you didn’t,” said Dian, and they both laughed.
“Where is Sari?” asked Gamba.
“It is across the nameless strait,” replied Dian. “Do you know where we might find a canoe?”
“What is a canoe?” asked Gamba.
Dian was surprised. Was it possible that this man did not know what a canoe was? “It is what men use to cross the water in,” she replied.
“But no one ever crosses the water,” protested Gamba. “No one could live on the nameless strait. It is full of terrible creatures; and when the wind blows, the water stands up on end.”
“We shall have to build a canoe,” said Dian.
“If my Noada says so, we shall have to build a canoe,” said Gamba, with mock reverence.
“My name is Dian,” said the girl; so the man who had been a king and the woman who had been a goddess went down through the forest toward the shore of the nameless strait.
Beneath the long robes of the priests, they had brought what weapons they could conceal. They each had a sword and a dagger, and Gamba had a bow and many arrows.
On the way to the shore. Dian looked for trees suitable for the building of a canoe. She knew that it would be a long and laborious job; but if the Mezops could do it with stone tools, it should be much easier with the daggers and swords of bronze; and then, of course there was always fire with which to hollow out the inside.
When they came to the shore of the nameless strait, they followed it until Gamba was sure there would be no danger of their being discovered by the people of Lolo-lolo or the people of Tanga-tanga.
“They do not come in this direction much,” he said, “nor often so far from the cities. The hunters go more in the other direction or inland. There are supposed to be dangerous animals here, and there is said to be a tribe of wild savages who come up from below to hunt here.”
“We should have an interesting time building the canoe,” commented Dian.
At last the second balloon was completed. It was just like the first, except that it had a rip cord and was stocked with food and water, David’s extra weight and the weight of the food and water being compensated for by the absence of the heavy rope which had been attached to the first balloon.
When the time came to liberate the great bag, the people of Sari stood in silence. They expected that they would never see David Innes again, and David shared their belief.
“Dod-burn it!” exclaimed the little old man whose name was not Dolly Dorcas, “there goes a man, as the feller said.”