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Irving Crump's
1936. Og - Son of Fire
"Based on the famous radio adventure series"

Big Little Book #1115
Racine, Wisconsin
Whitman Publishing Co.

CHAPTER TEN

In the White Caves

Once inside the den of Saber Tooth, the Cave Men and the Tree People escaped the fury of smoke and flame, though they could plainly hear the rumbling roar as the forest burned to the ground.
"This is a dreadful cave!" Nada quavered. "It is so dark!"


They Entered the Cave

Wab clung fast to her hand.

"I smell the tiger smell!" he whimpered.

Og held his bow in readiness.

"We must go further back in the cave," he made decision. "Some of the smoke is even coming in here."

Ru had been investigating a corner and now he announced: "A wolverine lived in here before the tiger. There has been a nest in this spot. We can make torches of the sticks."

The Tree People had been grunting and jabbering among themselves, but when the torches lit up the cave they quieted immediately.

"Light is wonderful!" Nada cried happily. "It drives out the blackness. The cave is long!"

"It goes into the mountain." Ru peered about him.

"Let us go in deeper. When we lead the way the Tree People will follow. As it is they are in danger there in the mouth of the cave."

As they advanced, aided by the flaming torches, they found there were many passages in the cave, From one of the dark openings came the tiger smell.

"That is Saber Tooth's cave!" Nada's voice positive and fearful. "See the gnawed bones! His mate may be in there — with cubs!"

The Tree People huddled together babbling their fright.

Og held his torch high, calling, "Hi-yah, Scar Face, bring your people this way. Follow me!"

The Tree People grunted their obedience and Og made his way into a passage which grew steadily wider.

"They are following," called little Wab. "They are coming on."

"The roof is higher here," spoke Ru exploring with his torch. "I can scarcely see the top of it."

Little Wab raised a voice hushed with awe.

"Og, what hangs from the roof, there ahead? Long and white. See how they gleam in the torch light?"

"They are the stones that grow," Og informed loud enough for all to hear. "I have seen them in other caves. Notice, they hang from the roof like moss and grow up from the floor like mush. rooms."

Nada screamed in sudden fright, "Og — something — cold brushed me!"

Through the blackness there came an eerie snarling sound and a sharp clicking of teeth. The Cave Men and the Tree People strained their eyes to the roof and found it covered with the shapes of giant bats, huge vampires who killed savagely and sucked the blood of their victims. As they gazed in stunned horror, a great one, flapping his wings, flew down upon Little Wab.

"His teeth! His teeth!" screamed the boy in anguish.

Og dared not use his axe for fear of striking Little Wab. Hastily he thrust his torch into Nada's hands, grasped his flint knife and with lightning swiftness he held the huge wings of the creature with one hand and struck blow upon blow with the other. The bat loosed his hold on Wab. Screaming with rage he sought to bury his teeth in Og's throat. But the Cave Man, throwing his axe, seized the Flying Death about the throat, and choked the creature till all light had gone from the ugly green eyes,

"Black bird of death!" Ru kicked the carcass. "He is dead!"

"Og, are you hurt?" Nada bent over him. "There is blood on your arm."

"No," he panted with difficulty, "Look to Little Wab."

The Tree People, who had watched the battle in stricken silence now began to murmur in fear. Ru, helping Og to his feet, looked about at them curiously,

"They smell something. See them testing the air?"

Og was instantly alert. "I smell it, too. A serpent smell! It comes on a draught through the cave!"

"I want to get out of here! Take me out!" Wab shrilled loudly.

"Hush, Wab!" Nada held the boy firmly and strode to keep her voice even. "Listen! Something is coming down that passage!"

The Cave People had faced many adventures, but none quite so terrifying as this. Slowly down the passage came the giant lizard, the Stalking Death, his tremendous body covered with bony armor which clanked as he walked. His green eyes flashed in his ugly head as he sought to discover the intruders who had dared invade his stronghold. His hideous cries struck deadly terror to the Cave Men and the Tree People.

"A cave monster!" Og's voice was a tense whisper. "Nada, put out the torch!"

The darkness made the clanking seem even more horrible, but, gradually, their eyes becoming accustomed to the dim light, they had a fair picture of the enormous lizard.

"No arrow would pierce those bony scales," Og muttered hoarsely.

"I could not hack through them even with my stone axe," Ru's whisper was one of desperation.

The serpent began to feel for them with his tongue, testing the air to find them. The Tree People gazed in a hypnotized silence. Scar Face, rooted to a spot behind one of the mushroom rocks, stared unblinkingly. He knew this monster. He had seen him stand on his tremendous hind legs, balance himself with his great tail and pull down an Ape Man from the very top of a tree.

"The monster has discovered Scar Face!" Nada moaned in pity and horror. "Oh, why does he not run!"

As though the Tree Man had heard, he gave a piercing shriek, and darted down the passage, the lizard in hot pursuit. In and out among the mushroom rocks Scar Face dodged and twisted, and at last, clambered to the roof of the cave. Snarling and lashing his powerful tail, the monster raised himself up, his tongue darting like a snake's, and caught the Ape leader by the foot.

Wab forgot all caution and screamed frantically.

"He has got him! Poor Scar Face! Og, can't you do something! Ru, help him!"

"There is only one hope — "Og gasped out the words. "If I can send an arrow into the soft part of his neck!" He turned to Ru, "Take Nada, and Wab through that small passage yonder. The lizard cannot get in there. Hurry! Soon as I let fly this arrow I will come to you!"

Scar Face was now shouting desperately for help. Og stood firm, took particular aim, and the arrow sang a death song through the air.

"Hi-yah!" He exulted. "I hit him. The arrow struck the soft part of his neck!"

With a scream of pain and rage the Stalking Death loosed his hold upon the Ape Man, and, swinging his neck, turned now upon Og.

"Run! Run, Og! Run for your life!" Nada gave a cry of warning.

Og had saved the life of Scar Face. Now, as the cave lizard charged upon him, he would battle for his own.


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