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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 FOUR

The Jaws of Death

Nada mourned deeply the death her father. But with her sorrow there came a strange happiness. Og and Ru, her friends, were at her side to protect her; and her father had said he was happy.
"It was because he had learned the secret of fire," Nada said thoughtfully. "We promised we would take it back to the Cave People."


Nada Mourned Her Father's Death

Og and Ru spoke as with one determined voice.

"We WILL take it back!"

Gently they laid the flint maker to rest in a niche in the rocks, his stone axe and his flint knife at his side. On the cave wall Nada scratched a hairy mammoth and a cave tiger, for Ak had killed these in his younger days.

The rumble of an earthquake in the distance brought their perilous situation back and Og strode to the mouth of the cave.

"We must get out of here at once. It is not safe for us to stay. I have made a bundle of fagots. I will light them in the fire—"

And I will blow the flame to life," Ru knelt to the task.

Soon flames leaped and crackled.

It was decided Nada should carry the torch.

Outside the cave they discovered the valley filled with smoke and steam. Nada shuddered and her free hand went to protect her face

"The smoke — it hurts my eyes — and my nose!" She would have detained Og and Ru. "We dare not go into the valley. We cannot climb these cliffs! We will perish here! Oh, I am afraid. I do not want to die. Oh, Og, what shall we do?"

"Stop that whimpering!" Og's tone offered no sympathy, "We will get out."

"You have the courage of a duck, Nada!" taunted Ru.

"I wish I had the wings of a duck to fly out of this place!"

"There is no time for idle chatter," Og spoke severely. "We must creep along this ledge. See — ahead? The earthquake has made a pass out of the valley. Come, but use caution. One slip will send us to our doom!"

It is such a drop down — if we should fall!" Nada let her glance take in the great distance. "It makes my head swim!"

"Do not look down!" commanded Og "Look up. Flatten yourself against the rocks, as I do. Come along.

"If I only had both hands it would be easier," Nada complained. "The firebrand bothers me."

"It bothers me the way you hold it," Ru spoke in annoyance, and then in anger, for the firebrand came dangerously close to his face. "Look what you are doing, Nada! Hand it to me."

"Take it," and Nada stretched to give the fire to Ru, but missed her footing. She would have fallen to a terrible death had not Ru caught and held her.

"Ru — you saved me. But — oh, I dropped it — I dropped the firebrand! Og — it is gone!"

"She let it fall!" Ru spoke with horror and dismay.

"Let us go back to the cave and get another brand," Nada suggested.

"We have come too far to go back for another brand. We must go on. But — wait!" Og paused a moment. "The cliffs are trembling! Hi-yah! Hear the earthquake!"

"We will be lucky to get out of here alive!" Fear lay heavy on Ru's face. "But we must reach that pass where the cliffs have been split apart."

"It reminds me of the jaws of a monster!" moaned Nada. "Those rocks are like big teeth. They are the jaws of death! We dare not venture into them!"

Og began to move forward on the ledge.

"Come!" he called. "Come at once! It is the only way out. On the other side of that pass is a green valley where we will be out of reach of the volcano's fire."

They continued their hazardous way and had gained some distance when an earthquake, more violent than before shook the earth and sent rocks and gravel flying.

Nada's voice rose piercingly, "The jaws moved! I know they did! I was looking at them!"

"I was looking, too," Ru said with contempt. "The rocks never budged."

"They did!" Nada insisted, "I saw them."

Og was irritated with their bickering. "To remain here means certain death. Soon these cliffs will tumble down into the lake of hot lava, and we with them. Come, follow me or stay behind," he added impatiently.

Terror made Nada's feet fast to the ledge. Og gave her one hand, Ru another, and thus they moved on, step by step, almost dragging Nada between them. Only just in time did they get through and reach the shelter of some cliffs on a protected mountainside. With an angry roar the crevasse began to close.

"Oh, run — help me to run faster!" Nada sobbed in terror. "The jaws of death are closing!"


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