A 23rd Century Girl in the 20th Century -- Chapter 8

                 Linda’s New Life

                             Chapter 8

                    By Starla Anne Lowry


Ruth was leading the way through the jungle with Josh close behind. Continuing trying to increase her speed, she kept feeling like she wasn’t going fast enough. The urgency of the message she had received from her daughter pushed her on. She had no idea of which direction to go, but she just followed what seemed right.
A small gorilla swung down from the trees just ahead of her. She recognized George immediately. “Where’s Lizzie Jane?” she questioned excitingly. She knew something was wrong or George would not have been back by himself.
George hurried through the bushes until he came to an animal trail. The group could see where they were going now, so the pace was quickened. Rounding a curve, Ruth could see the gorilla village just ahead. She also noticed Lizzie Jane tied to a post and a line of gorillas armed with bows aiming arrows toward her helpless granddaughter.
Ruth immediately drew her six-shooter and, as a warning, shot into the air – cocked her pistol again, ready for the next shot to hit an intended target if the warning shot was ignored.
The shot was just enough to startle the gorillas that held Linda very tightly. Their grip loosened somewhat. Linda jerked loose and ran toward the human male who seemed to be the head of the village. She leaped horizontally and her feet hit the human in the stomach causing him to fall backward. Linda extracted her hunting knife, jumped straddle of her victim and held a knife to his throat while he was flat on his back.
“Now, call off your dogs,” said Linda, using a country expression she had learned.
The man seemed to understand and screamed something and the executors put down their weapons and began to run toward Linda. The man screamed something else and they stopped suddenly.
Josh ran up to Linda and said, “Good girl. I will take over this scum now.”
Linda walked uneasily toward Lizzie Jane, cut the cords, freeing her. “Now, how did you think of that?” asked Lizzie Jane.
“Just a little something I picked up from Granny Ruth,” stated Linda, referring to what she had been told about Ruth jumping on the Indian’s back in her younger days, knocking him to the ground, and holding a knife to his throat, protecting Josh from the Indian’s attack.
Doctor Ledbetter and the entire group had their weapons centered on the villagers. He walked over to the human who appeared to be the leader and asked, “Now, what is this all about?”
“I don’t think he understands pure English,” said Lizzie Jane. “Their language seems to consist of English and gorilla sounds.”
“Well, can you converse with them?” asked Doctor Ledbetter.
“I was trying to when they attacked me,” answered Lizzie Jane. “Give me a little time and I believe I can.”
“Go ahead. This seems to be the head guy.”
Lizzie Jane tried again, using different words in both English and gorilla utterances. Finally, the man answered. Lizzie Jane listened closely; then asked a few more questions.
“It seems that he thought that we were from the cannibal camp and the gorillas have orders to shoot on sight or execute one of them if captured,” Lizzie Jane finally translated.
“Well, did you tell him we wasn’t from the cannibal group?”
“Yes, I got him to understand that we come in peace and want to talk more.”
“But, can we trust him enough to put down our weapons?”
“That I cannot answer. Maybe it would be best to carry on our conversations with our weapons showing.”
Lizzie Jane talked with the man a little longer and finally said, “He wants us to go up to his palace to discuss the matter.”
“Suits me,” said Doctor Ledbetter. Turning to his group, he said, “Keep your weapons trained on our adversaries and Linda and I will go up and have a pow-wow with the chief.” Handing Lizzie Jane his revolver, he said, “Keep the barrel facing the chief and will hold my rifle in similar fashion. He might let others die, but I think he will want to live.”
Hours seemed to drag by. Patience was growing dim. However, Josh, Jake, and Ruth kept their weapons ready in case of trouble. Linda sat in a corner nearby, although not experienced with a gun, she was a bow expert. She could just about shoot arrows as fast as Ruth could cock her six-shooter.
What seemed like a short eternity, Doctor Ledbetter and Lizzie Jane appeared once again outside the palace.
“Let’s go,” said Doctor Ledbetter.
“I am not turning my back on these –ah, ah (searching for a description for the gorillas) –things,” replied Josh.
“Me, neither,” piped in Jake.
“I don’t blame you,” said Doctor Ledbetter. “Although we had an interesting session, I still do not trust them. We will back out."
As the group began walking backwards with Linda and Lizzie Jane keeping watch ahead, Ruth noticed something very disturbing.  "Look," she said, pointing toward the back of the compound. There stood cages unlike the ones the group had been placed in by the cannibals.  They were made of iron and steel, but empty. "What are those for?"
Doctor Ledbetter said, "I am not sure. I don't think these people are cannibals. Maybe it is for prisoners."
Ruth answered, "If it were for prisoners, why were they going to kill Lizzie Jane? And what would they have done with her body if not cannibals?  Why were they so anxious to kill a young woman?"
Moving their weapons from side to side while walking backwards with Linda keeping watch ahead, the group continued their departure. After going through a bend in the trail, Lizzie Jane told Linda, “Let’s travel through the limbs so that we can keep a watch over everything.”
The two girls scampered up a tree and at the least suspicious noise or movement, Lizzie Jane would notify Doctor Ledbetter with a predetermined sound so extra precaution could be taken. Finally, they reached the cliffs and began to slowly make their way up to the ledge located at the entrance of the cave they recently exited.
Lizzie Jane and Linda were the last two to arrive, bringing some of the wild fruit that Momma gorilla had taught Lizzie Jane was good to eat. Everyone was thankful for the food since it had been quite a while since anyone had eaten.
Settling down with sufficient water coming down the steep slopes and satisfying a gnawing hunger, Doctor Ledbetter began to brief the group what they had learned.
“It was very difficult to learn from the chief what was fact and what was fable. One thing that was a hindrance was that the language seemed to be more than English and gorilla utterances, but included parts of Chinese and French and some unknown language. Lizzie Jane was a help with the gorilla sounds and I was acquainted with the other languages.”
‘They did not have any written record, so for the past 1,000 years, everything has been handed down by word of mouth. However, the events leading up to the present appears to be like this:”
‘When the savages attacked and Linda and the children escaped, it seems that one of the men was wounded and fell among some bushes so the savages did not see him when they carried the bodies away. A woman had fled and was hidden well enough along the shore that she was not discovered. Eventually she and the male found each other. They survived alone lived for awhile until some more people were shipwrecked. The other shipwreck victims were probably where the Chinese and French languages came from.”
At this point, Lizzie Jane spoke, “One strange thing that was mentioned and carried down through the generations was that a god appeared out of nowhere and recovered the body of a woman along the shore and carried her to Heaven.”
“You mean…?” began Linda.
“Yes, I think that was good evidence that your Dad came back just in time to recover your mother’s body and escape with it.”
“Then she may be alive! She was dying when she urged me to go on with the children.” Linda paused and tears began to fill her eyes, “It was so difficult to leave her, but her thought were for the children and I always obeyed my mother.”
Her face lit up with hope and she added, “But, maybe Daddy came along in time and got her back somewhere quickly where she could receive medical treatment.”
“I have been considering that, too,” said Lizzie Jane.
“But, if so, why have they not come back for me?” She paused a moment and said, “I know! He is searching different periods through the visual time machine, trying to find out what age in history I would be and when he finds me, he will be back.”
Ruth spoke up, “It could have really been an angel, you know. Remember Lizzie Jane, my daughter — your mother — has appeared to you often. She also appeared to me and told us that you needed to be rescued. That is why we arrived just in time.”
“Or an UFO,” mentioned Doctor Ledbetter.
“UFO?” asked Josh and Jake at the same time.
“Yes, what is known as flying saucers. They say their gods came riding in on shiny plates and helped defeat the savages. They were also instrumental in training the gorillas as guards.”
“Guards? Now, you have got us curious,” answered Jake.
“Yes, from what I could gather from our conversation, they are guards for their gods. They were going to sacrifice Elizabeth's dead body to them. They do that whenever they catch one of the natives when seen in their territory. I think we convinced them that we were not those people.”
“Wonder what kind of gods do they serve? There is only one God and He is in Heaven,” declared Ruth.
“It sounded something like a serpent god – or rather a number of them.”
“That is strange. Wonder where they got that fable? You know Satan is illustrated as a serpent in the Bible. Do you suppose they are Satan worshippers?” asked Ruth. “Wonder why they think they are guarding the natives for their gods?”
“Well,” answered Doctor Ledbetter. “At one time it seemed like they were speaking of keeping the natives in the valley, like cattle in a pasture.”
“For what purpose? To Eat?” asked Ruth. “The natives are cannibals themselves.”
“The question is, do they eat their own people? It is clear that the people we just left are not cannibals, so they may be protecting themselves – but, are they really protecting someone else – a class of people who are thought to be gods?”
The group just stood there a moment stunned. The whole matter was becoming a mystery and somehow they thought that they might be about to find out what, which no one seemed anxious to discover except Doctor Ledbetter.
Doctor Ledbetter was the first to speak again. “Anyway, we don’t know where we are. Elizabeth and I had planned to follow her path through the valley since she thought she could find the giant gorilla’s cave blindfolded as it led from the valley, but things did not work out that way. We came through another cave and we are not sure what direction we took. All our equipment was left behind, so we have nothing but our weapons and the ammunition that we were able to bring. The best thing for us to do now is find our way back to civilization and come back more fully prepared.”
“What should we do? I don’t think we ought to go back into the valley. We may all be considered sacrifices,” replied Josh.
Looking up at the cliffs, Doctor Ledbetter stated, “I think we stand a better chance of going up the cliff and see what is on top of these mountains. We will rest here tonight with guards on duty, of course. We have an advantage in that we are on a ledge and can fight anything that may try to climb up. We will get ready to go first thing in the morning.”
Needless to say, all experienced a restless night, each person wondering what adventure will lie ahead.

--To be continued



I Like Where This Story Is Going

This mixture of Planet Of The Apes and Lost World Is one great read. Wonder what's next?
May Your Light Forever Shine

I have left a hint

Well, I have left two hints (Each concerning a different happening).



I hope I am adding enough mysteries to keep the reader interested. I don't want the story to get dull.

I started off "dull" and have gradually tried to build a story with mystery upon mysteries.

I attempted to add a photo of myself to kinda picture how a woman explorer would look, but am having a problem getting the size small enough as to not take up too much room. (It is a photo of me wearing a hat like an explorer would wear.)


Starla, The Explorer :-)

Ask Erin, she might be able to help.
May Your Light Forever Shine

Starla, the Explorer

Erin told me what would be a good size, but I need to learn how to reduce it.

I think that photo will be a surprise, showing me to appear a lot younger than my 60 + years of age.


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