In the morning, after a frugal breakfast of coffee and manioc--we had to be economical of our stores--we held a council of war as to the best method of ascending to the plateau above us.
The odds are that this plateau is of no great size, and we shall travel round it until we either find an easy way up it, or come back to the point from which we started.
I admit your plateau, because I have seen it; but I have not as yet satisfied myself that it contains any form of life whatever.
I am glad to perceive that the plateau itself has actually obtruded itself upon your intelligence.
But there is life upon the plateau all the same," his colleague replied in triumph.
There could be little doubt, however, that the stone was aimed at us, so the incident surely pointed to humanity--and malevolent humanity--upon the plateau.
On discussing the situation, we determined that our best course was to continue to coast round the plateau in the hope of finding some other means of reaching the top.
But if prehistoric life existed upon the plateau it was not superabundant, for we had no further glimpse of it during the next three days.
But, however that may be, I should expect to find the surface of the plateau slope inwards with a considerable sheet of water in the center, which may drain off, by some subterranean channel, into the marshes of the Jaracaca Swamp.
But a horrible abyss lay between it and the plateau.
The level of the plateau, when I turned, was exactly that on which we stood, and the green bank of bushes, with occasional trees, was so near that it was difficult to realize how inaccessible it remained.
It had already a strong, natural tilt in the direction of the plateau, so that the matter was not difficult.