Historical Reprints Fiction Lost Continent

Lost Continent

Lost Continent
Catalog # SKU1766
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne


Lost Continent

Cutcliffe Hyne

One of the classic science fiction books on Atlantis. The mystery of Atlantis keeps every generation's interest and curiosity peaked.


THE words of Tatho were no sleeping draught for me that night. I began to think that I had made somewhat a mistake in wrapping myself up so entirely in my government of Yucatan, and not contriving to keep more in touch with events that were passing at home in Atlantis. For many years past it had been easy to see that the mariner folk who did traffic across the seas spoke with restraint, and that only what news the Empress pleased was allowed to ooze out beyond her borders. But, as I say, I was fully occupied with my work in the colony, and had no curiosity to pull away a veil intentionally placed. Besides, it has always been against my principles to put to the torture men who had received orders for silence from their superiors, merely that they shall break these orders for my private convenience.

However, the iron discipline of our Priestly Clan left me no choice of procedure. As was customary, I had been deprived of my office at a moment's notice. From that time on, all papers and authority belonged to my successor, and, although by courtesy I might be permitted to remain as a guest in the pyramid that had so recently been mine, to see another sunrise, it was clearly enjoined that I must leave the territory then at the topmost of my speed and hasten to report in Atlantis.

Tatho, to give him credit, was anxious to further my interests to the utmost in his power. He was by my side again before the dawn, putting all his resources at my disposal.

I had little enough to ask him. "A ship to take me home," I said, "and I shall be your debtor."

The request seemed to surprise him. "That you may certainly have if you wish it. But my ships are foul with the long passage, and are in need of a careen. If you take them, you will make a slow voyage of it to Atlantis. Why do you not take your own navy? The ships are in harbor now, for I saw them there when we came in. Brave ships they are too."

"But not mine. That navy belongs to Yucatan."

"Well, Deucalion, you are Yucatan; or, rather, you were yesterday, and have been these twenty years."

I saw what he meant, and the idea did not please me. I answered stiffly enough that the ships were owned by private merchants, or belonged to the State, and I could not claim so much as a ten-slave galley.

Tatho shrugged his shoulders. "I suppose you know your own policies best," he said, "though to me it seems but risky for a man who has attained to a position like yours and mine not to have provided himself with a stout navy of his own. One never knows when a recall may be sent, and, through lack of these precautions, a life's earnings may very well be lost in a dozen hours."

"I have no fear for mine," I said, coldly.

"Of course not, because you know me to be your friend. But had another man been appointed to this viceroyalty, you might have been sadly shorn, Deucalion. It is not many fellows who can resist a snug hoard ready and waiting in the very coffers they have come to line."

"My lord Tatho," I said, "it is clear to me that you and I have grown to be of different tastes. All of the hoard that I have made for myself in this colony, few men would covet. I have the poor clothes you see me in this moment, and a box of drugs such as I have found useful to the stomach. I possess also three slaves, two of them scribes and the third a sturdy savage from Europe, who cooks my victual and fills for me the bath. For my maintenance during my years of service here I have bled the State of a soldier's ration and nothing beyond; and if in my name any man has mulcted a creature in Yucatan of so much as an ounce of bronze, I request you as a last service to have that man hanged for me as a liar and a thief."

Tatho looked at me curiously. "I do not know whether I admire you most or whether I pity. I do not know whether to be astonished or to despise. We had heard of much of your uprightness over yonder in Atlantis, of your sternness and your justice, but I swear by the old Gods that no soul guessed you carried your fancy so far as this. Why, man, money is power. With money and the resources money can buy, nothing could stop a fellow like you; while without it you may be tripped up and trodden down irrevocably at the first puny reverse."

"The Gods will choose my fate."

"Possibly; but for mine, I prefer to nourish it myself. I tell you with frankness that I have not come here to follow in the pattern you have made for a viceroyalty. I shall govern Yucatan wisely and well to the best of my ability; but I shall govern it also for the good of Tatho, the viceroy. I have brought with me here my navy of eight ships and a personal body-guard. There is my wife also, and her women and her slaves. All these must be provided for. And why indeed should it be otherwise? If a people is to be governed, it should be their privilege to pay handsomely for their prince."

"We shall not agree on this. You have the power now, and can employ it as you choose. If I thought it would be of any use, I should like to supplicate you most humbly to deal with lenience when you come to tax these people who are under you. They have grown very dear to me."

"I have disgusted you with me, and I am grieved for it. But even to retain your good opinion, Deucalion-which I value more than that of any man living-I cannot do here as you have done. It would be impossible, even if I wished it. You must not judge all other men by your own strong standard; a Tatho is by no means a colossus like a Deucalion. And, besides, I have a wife and children, and they must be provided for, even if I neglect myself."

"Ah, there," I said, "it does seem that I possess the advantage. I have no wife to clog me."

He caught up my word quickly. "It seems to me you have nothing that makes life worth living. You have neither wife, children, riches, cooks, retinue, dresses, nor anything else in proportion to your station. You will pardon my saying it, old comrade, but you are plaguey ignorant about some matters. For example, you do not know how to dine. During every day of a very weary voyage, I have promised myself, when sitting before the meagre sea victual, that presently the abstinence would be more than repaid by Deucalion's welcoming feast. Oh, I tell you, that feast was one of the vividest things that ever came before my eyes. And then when we get to the actuality, what was it? Why, a country farmer every day sits down to more delicate fare. You told me how it was prepared. Well, your savage from Europe may be lusty, and perchance is faithful, but he is a devil-possessed cook. Gods! I have lived better on a campaign.

"I know this is a colony here, without any of the home refinements; but if in the days to come, the deer of the forest, the fish of the stream, and the other resources of the place are not put to better use than heretofore, I shall see it my duty as ruler to fry some of the kitchen staff alive in grease so as to encourage better cookery. Gods! Deucalion, have you forgotten what it is to have a palate? And have you no esteem for your own dignity? Man, look at your clothes. You are garbed like a herdsman, and you have not a gaud or a jewel to brighten you."

"I eat," I said, coldly, "when my hunger bids me, and I carry this one robe upon my person till it is worn out and needs replacement. The grossness of excessive banqueting, and the effeminacy of many clothes are attainments that never met my fancy. But I think we have talked here over long, and there seems little chance of our finding agreement. You have changed, Tatho, with the years, and perhaps I have changed also. These alterations creep imperceptibly into one's being as time advances. Let us part now, and, forgetting these present differences, remember only our friendship of twenty years agone. That for me, at any rate, has always had a pleasant savor when called up into the memory."

Tatho bowed his head. "So be it," he said.

"And I would still charge myself upon your bounty for that ship. Dawn cannot be far off now, and it is not decent that the man who has ruled here so long should walk in daylight through the streets on the morning after his dismissal."

"So be it," said Tatho. "You shall have my poor navy. I could have wished that you had asked me something greater." "Not the navy, Tatho; one small ship. Believe me, more is wasted."

"Now there," said Tatho, "I shall act the tyrant. I am viceroy here now, and will have my way in this. You may go naked of all possessions: that I cannot help. But depart for Atlantis unattended, that you shall not."

And so, in fine, as the choice was set beyond me, it was in the Bear, Tatho's own private ship, with all the rest of his navy sailing in escort, that I did finally make my transit.

But the start was not immediate. The vessels lay moored against the stone quays of the inner harbor, gutted of their stores, and with crews exhausted, and it would have been suicide to have forced them out then and there to again take the seas. So the courtesies were fulfilled by the craft whereon I abode hauling out into the entrance basin, and anchoring there in the swells of the fairway; and forthwith she and her consorts took in wood and water, cured meat and fish ashore, and refitted in all needful ways with all speed attainable.

For myself there came then, as the first time during twenty busy years, a breathing space from work. I had no further connection with the country of my labors; indeed, officially, I had left it already. Into the working of the ship it was contrary to rule that I should make any inspection or interest, since all sea matters were the exclusive property of the Mariners' Guild, secured to them by royal patent, and most jealously guarded.

So there remained to me in my day hours, to gaze (if I would) upon the quays, the harbors, the palaces, and the pyramids of the splendid city before me, which I had seen grow stone by stone from its foundations; or to roam my eye over the pastures and the grain lands beyond the walls, and to look longingly at the dense forests behind, from which field by field we had so tediously ripped our territory.


Prefatory The Legatees Of Deucalion
Chapter I My Recall
Chapter II Back To Atlantis
Chapter III A Rival Navy
Chapter IV The Welcome Of Phorenice
Chapter V Zaemon's Curse
Chapter VI The Biters Of The City Walls
Chapter VII The Biters Of The Walls (Further Account)
Chapter VIII The Preacher From The Mountains
Chapter IX Phorenice, Goddess
Chapter X A Wooing
Chapter XI An Affair With The Barbarous Fishers
Chapter XII The Drug Of Our Lady The Moon
Chapter XIII The Burying Alive Of Naïs
Chapter XIV Again The Gods Make Change
Chapter XV Zaemon's Summons
Chapter XVI Siege Of The Sacred Mountain
Chapter XVII Naïs The Regained
Chapter XVIII Storm Of The Sacred Mountain
Chapter XIX Destruction Of Atlantis
Chapter XX On The Bosom Of The Deep

Softcover, 6¾" x 8¾", 240+ pages
Perfect-Bound - IIlustrated

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