The Lost World Chapter 9

A few yards away, the stegosaurus paused, glanced at her, taking in her new upright appearance. When she did not move, it became indifferent once again, and returned to drinking from the river.

"I'll be damned," she said.

She looked at her watch. It was one-thirty in the afternoon, the sun still high overhead. She couldn't use the sun to navigate, and the afternoon was very hot. She decided she had better start walking, and try and find Malcolm and Thorne. Barefooted, moving stiffly, her muscles aching, she headed into the jungle, away from the river.

After walking half an hour, she was very thirsty, but she had trained herself to go without water for long periods in the African savannah. She continued on, indifferent to her own discomfort. As she approached the top of a ridge, she came to a game trail, a wide muddy track through the jungle. It was easier walking along the trail, and she had been following it for about fifteen minutes when she heard an excited yelping from somewhere ahead. It reminded her of dogs, and she proceeded cautiously.

Moments later, there was a crashing sound in the underbrush, corning from several directions at once, and suddenly a dark-green, lizard-like animal about four feet high burst through the foliage at terrific speed, shrieked, and leapt over her. She ducked instinctively, and hardly had time to recover before a second animal appeared and raced past her. Within instants, a whole herd of animals was running past her on all sides, yelping in fear, and then the next one brushed against her and knocked her over. She fell in the mud as other animals leapt and crashed around her.

A few feet ahead on the trail she saw a large tree with low-hanging branches. She acted without thinking, jumping to her feet, grabbing the branch, and swinging up. She reached safety just as a new dinosaur, with sharp-clawed feet, rushed through the maid beneath her, and chased after the fleeing green creatures. As this animal went away from her, she glimpsed a dark body, six feet tall, with reddish stripes like a tiger. Soon after, a second striped animal appeared, then a third - a pack of predators, hissing and snarling, as they pursued the green dinosaurs.

From her years in the field, she found herself automatically counting the animals that rushed past her. By her count, there were ten striped predators, and that immediately piqued her interest. It made no sense, she thought. As soon as the last of the predators was gone, she dropped down to the ground arid hurried to follow them. It occurred to hey that it might be foolish to do so, but her curiosity overcame her.

She chased the tiger-dinosaurs up a hill, but even before she reached the crest she could tell from the snarls and growls that they had already brought an animal down. At the crest, she looked down on their kill.

But it was like no kill she had ever seen in Africa. On the Seronera plain, a kill site had its own organization which was quite predictable, and in a way was almost stately. The biggest predators, lions or hyenas, were closest to the carcass, feeding with their young. Farther out, waiting their turn, were the vultures and marabou storks, and still farther out, the jackals and other small scavengers circled warily. After the big predators finished, the smaller animals moved in. Different animals ate different parts of the bodies: the hyenas and vultures ate bones; the jackals nibbled the carcass clean. This was the pattern at any kill, and as a result there was very little squabbling or fighting around the food.

But here, she saw pandemonium - a feeding frenzy. The fallen animal was thickly covered with striped predators, all furiously ripping the flesh of the carcass, with frequent pauses to snarl and fight with each other. Their fights were openly vicious - one predator bit the adjacent animal, inflicting a deep flank wound. Immediately, several other predators snapped at the same animal, which limped away, hissing and bleeding, badly wounded. Once at the periphery, the wounded animal retaliated by biting the tail of another creature, again causing a serious wound.

A young juvenile, about half the size of the others, kept pushing forward, trying to get at a bit of the carcass, but the adults did not make room for it. Instead, they snarled and snapped in fury. The youngster was frequently obliged to hop back nimbly, keeping its distance from the razor-sharp fangs of the grownups. Harding saw no infants at all. This was a society of vicious adults.

As she watched the big predators, their heads and bodies smeared in blood, she noticed the crisscross pattern of healed scars on their flanks and necks. These were obviously quick, intelligent animals, yet they fought continually. Was that the way their social organization had evolved? If so, it was a rare event.

Animals of many species fought for food, territory, and sex, but these fights most often involved display and ritual aggression; serious Injury seldom occurred. There were exceptions, of course. When male hippos fought to take over a harem, they often severely wounded other males. But in any case, nothing matched what she saw now.

As she watched, the wounded animal at the edge of the kill slunk forward and bit another adult, which snarled and leapt at it, slashing with its long toe-claw. In a flash, the injured predator was eviscerated, coils of pale intestine slipping out through a wide gash. The animal fell howling to the ground, and immediately three adults turned away from the kill and jumped onto its newly fallen body, and began to tear the animal's flesh with rapacious intensity.

Harding closed her eyes, and turned away. This was a different world, and one she did not understand at all. In a daze, she headed back down the bill, moving quietly, carefully away from the kill.


The Ford Explorer glided quietly forward along the jungle path. They were following a game trail on the ridge above the valley, heading down toward the high hide, in the valley below.

Thorne drove. He said to Malcolm, "You were saying earlier that you knew why the dinosaurs became extinct...."

"Well, I'm pretty sure I do," Malcolm said. "The basic situation is simple enough." He shifted in his seat. "Dinosaurs arose in the Triassic, about two hundred million years ago. They proliferated throughout the Jurassic and the Cretaceous periods that followed. They were the dominant life form on this planet for about a hundred and fifty million years - which is a very long time."

"Considering we've been here for only three million," Eddie said.

"Let's not put on airs," Malcolm said. "Some puny apes have been here for three miIlion years. We haven't. Recognizable human beings have only been on this planet for thirty-five thousand years," he said. "That's how long it's been since our ancestors painted caves in France and Spain, drawing pictures of game to invoke success in the hunt. Thirty-five thousand years. In the history of the earth, that's nothing at all. We've just arrived."


"And of course even thirty-five thousand years ago, we were already making species extinct. Cavemen killed so much game that animals became extinct on several continents. There used to be lions and tigers in Europe. There used to be giraffes and rhinos in Los Angeles. Hell, ten thousand years ago, the ancestors of Native Americans hunted the woolly mammoth to extinction. This is nothing new, this human tendency - "


"Well, it's a fact, although your modern airheads think it's all so brand-new - "

"Ian. You were talking about dinosaurs."

"Right. Dinosaurs. Anyway, during a hundred and fifty million years on this planet, dinosaurs were so successful that by the Cretaceous there were twenty-one major groups of them. A few groups, like the camarasaurs and fabrosaurs, had died out. But the overwhelming majority of dinosaur groups were still active throughout the Cretaceous. And then, suddenly, about sixty-five million years ago, every single group became extinct. And only the birds remained. So. The question is - What was that?"

"I thought you knew," Thorne said.

"No. I mean, what was that sound? Did you hear something?" "No," Thorne said.

"Stop the car," Malcolm said.

Thorne stopped the car, and clicked off the engine. They rolled down the windows and felt the still, midday heat. There was almost no breeze. They listened for a while.

Thorne shrugged. "I don't hear anything. What did you think you - "

"Sssh," Malcolm said. He cupped his hand to his ear and put his head out the window, listening intently. After a moment, he came back in. "I could have sworn I heard an engine."

"An engine? You mean an internal-combustion engine?"

"Right." He pointed to the east. "It sounded like it was coming from over there."

They listened again, and heard nothing.

Thorne shook his head. "I can't imagine a gas engine here, Ian. There's no gas to run one."

The radio clicked. "Dr. Malcolm?" It was Arby, in the trailer.

" Yes, Arby."

"Who else is here? On the island?"

"What do you mean?"

"Turn on your monitor."

Thorne flicked on the dashboard monitor. They saw a view from one of the security cameras. The view looked down into the narrow, steep east valley. They saw the slope of a hillside, dark beneath the trees. A tree branch blocked much of the frame. But the view was still, silent. There was no sign of activity.

"What did you see, Arby?"

"Just watch."

Through the leaves, Thorne saw a flash of khaki, then another. He realized it was a person, half-walking, half-sliding, down the steep jungle slope toward the floor below. Small compact frame, short dark hair.

"I'll be damned," Malcolm said, smiling.

"You know who that is?"

"Yes, of course. It's Sarah."

"Well, we better go get her." Thorne reached for the radio, pressed the button. "Richard," he said.

There was no answer.

"Richard? Are you reading?"

There was no answer.

Malcolm sighed. "Great. He's not answering. Probably decided to go for a walk. Pursuing his research..."

"That's what I'm afraid of," Thorne said. "Eddie, unhook the motorcycle and go see what Levine's doing now. Take a Lindstradt with you. We'll go pick up Sarah."


Levine followed the game trail, moving deeper into the darkness of the jungle. The parasaurs were somewhere up ahead, making a lot of noise as they crashed through the ferns and palms on the jungle floor. At least now he understood why they had formed into a single file: there was no other practical way to move through the dense growth of the rain forest.

Their vocalizations had never stopped, but Levine noticed they were taking on a different character - more high-pitched, more excited. He hurried forward, pushing past wet palm fronds taller than he was, following the beaten trail. As he listened to the cries of the animals ahead, he also began to notice a distinctive odor, pungent and sweet-sour. He had the feeling the odor was growing stronger.

But up ahead, something was happening, there was no doubt about it. The parasaur vocalizations were now clipped, almost barking sounds. He sensed in them an agitated quality. But what could agitate an animal twelve feet high and thirty feet long?

His curiosity overwhelmed him. Levine began to run through the jungle, shoving aside palms, leaping over fallen trees. In the foliage ahead, he heard a hissing sound, a sort of spattering, and then one of the parasaurs gave a long, low trumpeting cry.

Eddie Carr drove the motorcycle up to the high hide, and stopped. Levine was gone. He looked at the ground around the hide, and saw many deep animal footprints in the ground. The prints were large, about two feet in diameter, and they seemed to be going off into the jungle behind the hide.

He scanned the ground, and saw fresh bootmarks as well. They had an Asolo tread; he recognized them as Levine's. In some places the bootmarks disrupted the edge of the animal footprints, which meant that they had been made afterward. The bootmarks also led into the forest.

Eddie Carr swore. The last thing he wanted to do was to go into that jungle. The very idea gave him the creeps. But what choice was there?

He had to get Levine back. That guy, he thought, was getting to be a real problem. Eddie unshouldered the rifle, and set it laterally across the handlebars of the motorcycle. Then he twisted the grips, and silently, the bike moved forward, into darkness.

Heart pounding with excitement, Levine pushed past the last of the big palms. He stopped abruptly. Directly ahead of him, the tall of a parasaur swung back and forth above his head. The animal's hindquarters were turned toward him. And a thick stream of urine gushed from the poste-rior pubis, spattering on the ground below. Levine jumped back, avoiding the stream. Beyond the nearest animal, he saw a clearing in the jungle, trampled flat by countless animal feet. The parasaurs had located themselves at various positions within this clearing, and they were all urinating together.

So they were latrine animals, he thought. That was fascinating, and totally unexpected.

Many contemporary animals, including rhinos and deer, preferred to relieve themselves at particular spots. And many times, the behavior of herds was coordinated. Latrine behavior was generally considered to be a method of marking territory. But whatever the reason, no one had ever suspected that dinosaurs acted in this way.

As Levine watched, the parasaurs finished urinating, and each moved a few feet to the side. Then they defecated, again in unison. Each parasaur produced a large mound of straw-colored spoor. This was accompanied by low trumpeting from each animal in the herd - along with an enormous quantity of expelled flatus, redolent of methane.

Behind him, a voice whispered, "Very nice."

He turned, and saw Eddie Carr sitting on the motorcycle. He was waving his hand in front of his face. "Dino farts," he said. "Better not light a match around here, you'll blow the place up...."

"Ssssh," Levine hissed angrily, shaking his head. He turned back to the parasaurs. This was no time to be interrupted by a vulgar young fool. Several of the animals bent their heads down, and began to lick the puddles of urine. No doubt they wanted to recover lost nutrients, he thought. Perhaps salt. Or perhaps hormones. Or perhaps it was something seasonal. Or perhaps -

Levine edged forward.

They knew so little about these creatures. They didn't even know the most basic facts about their lives - how they ate, how they eliminated, how they slept and bred. A whole world of intricate, interlocking behaviors had evolved in these long-vanished animals. Understanding them now could be the work of a lifetime for dozens of scientists. But that would probably never happen. All he could hope to do was make a few conjectures, a few simple deductions that skimmed the surface of the complexity of their lives.

The parasaurs trumpeted, and headed deeper into the forest. Levine moved forward to follow them.

"Dr. Levine," Eddie said quietly. "Get on the bike. Now."

Levine ignored him, but as the big animals departed, he saw dozens of tiny green dinosaurs leap chattering out into the clearing. He realized at once what they were: Procompsognathus triassicus. Small scavenger, found by Fraas in 1913, in Bavaria. Levine stared, fascinated. Of course he knew the animal well, but only from reconstructions, because there were no complete skeletons of Procompsognathus anywhere in the world. Ostrom had done the most complete studies, but he had to work with a skeleton that was badly crushed, and fragmentary. The tall, neck, and arms were all missing from the animals Ostrom described. Yet here the procompsognathids were, fully formed and active, hopping around I Ike so many chickens. As he watched, the compys began to eat the fresh dung, and drink what was left of the urine. Levine frowned. Was that part of ordinary scavenger behavior?

Levine wasn't sure....

He edged forward, to look at them more closely.

"Dr. Levine!" Eddie whispered.

It was interesting that the compys only ate fresh dung, not the dried remnants that were everywhere in the clearing. Whatever nutrients they were obtaining from the dung, it must only be present in fresh specimens. That suggested a protein or hormone that would degrade over time. Probably he should obtain a fresh sample for analysis. He reached into his shirt pocket, and withdrew a plastic baggie. He moved among the compys, which seemed indifferent to his presence.

He crouched down by the nearest dung pile, and reached slowly forward.

"Dr. Levine!"

He glanced back, annoyed, and in that moment one of the compys leapt forward and bit his hand. Another jumped onto his shoulder and bit his car. Levine yelled, and stood up. The compys hopped onto the ground and scampered away.

"Damn it!" he said.

Eddie drove up on the motorcycle. "That's enough," he said. "Get on the damn bike. We're getting out of here."


The red Jeep Wrangler came to a stop. Directly ahead, the game trail they had been following continued through the foliage, to a clearing beyond. The game trail was wide and muddy, trampled flat by large animals. They could see large, deep footprints in the mud.

From the clearing, they heard a low honking noise, like the sound of very large geese. Dodgson said, "Okay. Give me the box."

King didn't answer.

Baselton said, "What box?"

Without taking his eyes off the clearing, Dodgson said, "There's a black box on the seat beside you, and a battery pack. Give them to me."

Baselton grunted. "It's heavy."

"That's because of the cone magnets." Dodgson reached back, took the box, which was made of black anodized metal. It was the size of a shoebox, except it ended in a flaring cone. Underneath was mounted a pistol grip. Dodgson clipped a battery pack to his belt, and plugged it into the box. Then he picked the box up by the pistol grip. There was a knob at the back, facing him, and a graduated dial.

Dodgson said, "Batteries charged?"

"They're charged," King said.

"Okay," Dodgson said. "I'll go first, into the nest area. I'll adjust the box, and get rid of the animals. You two follow behind me, and once the animals are gone, you each take an egg from the nest. Then you leave, and bring them back to the car. I'll come back last. Then we all drive off, Got it?"

"Right," Baselton said.

"Okay," King said. "What kind of dinosaurs are these?"

"I have no fucking idea," Dodgson said, climbing out of the car. "And it doesn't make any difference. Just follow the procedure." He closed the door softly.

The others got out quietly, and they started forward, down the wet trail. Their feet squished in the mud. The sound from the clearing continued. To Dodgson, it sounded like a lot of animals.

He pushed aside the last of the ferns and saw them.

It was a large nesting site, with perhaps four or five low earthen mounds, covered in grasses. The mounds were about seven feet wide, and three feet deep. There were twenty beige-colored adults around the mounds-a whole herd of dinosaurs, surrounding the nesting site. And the adults were big, thirty feet long and ten feet high, all honking and snorting,

"Oh, my God," Baselton said, staring.

Dodgson shook his head. "They're maiasaurs , he whispered. "This is going to be a piece of cake."

Maiasaurs had been named by paleontologist Jack Horner. Before Horner, scientists assumed that dinosaurs abandoned their eggs, as most reptiles did. Those assumptions fitted the old picture of dinosaurs as cold-blooded, reptilian creatures, Like reptiles, they were thought to be solitary; murals on museum walls rarely showed more than one example from each species - a brontosaurus here, a stegosaurus or a triceratops there, wading through the swamps. But Horner's excavations in the badlands of Montana provided clear, unambiguous evidence that at least one species of hadrosaurs had engaged in complex nesting and parenting behavior. Horner incorporated that behavior in the name he gave these creatures: maiasaur meant "good-mother lizard."

Watching them now, Dodgson could see the maiasaurs were indeed attentive parents, the big adults circling the nests, moving carefully to step outside the shallow earthen mounds. The beige maiasaurs were duck-billed dinosaurs; they had large heads that ended in a broad, flattened snout, rather like the bill of a duck.

They were taking mouthfuls of grass, and dropping it on the eggs in the mounds. This was, he knew, a way to regulate the temperature of the eggs. If the huge animals sat on the eggs, they would crush them. So instead they put a layer of grass over the eggs, which trapped heat and kept the eggs at a more constant temperature. The animals worked steadily.

"They're huge," Baselton said.

"They're nothing but oversized cows," Dodgson said. Although the maiasaurs were large, they were plant-eaters, and they had the docile, slightly stupid manner of cows. "Ready? Here we go."

He lifted the box like a gun, and stepped forward, into view.

Dodgson expected a big reaction when the maiasaurs saw him, but there was none at all. They hardly seemed to notice him. One or two adults looked over, stared with dumb eyes, and then looked away. The animals continued to drop grass on the eggs, which were pale white, oval, and nearly two feet long. Each was about twice the size of an ostrich egg. About the size of a small beach ball. No animals had hatched yet.

King and Baselton stepped out, and stood beside him in the clearing. Still the maiasaurs ignored them.

"Amazing," Baselton said.

"Fine for us," Dodgson said. And he turned on the box.

A continuous, high-pitched shriek filled the clearing. The maiasaurs immediately turned toward the sound, honking and lifting their heads. They seemed agitated, confused. Dodgson twisted the dial, and the shriek became higher, ear-splitting.

The maiasaurs bobbed their heads, and moved away from the painful sound. They clustered at the far end of the clearing. Several of the animals urinated in alarm. A few of them moved away into the folliage, abandoning the nest. They were agitated, but they stayed away.

"Go now," Dodgson said.

King stepped into the nearest nest, and grunted as he picked up an egg. His arms hardly reached around the huge oval. The maiasaurs honked at him, but none of the ' adults moved forward. Then Baselton went into the nest, took an egg, and followed King back to the car.

Dodgson walked backward, holding the box on the adults. At the edge of the clearing, he turned the sound off.

At once the maiasaurs came back, honking loudly and repeatedly. But as they returned to the nests, it seemed as if the adults forgot what had just happened. Within a few moments, they ceased honking, and went back to dropping grass over the eggs. They ignored Dodgson as he left and headed back along the game trail.

Stupid animals, Dodgson thought, as he went to the car. Baselton and King were setting the eggs into big Styrofoam containers in the back, and fitting the foam packing around them carefully. Both men were grinning like kids.

"That was amazing!"

"Great! Fantastic!"

"What'd I tell you?" Dodgsoii said. "Nothing to it." He glanced at his watch. "At this rate, we'll finish in less than four hours."

He climbed behind the steering wheel and turned on the engine. Baselton got into the back seat. King got in the passenger seat and took out the map.

"Next," Dodgson said.

The High Hide

"I tell you, it's fine," Levine said irritably. He was sweating in the stifling heat beneath the aluminum roof of the high hide. "Look, it didn't even break the skin." He held out his hand. There was a red semicircle where the compy had pressed its teeth into the skin, but that was all.

Beside him, Eddie said, "Yeah, well, your ear is bleeding a little."

"I don't feel anything. It can't be bad."

"No, it's not bad, " Eddie said, opening the first-aid kit. "But I better clean it up."

"I prefer," Levine said, "to get on with my observations." The dinosaurs were barely a quarter-mile away from him, and he could see them well. In the still midday air, he could hear them breathe.

He could hear them breathe.

Or at least he could, if this young man would leave him alone. "Look," Levine said, "I know what I'm doing here. You came in at the end of a very interesting and successful experiment. I actually called the dinosaurs to me, by imitating their cry."

"You did?" Eddie said.

"Yes, I did. That was what led them into the forest in the first place. So I hardly think that I need your assistance - "

"The thing is," Eddie said, "you got some of that dino shit on your ear and there's a couple of little punctures. I'll just clean it off for you." He soaked a gauze pad with disinfectant. "May sting a little."

"I don't care, I have other - Ow!"

"Stop moving," Eddie said. "It'll only take a second."

"It's absolutely unnecessary."

"If you just stand still, it'll be done. There." He took the gauze away. Levine saw brown and a faint streak of red. Just as he suspected, the injury was trivial. He reached up and touched his ear. It didn't hurt at all.

Levine squinted out at the plain, as Eddie packed up the first-aid case.

"Jeez, it's hot up here," Eddie said.

"Yes," Levine said, shrugging.

"Sarah Harding arrived, and I think they took her back to the trailer. You want to go back now?"

"I can't imagine why," Levine said.

"I just thought you might want to say hello or something," Eddie said.

"My work is here," Levine said. He turned away, raised his binoculars to his eyes.

"So," Eddie said. "You don't want to come back?"

"Wouldn't dream of it," Levine said, staring through binoculars. "Not in a million years. Not in sixty-five million years."


Kelly Curtis listened to the sound of the shower. She couldn't believe it. She stared at the muddy clothes tossed casually on the bed. Shorts and a khaki short-sleeve shirt.

Sarah Harding's actual clothes.

She couldn't help it. Kelly reached out and touched them. She noticed how the fabric was worn and frayed. Buttons sewn back on; they didn't match. And there were some reddish streaks near the pocket that she thought must be old bloodstains. She reached down and touched the fabric -


Sarah was calling to her, from the shower.

She remembered my name.

"Yes?" Kelly said, her voice betraying her nervousness.

"Is there any shampoo?"

"I'll look, Dr. Harding," Kelly said, opening drawers hastily. The men had all gone into the next compartment, leaving her alone with Sarah while she washed. Kelly searched desperately, opening the drawers, slamming them shut again.

"Listen," Sarah called, "it's okay if you can't find any."

"I'm looking.

"Is there any dishwashing liquid?"

Kelly paused. There was a green plastic bottle by the sink. "Yes, Dr. Harding, but - "

"Give it to me. It's all the same stuff. I don't care." The hand reached out, past the shower curtain. Kelly handed it to her. "And my name is Sarah."

"Okay, Dr. Harding."


"Okay, Sarah."

Sarah Harding was a regular person. Very informal and normal.

Entranced, Kelly sat on the seat in the kitchen and waited, swinging her feet, in case Dr. Harding - Sarah - needed anything else. She listened to Sarah humming "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair." After a few moments, the shower turned off, and her hand reached out and took the towel on the hook. And then she came out, wrapped in the towel.

Sarah ran her fingers through her short hair, which seemed to be all the attention she gave to her appearance. "That feels better. Boy, this is a plush field trailer. Doc really did a great job."

"Yes," she said. "It's nice."

She smiled at Kelly. "How old are you, Kelly?"


"What is that, eighth grade?"


"Seventh grade," Sarah said, thoughtfully.

Kelly said, "Dr. Malcolm left some clothes for you. He said he thought they'd fit." She pointed to a clean pair of shorts and a tee shirt.

"Whose are these?"

"I think they're Eddie's."

Sarah held them up. "Might work." She took them around the corner, into the sleeping area, and started getting dressed. She said, "What are you going to do when you grow up?"

"I don't know," Kelly said.

"That's a very good answer."

"It is?" Kelly's mother was always pushing her to get a part-time job to decide what she wanted to do with her life.

"Yes," Sarah said. "Nobody smart knows what they want to do until they get into their twenties or thirties."


"What do you like to study?"

"Actually, uh, I like math," she said, in a sort of guilty voice.

Sarah must have heard her tone, because she said, "What's wrong with math?"

"Well, girls aren't good at it. I mean, you know."

"No, I don't know." Sarah's voice was flat.

Kelly felt panic. She had been experiencing this warm feeling with Sarah Harding, but now she sensed it was dissolving away, as if she had given a wrong answer to a disapproving teacher. She decided not to say anything else. She waited in silence.

After a moment Sarah came out again, wearing Eddie's baggy clothes. She sat down and started putting on a pair of boots. She moved in a very normal, matter-of-fact way. "What did you mean girls aren't good at mathematics?"

"Well, that's what everybody says."

"Everybody like who?"

"My teachers."

Sarah sighed. "Great" she said, shaking her head. "Your teachers..."

"And the other kids call me a brainer. Stuff like that. You know." Kelly Just blurted it out. She couldn't believe that she was saying all this to Sarah Harding, whom she hardly knew at all except from articles and pictures, but here she was, telling her all this personal stuff. All these things that upset her.

Sarah just smiled cheerfully. "Well, if they say that, you must be pretty good at math, huh?"

"I guess."

She smiled. "That's wonderful, Kelly.

"But the thing is, boys don't like girls who are too smart."

Sarah's eyebrows went up. "Is that so?"

"Well, that's what everybody says.

"Like who?"

"Like my mom."

"Uh-huh. And she probably knows what she's talking about."

"I don't know," Kelly admitted. "My mom only dates jerks, actually."

"So she could be wrong?" Sarah asked, glancing up at Kelly as she tied her laces.

"I guess."

"Well, in my experience, Some men like smart women, and some don't. It's like everything else in the world. She stood up. "You know about George Schaller?"

"Sure. He studied pandas."

"Right. Pandas, and before that, snow leopards and lions and gorillas. He's the most important animal researcher in the twentieth century-and you know how he works?"

Kelly shook her head.

"Before he goes into the field, George reads everything that's ever been written about the animal he's going to study. Popular books, newspaper accounts, scientific papers, everything. Then he goes out and observes the animal for himself. And you know what he usually finds?"

She shook her head, not trusting herself to speak.

"That nearly everything that's been written or said is wrong. Like the gorilla. George studied mountain gorillas ten years before Dian Fossey ever thought of it. And he found that what was believed about gorillas was exaggerated, or misunderstood, or just plain fantasy - like the idea that you couldn't take women on gorilla expeditions, because the gorillas would rape them, Wrong. Everything...just... wrong."

Sarah finished tying her boots, and stood.

"So, Kelly, even at your young age, there's something you might as well learn now. All your life people will tell you things. And most of the time, probably ninety-five percent of the time, what they'll tell you will be wrong."

Kelly said nothing. She felt oddly disheartened to hear this.

"It's a fact of life," Sarah said. "Human beings are just stuffed full of misinformation. So it's hard to know who to believe. I know how you feel."

"You do?"

"Sure. My mom used to tell me I'd never amount to anything." She smiled. "So did some of my professors."

"Really?" It didn't seem possible.

"Oh yes," Sarah said. "As a matter of fact - "

From the other section of the trailer, they heard Malcolm say, No! No! Those idiots! They could ruin everything!"

Sarah immediately turned, and went into the other section. Kelly jumped off the seat, and hurried after her.

The men were all clustered around the monitor. Everyone was talking at once, and they seemed to be upset. "This is terrible," Malcolm was saying. "Terrible!"

Thorne said, "Is that a jeep?"

"They had a red Jeep," Harding said, coming up to look.

"Then it's Dodgson," Malcolm said. "Damn!"

"What's he doing here?"

"I can guess."

Kelly pushed through to get a look. On the screen, she saw foliage, and intermittent flashes of a red-and-black vehicle.

"Where are they now?" Malcolm said to Arby.

"I think they're in the east valley," Arby said. "Near where we found Dr. Levine."

The radio clicked. Levine's voice said, "Do you mean there are now other people on the island?"

"Yes, Richard."

"Well, you better go stop them, before they mess everything up."

"I know. Do you want to come back?"

"Not without a compelling reason. Inform me if one arises." And his radio clicked off.

Harding stared at the screen, watching the Jeep. "That's them, all right," she said. "That's your friend Dodgson."

"He's not my friend," Malcolm said. He got up, wincing in pain from his leg. "Let's go," he said. "We have to stop these bastards. There's no time to waste."


The red jeep Wrangler rolled softly to a stop. Directly ahead was a wall of dense foliage. But through it they could see sunlight, from the clearing beyond.

Dodgson sat quietly in the car, listening. King turned to him I I about to speak, but Dodgson held up his hand, gesturing to him to be silent.

Then he heard it clearly - a low rumbling growl, almost a purr. It was coming from beyond the foliage ahead. It sounded like the biggest jungle cat he had ever heard. And intermittently, he felt a slight vibration, hardly anything, but enough to make the car keys clink against the steering column. As he felt that vibration, it slowly dawned on him: It's walking.

Something very big. Walking.

Beside him, King was staring forward in astonishment; his mouth hung open. Dodgson glanced back at Baselton; the professor was gripping the seat with white fingers, as he listened to the sound.

A shadow moved across the ferns directly ahead. judging the shadow, the animal was twenty feet high, and forty feet long. It walked on its hind legs, and had a large body, a short neck, a very big head.

A tyrannosaur.

Dodgson hesitated, staring at the shadow. His heart was pounding in his chest. He considered going on to the next nest, but he was confident that the box would work here, too. He said, "Let's get this over with. Give me the box."

Baselton handed him the box, just as he had done before.

Dodgson said, "Charged?"

"Batteries arc charged," King said.

"Okay," he said. "Here we go. Exactly the same as before. I'll go first, you two follow, and bring the eggs back to the car. Ready?"

"Ready," Baselton said.

King did not answer. He was still staring at the shadow. "What kind of a dinosaur is that?"

"That's a tyrannosaurus."

"Oh Jesus," King said.

"A tyrannosaurus?" Baselton said.

"It doesn't matter what it is," Dodgson said irritably. "Just follow the plan, like before. Everybody ready?"

"Just a minute," Baselton said.

King said, "What if it doesn't work?"

"We already know it works," Dodgson said.

"There's a rather curious fact about tyrannosaurs that was recently reported," Baselton said. "A paleontologist named Roxton did a study of the tyrannosaur braincase, and concluded that they have a brain not much different from a frog's, although of course much bigger. The implication was their nervous systems were adapted to motion only. They can 't see you if you stand still. Stationary objects become invisible to them."

Are you sure about that?" King said.

Baselton said, "That was the report. And it makes perfect sense. One can't forget that dinosaurs, for all their intimidating size, were actually rather primitive intellects. It's quite logical that a tyrannosaur would have the mental equipment of a frog."

"I don't see why we're rushing into this," King said, nervously. He stared forward. "It's much bigger than the other ones."

"So what?" Dodgson said. "You heard what George said. It's just a big frog. Let's get it done. Get out of the fucking car. And don't slam the doors."

George Baselton had felt quite good and authoritative, recalling that obscure article from the journals. He had been in his accustomed role, dispensing information to people who lacked it. Now that he approached the nest, he was astonished to notice that his knees had begun to tremble. His legs felt like rubber, He had always thought that was a figure of speech. He was alarmed to realize it could be literally true. He bit his lip, and forced himself under control. He was not, he told himself, going to show fear. He was the master of this situation.

Dodgson was already moving ahead, holding the black box like a gun in his hand. Baselton glanced over at King, who was deathly pale and sweating. He looked on the verge of collapse; he moved forward slowly. Baselton walked alongside him. Making sure he was all right.

Up ahead, Dodgson gave a final glance back, waved to Baselton and King to catch up. He glared at both of them, and then he stepped through the foliage into the clearing.

Baselton saw the tyrannosaur. No - there were two! They stood on both sides of a mud mound, two adults, twenty feet high on their hind legs, powerful, dark red, with big vicious jaws. Like the maiasaurs, the animals stared at Dodgson for a moment, a dumb stare, as if amazed to see an intruder. And then the tyrannosatirs roared in fury. An incredible, bellowing, air-shaking roar.

Dodgson lifted the box, pointed it at the animals. Immediately, a continuous, high-pitched shriek filled the clearing.

The tyrannosaurs roared in response, and lowered their heads, extending their necks forward, snapping their jaws, preparing to attack. They were huge - and they were unaffected by the sound. They started to come around the mound, toward Dodgson. The earth shook as they moved.

"Oh fuck," Kin said.

But Dodgson stayed cool. He twisted the dial. Baselton clapped his hands over his cars. The shriek became higher, louder, ear-splitting, incredibly painful. The response was immediate: the tyrannosaurs stepped back as if they had received a physical blow. They ducked their heads. They blinked their eyes rapidly. The sound seemed to vibrate in the air. They roared again, but weakly now, without conviction. A terrible screaming came from inside the mud nest.

Dodgson moved forward, pointing the box in the air, directly at the animals. The tyrannosaurs backed away, looking into the nest, then to Dodgson. They swung their heads back and forth rapidly, as if trying to clear their ears. Dodgson calmly adjusted the dial. The sound went higher. It was now excruciating.

Dodgson began to climb the mud mound of the nest. Baselton and King scrambled up, following him. Baselton found himself looking down into a nest with four mottled white eggs, and two young babies that looked for all the world like scrawny oversized turkeys. Anyway, some kind of gigantic baby birds.

The two tyrannosaurs were at the far end of the clearing, held away by the sound. Like the maiasaurs, they urinated in agitation. They stomped their feet. But they did not come closer.

Over the ear-splitting shriek of the box, Dodgson shouted, "Get the eggs!" In a daze, King stumbled down into the nest, grabbing the nearest egg. He fumbled it in his shaking hands; the egg flew into the air; he caught it again, and lurched back. He stepped on the leg of one of the babies, which screamed in fear and pain.

At this, the parents tried to come forward again, drawn by the infants cries. King hastily clambered out of the nest, ducked away through the foliage. Baselton watched him go.

"George!" Dodgson shouted, still aiming the box at the tyrannosaurs. "Get the other egg!"

Baselton turned to look at the adult tyrannosaurs, seeing their agitation and their anger, watching their laws snap open and closed, and he had the sudden feeling that sound or no sound, these animals would not allow anyone to enter the nest again. King had been lucky but Baselton would not be lucky, he could feel it, and -

George! Now!"

Baselton said, "I can't!"

"You dumb fuck!" Holding the gun high, Dodgson began to climb down into the nest himself But as he started, he twisted his body - and the battery plug pulled out of the box.

The sound abruptly died.

In the clearing, there was silence.

Baselton moaned.

The tyrannosaurs shook their heads a final time, and roared.

Baselton saw Dodgson go rigidly still, his body frozen. Baselton also stood still. Somehow, he forced his body to stay where he was. He forced his knees to stop trembling. He held his breath.

And he waited.

On the far side of the clearing, the tyrannosaurs began to move toward him.

"What are they doing?" Arby cried, in the trailer. He was so close to the monitor his nose almost touched the screen. "Are they crazy? They're just standing there."

Beside him, Kelly said nothing. She watched the screen silently. "Want to be out there now, Kel?" Arby said.

"Shut up," Kelly said.

"No, they're not crazy," Malcolm said over the radio, as he stared at the dashboard monitor. The Explorer lurched down the trail, heading toward the eastern sector of the island. Thorne was driving. Sarah and Malcolm were in the back seat.

Sarah said, "He should be trying to put his sound machine together again. Are they really just going to stand there?"

"Yes," Malcolm said.


"They are misinformed," Malcolm said.


Dodgson watched the lead tyrannosaur come toward him. For such big animals, they were cautious. Only one of the two parents approached them, and although it paused to roar fiercely every few paces, it seemed oddly tentative, as if it was perplexed by the fact that the men were staying there. Or perhaps it could not see them. Perhaps he and Baselton had vanished from their view.

The other parent hung back, remaining toward the other side of the nest. Bobbing and ducking its head, agitated.

Agitated but not attacking.

Of course, the roars of the approaching dinosaur were terrifying, blood-chilling. Dodgson didn't dare glance at Baselton, just a few yards away. Baselton was probably peeing in his pants right now. just so he didn't turn and run, Dodgson thought. If he ran, he was a dead man. If he stayed perfectly still, everything would be all right.

Standing stiffly, keeping his body rigid, Dodgson held the anodized box at waist level in his left hand, near his belt buckle. With his right hand, he slowly, ever so slowly, pulled up the disconnected power cord. In a few moments he would feel the end plug in his hands, and then he, would slip it back into the box.

Meanwhile, he never took his eyes off the approaching tyrannosaur He felt the ground shake beneath his feet. He heard the cries of the infant that King had stepped on. Those cries seemed to bother the parents, to arouse them.

No matter. Just a few seconds more, and he would have the plug back in the power pack. And then...

The tyrannosaur was very close now. Dodgson could smell the rotten odor of the carnivore. The animal roared, and he felt hot breath. it was standing right by Baselton. Dodgson turned his head fractionally, to watch.

Baselton stood entirely still. The tyrannosaur came close, and lowered his big head. He snorted at Baselton. He raised his head again, as if perplexed.

He really can't see him, Dodgson thought.

The tyrannosaur bellowed, a ferocious sound. Somehow Baselton stayed unmoving. The tyrannosaur bent over, bringing his huge head down again. The jaws opened and closed. Baselton stared straight forward, not blinking. With huge flaring nostrils, the tyrannosaur smelled him, a long snuffling inhalation that fluttered Baselton's trouser legs.

Then the tyrannosaur nudged Baselton tentatively with his snout. And in that moment Dodgson realized that the animal could see him after all, and then the tyrannosaur swung his head laterally, striking Baselton in the side and easily knocking him to the earth. Baselton yelled as the tyrannosaur's big foot came down, pinning him to the ground. Baselton raised his arms and shouted "You son of a bitch!" just as the head came down, jaws wide, and closed on him. The movement was gentle, almost delicate, but in the next instant the head snapped high, tearing the body, and Dodgson heard a scream and saw something small and floppy hanging from the jaws, and realized it was Baselton's arm. Baselton's hand swung freely, the metal band of his wristwatch glinting beneath the tyrannosaur's huge eye.

Baselton was screaming, a continuous undifferentiated sound, and hearing it, Dodgson broke into a dizzying sweat. Then he turned and ran, back toward the car, back toward safety, back toward anything.

He ran.

Kell and Arb turned away from the monitor at the same moment. Kelly felt sick. She couldn't watch. But through the radio they could till hear the tinny screams of the man lying on his back, while the tyrannosaur tore him apart.

"Turn it off," Kelly said.

A moment later, the sound stopped.

Kelly sighed, let her shoulders drop. "Thank you," she said.

"I didn't do anything," Arby said.

She glanced back at the screen, and quickly looked away again. The tyrannosaur was tearing at something red. She shivered.

It was silent in the trailer. Kelly heard the tick of electronic counters, and the thumping of the water pumps under the floor. Outside, there was the faint sound of wind rustling the tall grass. Kelly suddenly felt very alone, very isolated on this island.

Arby," she said, "what are we going to do?"

Arby didn't answer her.

He bolted for the bathroom.

"I knew it," Malcolm said, staring at the dashboard monitor. "I knew that would happen. They tried to steal eggs. Now look - the tyrannosaurs are leaving! Both of them!" He pushed the radio transmitter. "Arby. Kelly. Are you there?"

"We can't talk," Kelly said.

The Explorer continued down the hillside, toward the area of the tyrannosaur nest. Thorne gripped the wheel grimly as he drove. "What a damn mess."

"Kelly. Are you listening? We can't see what's happening down there. The tyrannosaurs have left the nest! Kelly? What's happening?"

Dodgson sprinted for the Jeep. The battery pack fell off his belt as he ran, but he didn't care. Up ahead in the jeep, he saw King waiting, tense and pale.

Dodgson got behind the wheel, started the engine. The tyrannosaurs roared.

"Where's Baselton?" King asked.

"Didn't make it," Dodgson said.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean he fucking didn't make it!" Dodgson yelled, and slammed the car into gear. The Jeep took off, bouncing up the hill. They heard the tyrannosaurs bellowing behind them.

King was holding the egg, looking back down the road. "Maybe we should get rid of this," he said.

"Don't you fucking dare!" Dodgson said.

King was rolling down the window. "Maybe he just wants the egg back."

"No," Dodgson said. "No!" He reached across the passenger seat, struggling with King as he drove. The trail was narrow, with deep ruts. The Jeep lurched forward.

Suddenly, one of the tyrannosaurs burst from the trees in the road ahead. The animal stood there, snarling, blocking the road.

"Oh Christ," Dodgson said, slamming on the brakes. The car slid sickeningly in the muddy track, came to a stop.

The tyrannosaur lumbered toward them, bellowing.

"Turn around!" King screamed. "Turn around!"

But Dodgson didn't turn around. He slammed the car into reverse, and started backing down the trail. He was driving fast, and the road was narrow.

"You're crazy!" King said. "You're going to kill us!"

Dodgson swung his arm, smacked King with his hand. "Shut the flick up!" he shouted. It took all his attention to maneuver the car back down the winding trail. Even going as fast as he could, he was sure the tyrannosaur would be faster. It wasn't going to work. They were in a fucking jeep with a fucking cloth top, and they were going to get killed and -

"No!" King shouted.

Behind them, Dodgson saw the second tyrannosaur, charging up the road toward them. He looked forward, saw the first tyrannosaur bearing down on them. They were trapped.

He twisted the wheel in panic and the car ran off the road, crashing backward into dense underbrush and surrounding trees, and he felt a jolting impact. Then the rear of the car dropped sickeningly, and he realized the back wheels were hanging over the edge of a hill. He gunned the engine frantically, but the wheels just spun in the air. It was hopeless. And slowly, the car sank backward, deeper into foliage so dense he could not see through it. But they were over the edge. Beside him, King was sobbing. He heard the tyrannosaurs roaring, very near now.

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