The Lavalite World by Philip Jose Farmer. Chapter 9, 10, 11, 12

In any event, something, maybe a current hurled upward by an obstruction on the bottom, sent her sprawling onto the edge of the bank. For a minute she thought she’d slip back, but she writhed ahead and presently her legs were out of reach of the current.

She released the case and rolled over and got shakily to her feet.

About a half a mile behind her were three figures. Urthona. Ore. McKay.

Kickaha was missing. So, it would have been he that had fallen over into the stream. It also would have been he who’d dropped the Horn into it. She guessed that he must have threatened to throw it in if the others didn’t allow her to get out of the channel again.

Then they’d rushed him, and he’d released it and gone into the stream after it. Either on his own volition, which didn’t seem likely, or he had been pushed into it.

She could see no sign of him.

He was under the surface somewhere, either drowned or fighting.

She found it difficult to believe that he was dead. He’d come through so much, fought so hard, been so wily. He was of the stuff of survival.

Still, all men and women must die sometime.

No, she wouldn’t allow herself to give up hope for him. But even if he were still struggling, he would by now have been swept out of sight.

The only thing to do was to follow the channel to its end and hope that she’d run across him somewhere along it.

Red Ore was by now running away. He was going at full speed in the opposite direction. McKay had run after him but had stopped. Evidently, he either couldn’t catch him or Urthona had called him back. Whatever had happened, the two were now trotting toward her. She had the Horn, and they wanted it.

She started trotting, too. After a while she was panting, but she kept on and her second wind came. If she stayed by the channel, she couldn’t lose them. They’d keep going, though they had no chance with her headstart of catching her. Not until utter fatigue forced her to sleep. If they somehow could keep on going, they’d find her.

She believed that she had as much endurance as they. They’d have to lie down and rest, too, perhaps before she did. But if they pushed themselves, rose earlier from sleep, then they might come across her while she slept.

As long as she followed the channel, she couldn’t lose them, ever. But across the plains, in the mountains, she might. Then she could cut back to the channel.

There was a chance, also, that she could get lost, especially when the landmarks kept changing. She’d have to risk that.

She turned and started across the plain. Now they would angle across, reducing the lead she had. Too bad. Though she felt the urge to break into a run, she resisted it. As long as she could keep ahead, out of range of the beamer, she’d be all right.

It was difficult to estimate distances in this air, which was so clear because of the almost-total lack of dust and of this light. She thought the nearest of the mountains was about five miles away. Even with the speed with which landscape changed around here, it would still be a respectably sized mountain by the time she got there.

Between her and her goal were groves of the ambulatory trees. None were so large that she couldn’t go around them. There were also herds of grazing antelopes and gazelles. A herd of elephants was about a half a mile away, trotting toward the nearest grove. To her right, in the other direction, some of the giant moosoids were nearing another group of plants. She caught a glimpse of two lions a quarter of a mile away. They were using a grove as cover while sneaking up on some antelopes.

Far in the distance was the tiny figure of a moa. It didn’t seem to be chasing anything, but her line of flight would lead her near to it. She changed it, heading for the other end of the base of the mountain.

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