over, and seeking out Sola I found her in our chariot with a hideous
little creature held tightly in her arms.
The work of rearing young, green Martians consists solely in teaching
them to talk, and to use the weapons of warfare with which they are
loaded down from the very first year of their lives. Coming from eggs
in which they have lain for five years, the period of incubation, they
step forth into the world perfectly developed except in size. Entirely
unknown to their mothers, who, in turn, would have difficulty in
pointing out the fathers with any degree of accuracy, they are the
common children of the community, and their education devolves upon the
females who chance to capture them as they leave the incubator.
Their foster mothers may not even have had an egg in the incubator, as
was the case with Sola, who had not commenced to lay, until less than a
year before she became the mother of another woman's offspring. But
this counts for little among the green Martians, as parental and filial
love is as unknown to them as it is common among us. I believe this
horrible system which has been carried on for ages is the direct cause
of the loss of all the finer feelings and higher humanitarian instincts
among these poor creatures. From birth they know no father or mother
love, they know not the meaning of the word home; they are taught that
they are only suffered to live until they can demonstrate by their
physique and ferocity that they are fit to live. Should they prove
deformed or defective in any way they are promptly shot; nor do they
see a tear shed for a single one of the many cruel hardships they pass
through from earliest infancy.
I do not mean that the adult Martians are unnecessarily or
intentionally cruel to the young, but theirs is a hard and pitiless
struggle for existence upon a dying planet, the natural resources of
which have dwindled to a point where the support of each additional
life means an added tax upon the community into which it is thrown.
By careful selection they rear only the hardiest specimens of each
species, and with almost supernatural foresight they regulate the birth
rate to merely offset the loss by death.
Each adult Martian female brings forth about thirteen eggs each year,
and those which meet the size, weight, and specific gravity tests are
hidden in the recesses of some subterranean vault where the temperature
is too low for incubation.
The man had a good start and the tree was not far away; but the speed of the enormous creature behind him was something to marvel at, yet Tippet was in a fair way to make his sanctuary when his foot caught in a tangle of roots and down he went, his rifle flying from his hand and falling several yards away.Page 2
It seemed to them such a futile thing for Tippet to do, and Tippet of all men! They had never looked upon Tippet as a coward--there seemed to be no cowards among that strangely assorted company that Fate had gathered together from the four corners of the earth--but Tippet was considered a cautious man.Page 16
The landscape was familiar--each recognized it immediately and knew that that smoky column marked the spot where Dinosaur had stood.Page 17
Chapter 2 When Bradley went on guard at midnight, September 14th, his thoughts were largely occupied with rejoicing that the night was almost spent without serious mishap and that the morrow would doubtless see them all safely returned to Fort Dinosaur.Page 20
Just a brief glimpse of his immediate surroundings vouchsafed Bradley before he was whisked into the interior of one of the buildings; but in that momentary glance he saw strange piles of stone and wood and mud fashioned into buildings of all conceivable sizes and shapes, sometimes piled high on top of one another, sometimes standing alone in an open court-way, but usually crowded and jammed together, so that there were no streets or alleys between them other than a few which ended almost as soon as they began.Page 21
The thin lips drew back tightly against yellow teeth in a grimace that was nothing.Page 25
Finally, seeing that no one came to collect, Bradley arose and started for the doorway.Page 28
The Englishman soon realized that the battle was going against him.Page 34
At a word from the Wieroo of the yellow slashing who evidently was a person of authority, one left and presently returned with fiber ropes with which Bradley was tightly bound.Page 35
Its various parts, however, were set together with the same strange irregularity that marked the architecture of the city as a whole; and it was capped by an enormous saucer-shaped roof which projected far beyond the eaves, having the appearance of a colossal Chinese coolie hat, inverted.Page 48
There was no Wieroo in sight, so the Englishman entered.Page 55
" The thing rose in wrath, holding one.Page 62
Shortly after they had settled themselves.Page 70
They had opened into semicircular formation now with the evident intention of cutting the two off from returning into the wood.Page 71
"Now go out into the clearing," said Bradley, "and remember that I am walking close behind and that I will shoot the nearer one should either attempt to escape--that will hold the other until I can kill him as well.Page 72
"I escaped from Oo-oh," replied Bradley.Page 75
They had seen enough of the brutal treatment von Schoenvorts accorded his men and the especially venomous attentions he had taken great enjoyment in according Plesser and Hindle to understand that these two might be sincere in a desire for revenge.Page 78
That night they dropped anchor at the mouth of a sluggish stream whose warm waters swarmed with millions of tiny tadpolelike organisms--minute human spawn starting on their precarious journey from some inland pool toward "the beginning"--a journey which one in millions, perhaps, might survive to complete.Page 79
"My country needs me, and I must go back.Page 81
"I am Tom Billings of Santa Monica, California," he said.