interesting periods of my life and of my death. I cannot
explain the phenomena; I can only set down here in the words of an
ordinary soldier of fortune a chronicle of the strange events that
befell me during the ten years that my dead body lay undiscovered in an
I have never told this story, nor shall mortal man see this manuscript
until after I have passed over for eternity. I know that the average
human mind will not believe what it cannot grasp, and so I do not
purpose being pilloried by the public, the pulpit, and the press, and
held up as a colossal liar when I am but telling the simple truths
which some day science will substantiate. Possibly the suggestions
which I gained upon Mars, and the knowledge which I can set down in
this chronicle, will aid in an earlier understanding of the mysteries
of our sister planet; mysteries to you, but no longer mysteries to me.
My name is John Carter; I am better known as Captain Jack Carter of
Virginia. At the close of the Civil War I found myself possessed of
several hundred thousand dollars (Confederate) and a captain's
commission in the cavalry arm of an army which no longer existed; the
servant of a state which had vanished with the hopes of the South.
Masterless, penniless, and with my only means of livelihood, fighting,
gone, I determined to work my way to the southwest and attempt to
retrieve my fallen fortunes in a search for gold.
I spent nearly a year prospecting in company with another Confederate
officer, Captain James K. Powell of Richmond. We were extremely
fortunate, for late in the winter of 1865, after many hardships and
privations, we located the most remarkable gold-bearing quartz vein
that our wildest dreams had ever pictured. Powell, who was a mining
engineer by education, stated that we had uncovered over a million
dollars worth of ore in a trifle over three months.
As our equipment was crude in the extreme we decided that one of us
must return to civilization, purchase the necessary machinery and
return with a sufficient force of men properly to work the mine.
As Powell was familiar with the country, as well as with the mechanical
requirements of mining we determined that it would be best for him to
make the trip. It was agreed that I was to hold down our claim against
the remote possibility of its being jumped by some wandering prospector.
On March 3, 1866, Powell and I packed his
You never intimated that the speed of this thing would be so high, Perry.Page 13
The accompanying roar was all but drowned in Perry's scream of fright, and he came near tumbling headlong into the gaping jaws beneath him, so precipitate was his impetuous haste to vacate the dangerous limb.Page 17
Between the huts, which sometimes formed crooked streets, were dead branches and the trunks of small trees which connected the huts upon one tree to those within adjoining trees; the whole network of huts and pathways forming an almost solid flooring a good fifty feet above the ground.Page 21
The thing's body was as large as that of a full-grown mastiff, its legs were short and powerful, and its jaws broad and strong.Page 28
And the girl? At first she looked at me with wide, wondering eyes, and then she dropped her head, her face half averted, and a delicate flush suffused her cheek.Page 30
"Hooja the Sly One," murmured Ghak, who was now next to me in line.Page 41
Then the business of the day was on.Page 47
Above the source of the brook I encountered a rugged climb to the summit of a long ridge.Page 50
But it was ever thus.Page 53
Each ball-like house was surmounted by some manner of carven image, which Ja told me indicated the identity of the owner.Page 54
told her of how I had saved his life, and she was thereafter most kind and hospitable toward me, even permitting me to hold and amuse the tiny bundle of humanity whom Ja told me would one day rule the tribe, for Ja, it seemed, was the chief of the community.Page 56
throne and slid noiselessly into the water.Page 67
"I immediately set out in search of you, knowing as I did that you must be entirely unarmed and defenseless against the many dangers which lurk upon the mainland both in the form of savage beasts and reptiles, and men as well.Page 80
It is true that we were not supposed to enter the deeper corridors and apartments except on special occasions when we were instructed to do so; but as we were considered a lower order without intelligence there was little reason to fear that we could accomplish any harm by so doing, and so we were not hindered as we entered the corridor which led below.Page 81
Soundless, as it had fought, it died, and though weak from pain and loss of blood, it was with an emotion of triumphant pride that I stepped across its convulsively stiffening corpse to snatch up the most potent secret of a world.Page 86
As we drew nearer the barrier cliffs and no sign of rescuing Sarians appeared Ghak became both angry and alarmed, and presently as the sound of rapidly approaching pursuit fell upon our ears, he called to me over his shoulder that we were lost.Page 89
It is true that the beast who owned them might be standing upon a ledge within the cave, or that it might be rearing up upon its hind legs; but I had seen enough of the monsters of Pellucidar to know that I might be facing some new and frightful Titan whose dimensions and ferocity eclipsed those of any I had seen before.Page 91
Then I returned again to the valley for an armful of grasses and on this trip was fortunate enough to knock over an orthopi, the diminutive horse of Pellucidar, a little animal about the size of a fox terrier, which abounds in all parts of the inner world.Page 99
Flinging it far to one side he stood motionless for just an instant glaring into my face with such a horrid leer of malignant triumph.Page 111
As the opposing army approached we saw that there were many Mahars with the Sagoth troops--an indication of the vast importance which the dominant race placed upon the outcome of this campaign, for it was not customary with them to take active part in the sorties which their creatures made for slaves--the only form of warfare which they waged upon the lower orders.