Roughly, it is a steel cylinder a hundred feet
long, and jointed so that it may turn and twist through solid rock if
need be. At one end is a mighty revolving drill operated by an engine
which Perry said generated more power to the cubic inch than any other
engine did to the cubic foot. I remember that he used to claim that
that invention alone would make us fabulously wealthy--we were going to
make the whole thing public after the successful issue of our first
secret trial--but Perry never returned from that trial trip, and I only
after ten years.
I recall as it were but yesterday the night of that momentous occasion
upon which we were to test the practicality of that wondrous invention.
It was near midnight when we repaired to the lofty tower in which Perry
had constructed his "iron mole" as he was wont to call the thing. The
great nose rested upon the bare earth of the floor. We passed through
the doors into the outer jacket, secured them, and then passing on into
the cabin, which contained the controlling mechanism within the inner
tube, switched on the electric lights.
Perry looked to his generator; to the great tanks that held the
life-giving chemicals with which he was to manufacture fresh air to
replace that which we consumed in breathing; to his instruments for
recording temperatures, speed, distance, and for examining the
materials through which we were to pass.
He tested the steering device, and overlooked the mighty cogs which
transmitted its marvelous velocity to the giant drill at the nose of
his strange craft.
Our seats, into which we strapped ourselves, were so arranged upon
transverse bars that we would be upright whether the craft were
ploughing her way downward into the bowels of the earth, or running
horizontally along some great seam of coal, or rising vertically toward
the surface again.
At length all was ready. Perry bowed his head in prayer. For a moment
we were silent, and then the old man's hand grasped the starting lever.
There was a frightful roaring beneath us--the giant frame trembled and
vibrated--there was a rush of sound as the loose earth passed up
through the hollow space between the inner and outer jackets to be
deposited in our wake. We were off!
The noise was deafening. The sensation was frightful. For a full
minute neither of us could do aught but cling with the proverbial
desperation of the drowning man to the handrails of our swinging seats.
Then Perry glanced at the thermometer.
In a short time some hunted animal would break into view, and a moment later a score of half-naked savages would come leaping after with spears or club or great stone-knives.Page 12
Perry alone could have possibly guessed the meaning of the loud report or explained its connection with the sudden collapse of the Sagoth.Page 16
There you will find a river that flows into the Lural Az.Page 19
Terribly armed for battle as they are, man presents to them in his primal state an easy prey, slow of foot, puny of strength, ill-equipped by nature with natural weapons of defense.Page 26
We had marked out as best we could natural boundaries dividing the various kingdoms.Page 30
I told them that we were friends of the Mezops, and that we were upon a visit to Ja of Anoroc, to which they replied that they were at war with Ja, and that if we would wait a minute they'd board us and throw our corpses to the azdyryths.Page 31
The others ceased paddling, and, with wide eyes, looked first at me and then at the battling sea-things which fought for the corpse of their comrade.Page 39
Out into the broad avenue they conducted me, where, amid huge throngs of Mahars, Sagoths, and heavily guarded slaves, I was led, or, rather, pushed and shoved roughly, along in the same direction that the mob moved.Page 41
"Why should she wish to have my life spared?" He shrugged his shoulders and then repeated my question to the Mahar spokesman.Page 47
They wish to know if you have so soon forgotten the truth or if you are merely ignoring it.Page 53
Though Ghak and Kolk both attempted to dissuade me, I was determined to set out at once, nor did I delay longer than to make a copy of my map to be given to Perry that he might add to his that which I had set down since we parted.Page 60
In their efforts to vanquish the wolf-dog the savages forgot all about me, thus giving me an instant in which to snatch a knife from the loin-string of him who had first fallen and account for another of them.Page 62
The brute was padding softly at my side, his sensitive nose constantly atwitch and his fierce eyes moving restlessly from side to side--nothing would ever take Raja unawares! The more I thought upon the matter the greater became my.Page 85
" "I am sent to bring you, and bring you I shall.Page 86
Then I stood up--and there was Dian facing me and peering at me through the dense gloom.Page 89
The cove appeared no larger than a saucer.Page 108
When the leader was a hundred yards from us Dian called our attention to the fact that several of her crew were Sagoths.Page 117
Well, to get back to the battle: The Hoojans kept on coming at us, and as fast as they came we mowed them down.Page 119
Evidently they were holding a council over the question of the wisdom of surrendering.Page 130
So we had to open up on the brave fellows with all our guns; but it didn't.