At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 35

subject of my thoughts, and when I slept
her dear face haunted my dreams. More than ever was I determined to
escape the Mahars.

"Perry," I confided to the old man, "if I have to search every inch of
this diminutive world I am going to find Dian the Beautiful and right
the wrong I unintentionally did her." That was the excuse I made for
Perry's benefit.

"Diminutive world!" he scoffed. "You don't know what you are talking
about, my boy," and then he showed me a map of Pellucidar which he had
recently discovered among the manuscript he was arranging.

"Look," he cried, pointing to it, "this is evidently water, and all
this land. Do you notice the general configuration of the two areas?
Where the oceans are upon the outer crust, is land here. These
relatively small areas of ocean follow the general lines of the
continents of the outer world.

"We know that the crust of the globe is 500 miles in thickness; then
the inside diameter of Pellucidar must be 7,000 miles, and the
superficial area 165,480,000 square miles. Three-fourths of this is
land. Think of it! A land area of 124,110,000 square miles! Our own
world contains but 53,000,000 square miles of land, the balance of its
surface being covered by water. Just as we often compare nations by
their relative land areas, so if we compare these two worlds in the
same way we have the strange anomaly of a larger world within a smaller
one!

"Where within vast Pellucidar would you search for your Dian? Without
stars, or moon, or changing sun how could you find her even though you
knew where she might be found?"

The proposition was a corker. It quite took my breath away; but I
found that it left me all the more determined to attempt it.

"If Ghak will accompany us we may be able to do it," I suggested.

Perry and I sought him out and put the question straight to him.

"Ghak," I said, "we are determined to escape from this bondage. Will
you accompany us?"

"They will set the thipdars upon us," he said, "and then we shall be
killed; but--" he hesitated--"I would take the chance if I thought that
I might possibly escape and return to my own people."

"Could you find your way back to your own land?" asked Perry. "And
could you aid David in his search for Dian?"

"Yes."

"But how," persisted Perry, "could you travel to strange country
without heavenly bodies or a compass to

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