At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 39

the darkness of ignorance
into the light of advancement and civilization. At one step we may
carry them from the Age of Stone to the twentieth century. It's
marvelous--absolutely marvelous just to think about it."

"David," said the old man, "I believe that God sent us here for just
that purpose--it shall be my life work to teach them His word--to lead
them into the light of His mercy while we are training their hearts and
hands in the ways of culture and civilization."

"You are right, Perry," I said, "and while you are teaching them to
pray I'll be teaching them to fight, and between us we'll make a race
of men that will be an honor to us both."

Ghak had entered the apartment some time before we concluded our
conversation, and now he wanted to know what we were so excited about.
Perry thought we had best not tell him too much, and so I only
explained that I had a plan for escape. When I had outlined it to him,
he seemed about as horror-struck as Perry had been; but for a different
reason. The Hairy One only considered the horrible fate that would be
ours were we discovered; but at last I prevailed upon him to accept my
plan as the only feasible one, and when I had assured him that I would
take all the responsibility for it were we captured, he accorded a
reluctant assent.



VI

THE BEGINNING OF HORROR


WITHIN PELLUCIDAR ONE TIME IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER. There were no nights
to mask our attempted escape. All must be done in broad daylight--all
but the work I had to do in the apartment beneath the building. So we
determined to put our plan to an immediate test lest the Mahars who
made it possible should awake before I reached them; but we were doomed
to disappointment, for no sooner had we reached the main floor of the
building on our way to the pits beneath, than we encountered hurrying
bands of slaves being hastened under strong Sagoth guard out of the
edifice to the avenue beyond.

Other Sagoths were darting hither and thither in search of other
slaves, and the moment that we appeared we were pounced upon and
hustled into the line of marching humans.

What the purpose or nature of the general exodus we did not know, but
presently through the line of captives ran the rumor that two escaped
slaves had been recaptured--a man and a woman--and that we were
marching to witness their punishment, for the man had

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