witness a perfect orgy of prayer--if one may allude with such a
simile to so solemn an act.
But to my astonishment I discovered that with death staring him in the
face Abner Perry was transformed into a new being. From his lips there
flowed--not prayer--but a clear and limpid stream of undiluted
profanity, and it was all directed at that quietly stubborn piece of
"I should think, Perry," I chided, "that a man of your professed
religiousness would rather be at his prayers than cursing in the
presence of imminent death."
"Death!" he cried. "Death is it that appalls you? That is nothing by
comparison with the loss the world must suffer. Why, David within this
iron cylinder we have demonstrated possibilities that science has
scarce dreamed. We have harnessed a new principle, and with it
animated a piece of steel with the power of ten thousand men. That two
lives will be snuffed out is nothing to the world calamity that entombs
in the bowels of the earth the discoveries that I have made and proved
in the successful construction of the thing that is now carrying us
farther and farther toward the eternal central fires."
I am frank to admit that for myself I was much more concerned with our
own immediate future than with any problematic loss which the world
might be about to suffer. The world was at least ignorant of its
bereavement, while to me it was a real and terrible actuality.
"What can we do?" I asked, hiding my perturbation beneath the mask of a
low and level voice.
"We may stop here, and die of asphyxiation when our atmosphere tanks
are empty," replied Perry, "or we may continue on with the slight hope
that we may later sufficiently deflect the prospector from the vertical
to carry us along the arc of a great circle which must eventually
return us to the surface. If we succeed in so doing before we reach
the higher internal temperature we may even yet survive. There would
seem to me to be about one chance in several million that we shall
succeed--otherwise we shall die more quickly but no more surely than as
though we sat supinely waiting for the torture of a slow and horrible
I glanced at the thermometer. It registered 110 degrees. While we
were talking the mighty iron mole had bored its way over a mile into
the rock of the earth's crust.
"Let us continue on, then," I replied. "It should soon be over at
The grass was as close-cropped and carpet-like as some old English lawn and the trees themselves showed evidence of careful pruning to a uniform height of about fifteen feet from the ground,.Page 11
I was very much engaged with a ferocious fellow who was endeavouring to reach my throat from in front, while two more, one on either side, were lashing viciously at me with their tails.Page 17
which he had reached with such infinite labour, and as I flung the last of my immediate antagonists from me the great Thark leaped to my side, and again we fought, back to back, as we had done a hundred times before.Page 23
And she lives yet?" "She lives, John Carter.Page 33
Then I sought feverishly for the secret of the revolving panel, but my search was fruitless, and I was about to raise my longsword against the sullen gold when the young woman prisoner called out to me.Page 37
"Now and again some hapless pilgrim, drifting out upon the silent sea from the cold Iss, escapes the plant men and the great white apes that guard the Temple of Issus and falls into the remorseless clutches of the therns; or, as was my misfortune, is coveted by the Holy Thern who chances to be upon watch in the balcony above the river where it issues from the bowels of the mountains through the cliffs of gold to empty into the Lost Sea of Korus.Page 49
Almost immediately flashes of light broke from these strange objects.Page 85
"Of course; who would dare doubt?" "I doubt; yes, and further, I deny," I said.Page 88
"The whole fabric of our religion is based on superstitious belief in lies that have been foisted upon us for ages by those directly above us, to whose personal profit and aggrandizement it was to have us continue to believe as they wished us to believe.Page 109
I will tell you why when we have more time.Page 114
To me there always seems a way to gain the opposite side of an obstacle.Page 128
It came from a torch in the hand of one of a party of four green warriors, who were coming rapidly down the corridor toward me.Page 137
He did not ask me where I had been.Page 138
"As a last resort, Mors Kajak, her father, and Tardos Mors, her grandfather, took command of two mighty expeditions, and a month ago sailed away to explore every inch of ground in the northern hemisphere of Barsoom.Page 140
Carthoris and I were wrapped in the gloomiest of thoughts.Page 144
Judges, your duty lies plain before you--here can be no testimony in contravention of truth.Page 159
"You have been very kind to me during my imprisonment here," I said to him, "and as I feel that I have at best but a very short time to live, I wish, ere it is too late, to furnish substantial testimony of my appreciation of all that you have done to render my imprisonment bearable.Page 167
At Hastor we found all in readiness, and so perfectly had Kantos Kan planned every detail of the campaign that within ten minutes of our arrival the first of the fleet had soared aloft from its dock, and thereafter, at the rate of one a second, the great ships floated gracefully out into the night to form a long, thin line which stretched for miles toward the south.Page 168
Here at the bottom of a dying world was the only naturally productive area upon its surface.Page 189
"There will be no more food--except each other.