At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 41

of huge Sagoths, the largest I ever had seen, and
on either side of her waddled a huge thipdar, while behind came another
score of Sagoth guardsmen.

At the barrier the Sagoths clambered up the steep side with truly
apelike agility, while behind them the haughty queen rose upon her
wings with her two frightful dragons close beside her, and settled down
upon the largest bowlder of them all in the exact center of that side
of the amphitheater which is reserved for the dominant race. Here she
squatted, a most repulsive and uninteresting queen; though doubtless
quite as well assured of her beauty and divine right to rule as the
proudest monarch of the outer world.

And then the music started--music without sound! The Mahars cannot
hear, so the drums and fifes and horns of earthly bands are unknown
among them. The "band" consists of a score or more Mahars. It filed
out in the center of the arena where the creatures upon the rocks might
see it, and there it performed for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Their technic consisted in waving their tails and moving their heads in
a regular succession of measured movements resulting in a cadence which
evidently pleased the eye of the Mahar as the cadence of our own
instrumental music pleases our ears. Sometimes the band took measured
steps in unison to one side or the other, or backward and again
forward--it all seemed very silly and meaningless to me, but at the end
of the first piece the Mahars upon the rocks showed the first
indications of enthusiasm that I had seen displayed by the dominant
race of Pellucidar. They beat their great wings up and down, and smote
their rocky perches with their mighty tails until the ground shook.
Then the band started another piece, and all was again as silent as the
grave. That was one great beauty about Mahar music--if you didn't
happen to like a piece that was being played all you had to do was shut
your eyes.

When the band had exhausted its repertory it took wing and settled upon
the rocks above and behind the queen. Then the business of the day was
on. A man and woman were pushed into the arena by a couple of Sagoth
guardsmen. I leaned forward in my seat to scrutinize the
female--hoping against hope that she might prove to be another than
Dian the Beautiful. Her back was toward me for a while, and the sight
of the great mass of raven hair piled

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