At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 42

high upon her head filled me with
alarm.

Presently a door in one side of the arena wall was opened to admit a
huge, shaggy, bull-like creature.

"A Bos," whispered Perry, excitedly. "His kind roamed the outer crust
with the cave bear and the mammoth ages and ages ago. We have been
carried back a million years, David, to the childhood of a planet--is
it not wondrous?"

But I saw only the raven hair of a half-naked girl, and my heart stood
still in dumb misery at the sight of her, nor had I any eyes for the
wonders of natural history. But for Perry and Ghak I should have
leaped to the floor of the arena and shared whatever fate lay in store
for this priceless treasure of the Stone Age.

With the advent of the Bos--they call the thing a thag within
Pellucidar--two spears were tossed into the arena at the feet of the
prisoners. It seemed to me that a bean shooter would have been as
effective against the mighty monster as these pitiful weapons.

As the animal approached the two, bellowing and pawing the ground with
the strength of many earthly bulls, another door directly beneath us
was opened, and from it issued the most terrific roar that ever had
fallen upon my outraged ears. I could not at first see the beast from
which emanated this fearsome challenge, but the sound had the effect of
bringing the two victims around with a sudden start, and then I saw the
girl's face--she was not Dian! I could have wept for relief.

And now, as the two stood frozen in terror, I saw the author of that
fearsome sound creeping stealthily into view. It was a huge
tiger--such as hunted the great Bos through the jungles primeval when
the world was young. In contour and markings it was not unlike the
noblest of the Bengals of our own world, but as its dimensions were
exaggerated to colossal proportions so too were its colorings
exaggerated. Its vivid yellows fairly screamed aloud; its whites were
as eider down; its blacks glossy as the finest anthracite coal, and its
coat long and shaggy as a mountain goat. That it is a beautiful animal
there is no gainsaying, but if its size and colors are magnified here
within Pellucidar, so is the ferocity of its disposition. It is not
the occasional member of its species that is a man hunter--all are man
hunters; but they do not confine their foraging to man alone, for there
is no

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