At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 78

looked about for some means
of escape from my bonds. Upon the floor between me and the Mahars lay
a tiny surgical instrument which one of them must have dropped. It
looked not unlike a button-hook, but was much smaller, and its point
was sharpened. A hundred times in my boyhood days had I picked locks
with a buttonhook. Could I but reach that little bit of polished steel
I might yet effect at least a temporary escape.

Crawling to the limit of my chain, I found that by reaching one hand as
far out as I could my fingers still fell an inch short of the coveted
instrument. It was tantalizing! Stretch every fiber of my being as I
would, I could not quite make it.

At last I turned about and extended one foot toward the object. My
heart came to my throat! I could just touch the thing! But suppose
that in my effort to drag it toward me I should accidentally shove it
still farther away and thus entirely out of reach! Cold sweat broke
out upon me from every pore. Slowly and cautiously I made the effort.
My toes dropped upon the cold metal. Gradually I worked it toward me
until I felt that it was within reach of my hand and a moment later I
had turned about and the precious thing was in my grasp.

Assiduously I fell to work upon the Mahar lock that held my chain. It
was pitifully simple. A child might have picked it, and a moment later
I was free. The Mahars were now evidently completing their work at the
table. One already turned away and was examining other victims,
evidently with the intention of selecting the next subject.

Those at the table had their backs toward me. But for the creature
walking toward us I might have escaped that moment. Slowly the thing
approached me, when its attention was attracted by a huge slave chained
a few yards to my right. Here the reptile stopped and commenced to go
over the poor devil carefully, and as it did so its back turned toward
me for an instant, and in that instant I gave two mighty leaps that
carried me out of the chamber into the corridor beyond, down which I
raced with all the speed I could command.

Where I was, or whither I was going, I knew not. My only thought was
to place as much distance as possible

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Warlord of Mars

Page 2
Hor Vastus and Kantos Kan, with my other noble lieutenants, I left with Carthoris at Helium, that he might have the benefit of their wisdom, bravery, and loyalty in the performance of the arduous duties which had devolved upon him.
Page 4
The farther moon lay close to the horizon, casting a dense shadow beneath the cliffs that fringed the water.
Page 6
As they advanced I moved.
Page 15
It was worth trying anyway, for a fight might delay us considerably, or even put an end entirely to my search--better men than I have gone down before fighters of meaner ability than that possessed by the fierce thern warriors.
Page 18
Consider, for example, what chance he will have, coming unexpectedly into the chamber of--" I would have given much to have heard the balance of that conversation that I might have been warned of the perils that lay ahead, but fate intervened, and just at the very instant of all other instants that I would not have elected to do it, I sneezed.
Page 21
I had been quite sure that they would not venture beyond the room in which I had discovered them, though I had not guessed at what deterred them.
Page 22
was still a baffling riddle.
Page 26
Then, of a sudden, one of them, a woman, held her arms out toward me, and even at that great distance I could see that her lips moved--it was Dejah Thoris, my ever beautiful and ever youthful Princess of Helium.
Page 40
Just as we entered it from one side a huge monster emerged from the jungle upon the other, and at sight of us charged madly in our direction.
Page 44
"I have seen no one--John Carter least of all.
Page 57
"He could not know it, for it is a lie.
Page 73
On parting he slipped upon my finger a curiously wrought ring set with a dead-black, lusterless stone, which appeared more like a bit of bituminous coal than the priceless Barsoomian gem which in reality it is.
Page 81
With a groan I turned away and buried my face in my arms.
Page 86
I had killed better men than Salensus Oll, and killed them with my bare hands, and now I swore to myself that I should kill him if I found that the only way to save the Princess of Helium.
Page 93
With renewed hope I bent my every energy to the deciphering of the balance of the message, and at last success rewarded my endeavor--I had read the four words: "Courage! Follow the rope.
Page 103
"Cut his chains," I cried to two of the red men, "while the balance of us hold off the foe.
Page 113
"Then fly, nobles of Okar!" he cried, "for naught can save you.
Page 116
Now I realized the cause of the rage that had been writ so large upon the features of Matai Shang and the cruel pleasure that I had seen upon the face of Phaidor.
Page 125
As one they came to a sudden stop, casting affrighted glances at me and at one another.
Page 127
Men of Okar, raise your swords to your new ruler--Talu, the rebel prince of Marentina!" And then a great cry of rejoicing.