At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 82

there flash through my mind the thought that countless
generations of my own kind yet unborn would have reason to worship me
for the thing that I had accomplished for them? I did not. I thought
of a beautiful oval face, gazing out of limpid eyes, through a waving
mass of jet-black hair. I thought of red, red lips, God-made for
kissing. And of a sudden, apropos of nothing, standing there alone in
the secret chamber of the Mahars of Pellucidar, I realized that I loved
Dian the Beautiful.



XII

PURSUIT


FOR AN INSTANT I STOOD THERE THINKING OF HER, and then, with a sigh, I
tucked the book in the thong that supported my loin cloth, and turned
to leave the apartment. At the bottom of the corridor which leads
aloft from the lower chambers I whistled in accordance with the
prearranged signal which was to announce to Perry and Ghak that I had
been successful. A moment later they stood beside me, and to my
surprise I saw that Hooja the Sly One accompanied them.

"He joined us," explained Perry, "and would not be denied. The fellow
is a fox. He scents escape, and rather than be thwarted of our chance
now I told him that I would bring him to you, and let you decide
whether he might accompany us."

I had no love for Hooja, and no confidence in him. I was sure that if
he thought it would profit him he would betray us; but I saw no way out
of it now, and the fact that I had killed four Mahars instead of only
the three I had expected to, made it possible to include the fellow in
our scheme of escape.

"Very well," I said, "you may come with us, Hooja; but at the first
intimation of treachery I shall run my sword through you. Do you
understand?"

He said that he did.

Some time later we had removed the skins from the four Mahars, and so
succeeded in crawling inside of them ourselves that there seemed an
excellent chance for us to pass unnoticed from Phutra. It was not an
easy thing to fasten the hides together where we had split them along
the belly to remove them from their carcasses, but by remaining out
until the others had all been sewed in with my help, and then leaving
an aperture in the breast of Perry's skin through which he could pass
his hands to sew me up, we were enabled to accomplish our design to
really much better

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