At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 91

turning of the canyons and gullies, for I did not come to
the land of Sari then, nor for a long time thereafter.



XIV

THE GARDEN OF EDEN


WITH NO HEAVENLY GUIDE, IT IS LITTLE WONDER that I became confused and
lost in the labyrinthine maze of those mighty hills. What, in reality,
I did was to pass entirely through them and come out above the valley
upon the farther side. I know that I wandered for a long time, until
tired and hungry I came upon a small cave in the face of the limestone
formation which had taken the place of the granite farther back.

The cave which took my fancy lay halfway up the precipitous side of a
lofty cliff. The way to it was such that I knew no extremely
formidable beast could frequent it, nor was it large enough to make a
comfortable habitat for any but the smaller mammals or reptiles. Yet
it was with the utmost caution that I crawled within its dark interior.

Here I found a rather large chamber, lighted by a narrow cleft in the
rock above which let the sunlight filter in in sufficient quantities
partially to dispel the utter darkness which I had expected. The cave
was entirely empty, nor were there any signs of its having been
recently occupied. The opening was comparatively small, so that after
considerable effort I was able to lug up a bowlder from the valley
below which entirely blocked it.

Then I returned again to the valley for an armful of grasses and on
this trip was fortunate enough to knock over an orthopi, the diminutive
horse of Pellucidar, a little animal about the size of a fox terrier,
which abounds in all parts of the inner world. Thus, with food and
bedding I returned to my lair, where after a meal of raw meat, to which
I had now become quite accustomed, I dragged the bowlder before the
entrance and curled myself upon a bed of grasses--a naked, primeval,
cave man, as savagely primitive as my prehistoric progenitors.

I awoke rested but hungry, and pushing the bowlder aside crawled out
upon the little rocky shelf which was my front porch. Before me spread
a small but beautiful valley, through the center of which a clear and
sparkling river wound its way down to an inland sea, the blue waters of
which were just visible between the two mountain ranges which embraced
this little paradise. The sides of the opposite hills were green with
verdure, for a great forest

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