At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 98

been seven feet tall, and proportioned
accordingly. He still was too far off to distinguish his features.

"Run," I said to Dian. "I can engage him until you get a good start.
Maybe I can hold him until you have gotten entirely away," and then,
without a backward glance, I advanced to meet the Ugly One. I had
hoped that Dian would have a kind word to say to me before she went,
for she must have known that I was going to my death for her sake; but
she never even so much as bid me good-bye, and it was with a heavy
heart that I strode through the flower-bespangled grass to my doom.

When I had come close enough to Jubal to distinguish his features I
understood how it was that he had earned the sobriquet of Ugly One.
Apparently some fearful beast had ripped away one entire side of his
face. The eye was gone, the nose, and all the flesh, so that his jaws
and all his teeth were exposed and grinning through the horrible scar.

Formerly he may have been as good to look upon as the others of his
handsome race, and it may be that the terrible result of this encounter
had tended to sour an already strong and brutal character. However
this may be it is quite certain that he was not a pretty sight, and now
that his features, or what remained of them, were distorted in rage at
the sight of Dian with another male, he was indeed most terrible to
see--and much more terrible to meet.

He had broken into a run now, and as he advanced he raised his mighty
spear, while I halted and fitting an arrow to my bow took as steady aim
as I could. I was somewhat longer than usual, for I must confess that
the sight of this awful man had wrought upon my nerves to such an
extent that my knees were anything but steady. What chance had I
against this mighty warrior for whom even the fiercest cave bear had no
terrors! Could I hope to best one who slaughtered the sadok and dyryth
singlehanded! I shuddered; but, in fairness to myself, my fear was
more for Dian than for my own fate.

And then the great brute launched his massive stone-tipped spear, and I
raised my shield to break the force of its terrific velocity. The
impact hurled me to my knees, but the shield had deflected the missile
and I was unscathed.

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