At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 108

come. If you happen not to have
heard of the Darel Az, or the white cliffs, or the Mountains of the
Clouds you feel that there is something lacking, and long for the good
old understandable northeast and southwest of the outer world.

We had barely entered the great plain when we discovered two enormous
animals approaching us from a great distance. So far were they that we
could not distinguish what manner of beasts they might be, but as they
came closer, I saw that they were enormous quadrupeds, eighty or a
hundred feet long, with tiny heads perched at the top of very long
necks. Their heads must have been quite forty feet from the ground.
The beasts moved very slowly--that is their action was slow--but their
strides covered such a great distance that in reality they traveled
considerably faster than a man walks.

As they drew still nearer we discovered that upon the back of each sat
a human being. Then Dian knew what they were, though she never before
had seen one.

"They are lidis from the land of the Thorians," she cried. "Thoria
lies at the outer verge of the Land of Awful Shadow. The Thorians
alone of all the races of Pellucidar ride the lidi, for nowhere else
than beside the dark country are they found."

"What is the Land of Awful Shadow?" I asked.

"It is the land which lies beneath the Dead World," replied Dian; "the
Dead World which hangs forever between the sun and Pellucidar above the
Land of Awful Shadow. It is the Dead World which makes the great
shadow upon this portion of Pellucidar."

I did not fully understand what she meant, nor am I sure that I do yet,
for I have never been to that part of Pellucidar from which the Dead
World is visible; but Perry says that it is the moon of Pellucidar--a
tiny planet within a planet--and that it revolves around the earth's
axis coincidently with the earth, and thus is always above the same
spot within Pellucidar.

I remember that Perry was very much excited when I told him about this
Dead World, for he seemed to think that it explained the hitherto
inexplicable phenomena of nutation and the precession of the equinoxes.

When the two upon the lidis had come quite close to us we saw that one
was a man and the other a woman. The former had held up his two hands,
palms toward us, in sign of peace, and I had answered him in kind, when
he suddenly

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