At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 4

witness a perfect orgy of prayer--if one may allude with such a
simile to so solemn an act.

But to my astonishment I discovered that with death staring him in the
face Abner Perry was transformed into a new being. From his lips there
flowed--not prayer--but a clear and limpid stream of undiluted
profanity, and it was all directed at that quietly stubborn piece of
unyielding mechanism.

"I should think, Perry," I chided, "that a man of your professed
religiousness would rather be at his prayers than cursing in the
presence of imminent death."

"Death!" he cried. "Death is it that appalls you? That is nothing by
comparison with the loss the world must suffer. Why, David within this
iron cylinder we have demonstrated possibilities that science has
scarce dreamed. We have harnessed a new principle, and with it
animated a piece of steel with the power of ten thousand men. That two
lives will be snuffed out is nothing to the world calamity that entombs
in the bowels of the earth the discoveries that I have made and proved
in the successful construction of the thing that is now carrying us
farther and farther toward the eternal central fires."

I am frank to admit that for myself I was much more concerned with our
own immediate future than with any problematic loss which the world
might be about to suffer. The world was at least ignorant of its
bereavement, while to me it was a real and terrible actuality.

"What can we do?" I asked, hiding my perturbation beneath the mask of a
low and level voice.

"We may stop here, and die of asphyxiation when our atmosphere tanks
are empty," replied Perry, "or we may continue on with the slight hope
that we may later sufficiently deflect the prospector from the vertical
to carry us along the arc of a great circle which must eventually
return us to the surface. If we succeed in so doing before we reach
the higher internal temperature we may even yet survive. There would
seem to me to be about one chance in several million that we shall
succeed--otherwise we shall die more quickly but no more surely than as
though we sat supinely waiting for the torture of a slow and horrible

I glanced at the thermometer. It registered 110 degrees. While we
were talking the mighty iron mole had bored its way over a mile into
the rock of the earth's crust.

"Let us continue on, then," I replied. "It should soon be over at

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Return of Tarzan

Page 14
To you," he continued, turning to Rokoff, "and this includes your accomplice, I may say that from now on to the end of the voyage I shall take it upon myself to keep an eye on you, and should there chance to come to my notice any act of either one of you that might even remotely annoy this young woman you shall be called to account for it directly to me, nor shall the calling or the accounting be pleasant experiences for either of you.
Page 41
I have cast a stigma on the name of a good woman.
Page 44
Page 45
At a signal from Monsieur Flaubert they were to walk in opposite directions, their pistols hanging by their sides.
Page 48
I cannot imagine a man better fitted than you, my dear Monsieur Tarzan, for this very position.
Page 63
"We might have had them all if the seven of us had stopped to meet them.
Page 75
It had stopped bleeding, but the dried and clotted blood smeared his face and clothing.
Page 77
His kind? He had almost forgotten that he was a man and not an ape.
Page 80
From the signs, though, I rather think that his prey escaped him.
Page 90
Professor Archimedes Q.
Page 107
A mighty shudder ran through the frail craft; she lay far over to starboard; the engines stopped.
Page 108
Then she looked for the other boats, but as far as the eye could reach there was nothing to break the fearful monotony of that waste of waters--they were alone in a small boat upon the broad Atlantic.
Page 109
To assure himself that he still had them he slipped his hand in to feel, but to his consternation they were gone.
Page 125
With a vicious lunge the elephant swerved to the right to dispose of this temerarious foeman who dared intervene between himself and his intended victim; but he had not reckoned on the lightning quickness that could galvanize those steel muscles into action so marvelously swift as to baffle even a keener eyesight than Tantor's.
Page 127
Will you wait, Waziri?" "Yes," said the old chief.
Page 143
" She had hoped before she voiced her sentiments that it would not be necessary for her to enter into the transaction at all, for she believed that Clayton was amply able to cope with every emergency, but she had to admit that so far at least he had shown no greater promise of successfully handling the situation than any of the others, though he had at least refrained from adding in any way to the unpleasantness, even going so far as to give up the tin to the sailors when they objected to its being opened by him.
Page 154
"Let us have a look at what lies behind those ruined walls.
Page 183
Page 195
Day and night Tarzan of the Apes raced through the primeval forest toward the ruined city in which he was positive the woman he loved lay either a prisoner or dead.
Page 196
Would he be in time to rescue? He hoped against hope.