At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 49

the fellow. He was indeed a brother-man, and that he
might have killed me with pleasure had he caught me was forgotten in
the extremity of his danger.

Unconsciously I had ceased paddling as the serpent rose to engage my
pursuer, so now the skiff still drifted close beside the two. The
monster seemed to be but playing with his victim before he closed his
awful jaws upon him and dragged him down to his dark den beneath the
surface to devour him. The huge, snakelike body coiled and uncoiled
about its prey. The hideous, gaping jaws snapped in the victim's face.
The forked tongue, lightning-like, ran in and out upon the copper skin.

Nobly the giant battled for his life, beating with his stone hatchet
against the bony armor that covered that frightful carcass; but for all
the damage he inflicted he might as well have struck with his open palm.

At last I could endure no longer to sit supinely by while a fellowman
was dragged down to a horrible death by that repulsive reptile.
Embedded in the prow of the skiff lay the spear that had been cast
after me by him whom I suddenly desired to save. With a wrench I tore
it loose, and standing upright in the wobbly log drove it with all the
strength of my two arms straight into the gaping jaws of the

With a loud hiss the creature abandoned its prey to turn upon me, but
the spear, imbedded in its throat, prevented it from seizing me though
it came near to overturning the skiff in its mad efforts to reach me.



The aborigine, apparently uninjured, climbed quickly into the skiff,
and seizing the spear with me helped to hold off the infuriated
creature. Blood from the wounded reptile was now crimsoning the waters
about us and soon from the weakening struggles it became evident that I
had inflicted a death wound upon it. Presently its efforts to reach us
ceased entirely, and with a few convulsive movements it turned upon its
back quite dead.

And then there came to me a sudden realization of the predicament in
which I had placed myself. I was entirely within the power of the
savage man whose skiff I had stolen. Still clinging to the spear I
looked into his face to find him scrutinizing me intently, and there we
stood for some several minutes, each clinging tenaciously to the weapon
the while we gazed in stupid wonderment at each other.

What was in his mind I

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Monster Men

Page 5
The precise point of destination was still undecided--the plan being to search out a suitable location upon one of the many little islets which dot the western shore of the Macassar Strait.
Page 8
Why not man it herself? Von Horn had explained its mechanism to her in detail, and on one occasion had allowed her to operate it on the voyage from Singapore.
Page 11
mate, Bududreen, came on deck, and it was Sing alone who noted the quickly concealed flash of recognition which passed between the two Malays.
Page 32
The girl's own questioning gave him the lead he needed.
Page 36
"You are getting along nicely, Jack," he said kindly, looking over the other's shoulder and using the name which had been adopted at his suggestion to lend a more human tone to their relations with the nameless man.
Page 38
" "Why did he ever bring me into the world?" exclaimed the young man suddenly.
Page 52
A glance within showed him Sing and Number Thirteen bending over the body of Professor Maxon.
Page 67
Virginia Maxon sent back an answering smile--a smile that filled the young giant's heart with pride and happiness--such a smile as brave men have been content to fight and die for since woman first learned the art of smiling.
Page 76
For several minutes that long, hollowed log was a veritable floating hell of savage, screaming men locked in deadly battle.
Page 86
Von Horn had been careful to see that the boat was furnished with a mast and sail, and now, under a good breeze the party was making excellent time toward the mysterious land of their destination.
Page 87
Here they found the dead bodies of the four monsters who had fallen in an attempt to rescue their creator's daughter, though little did any there imagine the real truth.
Page 96
Just in front of the trio was another bull bearing in his arms the unconscious form of Virginia Maxon who had fainted at the first response to her cry for help.
Page 97
He had been torn and chewed by the bull with which he had fought, and though he had finally overcome and killed the beast, a female which he had pursued had eluded him.
Page 103
Here he quenched his thirst and bathed his wounds, and as darkness came he lay down to sleep upon a bed of matted grasses.
Page 113
She was appalled.
Page 115
She wondered how long it would be ere the creature beneath her would add his share to the grim trophies of the hunt.
Page 120
He desired her respect, and that fact helped him to his final decision, but the thing that decided him was born of the truly chivalrous nature he possessed--he wanted Virginia Maxon to be happy; it mattered not at what cost to him.
Page 122
At last abused Nature succumbed to the terrific strain that had been put upon her, and the giant constitution of the man went down before the cold and the wet, weakened and impoverished by loss of sleep and insufficient food; for through the last two days he had been able to find but little, and that little he had given to the girl, telling her that he had eaten his fill while he gathered hers.
Page 129
"I do not know what to make of all that Sing has told us," he said.
Page 132
to push on at once in pursuit; and as Professor Maxon feared again to remain unprotected in the heart of the Bornean wilderness his entire party was taken aboard the cutter.