At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 50

do not know, but in my own was merely the
question as to how soon the fellow would recommence hostilities.

Presently he spoke to me, but in a tongue which I was unable to
translate. I shook my head in an effort to indicate my ignorance of
his language, at the same time addressing him in the bastard tongue
that the Sagoths use to converse with the human slaves of the Mahars.

To my delight he understood and answered me in the same jargon.

"What do you want of my spear?" he asked.

"Only to keep you from running it through me," I replied.

"I would not do that," he said, "for you have just saved my life," and
with that he released his hold upon it and squatted down in the bottom
of the skiff.

"Who are you," he continued, "and from what country do you come?"

I too sat down, laying the spear between us, and tried to explain how I
came to Pellucidar, and wherefrom, but it was as impossible for him to
grasp or believe the strange tale I told him as I fear it is for you
upon the outer crust to believe in the existence of the inner world.
To him it seemed quite ridiculous to imagine that there was another
world far beneath his feet peopled by beings similar to himself, and he
laughed uproariously the more he thought upon it. But it was ever
thus. That which has never come within the scope of our really
pitifully meager world-experience cannot be--our finite minds cannot
grasp that which may not exist in accordance with the conditions which
obtain about us upon the outside of the insignificant grain of dust
which wends its tiny way among the bowlders of the universe--the speck
of moist dirt we so proudly call the World.

So I gave it up and asked him about himself. He said he was a Mezop,
and that his name was Ja.

"Who are the Mezops?" I asked. "Where do they live?"

He looked at me in surprise.

"I might indeed believe that you were from another world," he said,
"for who of Pellucidar could be so ignorant! The Mezops live upon the
islands of the seas. In so far as I ever have heard no Mezop lives
elsewhere, and no others than Mezops dwell upon islands, but of course
it may be different in other far-distant lands. I do not know. At any
rate in this sea and those near by it is true that only people of

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