At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 52

we touched the pretty, level beach Ja leaped out and I followed him.
Together we dragged the skiff far up into the bushes that grew beyond
the sand.

"We must hide our canoes," explained Ja, "for the Mezops of Luana are
always at war with us and would steal them if they found them," he
nodded toward an island farther out at sea, and at so great a distance
that it seemed but a blur hanging in the distant sky. The upward curve
of the surface of Pellucidar was constantly revealing the impossible to
the surprised eyes of the outer-earthly. To see land and water curving
upward in the distance until it seemed to stand on edge where it melted
into the distant sky, and to feel that seas and mountains hung
suspended directly above one's head required such a complete reversal
of the perceptive and reasoning faculties as almost to stupefy one.

No sooner had we hidden the canoe than Ja plunged into the jungle,
presently emerging into a narrow but well-defined trail which wound
hither and thither much after the manner of the highways of all
primitive folk, but there was one peculiarity about this Mezop trail
which I was later to find distinguished them from all other trails that
I ever have seen within or without the earth.

It would run on, plain and clear and well defined to end suddenly in
the midst of a tangle of matted jungle, then Ja would turn directly
back in his tracks for a little distance, spring into a tree, climb
through it to the other side, drop onto a fallen log, leap over a low
bush and alight once more upon a distinct trail which he would follow
back for a short distance only to turn directly about and retrace his
steps until after a mile or less this new pathway ended as suddenly and
mysteriously as the former section. Then he would pass again across
some media which would reveal no spoor, to take up the broken thread of
the trail beyond.

As the purpose of this remarkable avenue dawned upon me I could not but
admire the native shrewdness of the ancient progenitor of the Mezops
who hit upon this novel plan to throw his enemies from his track and
delay or thwart them in their attempts to follow him to his deep-buried
cities.

To you of the outer earth it might seem a slow and tortuous method of
traveling through the jungle, but were you of Pellucidar you would
realize that time is no factor where time does not exist.

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Page 52
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