a few paces and then began to ascend a
primitive ladder similar to that which leads from the ground to the
upper stories of his house. We ascended for some forty feet when the
interior of the space between the walls commenced to grow lighter and
presently we came opposite an opening in the inner wall which gave us
an unobstructed view of the entire interior of the temple.
The lower floor was an enormous tank of clear water in which numerous
hideous Mahars swam lazily up and down. Artificial islands of granite
rock dotted this artificial sea, and upon several of them I saw men and
women like myself.
"What are the human beings doing here?" I asked.
"Wait and you shall see," replied Ja. "They are to take a leading part
in the ceremonies which will follow the advent of the queen. You may
be thankful that you are not upon the same side of the wall as they."
Scarcely had he spoken than we heard a great fluttering of wings above
and a moment later a long procession of the frightful reptiles of
Pellucidar winged slowly and majestically through the large central
opening in the roof and circled in stately manner about the temple.
There were several Mahars first, and then at least twenty awe-inspiring
pterodactyls--thipdars, they are called within Pellucidar. Behind
these came the queen, flanked by other thipdars as she had been when
she entered the amphitheater at Phutra.
Three times they wheeled about the interior of the oval chamber, to
settle finally upon the damp, cold bowlders that fringe the outer edge
of the pool. In the center of one side the largest rock was reserved
for the queen, and here she took her place surrounded by her terrible
All lay quiet for several minutes after settling to their places. One
might have imagined them in silent prayer. The poor slaves upon the
diminutive islands watched the horrid creatures with wide eyes. The
men, for the most part, stood erect and stately with folded arms,
awaiting their doom; but the women and children clung to one another,
hiding behind the males. They are a noble-looking race, these cave men
of Pellucidar, and if our progenitors were as they, the human race of
the outer crust has deteriorated rather than improved with the march of
the ages. All they lack is opportunity. We have opportunity, and
Now the queen moved. She raised her ugly head, looking about; then
very slowly she crawled to the edge of her
The Depths of Omean IX.Page 2
There is much which I have left out; much which I have not dared to tell; but you will find the story of his second search for Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, even.Page 8
Their way led directly towards the apparent source of the river at the base of the cliffs, and as I neared this point I found the meadow dotted with huge boulders that the ravages of time had evidently dislodged from the towering crags above.Page 10
Swift as I was I was none too soon, for the green warrior had been overtaken ere he had made half the distance to the forest, and now he stood with his back to a boulder, while the herd, temporarily balked, hissed and screeched about him.Page 19
The tree was hollow to an extent of about fifty feet in diameter, and from its flat, hard floor I judged that it had often been used to domicile others before our occupancy.Page 23
"There was but one conclusion to reach when all efforts to locate you had failed, and that, that you had taken the long, last pilgrimage down the mysterious River Iss, to await in the Valley Dor upon the shores of the Lost Sea of Korus the beautiful Dejah Thoris, your princess.Page 32
The fellow whose ruse had put me down was springing toward me, the point of.Page 58
Then things happened with such amazing rapidity that I can scarce comprehend even now all that took place in that brief instant.Page 62
"With the skin of a thern, the black hair of a First Born and the muscles of a dozen Dators it was no disgrace even for Xodar to acknowledge your supremacy.Page 73
The building which we now entered was entirely roofless.Page 89
The watchers upon the larger vessels see to all about them.Page 99
There tell your story to Matai Shang, my father.Page 101
"There is a drop here of about ten feet," he whispered.Page 120
" "You are not sure that he is dead, then?" I asked.Page 121
Once within the streets, I kept close in the dense shadows of the walls.Page 124
But I managed to run along the corridor in the direction I had been going in my pursuit of them far enough to be without the radius of their meagre light as they emerged from the cell.Page 148
Kantos Kan with the others who had sworn allegiance to me still stood upon the Throne of Righteousness with me.Page 163
We had decided to stake all on the chance that we would be able to reach the temple by the subterranean way and so we left no guard of vessels at the shaft's mouth.Page 193
When they carry her dear body from that terrible place a year hence let them find the body of her lord awaiting her.