down beneath the waters and
devour you! It is frightful.
But they did not come, and at last I came to the conclusion that I was
indeed alone within the temple. How long I should be alone was the
next question to assail me as I swam frantically about once more in
search of a means to escape.
Several times I called to Ja, but he must have left after I tumbled
into the tank, for I received no response to my cries. Doubtless he
had felt as certain of my doom when he saw me topple from our hiding
place as I had, and lest he too should be discovered, had hastened from
the temple and back to his village.
I knew that there must be some entrance to the building beside the
doorways in the roof, for it did not seem reasonable to believe that
the thousands of slaves which were brought here to feed the Mahars the
human flesh they craved would all be carried through the air, and so I
continued my search until at last it was rewarded by the discovery of
several loose granite blocks in the masonry at one end of the temple.
A little effort proved sufficient to dislodge enough of these stones to
permit me to crawl through into the clearing, and a moment later I had
scurried across the intervening space to the dense jungle beyond.
Here I sank panting and trembling upon the matted grasses beneath the
giant trees, for I felt that I had escaped from the grinning fangs of
death out of the depths of my own grave. Whatever dangers lay hidden
in this island jungle, there could be none so fearsome as those which I
had just escaped. I knew that I could meet death bravely enough if it
but came in the form of some familiar beast or man--anything other than
the hideous and uncanny Mahars.
THE FACE OF DEATH
I must have fallen asleep from exhaustion. When I awoke I was very
hungry, and after busying myself searching for fruit for a while, I set
off through the jungle to find the beach. I knew that the island was
not so large but that I could easily find the sea if I did but move in
a straight line, but there came the difficulty as there was no way in
which I could direct my course and hold it, the sun, of course, being
always directly above my head, and the trees so thickly set that I
could see no distant object
Ibex and musk-sheep fell before my good old revolver, so that I lacked not for food in the higher altitudes.Page 12
had entirely forgotten the rifle in my hand and the revolvers at my belt; one does not readily synchronize his thoughts with the stone age and the twentieth century simultaneously.Page 17
It didn't stop him, though.Page 27
She should have had considerable draft; but, as the enemy couldn't have seen it, Perry decided to do away with it, and so made her flat-bottomed.Page 31
When the prow of the first craft touched the side of the Sari it contained only dead and dying men.Page 37
How long I waited for their decision I do not know, but it must.Page 42
I could never think of them as aught but cold-blooded, brainless reptiles, though Perry had devoted much time in explaining to me that owing to a strange freak of evolution among all the genera of the inner world, this species of the reptilia had advanced to a position quite analogous to that which man holds upon the outer crust.Page 46
I did not dare rebel because of the consequences to Dian.Page 47
"The mighty Mahars," he said, "are unable to reconcile your statement that the document is lost with your action in sending it to them by a special messenger.Page 59
Evidently the newcomers.Page 78
Well within this forest my escort halted.Page 80
hide them from my view; but so keen was the excitement of the instant that I could not refrain from crawling forward to a point whence I could watch the dashing of the small craft to pieces on the jagged rocks that loomed before her, although I risked discovery from above to accomplish my design.Page 82
Dacor's sister made a hole in the wall between the cave where I lay bound and that in which she had been confined, and soon she was by my side and had cut my bonds.Page 87
But they noticed him first and immediately charged him, for one of them had been his guard, and they had both been sent to search for him, his escape having been discovered between the time he left the cave and the time when I reached it.Page 89
Juag was shouting up to us from below.Page 95
At Juag's suggestion we dug a hole in the sand at the upper edge of the beach and buried the craft, smoothing the surface over nicely and throwing aside the excess material we had excavated.Page 98
As I approached him I saw that something was wrong in this quarter as well, for the islander was standing upon the carcass of the thag, his javelin poised for a throw.Page 104
Indeed, our eyes may have been the first ever to rest upon them.Page 113
Hooja's fleet had been in much more compact formation when we sighted them this time than on the occasion following the tempest.Page 119
It was a great occasion.