At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 8

We knew that there was no hope, and yet
with the persistence of life itself we continued to hope against
practical certainty.

Already the air tanks were at low ebb--there was barely enough of the
precious gases to sustain us for another twelve hours. But would we be
alive to know or care? It seemed incredible.

At four hundred and twenty miles I took another reading.

"Perry!" I shouted. "Perry, man! She's going down! She's going down!
She's 152 degrees again."

"Gad!" he cried. "What can it mean? Can the earth be cold at the
center?"

"I do not know, Perry," I answered; "but thank God, if I am to die it
shall not be by fire--that is all that I have feared. I can face the
thought of any death but that."

Down, down went the mercury until it stood as low as it had seven miles
from the surface of the earth, and then of a sudden the realization
broke upon us that death was very near. Perry was the first to
discover it. I saw him fussing with the valves that regulate the air
supply. And at the same time I experienced difficulty in breathing.
My head felt dizzy--my limbs heavy.

I saw Perry crumple in his seat. He gave himself a shake and sat erect
again. Then he turned toward me.

"Good-bye, David," he said. "I guess this is the end," and then he
smiled and closed his eyes.

"Good-bye, Perry, and good luck to you," I answered, smiling back at
him. But I fought off that awful lethargy. I was very young--I did
not want to die.

For an hour I battled against the cruelly enveloping death that
surrounded me upon all sides. At first I found that by climbing high
into the framework above me I could find more of the precious
life-giving elements, and for a while these sustained me. It must have
been an hour after Perry had succumbed that I at last came to the
realization that I could no longer carry on this unequal struggle
against the inevitable.

With my last flickering ray of consciousness I turned mechanically
toward the distance meter. It stood at exactly five hundred miles from
the earth's surface--and then of a sudden the huge thing that bore us
came to a stop. The rattle of hurtling rock through the hollow jacket
ceased. The wild racing of the giant drill betokened that it was
running loose in AIR--and then another truth flashed upon me.

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Warlord of Mars

Page 10
Thurid and the therns could not have come this way.
Page 11
The sorapus nutshell had proved a false prophet, and, after all, my intuition had been correct--it was the left-hand channel that I should have followed.
Page 38
From books and travelers I had learned something of the little-known land of Kaol, which lies along the equator almost halfway round the planet to the east of Helium.
Page 39
The repulsive calot tree was, too, much in evidence.
Page 44
I have eyes and ears and ordinary intelligence, and yesterday morning I saw the party that came to the city of Kaol from the north in a small flier.
Page 45
And smooth! Polished glass could not be more so.
Page 51
These brutes are huge mastodonian animals that tower to an immense height even beside the giant green men and their giant thoats; but when compared to the relatively small red man and his breed of thoats they assume Brobdingnagian proportions that are truly appalling.
Page 53
"Come!" NEW ALLIES Surrounded by guardsmen I marched back along the corridors of the palace of Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol, to the great audience chamber in the center of the massive structure.
Page 61
Thus it was that I went more slowly as we approached the barrier, for it was my.
Page 67
I told him that what lay beyond the eighth cave I could not even guess; but I was sure that somewhere upon the other side of the ice-barrier his mother lay in the power of Matai Shang, and that possibly his grandfather and great-grandfather as well, if they lived.
Page 78
The guards who watch the women remain in the corridor outside the sleeping chamber, while female slaves pace back and forth among the sleepers within, ready to notify the warriors should their presence be required.
Page 82
"They have put their hands over their ears and walked to the farther end of the garden.
Page 99
What was I to do? Which way should I turn? I was nonplused.
Page 102
I could hear the yellow warriors leaping along the flagging just beyond the door.
Page 118
In the darkness I could not see what held it, but by groping with my hands I discovered that it was wedged beneath the bottom of a closed door.
Page 120
Suddenly a raised dagger gleamed in the upflung hand of the black.
Page 123
THE NEW RULER The flier upon whose deck Dejah Thoris and I found ourselves after twelve long years of separation proved entirely useless.
Page 124
Presently we came to the chamber of Solan.
Page 129
Could it be possible that the strict sense of justice which dominates the men of Mars had caused them to overlook the great good that had come out of my heresy? Could they ignore the fact that to me, and me alone, was due the rescue of Carthoris, of Dejah Thoris, of Mors Kajak, of Tardos Mors? I could not believe it, and yet for what other purpose could I have been summoned to the Temple of Reward immediately upon the return of Tardos Mors to his throne? My first surprise as I entered the temple and approached the Throne of Righteousness was to note the men who sat there.
Page 131
as a brother.