At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 84

my sword so
that it made the dead head appear to turn inquiring eyes upon the
gorilla-man. For a long moment I stood perfectly still, eyeing the
fellow with those dead eyes. Then I lowered the head and started
slowly on. For a moment all hung in the balance, but before I touched
him the guard stepped to one side, and I passed on out into the avenue.

On we went up the broad street, but now we were safe for the very
numbers of our enemies that surrounded us on all sides. Fortunately,
there was a great concourse of Mahars repairing to the shallow lake
which lies a mile or more from the city. They go there to indulge
their amphibian proclivities in diving for small fish, and enjoying the
cool depths of the water. It is a fresh-water lake, shallow, and free
from the larger reptiles which make the use of the great seas of
Pellucidar impossible for any but their own kind.

In the thick of the crowd we passed up the steps and out onto the
plain. For some distance Ghak remained with the stream that was
traveling toward the lake, but finally, at the bottom of a little gully
he halted, and there we remained until all had passed and we were
alone. Then, still in our disguises, we set off directly away from
Phutra.

The heat of the vertical rays of the sun was fast making our horrible
prisons unbearable, so that after passing a low divide, and entering a
sheltering forest, we finally discarded the Mahar skins that had
brought us thus far in safety.

I shall not weary you with the details of that bitter and galling
flight. How we traveled at a dogged run until we dropped in our
tracks. How we were beset by strange and terrible beasts. How we
barely escaped the cruel fangs of lions and tigers the size of which
would dwarf into pitiful insignificance the greatest felines of the
outer world.

On and on we raced, our one thought to put as much distance between
ourselves and Phutra as possible. Ghak was leading us to his own
land--the land of Sari. No sign of pursuit had developed, and yet we
were sure that somewhere behind us relentless Sagoths were dogging our
tracks. Ghak said they never failed to hunt down their quarry until
they had captured it or themselves been turned back by a superior force.

Our only hope, he said, lay in reaching his tribe which was quite
strong

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