At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 90

I soon was past the mouth of the cave,
where I no longer could see those fearful flaming eyes, but an instant
later I caught sight of the fiendish face of a Sagoth as it warily
advanced beyond the cliff's turn on the far side of the cave's mouth.
As the fellow saw me he leaped along the ledge in pursuit, and after
him came as many of his companions as could crowd upon each other's
heels. At the same time the beast emerged from the cave, so that he
and the Sagoths came face to face upon that narrow ledge.

The thing was an enormous cave bear, rearing its colossal bulk fully
eight feet at the shoulder, while from the tip of its nose to the end
of its stubby tail it was fully twelve feet in length. As it sighted
the Sagoths it emitted a most frightful roar, and with open mouth
charged full upon them. With a cry of terror the foremost gorilla-man
turned to escape, but behind him he ran full upon his on-rushing
companions.

The horror of the following seconds is indescribable. The Sagoth
nearest the cave bear, finding his escape blocked, turned and leaped
deliberately to an awful death upon the jagged rocks three hundred feet
below. Then those giant jaws reached out and gathered in the
next--there was a sickening sound of crushing bones, and the mangled
corpse was dropped over the cliff's edge. Nor did the mighty beast
even pause in his steady advance along the ledge.

Shrieking Sagoths were now leaping madly over the precipice to escape
him, and the last I saw he rounded the turn still pursuing the
demoralized remnant of the man hunters. For a long time I could hear
the horrid roaring of the brute intermingled with the screams and
shrieks of his victims, until finally the awful sounds dwindled and
disappeared in the distance.

Later I learned from Ghak, who had finally come to his tribesmen and
returned with a party to rescue me, that the ryth, as it is called,
pursued the Sagoths until it had exterminated the entire band. Ghak
was, of course, positive that I had fallen prey to the terrible
creature, which, within Pellucidar, is truly the king of beasts.

Not caring to venture back into the canyon, where I might fall prey
either to the cave bear or the Sagoths I continued on along the ledge,
believing that by following around the mountain I could reach the land
of Sari from another direction. But I evidently became confused

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