Ĉe la koro de la tero

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 11

staris kun la kapo
klinita, en profunda pensado. Sed fine li ekparolis.

"David," li diris, "Mi ne estas tute certa, ke ni estas _sur_ la
Tero."

"Kion vi diras, Perry?" mi kriis. "Cxu eble ni mortis kaj eniris la
paradizon?"

Turnigxante kun rideto, li fingromontris la nazon de la borveturilo,
kiu elstaris el la tero malantaux ni.

"Sen tio, David, mi povus kredi, ke ni vere venis al la lando trans
la Stikso. Sed la borveturilo malpruvas tiun teorion--gxi certe ne
povus iri en la cxielon. Tamen, mi pretas allasi, ke ni vere atingis
alian mondon ol tiun de nia gxisnuna vivo. Se ni ne estas _sur_ la
Tero, ni ja povas kredi, ke ni estas _en_ gxi."

"Eble ni revenis tra la terkrusto kaj elvenis sur iun tropikan
insulon de la Antiloj," mi sugestis.

Perry denove skuis sian kapon.

"Ni scios pli poste, David," li respondis, "kaj intertempe, ni
esploru la marbordon--ni eble trovos indigxenon, kiu informos nin."

Dum ni marsxis laux la strando, Perry penseme rigardadis la akvon.
Estis evidente, ke li luktas kontraux grandega enigmo.

"David," li diris subite, "Cxu vi rimarkas ion strangan pri la
horizonto?"

Dum mi rigardis, mi ekkomprenis, kial la pejzagxo hantis min ek de la
unua vido per aludo de strangeco kaj nenatureco--_tute mankis
horizonto_! Tiel malproksimen kiel ni kapablis vidi, etendigxis la
maro, kaj el la akvo videbligxis etaj insuloj, el kiuj la
malproksimaj etis kiel makuletoj; sed cxiam fone de tiuj estis la
maro, tiel ke, lauxsxajne, ni rigardas _supren_ al la plej
malproksima per la okulo videbla punkto. Fine, cxio nebuligxis en la
foreco. Videbla estis neniu klara horizontala linio, kiu montris la
kurbigxon de la terglobo for de la vidlinio.

"Mi ekkomprenas gravan aferon," dauxrigis Perry, elposxigante sian
horlogxon. "Mi kredas, ke mi parte solvis la enigmon. Estas nun la
dua horo. Kiam ni eliris de la borveturilo, la suno estis rekte super
ni. Kaj kie gxi estas nun?"

Mi rigardis supren kaj trovis la brilegan sferon ankoraux en la sama
loko--en la centro de la cxielo. Kaj kia suno! Mi apenaux rimarkis
gxin antauxe. Gxi estis almenaux trioble pli granda ol la suno, kiun
mi gxis tiam konis, kaj gxi sxajnis tiel proksima, ke vidante gxin,
oni kredis sin kapabla tusxi gxin per etendo de la brako.

"Je Dio, Perry, kie ni estas?" mi demandis. "Cxio cxi incitas miajn
nervojn."

"Mi kredas povi diri kun plena certeco, David," li ekparolis, "ke ni
estas--" sed li ne parolis plu. De malantaux ni cxe la borveturilo,
venis la plej tondra teruriga mugxo, kiu iam trafis miajn orelojn.
Unumense, ni turnigxis por vidi tion, kio eligis tiun timigan
bruegon.

Se ankoraux restis en mia kapo la ideo,

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