Ĉe la koro de la tero

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 51

doloron. Nur la hororo en
sxiaj okuloj sxajnis pli intensa.

La postan fojon, la alia brako estis for, poste la mamoj, poste parto
de la vizagxo--estis repusxa vidajxo. La kompatindaj homoj sur la
insuloj, atendante sian sorton, provis kovri siajn okulojn per la
manoj por forbari la abomenindan vidajxon, sed jam mi vidis ankaux
ilin enfali la hipnotan sorcxon de la rampuloj, tiel, ke ili povis
nur kauxri terurigite, kun la okuloj gluitaj al la abomenajxo
okazanta antaux ili.

Fine, la regxino trovigxis multe pli longe subakve ol iam antauxe,
kaj kiam sxi venis supren, sxi venis sola kaj nagxis dormeme al sia
rokego. La momento, kiam sxi surgrimpis gxin, sxajnis signalo al la
aliaj maharoj, ke ili eniru la basenon, kaj tiam komencigxis multe
pli grandskala ripetigxo de la mistera sorcxajxo, en kiun la regxino
gvidis sian viktimon.

Nur la virinoj kaj infanoj farigxis predo de la maharoj--ili estis la
plej malfortaj kaj molaj--kaj satmangxinte je la homa karno, kio
signifis por kelkaj mangxi du aux tri sklavojn, restis nur cxirkaux
dudek plenkreskaj viroj, kaj mi kredis, ke ial oni restigos ilin
vivaj, sed tute alie okazis, cxar kiam la lasta maharo grimpis sur
sian rokon, la tipdaroj de la regxino sagis en la aeron,
cxirkauxflugis la templan internon unufoje, kaj tiam, siblante kiel
vapormotoroj, ili impetis kontraux la restintajn sklavojn.

Cxi-foje ne okazis hipnotado--realigxis nur simpla, sovagxa brutaleco
de rabobestoj, kiuj ungas, sxiras kaj glutas sian viandon, sed ecx
tio estis malpli forpusxa ol la supernatura procedo de la maharoj.
Dum la tipdaroj finforglutis la lastajn sklavojn, la maharoj jam
dormis sur siaj rokegoj, kaj momenton poste, la grandaj pterodaktiloj
reflugis al sia loko flanke de la regxino, kie ili mem ekdormis.

"Mi kredis, ke la maharoj malofte aux neniam dormas," mi diris al
Jxa.

"Ili faras multon en cxi tiu templo, kion ili ne faras aliloke," li
respondis. "La maharoj de Futra lauxonidire ne mangxas homan karnon,
sed oni alportas milojn da sklavoj cxi tien, kaj preskaux cxiam
trovigxas maharoj por mangxi ilin. Mi supozas, ke ili pro tio ne
venigas siajn sagotojn cxi tien, cxar ili hontas pro tiu kutimo, pri
kiu ili supozigas, ke nur la plej postigxintaj el iliaj samrasanoj
praktikas gxin. Sed mi vetus mian pirogon kontraux rompita remilo, ke
ne ekzistas ecx unu maharo, kiu rifuzas homviandon, kiam ajn sxi
povas akiri gxin."

"Kial ili malsxatu mangxi la karnon de homoj," mi demandis, "se ili
efektive rigardas nin kiel malsuperajn bestojn?"

"Ili lauxdire rigardas kun abomeno la mangxantojn de homa karno ne
tial, ke ili konsideras nin egaluloj," respondis Jxa, "sed nur, cxar
ni estas varmsanguloj. Ili ecx ne pripensus mangxi dagajxon, kiu por
ni estas delektajxo,

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