Ĉe la koro de la tero

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 59

pirogon tiritan
sur la plagxon de la cxeftero kaj trovis tie gxuste vian piedspuron
sur la sablo.

"Mi tuj ekiris sercxi vin, sciante, ke vi estas tute senarmila kaj
sendefenda kontraux la multaj embuskantaj dangxeroj sur la cxeftero,
ne nur sovagxaj bestoj kaj rampuloj, sed ankaux homoj. Mi tute facile
postspuris vin gxis cxi tie. Mi alvenis tre gxustatempe."

"Sed kial vi faris gxin?", mi demandis, konsternita pro tiu amika ago
fare de viro el alia mondo kaj de malsama raso kaj koloro.

"Vi savis mian vivon," li respondis, "kaj de tiam estas mia devo
protekti kaj amike trakti vin. Mi ne estus vera mezopo, se mi evitus
mian evidentan devon--en cxi tiu okazo estis plezuro, cxar mi sxatas
vin. Eble vi venu vivi kun mi. Vi igxos membro de mia tribo. Cxe ni
la cxasajxo kaj fisxoj plej abundas, kaj vi povos elekti virinon el
la plej belaj de Pelucidaro. Cxu vi venos?"

Tiam mi rakontis al li pri Perry kaj Dian la Bela, kaj ke mia unua
devo estas al ili. Nur poste mi revenos viziti lin--se nur eblos
retrovi lian insulon.

"Estas facile, amiko," li diris. "Vi nur iru al la bazo de la plej
alta monto en la Montoj de la Nuboj. La rivero tie fluas al la
Lural-az. Rekte trans la busxo de la rivero vi vidos tri grandajn
insulojn, pro malproksimo apenaux distingeblajn, kaj la plej
maldekstra, kiam oni rigardas de la busxo de la rivero, estas Anorok,
kie mi regas la tribon Anorok."

"Sed kiel mi trovos la Montojn de la Nuboj?", mi demandis.

"Lauxdire ili estas videblaj el duono de Pelucidaro," li respondis.

"Kiel granda estas Pelucidaro?", mi demandis, scivola, kian teorion
tiuj primitivuloj havas pri la formo kaj konsisto de sia mondo.

"La maharoj asertas gxin sfera, kiel la interno de tola-sxelo", li
klarigis, "sed tio estas ridinda, cxar se vera, ni refalus, se ni
vojagxus en iu ajn direkto, kaj la tuta akvo de Pelucidaro fluus al
unu loko kaj dronigus nin. Ne, Pelucidaro estas tute plata kaj
etendigxas neniu-scias-gxis-kie cxiudirekte. Cxe la rando, kiel
raportis kaj pludiris al mi miaj prapatroj, estas granda muro, kiu
retenas la Teron kaj akvon de forfalo en la brulantan maron, sur kiu
flosas Pelucidaro; sed mi neniam iris tiel malproksimen de Anorok por
propraokule vidi tiun muron. Tamen, estas tute racie kredi tion vera,
dum enestas neniom da racio en la stulta kredo de la maharoj. Laux
ili, pelucidaranoj sur la kontrauxa flanko cxiam trovigxas
inversigitaj!", kaj Jxa eksplode ridis pri la nura ideo.

Klare videble, la homa popolo en la interna mondo ne multe evoluis
koncerne klerecon, kaj fonto de mizero estis la

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