Ĉe la koro de la tero

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 63

bonega ebleco eskapi de ili, ili ne kredus, ecx dum
momento, ke mi okupigxos pri la arangxado de denova fugxo tuj post
mia reveno al la urbo.

Do ili kondukis min antaux sxliman maharon, kiu tenis sin sur sxlima
roko en la granda cxambro, kiu estis gxia oficejo. Per siaj fridaj
reptiliaj okuloj la estajxo sxajnis trabori la maldikan plakon de mia
trompado kaj legi miajn plej intimajn pensojn. Gxi atentis la
historion, kiun la sagotoj diris pri mia reveno al Futra, rigardante
la lipojn kaj fingrojn de la gorilohomoj dum la rakontado. Poste gxi
pridemandis min pere de unu sagoto.

"Vi diras, ke vi revenis al Futra memvole, cxar vi kredas vin pli
sekura cxi tie ol aliloke--cxu vi ne scias, ke vi povus cxiam ajn
esti selektita por perdi vian vivon en la intereso de la avanaj
sciencaj esploroj, pri kiuj niaj kleruloj dauxre okupigxas?"

Mi nenion sciis pri tia afero, sed mi opiniis plej sagxe, ke mi ne
konfesu tion.

"Mi ne estus en pli granda dangxero cxi tie," mi diris, "ol nuda kaj
nearmita en la sovagxaj gxangaloj aux la solecaj ebenajxoj de
Pelucidaro. Fakte, mi kredas min tre bonsxanca entute reveni al
Futra. Unufoje mi apenaux evitis la morton inter la dentoj de
grandega sitiko. Ne, mi certe estas pli sekura en la manoj de la
inteligentaj estajxoj, kiuj regas Futra. Tiel estas almenaux en mia
propra mondo, kie homoj kiel mi regas cxion. Tie, la plej altaj homaj
popoloj protektas kaj gastigas la fremdulojn cxe si, kaj estante
fremdulo cxi tie, mi kompreneble atendis ricevi simile komplezan
traktadon cxi tie."

La maharo silente rigardis min dum iom da tempo post miaj eldiroj,
kaj la sagoto tradukis miajn vortojn al sia mastro. La estajxo
sxajnis profunde pensi. Fine li komunikis ian mesagxon al la sagoto.
Tiu lasta turnigxis, gestis, ke mi sekvu, kaj foriris el la cxeesto
de la rampulo. Malantaux mi kaj ambauxflanke de mi marsxis la ceteraj
gardistoj.

"Kion ili faros al mi?" mi demandis al la ulo dekstre de mi.

"Vi aperos antaux la erudiciuloj, kiuj pridemandos vin pri la stranga
mondo, el kiu vi pretendas veni."

Post momento de silento li denove turnis sin al mi.

"Cxu vi eble scias," li demandis, "kion la maharoj faras al sklavoj,
kiuj mensogas al ili?"

"Ne," mi respondis, "kaj tio tute ne interesas min, cxar mi tute ne
intencas mensogi al la maharoj."

"Do vi gardu vin antaux tio, ke vi rerakontu la fabelon, kiun vi jxus
diris al Sol-to-to--ha, alia mondo, kie regas homoj!" li rikanis
definitivece.

"Sed estas vero," mi insistis. "De kiu alia loko mi venis? Mi ne
estas el Pelucidaro. Cxiu povas vidi tion

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