Ĉe la koro de la tero

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 65

min, "do tenu lin preta."

Auxdinte pri mia memvola reveno al Futra, miaj nunaj gardistoj
evidente kredis sendangxere lasi min libera en la kontstruajxo, kiel
okazis kutime antaux mia eskapo, do oni ordonis al mi denove eklabori
je mia antauxa tasko.

Mia unua faro estis elspuri Perry, kiun mi trovis, kiel kutime,
absorbita pri la dikaj volumegoj, kiujn li lauxordone devus nur
senpolvigi kaj rearangxi sur novaj bretoj.

Kiam mi eniris la cxambron, li ekrigardis min, afable kapsalutis kaj
tuj rekomencis sian laboron, kvazaux mi tute ne estus forestinta. Lia
indiferenteco kaj mirigis kaj cxagrenis min. Kaj jen mi riskis morti
por reveni al li, sole pro miaj devosento kaj amo!

"Perry!" mi ekkriis, "Cxu vi ne havas vortojn por mi post mia longa
foresto?"

"Longa foresto!" li ripetis kun videbla miro. "Kion vi volas diri?"

"Cxu vi frenezas, Perry? Cxu vi volas diri, ke mi ne mankis al vi, de
kiam ni disigxis pro la atakanta dago en la areno?"

"De kiam!" li ripetis. "Homo, mi jxus revenis de la areno! Vi
revenis preskaux tiel frue kiel mi. Efektive, se vi forestus multe
pli longe, mi certe ektimus, kaj mi ja intencis demandi al vi, kiel
vi fugxis de la besto, tuj post kiam mi fintradukos cxi tiun plej
interesan eltirajxon."

"Perry, vi _estas_ freneza," mi ekkriis. "Scias nur Dio, kiel longe
mi forestis. Mi iris al aliaj landoj, eltrovis novan genton de homoj
en Pelucidaro, vidis la kulton de la maharoj en ilia kasxita templo,
kaj apenaux eskapis viva de ili kaj de granda labirintodono, kiun mi
renkontis pli poste, post mia longa kaj teda vagado trans fremdan
mondon. Mi mankis dum tutaj monatoj, Perry, kaj nun vi apenaux
pauxzas de via laboro cxe mia reveno, kaj vi insistas, ke ni
apartigxis nur momenton. Cxu tiel vi traktas amikon? Mi miras pri vi,
Perry, kaj se mi pensus ecx dum momento, ke mi estas por vi tiel
bagatela, mi ne revenus por riski pro vi morton en la manoj de la
maharoj."

La maljunulo rigardis min dum longa tempo, antaux ol ekparoli. Lia
sulka vizagxo montris konsternan mienon, kaj liaj okuloj esprimis
doloran bedauxron.

"David, mia filo," li diris, "Kiel vi povus ecx momente dubi mian
amon al vi? Cxi tie temas pri strangajxo, kiun mi ne povas kompreni.
Mi scias, ke mi ne estas freneza, kaj mi estas same tiel certa, ke
ankaux vi ne; sed kiel ni klarigu la strangajn halucinojn, kiujn ni
ambaux sxajne havis pri la tempopaso post nia lasta intervidigxo. Vi
estas certa, ke pasis monatoj, dum mi estas samgrade certa, ke antaux
unu horo mi sidis cxe via flanko en la amfiteatro. Cxu iel

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