Ĉe la koro de la tero

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 72

pli bone plenumi nian planon, ol mi
esperis. Ni sukcesis teni la kapojn levitaj, metante niajn glavojn
tra la koloj, kaj sammaniere ni povis ilin movi laux viveca maniero.
Nia plej granda malfacilajxo estis la palmopiedoj, sed ecx tiun
problemon ni fine solvis, tiel ke kiam ni movigxis, ni aspektis tute
naturaj. Truetoj pikitaj en la pufaj gorgxoj, en kiujn ni metis niajn
kapojn, permesis al ni vidi suficxe bone por konduki nin mem
antauxen.

Tiel ni ekiris supren al la cxefetagxo de la konstruajxo. Gak iris
antauxe en la stranga parado, poste sekvis Perry, sekvita de Hugxa,
dum mi iris malantauxe, admoninte Hugxan, ke mia glavo estis tiel
arangxita, ke mi povus piki gxin tra la kapo de mia kostumo en lian
internajxon, se li montrus hezitemon.

Kiam la bruo de rapidantaj piedoj avertis min, ke ni eniras la
plenajn koridorojn de la cxefetagxo, mia koro saltis gxis mia busxo.
Tute sen hontosento mi konfesas, ke mi timis--neniam antauxe aux
poste en mia vivo mi spertis tian suferegon de animbrula timo kaj
necerteco, kia min frapis. Se eblus sxviti sangon, mi sxvitis gxin
tiam.

Malrapide, laux la pasxmaniero kutima cxe la maharoj, kiam ili ne
uzas siajn flugilojn, ni trarampis amasojn da okupitaj sklavoj,
sagotoj kaj maharoj. Post tempo, kiu sxajnis eterneco, ni atingis la
eksteran pordon, kiu kondukas en la cxefan avenuon de Futra. Multaj
sagotoj staris cxirkaux la vojkrucigxo. Ili ekrigardis Gak, kiam li
silente pasxis inter ili. Tiam pasis Perry, kaj tiam Hugxa. Nun estis
mia vico, kaj en subita atako de glaciiga teruro, mi konstatis, ke la
varma sango el mia vundita brako gutas malsupren tra la morta piedo
de la mahara hauxto, kiun mi portis, kaj lasis sian sangan spuron sur
la pavimo, cxar mi vidis, ke sagoto atentigis sian kunulon pri gxi.

La gardisto pasxis antaux min, kaj fingromontrante al mia sanganta
piedo, alparolis min per la gestolingvo, kiun tiuj du specioj uzas
kiel komunikilon. Ecx se mi scius, kion li diris, mi ne povus
respondi per la mortajxo, kiu min kovris. Mi foje vidis grandan
maharon glaciigi tromemfidan sagoton per sia nura rigardo. Tio
sxajnis mia sola espero, do mi gxin provis. Haltigxinte, mi movis
mian glavon tiel, ke estigxis la impreso, ke la morta kapo esplore
rigardas la gorilo-homon. Dum longa momento, mi staris tute senmova,
rigardante la ulon per tiuj mortaj okuloj. Poste mi mallevis la
kapon, kaj malrapide dauxrigis pasxi antauxen. Dum momento, cxio
dependis de tio, sed antaux ol mi lin tusxis, la gardisto pasxis
flanken, kaj mi pasis en la avenuon.

Ni iris antauxen sur la largxa strato, sed nun ni estis ekster
dangxero pro la multnombreco de niaj

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