Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 42


"Do the reptiles come up the river into the city?" asked Bradley.

"The water is too cold--they never leave the warm water of the great
pool," replied An-Tak.

"Let us search for the way out," suggested Bradley.

An-Tak shook his head. "I have searched for it all these moons," he
said. "If I could not find it, how would you?"

Bradley made no reply but commenced a diligent examination of the walls
and floor of the room, pressing over each square foot and tapping with
his knuckles. About six feet from the floor he discovered a
sleeping-perch near one end of the apartment. He asked An-Tak about
it, but the Galu said that no Weiroo had occupied the place since he
had been incarcerated there. Again and again Bradley went over the
floor and walls as high up as he could reach. Finally he swung himself
to the perch, that he might examine at least one end of the room all
the way to the ceiling.

In the center of the wall close to the top, an area about three feet
square gave forth a hollow sound when he rapped upon it. Bradley felt
over every square inch of that area with the tips of his fingers. Near
the top he found a small round hole a trifle larger in diameter than
his forefinger, which he immediately stuck into it. The panel, if such
it was, seemed about an inch thick, and beyond it his finger
encountered nothing. Bradley crooked his finger upon the opposite side
of the panel and pulled toward him, steadily but with considerable
force. Suddenly the panel flew inward, nearly precipitating the man to
the floor. It was hinged at the bottom, and when lowered the outer
edge rested upon the perch, making a little platform parallel with the
floor of the room.

Beyond the opening was an utterly dark void. The Englishman leaned
through it and reached his arm as far as possible into the blackness
but touched nothing. Then he fumbled in his haversack for a match, a
few of which remained to him. When he struck it, An-Tak gave a cry of
terror. Bradley held the light far into the opening before him and in
its flickering rays saw the top of a ladder descending into a black
abyss below. How far down it extended he could not guess; but that he
should soon know definitely he was positive.

"You have found it! You have found the way out!" screamed

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