Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 61

scale of evolution. The Wieroo developed the first cos-ata-lu but they
were always male--never could they reproduce woman. Slowly they
commenced to develop certain attributes of the mind which, they
considered, placed them upon a still higher level and which gave them
many advantages over us, seeing which they thought only of mental
development--their minds became like stars and the rivers, moving
always in the same manner, never varying. They called this tas-ad,
which means doing everything the right way, or, in other words, the
Wieroo way. If foe or friend, right or wrong, stood in the way of
tas-ad, then it must be crushed.

"Soon the Galus and the lesser races of men came to hate and fear them.
It was then that the Wieroos decided to carry tas-ad into every part of
the world. They were very warlike and very numerous, although they had
long since adopted the policy of slaying all those among them whose
wings did not show advanced development.

"It took ages for all this to happen--very slowly came the different
changes; but at last the Wieroos had wings they could use. But by
reason of always making war upon their neighbors they were hated by
every creature of Caspak, for no one wanted their tas-ad, and so they
used their wings to fly to this island when the other races turned
against them and threatened to kill them all. So cruel had they become
and so bloodthirsty that they no longer had hearts that beat with love
or sympathy; but their very cruelty and wickedness kept them from
conquering the other races, since they were also cruel and wicked to
one another, so that no Wieroo trusted another.

"Always were they slaying those above them that they might rise in
power and possessions, until at last came the more powerful than the
others with a tas-ad all his own. He gathered about him a few of the
most terrible Wieroos, and among them they made laws which took from
all but these few Wieroos every weapon they possessed.

"Now their tas-ad has reached a high plane among them. They make many
wonderful things that we cannot make. They think great thoughts, no
doubt, and still dream of greatness to come, but their thoughts and
their acts are regulated by ages of custom--they are all alike--and
they are most unhappy."

As the girl talked, the two moved steadily along the dark passageway
beside the river. They had advanced a considerable distance when there
sounded faintly from far ahead the muffled roar

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