Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 10

and explore a world!

Ready to search a land area of 124,110,000 square miles for my friends,
my incomparable mate, and good old Perry!

And so, after locking the door in the outer shell of the prospector, I
set out upon my quest. Due south I traveled, across lovely valleys
thick-dotted with grazing herds.

Through dense primeval forests I forced my way and up the slopes of
mighty mountains searching for a pass to their farther sides.

Ibex and musk-sheep fell before my good old revolver, so that I lacked
not for food in the higher altitudes. The forests and the plains gave
plentifully of fruits and wild birds, antelope, aurochsen, and elk.

Occasionally, for the larger game animals and the gigantic beasts of
prey, I used my express rifle, but for the most part the revolver
filled all my needs.

There were times, too, when faced by a mighty cave bear, a
saber-toothed tiger, or huge felis spelaea, black-maned and terrible,
even my powerful rifle seemed pitifully inadequate--but fortune favored
me so that I passed unscathed through adventures that even the
recollection of causes the short hairs to bristle at the nape of my
neck.

How long I wandered toward the south I do not know, for shortly after I
left the prospector something went wrong with my watch, and I was again
at the mercy of the baffling timelessness of Pellucidar, forging
steadily ahead beneath the great, motionless sun which hangs eternally
at noon.

I ate many times, however, so that days must have elapsed, possibly
months with no familiar landscape rewarding my eager eyes.

I saw no men nor signs of men. Nor is this strange, for Pellucidar, in
its land area, is immense, while the human race there is very young and
consequently far from numerous.

Doubtless upon that long search mine was the first human foot to touch
the soil in many places--mine the first human eye to rest upon the
gorgeous wonders of the landscape.

It was a staggering thought. I could not but dwell upon it often as I
made my lonely way through this virgin world. Then, quite suddenly,
one day I stepped out of the peace of manless primality into the
presence of man--and peace was gone.

It happened thus:

I had been following a ravine downward out of a chain of lofty hills
and had paused at its mouth to view the lovely little valley that lay
before me. At one side was tangled wood, while straight ahead a river
wound peacefully along parallel to the cliffs in which the hills
terminated at the valley's edge.

Presently,

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