a river rose and ran in a
westerly direction, finally turning south and emptying into the Sojar
Az some forty miles northeast of Thuria. All that I had to do was
follow this river to the sea and then follow the coast to Thuria.
Two hundred and forty miles of wild mountain and primeval jungle, of
untracked plain, of nameless rivers, of deadly swamps and savage
forests lay ahead of me, yet never had I been more eager for an
adventure than now, for never had more depended upon haste and success.
I do not know how long a time that journey required, and only half did
I appreciate the varied wonders that each new march unfolded before me,
for my mind and heart were filled with but a single image--that of a
perfect girl whose great, dark eyes looked bravely forth from a frame
of raven hair.
It was not until I had passed the high peak and found the river that my
eyes first discovered the pendent world, the tiny satellite which hangs
low over the surface of Pellucidar casting its perpetual shadow always
upon the same spot--the area that is known here as the Land of Awful
Shadow, in which dwells the tribe of Thuria.
From the distance and the elevation of the highlands where I stood the
Pellucidarian noonday moon showed half in sunshine and half in shadow,
while directly beneath it was plainly visible the round dark spot upon
the surface of Pellucidar where the sun has never shone. From where I
stood the moon appeared to hang so low above the ground as almost to
touch it; but later I was to learn that it floats a mile above the
surface--which seems indeed quite close for a moon.
Following the river downward I soon lost sight of the tiny planet as I
entered the mazes of a lofty forest. Nor did I catch another glimpse
of it for some time--several marches at least. However, when the river
led me to the sea, or rather just before it reached the sea, of a
sudden the sky became overcast and the size and luxuriance of the
vegetation diminished as by magic--as if an omni-potent hand had drawn
a line upon the earth, and said:
"Upon this side shall the trees and the shrubs, the grasses and the
flowers, riot in profusion of rich colors, gigantic size and
bewildering abundance; and upon that side shall they be dwarfed and
pale and scant."
Instantly I looked above, for clouds are so uncommon in the skies of
Pellucidar--they are practically unknown except
And so I joined the navy, coming up from the ranks, as we all must, learning our craft as we advance.Page 5
Well, to get back to my narrative; we kept on dropping slowly toward the surface the while we bucked the west wind, clawing away from thirty as fast as we could.Page 9
" "You become a party to his crime!" he cried angrily.Page 15
Following is an art which Turcks do not easily learn.Page 22
We continued up the Tamar several miles, filled our casks, and then landed to cook some of our deer steak, and have the first square meal that had fallen to our lot since the Coldwater deserted us.Page 24
He had never heard of it, or of the Atlantic Ocean which I told him separated his country from mine.Page 29
I guessed that no bullet would kill him instantly.Page 44
They were naturally rough and brutal, as primitive men are supposed to have been since the dawn of humanity, but they did not go out of their way to maltreat me.Page 46
"I do not know.Page 54
I could have sworn that he had discovered us, and when he took a few short and stately steps in our direction I raised my rifle and covered him.Page 55
"Swim for the other shore!" I called to her.Page 58
I had covered about fifty yards of the distance, and the beast was still feeding peacefully, so I thought that I would make even surer of a hit by going ahead another fifty yards, when the animal suddenly raised his head and looked away, up-river.Page 61
legacy from the bloody days when thousands of men perished in the trenches between the rising and the setting of a sun, when they laid them lengthwise in these same trenches and sprinkled dirt over them, when the Germans corded their corpses like wood and set fire to them, when women and children and old men were butchered, and great passenger ships were torpedoed without warning.Page 63
An antelope rested peacefully in a bed of daisies where, perhaps, two hundred years ago a big gun belched its terror-laden messages of death, of hate, of destruction against the works of man and God alike.Page 64
I was still some distance ahead of Delcarte and Taylor, when I came in sight of the Rhine again.Page 75
Colonel Belik had accorded me the greatest liberty, permitting me to go where I pleased, after my few duties had been performed.Page 79
To stand there, inactive, while a negro struck down that brave girl of my own race! Instinctively I took a forward step to place myself in the man's path.Page 82
clubbed his rifle and felled him with a single mighty blow.Page 86
I asked him who was victorious in that war, and he shook his head sadly as he replied: "Pan-America, perhaps, and China, with the blacks of Abyssinia," he said.