Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 54

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

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