Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 6

that of habitual gloom that had
pervaded her, to an almost human expression of contentment and delight.

Our trip through the earth's crust was but a repetition of my two
former journeys between the inner and the outer worlds. This time,
however, I imagine that we must have maintained a more nearly
perpendicular course, for we accomplished the journey in a few minutes'
less time than upon the occasion of my first journey through the
five-hundred-mile crust. Just a trifle less than seventy-two hours
after our departure into the sands of the Sahara, we broke through the
surface of Pellucidar.

Fortune once again favored me by the slightest of margins, for when I
opened the door in the prospector's outer jacket I saw that we had
missed coming up through the bottom of an ocean by but a few hundred
yards.

The aspect of the surrounding country was entirely unfamiliar to me--I
had no conception of precisely where I was upon the one hundred and
twenty-four million square miles of Pellucidar's vast land surface.

The perpetual midday sun poured down its torrid rays from zenith, as it
had done since the beginning of Pellucidarian time--as it would
continue to do to the end of it. Before me, across the wide sea, the
weird, horizonless seascape folded gently upward to meet the sky until
it lost itself to view in the azure depths of distance far above the
level of my eyes.

How strange it looked! How vastly different from the flat and puny area
of the circumscribed vision of the dweller upon the outer crust!

I was lost. Though I wandered ceaselessly throughout a lifetime, I
might never discover the whereabouts of my former friends of this
strange and savage world. Never again might I see dear old Perry, nor
Ghak the Hairy One, nor Dacor the Strong One, nor that other infinitely
precious one--my sweet and noble mate, Dian the Beautiful!

But even so I was glad to tread once more the surface of Pellucidar.
Mysterious and terrible, grotesque and savage though she is in many of
her aspects, I can not but love her. Her very savagery appealed to me,
for it is the savagery of unspoiled Nature.

The magnificence of her tropic beauties enthralled me. Her mighty land
areas breathed unfettered freedom.

Her untracked oceans, whispering of virgin wonders unsullied by the eye
of man, beckoned me out upon their restless bosoms.

Not for an instant did I regret the world of my nativity. I was in
Pellucidar. I was home. And I was content.

As I stood

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