he had stolen
from the city of Bu-lur; but what more greatly concerned the woman than
his filth or his armament were his cackling laughter and the strange
expression in his eyes.
She went on with her work, however, removing those parts of the buck
she wanted, taking only as much meat as she might consume before it
spoiled, as she was not sufficiently a true jungle creature to relish
it beyond that stage, and then she straightened up and faced the man.
"Lieutenant Obergatz," she said, "by a chance of accident we have met
again. Certainly you would not have sought the meeting any more than I.
We have nothing in common other than those sentiments which may have
been engendered by my natural dislike and suspicion of you, one of the
authors of all the misery and sorrow that I have endured for endless
months. This little corner of the world is mine by right of discovery
and occupation. Go away and leave me to enjoy here what peace I may. It
is the least that you can do to amend the wrong that you have done me
The man stared at her through his fishy eyes for a moment in silence,
then there broke from his lips a peal of mirthless, uncanny laughter.
"Go away! Leave you alone!" he cried. "I have found you. We are going
to be good friends. There is no one else in the world but us. No one
will ever know what we do or what becomes of us and now you ask me to
go away and live alone in this hellish solitude." Again he laughed,
though neither the muscles of his eyes or his mouth reflected any
mirth--it was just a hollow sound that imitated laughter.
"Remember your promise," she said.
"Promise! Promise! What are promises? They are made to be broken--we
taught the world that at Liege and Louvain. No, no! I will not go
away. I shall stay and protect you."
"I do not need your protection," she insisted. "You have already seen
that I can use a spear."
"Yes," he said; "but it would not be right to leave you here alone--you
are but a woman. No, no; I am an officer of the Kaiser and I cannot
Once more he laughed. "We could be very happy here together," he added.
The woman could not repress a shudder, nor, in fact, did she attempt to
hide her aversion.
"You do not like me?" he asked. "Ah, well; it is too sad. But some day
you will love me," and again
"Ten years, and I thought that at the most it could be scarce more than one!" That night he told me his story--the story that I give you here as nearly in his own words as I can recall them.Page 4
That two lives will be snuffed out is nothing to the world calamity that entombs in the bowels of the earth the discoveries that I have made and proved in the successful construction of the thing that is now carrying us farther and farther toward the eternal central fires.Page 6
"Precious lot of good it will do us," I growled back.Page 20
It might be hours, or it might be days--who in the world could tell where it was always noon! By the sun, no time had elapsed--but my judgment told me that we must have been several hours in this strange world.Page 29
We were approaching another range of mountains at the time, and when we reached them, instead of winding across them through some high-flung pass we entered a mighty natural tunnel--a series of labyrinthine grottoes, dark as Erebus.Page 38
"David, if we can escape, and at the same time take with us this great secret what will we not have accomplished for the human race within Pellucidar!" The very thought of it fairly overpowered me.Page 47
As I walked I could not but compare myself with the first man of that other world, so complete the solitude which surrounded me, so primal and untouched the virgin wonders and beauties of adolescent nature.Page 52
It would run on, plain and clear and well defined to end suddenly in the midst of a tangle of matted jungle, then Ja would turn directly back in his tracks for a little distance, spring into a tree, climb through it to the other side, drop onto a fallen log, leap over a low bush and alight once more upon a distinct trail which he would follow back for a short distance only to turn directly about and retrace his steps until after a mile or less this new pathway ended as suddenly and mysteriously as the former section.Page 55
She raised her ugly head, looking about; then very slowly she crawled to the edge of her.Page 60
Here I sank panting and trembling upon the matted grasses beneath the giant trees, for I felt that I had escaped from the grinning fangs of death out of the depths of my own grave.Page 63
I was dreaming of the excitement and adventure which lay before us could Perry and I but escape the Mahars, when something, a slight noise I imagine, drew my attention behind me.Page 73
"From where else then did I come? I am not of Pellucidar.Page 82
XII PURSUIT For an instant I stood there thinking of her, and then, with a sigh, I tucked the book in the thong that supported my loin cloth, and turned to leave the apartment.Page 83
After what seemed an eternity we reached the outer door which leads into the main avenue of Phutra.Page 89
About me lay scattered stones crumbled from the cliff above.Page 91
I know that I wandered for a long time, until tired and hungry I came upon a small cave in the face of the limestone formation which had taken the place of the granite farther back.Page 95
the bow until the very tip of the shaft rested upon the thumb of my left hand, and then as the great creature darted toward us I let drive straight for that tough breast.Page 99
He was too close for a careful bowshot, but I let drive at him as he came, without taking aim.Page 103
It seemed incredible that even a prehistoric woman could be so cold and heartless and ungrateful.Page 105
Motherless and unprotected; hunted across a savage, primeval world by that hideous brute of a man; exposed to the attacks of the countless fearsome denizens of its mountains, its plains, and its jungles--it was a miracle that she had survived it all.