A thousand beautiful strangers might sing
and dance about it, but it could derive no pleasure from the singing or
the dancing since it would possess no perceptive faculties. Already had
the kaldanes shut themselves off from most of the gratifications of the
senses. Ghek wondered if much was to be gained by denying themselves
still further, and with the thought came a question as to the whole
fabric of their theory. After all perhaps the girl was right; what
purpose could a great brain serve sealed in the bowels of the earth?
And he, Ghek, was to die for this theory. Luud had decreed it. The
injustice of it overwhelmed him with rage. But he was helpless. There
was no escape. Beyond the enclosure the banths awaited him; within, his
own kind, equally as merciless and ferocious. Among them there was no
such thing as love, or loyalty, or friendship--they were just brains.
He might kill Luud; but what would that profit him? Another king would
be loosed from his sealed chamber and Ghek would be killed. He did not
know it but he would not even have the poor satisfaction of satisfied
revenge, since he was not capable of feeling so abstruse a sentiment.
Ghek, mounted upon his rykor, paced the floor of the tower chamber in
which he had been ordered to remain. Ordinarily he would have accepted
the sentence of Luud with perfect equanimity, since it was but the
logical result of reason; but now it seemed different. The stranger
woman had bewitched him. Life appeared a pleasant thing--there were
great possibilities in it. The dream of the ultimate brain had receded
into a tenuous haze far in the background of his thoughts.
At that moment there appeared in the doorway of the chamber a red
warrior with naked sword. He was a male counterpart of the prisoner
whose sweet voice had undermined the cold, calculating reason of the
"Silence!" admonished the newcomer, his straight brows gathered in an
ominous frown and the point of his longsword playing menacingly before
the eyes of the kaldane. "I seek the woman, Tara of Helium. Where is
she? If you value your life speak quickly and speak the truth."
If he valued his life! It was a truth that Ghek had but just learned.
He thought quickly. After all, a great brain is not without its uses.
Perhaps here lay escape from the sentence of Luud.
"You are of her kind?" he asked. "You come to rescue her?"
"Listen, then. I have befriended her, and because of this I am to die.
If I help
He prayed when he arose in the morning, he prayed before he ate, he prayed when he had finished eating, and before he went to bed at night he prayed again.Page 5
You may take your choice.Page 35
"If Ghak will accompany us we may be able to do it," I suggested.Page 36
"Then Dian could have found her way directly to her own people?" I asked.Page 40
Benches surrounded this open space upon three sides, and along the fourth were heaped huge bowlders which rose in receding tiers toward the roof.Page 42
It seemed to me that a bean shooter would have been as effective against the mighty monster as these pitiful weapons.Page 43
The tiger was now upon the bull's broad back, clinging to the huge neck with powerful fangs while its long, strong talons ripped the heavy hide into shreds and ribbons.Page 45
The numerous lofty, granite towers which mark the several entrances to the subterranean city were all in front of me--behind, the plain stretched level and unbroken to the nearby foothills.Page 50
So I gave it up and asked him about himself.Page 51
" As Ja talked I had an excellent opportunity to inspect him more closely.Page 60
How long I should be alone was the next question to assail me as I swam frantically about once more in search of a means to escape.Page 63
What savage faces, what fierce and formidable beasts were this very instant watching the lapping of the waves upon its farther shore! How far did it extend? Perry had told me that the seas of Pellucidar were small in comparison with those of the outer crust, but even so this great ocean might stretch its broad expanse for thousands of miles.Page 69
" He dropped a fruit from his hand to the ground.Page 75
I have been to other lands, discovered a new race of humans within Pellucidar, seen the Mahars at their worship in their hidden temple, and barely escaped with my life from them and from a great labyrinthodon that I met afterward, following my long and tedious wanderings across an unknown world.Page 81
There was no exit from the room other than the doorway in which I now stood facing the two frightful reptiles.Page 84
Then I lowered the head and started slowly on.Page 95
He has been pursuing me across many lands.Page 102
"It is probable," she said, "that they all will want revenge for the death of Jubal--there are seven of them--seven terrible men.Page 103
"I shall leave you NOW," I said haughtily, "I have had quite enough of your ingratitude and your insults," and then I turned and strode majestically down toward the valley.Page 109
When I introduced Dian as my wife, he didn't quite know what to say, but he afterward remarked that with the pick of two worlds I could not have done better.