smile at our dilemma.
"There is naught that we can do but take things as they come, and at
least have the satisfaction of knowing that whoever slays us eventually
will have far greater numbers of their own dead to count than they will
get in return. White ape or plant man, green Barsoomian or red man,
whosoever it shall be that takes the last toll from us will know that
it is costly in lives to wipe out John Carter, Prince of the House of
Tardos Mors, and Tars Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark, at the same time."
I could not help but laugh at his grim humour, and he joined in with me
in one of those rare laughs of real enjoyment which was one of the
attributes of this fierce Tharkian chief which marked him from the
others of his kind.
"But about yourself, John Carter," he cried at last. "If you have not
been here all these years where indeed have you been, and how is it
that I find you here to-day?"
"I have been back to Earth," I replied. "For ten long Earth years I
have been praying and hoping for the day that would carry me once more
to this grim old planet of yours, for which, with all its cruel and
terrible customs, I feel a bond of sympathy and love even greater than
for the world that gave me birth.
"For ten years have I been enduring a living death of uncertainty and
doubt as to whether Dejah Thoris lived, and now that for the first time
in all these years my prayers have been answered and my doubt relieved
I find myself, through a cruel whim of fate, hurled into the one tiny
spot of all Barsoom from which there is apparently no escape, and if
there were, at a price which would put out for ever the last flickering
hope which I may cling to of seeing my princess again in this life--and
you have seen to-day with what pitiful futility man yearns toward a
"Only a bare half-hour before I saw you battling with the plant men I
was standing in the moonlight upon the banks of a broad river that taps
the eastern shore of Earth's most blessed land. I have answered you,
my friend. Do you believe?"
"I believe," replied Tars Tarkas, "though I cannot understand."
As we talked I had been searching the interior of the chamber with my
eyes. It was, perhaps, two hundred feet in length and half as broad,
Nor could you wonder had you witnessed a recent experience of mine when, in the armor of blissful and stupendous ignorance, I gaily narrated the gist of it to a Fellow of the Royal Geological Society on the occasion of my last trip to London.Page 1
"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 9
Don't you recall the sudden whirling of our seats? After that the drill was above you instead of below.Page 13
Did I say safely lodged? At the time I thought we were quite safe, and so did Perry.Page 15
Behind them trailed long, slender tails which they used in climbing quite as much as they did either their hands or feet.Page 26
About all I gleaned of them was that they were quite hideous, had wings, and webbed feet; lived in cities built beneath the ground; could swim under water for great distances, and were very, very wise.Page 27
And Perry! He was absolutely flabbergasted.Page 35
"Look," he cried, pointing to it, "this is evidently water, and all this land.Page 36
" I was for making the attempted escape at once, but both Perry and Ghak counseled waiting for some propitious accident which would insure us some small degree of success.Page 66
Scarce had I touched the earth than I was upon my feet, dashing madly for the path by which I had entered this horrible valley.Page 67
"Men say that they are visible from half Pellucidar," he replied.Page 77
Another, grasping a sharp knife with her three-toed fore foot, was laying open the victim's chest and abdomen.Page 82
I was sure that if he thought it would profit him he would betray us; but I saw no way out of it now, and the fact that I had killed four Mahars instead of only the three I had expected to, made it possible to include the fellow in our scheme of escape.Page 84
How we traveled at a dogged run until we dropped in our tracks.Page 86
But nothing of the kind happened--as a matter of fact the Sly One had betrayed us.Page 87
During our flight from Phutra I had restrung my bow with a piece of heavy gut taken from a huge tiger which Ghak and I had worried and finally dispatched with arrows, spear, and sword.Page 93
The hissing noise which had first attracted my attention was issuing from its throat, and seemed to be directed at something beyond and below me which I could not see.Page 106
I had told Dian about our plan of emancipating the human race of Pellucidar, and she was fairly wild over it.Page 108
We had barely entered the great plain when we discovered two enormous animals approaching us from a great distance.Page 110
The Mahars had offered fabulous rewards for the capture of any one of us alive, and at the same time had threatened to inflict the direst punishment upon whomever should harm us.