Xodar," I replied. "I will
guarantee to scale the wall and take you with me, if you will help with
your knowledge of the customs here to appoint the best time for the
attempt, and guide me to the shaft that lets from the dome of this
abysmal sea to the light of God's pure air above."
"Night time is the best and offers the only slender chance we have, for
then men sleep, and only a dozing watch nods in the tops of the
battleships. No watch is kept upon the cruisers and smaller craft.
The watchers upon the larger vessels see to all about them. It is
"But," I exclaimed, "it is not dark! How can it be night, then?"
"You forget," he said, "that we are far below ground. The light of the
sun never penetrates here. There are no moons and no stars reflected
in the bosom of Omean. The phosphorescent light you now see pervading
this great subterranean vault emanates from the rocks that form its
dome; it is always thus upon Omean, just as the billows are always as
you see them--rolling, ever rolling over a windless sea.
"At the appointed hour of night upon the world above, the men whose
duties hold them here sleep, but the light is ever the same."
"It will make escape more difficult," I said, and then I shrugged my
shoulders; for what, pray, is the pleasure of doing an easy thing?
"Let us sleep on it to-night," said Xodar. "A plan may come with our
So we threw ourselves upon the hard stone floor of our prison and slept
the sleep of tired men.
WHEN HELL BROKE LOOSE
Early the next morning Xodar and I commenced work upon our plans for
escape. First I had him sketch upon the stone floor of our cell as
accurate a map of the south polar regions as was possible with the
crude instruments at our disposal--a buckle from my harness, and the
sharp edge of the wondrous gem I had taken from Sator Throg.
From this I computed the general direction of Helium and the distance
at which it lay from the opening which led to Omean.
Then I had him draw a map of Omean, indicating plainly the position of
Shador and of the opening in the dome which led to the outer world.
These I studied until they were indelibly imprinted in my memory. From
Xodar I learned the duties and customs of the guards who patrolled
They had a language, in which they were unlike the race just inferior to them, and they walked much more erect and were less hairy: but it was principally the fact that they possessed a spoken language and carried a weapon that differentiated them from the others.Page 4
Can't waste ammunition.Page 6
"Come! Come!" snapped Bradley.Page 11
" "Hit killed him, that's wot hit did, hand hit'll kill some more of us," said James, his lower lip trembling.Page 15
Breakfastless and with shaken nerves the two survivors plunged madly into the long day's march.Page 20
Just a brief glimpse of his immediate surroundings vouchsafed Bradley before he was whisked into the interior of one of the buildings; but in that momentary glance he saw strange piles of stone and wood and mud fashioned into buildings of all conceivable sizes and shapes, sometimes piled high on top of one another, sometimes standing alone in an open court-way, but usually crowded and jammed together, so that there were no streets or alleys between them other than a few which ended almost as soon as they began.Page 25
As he waited for the proprietor to return, he fell to examining the dish from which he had eaten and the pedestal upon which it rested.Page 29
Bradley raised one half the cover and looked in.Page 40
No Wieroos come up from the beginning--all are born of the Wieroo fathers and Galu mothers who are cos-ata-lo, and there are very few of the latter owing to the long and precarious stages of development.Page 51
" The girl still eyed him askance.Page 52
"They fear blue," she replied.Page 55
Then he began to question him--from whence he came and how, the name and description of his native country, and a hundred other queries.Page 56
He Who Speaks for Luata grasped a sword nervously in his right hand.Page 59
" "There is another way," said the girl.Page 61
It was then that the Wieroos decided to carry tas-ad into every part of the world.Page 69
" Chapter 5 Days became weeks, and weeks became months, and the months followed one another in a lazy procession of hot, humid days and warm, humid nights.Page 70
Together they went to the edge of the wood and looked up to see five red-robed creatures dropping slowly in ever-lessening spirals toward their little amphitheater.Page 73
"It is the thing of which you told me," she exclaimed, "--the thing that swims under the water and carries men in its belly!" "It is," replied Bradley.Page 76
But there were no more adversaries to take on.Page 79
"Oh, look!" she cried.