found below these an
ancient system of corridors and chambers that had been sealed up for
ages. The blacks in charge of the work explored them, taking several
of us along to do whatever work there might be occasion for. I know
the entire system perfectly.
"There are miles of corridors honeycombing the ground beneath the
gardens and the temple itself, and there is one passage that leads down
to and connects with the lower regions that open on the water shaft
that gives passage to Omean.
"If we can reach the submarine undetected we may yet make the sea in
which there are many islands where the blacks never go. There we may
live for a time, and who knows what may transpire to aid us to escape?"
He had spoken all in a low whisper, evidently fearing spying ears even
here, and so I answered him in the same subdued tone.
"Lead back to Shador, my friend," I whispered. "Xodar, the black, is
there. We were to attempt our escape together, so I cannot desert him."
"No," said the boy, "one cannot desert a friend. It were better to be
recaptured ourselves than that."
Then he commenced groping his way about the floor of the dark chamber
searching for the trap that led to the corridors beneath. At length he
summoned me by a low, "S-s-t," and I crept toward the sound of his
voice to find him kneeling on the brink of an opening in the floor.
"There is a drop here of about ten feet," he whispered. "Hang by your
hands and you will alight safely on a level floor of soft sand."
Very quietly I lowered myself from the inky cell above into the inky
pit below. So utterly dark was it that we could not see our hands at
an inch from our noses. Never, I think, have I known such complete
absence of light as existed in the pits of Issus.
For an instant I hung in mid air. There is a strange sensation
connected with an experience of that nature which is quite difficult to
describe. When the feet tread empty air and the distance below is
shrouded in darkness there is a feeling akin to panic at the thought of
releasing the hold and taking the plunge into unknown depths.
Although the boy had told me that it was but ten feet to the floor
below I experienced the same thrills as though I were hanging above a
bottomless pit. Then I released
We were off! The noise was deafening.Page 9
" "You mean to say that we turned back in the ice stratum, David? That is not possible.Page 13
Did I say safely lodged? At the time I thought we were quite safe, and so did Perry.Page 22
the hyaenodon, which had now regained its senses and its feet, fled howling with fright.Page 23
They were clothed in a sort of tunic of light cloth which reached to the knees.Page 29
In a land of perpetual noon there is no need of light above ground, yet I marveled that they had no means of lighting their way through these dark, subterranean passages.Page 35
constantly the subject of my thoughts, and when I slept her dear face haunted my dreams.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 51
"The great ones even come to our islands.Page 52
They are a noble-looking race, these cave men of Pellucidar, and if our progenitors were as they, the human race of the outer crust has deteriorated rather than improved with the march of the ages.Page 64
And with these thoughts came a realization of how unimportant to the life and happiness of the world is the existence of any one of us.Page 65
Instead he merely trotted along behind me.Page 69
Then he shook his head sorrowfully.Page 77
At last the head of the tribunal communicated the result of their conference to the officer in charge of the Sagoth guard.Page 78
The Mahars were now evidently completing their work at the table.Page 83
Then Perry passed, and then Hooja.Page 92
All in all they are handsome animals, and added the finishing touch to the strange and lovely landscape that spread before my new home.Page 97
As we proceeded along the ledge I gave Dian minute directions for finding my cave against the chance of something happening to me.Page 113
Once more the thing was off.