so he died, his thin lips curled in the snarl of his hateful laugh,
and a bullet from the revolver of his dead companion bursting in his
His body, borne by the impetus of his headlong rush, plunged upon me.
The hilt of his sword must have struck my head, for with the impact of
the corpse I lost consciousness.
It was the sound of conflict that aroused me once more to the realities
of life. For a moment I could neither place my surroundings nor locate
the sounds which had aroused me. And then from beyond the blank wall
beside which I lay I heard the shuffling of feet, the snarling of grim
beasts, the clank of metal accoutrements, and the heavy breathing of a
As I rose to my feet I glanced hurriedly about the chamber in which I
had just encountered such a warm reception. The prisoners and the
savage brutes rested in their chains by the opposite wall eyeing me
with varying expressions of curiosity, sullen rage, surprise, and hope.
The latter emotion seemed plainly evident upon the handsome and
intelligent face of the young red Martian woman whose cry of warning
had been instrumental in saving my life.
She was the perfect type of that remarkably beautiful race whose
outward appearance is identical with the more god-like races of Earth
men, except that this higher race of Martians is of a light reddish
copper colour. As she was entirely unadorned I could not even guess
her station in life, though it was evident that she was either a
prisoner or slave in her present environment.
It was several seconds before the sounds upon the opposite side of the
partition jolted my slowly returning faculties into a realization of
their probable import, and then of a sudden I grasped the fact that
they were caused by Tars Tarkas in what was evidently a desperate
struggle with wild beasts or savage men.
With a cry of encouragement I threw my weight against the secret door,
but as well have assayed the down-hurling of the cliffs themselves.
Then I sought feverishly for the secret of the revolving panel, but my
search was fruitless, and I was about to raise my longsword against the
sullen gold when the young woman prisoner called out to me.
"Save thy sword, O Mighty Warrior, for thou shalt need it more where it
will avail to some purpose--shatter it not against senseless metal
which yields better to the lightest finger touch of one who knows its
"Know you the secret of it then?" I
It did not take me long to clamber over its side and drag Nobs in to comparative safety, and then I glanced around upon the scene of death and desolation which surrounded us.Page 5
I felt no particular distress until I suddenly started upward at ever-increasing velocity; then my lungs seemed about to burst, and I must have lost consciousness, for I remember nothing more until I opened my eyes after listening to a torrent of invective against Germany.Page 10
Their gun crew was off its guard; but they sprang to their piece now and sent a futile shell above our heads.Page 12
Kick and squirm as I would, I could neither turn toward my antagonist nor free myself from his maniacal grasp.Page 37
"Yes," I replied, "it may have; it may have tumbled or been thrown off the top of one of these cliffs.Page 40
I was forced to approach the dangerous left-hand wall in order to make the turn, and I depended upon the power of the motors to carry us through the surging waters in safety.Page 41
Into what sort of strange land had fate guided us? The instant the deck was awash, I opened the conning-tower hatch and stepped out.Page 44
We had food enough, and with the water we were all quite refreshed; but we missed fresh meat.Page 45
She wasn't of the gushing type, I knew; so I didn't expect much from her and was duly grateful for the few morsels of attention.Page 46
" We discussed the future and ventured opinions as to what lay before us; but we could only theorize at best, for none of us knew.Page 47
The water was quite free from reptiles, and the vegetation upon the banks of the river had altered to more open and parklike forest, with eucalyptus and acacia mingled with a scattering of tree ferns, as though two distinct periods of geologic time had overlapped and merged.Page 50
This stream was entirely free from dangerous reptiles, because, as I later discovered, they became immediately dormant when subjected to a much lower temperature than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.Page 54
There was the same short, stocky trunk upon which rested an enormous head habitually bent forward into the same curvature as the back, the arms shorter than the legs, and the lower leg considerably shorter than that of modern man, the knees bent forward and never straightened.Page 61
I had to smile as I read Bradley's report.Page 63
The next day Plesser and two other Germans came down overland for ammunition.Page 66
Olson, Whitely, Wilson, and I stood for a moment looking at one another.Page 72
It was too dark to do more than this.Page 75
He must have been asleep in the long grass, for I saw him rise and look about him in a bewildered way, and then I raised my gun and let him have it.Page 78
Here, as in the last tribe, there were no children or any old people.Page 83
It is the abode of some mighty winged creature of the Triassic--or rather it was.