duty on the vessel, and Phaidor and
I stood alone beside the rail. The girl had not once spoken since we
had been brought to the deck.
"Is what he has been telling me true?" I asked her.
"In part, yes," she answered. "That about the outer valley is true,
but what he says of the location of the Temple of Issus in the centre
of his country is false. If it is not false--" she hesitated. "Oh it
cannot be true, it cannot be true. For if it were true then for
countless ages have my people gone to torture and ignominious death at
the hands of their cruel enemies, instead of to the beautiful Life
Eternal that we have been taught to believe Issus holds for us."
"As the lesser Barsoomians of the outer world have been lured by you to
the terrible Valley Dor, so may it be that the therns themselves have
been lured by the First Born to an equally horrid fate," I suggested.
"It would be a stern and awful retribution, Phaidor; but a just one."
"I cannot believe it," she said.
"We shall see," I answered, and then we fell silent again for we were
rapidly approaching the black mountains, which in some indefinable way
seemed linked with the answer to our problem.
As we neared the dark, truncated cone the vessel's speed was diminished
until we barely moved. Then we topped the crest of the mountain and
below us I saw yawning the mouth of a huge circular well, the bottom of
which was lost in inky blackness.
The diameter of this enormous pit was fully a thousand feet. The walls
were smooth and appeared to be composed of a black, basaltic rock.
For a moment the vessel hovered motionless directly above the centre of
the gaping void, then slowly she began to settle into the black chasm.
Lower and lower she sank until as darkness enveloped us her lights were
thrown on and in the dim halo of her own radiance the monster
battleship dropped on and on down into what seemed to me must be the
very bowels of Barsoom.
For quite half an hour we descended and then the shaft terminated
abruptly in the dome of a mighty subterranean world. Below us rose and
fell the billows of a buried sea. A phosphorescent radiance
illuminated the scene. Thousands of ships dotted the bosom of the
ocean. Little islands rose here and there to support the strange and
colourless vegetation of this strange world.
None but you, Coblich, had knowledge of the part that Dr.Page 4
Barney Custer knew that so long as the road ran straight the girl might be safe enough, for she was evidently an excellent horsewoman; but he also knew that if there should be a sharp turn to the left ahead, the horse in his blind fright would in all probability dash headlong into the ravine below him.Page 13
He was so close that the muzzle of the weapon almost touched Barney's face.Page 18
An officer with a lantern stepped out upon the lowered portcullis.Page 32
With vicious, murderous fingers he seized.Page 37
He was bare-headed, for his cap had remained in the moat at Blentz, and his disheveled hair was tousled upon his head, while his full beard had dried into a weird and tangled fringe about his face.Page 53
He let his gaze follow the two as they moved on up the corridor until they turned in at the door of the room they sought, then he followed them, entering an apartment next to that in which Herr Kramer's patient lay.Page 65
Slowly Prince Ludwig rose and addressed the bishop.Page 93
"He has earned a greater reward at your hands than that.Page 97
"Why, what time is it?" exclaimed Custer, and as he looked at his watch he rose with a laugh.Page 108
Again came the challenging: "S-s-t!" Yes, there was someone above, signaling to him.Page 109
"If you are going to give me up you'd better do it at once.Page 112
A moment later he had drawn himself through the skylight and stood upon the roof of the building.Page 114
He turned toward Prince Peter with a few low-whispered words.Page 133
"You do not know.Page 147
He carried his carbine in his hands and at sight of the man with the fugitive girl he raised it to his shoulder; but as the American turned toward him his eyes went wide and his jaw dropped.Page 150
"Wait," he cried, excitedly, "I will go and see if I can find a place for you.Page 173
and let us work together for the salvation of our country and your majesty's throne.Page 178
The fifteen minutes had almost elapsed when there fluttered from the tiny monoplane a paper parachute.Page 211
Maenck died of his wound on the floor of the little room in the east transept of the cathedral of Lustadt beside the body of the king he had slain.