ancient, reptilian forbear had clung to life and
transmitted to me through the ages the most powerful motive that guided
his minute brain--the motive of self-preservation.
At last I came to the great barrier-cliffs; and after three days of mad
effort--of maniacal effort--I scaled them. I built crude ladders; I
wedged sticks in narrow fissures; I chopped toe-holds and finger-holds
with my long knife; but at last I scaled them. Near the summit I came
upon a huge cavern. It is the abode of some mighty winged creature of
the Triassic--or rather it was. Now it is mine. I slew the thing and
took its abode. I reached the summit and looked out upon the broad
gray terrible Pacific of the far-southern winter. It was cold up
there. It is cold here today; yet here I sit watching, watching,
watching for the thing I know will never come--for a sail.
Once a day I descend to the base of the cliff and hunt, and fill my
stomach with water from a clear cold spring. I have three gourds which
I fill with water and take back to my cave against the long nights. I
have fashioned a spear and a bow and arrow, that I may conserve my
ammunition, which is running low. My clothes are worn to shreds.
Tomorrow I shall discard them for leopard-skins which I have tanned and
sewn into a garment strong and warm. It is cold up here. I have a
fire burning and I sit bent over it while I write; but I am safe here.
No other living creature ventures to the chill summit of the barrier
cliffs. I am safe, and I am alone with my sorrows and my remembered
joys--but without hope. It is said that hope springs eternal in the
human breast; but there is none in mine.
I am about done. Presently I shall fold these pages and push them into
my thermos bottle. I shall cork it and screw the cap tight, and then I
shall hurl it as far out into the sea as my strength will permit. The
wind is off-shore; the tide is running out; perhaps it will be carried
into one of those numerous ocean-currents which sweep perpetually from
pole to pole and from continent to continent, to be deposited at last
upon some inhabited shore. If fate is kind and this does happen, then,
for God's sake, come and get me!
It was a week ago that I wrote
In all respects it seemed identical in construction with those further out in the valley--a high, plastered wall of massive construction surrounding a similarly constructed tower, upon whose gray surface was painted in vivid colors a strange device.Page 28
It was a banth--the great, maned lion of Barsoom.Page 29
As by magic a new aspect fell athwart the face of Nature.Page 38
Renewed hope aroused within her a spirit of greater cheerfulness, and it was almost blithely now that she moved at the side of her weird companion.Page 42
"And hers?" "I do not know.Page 56
When I am through with you you shall be killed if it seems the logical thing to do.Page 71
His sword point drooped slowly toward the floor.Page 98
I, O-Tar, am strong.Page 104
Its only weapons are its jaws since its broad, splay feet are armed with blunt talons.Page 116
A warrior faced them.Page 117
"But Turan! Tell me, padwar, have you heard aught of him?" Tara's tone was insistent and she leaned a little forward toward the officer, her lips slightly parted in expectancy.Page 119
"I have been here many years," said the girl, Lan-O; "but never have I seen even The Great Jed bring so many fighting men into the city of Manator.Page 120
"Tell me of them!" cried Turan after him.Page 125
"Hold, just O-Tar!" cried U-Dor.Page 132
" "It was to save me, then?" he cried, his face suddenly lighting.Page 138
There were swords and spears and several large, two-bladed battle-axes, the heads of which bore a striking resemblance to the propellor of a small flier.Page 147
Again the trumpet sounded, this time announcing the second and last game of the afternoon.Page 185
stood still within his breast and the cold sweat broke from the clammy skin of his forehead, for from within there came to his affrighted ears the sound of muffled breathing.Page 193
Where was he? What, indeed, could he accomplish now to save her? Surrounded by the power of O-Tar with never a friend among them, her position seemed at last without vestige of hope.