elevated his eyebrows a trifle. He had been mistaken, after all.
At the farmhouse the farmer's wife greeted them kindly, thanked Billy
for returning her pail--which, if the truth were known, she had not
expected to see again--and gave them each a handful of thick, light,
golden-brown cookies, the tops of which were encrusted with sugar.
As they walked away Bridge sighed. "Nothing on earth like a good woman,"
"'Maw,' or 'Penelope'?" asked Billy.
"Either, or both," replied Bridge. "I have no Penelope, but I did have a
mighty fine 'maw'."
Billy made no reply. He was thinking of the slovenly, blear-eyed woman
who had brought him into the world. The memory was far from pleasant. He
tried to shake it off.
"'Bridge,'" he said, quite suddenly, and apropos of nothing, in an
effort to change the subject. "That's an odd name. I've heard of Bridges
and Bridger; but I never heard Bridge before."
"Just a name a fellow gave me once up on the Yukon," explained Bridge.
"I used to use a few words he'd never heard before, so he called me 'The
Unabridged,' which was too long. The fellows shortened it to 'Bridge'
and it stuck. It has always stuck, and now I haven't any other. I even
think of myself, now, as Bridge. Funny, ain't it?"
"Yes," agreed Billy, and that was the end of it. He never thought
of asking his companion's true name, any more than Bridge would have
questioned him as to his, or of his past. The ethics of the roadside
fire and the empty tomato tin do not countenance such impertinences.
For several days the two continued their leisurely way toward Kansas
City. Once they rode a few miles on a freight train, but for the most
part they were content to plod joyously along the dusty highways. Billy
continued to "rustle grub," while Bridge relieved the monotony by an
occasional burst of poetry.
"You know so much of that stuff," said Billy as they were smoking by
their camp fire one evening, "that I'd think you'd be able to make some
"I've tried," admitted Bridge; "but there always seems to be something
lacking in my stuff--it don't get under your belt--the divine afflatus
is not there. I may start out all right, but I always end up where I
didn't expect to go, and where nobody wants to be."
"'Member any of it?" asked Billy.
"There was one I wrote about a lake where I camped once," said Bridge,
reminiscently; "but I can only recall one stanza."
"Let's have it," urged Billy. "I bet it has Knibbs
There would seem to me to be about one chance in several million that we shall succeed--otherwise we shall die more quickly but no more surely than as though we sat supinely waiting for the torture of a slow and horrible death.Page 9
The reaction left me in a state of collapse, and I lost consciousness.Page 14
I saw now why the great brute was armed with such enormous paws.Page 15
Behind them trailed long, slender tails which they used in climbing quite as much as they did either their hands or feet.Page 17
I was pulled this way and that.Page 27
Dian told me they were tandorazes, or tandors of the sea, and that the other, and more fearsome reptiles, which occasionally rose from the deep to do battle with them, were azdyryths, or sea-dyryths--Perry called them Ichthyosaurs.Page 31
"But there are no more dark places on the way to Phutra, and once there it is not so easy--the Mahars are very wise.Page 38
It is in the city of Phutra, and unless I am greatly in error I judge from your description of the vaults through which you passed today that it lies hidden in the cellar of this building.Page 41
Sometimes the band took measured steps in unison to one side or the other, or backward and again forward--it all seemed very silly and meaningless to me, but at the end of the first piece the Mahars upon the rocks showed the first indications of enthusiasm that I had seen displayed by the dominant race of Pellucidar.Page 43
It was with difficulty that the girl avoided the first mad rush of the wounded animal.Page 54
Come," and he led me across the clearing and about the end to a pile of loose rock which lay against the foot of the wall.Page 66
With the pain he snapped his mouth closed.Page 68
It was plain to see that the human folk of this inner world had not advanced far in learning, and the thought that the ugly Mahars had so outstripped them was a very pathetic one indeed.Page 69
I wish now that I had not left the arena for by this time my friends and I might have made good our escape, whereas this delay may mean the wrecking of all our plans, which depended for their consummation upon the continued sleep of the three Mahars who lay in the pit beneath the building in which we were confined.Page 87
What lay beyond I could not even guess--possibly a sheer drop of hundreds of feet into the corresponding valley upon the other side.Page 89
And then from the inky blackness at my right I saw two flaming eyes glaring into mine.Page 93
There was no time to be lost, scarce an instant in which to weigh the possible chances that I had against the awfully armed creature; but the sight of that frightened girl below me called out to all that was best in me, and the instinct for.Page 97
At our right lay a dense forest, but to the left the country was open and clear to the plateau's farther verge.Page 101
We had no difficulty in finding my lair, and then I went down into the valley and bowled over a small antelope, which I dragged up the steep ascent to the ledge before the door.Page 116
any member of my former party who could lead me to the same spot.