tree--only a few feet beyond him. It was the nearest sanctuary but
Numa stood between it and his prey.
The feel of the long spear shaft in his hand and the sight of the tree
beyond the lion gave the lad an idea--a preposterous idea--a
ridiculous, forlorn hope of an idea; but there was no time now to weigh
chances--there was but a single chance, and that was the thorn tree.
If the lion charged it would be too late--the lad must charge first,
and to the astonishment of Akut and none the less of Numa, the boy
leaped swiftly toward the beast. Just for a second was the lion
motionless with surprise and in that second Jack Clayton put to the
crucial test an accomplishment which he had practiced at school.
Straight for the savage brute he ran, his spear held butt foremost
across his body. Akut shrieked in terror and amazement. The lion
stood with wide, round eyes awaiting the attack, ready to rear upon his
hind feet and receive this rash creature with blows that could crush
the skull of a buffalo.
Just in front of the lion the boy placed the butt of his spear upon the
ground, gave a mighty spring, and, before the bewildered beast could
guess the trick that had been played upon him, sailed over the lion's
head into the rending embrace of the thorn tree--safe but lacerated.
Akut had never before seen a pole-vault. Now he leaped up and down
within the safety of his own tree, screaming taunts and boasts at the
discomfited Numa, while the boy, torn and bleeding, sought some
position in his thorny retreat in which he might find the least agony.
He had saved his life; but at considerable cost in suffering. It
seemed to him that the lion would never leave, and it was a full hour
before the angry brute gave up his vigil and strode majestically away
across the plain. When he was at a safe distance the boy extricated
himself from the thorn tree; but not without inflicting new wounds upon
his already tortured flesh.
It was many days before the outward evidence of the lesson he had
learned had left him; while the impression upon his mind was one that
was to remain with him for life. Never again did he uselessly tempt
He took long chances often in his after life; but only when the taking
of chances might further the attainment of some cherished end--and,
always thereafter, he practiced pole-vaulting.
For several days the boy and
At the Earth's Core By Edgar Rice Burroughs CONTENTS PROLOG I TOWARD THE ETERNAL FIRES II A STRANGE WORLD III A CHANGE OF MASTERS IV DIAN THE BEAUTIFUL V SLAVES VI THE BEGINNING OF HORROR VII FREEDOM VIII THE MAHAR TEMPLE IX THE FACE OF DEATH X PHUTRA AGAIN XI FOUR DEAD MAHARS XII PURSUIT XIII THE SLY ONE XIV THE GARDEN OF EDEN XV BACK TO EARTH PROLOG IN THE FIRST PLACE PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT I do not expect you to believe this story.Page 14
But these were later reflections.Page 18
"They seem to be quite the thing this season.Page 24
By this time we had picked up a smattering of the bastard language in which our guards addressed us, as well as making good headway in the rather charming tongue of our co-captives.Page 32
Their beak-like mouths are lined with sharp, white fangs, and the backs of their huge, lizard bodies are serrated into bony ridges from their necks to the end of their long tails.Page 36
Perry said it must be some sort of homing instinct such as is possessed by certain breeds of earthly pigeons.Page 37
Why, I have come across here very learned discussions of the question as to whether gilaks, that is men, have any means of communication.Page 38
to carry out your wild scheme, if we could not accomplish something of very real and lasting benefit for the human race of Pellucidar at the same time.Page 50
"I would not do that," he said, "for you have just saved my life," and with that he released his hold upon it and squatted down in the bottom of the skiff.Page 56
Raising her hideous head from the water she fixed her great, round eyes upon the slaves.Page 61
Of course I realized that the chances of the success of our proposed venture were slim indeed, but I knew that I never could enjoy freedom without Perry so long as the old man lived, and I had learned that the probability that I might find him was less than slight.Page 62
too; the great, shaggy man had found a place in the hearts of us both, for he was indeed every inch a man and king.Page 63
The fascination of speculation was strong upon me.Page 77
So deeply immersed were they in their work that I am sure they did not even know that the Sagoths had entered with me.Page 78
Assiduously I fell to work upon the Mahar lock that held my chain.Page 89
Whatever it was, it was coming slowly toward the entrance of the cave, and now, deep and forbidding, it uttered a low and ominous growl.Page 90
With a cry of terror the foremost gorilla-man turned to escape, but behind him he ran full upon his on-rushing companions.Page 100
Up he came at last, almost roaring in his rage and mortification; but he didn't stay up--I let him have a left fair on the point of the jaw that sent him tumbling over on his back.Page 106
She said that if Dacor, her brother, would only return he could easily be king of Amoz, and that then he and Ghak could form an alliance.Page 116
And always do these awful questions harass me when I think of David Innes and his strange adventures.