moving through the deserted city as though no great
white apes lurked in the black shadows of the mystery-haunted piles
that flanked the broad avenues and the great plaza.
But if Carthoris was careless of his surroundings, not so other
eyes that watched his entrance into the plaza, and followed his slow
footsteps toward the marble pile that housed the tiny, half-choked
spring whose water one might gain only by scratching a deep hole
in the red sand that covered it.
And as the Heliumite entered the small building a dozen mighty,
grotesque figures emerged from the doorway of the palace to speed
noiselessly across the plaza toward him.
For half an hour Carthoris remained in the building, digging for
water and gaining the few much-needed drops which were the fruits
of his labour. Then he rose and slowly left the structure. Scarce
had he stepped beyond the threshold than twelve Torquasian warriors
leaped upon him.
No time then to draw long-sword; but swift from his harness flew
his long, slim dagger, and as he went down beneath them more than
a single green heart ceased beating at the bite of that keen point.
Then they overpowered him and took his weapons away; but only nine
of the twelve warriors who had crossed the plaza returned with
They dragged their prisoner roughly to the palace pits, where
in utter darkness they chained him with rusty links to the solid
masonry of the wall.
"To-morrow Thar Ban will speak with you," they said. "Now
he sleeps. But great will be his pleasure when he learns who has
wandered amongst us--and great will be the pleasure of Hortan Gur
when Thar Ban drags before him the mad fool who dared prick the
great jeddak with his sword."
Then they left him to the silence and the darkness.
For what seemed hours Carthoris squatted upon the stone floor of
his prison, his back against the wall in which was sunk the heavy
eye-bolt that secured the chain which held him.
Then, from out of the mysterious blackness before him, there
came to his ears the sound of naked feet moving stealthily upon
stone--approaching nearer and nearer to where he lay, unarmed and
Minutes passed--minutes that seemed hours--during which time
periods of sepulchral silence would be followed by a repetition of
the uncanny scraping of naked feet slinking warily upon him.
At last he heard a sudden rush of unshod soles across the empty
blackness, and at a little distance a scuffling sound, heavy
breathing, and once what he thought the muttered imprecation of
a man battling against great odds.
Cable me at once, at my expense, that there was no basis of fact for your story, At the Earth's Core.Page 11
Instead, what I saw was an old man--a terrified old man! Staggering feebly and hopelessly from what must have been some very terrible fate, if one could judge from the horrified expressions he continually cast behind him toward the wood, he came stumbling on in my direction.Page 17
I thought that.Page 23
We were upon the side of the Mountains of the Clouds that we had for so long been attempting to reach.Page 58
Slowly he came quite close to me, sniffed at my shoes, my puttees, my hands, and then limped off a few feet and lay down again.Page 61
That was enough! From that moment I have never again felt suspicion of Raja, as I immediately named him.Page 70
Presently there emerged from the cavernous depths of the lair a monstrous creature, scarred from a hundred battles, almost hairless and with an empty socket where one eye had been.Page 79
I had seen her pass beneath me but a short while before and enter the small cave that had swallowed all of the returning tribesmen.Page 80
The dugout, which contained but two men, was drawn close to the rocky wall.Page 82
Had we done so we could have held it, for there are only two entrances--the narrow tunnel at one end and the steep path up the cliffs at the other.Page 89
The tribesmen were nearing us.Page 90
They kept looking from the corpse to me and jabbering among themselves.Page 93
For a long time I have carried a viper's fang in my bosom.Page 98
Rather, they were contemplating him in an attitude of questioning.Page 108
The dugouts, which were of unusual length, were manned by twenty paddlers, ten to a side.Page 110
However, it was a most exciting ordeal.Page 111
Then I felt a bit safer for Dian.Page 119
The battle over and the prisoners disposed of and fed--and do not imagine that Dian, Juag, and I, as well as the two hounds were not fed also--I turned my attention to the fleet.Page 121
and reel, they had kept a fairly accurate record of their course from the time they had set out.Page 124
As we approached smaller objects became distinguishable.