was still a baffling riddle.
Slowly I circled the great shaft, looking for a means of ingress.
Part way around I found a tiny radium flash torch, and as I examined
it in mild curiosity as to its presence there in this almost
inaccessible and unknown spot, I came suddenly upon the insignia
of the house of Thurid jewel-inset in its metal case.
I am upon the right trail, I thought, as I slipped the bauble into
the pocket-pouch which hung from my harness. Then I continued
my search for the entrance, which I knew must be somewhere about;
nor had I long to search, for almost immediately thereafter I came
upon a small door so cunningly inlaid in the shaft's base that it
might have passed unnoticed by a less keen or careful observer.
There was the door that would lead me within the prison, but where
was the means to open it? No button or lock were visible. Again
and again I went carefully over every square inch of its surface,
but the most that I could find was a tiny pinhole a little above
and to the right of the door's center--a pinhole that seemed only
an accident of manufacture or an imperfection of material.
Into this minute aperture I attempted to peer, but whether it was
but a fraction of an inch deep or passed completely through the door
I could not tell--at least no light showed beyond it. I put my ear
to it next and listened, but again my efforts brought negligible
During these experiments Woola had been standing at my side gazing
intently at the door, and as my glance fell upon him it occurred
to me to test the correctness of my hypothesis, that this portal
had been the means of ingress to the temple used by Thurid, the
black dator, and Matai Shang, Father of Therns.
Turning away abruptly, I called to him to follow me. For a moment
he hesitated, and then leaped after me, whining and tugging at my
harness to draw me back. I walked on, however, some distance from
the door before I let him have his way, that I might see precisely
what he would do. Then I permitted him to lead me wherever he
Straight back to that baffling portal he dragged me, again taking
up his position facing the blank stone, gazing straight at its
shining surface. For an hour I worked to solve the mystery of the
combination that would open the way before me.
Carefully I recalled every circumstance of
We don't know what's happening.Page 10
lived, they might some day come upon the ruined remnants of this great plane hanging in its lofty sepulcher and hazard vain guesses and be filled with wonder; but they would never know; and I could not but be glad that they would not know that Tom Billings had sealed their death-warrants by his criminal selfishness.Page 11
They were larger, the colors more brilliant and the shapes startling, some almost to grotesqueness, though even such added to the charm and romance of the landscape as the giant cacti render weirdly beautiful the waste spots of the sad Mohave.Page 18
With my hunting-knife I removed a hind-quarter, and then we returned to camp.Page 19
I shall never forget the expression upon Ajor's face as she saw me strike a match and light the kindling beneath our camp-fire.Page 20
She was a regular little animated question-mark.Page 22
But my joy was short-lived, and my heart sank once again as a moment later I saw a mighty paw insinuated into the opening--a paw as large around as a large dishpan.Page 30
"If you go back to them, you will die.Page 35
I shudder even now as I contemplate what this girl passed through for my sake and how she enhanced her peril in loading herself down with the weight of my arms and ammunition and the awkwardness of the long rifle which she was unaccustomed to bearing.Page 40
However, there were trees, and among them we soon descried edible fruits with which we broke our long fast.Page 46
"Is she mad that she follows me thus?" In another moment the young woman stopped, panting, before us.Page 47
To-mar was very much of a man--a savage, if you will, but none the less a man.Page 56
I presume that he expected to be killed; but if he did, he showed no outward sign of fear.Page 59
"I saw it with my own eyes!" she exclaimed.Page 61
" I was not entirely reassured; but I wanted to see the interior of the Kro-lu village, and anyway I knew that if Al-tan intended treachery I would be no more in his power in the morning than I now was--in fact, during the night I might find opportunity to escape with Ajor, while at the instant neither of us could hope to escape unscathed from the encircling warriors.Page 68
I was puzzled at his behavior, and then I recalled that To-mar, though he had warned me, had appeared not to wish to seem friendly with me.Page 74
When I asked Chal-az for the Caspakian name for rope, he told me ga, and for the first time I understood the derivation of the word Galu, which means ropeman.Page 75
With the decrease among the carnivora, the herbivora increased in quantity, though anywhere in Caspak they are sufficiently plentiful to furnish ample food for the meateaters of each locality.Page 78
Nobs and I were hungry; we had not eaten since the preceding.Page 84
I was a new man, imbued with a sense of superiority that led me to feel that I could go forth and conquer all Caspak single-handed.