by Edgar Rice Burroughs
SEVERAL YEARS had elapsed since I had found the op-
portunity to do any big-game hunting; for at last I
had my plans almost perfected for a return to my old
stamping-grounds in northern Africa, where in other
days I had had excellent sport in pursuit of the king
The date of my departure had been set; I was to
leave in two weeks. No schoolboy counting the lagging
hours that must pass before the beginning of "long
vacation" released him to the delirious joys of the sum-
mer camp could have been filled with greater im-
patience or keener anticipation.
And then came a letter that started me for Africa
twelve days ahead of my schedule.
Often am I in receipt of letters from strangers who
have found something in a story of mine to commend
or to condemn. My interest in this department of my
correspondence is ever fresh. I opened this particular
letter with all the zest of pleasurable anticipation with
which I had opened so many others. The post-mark
(Algiers) had aroused my interest and curiosity, es-
pecially at this time, since it was Algiers that was
presently to witness the termination of my coming sea
voyage in search of sport and adventure.
Before the reading of that letter was completed lions
and lion-hunting had fled my thoughts, and I was in
a state of excitement bordering upon frenzy.
It--well, read it yourself, and see if you, too, do not
find food for frantic conjecture, for tantalizing doubts,
and for a great hope.
Here it is:
DEAR SIR: I think that I have run across one of the
most remarkable coincidences in modern literature. But
let me start at the beginning:
I am, by profession, a wanderer upon the face of
the earth. I have no trade--nor any other occupation.
My father bequeathed me a competency; some remoter
ancestors lust to roam. I have combined the two
and invested them carefully and without extravagance.
I became interested in your story, At the Earth's
Core, not so much because of the probability of the
tale as of a great and abiding wonder that people
should be paid real money for writing such impossible
trash. You will pardon my candor, but it is necessary
that you understand my mental attitude toward this
particular story--that you may credit that which fol-
Shortly thereafter I started for the Sahara in search
of a rather rare species of antelope that is to be found
only occasionally within a limited area at a certain
season of the year. My chase led me far from the haunts
It was a fruitless search, however, in so far as antelope
is concerned; but one night as I lay courting sleep at
the edge of a little cluster of date-palms that surround
an ancient well in the midst of the arid, shifting sands,
I suddenly became conscious of a strange sound coming
apparently from the earth beneath my head.
It was an intermittent ticking!
No reptile or insect with which I am familiar re-
produces any such notes. I lay for an hour--listening
At last my curiosity got the better of me. I arose,
lighted my lamp and commenced to investigate.
My bedding lay upon a rug stretched directly upon
the warm sand. The noise appeared to be coming from
beneath the rug. I raised it, but found nothing--yet,
at intervals, the sound continued.
I dug into the sand with the point of my hunting-
knife. A few inches below the surface of the sand
I encountered a solid substance that had the feel of
wood beneath the sharp steel.
Excavating about it, I unearthed a small wooden box.
From this receptacle issued the strange sound that I
How had it come here?
What did it contain?
In attempting to lift it from its burying place I dis-
covered that it seemed to be held fast by means of a
very small insulated cable running farther into the sand
My first impulse was to drag the thing loose by main
strength; but fortunately I thought better of this and
fell to examining the box. I soon saw that it was covered
by a hinged lid, which was held closed by a simple
screwhook and eye.
It took but a moment to loosen this and raise the
cover, when, to my utter astonishment, I discovered
an ordinary telegraph instrument clicking away within.
"What in the world," thought I, "is this thing doing here?"
That it was a French military instrument was my
first guess; but really there didn't seem much likelihood
that this was the correct explanation, when one took
into account the loneliness and remoteness of the spot.
As I sat gazing at my remarkable find, which was tick-
ing and clicking away there in the silence of the desert
night, trying to convey some message which I was
unable to interpret, my eyes fell upon a bit of paper
lying in the bottom of the box beside the instrument.
I picked it up and examined it. Upon it were written
but two letters:
They meant nothing to me then. I was baffled.
Once, in an interval of silence upon the part of the
receiving instrument, I moved the sending-key up and
down a few times. Instantly the receiving mechanism
commenced to work frantically.
I tried to recall something of the Morse Code, with
which I had played as a little boy--but time had
obliterated it from my memory. I became almost frantic
as I let my imagination run riot among the possibilities
for which this clicking instrument might stand.
Some poor devil at the unknown other end might be
in dire need of succor. The very franticness of the
instrument's wild clashing betokened something of the
And there sat I, powerless to interpret, and so power-
less to help!
It was then that the inspiration came to me. In a flash
there leaped to my mind the closing paragraphs of the
story I had read in the club at Algiers:
Does the answer lie somewhere upon the bosom of
the broad Sahara, at the ends of two tiny wires, hidden
beneath a lost cairn?
The idea seemed preposterous. Experience and in-
telligence combined to assure me that there could be
no slightest grain of truth or possibility in your wild
tale--it was fiction pure and simple.
And yet where WERE the other ends of those wires?
What was this instrument--ticking away here in
the great Sahara--but a travesty upon the possible!
Would I have believed in it had I not seen it with
my own eyes?
And the initials--D. I.--upon the slip of paper!
David's initials were these--David Innes.
I smiled at my imaginings. I ridiculed the assumption
that there was an inner world and that these wires
led downward through the earth's crust to the surface
of Pellucidar. And yet--
Well, I sat there all night, listening to that tantalizing
clicking, now and then moving the sending-key just to
let the other end know that the instrument had been
discovered. In the morning, after carefully returning the
box to its hole and covering it over with sand, I called
my servants about me, snatched a hurried breakfast,
mounted my horse, and started upon a forced march
I arrived here today. In writing you this letter I feel
that I am making a fool of myself.
There is no David Innes.
There is no Dian the Beautiful.
There is no world within a world.
Pellucidar is but a realm of your imagination--noth-
The incident of the finding of that buried telegraph
instrument upon the lonely Sahara is little short of
uncanny, in view of your story of the adventures of
I have called it one of the most remarkable coinci-
dences in modern fiction. I called it literature before,
but--again pardon my candor--your story is not.
And now--why am I writing you?
Heaven knows, unless it is that the persistent clicking
of that unfathomable enigma out there in the vast
silences of the Sahara has so wrought upon my nerves
that reason refuses longer to function sanely.
I cannot hear it now, yet I know that far away to the
south, all alone beneath the sands, it is still pounding
out its vain, frantic appeal.
It is maddening
It is your fault--I want you to release me from it.
Cable me at once, at my expense, that there was no
basis of fact for your story, At the Earth's Core.
Very respectfully yours,
Ten minutes after reading this letter I had cabled
Mr. Nestor as follows:
Story true. Await me Algiers.
As fast as train and boat would carry me, I sped
toward my destination. For all those dragging days my
mind was a whirl of mad conjecture, of frantic hope,
of numbing fear.
The finding of the telegraph-instrument practically
assured me that David Innes had driven Perry's iron
mole back through the earth's crust to the buried world
of Pellucidar; but what adventures had befallen him
since his return?
Had he found Dian the Beautiful, his half-savage
mate, safe among his friends, or had Hooja the Sly One
succeeded in his nefarious schemes to abduct her?
Did Abner Perry, the lovable old inventor and pale-
ontologist, still live?
Had the federated tribes of Pellucidar succeeded in
overthrowing the mighty Mahars, the dominant race
of reptilian monsters, and their fierce, gorilla-like sol-
diery, the savage Sagoths?
I must admit that I was in a state bordering upon
nervous prostration when I entered the -and-Club,
in Algiers, and inquired for Mr. Nestor. A moment later
I was ushered into his presence, to find myself clasping
hands with the sort of chap that the world holds only
too few of.
He was a tall, smooth-faced man of about thirty,
clean-cut, straight, and strong, and weather-tanned to
the hue of a desert Arab. I liked him immensely from
the first, and I hope that after our three months together
in the desert country--three months not entirely lack-
ing in adventure--he found that a man may be a
writer of "impossible trash" and yet have some redeem-
The day following my arrival at Algiers we left for
the south, Nestor having made all arrangements in
advance, guessing, as he naturally did, that I could be
coming to Africa for but a single purpose--to hasten
at once to the buried telegraph-instrument and wrest
its secret from it.
In addition to our native servants, we took along
an English telegraph-operator named Frank Downes.
Nothing of interest enlivened our journey by rail and
caravan till we came to the cluster of date-palms about
the ancient well upon the rim of the Sahara.
It was the very spot at which I first had seen David
Innes. If he had ever raised a cairn above the telegraph
instrument no sign of it remained now. Had it not been
for the chance that caused Cogdon Nestor to throw
down his sleeping rug directly over the hidden instru-
ment, it might still be clicking there unheard--and
this story still unwritten.
When we reached the spot and unearthed the little
box the instrument was quiet, nor did repeated attempts
upon the part of our telegrapher succeed in winning
a response from the other end of the line. After several
days of futile endeavor to raise Pellucidar, we had be-
gun to despair. I was as positive that the other end
of that little cable protruded through the surface of the
inner world as I am that I sit here today in my study--
when about midnight of the fourth day I was awakened
by the sound of the instrument.
Leaping to my feet I grasped Downes roughly by the
neck and dragged him out of his blankets. He didn't
need to be told what caused my excitement, for the
instant he was awake he, too, heard the long-hoped
for click, and with a whoop of delight pounced upon
Nestor was on his feet almost as soon as I. The three
of us huddled about that little box as if our lives
depended upon the message it had for us.
Downes interrupted the clicking with his sending-
key. The noise of the receiver stopped instantly.
"Ask who it is, Downes," I directed.
He did so, and while we awaited the Englishman's
translation of the reply, I doubt if either Nestor or I
"He says he's David Innes," said Downes. "He wants
to know who we are."
"Tell him," said I; "and that we want to know how
he is--and all that has befallen him since I last saw
For two months I talked with David Innes almost
every day, and as Downes translated, either Nestor or
I took notes. From these, arranged in chronological
order, I have set down the following account of the
further adventures of David Innes at the earth's core,
practically in his own words.
CHAPTER I. LOST ON PELLUCIDAR
The Arabs, of whom I wrote you at the end of my last
letter (Innes began), and whom I thought to be enemies
intent only upon murdering me, proved to be exceed-
ingly friendly--they were searching for the very band
of marauders that had threatened my existence. The
huge rhamphorhynchus-like reptile that I had brought
back with me from the inner world--the ugly Mahar
that Hooja the Sly One had substituted for my dear
Dian at the moment of my departure--filled them
with wonder and with awe.
Nor less so did the mighty subterranean prospector
which had carried me to Pellucidar and back again,
and which lay out in the desert about two miles from
With their help I managed to get the unwieldy tons
of its great bulk into a vertical position--the nose deep
in a hole we had dug in the sand and the rest of it
supported by the trunks of date-palms cut for the
It was a mighty engineering job with only wild Arabs
and their wilder mounts to do the work of an electric
crane--but finally it was completed, and I was ready
For some time I hesitated to take the Mahar back
with me. She had been docile and quiet ever since she
had discovered herself virtually a prisoner aboard the
"iron mole." It had been, of course, impossible for me
to communicate with her since she had no auditory
organs and I no knowledge of her fourth-dimension,
sixth-sense method of communication.
Naturally I am kind-hearted, and so I found it beyond
me to leave even this hateful and repulsive thing alone
in a strange and hostile world. The result was that
when I entered the iron mole I took her with me.
That she knew that we were about to return to
Pellucidar was evident, for immediately her manner
changed from that of habitual gloom that had pervaded
her, to an almost human expression of contentment
Our trip through the earth's crust was but a repetition
of my two former journeys between the inner and the
outer worlds. This time, however, I imagine that we
must have maintained a more nearly perpendicular
course, for we accomplished the journey in a few min-
utes' less time than upon the occasion of my first
journey through the five-hundred-mile crust. just a
trifle less than seventy-two hours after our departure
into the sands of the Sahara, we broke through the
surface of Pellucidar.
Fortune once again favored me by the slightest of
margins, for when I opened the door in the prospector's
outer jacket I saw that we had missed coming up
through the bottom of an ocean by but a few hundred
The aspect of the surrounding country was entirely
unfamiliar to me--I had no conception of precisely
where I was upon the one hundred and twenty-four
million square miles of Pellucidar's vast land surface.
The perpetual midday sun poured down its torrid
rays from zenith, as it had done since the beginning of
Pellucidarian time--as it would continue to do to the
end of it. Before me, across the wide sea, the weird,
horizonless seascape folded gently upward to meet the
sky until it lost itself to view in the azure depths of
distance far above the level of my eyes.
How strange it looked! How vastly different from
the flat and puny area of the circumscribed vision of
the dweller upon the outer crust!
I was lost. Though I wandered ceaselessly throughout
a lifetime, I might never discover the whereabouts of
my former friends of this strange and savage world.
Never again might I see dear old Perry, nor Ghak the
Hairy One, nor Dacor the Strong One, nor that other
infinitely precious one--my sweet and noble mate,
Dian the Beautiful!
But even so I was glad to tread once more the surface
of Pellucidar. Mysterious and terrible, grotesque and
savage though she is in many of her aspects, I can not
but love her. Her very savagery appealed to me, for
it is the savagery of unspoiled Nature.
The magnificence of her tropic beauties enthralled
me. Her mighty land areas breathed unfettered free-
Her untracked oceans, whispering of virgin wonders
unsullied by the eye of man, beckoned me out upon
their restless bosoms.
Not for an instant did I regret the world of my
nativity. I was in Pellucidar. I was home. And I was
As I stood dreaming beside the giant thing that had
brought me safely through the earth's crust, my travel-
ing companion, the hideous Mahar, emerged from the
interior of the prospector and stood beside me. For
a long time she remained motionless.
What thoughts were passing through the convolutions
of her reptilian brain?
I do not know.
She was a member of the dominant race of Pel-
lucidar. By a strange freak of evolution her kind had
first developed the power of reason in that world of
To her, creatures such as I were of a lower order.
As Perry had discovered among the writings of her
kind in the buried city of Phutra, it was still an open
question among the Mahars as to whether man pos-
sessed means of intelligent communication or the power
Her kind believed that in the center of all-pervading
solidity there was a single, vast, spherical cavity, which
was Pellucidar. This cavity had been left there for the
sole purpose of providing a place for the creation and
propagation of the Mahar race. Everything within it
had been put there for the uses of the Mahar.
I wondered what this particular Mahar might think
now. I found pleasure in speculating upon just what
the effect had been upon her of passing through the
earth's crust, and coming out into a world that one of
even less intelligence than the great Mahars could
easily see was a different world from her own Pel-
What had she thought of the outer world's tiny sun?
What had been the effect upon her of the moon and
myriad stars of the clear African nights?
How had she explained them?
With what sensations of awe must she first have
watched the sun moving slowly across the heavens to
disappear at last beneath the western horizon, leaving
in his wake that which the Mahar had never before
witnessed--the darkness of night? For upon Pellucidar
there is no night. The stationary sun hangs forever in
the center of the Pellucidarian sky--directly overhead.
Then, too, she must have been impressed by the
wondrous mechanism of the prospector which had bored
its way from world to world and back again. And that
it had been driven by a rational being must also have
occurred to her.
Too, she bad seen me conversing with other men
upon the earth's surface. She had seen the arrival of
the caravan of books and arms, and ammunition, and
the balance of the heterogeneous collection which I
had crammed into the cabin of the iron mole for trans-
portation to Pellucidar.
She had seen all these evidences of a civilization
and brain-power transcending in scientific achieve-
ment anything that her race had produced; nor once
had she seen a creature of her own kind.
There could have been but a single deduction in the
mind of the Mahar--there were other worlds than
Pellucidar, and the gilak was a rational being.
Now the creature at my side was creeping slowly
toward the near-by sea. At my hip hung a long-barreled
six-shooter--somehow I had been unable to find the
same sensation of security in the newfangled auto-
matics that had been perfected since my first departure
from the outer world--and in my hand was a heavy
I could have shot the Mahar with ease, for I knew
intuitively that she was escaping--but I did not.
I felt that if she could return to her own kind with
the story of her adventures, the position of the human
race within Pellucidar would be advanced immensely
at a single stride, for at once man would take his proper
place in the considerations of the reptilia.
At the edge of the sea the creature paused and
looked back at me. Then she slid sinuously into the surf.
For several minutes I saw no more of her as she
luxuriated in the cool depths.
Then a hundred yards from shore she rose and there
for another short while she floated upon the surface.
Finally she spread her giant wings, flapped them
vigorously a score of times and rose above the blue
sea. A single time she circled far aloft--and then
straight as an arrow she sped away.
I watched her until the distant haze enveloped her
and she had disappeared. I was alone.
My first concern was to discover where within Pel-
lucidar I might be--and in what direction lay the land
of the Sarians where Ghak the Hairy One ruled.
But how was I to guess in which direction lay Sari?
And if I set out to search--what then?
Could I find my way back to the prospector with its
priceless freight of books, firearms, ammunition, scien-
tific instruments, and still more books--its great library
of reference works upon every conceivable branch of ap-
And if I could not, of what value was all this vast
storehouse of potential civilization and progress to be
to the world of my adoption?
Upon the other hand, if I remained here alone with
it, what could I accomplish single-handed?
But where there was no east, no west, no north,
no south, no stars, no moon, and only a stationary mid-
day sun, how was I to find my way back to this spot
should ever I get out of sight of it?
I didn't know.
For a long time I stood buried in deep thought, when
it occurred to me to try out one of the compasses I
had brought and ascertain if it remained steadily fixed
upon an unvarying pole. I reentered the prospector
and fetched a compass without.
Moving a considerable distance from the prospector
that the needle might not be influenced by its great
bulk of iron and steel I turned the delicate instrument
about in every direction.
Always and steadily the needle remained rigidly fixed
upon a point straight out to sea, apparently pointing
toward a large island some ten or twenty miles distant.
This then should be north.
I drew my note-book from my pocket and made
a careful topographical sketch of the locality within
the range of my vision. Due north lay the island, far
out upon the shimmering sea.
The spot I had chosen for my observations was the
top of a large, flat boulder which rose six or eight feet
above the turf. This spot I called Greenwich. The
boulder was the "Royal Observatory."
I had made a start! I cannot tell you what a sense
of relief was imparted to me by the simple fact that
there was at least one spot within Pellucidar with a
familiar name and a place upon a map.
It was with almost childish joy that I made a little
circle in my note-book and traced the word Greenwich
Now I felt I might start out upon my search with
some assurance of finding my way back again to the
I decided that at first I would travel directly south
in the hope that I might in that direction find some
familiar landmark. It was as good a direction as any.
This much at least might be said of it.
Among the many other things I had brought from
the outer world were a number of pedometers. I
slipped three of these into my pockets with the idea
that I might arrive at a more or less accurate mean
from the registrations of them all.
On my map I would register so many paces south,
so many east, so many west, and so on. When I was
ready to return I would then do so by any route that
I might choose.
I also strapped a considerable quantity of ammuni-
tion across my shoulders, pocketed some matches, and
hooked an aluminum fry-pan and a small stew-kettle of
the same metal to my belt.
I was ready--ready to go forth and explore a world!
Ready to search a land area of 124,110,000 square
miles for my friends, my incomparable mate, and good
And so, after locking the door in the outer shell
of the prospector, I set out upon my quest. Due south
I traveled, across lovely valleys thick-dotted with graz-
Through dense primeval forests I forced my way
and up the slopes of mighty mountains searching for
a pass to their farther sides.
Ibex and musk-sheep fell before my good old revolver,
so that I lacked not for food in the higher altitudes.
The forests and the plains gave plentifully of fruits
and wild birds, antelope, aurochsen, and elk.
Occasionally, for the larger game animals and the
gigantic beasts of prey, I used my express rifle, but
for the most part the revolver filled all my needs.
There were times, too, when faced by a mighty cave
bear, a saber-toothed tiger, or huge felis spelaea, black-
maned and terrible, even my powerful rifle seemed
pitifully inadequate--but fortune favored me so that
I passed unscathed through adventures that even the
recollection of causes the short hairs to bristle at the
nape of my neck.
How long I wandered toward the south I do not
know, for shortly after I left the prospector something
went wrong with my watch, and I was again at the
mercy of the baffling timelessness of Pellucidar, forging
steadily ahead beneath the great, motionless sun which
hangs eternally at noon.
I ate many times, however, so that days must have
elapsed, possibly months with no familiar landscape
rewarding my eager eyes.
I saw no men nor signs of men. Nor is this strange,
for Pellucidar, in its land area, is immense, while the
human race there is very young and consequently far
Doubtless upon that long search mine was the first
human foot to touch the soil in many places--mine
the first human eye to rest upon the gorgeous wonders
of the landscape.
It was a staggering thought. I could not but dwell
upon it often as I made my lonely way through this
virgin world. Then, quite suddenly, one day I stepped
out of the peace of manless primality into the presence
of man--and peace was gone.
It happened thus:
I had been following a ravine downward out of a
chain of lofty hills and had paused at its mouth to view
the lovely little valley that lay before me. At one side
was tangled wood, while straight ahead a river wound
peacefully along parallel to the cliffs in which the hills
terminated at the valley's edge.
Presently, as I stood enjoying the lovely scene, as
insatiate for Nature's wonders as if I had not looked
upon similar landscapes countless times, a sound of
shouting broke from the direction of the woods. That
the harsh, discordant notes rose from the throats of
men I could not doubt.
I slipped behind a large boulder near the mouth of
the ravine and waited. I could hear the crashing of
underbrush in the forest, and I guessed that whoever
came came quickly--pursued and pursuers, doubtless.
In a short time some hunted animal would break into
view, and a moment later a score of half-naked savages
would come leaping after with spears or club or great
I had seen the thing so many times during my life
within Pellucidar that I felt that I could anticipate to
a nicety precisely what I was about to witness. I hoped
that the hunters would prove friendly and be able to
direct me toward Sari.
Even as I was thinking these thoughts the quarry
emerged from the forest. But it was no terrified four-
footed beast. 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
He had covered but a short distance from the forest
when I beheld the first of his pursuers--a Sagoth, one
of those grim and terrible gorilla-men who guard the
mighty Mahars in their buried cities, faring forth from
time to time upon slave-raiding or punitive expeditions
against the human race of Pellucidar, of whom the
dominant race of the inner world think as we think
of the bison or the wild sheep of our own world.
Close behind the foremost Sagoth came others until
a full dozen raced, shouting after the terror-stricken
old man. They would be upon him shortly, that was
One of them was rapidly overhauling him, his back-
thrown spear-arm testifying to his purpose.
And then, quite with the suddenness of an unex-
pected blow, I realized a past familiarity with the gait
and carriage of the fugitive.
Simultaneously there swept over me the staggering
fact that the old man was--PERRY! That he was about
to die before my very eyes with no hope that I could
reach him in time to avert the awful catastrophe--
for to me it meant a real catastrophe!
Perry was my best friend.
Dian, of course, I looked upon as more than friend.
She was my mate--a part of me.
I had entirely forgotten the rifle in my hand and
the revolvers at my belt; one does not readily syn-
chronize his thoughts with the stone age and the
twentieth century simultaneously.
Now from past habit I still thought in the stone age,
and in my thoughts of the stone age there were no
thoughts of firearms.
The fellow was almost upon Perry when the feel of
the gun in my hand awoke me from the lethargy of
terror that had gripped me. From behind my boulder
I threw up the heavy express rifle--a mighty engine
of destruction that might bring down a cave bear or
a mammoth at a single shot--and let drive at the
Sagoth's broad, hairy breast.
At the sound of the shot he stopped stock-still. His
spear dropped from his hand.
Then he lunged forward upon his face.
The effect upon the others was little less remarkable.
Perry alone could have possibly guessed the meaning of
the loud report or explained its connection with the
sudden collapse of the Sagoth. The other gorilla-men
halted for but an instant. Then with renewed shrieks
of rage they sprang forward to finish Perry.
At the same time I stepped from behind my boul-
der, drawing one of my revolvers that I might conserve
the more precious ammunition of the express rifle.
Quickly I fired again with the lesser weapon.
Then it was that all eyes were directed toward me.
Another Sagoth fell to the bullet from the revolver;
but it did not stop his companions. They were out for
revenge as well as blood now, and they meant to have
As I ran forward toward Perry I fired four more
shots, dropping three of our antagonists. Then at last
the remaining seven wavered. It was too much for
them, this roaring death that leaped, invisible, upon
them from a great distance.
As they hesitated I reached Perry's side. I have never
seen such an expression upon any man's face as that
upon Perry's when he recognized me. I have no words
wherewith to describe it. There was not time to talk
then--scarce for a greeting. I thrust the full, loaded
revolver into his hand, fired the last shot in my own,
and reloaded. There were but six Sagoths left then.
They started toward us once more, though I could
see that they were terrified probably as much by the
noise of the guns as by their effects. They never
reached us. Half-way the three that remained turned
and fled, and we let them go.
The last we saw of them they were disappearing into
the tangled undergrowth of the forest. And then Perry
turned and threw his arms about my neck and, burying
his old face upon my shoulder, wept like a child.
CHAPTER II. TRAVELING WITH TERROR
We made camp there beside the peaceful river. There
Perry told me all that had befallen him since I had
departed for the outer crust.
It seemed that Hooja had made it appear that I
had intentionally left Dian behind, and that I did not
purpose ever returning to Pellucidar. He told them
that I was of another world and that I had tired of
this and of its inhabitants.
To Dian he had explained that I had a mate in the
world to which I was returning; that I had never
intended taking Dian the Beautiful back with me; and
that she had seen the last of me.
Shortly afterward Dian had disappeared from the
camp, nor had Perry seen or heard aught of her since.
He had no conception of the time that had elapsed
since I had departed, but guessed that many years had
dragged their slow way into the past.
Hooja, too, had disappeared very soon after Dian
had left. The Sarians, under Ghak the Hairy One, and
the Amozites under Dacor the Strong One, Dian's
brother, had fallen out over my supposed defection,
for Ghak would not believe that I had thus treacher-
ously deceived and deserted them.
The result had been that these two powerful tribes
had fallen upon one another with the new weapons
that Perry and I had taught them to make and to use.
Other tribes of the new federation took sides with the
original disputants or set up petty revolutions of their
The result was the total demolition of the work we
had so well started.
Taking advantage of the tribal war, the Mahars had
gathered their Sagoths in force and fallen upon one
tribe after another in rapid succession, wreaking awful
havoc among them and reducing them for the most
part to as pitiable a state of terror as that from which
we had raised them.
Alone of all the once-mighty federation the Sarians
and the Amozites with a few other tribes continued
to maintain their defiance of the Mahars; but these
tribes were still divided among themselves, nor had it
seemed at all probable to Perry when he had last been
among them that any attempt at re-amalgamation
would be made.
"And thus, your majesty," he concluded, "has faded
back into the oblivion of the Stone Age our wondrous
dream and with it has gone the First Empire of Pel-
We both had to smile at the use of my royal title,
yet I was indeed still "Emperor of Pellucidar," and
some day I meant to rebuild what the vile act of the
treacherous Hooja had torn down.
But first I would find my empress. To me she was
worth forty empires.
"Have you no clue as to the whereabouts of Dian?"
"None whatever," replied Perry. "It was in search of
her that I came to the pretty pass in which you dis-
covered me, and from which, David, you saved me.
"I knew perfectly well that you had not intentionally
deserted either Dian or Pellucidar. I guessed that in
some way Hooja the Sly One was at the bottom of
the matter, and I determined to go to Amoz, where
I guessed that Dian might come to the protection of
her brother, and do my utmost to convince her, and
through her Dacor the Strong One, that we had all
been victims of a treacherous plot to which you were
"I came to Amoz after a most trying and terrible
journey, only to find that Dian was not among her
brother's people and that they knew naught of her
"Dacor, I am sure, wanted to be fair and just, but
so great were his grief and anger over the disap-
pearance of his sister that he could not listen to reason,
but kept repeating time and again that only your return
to Pellucidar could prove the honesty of your intentions.
"Then came a stranger from another tribe, sent I am
sure at the instigation of Hooja. He so turned the
Amozites against me that I was forced to flee their
country to escape assassination.
"In attempting to return to Sari I became lost, and
then the Sagoths discovered me. For a long time I
eluded them, hiding in caves and wading in rivers to
throw them off my trail.
"I lived on nuts and fruits and the edible roots that
chance threw in my way.
"I traveled on and on, in what directions I could not
even guess; and at last I could elude them no longer
and the end came as I had long foreseen that it would
come, except that I had not foreseen that you would
be there to save me."
We rested in our camp until Perry had regained
sufficient strength to travel again. We planned much,
rebuilding all our shattered air-castles; but above all we
planned most to find Dian.
I could not believe that she was dead, yet where
she might be in this savage world, and under what
frightful conditions she might be living, I could not
When Perry was rested we returned to the prospector,
where he fitted himself out fully like a civilized human
being--under-clothing, socks, shoes, khaki jacket and
breeches and good, substantial puttees.
When I had come upon him he was clothed in rough
sadak sandals, a gee-string and a tunic fashioned from
the shaggy hide of a thag. Now he wore real clothing
again for the first time since the ape-folk had stripped
us of our apparel that long-gone day that had witnessed
our advent within Pellucidar.
With a bandoleer of cartridges across his shoulder,
two six-shooters at his hips, and a rifle in his hand
he was a much rejuvenated Perry.
Indeed he was quite a different person altogether
from the rather shaky old man who had entered the
prospector with me ten or eleven years before, for the
trial trip that had plunged us into such wondrous ad-
ventures and into such a strange and hitherto un-
Now he was straight and active. His muscles, almost
atrophied from disuse in his former life, had filled out.
He was still an old man of course, but instead of
appearing ten years older than he really was, as he
had when we left the outer world, he now appeared
about ten years younger. The wild, free life of Pel-
lucidar had worked wonders for him.
Well, it must need have done so or killed him, for
a man of Perry's former physical condition could not
long have survived the dangers and rigors of the primi-
tive life of the inner world.
Perry had been greatly interested in my map and
in the "royal observatory" at Greenwich. By use of the
pedometers we had retraced our way to the prospector
with ease and accuracy.
Now that we were ready to set out again we decided
to follow a different route on the chance that it might
lead us into more familiar territory.
I shall not weary you with a repetition of the count-
less adventures of our long search. Encounters with
wild beasts of gigantic size were of almost daily occur-
rence; but with our deadly express rifles we ran com-
paratively little risk when one recalls that previously
we had both traversed this world of frightful dangers
inadequately armed with crude, primitive weapons and
all but naked.
We ate and slept many times--so many that we
lost count--and so I do not know how long we
roamed, though our map shows the distances and direc-
tions quite accurately. We must have covered a great
many thousand square miles of territory, and yet we
had seen nothing in the way of a familiar landmark,
when from the heights of a mountain-range we were
crossing I descried far in the distance great masses of
Now clouds are practically unknown in the skies of
Pellucidar. The moment that my eyes rested upon
them my heart leaped. I seized Perry's arm and, point-
ing toward the horizonless distance, shouted:
"The Mountains of the Clouds!"
"They lie close to Phutra, and the country of our
worst enemies, the Mahars," Perry remonstrated.
"I know it," I replied, "but they give us a starting-point
from which to prosecute our search intelligently. They
are at least a familiar landmark.
"They tell us that we are upon the right trail and not
wandering far in the wrong direction.
"Furthermore, close to the Mountains of the Clouds
dwells a good friend, Ja the Mezop. You did not know
him, but you know all that he did for me and all that he
will gladly do to aid me.
"At least he can direct us upon the right direction
"The Mountains of the Clouds constitute a mighty
range," replied Perry. "They must cover an enormous
territory. How are you to find your friend in all the great
country that is visible from their rugged flanks?"
"Easily," I answered him, "for Ja gave me minute di-
rections. I recall almost his exact words:
"'You need merely come to the foot of the highest
peak of the Mountains of the Clouds. There you will find
a river that flows into the Lural Az.
"'Directly opposite the mouth of the river you will see
three large islands far out--so far that they are barely
discernible. The one to the extreme left as you face them
from the mouth of the river is Anoroc, where I rule the
tribe of Anoroc.'"
And so we hastened onward toward the great cloud-
mass that was to be our guide for several weary marches.
At last we came close to the towering crags, Alp-like in
Rising nobly among its noble fellows, one stupendous
peak reared its giant head thousands of feet above the
others. It was he whom we sought; but at its foot no
river wound down toward any sea.
"It must rise from the opposite side," suggested Perry,
casting a rueful glance at the forbidding heights that
barred our further progress. "We cannot endure the
arctic cold of those high flung passes, and to traverse the
endless miles about this interminable range might re-
quire a year or more. The land we seek must lie upon
the opposite side of the mountains."
"Then we must cross them," I insisted.
"We can't do it, David," he repeated, "We are dressed
for the tropics. We should freeze to death among the
snows and glaciers long before we had discovered a pass
to the opposite side."
"We must cross them," I reiterated. "We will cross
I had a plan, and that plan we carried out. It took
First we made a permanent camp part way up the
slopes where there was good water. Then we set out in
search of the great, shaggy cave bear of the higher
He is a mighty animal--a terrible animal. He is but
little larger than his cousin of the lesser, lower hills; but
he makes up for it in the awfulness of his ferocity and
in the length and thickness of his shaggy coat. It was his
coat that we were after.
We came upon him quite unexpectedly. I was trudg-
ing in advance along a rocky trail worn smooth by the
padded feet of countless ages of wild beasts. At a shoul-
der of the mountain around which the path ran I came
face to face with the Titan.
I was going up for a fur coat. He was coming down
for breakfast. Each realized that here was the very thing
With a horrid roar the beast charged me.
At my right the cliff rose straight upward for thou-
sands of feet.
At my left it dropped into a dim, abysmal canon.
In front of me was the bear.
Behind me was Perry.
I shouted to him in warning, and then I raised my
rifle and fired into the broad breast of the creature.
There was no time to take aim; the thing was too close
But that my bullet took effect was evident from the
howl of rage and pain that broke from the frothing
jowls. It didn't stop him, though.
I fired again, and then he was upon me. Down I went
beneath his ton of maddened, clawing flesh and bone
I thought my time had come. I remember feeling
sorry for poor old Perry, left all alone in this inhos-
pitable, savage world.
And then of a sudden I realized that the bear was
gone and that I was quite unharmed. I leaped to my
feet, my rifle still clutched in my hand, and looked
about for my antagonist.
I thought that I should find him farther down the trail,
probably finishing Perry, and so I leaped in the direction
I supposed him to be, to find Perry perched upon a pro-
jecting rock several feet above the trail. My cry of warn-
ing had given him time to reach this point of safety.
There he squatted, his eyes wide and his mouth ajar,
the picture of abject terror and consternation.
"Where is he?" he cried when he saw me. "Where is
"Didn't he come this way?" I asked,
"Nothing came this way," replied the old man. "But I
heard his roars--he must have been as large as an
"He was," I admitted; "but where in the world do you
suppose he disappeared to?"
Then came a possible explanation to my mind. I re-
turned to the point at which the bear had hurled me
down and peered over the edge of the cliff into the
Far, far down I saw a small brown blotch near the
bottom of the canon. It was the bear.
My second shot must have killed him, and so his
dead body, after hurling me to the path, had toppled
over into the abyss. I shivered at the thought of how
close I, too, must have been to going over with him.
It took us a long time to reach the carcass, and arduous
labor to remove the great pelt. But at last the thing was
accomplished, and we returned to camp dragging the
heavy trophy behind us.
Here we devoted another considerable period to
scraping and curing it. When this was done to our
satisfaction we made heavy boots, trousers, and coats
of the shaggy skin, turning the fur in.
From the scraps we fashioned caps that came down
around our ears, with flaps that fell about our shoulders
and breasts. We were now fairly well equipped for our
search for a pass to the opposite side of the Mountains
of the Clouds.
Our first step now was to move our camp upward to
the very edge of the perpetual snows which cap this
lofty range. Here we built a snug, secure little hut,
which we provisioned and stored with fuel for its di-
With our hut as a base we sallied forth in search of a
pass across the range.
Our every move was carefully noted upon our maps
which we now kept in duplicate. By this means we were
saved tedious and unnecessary retracing of ways already
Systematically we worked upward in both directions
from our base, and when we had at last discovered what
seemed might prove a feasible pass we moved our be-
longings to a new hut farther up.
It was hard work--cold, bitter, cruel work. Not a step
did we take in advance but the grim reaper strode
silently in our tracks.
There were the great cave bears in the timber, and
gaunt, lean wolves--huge creatures twice the size of
our Canadian timber-wolves. Farther up we were as-
sailed by enormous white bears--hungry, devilish
fellows, who came roaring across the rough glacier tops
at the first glimpse of us, or stalked us stealthily by scent
when they had not yet seen us.
It is one of the peculiarities of life within Pellucidar
that man is more often the hunted than the hunter.
Myriad are the huge-bellied carnivora of this primitive
world. Never, from birth to death, are those great bellies
sufficiently filled, so always are their mighty owners
prowling about in search of meat.
Terribly armed for battle as they are, man presents
to them in his primal state an easy prey, slow of foot,
puny of strength, ill-equipped by nature with natural
weapons of defense.
The bears looked upon us as easy meat. Only our
heavy rifles saved us from prompt extinction. Poor Perry
never was a raging lion at heart, and I am convinced
that the terrors of that awful period must have caused
him poignant mental anguish.
When we were abroad pushing our trail farther and
farther toward the distant break which, we assumed,
marked a feasible way across the range, we never knew
at what second some great engine of clawed and fanged
destruction might rush upon us from behind, or lie in
wait for us beyond an ice-hummock or a jutting shoulder
of the craggy steeps.
The roar of our rifles was constantly shattering the
world-old silence of stupendous canons upon which the
eye of man had never before gazed. And when in the
comparative safety of our hut we lay down to sleep the
great beasts roared and fought without the walls, clawed
and battered at the door, or rushed their colossal frames
headlong against the hut's sides until it rocked and
trembled to the impact.
Yes, it was a gay life.
Perry had got to taking stock of our ammunition each
time we returned to the hut. It became something of an
obsession with him.
He'd count our cartridges one by one and then try to
figure how long it would be before the last was ex-
pended and we must either remain in the hut until we
starved to death or venture forth, empty, to fill the belly
of some hungry bear.
I must admit that I, too, felt worried, for our progress
was indeed snail-like, and our ammunition could not
last forever. In discussing the problem, finally we came
to the decision to burn our bridges behind us and make
one last supreme effort to cross the divide.
It would mean that we must go without sleep for a
long period, and with the further chance that when the
time came that sleep could no longer be denied we
might still be high in the frozen regions of perpetual
snow and ice, where sleep would mean certain death,
exposed as we would be to the attacks of wild beasts
and without shelter from the hideous cold.
But we decided that we must take these chances and
so at last we set forth from our hut for the last time,
carrying such necessities as we felt we could least afford
to do without. The bears seemed unusually troublesome
and determined that time, and as we clambered slowly
upward beyond the highest point to which we had
previously attained, the cold became infinitely more
Presently, with two great bears dogging our footsteps
we entered a dense fog,
We had reached the heights that are so often cloud-
wrapped for long periods. We could see nothing a few
paces beyond our noses.
We dared not turn back into the teeth of the bears
which we could hear grunting behind us. To meet them
in this bewildering fog would have been to court instant
Perry was almost overcome by the hopelessness of
our situation. He flopped down on his knees and began
It was the first time I had heard him at his old habit
since my return to Pellucidar, and I had thought that
he had given up his little idiosyncrasy; but he hadn't.
Far from it.
I let him pray for a short time undisturbed, and then
as I was about to suggest that we had better be pushing
along one of the bears in our rear let out a roar that
made the earth fairly tremble beneath our feet.
It brought Perry to his feet as if he had been stung by
a wasp, and sent him racing ahead through the blind-
ing fog at a gait that I knew must soon end in disaster
were it not checked.
Crevasses in the glacier-ice were far too frequent to
permit of reckless speed even in a clear atmosphere,
and then there were hideous precipices along the
edges of which our way often led us. I shivered as I
thought of the poor old fellow's peril.
At the top of my lungs I called to him to stop, but he
did not answer me. And then I hurried on in the di-
rection he had gone, faster by far than safety dictated.
For a while I thought I heard him ahead of me, but
at last, though I paused often to listen and to call to
him, I heard nothing more, not even the grunting of
the bears that had been behind us. All was deathly
silence--the silence of the tomb. About me lay the thick,
I was alone. Perry was gone--gone forever, I had not
the slightest doubt.
Somewhere near by lay the mouth of a treacherous
fissure, and far down at its icy bottom lay all that was
mortal of my old friend, Abner Perry. There would his
body he preserved in its icy sepulcher for countless ages,
until on some far distant day the slow-moving river of
ice had wound its snail-like way down to the warmer
level, there to disgorge its grisly evidence of grim
tragedy, and what in that far future age, might mean
CHAPTER III. SHOOTING THE CHUTES--AND AFTER
Through the fog I felt my way along by means of my
compass. I no longer heard the bears, nor did I encoun-
ter one within the fog.
Experience has since taught me that these great
beasts are as terror-stricken by this phenomenon as a
landsman by a fog at sea, and that no sooner does a fog
envelop them than they make the best of their way to
lower levels and a clear atmosphere. It was well for me
that this was true.
I felt very sad and lonely as I crawled along the diffi-
cult footing. My own predicament weighed less heavily
upon me than the loss of Perry, for I loved the old
That I should ever win the opposite slopes of the
range I began to doubt, for though I am naturally
sanguine, I imagine that the bereavement which had
befallen me had cast such a gloom over my spirits that I
could see no slightest ray of hope for the future.
Then, too, the blighting, gray oblivion of the cold,
damp clouds through which I wandered was distress-
ing. Hope thrives best in sunlight, and I am sure that it
does not thrive at all in a fog.
But the instinct of self-preservation is stronger than
hope. It thrives, fortunately, upon nothing. It takes root
upon the brink of the grave, and blossoms in the jaws of
death. Now it flourished bravely upon the breast of dead
hope, and urged me onward and upward in a stern
endeavor to justify its existence.
As I advanced the fog became denser. I could see
nothing beyond my nose. Even the snow and ice I trod
I could not see below the breast of my bearskin coat.
I seemed to be floating in a sea of vapor.
To go forward over a dangerous glacier under such
conditions was little short of madness; but I could not
have stopped going had I known positively that death
lay two paces before my nose. In the first place, it was
too cold to stop, and in the second, I should have gone
mad but for the excitement of the perils that beset each
For some time the ground had been rougher and
steeper, until I had been forced to scale a considerable
height that had carried me from the glacier entirely. I
was sure from my compass that I was following the right
general direction, and so I kept on.
Once more the ground was level. From the wind that
blew about me I guessed that I must be upon some ex-
posed peak of ridge.
And then quite suddenly I stepped out into space.
Wildly I turned and clutched at the ground that had
slipped from beneath my feet.
Only a smooth, icy surface was there. I found nothing
to clutch or stay my fall, and a moment later so great
was my speed that nothing could have stayed me.
As suddenly as I had pitched into space, with equal
suddenness did I emerge from the fog, out of which I
shot like a projectile from a cannon into clear daylight.
My speed was so great that I could see nothing about
me but a blurred and indistinct sheet of smooth and
frozen snow, that rushed past me with express-train
I must have slid downward thousands of feet before
the steep incline curved gently on to a broad, smooth,
snow-covered plateau. Across this I hurtled with slowly
diminishing velocity, until at last objects about me began
to take definite shape.
Far ahead, miles and miles away, I saw a great valley
and mighty woods, and beyond these a broad expanse
of water. In the nearer foreground I discerned a small,
dark blob of color upon the shimmering whiteness of the
"A bear," thought I, and thanked the instinct that had
impelled me to cling tenaciously to my rifle during the
moments of my awful tumble.
At the rate I was going it would be but a moment
before I should be quite abreast the thing; nor was it
long before I came to a sudden stop in soft snow, upon
which the sun was shining, not twenty paces from the
object of my most immediate apprehension.
It was standing upon its hind legs waiting for me. As
I scrambled to my feet to meet it, I dropped my gun
in the snow and doubled up with laughter.
It was Perry.
The expression upon his face, combined with the relief
I felt at seeing him again safe and sound, was too much
for my overwrought nerves.
"David!" be cried. "David, my boy! God has been
good to an old man. He has answered my prayer."
It seems that Perry in his mad flight had plunged over
the brink at about the same point as that at which I had
stepped over it a short time later. Chance had done for
us what long periods of rational labor had failed to
We had crossed the divide. We were upon the side of
the Mountains of the Clouds that we had for so long
been attempting to reach.
We looked about. Below us were green trees and
warm jungles. In the distance was a great sea.
"The Lural Az," I said, pointing toward its blue-green
Somehow--the gods alone can explain it--Perry, too,
had clung to his rifle during his mad descent of the icy
slope. For that there was cause for great rejoicing.
Neither of us was worse for his experience, so after
shaking the snow from our clothing, we set off at a great
rate down toward the warmth and comfort of the forest
and the jungle.
The going was easy by comparison with the awful
obstacles we had had to encounter upon the opposite
side of the divide. There were beasts, of course, but we
came through safely.
Before we halted to eat or rest, we stood beside a
little mountain brook beneath the wondrous trees of the
primeval forest in an atmosphere of warmth and com-
fort. It reminded me of an early June day in the Maine
We fell to work with our short axes and cut enough
small trees to build a rude protection from the fiercer
beasts. Then we lay down to sleep.
How long we slept I do not know. Perry says that
inasmuch as there is no means of measuring time within
Pellucidar, there can be no such thing as time here, and
that we may have slept an outer earthly year, or we
may have slept but a second.
But this I know. We had stuck the ends of some of the
saplings into the ground in the building of our shelter,
first stripping the leaves and branches from them, and
when we awoke we found that many of them had thrust
Personally, I think that we slept at least a month; but
who may say? The sun marked midday when we closed
our eyes; it was still in the same position when we
opened them; nor had it varied a hair's breadth in the
It is most baffling, this question of elapsed time within
Anyhow, I was famished when we awoke. I think that
it was the pangs of hunger that awoke me. Ptarmigan
and wild boar fell before my revolver within a dozen
moments of my awakening. Perry soon had a roaring fire
blazing by the brink of the little stream.
It was a good and delicious meal we made. Though
we did not eat the entire boar, we made a very large
hole in him, while the ptarmigan was but a mouthful.
Having satisfied our hunger, we determined to set forth
at once in search of Anoroc and my old friend, Ja the
Mezop. We each thought that by following the little
stream downward, we should come upon the large river
which Ja had told me emptied into the Lural Az op-
posite his island.
We did so; nor were we disappointed, for at last after
a pleasant journey--and what journey would not be
pleasant after the hardships we had endured among the
peaks of the Mountains of the Clouds--we came upon a
broad flood that rushed majestically onward in the di-
rection of the great sea we had seen from the snowy
slopes of the mountains.
For three long marches we followed the left bank of
the growing river, until at last we saw it roll its mighty
volume into the vast waters of the sea. Far out across the
rippling ocean we described three islands. The one to
the left must be Anoroc.
At last we had come close to a solution of our problem
--the road to Sari.
But how to reach the islands was now the foremost
question in our minds. We must build a canoe.
Perry is a most resourceful man. He has an axiom
which carries the thought-kernel that what man has
done, man can do, and it doesn't cut any figure with
Perry whether a fellow knows how to do it or not.
He set out to make gunpowder once, shortly after our
escape from Phutra and at the beginning of the con-
federation of the wild tribes of Pellucidar. He said that
some one, without any knowledge of the fact that such a
thing might be concocted, had once stumbled upon it by
accident, and so he couldn't see why a fellow who knew
all about powder except how to make it couldn't do as
He worked mighty hard mixing all sorts of things
together, until finally he evolved a substance that looked
like powder. He had been very proud of the stuff, and
had gone about the village of the Sarians exhibiting it to
every one who would listen to him, and explaining what
its purpose was and what terrific havoc it would work,
until finally the natives became so terrified at the stuff
that they wouldn't come within a rod of Perry and his
Finally, I suggested that we experiment with it and
see what it would do, so Perry built a fire, after placing
the powder at a safe distance, and then touched a glow-
ing ember to a minute particle of the deadly explosive.
It extinguished the ember.
Repeated experiments with it determined me that in
searching for a high explosive, Perry had stumbled upon
a fire-extinguisher that would have made his fortune
for him back in our own world.
So now he set himself to work to build a scientific
canoe. I had suggested that we construct a dugout, but
Perry convinced me that we must build something
more in keeping with our positions of supermen in this
world of the Stone Age.
"We must impress these natives with our superiority,"
he explained. "You must not forget, David, that you are
emperor of Pellucidar. As such you may not with dignity
approach the shores of a foreign power in so crude a
vessel as a dugout."
I pointed out to Perry that it wasn't much more in-
congruous for the emperor to cruise in a canoe, than it
was for the prime minister to attempt to build one with
his own hands.
He had to smile at that; but in extenuation of his act
he assured me that it was quite customary for prime
ministers to give their personal attention to the building
of imperial navies; "and this," he said, "is the imperial
navy of his Serene Highness, David I, Emperor of the
Federated Kingdoms of Pellucidar."
I grinned; but Perry was quite serious about it. It had
always seemed rather more or less of a joke to me that I
should be addressed as majesty and all the rest of it.
Yet my imperial power and dignity had been a very real
thing during my brief reign.
Twenty tribes had joined the federation, and their
chiefs had sworn eternal fealty to one another and to me.
Among them were many powerful though savage na-
tions. Their chiefs we had made kings; their tribal lands
We had armed them with bows and arrows and
swords, in addition to their own more primitive weapons.
I had trained them in military discipline and in so much
of the art of war as I had gleaned from extensive read-
ing of the campaigns of Napoleon, Von Moltke, Grant,
and the ancients.
We had marked out as best we could natural bounda-
ries dividing the various kingdoms. We had warned
tribes beyond these boundaries that they must not
trespass, and we had marched against and severely
punished those who had.
We had met and defeated the Mahars and the
Sagoths. In short, we had demonstrated our rights to
empire, and very rapidly were we being recognized and
heralded abroad when my departure for the outer world
and Hooja's treachery had set us back.
But now I had returned. The work that fate had
undone must be done again, and though I must need
smile at my imperial honors, I none the less felt the
weight of duty and obligation that rested upon my
Slowly the imperial navy progressed toward com-
pletion. She was a wondrous craft, but I had my doubts
about her. When I voiced them to Perry, he reminded
me gently that my people for many generations had
been mine-owners, not ship-builders, and consequently I
couldn't be expected to know much about the matter.
I was minded to inquire into his hereditary fitness to
design battleships; but inasmuch as I already knew that
his father had been a minister in a back-woods village far
from the coast, I hesitated lest I offend the dear old
He was immensely serious about his work, and I must
admit that in so far as appearances went he did ex-
tremely well with the meager tools and assistance at his
command. We had only two short axes and our hunting-
knives; yet with these we hewed trees, split them into
planks, surfaced and fitted them.
The "navy" was some forty feet in length by ten feet
beam. Her sides were quite straight and fully ten feet
high--"for the purpose," explained Perry, "of adding
dignity to her appearance and rendering it less easy for
an enemy to board her."
As a matter of fact, I knew that he had had in mind
the safety of her crew under javelin-fire--the lofty sides
made an admirable shelter. Inside she reminded me of
nothing so much as a floating trench. There was also
some slight analogy to a huge coffin.
Her prow sloped sharply backward from the water-
line--quite like a line of battleship. Perry had designed
her more for moral effect upon an enemy, I think, than
for any real harm she might inflict, and so those parts
which were to show were the most imposing.
Below the water-line she was practically non-existent.
She should have had considerable draft; but, as the
enemy couldn't have seen it, Perry decided to do away
with it, and so made her flat-bottomed. It was this that
caused my doubts about her.
There was another little idiosyncrasy of design that
escaped us both until she was about ready to launch--
there was no method of propulsion. Her sides were far
too high to permit the use of sweeps, and when Perry
suggested that we pole her, I remonstrated on the
grounds that it would be a most undignified and awk-
ward manner of sweeping down upon the foe, even if
we could find or wield poles that would reach to the
bottom of the ocean.
Finally I suggested that we convert her into a sailing
vessel. When once the idea took hold Perry was most
enthusiastic about it, and nothing would do but a four-
masted, full-rigged ship.
Again I tried to dissuade him, but he was simply
crazy over the psychological effect which the appearance
of this strange and mighty craft would have upon the
natives of Pellucidar. So we rigged her with thin hides
for sails and dried gut for rope.
Neither of us knew much about sailing a full-rigged
ship; but that didn't worry me a great deal, for I was
confident that we should never be called upon to do so,
and as the day of launching approached I was positive of
We had built her upon a low bank of the river close
to where it emptied into the sea, and just above high
tide. Her keel we had laid upon several rollers cut from
small trees, the ends of the rollers in turn resting upon
parallel tracks of long saplings. Her stern was toward the
A few hours before we were ready to launch her she
made quite an imposing picture, for Perry had insisted
upon setting every shred of "canvas." I told him that I
didn't know much about it, but I was sure that at launch-
ing the hull only should have been completed, every-
thing else being completed after she had floated safely.
At the last minute there was some delay while we
sought a name for her. I wanted her christened the
Perry in honor both of her designer and that other great
naval genius of another world, Captain Oliver Hazard
Perry, of the United States Navy. But Perry was too
modest; he wouldn't hear of it.
We finally decided to establish a system in the naming
of the fleet. Battle-ships of the first-class should bear the
names of kingdoms of the federation; armored cruisers
the names of kings; cruisers the names of cities, and so
on down the line. Therefore, we decided to name the
first battle-ship Sari, after the first of the federated
The launching of the Sari proved easier than I con-
templated. Perry wanted me to get in and break some-
thing over the bow as she floated out upon the bosom of
the river, but I told him that I should feel safer on dry
land until I saw which side up the Sari would float.
I could see by the expression of the old man's face
that my words had hurt him; but I noticed that he didn't
offer to get in himself, and so I felt less contrition than
I might otherwise.
When we cut the ropes and removed the blocks that
held the Sari in place she started for the water with a
lunge. Before she hit it she was going at a reckless
speed, for we had laid our tracks quite down to the
water, greased them, and at intervals placed rollers all
ready to receive the ship as she moved forward with
stately dignity. But there was no dignity in the Sari.
When she touched the surface of the river she must
have been going twenty or thirty miles an hour. Her
momentum carried her well out into the stream, until
she came to a sudden halt at the end of the long line
which we had had the foresight to attach to her bow and
fasten to a large tree upon the bank.
The moment her progress was checked she promptly
capsized. Perry was overwhelmed. I didn't upbraid him,
nor remind him that I had "told him so."
His grief was so genuine and so apparent that I didn't
have the heart to reproach him, even were I inclined to
that particular sort of meanness.
"Come, come, old man!" I cried. "It's not as bad as it
looks. Give me a hand with this rope, and we'll drag her
up as far as we can; and then when the tide goes out
we'll try another scheme. I think we can make a go of
Well, we managed to get her up into shallow water.
When the tide receded she lay there on her side in the
mud, quite a pitiable object for the premier battle-ship
of a world--"the terror of the seas" was the way Perry
had occasionally described her.
We had to work fast; but before the tide came in
again we had stripped her of her sails and masts, righted
her, and filled her about a quarter full of rock ballast. If
she didn't stick too fast in the mud I was sure that she
would float this time right side up.
I can tell you that it was with palpitating hearts that
we sat upon the river-bank and watched that tide come
slowly in. The tides of Pellucidar don't amount to much
by comparison with our higher tides of the outer world,
but I knew that it ought to prove ample to float the Sari.
Nor was I mistaken. Finally we had the satisfaction
of seeing the vessel rise out of the mud and float slowly
upstream with the tide. As the water rose we pulled her
in quite close to the bank and clambered aboard.
She rested safely now upon an even keel; nor did she
leak, for she was well calked with fiber and tarry pitch.
We rigged up a single short mast and light sail, fastened
planking down over the ballast to form a deck, worked
her out into midstream with a couple of sweeps, and
dropped our primitive stone anchor to await the turn
of the tide that would bear us out to sea.
While we waited we devoted the time to the con-
struction of an upper deck, since the one immediately
above the ballast was some seven feet from the gunwale.
The second deck was four feet above this. In it was a
large, commodious hatch, leading to the lower deck. The
sides of the ship rose three feet above the upper deck,
forming an excellent breastwork, which we loopholed at
intervals that we might lie prone and fire upon an
Though we were sailing out upon a peaceful mission
in search of my friend Ja, we knew that we might meet
with people of some other island who would prove
At last the tide turned. We weighed anchor. Slowly
we drifted down the great river toward the sea.
About us swarmed the mighty denizens of the prim-
eval deep--plesiosauri and ichthyosauria with all their
horrid, slimy cousins whose names were as the names of
aunts and uncles to Perry, but which I have never been
able to recall an hour after having heard them.
At last we were safely launched upon the journey to
which we had looked forward for so long, and the results
of which meant so much to me.
CHAPTER IV. FRIENDSHIP AND TREACHERY
The Sari proved a most erratic craft. She might have
done well enough upon a park lagoon if safely anchored,
but upon the bosom of a mighty ocean she left much
to be desired.
Sailing with the wind she did her best; but in quarter-
ing or when close-hauled she drifted terribly, as a
nautical man might have guessed she would. We
couldn't keep within miles of our course, and our
progress was pitifully slow.
Instead of making for the island of Anoroc, we bore far
to the right, until it became evident that we should have
to pass between the two right-hand islands and attempt
to return toward Anoroc from the opposite side.
As we neared the islands Perry was quite overcome
by their beauty. When we were directly between two
of them he fairly went into raptures; nor could I blame
The tropical luxuriance of the foliage that dripped
almost to the water's edge and the vivid colors of the
blooms that shot the green made a most gorgeous
Perry was right in the midst of a flowery panegyric on
the wonders of the peaceful beauty of the scene when a
canoe shot out from the nearest island. There were a
dozen warriors in it; it was quickly followed by a second
Of course we couldn't know the intentions of the
strangers, but we could pretty well guess them.
Perry wanted to man the sweeps and try to get away
from them, but I soon convinced him that any speed of
which the Sari was capable would be far too slow to
outdistance the swift, though awkward, dugouts of the
I waited until they were quite close enough to hear
me, and then I hailed them. I told them that we were
friends of the Mezops, and that we were upon a visit to
Ja of Anoroc, to which they replied that they were at
war with Ja, and that if we would wait a minute they'd
board us and throw our corpses to the azdyryths.
I warned them that they would get the worst of it if
they didn't leave us alone, but they only shouted in
derision and paddled swiftly toward us. It was evident
that they were considerably impressed by the appear-
ance and dimensions of our craft, but as these fellows
know no fear they were not at all awed.
Seeing that they were determined to give battle, I
leaned over the rail of the Sari and brought the im-
perial battle-squadron of the Emperor of Pellucidar into
action for the first time in the history of a world. In other
and simpler words, I fired my revolver at the nearest
The effect was magical. A warrior rose from his knees,
threw his paddle aloft, stiffened into rigidity for an
instant, and then toppled overboard.
The others ceased paddling, and, with wide eyes,
looked first at me and then at the battling sea-things
which fought for the corpse of their comrade. To them it
must have seemed a miracle that I should be able to
stand at thrice the range of the most powerful javelin-
thrower and with a loud noise and a smudge of smoke
slay one of their number with an invisible missile.
But only for an instant were they paralyzed with
wonder. Then, with savage shouts, they fell once more
to their paddles and forged rapidly toward us.
Again and again I fired. At each shot a warrior sank
to the bottom of the canoe or tumbled overboard.
When the prow of the first craft touched the side of
the Sari it contained only dead and dying men. The
other two dugouts were approaching rapidly, so I turned
my attention toward them.
I think that they must have been commencing to have
some doubts--those wild, naked, red warriors--for when
the first man fell in the second boat, the others stopped
paddling and commenced to jabber among themselves.
The third boat pulled up alongside the second and its
crews joined in the conference. Taking advantage of the
lull in the battle, I called out to the survivors to return
to their shore.
"I have no fight with you," I cried, and then I told
them who I was and added that if they would live in
peace they must sooner or later join forces with me.
"Go back now to your people," I counseled them, "and
tell them that you have seen David I, Emperor of the
Federated Kingdoms of Pellucidar, and that single-
handed he has overcome you, just as be intends over-
coming the Mahars and the Sagoths and any other
peoples of Pellucidar who threaten the peace and wel-
fare of his empire."
Slowly they turned the noses of their canoes toward
land. It was evident that they were impressed; yet
that they were loath to give up without further con-
testing my claim to naval supremacy was also apparent,
for some of their number seemed to be exhorting the
others to a renewal of the conflict.
However, at last they drew slowly away, and the Sari,
which had not decreased her snail-like speed during this,
her first engagement, continued upon her slow, uneven
Presently Perry stuck his head up through the hatch
and hailed me.
"Have the scoundrels departed?" he asked. "Have you
killed them all?"
"Those whom I failed to kill have departed, Perry," I
He came out on deck and, peering over the side,
descried the lone canoe floating a short distance astern
with its grim and grisly freight. Farther his eyes wan-
dered to the retreating boats.
"David," said he at last, "this is a notable occasion. It
is a great day in the annals of Pellucidar. We have won
a glorious victory.
"Your majesty's navy has routed a fleet of the enemy
thrice its own size, manned by ten times as many men.
Let us give thanks."
I could scarce restrain a smile at Perry's use of the
pronoun "we," yet I was glad to share the rejoicing with
him as I shall always be glad to share everything with
the dear old fellow.
Perry is the only male coward I have ever known
whom I could respect and love. He was not created for
fighting; but I think that if the occasion should ever arise
where it became necessary he would give his life cheer-
fully for me--yes, I KNOW it.
It took us a long time to work around the islands and
draw in close to Anoroc. In the leisure afforded we took
turns working on our map, and by means of the compass
and a little guesswork we set down the shoreline we had
left and the three islands with fair accuracy.
Crossed sabers marked the spot where the first great
naval engagement of a world had taken place. In a note-
book we jotted down, as had been our custom, details
that would be of historical value later.
Opposite Anoroc we came to anchor quite close to
shore. I knew from my previous experience with the
tortuous trails of the island that I could never find my
way inland to the hidden tree-village of the Mezop
chieftain, Ja; so we remained aboard the Sari, firing our
express rifles at intervals to attract the attention of the
After some ten shots had been fired at considerable
intervals a body of copper-colored warriors appeared
upon the shore. They watched us for a moment and then
I hailed them, asking the whereabouts of my old friend
They did not reply at once, but stood with their heads
together in serious and animated discussion. Continually
they turned their eyes toward our strange craft. It was
evident that they were greatly puzzled by our appear-
ance as well as unable to explain the source of the loud
noises that had attracted their attention to us. At last one
of the warriors addressed us.
"Who are you who seek Ja?" he asked. "What would
you of our chief?"
"We are friends," I replied. "I am David. Tell Ja that
David, whose life be once saved from a sithic, has come
again to visit him.
"If you will send out a canoe we will come ashore. We
cannot bring our great warship closer in."
Again they talked for a considerable time. Then two
of them entered a canoe that several dragged from its
hiding-place in the jungle and paddled swiftly toward us.
They were magnificent specimens of manhood. Perry
had never seen a member of this red race close to be-
fore. In fact, the dead men in the canoe we had left
astern after the battle and the survivors who were
paddling rapidly toward their shore were the first he
ever had seen. He had been greatly impressed by their
physical beauty and the promise of superior intelligence
which their well-shaped skulls gave.
The two who now paddled out received us into their
canoe with dignified courtesy. To my inquiries relative
to Ja they explained that he had not been in the village
when our signals were heard, but that runners had been
sent out after him and that doubtless he was already
upon his way to the coast.
One of the men remembered me from the occasion of
my former visit to the island; he was extremely agree-
able the moment that he came close enough to recognize
me. He said that Ja would be delighted to welcome me,
and that all the tribe of Anoroc knew of me by repute,
and had received explicit instructions from their chief-
tain that if any of them should ever come upon me to
show me every kindness and attention.
Upon shore we were received with equal honor. While
we stood conversing with our bronze friends a tall
warrior leaped suddenly from the jungle.
It was Ja. As his eyes fell upon me his face lighted
with pleasure. He came quickly forward to greet me
after the manner of his tribe.
Toward Perry he was equally hospitable. The old
man fell in love with the savage giant as completely as
had I. Ja conducted us along the maze-like trail to his
strange village, where he gave over one of the tree-
houses for our exclusive use.
Perry was much interested in the unique habitation,
which resembled nothing so much as a huge wasp's nest
built around the bole of a tree well above the ground.
After we had eaten and rested Ja came to see us with
a number of his head men. They listened attentively to
my story, which included a narrative of the events lead-
ing to the formation of the federated kingdoms, the
battle with the Mahars, my journey to the outer world,
and my return to Pellucidar and search for Sari and my
Ja told me that the Mezops had heard something of
the federation and had been much interested in it. He
had even gone so far as to send a party of warriors
toward Sari to investigate the reports, and to arrange
for the entrance of Anoroc into the empire in case it ap-
peared that there was any truth in the rumors that one
of the aims of the federation was the overthrow of the
The delegation had met with a party of Sagoths. As
there had been a truce between the Mahars and the
Mezops for many generations, they camped with these
warriors of the reptiles, from whom they learned that
the federation had gone to pieces. So the party returned
When I showed Ja our map and explained its purpose
to him, he was much interested. The location of Anoroc,
the Mountains of the Clouds, the river, and the strip of
seacoast were all familiar to him.
He quickly indicated the position of the inland sea
and close beside it, the city of Phutra, where one of the
powerful Mahar nations had its seat. He likewise showed
us where Sari should be and carried his own coast-line as
far north and south as it was known to him.
His additions to the map convinced us that Green-
wich lay upon the verge of this same sea, and that it
might be reached by water more easily than by the
arduous crossing of the mountains or the dangerous ap-
proach through Phutra, which lay almost directly in line
between Anoroc and Greenwich to the northwest.
If Sari lay upon the same water then the shore-line
must bend far back toward the southwest of Greenwich
--an assumption which, by the way, we found later to
be true. Also, Sari was upon a lofty plateau at the
southern end of a mighty gulf of the Great Ocean.
The location which Ja gave to distant Amoz puzzled
us, for it placed it due north of Greenwich, apparently
in mid-ocean. As Ja had never been so far and knew
only of Amoz through hearsay, we thought that he must
be mistaken; but he was not. Amoz lies directly north
of Greenwich across the mouth of the same gulf as that
upon which Sari is.
The sense of direction and location of these primitive
Pellucidarians is little short of uncanny, as I have had
occasion to remark in the past. You may take one of
them to the uttermost ends of his world, to places of
which he has never even heard, yet without sun or
moon or stars to guide him, without map or compass, he
will travel straight for home in the shortest direction.
Mountains, rivers, and seas may have to be gone
around. but never once does his sense of direction fail
him--the homing instinct is supreme.
In the same remarkable way they never forget the
location of any place to which they have ever been, and
know that of many of which they have only heard from
others who have visited them.
In short, each Pellucidarian is a walking geography of
his own district and of much of the country contiguous
thereto. It always proved of the greatest aid to Perry and
me; nevertheless we were anxious to enlarge our map,
for we at least were not endowed with the homing
After several long councils it was decided that, in
order to expedite matters, Perry should return to the
prospector with a strong party of Mezops and fetch the
freight I had brought from the outer world. Ja and his
warriors were much impressed by our firearms, and were
also anxious to build boats with sails.
As we had arms at the prospector and also books on
boat-building we thought that it might prove an ex-
cellent idea to start these naturally maritime people
upon the construction of a well built navy of staunch
sailing-vessels. I was sure that with definite plans to go
by Perry could oversee the construction of an adequate
I warned him, however, not to be too ambitious, and
to forget about dreadnoughts and armored cruisers for a
while and build instead a few small sailing-boats that
could be manned by four or five men.
I was to proceed to Sari, and while prosecuting my
search for Dian attempt at the same time the rehabili-
tation of the federation. Perry was going as far as possible
by water, with the chances that the entire trip might be
made in that manner, which proved to be the fact.
With a couple of Mezops as companions I started for
Sari. In order to avoid crossing the principal range of
the Mountains of the Clouds we took a route that passed
a little way south of Phutra. We had eaten four times
and slept once, and were, as my companions told me,
not far from the great Mahar city, when we were sud-
denly confronted by a considerable band of Sagoths.
They did not attack us, owing to the peace which
exists between the Mahars and the Mezops, but I could
see that they looked upon me with considerable sus-
picion. My friends told them that I was a stranger from
a remote country, and as we had previously planned
against such a contingency I pretended ignorance of
the language which the human beings of Pellucidar em-
ploy in conversing with the gorilla-like soldiery of the
I noticed, and not without misgivings, that the leader
of the Sagoths eyed me with an expression that be-
tokened partial recognition. I was sure that he had seen
me before during the period of my incarceration in
Phutra and that he was trying to recall my identity.
It worried me not a little. I was extremely thankful
when we bade them adieu and continued upon our
Several times during the next few marches I became
acutely conscious of the sensation of being watched by
unseen eyes, but I did not speak of my suspicions to my
companions. Later I had reason to regret my reticence,
Well, this is how it happened:
We had killed an antelope and after eating our fill I
had lain down to sleep. The Pellucidarians, who seem
seldom if ever to require sleep, joined me in this instance,
for we had had a very trying march along the northern
foothills of the Mountains of the Clouds, and now with
their bellies filled with meat they seemed ready for
When I awoke it was with a start to find a couple of
huge Sagoths astride me. They pinioned my arms and
legs, and later chained my wrists behind my back. Then
they let me up.
I saw my companions; the brave fellows lay dead
where they had slept, javelined to death without a
chance at self-defense.
I was furious. I threatened the Sagoth leader with all
sorts of dire reprisals; but when he heard me speak the
hybrid language that is the medium of communication
between his kind and the human race of the inner world
he only grinned, as much as to say, "I thought so!"
They had not taken my revolvers or ammunition away
from me because they did not know what they were;
but my heavy rifle I had lost. They simply left it where
it had lain beside me.
So low in the scale of intelligence are they, that they
had not sufficient interest in this strange object even to
fetch it along with them.
I knew from the direction of our march that they
were taking me to Phutra. Once there I did not need
much of an imagination to picture what my fate would
be. It was the arena and a wild thag or fierce tarag for
me--unless the Mahars elected to take me to the pits.
In that case my end would be no more certain, though
infinitely more horrible and painful, for in the pits I
should be subjected to cruel vivisection. From what I
had once seen of their methods in the pits of Phutra I
knew them to be the opposite of merciful, whereas in
the arena I should be quickly despatched by some
Arrived at the underground city, I was taken im-
mediately before a slimy Mahar. When the creature
had received the report of the Sagoth its cold eyes
glistened with malice and hatred as they were turned
balefully upon me.
I knew then that my identity had been guessed. With
a show of excitement that I had never before seen
evinced by a member of the dominant race of Pellucidar,
the Mahar hustled me away, heavily guarded, through
the main avenue of the city to one of the principal
Here we were ushered into a great hall where
presently many Mahars gathered.
In utter silence they conversed, for they have no oral
speech since they are without auditory nerves. Their
method of communication Perry has likened to the pro-
jection of a sixth sense into a fourth dimension, where it
becomes cognizable to the sixth sense of their audience.
Be that as it may, however, it was evident that I was
the subject of discussion, and from the hateful looks
bestowed upon me not a particularly pleasant subject.
How long I waited for their decision I do not know,
but it must have been a very long time. Finally one of
the Sagoths addressed me. He was acting as interpreter
for his masters.
"The Mahars will spare your life," he said, "and re-
lease you on one condition."
"And what is that condition?" I asked, though I could
guess its terms.
"That you return to them that which you stole from
the pits of Phutra when you killed the four Mahars and
escaped," he replied.
I had thought that that would be it. The great secret
upon which depended the continuance of the Mahar
race was safely hid where only Dian and I knew.
I ventured to imagine that they would have given me
much more than my liberty to have it safely in their
keeping again; but after that--what?
Would they keep their promises?
I doubted it. With the secret of artificial propagation
once more in their hands their numbers would soon be
made so to overrun the world of Pellucidar that there
could be no hope for the eventual supremacy of the
human race, the cause for which I so devoutly hoped,
for which I had consecrated my life, and for which I
was not willing to give my life.
Yes! In that moment as I stood before the heartless
tribunal I felt that my life would be a very little thing to
give could it save to the human race of Pellucidar the
chance to come into its own by insuring the eventual
extinction of the hated, powerful Mahars.
"Come!" exclaimed the Sagoths. "The mighty Mahars
await your reply."
"You may say to them," I answered, "that I shall not
tell them where the great secret is hid."
When this had been translated to them there was a
great beating of reptilian wings, gaping of sharp-fanged
jaws, and hideous hissing. I thought that they were
about to fall upon me on the spot, and so I laid my hands
upon my revolvers; but at length they became more
quiet and presently transmitted some command to my
Sagoth guard, the chief of which laid a heavy hand
upon my arm and pushed me roughly before him from
They took me to the pits, where I lay carefully
guarded. I was sure that I was to be taken to the vivi-
section laboratory, and it required all my courage to
fortify myself against the terrors of so fearful a death. In
Pellucidar, where there is no time, death-agonies may
endure for eternities.
Accordingly, I had to steel myself against an endless
doom, which now stared me in the face!
CHAPTER V. SURPRISES
But at last the allotted moment arrived--the moment
for which I had been trying to prepare myself, for how
long I could not even guess. A great Sagoth came and
spoke some words of command to those who watched
over me. I was jerked roughly to my feet and with little
consideration hustled upward toward the higher levels.
Out into the broad avenue they conducted me, where,
amid huge throngs of Mahars, Sagoths, and heavily
guarded slaves, I was led, or, rather, pushed and shoved
roughly, along in the same direction that the mob
moved. I had seen such a concourse of people once be-
fore in the buried city of Phutra; I guessed, and rightly,
that we were bound for the great arena where slaves
who are condemned to death meet their end.
Into the vast amphitheater they took me, stationing
me at the extreme end of the arena. The queen came,
with her slimy, sickening retinue. The seats were filled.
The show was about to commence.
Then, from a little doorway in the opposite end of the
structure, a girl was led into the arena. She was at a
considerable distance from me. I could not see her
I wondered what fate awaited this other poor victim
and myself, and why they had chosen to have us die
together. My own fate, or rather, my thought of it, was
submerged in the natural pity I felt for this lone girl,
doomed to die horribly beneath the cold, cruel eyes of
her awful captors. Of what crime could she be guilty
that she must expiate it in the dreaded arena?
As I stood thus thinking, another door, this time at one
of the long sides of the arena, was thrown open, and into
the theater of death slunk a mighty tarag, the huge
cave tiger of the Stone Age. At my sides were my re-
volvers. My captors had not taken them from me, be-
cause they did not yet realize their nature. Doubtless
they thought them some strange manner of war-club,
and as those who are condemned to the arena are per-
mitted weapons of defense, they let me keep them.
The girl they had armed with a javelin. A brass pin
would have been almost as effective against the ferocious
monster they had loosed upon her.
The tarag stood for a moment looking about him--first
up at the vast audience and then about the arena. He
did not seem to see me at all, but his eyes fell presently
upon the girl. A hideous roar broke from his titanic lungs
--a roar which ended in a long-drawn scream that is
more human than the death-cry of a tortured woman--
more human but more awesome. I could scarce restrain
Slowly the beast turned and moved toward the girl.
Then it was that I came to myself and to a realization of
my duty. Quickly and as noiselessly as possible I ran
down the arena in pursuit of the grim creature. As I
ran I drew one of my pitifully futile weapons. Ah! Could
I but have had my lost express-gun in my hands at that
moment! A single well-placed shot would have crumbled
even this great monster. The best I could hope to ac-
complish was to divert the thing from the girl to myself
and then to place as many bullets as possible in it before
it reached and mauled me into insensibility and death.
There is a certain unwritten law of the arena that
vouchsafes freedom and immunity to the victor, be he
beast or human being--both of whom, by the way, are
all the same to the Mahar. That is, they were accus-
tomed to look upon man as a lower animal before Perry
and I broke through the Pellucidarian crust, but I
imagine that they were beginning to alter their views a
trifle and to realize that in the gilak--their word for
human being--they had a highly organized, reasoning
being to contend with.
Be that as it may, the chances were that the tarag
alone would profit by the law of the arena. A few more
of his long strides, a prodigious leap, and he would be
upon the girl. I raised a revolver and fired. The bullet
struck him in the left hind leg. It couldn't have damaged
him much; but the report of the shot brought him
around, facing me.
I think the snarling visage of a huge, enraged, saber-
toothed tiger is one of the most terrible sights in the
world. Especially if he be snarling at you and there be
nothing between the two of you but bare sand.
Even as he faced me a little cry from the girl carried
my eyes beyond the brute to her face. Hers was fastened
upon me with an expression of incredulity that baffles
description. There was both hope and horror in them,
"Dian!" I cried. "My Heavens, Dian!"
I saw her lips form the name David, as with raised
javelin she rushed forward upon the tarag. She was a
tigress then--a primitive savage female defending her
loved one. Before she could reach the beast with her
puny weapon, I fired again at the point where the tarag's
neck met his left shoulder. If I could get a bullet through
there it might reach his heart. The bullet didn't reach
his heart, but it stopped him for an instant.
It was then that a strange thing happened. I heard a
great hissing from the stands occupied by the Mahars,
and as I glanced toward them I saw three mighty
thipdars--the winged dragons that guard the queen, or,
as Perry calls them, pterodactyls--rise swiftly from their
rocks and dart lightning-like, toward the center of the
arena. They are huge, powerful reptiles. One of them,
with the advantage which his wings might give him,
would easily be a match for a cave bear or a tarag.
These three, to my consternation, swooped down upon
the tarag as he was gathering himself for a final charge
upon me. They buried their talons in his back and lifted
him bodily from the arena as if he had been a chicken
in the clutches of a hawk.
What could it mean?
I was baffled for an explanation; but with the tarag
gone I lost no time in hastening to Dian's side. With a
little cry of delight she threw herself into my arms. So
lost were we in the ecstasy of reunion that neither of
us--to this day--can tell what became of the tarag.
The first thing we were aware of was the presence of
a body of Sagoths about us. Gruffly they commanded us
to follow them. They led us from the arena and back
through the streets of Phutra to the audience chamber
in which I had been tried and sentenced. Here we
found ourselves facing the same cold, cruel tribunal.
Again a Sagoth acted as interpreter. He explained
that our lives bad been spared because at the last
moment Tu-al-sa had returned to Phutra, and seeing me
in the arena had prevailed upon the queen to spare my
"Who is Tu-al-sa?" I asked.
"A Mahar whose last male ancestor was--ages ago--
the last of the male rulers among the Mahars," he
"Why should she wish to have my life spared?"
He shrugged his shoulders and then repeated my
question to the Mahar spokesman. When the latter had
explained in the strange sign-language that passes for
speech between the Mahars and their fighting men the
Sagoth turned again to me:
"For a long time you had Tu-al-sa in your power," he
explained. "You might easily have killed her or aban-
doned her in a strange world--but you did neither. You
did not harm her, and you brought her back with you to
Pellucidar and set her free to return to Phutra. This is
Now I understood. The Mahar who had been my in-
voluntary companion upon my return to the outer world
was Tu-al-sa. This was the first time that I had learned
the lady's name. I thanked fate that I had not left her
upon the sands of the Sahara--or put a bullet in her, as
I had been tempted to do. I was surprised to discover
that gratitude was a characteristic of the dominant race
of Pellucidar. I could never think of them as aught but
cold-blooded, brainless reptiles, though Perry had de-
voted much time in explaining to me that owing to a
strange freak of evolution among all the genera of the
inner world, this species of the reptilia had advanced to
a position quite analogous to that which man holds upon
the outer crust.
He had often told me that there was every reason to
believe from their writings, which he had learned to
read while we were incarcerated in Phutra, that they
were a just race, and that in certain branches of science
and arts they were quite well advanced, especially in
genetics and metaphysics, engineering and architecture.
While it had always been difficult for me to look upon
these things as other than slimy, winged crocodiles--
which, by the way, they do not at all resemble--I was
now forced to a realization of the fact that I was in the
hands of enlightened creatures--for justice and grati-
tude are certain hallmarks of rationality and culture.
But what they purposed for us further was of most
imminent interest to me. They might save us from the
tarag and yet not free us. They looked upon us yet, to
some extent, I knew, as creatures of a lower order, and
so as we are unable to place ourselves in the position
of the brutes we enslave--thinking that they are happier
in bondage than in the free fulfilment of the purposes
for which nature intended them--the Mahars, too, might
consider our welfare better conserved in captivity than
among the dangers of the savage freedom we craved.
Naturally, I was next impelled to inquire their further
To my question, put through the Sagoth interpreter, I
received the reply that having spared my life they con-
sidered that Tu-al-sa's debt of gratitude was canceled.
They still had against me, however, the crime of which
I had been guilty--the unforgivable crime of stealing
the great secret. They, therefore, intended holding Dian
and me prisoners until the manuscript was returned to
They would, they said, send an escort of Sagoths with
me to fetch the precious document from its hiding-place,
keeping Dian at Phutra as a hostage and releasing us
both the moment that the document was safely restored
to their queen.
There was no doubt but that they had the upper
hand. However, there was so much more at stake than
the liberty or even the lives of Dian and myself, that I
did not deem it expedient to accept their offer without
giving the matter careful thought.
Without the great secret this maleless race must even-
tually become extinct. For ages they had fertilized their
eggs by an artificial process, the secret of which lay
hidden in the little cave of a far-off valley where Dian
and I had spent our honeymoon. I was none too sure that
I could find the valley again, nor that I cared to. So long
as the powerful reptilian race of Pellucidar continued to
propagate, just so long would the position of man within
the inner world be jeopardized. There could not be two
I said as much to Dian.
"You used to tell me," she replied, "of the wonderful
things you could accomplish with the inventions of your
own world. Now you have returned with all that is
necessary to place this great power in the hands of the
men of Pellucidar.
"You told me of great engines of destruction which
would cast a bursting ball of metal among our enemies,
killing hundreds of them at one time.
"You told me of mighty fortresses of stone which a
thousand men armed with big and little engines such as
these could hold forever against a million Sagoths.
"You told me of great canoes which moved across the
water without paddles, and which spat death from holes
in their sides.
"All these may now belong to the men of Pellucidar.
Why should we fear the Mahars?
"Let them breed! Let their numbers increase by thou-
sands. They will be helpless before the power of the
Emperor of Pellucidar.
"But if you remain a prisoner in Phutra, what may we
"What could the men of Pellucidar do without you to
"They would fight among themselves, and while they
fought the Mahars would fall upon them, and even
though the Mahar race should die out, of what value
would the emancipation of the human race be to them
without the knowledge, which you alone may wield, to
guide them toward the wonderful civilization of which
you have told me so much that I long for its comforts
and luxuries as I never before longed for anything.
"No, David; the Mahars cannot harm us if you are at
liberty. Let them have their secret that you and I may
return to our people, and lead them to the conquest of
It was plain that Dian was ambitious, and that her
ambition had not dulled her reasoning faculties. She was
right. Nothing could be gained by remaining bottled up
in Phutra for the rest of our lives.
It was true that Perry might do much with the con-
tents of the prospector, or iron mole, in which I had
brought down the implements of outer-world civiliza-
tion; but Perry was a man of peace. He could never weld
the warring factions of the disrupted federation. He
could never win new tribes to the empire. He would
fiddle around manufacturing gun-powder and trying to
improve upon it until some one blew him up with his
own invention. He wasn't practical. He never would get
anywhere without a balance-wheel--without some one
to direct his energies.
Perry needed me and I needed him. If we were going
to do anything for Pellucidar we must be free to do it
The outcome of it all was that I agreed to the Mahars'
proposition. They promised that Dian would be well
treated and protected from every indignity during my
absence. So I set out with a hundred Sagoths in search
of the little valley which I had stumbled upon by acci-
dent, and which I might and might not find again.
We traveled directly toward Sari. Stopping at the
camp where I had been captured I recovered my express
rifle, for which I was very thankful. I found it lying
where I had left it when I had been overpowered in my
sleep by the Sagoths who bad captured me and slain my
On the way I added materially to my map, an occu-
pation which did not elicit from the Sagoths even a
shadow of interest. I felt that the human race of Pelluci-
dar had little to fear from these gorilla-men. They were
fighters--that was all. We might even use them later
ourselves in this same capacity. They had not sufficient
brain power to constitute a menace to the advancement
of the human race.
As we neared the spot where I hoped to find the little
valley I became more and more confident of success.
Every landmark was familiar to me, and I was sure now
that I knew the exact location of the cave.
It was at about this time that I sighted a number of
the half-naked warriors of the human race of Pellucidar.
They were marching across our front. At sight of us they
halted; that there would be a fight I could not doubt.
These Sagoths would never permit an opportunity for
the capture of slaves for their Mahar masters to escape
I saw that the men were armed with bows and arrows,
long lances and swords, so I guessed that they must have
been members of the federation, for only my people had
been thus equipped. Before Perry and I came the men
of Pellucidar had only the crudest weapons wherewith to
slay one another.
The Sagoths, too, were evidently expecting battle.
With savage shouts they rushed forward toward the
Then a strange thing happened. The leader of the
human beings stepped forward with upraised hands.
The Sagoths ceased their war-cries and advanced slowly
to meet him. There was a long parley during which I
could see that I was often the subject of their discourse.
The Sagoths' leader pointed in the direction in which I
had told him the valley lay. Evidently he was explaining
the nature of our expedition to the leader of the warriors.
It was all a puzzle to me.
What human being could be upon such excellent
terms with the gorilla-men?
I couldn't imagine. I tried to get a good look at the
fellow, but the Sagoths had left me in the rear with a
guard when they had advanced to battle, and the dis-
tance was too great for me to recognize the features of
any of the human beings.
Finally the parley was concluded and the men con-
tinued on their way while the Sagoths returned to where
I stood with my guard. It was time for eating, so we
stopped where we were and made our meal. The Sa-
goths didn't tell me who it was they had met, and I
did not ask, though I must confess that I was quite
They permitted me to sleep at this halt. Afterward we
took up the last leg of our journey. I found the valley
without difficulty and led my guard directly to the cave.
At its mouth the Sagoths halted and I entered alone.
I noticed as I felt about the floor in the dim light that
there was a pile of fresh-turned rubble there. Presently
my hands came to the spot where the great secret had
been buried. There was a cavity where I had carefully
smoothed the earth over the hiding-place of the docu-
ment--the manuscript was gone!
Frantically I searched the whole interior of the cave
several times over, but without other result than a com-
plete confirmation of my worst fears. Someone had been
here ahead of me and stolen the great secret.
The one thing within Pellucidar which might free
Dian and me was gone, nor was it likely that I should
ever learn its whereabouts. If a Mahar had found it,
which was quite improbable, the chances were that the
dominant race would never divulge the fact that they
had recovered the precious document. If a cave man
had happened upon it he would have no conception of
its meaning or value, and as a consequence it would be
lost or destroyed in short order.
With bowed head and broken hopes I came out of the
cave and told the Sagoth chieftain what I had dis-
covered. It didn't mean much to the fellow, who doubt-
less had but little better idea of the contents of the
document I had been sent to fetch to his masters than
would the cave man who in all probability had dis-
The Sagoth knew only that I had failed in my mission,
so he took advantage of the fact to make the return
journey to Phutra as disagreeable as possible. I did not
rebel, though I had with me the means to destroy them
all. I did not dare rebel because of the consequences to
Dian. I intended demanding her release on the grounds
that she was in no way guilty of the theft, and that
my failure to recover the document had not lessened the
value of the good faith I had had in offering to do so.
The Mahars might keep me in slavery if they chose, but
Dian should be returned safely to her people.
I was full of my scheme when we entered Phutra and
I was conducted directly to the great audience-chamber.
The Mahars listened to the report of the Sagoth chief-
tain, and so difficult is it to judge their emotions from
their almost expressionless countenance, that I was at a
loss to know how terrible might be their wrath as they
learned that their great secret, upon which rested the
fate of their race, might now be irretrievably lost.
Presently I could see that she who presided was com-
municating something to the Sagoth interpreter--doubt-
less something to be transmitted to me which might
give me a forewarning of the fate which lay in store for
me. One thing I had decided definitely: If they would
not free Dian I should turn loose upon Phutra with my
little arsenal. Alone I might even win to freedom, and if
I could learn where Dian was imprisoned it would be
worth the attempt to free her. My thoughts were inter-
rupted by the interpreter.
"The mighty Mahars," he said, "are unable to reconcile
your statement that the document is lost with your
action in sending it to them by a special messenger.
They wish to know if you have so soon forgotten the
truth or if you are merely ignoring it."
"I sent them no document," I cried. "Ask them what
"They say," he went on after conversing with the
Mahar for a moment, "that just before your return to
Phutra, Hooja the Sly One came, bringing the great
secret with him. He said that you had sent him ahead
with it, asking him to deliver it and return to Sari where
you would await him, bringing the girl with him."
"Dian?" I gasped. "The Mahars have given over Dian
into the keeping of Hooja."
"Surely," he replied. "What of it? She is only a gilak,"
as you or I would say, "She is only a cow."
CHAPTER VI. A PENDENT WORLD
The Mahars set me free as they had promised, but with
strict injunctions never to approach Phutra or any other
Mahar city. They also made it perfectly plain that they
considered me a dangerous creature, and that having
wiped the slate clean in so far as they were under
obligations to me, they now considered me fair prey.
Should I again fall into their hands, they intimated it
would go ill with me.
They would not tell me in which direction Hooja had
set forth with Dian, so I departed from Phutra, filled
with bitterness against the Mahars, and rage toward the
Sly One who had once again robbed me of my greatest
At first I was minded to go directly back to Anoroc;
but upon second thought turned my face toward Sari,
as I felt that somewhere in that direction Hooja would
travel, his own country lying in that general direction.
Of my journey to Sari it is only necessary to say that
it was fraught with the usual excitement and adventure,
incident to all travel across the face of savage Pellucidar.
The dangers, however, were greatly reduced through
the medium of my armament. I often wondered how it
had happened that I had ever survived the first ten
years of my life within the inner world, when, naked
and primitively armed, I had traversed great areas of
her beast-ridden surface.
With the aid of my map, which I had kept with great
care during my march with the Sagoths in search of the
great secret, I arrived at Sari at last. As I topped the
lofty plateau in whose rocky cliffs the principal tribe of
Sarians find their cave-homes, a great hue and cry arose
from those who first discovered me.
Like wasps from their nests the hairy warriors poured
from their caves. The bows with their poison-tipped
arrows, which I had taught them to fashion and to use,
were raised against me. Swords of hammered iron--
another of my innovations--menaced me, as with lusty
shouts the horde charged down.
It was a critical moment. Before I should be recog-
nized I might be dead. It was evident that all semblance
of intertribal relationship had ceased with my going, and
that my people had reverted to their former savage,
suspicious hatred of all strangers. My garb must have
puzzled them, too, for never before of course had they
seen a man clothed in khaki and puttees.
Leaning my express rifle against my body I raised both
hands aloft. It was the peace-sign that is recognized
everywhere upon the surface of Pellucidar. The charging
warriors paused and surveyed me. I looked for my
friend Ghak, the Hairy One, king of Sari, and presently
I saw him coming from a distance. Ah, but it was good
to see his mighty, hairy form once more! A friend was
Ghak--a friend well worth the having; and it had been
some time since I had seen a friend.
Shouldering his way through the throng of warriors,
the mighty chieftain advanced toward me. There was
an expression of puzzlement upon his fine features. He
crossed the space between the warriors and myself, halt-
ing before me.
I did not speak. I did not even smile. I wanted to see
if Ghak, my principal lieutenant, would recognize me.
For some time he stood there looking me over carefully.
His eyes took in my large pith helmet, my khaki jacket,
and bandoleers of cartridges, the two revolvers swinging
at my hips, the large rifle resting against my body. Still
I stood with my hands above my head. He examined
my puttees and my strong tan shoes--a little the worse
for wear now. Then he glanced up once more to my
face. As his gaze rested there quite steadily for some
moments I saw recognition tinged with awe creep
across his countenance.
Presently without a word he took one of my hands in
his and dropping to one knee raised my fingers to his
lips. Perry had taught them this trick, nor ever did the
most polished courtier of all the grand courts of Europe
perform the little act of homage with greater grace and
Quickly I raised Ghak to his feet, clasping both his
hands in mine. I think there must have been tears in
my eyes then--I know I felt too full for words. The king
of Sari turned toward his warriors.
"Our emperor has come back," he announced. "Come
But he got no further, for the shouts that broke from
those savage throats would have drowned the voice of
heaven itself. I had never guessed how much they
thought of me. As they clustered around, almost fighting
for the chance to kiss my hand, I saw again the vision of
empire which I had thought faded forever.
With such as these I could conquer a world. With
such as these I WOULD conquer one! If the Sarians had
remained loyal, so too would the Amozites be loyal still,
and the Kalians, and the Suvians, and all the great
tribes who had formed the federation that was to eman-
cipate the human race of Pellucidar.
Perry was safe with the Mezops; I was safe with the
Sarians; now if Dian were but safe with me the future
would look bright indeed.
It did not take long to outline to Ghak all that had
befallen me since I had departed from Pellucidar, and
to get down to the business of finding Dian, which to
me at that moment was of even greater importance than
the very empire itself.
When I told him that Hooja had stolen her, he
stamped his foot in rage.
"It is always the Sly One!" he cried. "It was Hooja who
caused the first trouble between you and the Beautiful
"It was Hooja who betrayed our trust, and all but
caused our recapture by the Sagoths that time we
escaped from Phutra.
"It was Hooja who tricked you and substituted a
Mahar for Dian when you started upon your return
journey to your own world.
"It was Hooja who schemed and lied until he had
turned the kingdoms one against another and de-
stroyed the federation.
"When we had him in our power we were foolish to
let him live. Next time--"
Ghak did not need to finish his sentence.
"He has become a very powerful enemy now," I re-
plied. "That he is allied in some way with the Mahars is
evidenced by the familiarity of his relations with the
Sagoths who were accompanying me in search of the
great secret, for it must have been Hooja whom I saw
conversing with them just before we reached the valley.
Doubtless they told him of our quest and he hastened on
ahead of us, discovered the cave and stole the document.
Well does he deserve his appellation of the Sly One."
With Ghak and his head men I held a number of
consultations. The upshot of them was a decision to com-
bine our search for Dian with an attempt to rebuild the
crumbled federation. To this end twenty warriors were
despatched in pairs to ten of the leading kingdoms, with
instructions to make every effort to discover the where-
abouts of Hooja and Dian, while prosecuting their
missions to the chieftains to whom they were sent.
Ghak was to remain at home to receive the various
delegations which we invited to come to Sari on the
business of the federation. Four hundred warriors were
started for Anoroc to fetch Perry and the contents of the
prospector, to the capitol of the empire, which was also
the principal settlements of the Sarians.
At first it was intended that I remain at Sari, that I
might be in readiness to hasten forth at the first report
of the discovery of Dian; but I found the inaction in the
face of my deep solicitude for the welfare of my mate
so galling that scarce had the several units departed
upon their missions before I, too, chafed to be actively
engaged upon the search.
It was after my second sleep, subsequent to the de-
parture of the warriors, as I recall that I at last went to
Ghak with the admission that I could no longer support
the intolerable longing to be personally upon the trail of
my lost love.
Ghak tried to dissuade me, though I could tell that his
heart was with me in my wish to be away and really
doing something. It was while we were arguing upon the
subject that a stranger, with hands above his head,
entered the village. He was immediately surrounded by
warriors and conducted to Ghak's presence.
The fellow was a typical cave man--squat muscular,
and hairy, and of a type I had not seen before. His
features, like those of all the primeval men of Pellucidar,
were regular and fine. His weapons consisted of a stone
ax and knife and a heavy knobbed bludgeon of wood.
His skin was very white.
"Who are you?" asked Ghak. "And whence come you?"
"I am Kolk, son of Goork, who is chief of the
Thurians," replied the stranger. "From Thuria I have
come in search of the land of Amoz, where dwells Dacor,
the Strong One, who stole my sister, Canda, the Grace-
ful One, to be his mate.
"We of Thuria had heard of a great chieftain who has
bound together many tribes, and my father has sent me
to Dacor to learn if there be truth in these stories, and
if so to offer the services of Thuria to him whom we have
heard called emperor."
"The stories are true," replied Ghak, "and here is the
emperor of whom you have heard. You need travel no
Kolk was delighted. He told us much of the wonderful
resources of Thuria, the Land of Awful Shadow, and of
his long journey in search of Amoz.
"And why," I asked, "does Goork, your father, desire
to join his kingdom to the empire?"
"There are two reasons," replied the young man. "For-
ever have the Mahars, who dwell beyond the Lidi Plains
which lie at the farther rim of the Land of Awful
Shadow, taken heavy toll of our people, whom they
either force into lifelong slavery or fatten for their feasts.
We have heard that the great emperor makes successful
war upon the Mahars, against whom we should be glad
"Recently has another reason come. Upon a great
island which lies in the Sojar Az, but a short distance
from our shores, a wicked man has collected a great
band of outcast warriors of all tribes. Even are there
many Sagoths among them, sent by the Mahars to aid
the Wicked One.
"This band makes raids upon our villages, and it is
constantly growing in size and strength, for the Mahars
give liberty to any of their male prisoners who will
promise to fight with this band against the enemies of
the Mahars. It is the purpose of the Mahars thus to raise
a force of our own kind to combat the growth and
menace of the new empire of which I have come to seek
information. All this we learned from one of our own
warriors who had pretended to sympathize with this
band and had then escaped at the first opportunity."
"Who could this man be," I asked Ghak, "who leads
so vile a movement against his own kind?"
"His name is Hooja," spoke up Kolk, answering my
Ghak and I looked at each other. Relief was written
upon his countenance and I know that it was beating
strongly in my heart. At last we had discovered a tan-
gible clue to the whereabouts of Hooja--and with the
clue a guide!
But when I broached the subject to Kolk he demurred.
He had come a long way, he explained, to see his sister
and to confer with Dacor. Moreover, he had instructions
from his father which he could not ignore lightly. But
even so he would return with me and show me the way
to the island of the Thurian shore if by doing so we
might accomplish anything.
"But we cannot," he urged. "Hooja is powerful. He
has thousands of warriors. He has only to call upon his
Mahar allies to receive a countless horde of Sagoths to
do his bidding against his human enemies.
"Let us wait until you may gather an equal horde
from the kingdoms of your empire. Then we may march
against Hooja with some show of success.
"But first must you lure him to the mainland, for who
among you knows how to construct the strange things
that carry Hooja and his band back and forth across the
"We are not island people. We do not go upon the
water. We know nothing of such things."
I couldn't persuade him to do more than direct me
upon the way. I showed him my map, which now in-
cluded a great area of country extending from Anoroc
upon the east to Sari upon the west, and from the river
south of the Mountains of the Clouds north to Amoz. As
soon as I had explained it to him he drew a line with his
finger, showing a sea-coast far to the west and south of
Sari, and a great circle which he said marked the extent
of the Land of Awful Shadow in which lay Thuria.
The shadow extended southeast of the coast out into
the sea half-way to a large island, which he said was the
seat of Hooja's traitorous government. The island itself
lay in the light of the noonday sun. Northwest of the
coast and embracing a part of Thuria lay the Lidi
Plains, upon the northwestern verge of which was situ-
ated the Mahar city which took such heavy toll of the
Thus were the unhappy people now between two
fires, with Hooja upon one side and the Mahars upon
the other. I did not wonder that they sent out an appeal
Though Ghak and Kolk both attempted to dissuade
me, I was determined to set out at once, nor did I delay
longer than to make a copy of my map to be given to
Perry that he might add to his that which I had set down
since we parted. I left a letter for him as well, in which
among other things I advanced the theory that the Sojar
Az, or Great Sea, which Kolk mentioned as stretching
eastward from Thuria, might indeed be the same mighty
ocean as that which, swinging around the southern end
of a continent ran northward along the shore opposite
Phutra, mingling its waters with the huge gulf upon
which lay Sari, Amoz, and Greenwich.
Against this possibility I urged him to hasten the
building of a fleet of small sailing-vessels, which we
might utilize should I find it impossible to entice Hooja's
horde to the mainland.
I told Ghak what I had written, and suggested that as
soon as he could he should make new treaties with the
various kingdoms of the empire, collect an army and
march toward Thuria--this of course against the possi-
bility of my detention through some cause or other.
Kolk gave me a sign to his father--a lidi, or beast of
burden, crudely scratched upon a bit of bone, and be-
neath the lidi a man and a flower; all very rudely done
perhaps, but none the less effective as I well knew from
my long years among the primitive men of Pellucidar.
The lidi is the tribal beast of the Thurians; the man
and the flower in the combination in which they ap-
peared bore a double significance, as they constituted
not only a message to the effect that the bearer came in
peace, but were also Kolk's signature.
And so, armed with my credentials and my small
arsenal, I set out alone upon my quest for the dearest
girl in this world or yours.
Kolk gave me explicit directions, though with my map
I do not believe that I could have gone wrong. As a
matter of fact I did not need the map at all, since the
principal landmark of the first half of my journey, a gi-
gantic mountainpeak, was plainly visible from Sari,
though a good hundred miles away.
At the southern base of this mountain a river rose and
ran in a westerly direction, finally turning south and
emptying into the Sojar Az some forty miles northeast of
Thuria. All that I had to do was follow this river to the
sea and then follow the coast to Thuria.
Two hundred and forty miles of wild mountain and
primeval jungle, of untracked plain, of nameless rivers,
of deadly swamps and savage forests lay ahead of me,
yet never had I been more eager for an adventure than
now, for never had more depended upon haste and
I do not know how long a time that journey required,
and only half did I appreciate the varied wonders that
each new march unfolded before me, for my mind and
heart were filled with but a single image--that of a
perfect girl whose great, dark eyes looked bravely forth
from a frame of raven hair.
It was not until I had passed the high peak and found
the river that my eyes first discovered the pendent
world, the tiny satellite which hangs low over the surface
of Pellucidar casting its perpetual shadow always upon
the same spot--the area that is known here as the
Land of Awful Shadow, in which dwells the tribe of
From the distance and the elevation of the highlands
where I stood the Pellucidarian noonday moon showed
half in sunshine and half in shadow, while directly be-
neath it was plainly visible the round dark spot upon the
surface of Pellucidar where the sun has never shone.
From where I stood the moon appeared to hang so low
above the ground as almost to touch it; but later I was to
learn that it floats a mile above the surface--which
seems indeed quite close for a moon.
Following the river downward I soon lost sight of the
tiny planet as I entered the mazes of a lofty forest. Nor
did I catch another glimpse of it for some time--several
marches at least. However, when the river led me to the
sea, or rather just before it reached the sea, of a sudden
the sky became overcast and the size and luxuriance of
the vegetation diminished as by magic--as if an omni-
potent hand had drawn a line upon the earth, and said:
"Upon this side shall the trees and the shrubs, the
grasses and the flowers, riot in profusion of rich colors,
gigantic size and bewildering abundance; and upon that
side shall they be dwarfed and pale and scant."
Instantly I looked above, for clouds are so uncommon
in the skies of Pellucidar--they are practically unknown
except above the mightiest mountain ranges--that it
had given me something of a start to discover the sun
obliterated. But I was not long in coming to a realization
of the cause of the shadow.
Above me hung another world. I could see its moun-
tains and valleys, oceans, lakes, and rivers, its broad,
grassy plains and dense forests. But too great was the
distance and too deep the shadow of its under side for
me to distinguish any movement as of animal life.
Instantly a great curiosity was awakened within me.
The questions which the sight of this planet, so tanta-
lizingly close, raised in my mind were numerous and
Was it inhabited?
If so, by what manner and form of creature?
Were its people as relatively diminutive as their little
world, or were they as disproportionately huge as the
lesser attraction of gravity upon the surface of their
globe would permit of their being?
As I watched it, I saw that it was revolving upon an
axis that lay parallel to the surface of Pellucidar, so that
during each revolution its entire surface was once ex-
posed to the world below and once bathed in the heat of
the great sun above. The little world had that which
Pellucidar could not have--a day and night, and--
greatest of boons to one outer-earthly born--time.
Here I saw a chance to give time to Pellucidar, using
this mighty clock, revolving perpetually in the heavens,
to record the passage of the hours for the earth below.
Here should be located an observatory, from which
might be flashed by wireless to every corner of the em-
pire the correct time once each day. That this time
would be easily measured I had no doubt, since so plain
were the landmarks upon the under surface of the
satellite that it would be but necessary to erect a simple
instrument and mark the instant of passage of a given
landmark across the instrument.
But then was not the time for dreaming; I must de-
vote my mind to the purpose of my journey. So I
hastened onward beneath the great shadow. As I ad-
vanced I could not but note the changing nature of the
vegetation and the paling of its hues.
The river led me a short distance within the shadow
before it emptied into the Sojar Az. Then I continued in
a southerly direction along the coast toward the village
of Thuria, where I hoped to find Goork and deliver to
him my credentials.
I had progressed no great distance from the mouth of
the river when I discerned, lying some distance at sea,
a great island. This I assumed to be the stronghold of
Hooja, nor did I doubt that upon it even now was Dian.
The way was most difficult, since shortly after leaving
the river I encountered lofty cliffs split by numerous
long, narrow fiords, each of which necessitated a con-
siderable detour. As the crow flies it is about twenty
miles from the mouth of the river to Thuria, but be-
fore I had covered half of it I was fagged. There was no
familiar fruit or vegetable growing upon the rocky soil of
the cliff-tops, and I would have fared ill for food had
not a hare broken cover almost beneath my nose.
I carried bow and arrows to conserve my ammunition-
supply, but so quick was the little animal that I had no
time to draw and fit a shaft. In fact my dinner was a
hundred yards away and going like the proverbial bat
when I dropped my six-shooter on it. It was a pretty shot
and when coupled with a good dinner made me quite
contented with myself.
After eating I lay down and slept. When I awoke I
was scarcely so self-satisfied, for I had not more than
opened my eyes before I became aware of the presence,
barely a hundred yards from me, of a pack of some
twenty huge wolf-dogs--the things which Perry insisted
upon calling hyaenodons--and almost simultaneously I
discovered that while I slept my revolvers, rifle, bow,
arrows, and knife had been stolen from me.
And the wolf-dog pack was preparing to rush me.
CHAPTER VII. FROM PLIGHT TO PLIGHT
I have never been much of a runner; I hate running.
But if ever a sprinter broke into smithereens all world's
records it was I that day when I fled before those hide-
ous beasts along the narrow spit of rocky cliff between
two narrow fiords toward the Sojar Az. Just as I reached
the verge of the cliff the foremost of the brutes was upon
me. He leaped and closed his massive jaws upon my
The momentum of his flying body, added to that of
my own, carried the two of us over the cliff. It was a
hideous fall. The cliff was almost perpendicular. At its
foot broke the sea against a solid wall of rock.
We struck the cliff-face once in our descent and then
plunged into the salt sea. With the impact with the water
the hyaenodon released his hold upon my shoulder.
As I came sputtering to the surface I looked about for
some tiny foot- or hand-hold where I might cling for a
moment of rest and recuperation. The cliff itself offered
me nothing, so I swam toward the mouth of the fiord.
At the far end I could see that erosion from above had
washed down sufficient rubble to form a narrow ribbon
of beach. Toward this I swam with all my strength. Not
once did I look behind me, since every unnecessary
movement in swimming detracts so much from one's
endurance speed. Not until I had drawn myself safely
out upon the beach did I turn my eyes back toward the
sea for the hyaenodon. He was swimming slowly and
apparently painfully toward the beach upon where I
I watched him for a long time, wondering, why it was
that such a doglike animal was not a better swimmer.
As he neared me I realized that he was weakening
rapidly. I had gathered a handful of stones to be
ready for his assault when he landed, but in a moment
I let them fall from my hands. It was evident that the
brute either was no swimmer or else was severely in-
jured, for by now he was making practically no head-
way. Indeed, it was with quite apparent difficulty that
he kept his nose above the surface of the sea.
He was not more than fifty yards from shore when he
went under. I watched the spot where he had disap-
peared, and in a moment I saw his head reappear.
The look of dumb misery in his eyes struck a chord in
my breast, for I love dogs. I forgot that he was a vicious,
primordial wolf-thing--a man-eater, a scourge, and a
terror. I saw only the sad eyes that looked like the eyes
of Raja, my dead collie of the outer world.
I did not stop to weigh and consider. In other words,
I did not stop to think, which I believe must be the
way of men who do things--in contradistinction to
those who think much and do nothing. Instead, I leaped
back into the water and swam out toward the drowning
beast. At first he showed his teeth at my approach, but
just before I reached him he went under for the second
time, so that I had to dive to get him.
I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and though
he weighed as much as a Shetland pony, I managed to
drag him to shore and well up upon the beach. Here
I found that one of his forelegs was broken--the crash
against the cliff-face must have done it.
By this time all the fight was out of him, so that when
I had gathered a few tiny branches from some of the
stunted trees that grew in the crevices of the cliff, and
returned to him he permitted me to set his broken
leg and bind it in splints. I had to tear part of my shirt
into bits to obtain a bandage, but at last the job was
done. Then I sat stroking the savage head and talking to
the beast in the man-dog talk with which you are
familiar, if you ever owned and loved a dog.
When he is well, I thought, he probably will turn upon
me and attempt to devour me, and against that even-
tuality I gathered together a pile of rocks and set to
work to fashion a stone-knife. We were bottled up at the
head of the fiord as completely as if we had been behind
prison bars. Before us spread the Sojar Az, and else-
where about us rose unscalable cliffs.
Fortunately a little rivulet trickled down the side of
the rocky wall, giving us ample supply of fresh water--
some of which I kept constantly beside the hyaenodon
in a huge, bowl-shaped shell, of which there were count-
less numbers among the rubble of the beach.
For food we subsisted upon shellfish and an occa-
sional bird that I succeeded in knocking over with a
rock, for long practice as a pitcher on prep-school and
varsity nines had made me an excellent shot with a
It was not long before the hyaenodon's leg was suffi-
ciently mended to permit him to rise and hobble about
on three legs. I shall never forget with what intent in-
terest I watched his first attempt. Close at my hand lay
my pile of rocks. Slowly the beast came to his three good
feet. He stretched himself, lowered his head, and lapped
water from the drinking-shell at his side, turned and
looked at me, and then hobbled off toward the cliffs.
Thrice he traversed the entire extent of our prison,
seeking, I imagine, a loop-hole for escape, but finding
none he returned in my direction. 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.
Now that he was able to get around, I was a little un-
certain as to the wisdom of my impulsive mercy.
How could I sleep with that ferocious thing prowling
about the narrow confines of our prison?
Should I close my eyes it might be to open them
again to the feel of those mighty jaws at my throat. To
say the least, I was uncomfortable.
I have had too much experience with dumb animals
to bank very strongly on any sense of gratitude which
may be attributed to them by inexperienced sentimen-
talists. I believe that some animals love their masters,
but I doubt very much if their affection is the outcome
of gratitude--a characteristic that is so rare as to be only
occasionally traceable in the seemingly unselfish acts of
But finally I was forced to sleep. Tired nature would
be put off no longer. I simply fell asleep, willy nilly, as I
sat looking out to sea. I had been very uncomfortable
since my ducking in the ocean, for though I could see
the sunlight on the water half-way toward the island
and upon the island itself, no ray of it fell upon us. We
were well within the Land of Awful Shadow. A per-
petual half-warmth pervaded the atmosphere, but
clothing was slow in drying, and so from loss of sleep
and great physical discomfort, I at last gave way to
nature's demands and sank into profound slumber.
When I awoke it was with a start, for a heavy body
was upon me. My first thought was that the hyaenodon
had at last attacked me, but as my eyes opened and
I struggled to rise, I saw that a man was astride me and
three others bending close above him.
I am no weakling--and never have been. My experi-
ence in the hard life of the inner world has turned
my thews to steel. Even such giants as Ghak the Hairy
One have praised my strength; but to it is added
another quality which they lack--science.
The man upon me held me down awkwardly, leaving
me many openings--one of which I was not slow in
taking advantage of, so that almost before the fellow
knew that I was awake I was upon my feet with my
arms over his shoulders and about his waist and had
hurled him heavily over my head to the hard rubble of
the beach, where he lay quite still.
In the instant that I arose I had seen the hyaenodon
lying asleep beside a boulder a few yards away. So
nearly was he the color of the rock that he was scarcely
discernible. Evidently the newcomers had not seen
I had not more than freed myself from one of my
antagonists before the other three were upon me. They
did not work silently now, but charged me with savage
cries--a mistake upon their part. The fact that they did
not draw their weapons against me convinced me that
they desired to take me alive; but I fought as desper-
ately as if death loomed immediate and sure.
The battle was short, for scarce had their first wild
whoop reverberated through the rocky fiord, and they
had closed upon me, than a hairy mass of demoniacal
rage hurtled among us.
It was the hyaenodon!
In an instant he had pulled down one of the men, and
with a single shake, terrier-like, had broken his neck.
Then he was upon another. In their efforts to vanquish
the wolf-dog the savages forgot all about me, thus giv-
ing me an instant in which to snatch a knife from the
loin-string of him who had first fallen and account for
another of them. Almost simultaneously the hyaenodon
pulled down the remaining enemy, crushing his skull
with a single bite of those fearsome jaws.
The battle was over--unless the beast considered me
fair prey, too. I waited, ready for him with knife and
bludgeon--also filched from a dead foeman; but he paid
no attention to me, falling to work instead to devour one
of the corpses.
The beast bad been handicapped but little by his
splinted leg; but having eaten he lay down and com-
menced to gnaw at the bandage. I was sitting some little
distance away devouring shellfish, of which, by the way,
I was becoming exceedingly tired.
Presently, the hyaenodon arose and came toward
me. I did not move. He stopped in front of me and
deliberately raised his bandaged leg and pawed my
knee. His act was as intelligible as words--he wished
the bandage removed.
I took the great paw in one hand and with the other
hand untied and unwound the bandage, removed the
splints and felt of the injured member. As far as I could
judge the bone was completely knit. The joint was stiff;
when I bent it a little the brute winced--but he neither
growled nor tried to pull away. Very slowly and gently
I rubbed the joint and applied pressure to it for a few
Then I set it down upon the ground. The hyaenodon
walked around me a few times, and then lay down at
my side, his body touching mine. I laid my hand upon
his head. He did not move. Slowly, I scratched about
his ears and neck and down beneath the fierce jaws.
The only sign he gave was to raise his chin a trifle that
I might better caress him.
That was enough! From that moment I have never
again felt suspicion of Raja, as I immediately named
him. Somehow all sense of loneliness vanished, too--I
had a dog! I had never guessed precisely what it was
that was lacking to life in Pellucidar, but now I knew it
was the total absence of domestic animals.
Man here had not yet reached the point where he
might take the time from slaughter and escaping slaugh-
ter to make friends with any of the brute creation. I
must qualify this statement a trifle and say that this
was true of those tribes with which I was most familiar.
The Thurians do domesticate the colossal lidi, traversing
the great Lidi Plains upon the backs of these gro-
tesque and stupendous monsters, and possibly there may
also be other, far-distant peoples within the great world,
who have tamed others of the wild things of jungle,
plain or mountain.
The Thurians practice agriculture in a crude sort of
way. It is my opinion that this is one of the earliest steps
from savagery to civilization. The taming of wild beasts
and their domestication follows.
Perry argues that wild dogs were first domesticated
for hunting purposes; but I do not agree with him. I
believe that if their domestication were not purely the
result of an accident, as, for example, my taming of the
hyaenodon, it came about through the desire of tribes
who had previously domesticated flocks and herds to
have some strong, ferocious beast to guard their roam-
ing property. However, I lean rather more strongly to
the theory of accident.
As I sat there upon the beach of the little fiord eating
my unpalatable shell-fish, I commenced to wonder how
it had been that the four savages had been able to reach
me, though I had been unable to escape from my natu-
ral prison. I glanced about in all directions, searching for
an explanation. At last my eyes fell upon the bow of a
small dugout protruding scarce a foot from behind a
large boulder lying half in the water at the edge of
At my discovery I leaped to my feet so suddenly that
it brought Raja, growling and bristling, upon all fours in
an instant. For the moment I had forgotten him. But his
savage rumbling did not cause me any uneasiness. He
glanced quickly about in all directions as if searching
for the cause of my excitement. Then, as I walked
rapidly down toward the dugout, he slunk silently after
The dugout was similar in many respects to those
which I had seen in use by the Mezops. In it were four
paddles. I was much delighted, as it promptly offered
me the escape I had been craving.
I pushed it out into water that would float it, stepped
in and called to Raja to enter. At first he did not seem
to understand what I wished of him, but after I had
paddled out a few yards he plunged through the surf
and swam after me. When he had come alongside I
grasped the scruff of his neck, and after a considerable
struggle, in which I several times came near to over-
turning the canoe, I managed to drag him aboard,
where he shook himself vigorously and squatted down
After emerging from the fiord, I paddled southward
along the coast, where presently the lofty cliffs gave
way to lower and more level country. It was here some-
where that I should come upon the principal village of
the Thurians. When, after a time, I saw in the distance
what I took to be huts in a clearing near the shore, I
drew quickly into land, for though I had been furnished
credentials by Kolk, I was not sufficiently familiar with
the tribal characteristics of these people to know
whether I should receive a friendly welcome or not; and
in case I should not, I wanted to be sure of having a
canoe hidden safely away so that I might undertake
the trip to the island, in any event--provided, of course,
that I escaped the Thurians should they prove bellig-
At the point where I landed the shore was quite
low. A forest of pale, scrubby ferns ran down almost to
the beach. Here I dragged up the dugout, hiding it well
within the vegetation, and with some loose rocks built a
cairn upon the beach to mark my cache. Then I turned
my steps toward the Thurian village.
As I proceeded I began to speculate upon the possible
actions of Raja when we should enter the presence of
other men than myself. The brute was padding softly at
my side, his sensitive nose constantly atwitch and his
fierce eyes moving restlessly from side to side--nothing
would ever take Raja unawares!
The more I thought upon the matter the greater be-
came my perturbation. I did not want Raja to attack
any of the people upon whose friendship I so greatly
depended, nor did I want him injured or slain by them.
I wondered if Raja would stand for a leash. His head
as he paced beside me was level with my hip. I laid
my hand upon it caressingly. As I did so he turned and
looked up into my face, his jaws parting and his red
tongue lolling as you have seen your own dog's beneath
a love pat.
"Just been waiting all your life to be tamed and loved,
haven't you, old man?" I asked. "You're nothing but a
good pup, and the man who put the hyaeno in your
name ought to be sued for libel."
Raja bared his mighty fangs with upcurled, snarling
lips and licked my hand.
"You're grinning, you old fraud, you!" I cried. "If
you're not, I'll eat you. I'll bet a doughnut you're nothing
but some kid's poor old Fido, masquerading around as
a real, live man-eater."
Raja whined. And so we walked on together toward
Thuria--I talking to the beast at my side, and he seem-
ing to enjoy my company no less than I enjoyed his. If
you don't think it's lonesome wandering all by yourself
through savage, unknown Pellucidar, why, just try it,
and you will not wonder that I was glad of the company
of this first dog--this living replica of the fierce and now
extinct hyaenodon of the outer crust that hunted in
savage packs the great elk across the snows of southern
France, in the days when the mastodon roamed at will
over the broad continent of which the British Isles were
then a part, and perchance left his footprints and his
bones in the sands of Atlantis as well.
Thus I dreamed as we moved on toward Thuria.
My dreaming was rudely shattered by a savage growl
from Raja. I looked down at him. He had stopped in his
tracks as one turned to stone. A thin ridge of stiff hair
bristled along the entire length of his spine. His yel-
low green eyes were fastened upon the scrubby jungle
at our right.
I fastened my fingers in the bristles at his neck and
turned my eyes in the direction that his pointed. At first
I saw nothing. Then a slight movement of the bushes
riveted my attention. I thought it must be some wild
beast, and was glad of the primitive weapons I had
taken from the bodies of the warriors who had attacked
Presently I distinguished two eyes peering at us from
the vegetation. I took a step in their direction, and as
I did so a youth arose and fled precipitately in the
direction we had been going. Raja struggled to be after
him, but I held tightly to his neck, an act which he did
not seem to relish, for he turned on me with bared
I determined that now was as good a time as any to
discover just how deep was Raja's affection for me. One
of us could be master, and logically I was the one. He
growled at me. I cuffed him sharply across the nose. He
looked it me for a moment in surprised bewilderment,
and then he growled again. I made another feint at him,
expecting that it would bring him at my throat; but in-
stead he winced and crouched down.
Raja was subdued!
I stooped and patted him. Then I took a piece of
the rope that constituted a part of my equipment and
made a leash for him.
Thus we resumed our journey toward Thuria. The
youth who had seen us was evidently of the Thurians.
That he had lost no time in racing homeward and
spreading the word of my coming was evidenced when
we had come within sight of the clearing, and the village
--the first real village, by the way, that I had ever seen
constructed by human Pellucidarians. There was a rude
rectangle walled with logs and boulders, in which
were a hundred or more thatched huts of similar con-
struction. There was no gate. Ladders that could be re-
moved by night led over the palisade.
Before the village were assembled a great concourse
of warriors. Inside I could see the heads of women and
children peering over the top of the wall; and also,
farther back, the long necks of lidi, topped by their tiny
heads. Lidi, by the way, is both the singular and plural
form of the noun that describes the huge beasts of bur-
den of the Thurians. They are enormous quadrupeds,
eighty or a hundred feet long, with very small heads
perched at the top of very long, slender necks. Their
heads are quite forty feet from the ground. Their gait is
slow and deliberate, but so enormous are their strides
that, as a matter of fact, they cover the ground quite
Perry has told me that they are almost identical with
the fossilized remains of the diplodocus of the outer
crust's Jurassic age. I have to take his word for it--and I
guess you will, unless you know more of such matters
As we came in sight of the warriors the men set up a
great jabbering. Their eyes were wide in astonishment
--only, I presume, because of my strange garmenture,
but as well from the fact that I came in company with a
jalok, which is the Pellucidarian name of the hyaenodon.
Raja tugged at his leash, growling and showing his
long white fangs. He would have liked nothing better
than to be at the throats of the whole aggregation; but I
held him in with the leash, though it took all my
strength to do it. My free hand I held above my
head, palm out, in token of the peacefulness of my
In the foreground I saw the youth who had discov-
ered us, and I could tell from the way he carried him-
self that he was quite overcome by his own importance.
The warriors about him were all fine looking fellows,
though shorter and squatter than the Sarians or the
Amozites. Their color, too, was a bit lighter, owing, no
doubt, to the fact that much of their lives is spent within
the shadow of the world that hangs forever above their
A little in advance of the others was a bearded fel-
low tricked out in many ornaments. I didn't need to
ask to know that he was the chieftain--doubtless Goork,
father of Kolk. Now to him I addressed myself.
"I am David," I said, "Emperor of the Federated
Kingdoms of Pellucidar. Doubtless you have heard of
He nodded his head affirmatively.
"I come from Sari," I continued, 'where I just met
Kolk, the son of Goork. I bear a token from Kolk to his
father, which will prove that I am a friend."
Again the warrior nodded. "I am Goork," he said.
"Where is the token?"
"Here," I replied, and fished into the game-bag
where I had placed it.
Goork and his people waited in silence. My hand
searched the inside of the bag.
It was empty!
The token had been stolen with my arms!
CHAPTER VIII. CAPTIVE
When Goork and his people saw that I had no token
they commenced to taunt me.
"You do not come from Kolk, but from the Sly One!"
they cried. "He has sent you from the island to spy upon
us. Go away, or we will set upon you and kill you."
I explained that all my belongings had been stolen
from me, and that the robber must have taken the token
too; but they didn't believe me. As proof that I was
one of Hooja's people, they pointed to my weapons,
which they said were ornamented like those of the is-
land clan. Further, they said that no good man went in
company with a jalok--and that by this line of reason-
ing I certainly was a bad man.
I saw that they were not naturally a war-like tribe,
for they preferred that I leave in peace rather than
force them to attack me, whereas the Sarians would
have killed a suspicious stranger first and inquired into
his purposes later.
I think Raja sensed their antagonism, for he kept tug-
ging at his leash and growling ominously. They were a
bit in awe of him, and kept at a safe distance. It was
evident that they could not comprehend why it was
that this savage brute did not turn upon me and rend
I wasted a long time there trying to persuade Goork
to accept me at my own valuation, but he was too
canny. The best he would do was to give us food, which
he did, and direct me as to the safest portion of the is-
land upon which to attempt a landing, though even as
he told me I am sure that he thought my request for
information but a blind to deceive him as to my true
knowledge of the insular stronghold.
At last I turned away from them--rather disheart-
ened, for I had hoped to be able to enlist a considerable
force of them in an attempt to rush Hooja's horde and
rescue Dian. Back along the beach toward the hidden
canoe we made our way.
By the time we came to the cairn I was dog-tired.
Throwing myself upon the sand I soon slept, and
with Raja stretched out beside me I felt a far greater
security than I had enjoyed for a long time.
I awoke much refreshed to find Raja's eyes glued
upon me. The moment I opened mine he rose, stretched
himself, and without a backward glance plunged into
the jungle. For several minutes I could hear him crash-
ing through the brush. Then all was silent.
I wondered if he had left me to return to his fierce
pack. A feeling of loneliness overwhelmed me. With a
sigh I turned to the work of dragging the canoe down to
the sea. As I entered the jungle where the dugout lay a
hare darted from beneath the boat's side, and a well-
aimed cast of my javelin brought it down. I was hungry
--I had not realized it before--so I sat upon the edge
of the canoe and devoured my repast. The last remnants
gone, I again busied myself with preparations for my
expedition to the island.
I did not know for certain that Dian was there; but
I surmised as much. Nor could I guess what obstacles
might confront me in an effort to rescue her. For a time
I loitered about after I had the canoe at the water's
edge, hoping against hope that Raja would return; but
be did not, so I shoved the awkward craft through the
surf and leaped into it.
I was still a little downcast by the desertion of my
new-found friend, though I tried to assure myself that it
was nothing but what I might have expected.
The savage brute had served me well in the short
time that we had been together, and had repaid his debt
of gratitude to me, since he had saved my life, or at
least my liberty, no less certainly than I had saved his
life when he was injured and drowning.
The trip across the water to the island was unevent-
ful. I was mighty glad to be in the sunshine again when
I passed out of the shadow of the dead world about
half-way between the mainland and the island. The hot
rays of the noonday sun did a great deal toward raising
my spirits, and dispelling the mental gloom in which I
had been shrouded almost continually since entering
the Land of Awful Shadow. There is nothing more dis-
piriting to me than absence of sunshine.
I had paddled to the southwestern point, which
Goork said he believed to be the least frequented por-
tion of the island, as he had never seen boats put off
from there. I found a shallow reef running far out into
the sea and rather precipitous cliffs running almost to
the surf. It was a nasty place to land, and I realized now
why it was not used by the natives; but at last I man-
aged, after a good wetting, to beach my canoe and
scale the cliffs.
The country beyond them appeared more open and
park-like than I had anticipated, since from the main-
land the entire coast that is visible seems densely
clothed with tropical jungle. This jungle, as I could
see from the vantage-point of the cliff-top, formed
but a relatively narrow strip between the sea and the
more open forest and meadow of the interior. Farther
back there was a range of low but apparently very rocky
hills, and here and there all about were visible flat-
topped masses of rock--small mountains, in fact--which
reminded me of pictures I had seen of landscapes in
New Mexico. Altogether, the country was very much
broken and very beautiful. From where I stood I counted
no less than a dozen streams winding down from among
the table-buttes and emptying into a pretty river which
flowed away in a northeasterly direction toward the op-
posite end of the island.
As I let my eyes roam over the scene I suddenly be-
came aware of figures moving upon the flat top of a
far-distant butte. Whether they were beast or human,
though, I could not make out; but at least they were
alive, so I determined to prosecute my search for Hooja's
stronghold in the general direction of this butte.
To descend to the valley required no great effort. As
I swung along through the lush grass and the fragrant
flowers, my cudgel swinging in my hand and my javelin
looped across my shoulders with its aurochs-hide strap, I
felt equal to any emergency, ready for any danger.
I had covered quite a little distance, and I was pass-
ing through a strip of wood which lay at the foot of one
of the flat-topped hills, when I became conscious of the
sensation of being watched. My life within Pellucidar
has rather quickened my senses of sight, hearing, and
smell, and, too, certain primitive intuitive or instinctive
qualities that seem blunted in civilized man. But, though
I was positive that eyes were upon me, I could see no
sign of any living thing within the wood other than the
many, gay-plumaged birds and little monkeys which
filled the trees with life, color, and action.
To you it may seem that my conviction was the re-
sult of an overwrought imagination, or to the actual
reality of the prying eyes of the little monkeys or the
curious ones of the birds; but there is a difference
which I cannot explain between the sensation of casual
observation and studied espionage. A sheep might gaze
at you without transmitting a warning through your sub-
jective mind, because you are in no danger from a
sheep. But let a tiger gaze fixedly at you from ambush,
and unless your primitive instincts are completely cal-
loused you will presently commence to glance furtively
about and be filled with vague, unreasoning terror.
Thus was it with me then. I grasped my cudgel more
firmly and unslung my javelin, carrying it in my left
hand. I peered to left and right, but I saw nothing.
Then, all quite suddenly, there fell about my neck and
shoulders, around my arms and body, a number of
pliant fiber ropes.
In a jiffy I was trussed up as neatly as you might
wish. One of the nooses dropped to my ankles and was
jerked up with a suddenness that brought me to my
face upon the ground. Then something heavy and hairy
sprang upon my back. I fought to draw my knife, but
hairy hands grasped my wrists and, dragging them be-
hind my back, bound them securely.
Next my feet were bound. Then I was turned over
upon my back to look up into the faces of my captors.
And what faces! Imagine if you can a cross between
a sheep and a gorilla, and you will have some concep-
tion of the physiognomy of the creature that bent
close above me, and of those of the half-dozen others
that clustered about. There was the facial length and
great eyes of the sheep, and the bull-neck and hideous
fangs of the gorilla. The bodies and limbs were both
man and gorilla-like.
As they bent over me they conversed in a mono-
syllabic tongue that was perfectly intelligible to me. It
was something of a simplified language that had no
need for aught but nouns and verbs, but such words as
it included were the same as those of the human beings
of Pellucidar. It was amplified by many gestures which
filled in the speech-gaps.
I asked them what they intended doing with me; but,
like our own North American Indians when questioned
by a white man, they pretended not to understand me.
One of them swung me to his shoulder as lightly as if I
had been a shoat. He was a huge creature, as were his
fellows, standing fully seven feet upon his short legs and
weighing considerably more than a quarter of a ton.
Two went ahead of my bearer and three behind. In
this order we cut to the right through the forest to the
foot of the hill where precipitous cliffs appeared to bar
our farther progress in this direction. But my escort
never paused. Like ants upon a wall, they scaled that
seemingly unscalable barrier, clinging, Heaven knows
how, to its ragged perpendicular face. During most of
the short journey to the summit I must admit that my
hair stood on end. Presently, however, we topped the
thing and stood upon the level mesa which crowned it.
Immediately from all about, out of burrows and
rough, rocky lairs, poured a perfect torrent of beasts
similar to my captors. They clustered about, jabber-
ing at my guards and attempting to get their hands
upon me, whether from curiosity or a desire to do me
bodily harm I did not know, since my escort with
bared fangs and heavy blows kept them off.
Across the mesa we went, to stop at last before a large
pile of rocks in which an opening appeared. Here my
guards set me upon my feet and called out a word
which sounded like "Gr-gr-gr!" and which I later
learned was the name of their king.
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. The other eye, sheeplike in its
mildness, gave the most startling appearance to the
beast, which but for that single timid orb was the most
fearsome thing that one could imagine.
I had encountered the black, hairless, long-tailed ape--
things of the mainland--the creatures which Perry
thought might constitute the link between the higher
orders of apes and man--but these brute-men of Gr-gr-
gr seemed to set that theory back to zero, for there was
less similarity between the black ape-men and these
creatures than there was between the latter and man,
while both had many human attributes, some of which
were better developed in one species and some in the
The black apes were hairless and built thatched
huts in their arboreal retreats; they kept domesticated
dogs and ruminants, in which respect they were farther
advanced than the human beings of Pellucidar; but they
appeared to have only a meager language, and sported
long, apelike tails.
On the other hand, Gr-gr-gr's people were, for the
most part, quite hairy, but they were tailless and had a
language similar to that of the human race of Pellucidar;
nor were they arboreal. Their skins, where skin showed,
From the foregoing facts and others that I have
noted during my long life within Pellucidar, which is
now passing through an age analogous to some pre-
glacial age of the outer crust, I am constrained to the
belief that evolution is not so much a gradual transition
from one form to another as it is an accident of breeding,
either by crossing or the hazards of birth. In other
words, it is my belief that the first man was a freak of
nature--nor would one have to draw over-strongly
upon his credulity to be convinced that Gr-gr-gr and his
tribe were also freaks.
The great man-brute seated himself upon a flat rock--
his throne, I imagine--just before the entrance to his
lair. With elbows on knees and chin in palms he re-
garded me intently through his lone sheep-eye while
one of my captors told of my taking.
When all had been related Gr-gr-gr questioned me. I
shall not attempt to quote these people in their own ab-
breviated tongue--you would have even greater diffi-
culty in interpreting them than did I. Instead, I shall
put the words into their mouths which will carry to you
the ideas which they intended to convey.
"You are an enemy," was Gr-gr-gr's initial declaration.
"You belong to the tribe of Hooja."
Ah! So they knew Hooja and he was their enemy!
"I am an enemy of Hooja," I replied. "He has stolen
my mate and I have come here to take her away from
him and punish Hooja."
"How could you do that alone?"
"I do not know," I answered, "but I should have tried
had you not captured me. What do you intend to do
"You shall work for us."
"You will not kill me?" I asked.
"We do not kill except in self-defense," he replied;
"self-defense and punishment. Those who would kill us
and those who do wrong we kill. If we knew you were
one of Hooja's people we might kill you, for all Hooja's
people are bad people; but you say you are an enemy of
Hooja. You may not speak the truth, but until we learn
that you have lied we shall not kill you. You shall work."
"If you hate Hooja," I suggested, "why not let me,
who hate him, too, go and punish him?"
For some time Gr-gr-gr sat in thought. Then he raised
his head and addressed my guard.
"Take him to his work," he ordered.
His tone was final. As if to emphasize it he turned
and entered his burrow. My guard conducted me far-
ther into the mesa, where we came presently to a tiny
depression or valley, at one end of which gushed a
The view that opened before me was the most sur-
prising that I have ever seen. In the hollow, which must
have covered several hundred acres, were numerous
fields of growing things, and working all about with
crude implements or with no implements at all other
than their bare hands were many of the brute-men en-
gaged in the first agriculture that I had seen within
They put me to work cultivating in a patch of melons.
I never was a farmer nor particularly keen for this sort
of work, and I am free to confess that time never had
dragged so heavily as it did during the hour or the year
I spent there at that work. How long it really was I do
not know, of course; but it was all too long.
The creatures that worked about me were quite sim-
ple and friendly. One of them proved to be a son of
Gr-gr-gr. He had broken some minor tribal law, and was
working out his sentence in the fields. He told me that
his tribe had lived upon this hilltop always, and that
there were other tribes like them dwelling upon other
hilltops. They had no wars and had always lived in
peace and harmony, menaced only by the larger carniv-
ora of the island, until my kind had come under a crea-
ture called Hooja, and attacked and killed them when
they chanced to descend from their natural fortresses
to visit their fellows upon other lofty mesas.
Now they were afraid; but some day they would go
in a body and fall upon Hooja and his people and slay
them all. I explained to him that I was Hooja's enemy,
and asked, when they were ready to go, that I be al-
lowed to go with them, or, better still, that they let
me go ahead and learn all that I could about the village
where Hooja dwelt so that they might attack it with
the best chance of success.
Gr-gr-gr's son seemed much impressed by my sug-
gestion. He said that when he was through in the
fields he would speak to his father about the matter.
Some time after this Gr-gr-gr came through the fields
where we were, and his son spoke to him upon the sub-
ject, but the old gentleman was evidently in anything
but a good humor, for he cuffed the youngster and,
turning upon me, informed me that he was convinced
that I had lied to him, and that I was one of Hooja's peo-
"Wherefore," he concluded, "we shall slay you as soon
as the melons are cultivated. Hasten, therefore."
And hasten I did. I hastened to cultivate the weeds
which grew among the melon-vines. Where there had
been one sickly weed before, I nourished two healthy
ones. When I found a particularly promising variety of
weed growing elsewhere than among my melons,
I forthwith dug it up and transplanted it among my
My masters did not seem to realize my perfidy. They
saw me always laboring diligently in the melon-patch,
and as time enters not into the reckoning of Pellucidar-
ians--even of human beings and much less of brutes
and half brutes--I might have lived on indefinitely
through this subterfuge had not that occurred which
took me out of the melon-patch for good and all.
CHAPTER IX. HOOJA'S CUTTHROATS APPEAR
I had built a little shelter of rocks and brush where I
might crawl in and sleep out of the perpetual light and
heat of the noonday sun. When I was tired or hungry I
retired to my humble cot.
My masters never interposed the slightest objection.
As a matter of fact, they were very good to me, nor did
I see aught while I was among them to indicate that
they are ever else than a simple, kindly folk when left to
themselves. Their awe-inspiring size, terrific strength,
mighty fighting-fangs, and hideous appearance are but
the attributes necessary to the successful waging of their
constant battle for survival, and well do they employ
them when the need arises. The only flesh they eat is
that of herbivorous animals and birds. When they hunt
the mighty thag, the prehistoric bos of the outer crust, a
single male, with his fiber rope, will catch and kill the
greatest of the bulls.
Well, as I was about to say, I had this little shelter at
the edge of my melon-patch. Here I was resting from
my labors on a certain occasion when I heard a great
hub-bub in the village, which lay about a quarter of a
Presently a male came racing toward the field, shout-
ing excitedly. As he approached I came from my shelter
to learn what all the commotion might be about, for the
monotony of my existence in the melon-patch must have
fostered that trait of my curiosity from which it had
always been my secret boast I am peculiarly free.
The other workers also ran forward to meet the mes-
senger, who quickly unburdened himself of his informa-
tion, and as quickly turned and scampered back toward
the village. When running these beast-men often go
upon all fours. Thus they leap over obstacles that
would slow up a human being, and upon the level attain
a speed that would make a thoroughbred look to his
laurels. The result in this instance was that before I
had more than assimilated the gist of the word which
had been brought to the fields, I was alone, watching
my co-workers speeding villageward.
I was alone! It was the first time since my capture
that no beast-man had been within sight of me. I was
alone! And all my captors were in the village at the op-
posite edge of the mesa repelling an attack of Hooja's
It seemed from the messenger's tale that two of
Gr-gr-gr's great males had been set upon by a half-dozen
of Hooja's cutthroats while the former were peaceably
returning from the thag hunt. The two had returned to
the village unscratched, while but a single one of
Hooja's half-dozen had escaped to report the outcome
of the battle to their leader. Now Hooja was coming to
punish Gr-gr-gr's people. With his large force, armed
with the bows and arrows that Hooja had learned from
me to make, with long lances and sharp knives, I
feared that even the mighty strength of the beastmen
could avail them but little.
At last had come the opportunity for which I waited!
I was free to make for the far end of the mesa, find my
way to the valley below, and while the two forces were
engaged in their struggle, continue my search for
Hooja's village, which I had learned from the beast-men
lay farther on down the river that I had been following
when taken prisoner.
As I turned to make for the mesa's rim the sounds of
battle came plainly to my ears--the hoarse shouts of
men mingled with the half-beastly roars and growls of
Did I take advantage of my opportunity?
I did not. Instead, lured by the din of strife and by the
desire to deliver a stroke, however feeble, against hated
Hooja, I wheeled and ran directly toward the village.
When I reached the edge of the plateau such a scene
met my astonished gaze as never before had startled it,
for the unique battle-methods of the half-brutes were
rather the most remarkable I had ever witnessed. Along
the very edge of the cliff-top stood a thin line of mighty
males--the best rope-throwers of the tribe. A few feet
behind these the rest of the males, with the exception
of about twenty, formed a second line. Still farther in
the rear all the women and young children were clus-
tered into a single group under the protection of the re-
maining twenty fighting males and all the old males.
But it was the work of the first two lines that in-
terested me. The forces of Hooja--a great horde of
savage Sagoths and primeval cave men--were work-
ing their way up the steep cliff-face, their agility but
slightly less than that of my captors who had clambered
so nimbly aloft--even he who was burdened by my
As the attackers came on they paused occasionally
wherever a projection gave them sufficient foothold and
launched arrows and spears at the defenders above
them. During the entire battle both sides hurled taunts
and insults at one another--the human beings naturally
excelling the brutes in the coarseness and vileness of
their vilification and invective.
The "firing-line" of the brute-men wielded no weapon
other than their long fiber nooses. When a foeman came
within range of them a noose would settle unerringly
about him and be would be dragged, fighting and yell-
ing, to the cliff-top, unless, as occasionally occurred, he
was quick enough to draw his knife and cut the rope
above him, in which event he usually plunged down-
ward to a no less certain death than that which awaited
Those who were hauled up within reach of the power-
ful clutches of the defenders had the nooses snatched
from them and were catapulted back through the first
line to the second, where they were seized and killed
by the simple expedient of a single powerful closing
of mighty fangs upon the backs of their necks.
But the arrows of the invaders were taking a much
heavier toll than the nooses of the defenders and I fore-
saw that it was but a matter of time before Hooja's
forces must conquer unless the brute-men changed
their tactics, or the cave men tired of the battle.
Gr-gr-gr was standing in the center of the first line.
All about him were boulders and large fragments of
broken rock. I approached him and without a word
toppled a large mass of rock over the edge of the
cliff. It fell directly upon the head of an archer, crush-
ing him to instant death and carrying his mangled
corpse with it to the bottom of the declivity, and on its
way brushing three more of the attackers into the here-
Gr-gr-gr turned toward me in surprise. For an in-
stant he appeared to doubt the sincerity of my motives.
I felt that perhaps my time had come when he reached
for me with one of his giant paws; but I dodged him,
and running a few paces to the right hurled down
another missile. It, too, did its allotted work of destruc-
tion. Then I picked up smaller fragments and with all
the control and accuracy for which I had earned justly
deserved fame in my collegiate days I rained down a hail
of death upon those beneath me.
Gr-gr-gr was coming toward me again. I pointed to
the litter of rubble upon the cliff-top.
"Hurl these down upon the enemy!" I cried to him.
"Tell your warriors to throw rocks down upon them!"
At my words the others of the first line, who had been
interested spectators of my tactics, seized upon great
boulders or bits of rock, whichever came first to their
hands, and, without, waiting for a command from Gr-
gr-gr, deluged the terrified cave men with a perfect
avalanche of stone. In less than no time the cliff-face
was stripped of enemies and the village of Gr-gr-gr was
Gr-gr-gr was standing beside me when the last of the
cave men disappeared in rapid flight down the valley.
He was looking at me intently.
"Those were your people," he said. "Why did you kill
"They were not my people," I returned. "I have told
you that before, but you would not believe me. Will you
believe me now when I tell you that I hate Hooja and his
tribe as much as you do? Will you believe me when I
tell you that I wish to be the friend of Gr-gr-gr?"
For some time he stood there beside me, scratching
his head. Evidently it was no less difficult for him to
readjust his preconceived conclusions than it is for most
human beings; but finally the idea percolated--which it
might never have done had he been a man, or I might
qualify that statement by saying had he been some
men. Finally he spoke.
"Gilak," he said, "you have made Gr-gr-gr ashamed.
He would have killed you. How can he reward you?"
"Set me free," I replied quickly.
"You are free," he said. "You may go down when you
wish, or you may stay with us. If you go you may always
return. We are your friends."
Naturally, I elected to go. I explained all over again
to Gr-gr-gr the nature of my mission. He listened atten-
tively; after I had done he offered to send some of his
people with me to guide me to Hooja's village. I was not
slow in accepting his offer.
First, however, we must eat. The hunters upon whom
Hooja's men had fallen had brought back the meat of a
great thag. There would be a feast to commemorate the
victory--a feast and dancing.
I had never witnessed a tribal function of the brute-
folk, though I had often heard strange sounds coming
from the village, where I had not been allowed since
my capture. Now I took part in one of their orgies.
It will live forever in my memory. The combination
of bestiality and humanity was oftentimes pathetic,
and again grotesque or horrible. Beneath the glaring
noonday sun, in the sweltering heat of the mesa-top,
the huge, hairy creatures leaped in a great circle.
They coiled and threw their fiber-ropes; they hurled
taunts and insults at an imaginary foe; they fell upon
the carcass of the thag and literally tore it to pieces; and
they ceased only when, gorged, they could no longer
I had to wait until the processes of digestion had re-
leased my escort from its torpor. Some had eaten until
their abdomens were so distended that I thought they
must burst, for beside the thag there had been fully a
hundred antelopes of various sizes and varied degrees
of decomposition, which they had unearthed from bur-
ial beneath the floors of their lairs to grace the banquet-
But at last we were started--six great males and
myself. Gr-gr-gr had returned my weapons to me, and
at last I was once more upon my oft-interrupted way
toward my goal. Whether I should find Dian at the end
of my journey or no I could not even surmise; but I
was none the less impatient to be off, for if only the
worst lay in store for me I wished to know even the
worst at once.
I could scarce believe that my proud mate would still
be alive in the power of Hooja; but time upon Pellucidar
is so strange a thing that I realized that to her or to him
only a few minutes might have elapsed since his subtle
trickery had enabled him to steal her away from Phutra.
Or she might have found the means either to repel his
advances or escape him.
As we descended the cliff we disturbed a great pack
of large hyena-like beasts--hyaena spelaeus, Perry calls
them--who were busy among the corpses of the cave
men fallen in battle. The ugly creatures were far from
the cowardly things that our own hyenas are reputed
to be; they stood their ground with bared fangs as we
approached them. But, as I was later to learn, so for-
midable are the brute-folk that there are few even of
the larger carnivora that will not make way for them
when they go abroad. So the hyenas moved a little
from our line of march, closing in again upon their feasts
when we had passed.
We made our way steadily down the rim of the beau-
tiful river which flows the length of the island, coming
at last to a wood rather denser than any that I had be-
fore encountered in this country. Well within this forest
my escort halted.
"There!" they said, and pointed ahead. "We are to go
Thus having guided me to my destination they left
me. Ahead of me, through the trees, I could see what
appeared to be the foot of a steep hill. Toward this I
made my way. The forest ran to the very base of a cliff,
in the face of which were the mouths of many caves.
They appeared untenanted; but I decided to watch for a
while before venturing farther. A large tree, densely
foliaged, offered a splendid vantage-point from which to
spy upon the cliff, so I clambered among its branches
where, securely hidden, I could watch what transpired
about the caves.
It seemed that I had scarcely settled myself in a
comfortable position before a party of cave men
emerged from one of the smaller apertures in the cliff-
face, about fifty feet from the base. They descended
into the forest and disappeared. Soon after came sev-
eral others from the same cave, and after them, at a
short interval, a score of women and children, who came
into the wood to gather fruit. There were several war-
riors with them--a guard, I presume.
After this came other parties, and two or three
groups who passed out of the forest and up the cliff-face
to enter the same cave. I could not understand it. All
who came out had emerged from the same cave. All
who returned reentered it. No other cave gave evidence
of habitation, and no cave but one of extraordinary
size could have accommodated all the people whom I
had seen pass in and out of its mouth.
For a long time I sat and watched the coming and
going of great numbers of the cave-folk. Not once did
one leave the cliff by any other opening save that from
which I had seen the first party come, nor did any
re-enter the cliff through another aperture.
What a cave it must be, I thought, that houses an en-
tire tribe! But dissatisfied of the truth of my surmise, I
climbed higher among the branches of the tree that I
might get a better view of other portions of the cliff.
High above the ground I reached a point whence I
could see the summit of the hill. Evidently it was a flat-
topped butte similar to that on which dwelt the tribe
As I sat gazing at it a figure appeared at the very
edge. It was that of a young girl in whose hair was a
gorgeous bloom plucked from some flowering tree of
the forest. 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.
The mystery was solved. The cave was but the mouth
of a passage that led upward through the cliff to the
summit of the hill. It served merely as an avenue from
their lofty citadel to the valley below.
No sooner had the truth flashed upon me than the
realization came that I must seek some other means of
reaching the village, for to pass unobserved through this
well-traveled thoroughfare would be impossible. At the
moment there was no one in sight below me, so I slid
quickly from my arboreal watch-tower to the ground
and moved rapidly away to the right with the intention
of circling the hill if necessary until I had found an un-
watched spot where I might have some slight chance of
scaling the heights and reaching the top unseen.
I kept close to the edge of the forest, in the very midst
of which the hill seemed to rise. Though I carefully
scanned the cliff as I traversed its base, I saw no sign of
any other entrance than that to which my guides had
After some little time the roar of the sea broke upon
my ears. Shortly after I came upon the broad ocean
which breaks at this point at the very foot of the great
hill where Hooja had found safe refuge for himself and
I was just about to clamber along the jagged rocks
which lie at the base of the cliff next to the sea, in
search of some foothold to the top, when I chanced to
see a canoe rounding the end of the island. I threw my-
self down behind a large boulder where I could watch
the dugout and its occupants without myself being seen.
They paddled toward me for a while and then, about
a hundred yards from me, they turned straight in
toward the foot of the frowning cliffs. From where I was
it seemed that they were bent upon self-destruction,
since the roar of the breakers beating upon the perpen-
dicular rock-face appeared to offer only death to any one
who might venture within their relentless clutch.
A mass of rock would soon hide them from my view;
but so keen was the excitement of the instant that I
could not refrain from crawling forward to a point
whence I could watch the dashing of the small craft to
pieces on the jagged rocks that loomed before her, al-
though I risked discovery from above to accomplish my
When I had reached a point where I could again
see the dugout, I was just in time to see it glide un-
harmed between two needle-pointed sentinels of granite
and float quietly upon the unruffled bosom of a tiny
Again I crouched behind a boulder to observe what
would next transpire; nor did I have long to wait.
The dugout, which contained but two men, was drawn
close to the rocky wall. A fiber rope, one end of which
was tied to the boat, was made fast about a projection of
the cliff face.
Then the two men commenced the ascent of the
almost perpendicular wall toward the summit several
hundred feet above. I looked on in amazement, for,
splendid climbers though the cave men of Pellucidar
are, I never before had seen so remarkable a feat per-
formed. Upwardly they moved without a pause, to dis-
appear at last over the summit.
When I felt reasonably sure that they had gone for
a while at least I crawled from my hiding-place and
at the risk of a broken neck leaped and scrambled to the
spot where their canoe was moored.
If they had scaled that cliff I could, and if I couldn't
I should die in the attempt.
But when I turned to the accomplishment of the task
I found it easier than I had imagined it would be, since
I immediately discovered that shallow hand and foot-
holds had been scooped in the cliff's rocky face, forming
a crude ladder from the base to the summit.
At last I reached the top, and very glad I was, too.
Cautiously I raised my head until my eyes were above
the cliff-crest. Before me spread a rough mesa, liberally
sprinkled with large boulders. There was no village in
sight nor any living creature.
I drew myself to level ground and stood erect. A few
trees grew among the boulders. Very carefully I ad-
vanced from tree to tree and boulder to boulder toward
the inland end of the mesa. I stopped often to listen
and look cautiously about me in every direction.
How I wished that I had my revolvers and rifle! I
would not have to worm my way like a scared cat
toward Hooja's village, nor did I relish doing so now; but
Dian's life might hinge upon the success of my venture,
and so I could not afford to take chances. To have met
suddenly with discovery and had a score or more of
armed warriors upon me might have been very grand
and heroic; but it would have immediately put an end
to all my earthly activities, nor have accomplished
aught in the service of Dian.
Well, I must have traveled nearly a mile across that
mesa without seeing a sign of anyone, when all of a sud-
den, as I crept around the edge of a boulder, I ran
plump into a man, down on all fours like myself, crawl-
ing toward me.
CHAPTER X. THE RAID ON THE CAVE-PRISON
His head was turned over his shoulder as I first saw
him--he was looking back toward the village. As I
leaped for him his eyes fell upon me. Never in my life
have I seen a more surprised mortal than this poor cave
man. Before he could utter a single scream of warning or
alarm I had my fingers on his throat and had dragged
him behind the boulder, where I proceeded to sit upon
him, while I figured out what I had best do with him.
He struggled a little at first, but finally lay still, and
so I released the pressure of my fingers at his windpipe,
for which I imagine he was quite thankful--I know
that I should have been.
I hated to kill him in cold blood; but what else I was
to do with him I could not see, for to turn him loose
would have been merely to have the entire village
aroused and down upon me in a moment. The fellow
lay looking up at me with the surprise still deeply writ-
ten on his countenance. At last, all of a sudden, a look
of recognition entered his eyes.
"I have seen you before," he said. "I saw you in the
arena at the Mahars' city of Phutra when the thipdars
dragged the tarag from you and your mate. I never
understood that. Afterward they put me in the arena
with two warriors from Gombul."
He smiled in recollection.
"It would have been the same had there been ten
warriors from Gombul. I slew them, winning my free-
He half turned his left shoulder toward me, exhibiting
the newly healed scar of the Mahars' branded mark.
"Then," he continued, "as I was returning to my peo-
ple I met some of them fleeing. They told me that
one called Hooja the Sly One had come and seized our
village, putting our people into slavery. So I hurried
hither to learn the truth, and, sure enough, here I found
Hooja and his wicked men living in my village, and my
father's people but slaves among them.
"I was discovered and captured, but Hooja did not
kill me. I am the chief's son, and through me he hoped
to win my father's warriors back to the village to help
him in a great war he says that he will soon commence.
"Among his prisoners is Dian the Beautiful One,
whose brother, Dacor the Strong One, chief of Amoz,
once saved my life when he came to Thuria to steal a
mate. I helped him capture her, and we are good
friends. So when I learned that Dian the Beautiful One
was Hooja's prisoner, I told him that I would not aid him
if he harmed her.
"Recently one of Hooja's warriors overheard me talk-
ing with another prisoner. We were planning to combine
all the prisoners, seize weapons, and when most of
Hooja's warriors were away, slay the rest and retake our
hilltop. 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.
"But when Hooja heard what we had planned he was
very angry, and ordered that I die. They bound me
hand and foot and placed me in a cave until all the
warriors should return to witness my death; but while
they were away I heard someone calling me in a
muffled voice which seemed to come from the wall of
the cave. When I replied the voice, which was
a woman's, told me that she had overheard all that
had passed between me and those who had brought me
thither, and that she was Dacor's sister and would find
a way to help me.
"Presently a little hole appeared in the wall at the
point from which the voice had come. After a time I
saw a woman's hand digging with a bit of stone. Dacor's
sister made a hole in the wall between the cave where
I lay bound and that in which she had been confined,
and soon she was by my side and had cut my bonds.
"We talked then, and I offered to make the attempt to
take her away and back to the land of Sari, where she
told me she would be able to learn the whereabouts of
her mate. Just now I was going to the other end of the
island to see if a boat lay there, and if the way was
clear for our escape. Most of the boats are always away
now, for a great many of Hooja's men and nearly all the
slaves are upon the Island of Trees, where Hooja is hav-
ing many boats built to carry his warriors across the
water to the mouth of a great river which he discovered
while he was returning from Phutra--a vast river that
empties into the sea there."
The speaker pointed toward the northeast.
"It is wide and smooth and slow-running almost to the
land of Sari," he added.
"And where is Dian the Beautiful One now?" I asked.
I had released my prisoner as soon as I found that he
was Hooja's enemy, and now the pair of us were squat-
ting beside the boulder while he told his story.
"She returned to the cave where she had been im-
prisoned," he replied, "and is awaiting me there."
"There is no danger that Hooja will come while you
"Hooja is upon the Island of Trees," he replied.
"Can you direct me to the cave so that I can find it
alone?" I asked.
He said he could, and in the strange yet explicit fash-
ion of the Pellucidarians he explained minutely how I
might reach the cave where he had been imprisoned,
and through the hole in its wall reach Dian.
I thought it best for but one of us to return, since two
could accomplish but little more than one and would
double the risk of discovery. In the meantime he could
make his way to the sea and guard the boat, which I
told him lay there at the foot of the cliff.
I told him to await us at the cliff-top, and if Dian
came alone to do his best to get away with her and take
her to Sari, as I thought it quite possible that, in case of
detection and pursuit, it might be necessary for me to
hold off Hooja's people while Dian made her way alone
to where my new friend was to await her. I impressed
upon him the fact that he might have to resort to trick-
ery or even to force to get Dian to leave me; but I made
him promise that he would sacrifice everything, even his
life, in an attempt to rescue Dacor's sister.
Then we parted--he to take up his position where he
could watch the boat and await Dian, I to crawl cau-
tiously on toward the caves. I had no difficulty in fol-
lowing the directions given me by Juag, the name by
which Dacor's friend said he was called. There was the
leaning tree, my first point he told me to look for after
rounding the boulder where we had met. After that I
crawled to the balanced rock, a huge boulder resting
upon a tiny base no larger than the palm of your hand.
From here I had my first view of the village of caves.
A low bluff ran diagonally across one end of the mesa,
and in the face of this bluff were the mouths of many
caves. Zig-zag trails led up to them, and narrow ledges
scooped from the face of the soft rock connected those
upon the same level.
The cave in which Juag had been confined was at the
extreme end of the cliff nearest me. By taking advan-
tage of the bluff itself, I could approach within a few
feet of the aperture without being visible from any
other cave. There were few people about at the time;
most of these were congregated at the foot of the far
end of the bluff, where they were so engrossed in ex-
cited conversation that I felt but little fear of detection.
However I exercised the greatest care in approaching
the cliff. After watching for a while until I caught an in-
stant when every head was turned away from me, I
darted, rabbitlike, into the cave.
Like many of the man-made caves of Pellucidar, this
one consisted of three chambers, one behind another,
and all unlit except for what sunlight filtered in through
the external opening. The result was gradually increas-
ing darkness as one passed into each succeeding cham-
In the last of the three I could just distinguish objects,
and that was all. As I was groping around the walls
for the hole that should lead into the cave where Dian
was imprisoned, I heard a man's voice quite close to me.
The speaker had evidently but just entered, for he
spoke in a loud tone, demanding the whereabouts of
one whom he had come in search of.
"Where are you, woman?" he cried. "Hooja has sent
And then a woman's voice answered him:
"And what does Hooja want of me?"
The voice was Dian's. I groped in the direction of the
sounds, feeling for the hole.
"He wishes you brought to the Island of Trees,"
replied the man; "for he is ready to take you as his
"I will not go," said Dian. "I will die first."
"I am sent to bring you, and bring you I shall."
I could hear him crossing the cave toward her.
Frantically I clawed the wall of the cave in which I
was in an effort to find the elusive aperture that would
lead me to Dian's side.
I heard the sound of a scuffle in the next cave. Then
my fingers sank into loose rock and earth in the side
of the cave. In an instant I realized why I had been
unable to find the opening while I had been lightly
feeling the surface of the walls--Dian had blocked up
the hole she had made lest it arouse suspicion and
lead to an early discovery of Juag's escape.
Plunging my weight against the crumbling mass, I
sent it crashing into the adjoining cavern. With it came
I, David, Emperor of Pellucidar. I doubt if any other
potentate in a world's history ever made a more un-
dignified entrance. I landed head first on all fours, but
I came quickly and was on my feet before the man
in the dark guessed what had happened.
He saw me, though, when I arose and, sensing that
no friend came thus precipitately, turned to meet me
even as I charged him. I had my stone knife in my
hand, and he had his. In the darkness of the cave
there was little opportunity for a display of science,
though even at that I venture to say that we fought
a very pretty duel.
Before I came to Pellucidar I do not recall that I
ever had seen a stone knife, and I am sure that I never
fought with a knife of any description; but now I do
not have to take my hat off to any of them when it
comes to wielding that primitive yet wicked weapon.
I could just see Dian in the darkness, but I knew
that she could not see my features or recognize me;
and I enjoyed in anticipation, even while I was fighting
for her life and mine, her dear joy when she should
discover that it was I who was her deliverer.
My opponent was large, but he also was active and
no mean knife-man. He caught me once fairly in the
shoulder--I carry the scar yet, and shall carry it to
the grave. And then he did a foolish thing, for as I
leaped back to gain a second in which to calm the
shock of the wound he rushed after me and tried to
clinch. He rather neglected his knife for the moment
in his greater desire to get his hands on me. Seeing
the opening, I swung my left fist fairly to the point
of his jaw.
Down he went. Before ever he could scramble up
again I was on him and had buried my knife in his
heart. Then I stood up--and there was Dian facing
me and peering at me through the dense gloom.
"You are not Juag!" she exclaimed. "Who are you?"
I took a step toward her, my arms outstretched.
"It is I, Dian," I said. "It is David."
At the sound of my voice she gave a little cry in
which tears were mingled--a pathetic little cry that
told me all without words how far hope had gone from
her--and then she ran forward and threw herself in
my arms. I covered her perfect lips and her beautiful
face with kisses, and stroked her thick black hair, and
told her again and again what she already knew--what
she had known for years--that I loved her better
than all else which two worlds had to offer. We couldn't
devote much time, though, to the happiness of love-
making, for we were in the midst of enemies who
might discover us at any moment.
I drew her into the adjoining cave. Thence we made
our way to the mouth of the cave that had given me
entrance to the cliff. Here I reconnoitered for a mo-
ment, and seeing the coast clear, ran swiftly forth with
Dian at my side. We dodged around the cliff-end,
then paused for an instant, listening. No sound reached
our ears to indicate that any had seen us, and we
moved cautiously onward along the way by which I
As we went Dian told me that her captors had in-
formed her how close I had come in search of her--
even to the Land of Awful Shadow--and how one of
Hooja's men who knew me had discovered me asleep
and robbed me of all my possessions. And then how
Hooja had sent four others to find me and take me
prisoner. But these men, she said, had not yet re-
turned, or at least she had not heard of their return.
'Nor will you ever," I responded, "for they have gone
to that place whence none ever returns." I then related
my adventure with these four.
We had come almost to the cliff-edge where Juag
should be awaiting us when we saw two men walking
rapidly toward the same spot from another direction.
They did not see us, nor did they see Juag, whom I
now discovered hiding behind a low bush close to the
verge of the precipice which drops into the sea at this
point. As quickly as possible, without exposing our-
selves too much to the enemy, we hastened forward
that we might reach Juag as quickly as they.
But they noticed him first and immediately charged
him, for one of them had been his guard, and they
had both been sent to search for him, his escape having
been discovered between the time he left the cave
and the time when I reached it. Evidently they had
wasted precious moments looking for him in other
portions of the mesa.
When I saw that the two of them were rushing him,
I called out to attract their attention to the fact that
they had more than a single man to cope with. They
paused at the sound of my voice and looked about.
When they discovered Dian and me they exchanged
a few words, and one of them continued toward Juag
while the other turned upon us. As he came nearer
I saw that he carried in his hand one of my six-shooters,
but he was holding it by the barrel, evidently mistaking
it for some sort of warclub or tomahawk.
I could scarce refrain a grin when I thought of the
wasted possibilities of that deadly revolver in the hands
of an untutored warrior of the stone age. Had he but
reversed it and pulled the trigger he might still be
alive; maybe he is for all I know, since I did not kill
him then. When he was about twenty feet from me
I flung my javelin with a quick movement that I had
learned from Ghak. He ducked to avoid it, and instead
of receiving it in his heart, for which it was intended,
he got it on the side of the head.
Down he went all in a heap. Then I glanced toward
Juag. He was having a most exciting time. The fellow
pitted against Juag was a veritable giant; he was hack-
ing and hewing away at the poor slave with a villainous-
looking knife that might have been designed for butch-
ering mastodons. Step by step, he was forcing Juag
back toward the edge of the cliff with a fiendish cunning
that permitted his adversary no chance to side-step
the terrible consequences of retreat in this direction.
I saw quickly that in another moment Juag must de-
liberately hurl himself to death over the precipice or
be pushed over by his foeman.
And as I saw Juag's predicament I saw, too, in the
same instant, a way to relieve him. Leaping quickly
to the side of the fellow I had just felled, I snatched
up my fallen revolver. It was a desperate chance to
take, and I realized it in the instant that I threw the
gun up from my hip and pulled the trigger. There was
no time to aim. Juag was upon the very brink of the
chasm. His relentless foe was pushing him hard, beat-
ing at him furiously with the heavy knife.
And then the revolver spoke--loud and sharp. The
giant threw his hands above his head, whirled about
like a huge top, and lunged forward over the precipice.
He cast a single affrighted glance in my direction--
never before, of course, had he heard the report of a
firearm--and with a howl of dismay he, too, turned
and plunged headforemost from sight. Horror-struck,
I hastened to the brink of the abyss just in time to see
two splashes upon the surface of the little cove below.
For an instant I stood there watching with Dian at
my side. Then, to my utter amazement, I saw Juag rise
to the surface and swim strongly toward the boat.
The fellow had dived that incredible distance and
come up unharmed!
I called to him to await us below, assuring him that
he need have no fear of my weapon, since it would
harm only my enemies. He shook his head and mut-
tered something which I could not hear at so great a
distance; but when I pushed him he promised to wait
for us. At the same instant Dian caught my arm and
pointed toward the village. My shot had brought a
crowd of natives on the run toward us.
The fellow whom I had stunned with my javelin had
regained consciousness and scrambled to his feet. He
was now racing as fast as he could go back toward his
people. It looked mighty dark for Dian and me with
that ghastly descent between us and even the begin-
nings of liberty, and a horde of savage enemies ad-
vancing at a rapid run.
There was but one hope. That was to get Dian
started for the bottom without delay. I took her in my
arms just for an instant--I felt, somehow, that it might
be for the last time. For the life of me I couldn't see
how both of us could escape.
I asked her if she could make the descent alone--
if she were not afraid. She smiled up at me bravely
and shrugged her shoulders. She afraid! So beautiful
is she that I am always having difficulty in remembering
that she is a primitive, half-savage cave girl of the stone
age, and often find myself mentally limiting her ca-
pacities to those of the effete and overcivilized beauties
of the outer crust.
"And you?" she asked as she swung over the edge of
"I shall follow you after I take a shot or two at our
friends," I replied. "I just want to give them a taste of
this new medicine which is going to cure Pellucidar
of all its ills. That will stop them long enough for me
to join you. Now hurry, and tell Juag to be ready to
shove off the moment I reach the boat, or the instant
that it becomes apparent that I cannot reach it.
"You, Dian, must return to Sari if anything happens
to me, that you may devote your life to carrying out
with Perry the hopes and plans for Pellucidar that are
so dear to my heart. Promise me, dear."
She hated to promise to desert me, nor would she;
only shaking her head and making no move to descend.
The tribesmen were nearing us. Juag was shouting up
to us from below. It was evident that he realized from
my actions that I was attempting to persuade Dian to
descend, and that grave danger threatened us from
"Dive!" he cried. "Dive!"
I looked at Dian and then down at the abyss below
us. The cove appeared no larger than a saucer. How
Juag ever had hit it I could not guess.
"Dive!" cried Juag. "It is the only way--there is no
time to climb down."
CHAPTER XI. ESCAPE
Dian glanced downward and shuddered. Her tribe
were hill people--they were not accustomed to swim-
ming other than in quiet rivers and placid lakelets.
It was not the steep that appalled her. It was the
ocean--vast, mysterious, terrible.
To dive into it from this great height was beyond
her. I couldn't wonder, either. To have attempted it
myself seemed too preposterous even for thought. Only
one consideration could have prompted me to leap
headforemost from that giddy height--suicide; or at
least so I thought at the moment.
"Quick!" I urged Dian. "You cannot dive; but I can
hold them until you reach safety."
"And you?" she asked once more. "Can you dive
when they come too close? Otherwise you could not
escape if you waited here until I reached the bottom."
I saw that she would not leave me unless she thought
that I could make that frightful dive as we had seen
Juag make it. I glanced once downward; then with a
mental shrug I assured her that I would dive the mo-
ment that she reached the boat. Satisfied, she began
the descent carefully, yet swiftly. I watched her for a
moment, my heart in my mouth lest some slight mis-
step or the slipping of a finger-hold should pitch her
to a frightful death upon the rocks below.
Then I turned toward the advancing Hoojans--
"Hoosiers," Perry dubbed them--even going so far as
to christen this island where Hooja held sway Indiana;
it is so marked now upon our maps. They were coming
on at a great rate. I raised my revolver, took deliberate
aim at the foremost warrior, and pulled the trigger.
With the bark of the gun the fellow lunged forward.
His head doubled beneath him. He rolled over and
over two or three times before he came to a stop, to
lie very quietly in the thick grass among the brilliant
Those behind him halted. One of them hurled a
javelin toward me, but it fell short--they were just
beyond javelin-range. There were two armed with bows
and arrows; these I kept my eyes on. All of them
appeared awe-struck and frightened by the sound and
effect of the firearm. They kept looking from the corpse
to me and jabbering among themselves.
I took advantage of the lull in hostilities to throw
a quick glance over the edge toward Dian. She was
half-way down the cliff and progressing finely. Then
I turned back toward the enemy. One of the bowmen
was fitting an arrow to his bow. I raised my hand.
"Stop!" I cried. "Whoever shoots at me or advances
toward me I shall kill as I killed him!"
I pointed at the dead man. The fellow lowered his
bow. Again there was animated discussion. I could see
that those who were not armed with bows were urging
something upon the two who were.
At last the majority appeared to prevail, for simul-
taneously the two archers raised their weapons. At the
same instant I fired at one of them, dropping him in
his tracks. The other, however, launched his missile,
but the report of my gun had given him such a start
that the arrow flew wild above my head. A second after
and he, too, was sprawled upon the sward with a round
hole between his eyes. It had been a rather good shot.
I glanced over the edge again. Dian was almost at
the bottom. I could see Juag standing just beneath her
with his hands upstretched to assist her.
A sullen roar from the warriors recalled my attention
toward them. They stood shaking their fists at me and
yelling insults. From the direction of the village I saw
a single warrior coming to join them. He was a huge
fellow, and when he strode among them I could tell
by his bearing and their deference toward him that he
was a chieftain. He listened to all they had to tell of
the happenings of the last few minutes; then with a
command and a roar he started for me with the whole
pack at his heels. All they had needed had arrived--
namely, a brave leader.
I had two unfired cartridges in the chambers of my
gun. I let the big warrior have one of them, thinking
that his death would stop them all. But I guess they
were worked up to such a frenzy of rage by this time
that nothing would have stopped them. At any rate,
they only yelled the louder as he fell and increased
their speed toward me. I dropped another with my
Then they were upon me--or almost. I thought of
my promise to Dian--the awful abyss was behind me
--a big devil with a huge bludgeon in front of me.
I grasped my six-shooter by the barrel and hurled it
squarely in his face with all my strength.
Then, without waiting to learn the effect of my throw,
I wheeled, ran the few steps to the edge, and leaped
as far out over that frightful chasm as I could. I know
something of diving, and all that I know I put into
that dive, which I was positive would be my last.
For a couple of hundred feet I fell in horizontal
position. The momentum I gained was terrific. I could
feel the air almost as a solid body, so swiftly I hurtled
through it. Then my position gradually changed to the
vertical, and with hands outstretched I slipped through
the air, cleaving it like a flying arrow. Just before I
struck the water a perfect shower of javelins fell all
about. My enemies bad rushed to the brink and hurled
their weapons after me. By a miracle I was untouched.
In the final instant I saw that I had cleared the
rocks and was going to strike the water fairly. Then
I was in and plumbing the depths. I suppose I didn't
really go very far down, but it seemed to me that I
should never stop. When at last I dared curve my
hands upward and divert my progress toward the sur-
face, I thought that I should explode for air before
I ever saw the sun again except through a swirl of
water. But at last my bead popped above the waves,
and I filled my lungs with air.
Before me was the boat, from which Juag and Dian
were clambering. I couldn't understand why they were
deserting it now, when we were about to set out for
the mainland in it; but when I reached its side I under-
stood. Two heavy javelins, missing Dian and Juag by
but a hair's breadth, had sunk deep into the bottom of
the dugout in a straight line with the grain of the
wood, and split her almost in two from stem to stern.
She was useless.
Juag was leaning over a near-by rock, his hand out-
stretched to aid me in clambering to his side; nor did
I lose any time in availing myself of his proffered as-
sistance. An occasional javelin was still dropping
perilously close to us, so we hastened to draw as close
as possible to the cliffside, where we were compara-
tively safe from the missiles.
Here we held a brief conference, in which it was
decided that our only hope now lay in making for the
opposite end of the island as quickly as we could,
and utilizing the boat that I had hidden there, to con-
tinue our journey to the mainland.
Gathering up three of the least damaged javelins
that had fallen about us, we set out upon our journey,
keeping well toward the south side of the island, which
Juag said was less frequented by the Hoojans than
the central portion where the river ran. I think that
this ruse must have thrown our pursuers off our track,
since we saw nothing of them nor heard any sound
of pursuit during the greater portion of our march the
length of the island.
But the way Juag had chosen was rough and round-
about, so that we consumed one or two more marches
in covering the distance than if we had followed the
river. This it was which proved our undoing.
Those who sought us must have sent a party up the
river immediately after we escaped; for when we came
at last onto the river-trail not far from our destination,
there can be no doubt but that we were seen by
Hoojans who were just ahead of us on the stream.
The result was that as we were passing through a
clump of bush a score of warriors leaped out upon us,
and before we could scarce strike a blow in defense,
had disarmed and bound us.
For a time thereafter I seemed to be entirely bereft
of hope. I could see no ray of promise in the future--
only immediate death for Juag and me, which didn't
concern me much in the face of what lay in store for
Poor child! What an awful life she had led! From
the moment that I had first seen her chained in the
slave caravan of the Mahars until now, a prisoner of
a no less cruel creature, I could recall but a few brief
intervals of peace and quiet in her tempestuous ex-
istence. Before I had known her, Jubal the Ugly One
had pursued her across a savage world to make her his
mate. She had eluded him, and finally I had slain him;
but terror and privations, and exposure to fierce beasts
had haunted her footsteps during all her lonely flight
from him. And when I had returned to the outer
world the old trials had recommenced with Hooja in
Jubal's role. I could almost have wished for death to
vouchsafe her that peace which fate seemed to deny
her in this life.
I spoke to her on the subject, suggesting that we
"Do not fear, David," she replied. "I shall end my
life before ever Hooja can harm me; but first I shall
see that Hooja dies."
She drew from her breast a little leathern thong,
to the end of which was fastened a tiny pouch.
"What have you there?" I asked.
"Do you recall that time you stepped upon the thing
you call viper in your world?" she asked.
"The accident gave you the idea for the poisoned
arrows with which we fitted the warriors of the em-
pire," she continued. "And, too, it gave me an idea.
For a long time I have carried a viper's fang in my
bosom. It has given me strength to endure many dan-
gers, for it has always assured me immunity from the
ultimate insult. I am not ready to die yet. First let
Hooja embrace the viper's fang."
So we did not die together, and I am glad now
that we did not. It is always a foolish thing to con-
template suicide; for no matter how dark the future
may appear today, tomorrow may hold for us that
which will alter our whole life in an instant, revealing
to us nothing but sunshine and happiness. So, for my
part, I shall always wait for tomorrow.
In Pellucidar, where it is always today, the wait
may not be so long, and so it proved for us. As we
were passing a lofty, flat-topped hill through a park-
like wood a perfect network of fiber ropes fell suddenly
about our guard, enmeshing them. A moment later
a horde of our friends, the hairy gorilla-men, with the
mild eyes and long faces of sheep leaped among them.
It was a very interesting fight. I was sorry that my
bonds prevented me from taking part in it, but I urged
on the brutemen with my voice, and cheered old
Gr-gr-gr, their chief, each time that his mighty jaws
crunched out the life of a Hoojan. When the battle
was over we found that a few of our captors had
escaped, but the majority of them lay dead about us.
The gorilla-men paid no further attention to them.
Gr-gr-gr turned to me.
"Gr-gr-gr and all his people are your friends," he
said. "One saw the warriors of the Sly One and fol-
lowed them. He saw them capture you, and then he
flew to the village as fast as he could go and told me
all that he had seen. The rest you know. You did much
for Gr-gr-gr and Gr-gr-gr's people. We shall always do
much for you."
I thanked him; and when I had told him of our
escape and our destination, he insisted on accom-
panying us to the sea with a great number of his
fierce males. Nor were we at all loath to accept his
escort. We found the canoe where I had hidden it,
and bidding Gr-gr-gr and his warriors farewell, the
three of us embarked for the mainland.
I questioned Juag upon the feasibility of attempting
to cross to the mouth of the great river of which he
had told me, and up which he said we might paddle
almost to Sari; but he urged me not to attempt it,
since we had but a single paddle and no water or
food. I had to admit the wisdom of his advice, but the
desire to explore this great waterway was strong upon
me, arousing in me at last a determination to make
the attempt after first gaining the mainland and rectify-
ing our deficiencies.
We landed several miles north of Thuria in a little
cove that seemed to offer protection from the heavier
seas which sometimes run, even upon these usually
pacific oceans of Pellucidar. Here I outlined to Dian
and Juag the plans I had in mind. They were to fit
the canoe with a small sail, the purposes of which
I had to explain to them both--since neither had ever
seen or heard of such a contrivance before. Then they
were to hunt for food which we could transport with
us, and prepare a receptacle for water.
These two latter items were more in Juag's line, but
he kept muttering about the sail and the wind for
a long time. I could see that he was not even half
convinced that any such ridiculous contraption could
make a canoe move through the water.
We hunted near the coast for a while, but were pot
rewarded with any particular luck. Finally we decided
to hide the canoe and strike inland in search of game.
At Juag's suggestion we dug a hole in the sand at the
upper edge of the beach and buried the craft, smooth-
ing the surface over nicely and throwing aside the excess
material we had excavated. Then we set out away
from the sea. Traveling in Thuria is less arduous than
under the midday sun which perpetually glares down
on the rest of Pellucidar's surface; but it has its draw-
backs, one of which is the depressing influence exerted
by the everlasting shade of the Land of Awful Shadow.
The farther inland we went the darker it became,
until we were moving at last through an endless twi-
light. The vegetation here was sparse and of a weird,
colorless nature, though what did grow was wondrous
in shape and form. Often we saw huge lidi, or beasts
of burden, striding across the dim landscape, browsing
upon the grotesque vegetation or drinking from the
slow and sullen rivers that run down from the Lidi
Plains to empty into the sea in Thuria.
What we sought was either a thag--a sort of gigantic
elk--or one of the larger species of antelope, the flesh
of either of which dries nicely in the sun. The bladder
of the thag would make a fine water-bottle, and its
skin, I figured, would be a good sail. We traveled a
considerable distance inland, entirely crossing the Land
of Awful Shadow and emerging at last upon that portion
of the Lidi Plains which lies in the pleasant sunlight.
Above us the pendent world revolved upon its axis,
filling me especially--and Dian to an almost equal state
--with wonder and insatiable curiosity as to what
strange forms of life existed among the hills and valleys
and along the seas and rivers, which we could plainly
Before us stretched the horizonless expanses of vast
Pellucidar, the Lidi Plains rolling up about us, while
hanging high in the heavens to the northwest of us
I thought I discerned the many towers which marked
the entrances to the distant Mahar city, whose in-
habitants preyed upon the Thurians.
Juag suggested that we travel to the northeast, where,
he said, upon the verge of the plain we would find
a wooded country in which game should be plentiful.
Acting upon his advice, we came at last to a forest-
jungle, through which wound innumerable game-paths.
In the depths of this forbidding wood we came upon
the fresh spoor of thag.
Shortly after, by careful stalking, we came within
javelin-range of a small herd. Selecting a great bull,
Juag and I hurled our weapons simultaneously, Dian
reserving hers for an emergency. The beast staggered
to his feet, bellowing. The rest of the herd was up and
away in an instant, only the wounded bull remaining,
with lowered head and roving eyes searching for the
Then Juag exposed himself to the view of the bull--
it is a part of the tactics of the hunt--while I stepped
to one side behind a bush. The moment that the savage
beast saw Juag he charged him. Juag ran straight away,
that the bull might be lured past my hiding-place. On
he came--tons of mighty bestial strength and rage.
Dian had slipped behind me. She, too, could fight a
thag should emergency require. Ah, such a girl! A
rightful empress of a stone age by every standard which
two worlds might bring to measure her!
Crashing down toward us came the bull thag, bel-
lowing and snorting, with the power of a hundred
outer-earthly bulls. When he was opposite me I sprang
for the heavy mane that covered his huge neck. To
tangle my fingers in it was the work of but an instant.
Then I was running along at the beast's shoulder.
Now, the theory upon which this hunting custom is
based is one long ago discovered by experience, and
that is that a thag cannot be turned from his charge
once he has started toward the object of his wrath,
so long as he can still see the thing he charges. He
evidently believes that the man clinging to his mane
is attempting to restrain him from overtaking his prey,
and so he pays no attention to this enemy, who, of
course, does not retard the mighty charge in the least.
Once in the gait of the plunging bull, it was but
a slight matter to vault to his back, as cavalrymen
mount their chargers upon the run. Juag was still run-
ning in plain sight ahead of the bull. His speed was
but a trifle less than that of the monster that pursued
him. These Pellucidarians are almost as fleet as deer;
because I am not is one reason that I am always chosen
for the close-in work of the thag-hunt. I could not keep
in front of a charging thag long enough to give the
killer time to do his work. I learned that the first--
and last--time I tried it.
Once astride the bull's neck, I drew my long stone
knife and, setting the point carefully over the brute's
spine, drove it home with both hands. At the same in-
stant I leaped clear of the stumbling animal. Now, no
vertebrate can progress far with a knife through his
spine, and the thag is no exception to the rule.
The fellow was down instantly. As he wallowed
Juag returned, and the two of us leaped in when an
opening afforded the opportunity and snatched our
javelins from his side. Then we danced about him,
more like two savages than anything else, until we
got the opening we were looking for, when simulta-
neously, our javelins pierced his wild heart, stilling
The thag had covered considerable ground from the
point at which I had leaped upon him. When, after
despatching him, I looked back for Dian, I could see
nothing of her. I called aloud, but receiving no reply,
set out at a brisk trot to where I had left her. I had
no difficulty in finding the self-same bush behind which
we had hidden, but Dian was not there. Again and
again I called, to be rewarded only by silence. Where
could she be? What could have become of her in
the brief interval since I had seen her standing just
CHAPTER XII. KIDNAPED!
I searched about the spot carefully. At last I was re-
warded by the discovery of her javelin, a few yards
from the bush that had concealed us from the charging
thag--her javelin and the indications of a struggle
revealed by the trampled vegetation and the overlap-
ping footprints of a woman and a man. Filled with
consternation and dismay, I followed these latter to
where they suddenly disappeared a hundred yards
from where the struggle had occurred. There I saw
the huge imprints of a lidi's feet.
The story of the tragedy was all too plain. A Thurian
had either been following us, or had accidentally espied
Dian and taken a fancy to her. While Juag and I
had been engaged with the thag, he had abducted
her. I ran swiftly back to where Juag was working
over the kill. As I approached him I saw that some-
thing was wrong in this quarter as well, for the islander
was standing upon the carcass of the thag, his javelin
poised for a throw.
When I had come nearer I saw the cause of his
belligerent attitude. Just beyond him stood two large
jaloks, or wolf-dogs, regarding him intently--a male
and a female. Their behavior was rather peculiar, for
they did not seem preparing to charge him. Rather,
they were contemplating him in an attitude of question-
Juag heard me coming and turned toward me with
a grin. These fellows love excitement. I could see by
his expression that he was enjoying in anticipation the
battle that seemed imminent. But he never hurled his
javelin. A shout of warning from me stopped him, for
I had seen the remnants of a rope dangling from the
neck of the male jalok.
Juag again turned toward me, but this time in sur-
prise. I was abreast him in a moment and, passing
him, walked straight toward the two beasts. As I did
so the female crouched with bared fangs. The male,
however, leaped forward to meet me, not in deadly
charge, but with every expression of delight and joy
which the poor animal could exhibit.
It was Raja--the jalok whose life I had saved, and
whom I then had tamed! There was no doubt that he
was glad to see me. I now think that his seeming
desertion of me had been but due to a desire to search
out his ferocious mate and bring her, too, to live with
When Juag saw me fondling the great beast he was
filled with consternation, but I did not have much
time to spare to Raja while my mind was filled with
the grief of my new loss. I was glad to see the brute,
and I lost no time in taking him to Juag and making
him understand that Juag, too, was to be Raja's friend.
With the female the matter was more difficult, but Raja
helped us out by growling savagely at her whenever
she bared her fangs against us.
I told Juag of the disappearance of Dian, and of
my suspicions as to the explanation of the catastrophe.
He wanted to start right out after her, but I suggested
that with Raja to help me it might be as well were
he to remain and skin the thag, remove its bladder, and
then return to where we had hidden the canoe on the
beach. And so it was arranged that he was to do this
and await me there for a reasonable time. I pointed
to a great lake upon the surface of the pendent world
above us, telling him that if after this lake had ap-
peared four times I had not returned to go either by
water or land to Sari and fetch Ghak with an army.
Then, calling Raja after me, I set out after Dian and
her abductor. First I took the wolf dog to the spot
where the man had fought with Dian. A few paces
behind us followed Raja's fierce mate. I pointed to
the ground where the evidences of the struggle were
plainest and where the scent must have been strong
to Raja's nostrils.
Then I grasped the remnant of leash that hung about
his neck and urged him forward upon the trail. He
seemed to understand. With nose to ground he set out
upon his task. Dragging me after him, he trotted straight
out upon the Lidi Plains, turning his steps in the direc-
tion of the Thurian village. I could have guessed as
Behind us trailed the female. After a while she
closed upon us, until she ran quite close to me and
at Raja's side. It was not long before she seemed as
easy in my company as did her lord and master.
We must have covered considerable distance at a
very rapid pace, for we had re-entered the great
shadow, when we saw a huge lidi ahead of us, moving
leisurely across the level plain. Upon its back were two
human figures. If I could have known that the jaloks
would not harm Dian I might have turned them loose
upon the lidi and its master; but I could not know,
and so dared take no chances.
However, the matter was taken out of my hands
presently when Raja raised his head and caught sight
of his quarry. With a lunge that hurled me flat and
jerked the leash from my hand, he was gone with the
speed of the wind after the giant lidi and its riders.
At his side raced his shaggy mate, only a trifle smaller
than he and no whit less savage.
They did not give tongue until the lidi itself dis-
covered them and broke into a lumbering, awkward,
but none the less rapid gallop. Then the two hound-
beasts commenced to bay, starting with a low, plaintive
note that rose, weird and hideous, to terminate in a
series of short, sharp yelps. I feared that it might be
the hunting-call of the pack; and if this were true, there
would be slight chance for either Dian or her abductor
--or myself, either, as far as that was concerned. So
I redoubled my efforts to keep pace with the hunt;
but I might as well have attempted to distance the
bird upon the wing; as I have often reminded you,
I am no runner. In that instance it was just as well
that I am not, for my very slowness of foot played
into my hands; while had I been fleeter, I might have
lost Dian that time forever.
The lidi, with the hounds running close on either
side, had almost disappeared in the darkness that en-
veloped the surrounding landscape, when I noted that
it was bearing toward the right. This was accounted
for by the fact that Raja ran upon his left side, and
unlike his mate, kept leaping for the great beast's shoul-
der. The man on the lidi's back was prodding at the
hyaenodon with his long spear, but still Raja kept
springing up and snapping.
The effect of this was to turn the lidi toward the
right, and the longer I watched the procedure the more
convinced I became that Raja and his mate were work-
ing together with some end in view, for the she-dog
merely galloped steadily at the lidi's right about op-
posite his rump.
I had seen jaloks hunting in packs, and I recalled
now what for the time I had not thought of--the
several that ran ahead and turned the quarry back
toward the main body. This was precisely what Raja
and his mate were doing--they were turning the lidi
back toward me, or at least Raja was. Just why the
female was keeping out of it I did not understand,
unless it was that she was not entirely clear in her
own mind as to precisely what her mate was attempt-
At any rate, I was sufficiently convinced to stop
where I was and await developments, for I could
readily realize two things. One was that I could never
overhaul them before the damage was done if they
should pull the lidi down now. The other thing was
that if they did not pull it down for a few minutes
it would have completed its circle and returned close
to where I stood.
And this is just what happened. The lot of them
were almost, swallowed up in the twilight for a mo-
ment. Then they reappeared again, but this time far
to the right and circling back in my general direction.
I waited until I could get some clear idea of the right
spot to gain that I might intercept the lidi; but even
as I waited I saw the beast attempt to turn still more
to the right--a move that would have carried him
far to my left in a much more circumscribed circle
than the hyaenodons had mapped out for him. Then I
saw the female leap forward and head him; and when
he would have gone too far to the left, Raja sprang,
snapping at his shoulder and held him straight.
Straight for me the two savage beasts were driving
their quarry! It was wonderful.
It was something else, too, as I realized while the
monstrous beast neared me. It was like standing in
the middle of the tracks in front of an approaching
express-train. But I didn't dare waver; too much de-
pended upon my meeting that hurtling mass of terrified
flesh with a well-placed javelin. So I stood there, wait-
ing to be run down and crushed by those gigantic
feet, but determined to drive home my weapon in
the broad breast before I fell.
The lidi was only about a hundred yards from me
when Raja gave a few barks in a tone that differed
materially from his hunting-cry. Instantly both he and
his mate leaped for the long neck of the ruminant.
Neither missed. Swinging in mid-air, they hung te-
naciously, their weight dragging down the creature's
head and so retarding its speed that before it had
reached me it was almost stopped and devoting all
its energies to attempting to scrape off its attackers
with its forefeet.
Dian had seen and recognized me, and was trying
to extricate herself from the grasp of her captor, who,
handicapped by his strong and agile prisoner, was un-
able to wield his lance effectively upon the two jaloks.
At the same time I was running swiftly toward them.
When the man discovered me he released his hold
upon Dian and sprang to the ground, ready with his
lance to meet me. My javelin was no match for his
longer weapon, which was used more for stabbing than
as a missile. Should I miss him at my first cast, as was
quite probable, since he was prepared for me, I would
have to face his formidable lance with nothing more
than a stone knife. The outlook was scarcely entrancing.
Evidently I was soon to be absolutely at his mercy.
Seeing my predicament, he ran toward me to get
rid of one antagonist before he had to deal with the
other two. He could not guess, of course, that the two
jaloks were hunting with me; but he doubtless thought
that after they had finished the lidi they would make
after the human prey--the beasts are notorious killers,
often slaying wantonly.
But as the Thurian came Raja loosened his hold
upon the lidi and dashed for him, with the female
close after. When the man saw them he yelled to me
to help him, protesting that we should both be killed
if we did not fight together. But I only laughed at
him and ran toward Dian.
Both the fierce beasts were upon the Thurian simul-
taneously--he must have died almost before his body
tumbled to the ground. Then the female wheeled to-
ward Dian. I was standing by her side as the thing
charged her, my javelin ready to receive her.
But again Raja was too quick for me. I imagined he
thought she was making for me, for he couldn't have
known anything of my relations toward Dian. At any
rate he leaped full upon her back and dragged her
down. There ensued forthwith as terrible a battle as
one would wish to see if battles were gaged by volume
of noise and riotousness of action. I thought that both
the beasts would be torn to shreds.
When finally the female ceased to struggle and rolled
over on her back, her forepaws limply folded, I was
sure that she was dead. Raja stood over her, growling,
his jaws close to her throat. Then I saw that neither
of them bore a scratch. The male had simply admin-
istered a severe drubbing to his mate. It was his way
of teaching her that I was sacred.
After a moment he moved away and let her rise,
when she set about smoothing down her rumpled coat,
while he came stalking toward Dian and me. I had
an arm about Dian now. As Raja came close I caught
him by the neck and pulled him up to me. There
I stroked him and talked to him, bidding Dian do the
same, until I think he pretty well understood that if
I was his friend, so was Dian.
For a long time he was inclined to be shy of her,
often baring his teeth at her approach, and it was a
much longer time before the female made friends with
us. But by careful kindness, by never eating without
sharing our meat with them, and by feeding them
from our hands, we finally won the confidence of both
animals. However, that was a long time after.
With the two beasts trotting after us, we returned
to where we had left Juag. Here I had the dickens'
own time keeping the female from Juag's throat. Of
all the venomous, wicked, cruel-hearted beasts on two
worlds, I think a female hyaenodon takes the palm.
But eventually she tolerated Juag as she had Dian
and me, and the five of us set out toward the coast, for
Juag had just completed his labors on the thag when
we arrived. We ate some of the meat before starting,
and gave the hounds some. All that we could we car-
ried upon our backs.
On the way to the canoe we met with no mishaps.
Dian told me that the fellow who had stolen her had
come upon her from behind while the roaring of the
thag had drowned all other noises, and that the first
she had known he had disarmed her and thrown her
to the back of his lidi, which had been lying down
close by waiting for him. By the time the thag had
ceased bellowing the fellow had got well away upon
his swift mount. By holding one palm over her mouth
he had prevented her calling for help.
"I thought," she concluded, "that I should have to
use the viper's tooth, after all."
We reached the beach at last and unearthed the
canoe. Then we busied ourselves stepping a mast and
rigging a small sail--Juag and I, that is--while Dian
cut the thag meat into long strips for drying when we
should be out in the sunlight once more.
At last all was done. We were ready to embark. I
had no difficulty in getting Raja aboard the dugout;
but Ranee--as we christened her after I had ex-
plained to Dian the meaning of Raja and its feminine
equivalent--positively refused for a time to follow her
mate aboard. In fact, we had to shove off without her.
After a moment, however, she plunged into the water
and swam after us.
I let her come alongside, and then Juag and I pulled
her in, she snapping and snarling at us as we did so;
but, strange to relate, she didn't offer to attack us after
we had ensconced her safely in the bottom alongside
The canoe behaved much better under sail than I
had hoped--infinitely better than the battle-ship Sari
had--and we made good progress almost due west
across the gulf, upon the opposite side of which I
hoped to find the mouth of the river of which Juag
had told me.
The islander was much interested and impressed by
the sail and its results. He had not been able to under-
stand exactly what I hoped to accomplish with it while
we were fitting up the boat; but when he saw the
clumsy dugout move steadily through the water with-
out paddles, he was as delighted as a child. We made
splendid headway on the trip, coming into sight of
land at last.
Juag had been terror-stricken when he had learned
that I intended crossing the ocean, and when we passed
out of sight of land be was in a blue funk. He said that
he had never heard of such a thing before in his life,
and that always he had understood that those who
ventured far from land never returned; for how could
they find their way when they could see no land to
I tried to explain the compass to him; and though
he never really grasped the scientific explanation of it,
yet he did learn to steer by it quite as well as I. We
passed several islands on the journey--islands which
Juag told me were entirely unknown to his own island
folk. Indeed, our eyes may have been the first ever to
rest upon them. I should have liked to stop off and
explore them, but the business of empire would brook
no unnecessary delays.
I asked Juag how Hooja expected to reach the mouth
of the river which we were in search of if he didn't
cross the gulf, and the islander explained that Hooja
would undoubtedly follow the coast around. For some
time we sailed up the coast searching for the river,
and at last we found it. So great was it that I thought
it must be a mighty gulf until the mass of driftwood
that came out upon the first ebb tide convinced me
that it was the mouth of a river. There were the
trunks of trees uprooted by the undermining of the
river banks, giant creepers, flowers, grasses, and now
and then the body of some land animal or bird.
I was all excitement to commence our upward jour-
ney when there occurred that which I had never before
seen within Pellucidar--a really terrific wind-storm. It
blew down the river upon us with a ferocity and sud-
denness that took our breaths away, and before we
could get a chance to make the shore it became too
late. The best that we could do was to hold the scud-
ding craft before the wind and race along in a smother
of white spume. Juag was terrified. If Dian was, she
hid it; for was she not the daughter of a once great
chief, the sister of a king, and the mate of an emperor?
Raja and Ranee were frightened. The former crawled
close to my side and buried his nose against me. Finally
even fierce Ranee was moved to seek sympathy from
a human being. She slunk to Dian, pressing close against
her and whimpering, while Dian stroked her shaggy
neck and talked to her as I talked to Raja.
There was nothing for us to do but try to keep the
canoe right side up and straight before the wind. For
what seemed an eternity the tempest neither increased
nor abated. I judged that we must have blown a hun-
dred miles before the wind and straight out into an
As suddenly as the wind rose it died again, and
when it died it veered to blow at right angles to its
former course in a gentle breeze. I asked Juag then
what our course was, for he had had the compass last.
It had been on a leather thong about his neck. When
he felt for it, the expression that came into his eyes
told me as plainly as words what had happened--
the compass was lost! The compass was lost!
And we were out of sight of land without a single
celestial body to guide us! Even the pendent world
was not visible from our position!
Our plight seemed hopeless to me, but I dared not
let Dian and Juag guess how utterly dismayed I was;
though, as I soon discovered, there was nothing to be
gained by trying to keep the worst from Juag--he knew
it quite as well as I. He had always known, from the
legends of his people, the dangers of the open sea
beyond the sight of land. The compass, since he had
learned its uses from me, had been all that he had to
buoy his hope of eventual salvation from the watery
deep. He had seen how it had guided me across the
water to the very coast that I desired to reach, and so
he had implicit confidence in it. Now that it was gone,
his confidence had departed, also.
There seemed but one thing to do; that was to keep
on sailing straight before the wind--since we could
travel most rapidly along that course--until we sighted
land of some description. If it chanced to be the
mainland, well and good; if an island--well, we might
live upon an island. We certainly could not live long
in this little boat, with only a few strips of dried thag
and a few quarts of water left.
Quite suddenly a thought occurred to me. I was
surprised that it had not come before as a solution
to our problem. I turned toward Juag.
"You Pellucidarians are endowed with a wonderful
instinct," I reminded him, "an instinct that points the
way straight to your homes, no matter in what strange
land you may find yourself. Now all we have to do
is let Dian guide us toward Amoz, and we shall come
in a short time to the same coast whence we just were
As I spoke I looked at them with a smile of re-
newed hope; but there was no answering smile in their
eyes. It was Dian who enlightened me.
"We could do all this upon land," she said. "But upon
the water that power is denied us. I do not know why;
but I have always heard that this is true--that only
upon the water may a Pellucidarian be lost. This is,
I think, why we all fear the great ocean so--even
those who go upon its surface in canoes. Juag has
told us that they never go beyond the sight of land."
We had lowered the sail after the blow while we
were discussing the best course to pursue. Our little
craft had been drifting idly, rising and falling with the
great waves that were now diminishing. Sometimes we
were upon the crest--again in the hollow. As Dian
ceased speaking she let her eyes range across the
limitless expanse of billowing waters. We rose to a
great height upon the crest of a mighty wave. As we
topped it Dian gave an exclamation and pointed astern.
"Boats!" she cried. "Boats! Many, many boats!"
Juag and I leaped to our feet; but our little craft
had now dropped to the trough, and we could see
nothing but walls of water close upon either hand.
We waited for the next wave to lift us, and when it did
we strained our eyes in the direction that Dian had
indicated. Sure enough, scarce half a mile away were
several boats, and scattered far and wide behind us
as far as we could see were many others! We could
not make them out in the distance or in the brief
glimpse that we caught of them before we were plunged
again into the next wave canon; but they were boats.
And in them must be human beings like ourselves.
CHAPTER XIII. RACING FOR LIFE
At last the sea subsided, and we were able to get
a better view of the armada of small boats in our
wake. There must have been two hundred of them.
Juag said that he had never seen so many boats before
in all his life. Where had they come from? Juag was
first to hazard a guess.
"Hooja," he said, "was building many boats to carry
his warriors to the great river and up it toward Sari.
He was building them with almost all his warriors and
many slaves upon the Island of Trees. No one else in
all the history of Pellucidar has ever built so many
boats as they told me Hooja was building. These must
be Hooja's boats."
"And they were blown out to sea by the great storm
just as we were," suggested Dian.
"There can be no better explanation of them," I
"What shall we do?" asked Juag.
"Suppose we make sure that they are really Hooja's
people," suggested Dian. "It may be that they are not,
and that if we run away from them before we learn
definitely who they are, we shall be running away from
a chance to live and find the mainland. They may be
a people of whom we have never even heard, and if so
we can ask them to help us--if they know the way
to the mainland."
"Which they will not,' interposed Juag.
"Well," I said, "it can't make our predicament any
more trying to wait until we find out who they are.
They are heading for us now. Evidently they have
spied our sail, and guess that we do not belong to
"They probably want to ask the way to the mainland
themselves," said Juag, who was nothing if not a pes-
"If they want to catch us, they can do it if they
can paddle faster than we can sail," I said. "If we
let them come close enough to discover their identity,
and can then sail faster than they can paddle, we can
get away from them anyway, so we might as well
And wait we did.
The sea calmed rapidly, so that by the time the
foremost canoe had come within five hundred yards
of us we could see them all plainly. Every one was
headed for us. The dugouts, which were of unusual
length, were manned by twenty paddlers, ten to a side.
Besides the paddlers there were twenty-five or more
warriors in each boat.
When the leader was a hundred yards from us Dian
called our attention to the fact that several of her
crew were Sagoths. That convinced us that the flotilla
was indeed Hooja's. I told Juag to hail them and get
what information he could, while I remained in the
bottom of our canoe as much out of sight as possible.
Dian lay down at full length in the bottom; I did not
want them to see and recognize her if they were in
truth Hooja's people.
"Who are you?" shouted Juag, standing up in the
boat and making a megaphone of his palms.
A figure arose in the bow of the leading canoe--
a figure that I was sure I recognized even before he
"I am Hooja!" cried the man, in answer to Juag.
For some reason he did not recognize his former
prisoner and slave--possibly because he had so many
"I come from the Island of Trees," he continued. "A
hundred of my boats were lost in the great storm and
all their crews drowned. Where is the land? What are
you, and what strange thing is that which flutters from
the little tree in the front of your canoe?"
He referred to our sail, flapping idly in the wind.
"We, too, are lost," replied Juag. "We know not where
the land is. We are going back to look for it now."
So saying he commenced to scull the canoe's nose
before the wind, while I made fast the primitive sheets
that held our crude sail. We thought it time to be
There wasn't much wind at the time, and the heavy,
lumbering dugout was slow in getting under way. I
thought it never would gain any momentum. And all
the while Hooja's canoe was drawing rapidly nearer,
propelled by the strong arms of his twenty paddlers.
Of course, their dugout was much larger than ours,
and, consequently, infinitely heavier and more cum-
bersome; nevertheless, it was coming along at quite
a clip, and ours was yet but barely moving. Dian and
I remained out of sight as much as possible, for the
two craft were now well within bow-shot of one an-
other, and I knew that Hooja had archers.
Hooja called to Juag to stop when he saw that our
craft was moving. He was much interested in the sail,
and not a little awed, as I could tell by his shouted
remarks and questions. Raising my head, I saw him
plainly. He would have made an excellent target for
one of my guns, and I had never been sorrier that
I had lost them.
We were now picking up speed a trifle, and he was
not gaining upon us so fast as at first. In consequence,
his requests that we stop suddenly changed to com-
mands as he became aware that we were trying to
"Come back!" he shouted. "Come back, or I'll fire!"
I use the word fire because it more nearly translates
into English the Pellucidarian word trag, which covers
the launching of any deadly missile.
But Juag only seized his paddle more tightly--the
paddle that answered the purpose of rudder, and com-
menced to assist the wind by vigorous strokes. Then
Hooja gave the command to some of his archers to
fire upon us. I couldn't lie hidden in the bottom of the
boat, leaving Juag alone exposed to the deadly shafts,
so I arose and, seizing another paddle, set to work to
help him. Dian joined me, though I did my best to
persuade her to remain sheltered; but being a woman,
she must have her own way.
The instant that Hooja saw us he recognized us. The
whoop of triumph he raised indicated how certain he
was that we were about to fall into his hands. A shower
of arrows fell about us. Then Hooja caused his men
to cease firing--he wanted us alive. None of the mis-
siles struck us, for Hooja's archers were not nearly the
marksmen that are my Sarians and Amozites.
We had now gained sufficient headway to hold our
own on about even terms with Hooja's paddlers. We
did not seem to be gaining, though; and neither did
they. How long this nerve-racking experience lasted
I cannot guess, though we had pretty nearly finished
our meager supply of provisions when the wind picked
up a bit and we commenced to draw away.
Not once yet had we sighted land, nor could I
understand it, since so many of the seas I had seen
before were thickly dotted with islands. Our plight was
anything but pleasant, yet I think that Hooja and his
forces were even worse off than we, for they had no
food nor water at all.
Far out behind us in a long line that curved upward
in the distance, to be lost in the haze, strung Hooja's
two hundred boats. But one would have been enough
to have taken us could it have come alongside. We
had drawn some fifty yards ahead of Hooja--there
had been times when we were scarce ten yards in
advance-and were feeling considerably safer from
capture. Hooja's men, working in relays, were com-
mencing to show the effects of the strain under which
they had been forced to work without food or water,
and I think their weakening aided us almost as much
as the slight freshening of the wind.
Hooja must have commenced to realize that he was
going to lose us, for he again gave orders that we be
fired upon. Volley after volley of arrows struck about
us. The distance was so great by this time that most
of the arrows fell short, while those that reached us
were sufficiently spent to allow us to ward them off
with our paddles. However, it was a most exciting
Hooja stood in the bow of his boat, alternately urging
his men to greater speed and shouting epithets at me.
But we continued to draw away from him. At last
the wind rose to a fair gale, and we simply raced away
from our pursuers as if they were standing still. Juag
was so tickled that he forgot all about his hunger and
thirst. I think that he had never been entirely recon-
ciled to the heathenish invention which I called a
sail, and that down in the bottom of his heart he
believed that the paddlers would eventually overhaul
us; but now he couldn't praise it enough.
We had a strong gale for a considerable time, and
eventually dropped Hooja's fleet so far astern that we
could no longer discern them. And then--ah, I shall
never forget that moment--Dian sprang to her feet
with a cry of "Land!"
Sure enough, dead ahead, a long, low coast stretched
across our bow. It was still a long way off, and we
couldn't make out whether it was island or mainland;
but at least it was land. If ever shipwrecked mariners
were grateful, we were then. Raja and Ranee were
commencing to suffer for lack of food, and I could
swear that the latter often cast hungry glances upon
us, though I am equally sure that no such hideous
thoughts ever entered the head of her mate. We
watched them both most closely, however. Once while
stroking Ranee I managed to get a rope around her
neck and make her fast to the side of the boat. Then
I felt a bit safer for Dian. It was pretty close quarters
in that little dugout for three human beings and two
practically wild, man-eating dogs; but we had to make
the best of it, since I would not listen to Juag's sug-
gestion that we kill and eat Raja and Ranee.
We made good time to within a few miles of the
shore. Then the wind died suddenly out. We were all
of us keyed up to such a pitch of anticipation that the
blow was doubly hard to bear. And it was a blow, too,
since we could not tell in what quarter the wind might
rise again; but Juag and I set to work to paddle the
Almost immediately the wind rose again from pre-
cisely the opposite direction from which it had formerly
blown, so that it was mighty hard work making progress
against it. Next it veered again so that we had to turn
and run with it parallel to the coast to keep from
being swamped in the trough of the seas.
And while we were suffering all these disappoint-
ments Hooja's fleet appeared in the distance!
They evidently had gone far to the left of our course,
for they were now almost behind us as we ran parallel
to the coast; but we were not much afraid of being
overtaken in the wind that was blowing. The gale kept
on increasing, but it was fitful, swooping down upon
us in great gusts and then going almost calm for an
instant. It was after one of these momentary calms
that the catastrophe occurred. Our sail hung limp and
our momentum decreased when of a sudden a par-
ticularly vicious squall caught us. Before I could cut
the sheets the mast had snapped at the thwart in which
it was stepped.
The worst had happened; Juag and I seized paddles
and kept the canoe with the wind; but that squall was
the parting shot of the gale, which died out immediately
after, leaving us free to make for the shore, which we
lost no time in attempting. But Hooja had drawn closer
in toward shore than we, so it looked as if he might
head us off before we could land. However, we did our
best to distance him, Dian taking a paddle with us.
We were in a fair way to succeed when there ap-
peared, pouring from among the trees beyond the beach,
a horde of yelling, painted savages, brandishing all
sorts of devilish-looking primitive weapons. So menac-
ing was their attitude that we realized at once the
folly of attempting to land among them.
Hooja was drawing closer to us. There was no wind.
We could not hope to outpaddle him. And with our
sail gone, no wind would help us, though, as if in
derision at our plight, a steady breeze was now blowing.
But we had no intention of sitting idle while our fate
overtook us, so we bent to our paddles and, keeping
parallel with the coast, did our best to pull away from
It was a grueling experience. We were weakened
by lack of food. We were suffering the pangs of thirst.
Capture and death were close at hand. Yet I think that
we gave a good account of ourselves in our final effort
to escape. Our boat was so much smaller and lighter
than any of Hooja's that the three of us forced it ahead
almost as rapidly as his larger craft could go under their
As we raced along the coast for one of those seem-
ingly interminable periods that may draw hours into
eternities where the labor is soul-searing and there is
no way to measure time, I saw what I took for the
opening to a bay or the mouth of a great river a short
distance ahead of us. I wished that we might make
for it; but with the menace of Hooja close behind and
the screaming natives who raced along the shore paral-
lel to us, I dared not attempt it.
We were not far from shore in that mad flight from
death. Even as I paddled I found opportunity to glance
occasionally toward the natives. They were white, but
hideously painted. From their gestures and weapons
I took them to be a most ferocious race. I was rather
glad that we had not succeeded in landing among
Hooja's fleet had been in much more compact forma-
tion when we sighted them this time than on the
occasion following the tempest. Now they were moving
rapidly in pursuit of us, all well within the radius
of a mile. Five of them were leading, all abreast, and
were scarce two hundred yards from us. When I glanced
over my shoulder I could see that the archers had
already fitted arrows to their bows in readiness to fire
upon us the moment that they should draw within
Hope was low in my breast. I could not see the
slightest chance of escaping them, for they were over-
hauling us rapidly now, since they were able to work
their paddles in relays, while we three were rapidly
wearying beneath the constant strain that had been
put upon us.
It was then that Juag called my attention to the rift
in the shore-line which I had thought either a bay or
the mouth of a great river. There I saw moving slowly
out into the sea that which filled my soul with wonder.
CHAPTER XIV. GORE AND DREAMS
It was a two-masted felucca with lateen sails! The
craft was long and low. In it were more than fifty men,
twenty or thirty of whom were at oars with which the
craft was being propelled from the lee of the land.
I was dumbfounded.
Could it be that the savage, painted natives I had
seen on shore had so perfected the art of navigation
that they were masters of such advanced building and
rigging as this craft proclaimed? It seemed impossible!
And as I looked I saw another of the same type swing
into view and follow its sister through the narrow strait
out into the ocean.
Nor were these all. One after another, following
closely upon one another's heels, came fifty of the trim,
graceful vessels. They were cutting in between Hooja's
fleet and our little dugout,
When they came a bit closer my eyes fairly popped
from my head at what I saw, for in the eye of the leading
felucca stood a man with a sea-glass leveled upon us.
Who could they be? Was there a civilization within
Pellucidar of such wondrous advancement as this? Were
there far-distant lands of which none of my people
had ever heard, where a race had so greatly outstripped
all other races of this inner world?
The man with the glass had lowered it and was
shouting to us. I could not make out his words, but
presently I saw that he was pointing aloft. When I
looked I saw a pennant fluttering from the peak of
the forward lateen yard--a red, white, and blue pen-
nant, with a single great white star in a field of blue.
Then I knew. My eyes went even wider than they
had before. It was the navy! It was the navy of the
empire of Pellucidar which I had instructed Perry to
build in my absence. It was MY navy!
I dropped my paddle and stood up and shouted and
waved my hand. Juag and Dian looked at me as if
I had gone suddenly mad. When I could stop shouting
I told them, and they shared my joy and shouted with
But still Hooja was coming nearer, nor could the
leading felucca overhaul him before he would be along-
side or at least within bow-shot.
Hooja must have been as much mystified as we were
as to the identity of the strange fleet; but when he
saw me waving to them he evidently guessed that they
were friendly to us, so he urged his men to redouble
their efforts to reach us before the felucca cut him off.
He shouted word back to others of his fleet--word
that was passed back until it had reached them all--
directing them to run alongside the strangers and board
them, for with his two hundred craft and his eight or
ten thousand warriors he evidently felt equal to over-
coming the fifty vessels of the enemy, which did not
seem to carry over three thousand men all told.
His own personal energies he bent to reaching Dian
and me first, leaving the rest of the work to his other
boats. I thought that there could be little doubt that
he would be successful in so far as we were concerned,
and I feared for the revenge that he might take upon
us should the battle go against his force, as I was sure
it would; for I knew that Perry and his Mezops must
have brought with them all the arms and ammunition
that had been contained in the prospector. But I was
not prepared for what happened next.
As Hooja's canoe reached a point some twenty yards
from us a great puff of smoke broke from the bow of
the leading felucca, followed almost simultaneously by
a terrific explosion, and a solid shot screamed close
over the heads of the men in Hooja's craft, raising
a great splash where it clove the water just beyond
Perry had perfected gunpowder and built cannon!
It was marvelous! Dian and Juag, as much surprised
as Hooja, turned wondering eyes toward me. Again
the cannon spoke. I suppose that by comparison with
the great guns of modern naval vessels of the outer
world it was a pitifully small and inadequate thing;
but here in Pellucidar, where it was the first of its kind,
it was about as awe-inspiring as anything you might
With the report an iron cannonball about five inches
in diameter struck Hooja's dugout just above the water-
line, tore a great splintering hole in its side, turned
it over, and dumped its occupants into the sea.
The four dugouts that had been abreast of Hooja
had turned to intercept the leading felucca. Even
now, in the face of what must have been a withering
catastrophe to them, they kept bravely on toward the
strange and terrible craft.
In them were fully two hundred men, while but
fifty lined the gunwale of the felucca to repel them.
The commander of the felucca, who proved to be Ja,
let them come quite close and then turned loose upon
them a volley of shots from small-arms.
The cave men and Sagoths in the dugouts seemed
to wither before that blast of death like dry grass
before a prairie fire. Those who were not hit dropped
their bows and javelins and, seizing upon paddles,
attempted to escape. But the felucca pursued them
relentlessly, her crew firing at will.
At last I heard Ja shouting to the survivors in the
dugouts--they were all quite close to us now--offer-
ing them their lives if they would surrender. Perry
was standing close behind Ja, and I knew that this
merciful action was prompted, perhaps commanded,
by the old man; for no Pellucidarian would have thought
of showing leniency to a defeated foe.
As there was no alternative save death, the survivors
surrendered and a moment later were taken aboard
the Amoz, the name that I could now see printed in
large letters upon the felucca's bow, and which no
one in that whole world could read except Perry and I.
When the prisoners were aboard, Ja brought the
felucca alongside our dugout. Many were the willing
hands that reached down to lift us to her decks. The
bronze faces of the Mezops were broad with smiles,
and Perry was fairly beside himself with joy.
Dian went aboard first and then Juag, as I wished
to help Raja and Ranee aboard myself, well knowing
that it would fare ill with any Mezop who touched
them. We got them aboard at last, and a great com-
motion they caused among the crew, who had never
seen a wild beast thus handled by man before.
Perry and Dian and I were so full of questions that
we fairly burst, but we had to contain ourselves for
a while, since the battle with the rest of Hooja's fleet
had scarce commenced. From the small forward decks
of the feluccas Perry's crude cannon were belching
smoke, flame, thunder, and death. The air trembled
to the roar of them. Hooja's horde, intrepid, savage
fighters that they were, were closing in to grapple
in a last death-struggle with the Mezops who manned
The handling of our fleet by the red island warriors
of Ja's clan was far from perfect. I could see that Perry
had lost no time after the completion of the boats in
setting out upon this cruise. What little the captains
and crews had learned of handling feluccas they must
have learned principally since they embarked upon
this voyage, and while experience is an excellent
teacher and had done much for them, they still had
a great deal to learn. In maneuvering for position
they were continually fouling one another, and on
two occasions shots from our batteries came near to
striking our own ships.
No sooner, however, was I aboard the flagship than
I attempted to rectify this trouble to some extent. By
passing commands by word of mouth from one ship
to another I managed to get the fifty feluccas into
some sort of line, with the flag-ship in the lead. In
this formation we commenced slowly to circle the
position of the enemy. The dugouts came for us right
along in an attempt to board us, but by keeping on
the move in one direction and circling, we managed
to avoid getting in each other's way, and were enabled
to fire our cannon and our small arms with less danger
to our own comrades.
When I had a moment to look about me, I took in
the felucca on which I was. I am free to confess that
I marveled at the excellent construction and stanch
yet speedy lines of the little craft. That Perry had
chosen this type of vessel seemed rather remarkable,
for though I had warned him against turreted battle-
ships, armor, and like useless show, I had fully ex-
pected that when I beheld his navy I should find
considerable attempt at grim and terrible magnifi-
cence, for it was always Perry's idea to overawe these
ignorant cave men when we had to contend with
them in battle. But I had soon learned that while
one might easily astonish them with some new engine
of war, it was an utter impossibility to frighten them
I learned later that Ja had gone carefully over the
plans of various craft with Perry. The old man had
explained in detail all that the text told him of them.
The two had measured out dimensions upon the ground,
that Ja might see the sizes of different boats. Perry
had built models, and Ja had had him read carefully
and explain all that they could find relative to the
handling of sailing vessels. The result of this was
that Ja was the one who had chosen the felucca. It
was well that Perry had had so excellent a balance
wheel, for he had been wild to build a huge frigate
of the Nelsonian era--he told me so himself.
One thing that had inclined Ja particularly to the
felucca was the fact that it included oars in its equip-
ment. He realized the limitations of his people in the
matter of sails, and while they had never used oars,
the implement was so similar to a paddle that he
was sure they quickly could master the art--and they
did. As soon as one hull was completed Ja kept it
on the water constantly, first with one crew and then
with another, until two thousand red warriors had
learned to row. Then they stepped their masts and
a crew was told off for the first ship.
While the others were building they learned to
handle theirs. As each succeeding boat was launched
its crew took it out and practiced with it under the
tutorage of those who had graduated from the first
ship, and so on until a full complement of men had
been trained for every boat.
Well, to get back to the battle: The Hoojans kept
on coming at us, and as fast as they came we mowed
them down. It was little else than slaughter. Time
and time again I cried to them to surrender, promising
them their lives if they would do so. At last there
were but ten boatloads left. These turned in flight.
They thought they could paddle away from us--
it was pitiful! I passed the word from boat to boat
to cease firing--not to kill another Hoojan unless they
fired on us. Then we set out after them. There was
a nice little breeze blowing and we bowled along after
our quarry as gracefully and as lightly as swans upon
a park lagoon. As we approached them I could see not
only wonder but admiration in their eyes. I hailed the
"Throw down your arms and come aboard us," I
cried, "and you shall not be harmed. We will feed you
and return you to the mainland. Then you shall go
free upon your promise never to bear arms against the
Emperor of Pellucidar again!"
I think it was the promise of food that interested
them most. They could scarce believe that we would
not kill them. But when I exhibited the prisoners we
already had taken, and showed them that they were
alive and unharmed, a great Sagoth in one of the boats
asked me what guarantee I could give that I would
keep my word.
"None other than my word," I replied. "That I do
The Pellucidarians themselves are rather punctilious
about this same matter, so the Sagoth could understand
that I might possibly be speaking the truth. But he
could not understand why we should not kill them
unless we meant to enslave them, which I had as
much as denied already when I had promised to set
them free. Ja couldn't exactly see the wisdom of my
plan, either. He thought that we ought to follow up
the ten remaining dugouts and sink them all; but I
insisted that we must free as many as possible of our
enemies upon the mainland.
"You see," I explained, "these men will return at
once to Hooja's Island, to the Mahar cities from which
they come, or to the countries from which they were
stolen by the Mahars. They are men of two races
and of many countries. They will spread the story of
our victory far and wide, and while they are with us,
we will let them see and hear many other wonderful
things which they may carry back to their friends and
their chiefs. It's the finest chance for free publicity,
Perry," I added to the old man, "that you or I have
seen in many a day."
Perry agreed with me. As a matter of fact, he would
have agreed to anything that would have restrained
us from killing the poor devils who fell into our hands.
He was a great fellow to invent gunpowder and fire-
arms and cannon; but when it came to using these
things to kill people, he was as tender-hearted as a
The Sagoth who had spoken was talking to other
Sagoths in his boat. Evidently they were holding a
council over the question of the wisdom of surrender-
"What will become of you if you don't surrender to
us?" I asked. "If we do not open up our batteries on
you again and kill you all, you will simply drift about
the sea helplessly until you die of thirst and starvation.
You cannot return to the islands, for you have seen
as well as we that the natives there are very numerous
and warlike. They would kill you the moment you
The upshot of it was that the boat of which the
Sagoth speaker was in charge surrendered. The Sagoths
threw down their weapons, and we took them aboard
the ship next in line behind the Amoz. First Ja had
to impress upon the captain and crew of the ship
that the prisoners were not to be abused or killed.
After that the remaining dugouts paddled up and sur-
rendered. We distributed them among the entire fleet
lest there be too many upon any one vessel. Thus
ended the first real naval engagement that the Pel-
lucidarian seas had ever witnessed--though Perry still
insists that the action in which the Sari took part was
a battle of the first magnitude.
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. We had the feluccas close
in about the flag-ship, and with all the ceremony of
a medieval potentate on parade I received the com-
manders of the forty-nine feluccas that accompanied
the flag-ship--Dian and I together--the empress and
the emperor of Pellucidar.
It was a great occasion. The savage, bronze warriors
entered into the spirit of it, for as I learned later
dear old Perry had left no opportunity neglected for
impressing upon them that David was emperor of
Pellucidar, and that all that they were accomplishing
and all that he was accomplishing was due to the
power, and redounded to the glory of David. The old
man must have rubbed it in pretty strong, for those
fierce warriors nearly came to blows in their efforts
to be among the first of those to kneel before me
and kiss my hand. When it came to kissing Dian's I
think they enjoyed it more; I know I should have.
A happy thought occurred to me as I stood upon the
little deck of the Amoz with the first of Perry's primi-
tive cannon behind me. When Ja kneeled at my feet,
and first to do me homage, I drew from its scabbard
at his side the sword of hammered iron that Perry
had taught him to fashion. Striking him lightly on the
shoulder I created him king of Anoroc. Each captain of the
forty-nine other feluccas I made a duke. I left
it to Perry to enlighten them as to the value of the
honors I had bestowed upon them.
During these ceremonies Raja and Ranee had stood
beside Dian and me. Their bellies had been well filled,
but still they had difficulty in permitting so much
edible humanity to pass unchallenged. It was a good
education for them though, and never after did they
find it difficult to associate with the human race with-
out arousing their appetites.
After the ceremonies were over we had a chance
to talk with Perry and Ja. The former told me that
Ghak, king of Sari, had sent my letter and map to him
by a runner, and that he and Ja had at once decided
to set out on the completion of the fleet to ascertain
the correctness of my theory that the Lural Az, in
which the Anoroc Islands lay, was in reality the same
ocean as that which lapped the shores of Thuria under
the name of Sojar Az, or Great Sea.
Their destination had been the island retreat of
Hooja, and they had sent word to Ghak of their plans
that we might work in harmony with them. The tempest
that had blown us off the coast of the continent had
blown them far to the south also. Shortly before dis-
covering us they had come into a great group of islands,
from between the largest two of which they were sail-
ing when they saw Hooja's fleet pursuing our dugout.
I asked Perry if he had any idea as to where we
were, or in what direction lay Hooja's island or the
continent. He replied by producing his map, on which
he had carefully marked the newly discovered islands
--there described as the Unfriendly Isles--which
showed Hooja's island northwest of us about two points
He then explained that with compass, chronometer,
log and reel, they had kept a fairly accurate record
of their course from the time they had set out. Four
of the feluccas were equipped with these instruments,
and all of the captains had been instructed in their
I was very greatly surprised at the ease with which
these savages had mastered the rather intricate detail
of this unusual work, but Perry assured me that they
were a wonderfully intelligent race, and had been quick
to grasp all that he had tried to teach them.
Another thing that surprised me was the fact that
so much had been accomplished in so short a time,
for I could not believe that I had been gone from
Anoroc for a sufficient period to permit of building
a fleet of fifty feluccas and mining iron ore for the
cannon and balls, to say nothing of manufacturing these
guns and the crude muzzle-loading rifles with which
every Mezop was armed, as well as the gunpowder
and ammunition they had in such ample quantities.
"Time!" exclaimed Perry. "Well, how long were you
gone from Anoroc before we picked you up in the
That was a puzzler, and I had to admit it. I didn't
know how much time had elapsed and neither did
Perry, for time is nonexistent in Pellucidar.
"Then, you see, David," he continued, "I had almost
unbelievable resources at my disposal. The Mezops in-
habiting the Anoroc Islands, which stretch far out to sea
beyond the three principal isles with which you are
familiar, number well into the millions, and by far the
greater part of them are friendly to Ja. Men, women,
and children turned to and worked the moment Ja ex-
plained the nature of our enterprise.
"And not only were they anxious to do all in their
power to hasten the day when the Mahars should be
overthrown, but--and this counted for most of all--they
are simply ravenous for greater knowledge and for better
ways of doing things.
"The contents of the prospector set their imagina-
tions to working overtime, so that they craved to own,
themselves, the knowledge which had made it possible
for other men to create and build the things which you
brought back from the outer world.
"And then," continued the old man, "the element of
time, or, rather, lack of time, operated to my advantage.
There being no nights, there was no laying off from
work--they labored incessantly stopping only to eat and,
on rare occasions, to sleep. Once we had discovered iron
ore we had enough mined in an incredibly short time to
build a thousand cannon. I had only to show them once
how a thing should be done, and they would fall to work
by thousands to do it.
"Why, no sooner had we fashioned the first muzzle-
loader and they had seen it work successfully, than fully
three thousand Mezops fell to work to make rifles. Of
course there was much confusion and lost motion at first,
but eventually Ja got them in hand, detailing squads of
them under competent chiefs to certain work.
"We now have a hundred expert gun-makers. On a
little isolated isle we have a great powder-factory. Near
the iron-mine, which is on the mainland, is a smelter, and
on the eastern shore of Anoroc, a well equipped ship-
yard. All these industries are guarded by forts in which
several cannon are mounted and where warriors are
always on guard.
"You would be surprised now, David, at the aspect of
Anoroc. I am surprised myself; it seems always to me as
I compare it with the day that I first set foot upon it
from the deck of the Sari that only a miracle could have
worked the change that has taken place."
"It is a miracle," I said; it is nothing short of a miracle
to transplant all the wondrous possibilities of the twen-
tieth century back to the Stone Age. It is a miracle to
think that only five hundred miles of earth separate two
epochs that are really ages and ages apart.
"It is stupendous, Perry! But still more stupendous
is the power that you and I wield in this great world.
These people look upon us as little less than supermen.
We must show them that we are all of that.
"We must give them the best that we have, Perry."
"Yes," he agreed; "we must. I have been thinking a
great deal lately that some kind of shrapnel shell or ex-
plosive bomb would be a most splendid innovation in
their warfare. Then there are breech-loading rifles and
those with magazines that I must hasten to study out
and learn to reproduce as soon as we get settled down
"Hold on, Perry!" I cried. "I didn't mean these sorts of
things at all. I said that we must give them the best we
have. What we have given them so far has been the
worst. We have given them war and the munitions of
war. In a single day we have made their wars infinitely
more terrible and bloody than in all their past ages
they have been able to make them with their crude,
"In a period that could scarcely have exceeded two
outer earthly hours, our fleet practically annihilated the
largest armada of native canoes that the Pellucidarians
ever before had gathered together. We butchered some
eight thousand warriors with the twentieth-century gifts
we brought. Why, they wouldn't have killed that many
warriors in the entire duration of a dozen of their wars
with their own weapons! No, Perry; we've got to give
them something better than scientific methods of killing
The old man looked at me in amazement. There was
reproach in his eyes, too.
"Why, David!" he said sorrowfully. "I thought that you
would be pleased with what I had done. We planned
these things together, and I am sure that it was you
who suggested practically all of it. I have done only
what I thought you wished done and I have done it the
best that I know how."
I laid my hand on the old man's shoulder.
"Bless your heart, Perry!" I cried. "You've accom-
plished miracles. You have done precisely what I should
have done, only you've done it better. I'm not finding
fault; but I don't wish to lose sight myself, or let you
lose sight, of the greater work which must grow out of
this preliminary and necessary carnage. First we must
place the empire upon a secure footing, and we can do
so only by putting the fear of us in the hearts of our
enemies; but after that--
"Ah, Perry! That is the day I look forward to! When
you and I can build sewing-machines instead of battle-
ships, harvesters of crops instead of harvesters of men,
plow-shares and telephones, schools and colleges,
printing-presses and paper! When our merchant marine
shall ply the great Pellucidarian seas, and cargoes of
silks and typewriters and books shall forge their ways
where only hideous saurians have held sway since time
"Amen!" said Perry.
And Dian, who was standing at my side, pressed my
CHAPTER XV. CONQUEST AND PEACE
The fleet sailed directly for Hooja's island, coming to
anchor at its north-eastern extremity before the flat-
topped hill that had been Hooja's stronghold. I sent one
of the prisoners ashore to demand an immediate sur-
render; but as he told me afterward they wouldn't be-
lieve all that he told them, so they congregated on the
cliff-top and shot futile arrows at us.
In reply I had five of the feluccas cannonade them.
When they scampered away at the sound of the terrific
explosions, and at sight of the smoke and the iron balls
I landed a couple of hundred red warriors and led
them to the opposite end of the hill into the tunnel that
ran to its summit. Here we met a little resistance; but a
volley from the muzzle-loaders turned back those who
disputed our right of way, and presently we gained the
mesa. Here again we met resistance, but at last the
remnant of Hooja's horde surrendered.
Juag was with me, and I lost no time in returning to
him and his tribe the hilltop that had been their an-
cestral home for ages until they were robbed of it by
Hooja. I created a kingdom of the island, making Juag
king there. Before we sailed I went to Gr-gr-gr, chief of
the beast-men, taking Juag with me. There the three of
us arranged a code of laws that would permit the brute-
folk and the human beings of the island to live in peace
and harmony. Gr-gr-gr sent his son with me back to
Sari, capital of my empire, that he might learn the
ways of the human beings. I have hopes of turning this
race into the greatest agriculturists of Pellucidar.
When I returned to the fleet I found that one of the
islanders of Juag's tribe, who had been absent when we
arrived, had just returned from the mainland with the
news that a great army was encamped in the Land of
Awful Shadow, and that they were threatening Thuria.
I lost no time in weighing anchors and setting out for the
continent, which we reached after a short and easy
From the deck of the Amoz I scanned the shore
through the glasses that Perry had brought with him.
When we were close enough for the glasses to be of
value I saw that there was indeed a vast concourse of
warriors entirely encircling the walled-village of Goork,
chief of the Thurians. As we approached smaller objects
became distinguishable. It was then that I discovered
numerous flags and pennants floating above the army
of the besiegers.
I called Perry and passed the glasses to him.
"Ghak of Sari," I said.
Perry looked through the lenses of a moment, and then
turned to me with a smile.
"The red, white, and blue of the empire," he said. "It
is indeed your majesty's army."
It soon became apparent that we had been sighted
by those on shore, for a great multitude of warriors had
congregated along the beach watching us. We came to
anchor as close in as we dared, which with our light
feluccas was within easy speaking-distance of the shore.
Ghak was there and his eyes were mighty wide, too;
for, as he told us later, though he knew this must be
Perry's fleet it was so wonderful to him that he could
not believe the testimony of his own eyes even while
he was watching it approach.
To give the proper effect to our meeting I com-
manded that each felucca fire twenty-one guns as a
salute to His Majesty Ghak, King of Sari. Some of the
gunners, in the exuberance of their enthusiasm, fired
solid shot; but fortunately they had sufficient good judg-
ment to train their pieces on the open sea, so no harm
was done. After this we landed--an arduous task since
each felucca carried but a single light dugout.
I learned from Ghak that the Thurian chieftain,
Goork, had been inclined to haughtiness, and had told
Ghak, the Hairy One, that he knew nothing of me and
cared less; but I imagine that the sight of the fleet and
the sound of the guns brought him to his senses, for it
was not long before he sent a deputation to me, inviting
me to visit him in his village. Here he apologized for
the treatment he had accorded me, very gladly swore
allegiance to the empire, and received in return the title
We remained in Thuria only long enough to arrange
the treaty with Goork, among the other details of which
was his promise to furnish the imperial army with a
thousand lidi, or Thurian beasts of burden, and drivers
for them. These were to accompany Ghak's army back
to Sari by land, while the fleet sailed to the mouth of the
great river from which Dian, Juag, and I had been
The voyage was uneventful. We found the river
easily, and sailed up it for many miles through as rich
and wonderful a plain as I have ever seen. At the head
of navigation we disembarked, leaving a sufficient guard
for the feluccas, and marched the remaining distance to
Ghak's army, which was composed of warriors of all
the original tribes of the federation, showing how suc-
cessful had been his efforts to rehabilitate the empire,
marched into Sari some time after we arrived. With
them were the thousand lidi from Thuria.
At a council of the kings it was decided that we should
at once commence the great war against the Mahars,
for these haughty reptiles presented the greatest obstacle
to human progress within Pellucidar. I laid out a plan
of campaign which met with the enthusiastic indorse-
ment of the kings. Pursuant to it, I at once despatched
fifty lidi to the fleet with orders to fetch fifty cannon to
Sari. I also ordered the fleet to proceed at once to
Anoroc, where they were to take aboard all the rifles
and ammunition that had been completed since their
departure, and with a full complement of men to sail
along the coast in an attempt to find a passage to the
inland sea near which lay the Mahars' buried city of
Ja was sure that a large and navigable river connected
the sea of Phutra with the Lural Az, and that, barring
accident, the fleet would be before Phutra as soon as the
land forces were.
At last the great army started upon its march. There
were warriors from every one of the federated kingdoms.
All were armed either with bow and arrows or muzzle-
loaders, for nearly the entire Mezop contingent had been
enlisted for this march, only sufficient having been left
aboard the feluccas to man them properly. I divided the
forces into divisions, regiments, battalions, companies,
and even to platoons and sections, appointing the full
complement of officers and noncommissioned officers. On
the long march I schooled them in their duties, and as
fast as one learned I sent him among the others as a
Each regiment was made up of about a thousand
bowmen, and to each was temporarily attached a com-
pany of Mezop musketeers and a battery of artillery--
the latter, our naval guns, mounted upon the broad
backs of the mighty lidi. There was also one full regi-
ment of Mezop musketeers and a regiment of primitive
spearmen. The rest of the lidi that we brought with us
were used for baggage animals and to transport our
women and children, for we had brought them with us,
as it was our intention to march from one Mahar city to
another until we had subdued every Mahar nation that
menaced the safety of any kingdom of the empire.
Before we reached the plain of Phutra we were dis-
covered by a company of Sagoths, who at first stood to
give battle; but upon seeing the vast numbers of our
army they turned and fled toward Phutra. The result
of this was that when we came in sight of the hundred
towers which mark the entrances to the buried city we
found a great army of Sagoths and Mahars lined up to
give us battle.
At a thousand yards we halted, and, placing our
artillery upon a slight eminence at either flank, we com-
menced to drop solid shot among them. Ja, who was
chief artillery officer, was in command of this branch of
the service, and he did some excellent work, for his
Mezop gunners had become rather proficient by this
time. The Sagoths couldn't stand much of this sort of
warfare, so they charged us, yelling like fiends. We let
them come quite close, and then the musketeers who
formed the first line opened up on them.
The slaughter was something frightful, but still the
remnants of them kept on coming until it was a matter
of hand-to-hand fighting. Here our spearmen were of
value, as were also the crude iron swords with which
most of the imperial warriors were armed.
We lost heavily in the encounter after the Sagoths
reached us; but they were absolutely exterminated--
not one remained even as a prisoner. The Mahars, seeing
how the battle was going, had hastened to the safety of
their buried city. When we had overcome their gorilla-
men we followed after them.
But here we were doomed to defeat, at least tempo-
rarily; for no sooner had the first of our troops descended
into the subterranean avenues than many of them came
stumbling and fighting their way back to the surface,
half-choked by the fumes of some deadly gas that the
reptiles had liberated upon them. We lost a number of
men here. Then I sent for Perry, who had remained
discreetly in the rear, and had him construct a little
affair that I had had in my mind against the possibility
of our meeting with a check at the entrances to the
Under my direction he stuffed one of his cannon full
of powder, small bullets, and pieces of stone, almost to
the muzzle. Then he plugged the muzzle tight with a
cone-shaped block of wood, hammered and jammed in
as tight as it could be. Next he inserted a long fuse. A
dozen men rolled the cannon to the top of the stairs
leading down into the city, first removing it from its
carriage. One of them then lit the fuse and the whole
thing was given a shove down the stairway, while the
detachment turned and scampered to a safe distance.
For what seemed a very long time nothing happened.
We had commenced to think that the fuse had been
put out while the piece was rolling down the stairway,
or that the Mahars had guessed its purpose and ex-
tinguished it themselves, when the ground about the
entrance rose suddenly into the air, to be followed by a
terrific explosion and a burst of smoke and flame that
shot high in company with dirt, stone, and fragments of
Perry had been working on two more of these giant
bombs as soon as the first was completed. Presently we
launched these into two of the other entrances. They
were all that were required, for almost immediately after
the third explosion a stream of Mahars broke from the
exits furthest from us, rose upon their wings, and soared
northward. A hundred men on lidi were despatched in
pursuit, each lidi carrying two riflemen in addition to its
driver. Guessing that the inland sea, which lay not far
north of Phutra, was their destination, I took a couple
of regiments and followed.
A low ridge intervenes between the Phutra plain
where the city lies, and the inland sea where the Ma-
hars were wont to disport themselves in the cool waters.
Not until we had topped this ridge did we get a view of
Then we beheld a scene that I shall never forget so
long as I may live.
Along the beach were lined up the troop of lidi, while
a hundred yards from shore the surface of the water was
black with the long snouts and cold, reptilian eyes of the
Mahars. Our savage Mezop riflemen, and the shorter,
squatter, white-skinned Thurian drivers, shading their
eyes with their hands, were gazing seaward beyond the
Mahars, whose eyes were fastened upon the same spot.
My heart leaped when I discovered that which was
chaining the attention of them all. Twenty graceful
feluccas were moving smoothly across the waters of the
sea toward the reptilian horde!
The sight must have filled the Mahars with awe and
consternation, for never had they seen the like of these
craft before. For a time they seemed unable to do aught
but gaze at the approaching fleet; but when the Mezops
opened on them with their muskets the reptiles swam
rapidly in the direction of the feluccas, evidently think-
ing that these would prove the easier to overcome. The
commander of the fleet permitted them to approach
within a hundred yards. Then he opened on them with
all the cannon that could be brought to bear, as well as
with the small arms of the sailors.
A great many of the reptiles were killed at the first
volley. They wavered for a moment, then dived; nor did
we see them again for a long time.
But finally they rose far out beyond the fleet, and
when the feluccas came about and pursued them they
left the water and flew away toward the north.
Following the fall of Phutra I visited Anoroc, where I
found the people busy in the shipyards and the factories
that Perry had established. I discovered something, too,
that he had not told me of--something that seemed
infinitely more promising than the powder-factory or the
arsenal. It was a young man poring over one of the books
I had brought back from the outer world! He was sitting
in the log cabin that Perry had had built to serve as his
sleeping quarters and office. So absorbed was he that he
did not notice our entrance. Perry saw the look of as-
tonishment in my eyes and smiled.
"I started teaching him the alphabet when we first
reached the prospector, and were taking out its con-
tents," be explained. "He was much mystified by the
books and anxious to know of what use they were. When
I explained he asked me to teach him to read, and so I
worked with him whenever I could. He is very in-
telligent and learns quickly. Before I left he had made
great progress, and as soon as he is qualified he is going
to teach others to read. It was mighty hard work getting
started, though, for everything had to be translated into
"It will take a long time to solve this problem, but I
think that by teaching a number of them to read and
write English we shall then be able more quickly to give
them a written language of their own."
And this was the nucleus about which we were to
build our great system of schools and colleges--this
almost naked red warrior, sitting in Perry's little cabin
upon the island of Anoroc, picking out words letter by
letter from a work on intensive farming. Now we have--
But I'll get to all that before I finish.
While we were at Anoroc I accompanied Ja in an
expedition to South Island, the southernmost of the three
largest which form the Anoroc group--Perry had given
it its name--where we made peace with the tribe there
that had for long been hostile toward Ja. They were now
glad enough to make friends with him and come into the
federation. From there we sailed with sixty-five feluccas
for distant Luana, the main island of the group where
dwell the hereditary enemies of Anoroc.
Twenty-five of the feluccas were of a new and larger
type than those with which Ja and Perry had sailed on
the occasion when they chanced to find and rescue
Dian and me. They were longer, carried much larger
sails, and were considerably swifter. Each carried four
guns instead of two, and these were so arranged that
one or more of them could be brought into action no
matter where the enemy lay.
The Luana group lies just beyond the range of vision
from the mainland. The largest island of it alone is
visible from Anoroc; but when we neared it we found
that it comprised many beautiful islands, and that they
were thickly populated. The Luanians had not, of course,
been ignorant of all that had been going on in the
domains of their nearest and dearest enemies. They
knew of our feluccas and our guns, for several of their
riding-parties had had a taste of both. But their principal
chief, an old man, had never seen either. So, when he
sighted us, he put out to overwhelm us, bringing with
him a fleet of about a hundred large war-canoes,
loaded to capacity with javelin-armed warriors. It was
pitiful, and I told Ja as much. It seemed a shame to
massacre these poor fellows if there was any way out of
To my surprise Ja felt much as I did. He said he had
always hated to war with other Mezops when there were
so many alien races to fight against. I suggested that
we hail the chief and request a parley; but when Ja
did so the old fool thought that we were afraid, and
with loud cries of exultation urged his warriors upon
So we opened up on them, but at my suggestion
centered our fire upon the chief's canoe. The result was
that in about thirty seconds there was nothing left of
that war dugout but a handful of splinters, while its crew
--those who were not killed--were struggling in the
water, battling with the myriad terrible creatures that
had risen to devour them.
We saved some of them, but the majority died just as
had Hooja and the crew of his canoe that time our
second shot capsized them.
Again we called to the remaining warriors to enter
into a parley with us; but the chief's son was there and
he would not, now that he had seen his father killed. He
was all for revenge. So we had to open up on the brave
fellows with all our guns; but it didn't last long at that,
for there chanced to be wiser heads among the Luanians
than their chief or his son had possessed. Presently, an
old warrior who commanded one of the dugouts sur-
rendered. After that they came in one by one until
all had laid their weapons upon our decks.
Then we called together upon the flag-ship all our
captains, to give the affair greater weight and dignity,
and all the principal men of Luana. We had conquered
them, and they expected either death or slavery; but
they deserved neither, and I told them so. It is always
my habit here in Pellucidar to impress upon these savage
people that mercy is as noble a quality as physical
bravery, and that next to the men who fight shoulder
to shoulder with one, we should honor the brave men
who fight against us, and if we are victorious, award
them both the mercy and honor that are their due.
By adhering to this policy I have won to the federa-
tion many great and noble peoples, who under the
ancient traditions of the inner world would have been
massacred or enslaved after we had conquered them;
and thus I won the Luanians. I gave them their freedom,
and returned their weapons to them after they had
sworn loyalty to me and friendship and peace with Ja,
and I made the old fellow, who had had the good sense
to surrender, king of Luana, for both the old chief and
his only son had died in the battle.
When I sailed away from Luana she was included
among the kingdoms of the empire, whose boundaries
were thus pushed eastward several hundred miles.
We now returned to Anoroc and thence to the main-
land, where I again took up the campaign against the
Mahars, marching from one great buried city to another
until we had passed far north of Amoz into a country
where I had never been. At each city we were vic-
torious, killing or capturing the Sagoths and driving the
Mahars further away.
I noticed that they always fled toward the north. The
Sagoth prisoners we usually found quite ready to trans-
fer their allegiance to us, for they are little more than
brutes, and when they found that we could fill their
stomachs and give them plenty of fighting, they were
nothing loath to march with us against the next Mahar
city and battle with men of their own race.
Thus we proceeded, swinging in a great half-circle
north and west and south again until we had come back
to the edge of the Lidi Plains north of Thuria. Here
we overcame the Mahar city that had ravaged the Land
of Awful Shadow for so many ages. When we marched
on to Thuria, Goork and his people went mad with joy
at the tidings we brought them.
During this long march of conquest we had passed
through seven countries, peopled by primitive human
tribes who had not yet heard of the federation, and
succeeded in joining them all to the empire. It was
noticeable that each of these peoples had a Mahar city
situated near by, which had drawn upon them for slaves
and human food for so many ages that not even in
legend had the population any folk-tale which did not in
some degree reflect an inherent terror of the reptilians.
In each of these countries I left an officer and warriors
to train them in military discipline, and prepare them
to receive the arms that I intended furnishing them as
rapidly as Perry's arsenal could turn them out, for we
felt that it would be a long, long time before we should
see the last of the Mahars. That they had flown north
but temporarily until we should be gone with our great
army and terrifying guns I was positive, and equally sure
was I that they would presently return.
The task of ridding Pellucidar of these hideous crea-
tures is one which in all probability will never be entirely
completed, for their great cities must abound by the
hundreds and thousands of the far-distant lands that no
subject of the empire has ever laid eyes upon.
But within the present boundaries of my domain
there are now none left that I know of, for I am sure
we should have heard indirectly of any great Mahar
city that had escaped us, although of course the imperial
army has by no means covered the vast area which I
After leaving Thuria we returned to Sari, where the
seat of government is located. Here, upon a vast, fertile
plateau, overlooking the great gulf that runs into the
continent from the Lural Az, we are building the great
city of Sari. Here we are erecting mills and factories.
Here we are teaching men and women the rudiments of
agriculture. Here Perry has built the first printing-press,
and a dozen young Sarians are teaching their fellows to
read and write the language of Pellucidar.
We have just laws and only a few of them. Our people
are happy because they are always working at some-
thing which they enjoy. There is no money, nor is any
money value placed upon any commodity. Perry and I
were as one in resolving that the root of all evil should
not be introduced into Pellucidar while we lived.
A man may exchange that which he produces for
something which he desires that another has produced;
but he cannot dispose of the thing he thus acquires. In
other words, a commodity ceases to have pecuniary
value the instant that it passes out of the hands of its
producer. All excess reverts to government; and, as this
represents the production of the people as a government,
government may dispose of it to other peoples in ex-
change for that which they produce. Thus we are es-
tablishing a trade between kingdoms, the profits from
which go to the betterment of the people--to building
factories for the manufacture of agricultural implements,
and machinery for the various trades we are gradually
teaching the people.
Already Anoroc and Luana are vying with one
another in the excellence of the ships they build. Each
has several large ship-yards. Anoroc makes gunpowder
and mines iron ore, and by means of their ships they
carry on a very lucrative trade with Thuria, Sari, and
Amoz. The Thurians breed lidi, which, having the
strength and intelligence of an elephant, make excellent
Around Sari and Amoz the men are domesticating the
great striped antelope, the meat of which is most de-
licious. I am sure that it will not be long before they
will have them broken to harness and saddle. The horses
of Pellucidar are far too diminutive for such uses, some
species of them being little larger than fox-terriers.
Dian and I live in a great palace overlooking the gulf.
There is no glass in our windows, for we have no win-
dows, the walls rising but a few feet above the floor-line,
the rest of the space being open to the ceilings; but we
have a roof to shade us from the perpetual noon-day
sun. Perry and I decided to set a style in architecture
that would not curse future generations with the white
plague, so we have plenty of ventilation. Those of the
people who prefer, still inhabit their caves, but many
are building houses similar to ours.
At Greenwich we have located a town and an ob-
servatory--though there is nothing to observe but the
stationary sun directly overhead. Upon the edge of the
Land of Awful Shadow is another observatory, from
which the time is flashed by wireless to every corner of
the empire twenty-four times a day. In addition to the
wireless, we have a small telephone system in Sari.
Everything is yet in the early stages of development;
but with the science of the outer-world twentieth
century to draw upon we are making rapid progress, and
with all the faults and errors of the outer world to guide
us clear of dangers, I think that it will not be long before
Pellucidar will become as nearly a Utopia as one may
expect to find this side of heaven.
Perry is away just now, laying out a railway-line from
Sari to Amoz. There are immense anthracite coal-fields
at the head of the gulf not far from Sari, and the railway
will tap these. Some of his students are working on a
locomotive now. It will be a strange sight to see an iron
horse puffing through the primeval jungles of the stone
age, while cave bears, saber-toothed tigers, mastodons
and the countless other terrible creatures of the past look
on from their tangled lairs in wide-eyed astonishment.
We are very happy, Dian and I, and I would not return
to the outer world for all the riches of all its princes. I
am content here. Even without my imperial powers and
honors I should be content, for have I not that greatest of
all treasures, the love of a good woman--my wondrous
empress, Dian the Beautiful?