Tanar of Pellucidar


Edgar Rice Burroughs

AS PERRY neared the end of the story of Tanar of Pellucidar, the sending became weaker and weaker until it died out entirely, and Jason Gridley could hear no more.

He turned to me. “I think Perry had something more to say,” he said. “He was trying to tell us something. He was trying to ask something.”

“Jason,” I said, reproachfully, “didn’t you tell me that the story of the inner world is perfectly ridiculous; that there could be no such place peopled by strange reptiles and men of the stone age? Didn’t you insist that there is no Emperor of Pellucidar?”

“Tut-tut,” he said. “I apologize. I am sorry. But that is past. The question now is what can we do.”

“About what?” I asked.

“Do you not realize that David Innes lies a prisoner in a dark dungeon beneath the palace of The Cid of Korsar?” he demanded with more excitement than I have ever known Jason Gridley to exhibit.

“Well, what of it?” I demanded. “I am sorry, of course; but what in the world can we do to help him?”

“We can do a lot,” said Jason Gridley, determinedly.

I must confess that as I looked at him I felt considerable solicitude for the state of his mind for he was evidently laboring under great excitement.

“Think of it!” he cried. “Think of that poor devil buried there in utter darkness, silence, solitude—and with those snakes! God!” he shuddered. “Snakes crawling all over him, winding about his arms and his legs and his body, creeping across his face as he sleeps, and nothing else to break the monotony—no human voice, the song of no bird, no ray of sunlight. Something must be done. He must be saved.”

“But who is going to do it?” I asked.

“I am!” replied Jason Gridley.


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