Edgar Rice Burroughs
Part 4 out of 4
"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, primitive weapons.
"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 one another."
The old man looked at me in amazement. There was reproach in his
"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 began!"
"Amen!" said Perry.
And Dian, who was standing at my side, pressed my hand.
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 voyage.
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 of king.
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 blown.
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 Sari.
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 Phutra.
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 teacher.
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 underground city.
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
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 cannon.
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 the sea.
Then we beheld a scene that I shall never forget so long as I may
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
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," he 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 Pellucidarian.
"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
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
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
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
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 it.
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 us.
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
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
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
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
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 draft animals.
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
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
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?
I have made the following changes to the text:
PAGE LINE ORIGINAL CHANGED TO
27 33 sate state
32 11 least last
38 3 litte little
39 20 dispress- distress-
50 20 slides sides
54 16 enmy enemy
77 2 it if
80 24 Sidi Lidi
96 10 be bet
101 33 the the and the
107 15 Hoojas' Hooja's
117 4 come came
119 18 remarkably remarkable
149 25 take takes
151 6 Juang Juag
173 29 contined continued
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