Tarzan turned and kicked aside some of the brush which hid the pit. Instantly Tantor saw and understood.
Before him yawned the pit, how far he did not know, but to right and left lay the primeval jungle untouched by man.
Tarzan, standing upon the edge of the pit, smiled as he watched Tantor's undignified flight.
That was the word the yellow guardsman had whispered in my ear as I stood upon the verge of the Pit of Plenty.
Quick, guardsmen, to the pits with the black maniac who wishes to throw his life away for a poor joke upon your ruler!"
Day after day was the thing repeated, until I was on the verge of madness; and then, as I had done in the pits of the Warhoons, I took a new, firm hold upon my reason and forced it back into the channels of sanity.
When all was ready, this man, still taking his last hurried charges from his comrades and the surgeon after the windlass had begun to lower him, disappeared into the pit. The rope went out as before, the signal was made as before, and the windlass stopped.
'I ha' fell into th' pit, my dear, as have cost wi'in the knowledge o' old fok now livin, hundreds and hundreds o' men's lives - fathers, sons, brothers, dear to thousands an' thousands, an' keeping 'em fro' want and hunger.
Engines at pits' mouths, and lean old horses that had worn the circle of their daily labour into the ground, were alike quiet; wheels had ceased for a short space to turn; and the great wheel of earth seemed to revolve without the shocks and noises of another time.
This one, a young soldier, his face deadly pale, his shako pushed back, and his musket resting on the ground, still stood near the pit
at the spot from which he had fired.
He had not minded it when the Tarmangani squatted upon the verge of the pit
and looked down upon him, for had not this Tarmangani fed him?
"It took me but a short time to locate the plans of the pits of Helium among thy official papers.
"Of course, these openings which lead from contiguous pits to those beneath government buildings are always guarded, and so, while I easily came to the entrance to the pits beneath the palace which Zat Arras is occupying, I found there a Zodangan soldier on guard.
"We know not where we are, or the way from these pits; for I know not east from west; but he doubtless knows and if we are shrewd we may learn from him that which we would know.
Few come to the pits of the dead--only those who bang the dead and they hasten away as fast as they can.