Carson of Venus | Page 1 of 98

Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1095 Views | Add a Review

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Foreward

India is a world unto itself, apart in manners, customs, occultism from the world and life with which we are familiar. Even upon far Barsoom or Amtor might be found no more baffling mysteries than those which lie hidden in the secret places of the brains and lives of her people. We sometimes feel that what we do not understand must be bad; that is our heritage from the ignorance and superstition of the painted savages from which we are descended. Of the many good things that have come to us out of India I am concerned at present with but oneā€”the power which old Chand Kabi transmitted to the son of an English officer and his American wife to transmit his thoughts and visualizations to the mind of another at distances even as great as those which separate the planets. It is to this power we owe the fact that Carson Napier has been able to record, through me, the story of his adventures upon the planet Venus.

When he took off from Guadalupe Island in his giant rocket ship for Mars, I listened to the story of that epochal flight that ended, through an error in calculation, upon Venus. I followed his adventures there that started in the island kingdom of Vepaja where he fell desperately in love with Duare, the unattainable daughter of the king. I followed their wanderings across seas and land masses into the hostile city of Kapdor, and Kormor, the city of the dead, to glorious Havatoo, where Duare was condemned to death through a strange miscarriage of justice. I thrilled with excitement during their perilous escape in the aeroplane that Carson Napier had built at the request of the rulers of Havatoo. And always I suffered with Napier because of Duare's unalterable determination to look upon his love as an insult to the virgin daughter of the king of Vepaja. She repulsed him constantly because she was a princess, but in the end I rejoiced with him when she realized the truth and acknowledged that though she could not forget that she was a princess she had discovered that she was a woman first. That was immediately after they had escaped from Havatoo and were winging their way above the River of Death toward an unknown sea in seemingly hopeless search for Vepaja, where Duare's father, Mintep, ruled.

Months passed. I commenced to fear that Napier had crashed in his new ship, and then I began to have messages from him again which I shall record for the benefit of posterity as nearly in his own words as I can recall them.

Chapter 1 - Disaster

EVERYONE WHO has ever flown will recall the thrill of his first flight over familiar terrain, viewing the old scenes from a new angle that imparted a strangeness and a mystery to them as of a new world; but always there was the comforting knowledge that the airport was not too far away and that even in the event of a forced landing one would know pretty well where he was and how to get home.

But that dawn that Duare and I took off from Havatoo to the accompaniment of the staccato hum of Amtorian rifles, I was actually flying over an unknown world; and there was no landing field and no home. I believe that this was the happiest and most thrilling moment of my life. The woman I love had just told me that she loved me, I was once again at the controls of a ship, I was free, I was flying in safety above the innumerable menaces that haunt the Amtorian scene. Undoubtedly, other dangers lay ahead of us in our seemingly hopeless quest for Vepaja, but for the moment there was nothing to mar our happiness or arouse forebodings. At least, not in me. With Duare it may have been a little different. She may have had forebodings of disaster. It would not be strange if she had, for up until the very instant that we rose to top the walls of Havatoo she had had no conception that there might exist any contrivance in which man might leave the ground and fly through the air. It was naturally something of a shock to her; but she was very brave, and content, too, to accept my word that we were safe.

The ship was a model of perfection, such a ship as will one day be common along the airways of old Earth when science has progressed there as far as it has in Havatoo. Synthetic materials of extreme strength and lightness entered into her construction. The scientists of Havatoo assured me that she would have a life of at least fifty years without overhaul or repairs other than what might be required because of accident. The engine was noiseless and efficient beyond the dreams of Earth men. Fuel for the life of the ship was aboard; and it took up very little space, for it could all be held in the palm of one hand. This apparent miracle is scientifically simple of explanation. Our own scientists are aware of the fact that the energy released by combustion is only an infinitesimal fraction of that which might be generated by the total annihilation of a substance. In the case of coal it is as eighteen thousand millions are to one. The fuel for my engine consists of a substance known as lor, which contains an element called yor-san, as yet unknown to Earth men, and another element, vik-ro, the action of which upon yor-san results in absolute annihilation of the lor. Insofar as the operation of the ship was concerned, we might have flown on for fifty years, barring adverse weather conditions; but our weakness lay in the fact that we had no provisions. The precipitancy of our departure had precluded any possibility of provisioning the ship. We had escaped with our lives and what we had on, and that was all; but we were very happy. I didn't want to spoil it by questioning the future. But, really, we had a great many questions to ask of the future; and Duare presently raised one quite innocently enough.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"To look for Vepaja," I told her. "I am going to try to take you home."

She shook her head. "No, we can't go there.

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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