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a hopeless endeavour

...so that again we raced north at terrific velocity. In the meantime Carthoris and Xodar with tools in hand were puttering with the great rent in the bow in a hopeless endeavour to stem the tide of escaping rays.
      It was still dark when we passed the northern boundary of the ice cap...

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Chapter 15, “The Eyes in the Dark,” in The Gods Of Mars (Chicago, 1918) : 213
(detailed) summary at wikipedia

25 April 2022