John Mars



Edgar Rice Burroughs
The first 5 Mars books with John Carter


A Princess of Mars The Gods of Mars The Warlords of Mars Thuvia, Maid of Mars The Chessmen of Mars The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: A Princess of Mars Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs Release Date: June 23, 2008 [EBook #62]

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Edgar Rice Burroughs


To My Son Jack

To the Reader of this Work: In submitting Captain Carter's strange manuscript to you in book form, I believe that a few words relative to this remarkable personality will be of interest.

My first recollection of Captain Carter is of the few months he spent at my father's home in Virginia, just prior to the opening of the civil war. I was then a child of but five years, yet I well remember the tall, dark, smooth-faced, athletic man whom I called Uncle Jack. He seemed always to be laughing; and he entered into the sports of the children with the same hearty good fellowship he displayed toward those pastimes in which the men and women of his own age indulged; or he would sit for an hour at a time entertaining my old grandmother with stories of his strange, wild life in all parts of the world. We all loved him, and our slaves fairly worshipped the ground he trod. He was a splendid specimen of manhood, standing a good two inches over six feet, broad of shoulder and narrow


of hip, with the carriage of the trained fighting man. His features were regular and clear cut, his hair black and closely cropped, while his eyes were of a steel gray, reflecting a strong and loyal character, filled with fire and initiative. His manners were perfect, and his courtliness was that of a typical southern gentleman of the highest type.


His horsemanship, especially after hounds, was a marvel and delight even in that country of magnificent horsemen. I have often heard my father caution him against his wild recklessness, but he would only laugh, and say that the tumble that killed him would be from the back of a horse yet unfoaled. When the war broke out he left us, nor did I see him again for some fifteen or sixteen years. When he returned it was without warning, and I was much

surprised to note that he had not aged apparently a moment, nor had he changed in any other outward way. He was, when others were with him, the same genial, happy fellow we had known of old, but when he thought himself alone I have seen him sit for hours gazing off into space, his face set in a look of wistful longing and hopeless misery; and at night he would sit thus looking up into the heavens, at what I did not know until I read his manuscript years afterward. He told us that he had been prospecting and mining in Arizona part of the time since the war; and that he had been very successful was evidenced by the unlimited amount of money with which he was supplied. As to the details of his life during these years he was very reticent, in fact he would not talk of them at all.


He remained with us for about a year and then went to New York, where he purchased a little place on the Hudson, where I visited him once a year on the occasions of my trips to the New York market--my father and I owning and operating a string of general stores throughout Virginia at that time. Captain Carter had a small but beautiful cottage, situated on a bluff overlooking the river, and during one of my last visits, in the winter of 1885, I observed he was much occupied in writing, I presume now, upon this manuscript.


He told me at this time that if anything should happen to him he wished me to take charge of his estate, and he gave me a key to a compartment in the safe which stood in his study, telling me I would find his will there and some personal instructions which he had me

pledge myself to carry out with absolute fidelity.


After I had retired for the night I have seen him from my window standing in the moonlight on the brink of the bluff overlooking the Hudson with his arms stretched out to the heavens as though in appeal. I thought at the time that he was praying, although I never understood that he was in the strict sense of the term a religious man. Several months after I had returned home from my last visit, the first of March, 1886, I think, I received a telegram from him asking me to come to him at once. I had always been his favorite among the younger generation of Carters and so I hastened to comply with his demand.

I arrived at the little station, about a mile from his grounds, on the morning of March 4, 1886, and when I asked the livery man to drive me out to Captain Carter's he replied that if I was a friend of the Captain's he had some very bad news for me; the Captain had been found dead shortly after daylight that very morning by the watchman attached to an adjoining property. For some reason this news did not surprise me, but I hurried out to his place as quickly as possible, so that I could take charge of the body and of his affairs. I found the watchman who had discovered him, together with the local police chief and several townspeople, assembled in his little study. The watchman related the few details connected with the finding of the body, which he


said had been still warm when he came upon it. It lay, he said, stretched full length in the snow with the arms outstretched above the head toward the edge of the bluff, and when he showed me the spot it flashed upon me that it was the identical one where I had seen him on those other nights, with his arms raised in supplication to the skies. There were no marks of violence on the body, and with the aid of a local physician the coroner's jury quickly reached a decision of death from heart failure. Left alone in the study, I opened the safe and withdrew the contents of the drawer in which he had told me I would find my instructions. They were in part peculiar indeed, but I have followed them to each last detail as faithfully as I was able.


He directed that I remove his body to Virginia without embalming, and that he be laid in an open coffin within a tomb which he previously had had constructed and which, as I later learned, was well ventilated. The instructions impressed upon me that I must personally see that this was carried out just as he directed, even in secrecy if necessary. His property was left in such a way that I was to receive the entire income for twenty-five years, when the principal was to become mine. His further instructions related to this manuscript which I was to retain sealed and unread, just as I found it, for eleven years; nor was I to divulge its contents until twenty-one years after his death. A strange feature about the tomb, where his body still lies, is that the massive door is equipped with a single,


huge gold-plated spring lock which can be opened _only from the inside_. Yours very sincerely, Edgar Rice Burroughs.



I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII XIII XIV On the Arizona Hills The Escape of the Dead My Advent on Mars A Prisoner I Elude My Watch Dog A Fight That Won Friends Child-Raising on Mars A Fair Captive from the Sky I Learn the Language Champion and Chief With Dejah Thoris A Prisoner with Power Love-Making on Mars A Duel to the Death



Sola Tells Me Her Story We Plan Escape A Costly Recapture Chained in Warhoon Battling in the Arena In the Atmosphere Factory An Air Scout for Zodanga I Find Dejah Lost in the Sky Tars Tarkas Finds a Friend The Looting of Zodanga Through Carnage to Joy From Joy to Death At the Arizona Cave



With my back against a golden throne, I fought once again for Dejah Thoris . . . . . Frontispiece I sought out Dejah Thoris in the throng of departing chariots. She drew upon the marble floor the first map of the Barsoomian territory I had ever seen. The old man sat and talked with me for hours.



I am a very old man; how old I do not know. Possibly I am a hundred, possibly more; but I cannot tell because I have never aged as other men, nor do I remember any childhood. So far as I can recollect I have always been a man, a man of about thirty. I appear today as I did forty years and more ago, and yet I feel that I cannot go on living forever; that some day I shall die the real death from which there is no resurrection. I do not know why I should fear death, I who have died twice and am still alive; but yet I have the same horror of it as you who have never died, and it is because of this terror of death, I believe, that I am so convinced of my mortality.

And because of this conviction I have determined to write down the story of the interesting periods of my life and of my death. I cannot explain the phenomena; I can only set down here in the words of an ordinary soldier of fortune a chronicle of the strange events that befell me during the ten years that my dead body lay undiscovered in an Arizona cave. I have never told this story, nor shall mortal man see this manuscript until after I have passed over for eternity. I know that the average human mind will not believe what it cannot grasp, and so I do not purpose being pilloried by the public, the pulpit, and the press, and held up as a colossal liar when I am but telling the simple truths which some day science will substantiate. Possibly the suggestions which I gained upon Mars, and the knowledge which I can set down


in this chronicle, will aid in an earlier understanding of the mysteries of our sister planet; mysteries to you, but no longer mysteries to me.


My name is John Carter; I am better known as Captain Jack Carter of Virginia. At the close of the Civil War I found myself possessed of several hundred thousand dollars (Confederate) and a captain's commission in the cavalry arm of an army which no longer existed; the servant of a state which had vanished with the hopes of the South. Masterless, penniless, and with my only means of livelihood, fighting, gone, I determined to work my way to the southwest and attempt to retrieve my fallen fortunes in a search for gold. I spent nearly a year prospecting in company with another Confederate officer, Captain James K. Powell of

Richmond. We were extremely fortunate, for late in the winter of 1865, after many hardships and privations, we located the most remarkable gold-bearing quartz vein that our wildest dreams had ever pictured. Powell, who was a mining engineer by education, stated that we had uncovered over a million dollars worth of ore in a trifle over three months.


As our equipment was crude in the extreme we decided that one of us must return to civilization, purchase the necessary machinery and return with a sufficient force of men properly to work the mine. As Powell was familiar with the country, as well as with the mechanical requirements of mining we determined that it would be best for him to make the trip. It was agreed that I was to hold down

our claim against the remote possibility of its being jumped by some wandering prospector.


On March 3, 1866, Powell and I packed his provisions on two of our burros, and bidding me good-bye he mounted his horse, and started down the mountainside toward the valley, across which led the first stage of his journey. The morning of Powell's departure was, like nearly all Arizona mornings, clear and beautiful; I could see him and his little pack animals picking their way down the mountainside toward the valley, and all during the morning I would catch occasional glimpses of them as they topped a hog back or came out upon a level plateau. My last sight of Powell was about three in the afternoon as he entered the shadows of the range on the opposite side of the valley.

Some half hour later I happened to glance casually across the valley and was much surprised to note three little dots in about the same place I had last seen my friend and his two pack animals. I am not given to needless worrying, but the more I tried to convince myself that all was well with Powell, and that the dots I had seen on his trail were antelope or wild horses, the less I was able to assure myself. Since we had entered the territory we had not seen a hostile Indian, and we had, therefore, become careless in the extreme, and were wont to ridicule the stories we had heard of the great numbers of these vicious marauders that were supposed to haunt the trails, taking their toll in lives and torture of every white party which fell into their merciless clutches.


Powell, I knew, was well armed and, further, an experienced Indian fighter; but I too had lived and fought for years among the Sioux in the North, and I knew that his chances were small against a party of cunning trailing Apaches. Finally I could endure the suspense no longer, and, arming myself with my two Colt revolvers and a carbine, I strapped two belts of cartridges about me and catching my saddle horse, started down the trail taken by Powell in the morning.


As soon as I reached comparatively level ground I urged my mount into a canter and continued this, where the going permitted, until, close upon dusk, I discovered the point where other tracks joined those of Powell. They were the tracks of unshod ponies, three of them, and the ponies had been galloping.

I followed rapidly until, darkness shutting down, I was forced to await the rising of the moon, and given an opportunity to speculate on the question of the wisdom of my chase. Possibly I had conjured up impossible dangers, like some nervous old housewife, and when I should catch up with Powell would get a good laugh for my pains. However, I am not prone to sensitiveness, and the following of a sense of duty, wherever it may lead, has always been a kind of fetich with me throughout my life; which may account for the honors bestowed upon me by three republics and the decorations and friendships of an old and powerful emperor and several lesser kings, in whose service my sword has been red many a time. About nine o'clock the moon was sufficiently bright for me to proceed on my way and I had no difficulty in following


the trail at a fast walk, and in some places at a brisk trot until, about midnight, I reached the water hole where Powell had expected to camp. I came upon the spot unexpectedly, finding it entirely deserted, with no signs of having been recently occupied as a camp. I was interested to note that the tracks of the pursuing horsemen, for such I was now convinced they must be, continued after Powell with only a brief stop at the hole for water; and always at the same rate of speed as his. I was positive now that the trailers were Apaches and that they wished to capture Powell alive for the fiendish pleasure of the torture, so I urged my horse onward at a most dangerous pace, hoping against hope that I would catch up with the red rascals before they attacked him.


Further speculation was suddenly cut short by the faint report of two shots far ahead of me. I knew that Powell would need me now if ever, and I instantly urged my horse to his topmost speed up the narrow and difficult mountain trail. I had forged ahead for perhaps a mile or more without hearing further sounds, when the trail suddenly debouched onto a small, open plateau near the summit of the pass. I had passed through a narrow, overhanging gorge just before entering suddenly upon this table land, and the sight which met my eyes filled me with consternation and dismay. The little stretch of level land was white with Indian tepees, and there were probably half a thousand red warriors clustered around some object near the center of the camp. Their attention was so wholly riveted to this point of interest


that they did not notice me, and I easily could have turned back into the dark recesses of the gorge and made my escape with perfect safety. The fact, however, that this thought did not occur to me until the following day removes any possible right to a claim to heroism to which the narration of this episode might possibly otherwise entitle me.


I do not believe that I am made of the stuff which constitutes heroes, because, in all of the hundreds of instances that my voluntary acts have placed me face to face with death, I cannot recall a single one where any alternative step to that I took occurred to me until many hours later. My mind is evidently so constituted that I am subconsciously forced into the path of duty without recourse to tiresome mental processes. However that may be, I have never regretted that cowardice is not optional with me.

In this instance I was, of course, positive that Powell was the center of attraction, but whether I thought or acted first I do not know, but within an instant from the moment the scene broke upon my view I had whipped out my revolvers and was charging down upon the entire army of warriors, shooting rapidly, and whooping at the top of my lungs. Singlehanded, I could not have pursued better tactics, for the red men, convinced by sudden surprise that not less than a regiment of regulars was upon them, turned and fled in every direction for their bows, arrows, and rifles.


The view which their hurried routing disclosed filled me with apprehension and with rage. Under the clear rays of the Arizona moon lay Powell, his body fairly bristling with the hostile arrows of the braves. That he was already dead I could not but be convinced, and yet I

would have saved his body from mutilation at the hands of the Apaches as quickly as I would have saved the man himself from death.


Riding close to him I reached down from the saddle, and grasping his cartridge belt drew him up across the withers of my mount. A backward glance convinced me that to return by the way I had come would be more hazardous than to continue across the plateau, so, putting spurs to my poor beast, I made a dash for the opening to the pass which I could distinguish on the far side of the table land. The Indians had by this time discovered that I was alone and I was pursued with imprecations, arrows, and rifle balls. The fact that it is difficult to aim anything but imprecations accurately by moonlight, that they were upset by the

sudden and unexpected manner of my advent, and that I was a rather rapidly moving target saved me from the various deadly projectiles of the enemy and permitted me to reach the shadows of the surrounding peaks before an orderly pursuit could be organized.


My horse was traveling practically unguided as I knew that I had probably less knowledge of the exact location of the trail to the pass than he, and thus it happened that he entered a defile which led to the summit of the range and not to the pass which I had hoped would carry me to the valley and to safety. It is probable, however, that to this fact I owe my life and the remarkable experiences and adventures which befell me during the following ten years. My first knowledge that I was on the wrong trail came when I heard the yells

of the pursuing savages suddenly grow fainter and fainter far off to my left.


I knew then that they had passed to the left of the jagged rock formation at the edge of the plateau, to the right of which my horse had borne me and the body of Powell. I drew rein on a little level promontory overlooking the trail below and to my left, and saw the party of pursuing savages disappearing around the point of a neighboring peak. I knew the Indians would soon discover that they were on the wrong trail and that the search for me would be renewed in the right direction as soon as they located my tracks. I had gone but a short distance further when what seemed to be an excellent trail opened up around the face of a

high cliff. The trail was level and quite broad and led upward and in the general direction I wished to go. The cliff arose for several hundred feet on my right, and on my left was an equal and nearly perpendicular drop to the bottom of a rocky ravine. I had followed this trail for perhaps a hundred yards when a sharp turn to the right brought me to the mouth of a large cave. The opening was about four feet in height and three to four feet wide, and at this opening the trail ended. It was now morning, and, with the customary lack of dawn which is a startling characteristic of Arizona, it had become daylight almost without warning. Dismounting, I laid Powell upon the ground, but the most painstaking examination failed to reveal the faintest spark


of life. I forced water from my canteen between his dead lips, bathed his face and rubbed his hands, working over him continuously for the better part of an hour in the face of the fact that I knew him to be dead. I was very fond of Powell; he was thoroughly a man in every respect; a polished southern gentleman; a staunch and true friend; and it was with a feeling of the deepest grief that I finally gave up my crude endeavors at resuscitation. Leaving Powell's body where it lay on the ledge I crept into the cave to reconnoiter. I found a large chamber, possibly a hundred feet in diameter and thirty or forty feet in height; a smooth and wellworn floor, and many other evidences that the cave had, at some remote period, been inhabited. The back of the cave was so lost in dense shadow that I could


not distinguish whether there were openings into other apartments or not.


As I was continuing my examination I commenced to feel a pleasant drowsiness creeping over me which I attributed to the fatigue of my long and strenuous ride, and the reaction from the excitement of the fight and the pursuit. I felt comparatively safe in my present location as I knew that one man could defend the trail to the cave against an army. I soon became so drowsy that I could scarcely resist the strong desire to throw myself on the floor of the cave for a few moments' rest, but I knew that this would never do, as it would mean certain death at the hands of my red friends, who might be upon me at any moment. With an effort I started toward the opening of the cave only to reel

drunkenly against a side wall, and from there slip prone upon the floor.


A sense of delicious dreaminess overcame me, my muscles relaxed, and I was on the point of giving way to my desire to sleep when the sound of approaching horses reached my ears. I attempted to spring to my feet but was horrified to discover that my muscles refused to respond to my will. I was now thoroughly awake, but as unable to move a muscle as though turned to stone. It was then, for the first time, that I noticed a slight vapor filling the

cave. It was extremely tenuous and only noticeable against the opening which led to daylight. There also came to my nostrils a faintly pungent odor, and I could only assume that I had been overcome by some poisonous gas, but why I should retain my mental faculties and yet be unable to move I could not fathom.


I lay facing the opening of the cave and where I could see the short stretch of trail which lay between the cave and the turn of the cliff around which the trail led. The noise of the approaching horses had ceased, and I judged the Indians were creeping stealthily upon me along the little ledge which led to my living tomb. I remember that I hoped they would make short work of me as I did not particularly relish the thought of the innumerable things they might do to me if the spirit prompted them.

I had not long to wait before a stealthy sound apprised me of their nearness, and then a war-bonneted, paintstreaked face was thrust cautiously around the shoulder of the cliff, and savage eyes looked into mine. That he could see me in the dim light of the cave I was sure for the early morning sun was falling full upon me through the opening.


The fellow, instead of approaching, merely stood and stared; his eyes bulging and his jaw dropped. And then another savage face appeared, and a third and fourth and fifth, craning their necks over the shoulders of their fellows whom they could not pass upon the narrow ledge. Each face was the picture of awe and fear, but for what reason I did not know, nor did I learn until ten years later. That there were still other braves behind those who regarded me was

apparent from the fact that the leaders passed back whispered word to those behind them.


Suddenly a low but distinct moaning sound issued from the recesses of the cave behind me, and, as it reached the ears of the Indians, they turned and fled in terror, panic-stricken. So frantic were their efforts to escape from the unseen thing behind me that one of the braves was hurled headlong from the cliff to the rocks below. Their wild cries echoed in the canyon for a short time, and then all was still once more. The sound which had frightened them was not repeated, but it had been sufficient as it was to start me speculating on the possible horror which lurked in the shadows at my back. Fear is a relative term and so I can only measure my feelings at that time by what I had

experienced in previous positions of danger and by those that I have passed through since; but I can say without shame that if the sensations I endured during the next few minutes were fear, then may God help the coward, for cowardice is of a surety its own punishment.


To be held paralyzed, with one's back toward some horrible and unknown danger from the very sound of which the ferocious Apache warriors turn in wild stampede, as a flock of sheep would madly flee from a pack of wolves, seems to me the last word in fearsome predicaments for a man who had ever been used to fighting for his life with all the energy of a powerful physique. Several times I thought I heard faint sounds behind me as of somebody moving cautiously, but eventually even these ceased, and I was left to the

contemplation of my position without interruption. I could but vaguely conjecture the cause of my paralysis, and my only hope lay in that it might pass off as suddenly as it had fallen upon me.


Late in the afternoon my horse, which had been standing with dragging rein before the cave, started slowly down the trail, evidently in search of food and water, and I was left alone with my mysterious unknown companion and the dead body of my friend, which lay just within my range of vision upon the ledge where I had placed it in the early morning. From then until possibly midnight all was silence, the silence of the dead; then, suddenly, the awful moan of the morning broke upon my startled ears, and there came again from the black shadows the sound of a moving thing,

and a faint rustling as of dead leaves. The shock to my already overstrained nervous system was terrible in the extreme, and with a superhuman effort I strove to break my awful bonds. It was an effort of the mind, of the will, of the nerves; not muscular, for I could not move even so much as my little finger, but none the less mighty for all that. And then something gave, there was a momentary feeling of nausea, a sharp click as of the snapping of a steel wire, and I stood with my back against the wall of the cave facing my unknown foe. And then the moonlight flooded the cave, and there before me lay my own body as it had been lying all these hours, with the eyes staring toward the open ledge and the hands resting limply upon the ground. I looked first at my lifeless clay there upon the floor of the cave and then down at myself in utter


bewilderment; for there I lay clothed, and yet here I stood but naked as at the minute of my birth.


The transition had been so sudden and so unexpected that it left me for a moment forgetful of aught else than my strange metamorphosis. My first thought was, is this then death! Have I indeed passed over forever into that other life! But I could not well believe this, as I could feel my heart pounding against my ribs from the exertion of my efforts to release myself from the anaesthesis which had held me. My breath was coming in quick, short gasps, cold sweat stood out from every pore of my body, and the ancient experiment of pinching revealed the fact that I was anything other than a wraith. Again was I suddenly recalled to my immediate surroundings by a repetition of

the weird moan from the depths of the cave. Naked and unarmed as I was, I had no desire to face the unseen thing which menaced me.


My revolvers were strapped to my lifeless body which, for some unfathomable reason, I could not bring myself to touch. My carbine was in its boot, strapped to my saddle, and as my horse had wandered off I was left without means of defense. My only alternative seemed to lie in flight and my decision was crystallized by a recurrence of the rustling sound from the thing which now seemed, in the darkness of the cave and to my distorted imagination, to be creeping stealthily upon me. Unable longer to resist the temptation to escape this horrible place I leaped quickly through the opening into the starlight of a clear Arizona night. The

crisp, fresh mountain air outside the cave acted as an immediate tonic and I felt new life and new courage coursing through me. Pausing upon the brink of the ledge I upbraided myself for what now seemed to me wholly unwarranted apprehension. I reasoned with myself that I had lain helpless for many hours within the cave, yet nothing had molested me, and my better judgment, when permitted the direction of clear and logical reasoning, convinced me that the noises I had heard must have resulted from purely natural and harmless causes; probably the conformation of the cave was such that a slight breeze had caused the sounds I heard. I decided to investigate, but first I lifted my head to fill my lungs with the pure, invigorating night air of the mountains. As I did so I saw stretching far below me the beautiful vista of rocky gorge,


and level, cacti-studded flat, wrought by the moonlight into a miracle of soft splendor and wondrous enchantment. Few western wonders are more inspiring than the beauties of an Arizona moonlit landscape; the silvered mountains in the distance, the strange lights and shadows upon hog back and arroyo, and the grotesque details of the stiff, yet beautiful cacti form a picture at once enchanting and inspiring; as though one were catching for the first time a glimpse of some dead and forgotten world, so different is it from the aspect of any other spot upon our earth. As I stood thus meditating, I turned my gaze from the landscape to the heavens where the myriad stars formed a gorgeous and fitting canopy for the wonders of the earthly scene. My attention was quickly riveted by a large red star


close to the distant horizon. As I gazed upon it I felt a spell of overpowering fascination--it was Mars, the god of war, and for me, the fighting man, it had always held the power of irresistible enchantment. As I gazed at it on that fargone night it seemed to call across the unthinkable void, to lure me to it, to draw me as the lodestone attracts a particle of iron. My longing was beyond the power of opposition; I closed my eyes, stretched out my arms toward the god of my vocation and felt myself drawn with the suddenness of thought through the trackless immensity of space. There was an instant of extreme cold and utter darkness.




I opened my eyes upon a strange and weird landscape. I knew that I was on Mars; not once did I question either my sanity or my wakefulness. I was not asleep, no need for pinching here; my inner consciousness told me as plainly that I was upon Mars as your conscious mind tells you that you are upon Earth. You do not question the fact; neither did I. I found myself lying prone upon a bed of yellowish, mosslike vegetation which stretched around me in all directions for interminable miles. I seemed to be lying in a deep, circular basin, along the outer verge of which I could distinguish the irregularities of low hills.

It was midday, the sun was shining full upon me and the heat of it was rather intense upon my naked body, yet no greater than would have been true under similar conditions on an Arizona desert. Here and there were slight outcroppings of quartz-bearing rock which glistened in the sunlight; and a little to my left, perhaps a hundred yards, appeared a low, walled enclosure about four feet in height. No water, and no other vegetation than the moss was in evidence, and as I was somewhat thirsty I determined to do a little exploring. Springing to my feet I received my first Martian surprise, for the effort, which on Earth would have brought me standing upright, carried me into the Martian air to the height of about three yards. I alighted softly upon the ground, however, without appreciable shock or jar. Now commenced a series of


evolutions which even then seemed ludicrous in the extreme. I found that I must learn to walk all over again, as the muscular exertion which carried me easily and safely upon Earth played strange antics with me upon Mars. Instead of progressing in a sane and dignified manner, my attempts to walk resulted in a variety of hops which took me clear of the ground a couple of feet at each step and landed me sprawling upon my face or back at the end of each second or third hop. My muscles, perfectly attuned and accustomed to the force of gravity on Earth, played the mischief with me in attempting for the first time to cope with the lesser gravitation and lower air pressure on Mars. I was determined, however, to explore the low structure which was the only evidence of habitation in sight, and so I


hit upon the unique plan of reverting to first principles in locomotion, creeping. I did fairly well at this and in a few moments had reached the low, encircling wall of the enclosure.


There appeared to be no doors or windows upon the side nearest me, but as the wall was but about four feet high I cautiously gained my feet and peered over the top upon the strangest sight it had ever been given me to see. The roof of the enclosure was of solid glass about four or five inches in thickness, and beneath this were several hundred large eggs, perfectly round and snowy white. The eggs were nearly uniform in size being about two and onehalf feet in diameter. Five or six had already hatched and the grotesque caricatures which sat blinking

in the sunlight were enough to cause me to doubt my sanity. They seemed mostly head, with little scrawny bodies, long necks and six legs, or, as I afterward learned, two legs and two arms, with an intermediary pair of limbs which could be used at will either as arms or legs. Their eyes were set at the extreme sides of their heads a trifle above the center and protruded in such a manner that they could be directed either forward or back and also independently of each other, thus permitting this queer animal to look in any direction, or in two directions at once, without the necessity of turning the head.


The ears, which were slightly above the eyes and closer together, were small, cup-shaped antennae, protruding not more than an inch on these young specimens. Their noses were but

53/2610 There was no hair on their bodies. as are the teeth. The whiteness of the teeth is not that of ivory.longitudinal slits in the center of their faces. These latter add a most ferocious appearance to an otherwise fearsome and terrible countenance. The iris of the eyes is blood red. Further. while the pupil is dark. which were of a very light yellowish-green color. as I was to learn quite soon. midway between their mouths and ears. In the adults. as in Albinos. the heads of the adults are not so out of proportion to their bodies as in the case of the young. The eyeball itself is very white. but of the . as the lower tusks curve upward to sharp points which end about where the eyes of earthly human beings are located. this color deepens to an olive green and is darker in the male than in the female.

for I was given but little time to speculate on the wonders of my new discovery. which covers practically the entire surface of Mars with the exception of the frozen areas at the poles and the scattered cultivated districts. making these weapons present a singularly formidable appearance. Coming. over the soft and soundless moss. Against the dark background of their olive skins their tusks stand out in a most striking manner. they might have captured me easily. I had seen that the eggs were in the process of hatching.snowiest and most gleaming of china. Most of these details I noted later. and as I stood watching the hideous little monsters break from their shells I failed to note the approach of a score of full-grown Martians from behind me. but 54/2610 . as they did.

It was the rattling of the accouterments of the foremost warrior which warned me. was the point of that huge spear. But how puny and harmless they now looked beside this huge and terrific . Had not the rifle of the leader of the party swung from its fastenings beside his saddle in such a way as to strike against the butt of his great metal-shod spear I should have snuffed out without ever knowing that death was near me. a spear forty feet long. not ten feet from my breast. 55/2610 On such a little thing my life hung that I often marvel that I escaped so easily. and held low at the side of a mounted replica of the little devils I had been watching.their intentions were far more sinister. and there upon me. But the little sound caused me to turn. tipped with gleaming metal.

was fully fifteen feet in height and. the thing he rode having neither bridle or reins of any description for guidance. 56/2610 And his mount! How can earthly words describe it! It towered ten feet at the shoulder. larger at the tip than at the root. his two left arms were outstretched laterally to help preserve his balance. and which it held straight out behind while running. . while the hands of his two right arms held his immense spear low at the side of his mount. a broad flat tail. He sat his mount as we sit a horse. grasping the animal's barrel with his lower limbs. massive neck. of vengeance and of death. on Earth. would have weighed some four hundred pounds. The man himself. for such I may call him. a gaping mouth which split its head from its snout to its long. had four legs on either side.incarnation of hate.

similar in all respects. and. in common with a multiplicity of legs. which fact had also contributed to the noiselessness of their approach. The feet themselves were heavily padded and nailless. and its legs shaded from the slate of its shoulders and hips to a vivid yellow at the feet. it was entirely devoid of hair. the only mammal existing on Mars. but was of a dark slate color and exceeding smooth and glossy. but. bearing individual characteristics peculiar to themselves. as I learned later. alone have well-formed nails. is a characteristic feature of the fauna of Mars. precisely as no two of us are identical although we are all cast in a similar 57/2610 . and there are absolutely no hoofed animals in existence there. The highest type of man and one other animal. Behind this first charging demon trailed nineteen others.Like its master. Its belly was white.

made but one terrible and swift impression on me as I turned to meet it. which I have described at length. the first law of nature manifested itself in the only possible solution of my immediate problem.mold. for it carried me fully thirty feet into the air and landed me a hundred feet from . or rather materialized nightmare. This picture. and that was to get out of the vicinity of the point of the charging spear. My effort was crowned with a success which appalled me no less than it seemed to surprise the Martian warriors. 58/2610 Unarmed and naked as I was. for such I had determined it must be. Consequently I gave a very earthly and at the same time superhuman leap to reach the top of the Martian incubator.

and the others were evidently satisfying themselves that I had not molested their young. 59/2610 I alighted upon the soft moss easily and without mishap. and gesticulating and pointing toward me. must have caused them to look upon me with less ferocity. . as I was to learn later. the thing which weighed most in my favor was my exhibition of pursuers and on the opposite side of the enclosure. They were conversing together in low tones. but. and turning saw my enemies lined up along the further wall. Some were surveying me with expressions which I afterward discovered marked extreme astonishment. Their discovery that I had not harmed the little Martians. and that I was unarmed.

and from desiring to annihilate me they suddenly looked upon me as a wonderful discovery to be captured and exhibited among their fellows. their bones are very large and they are muscled only in proportion to the gravitation which they must overcome. in proportion to their weight. The result is that they are infinitely less agile and less powerful. in fact. My feat then was as marvelous upon Mars as it would have been upon Earth. than an Earth man. and I doubt that were one of them suddenly to be transported to Earth he could lift his own weight from the ground. I am convinced that he could not do so.While the Martians are immense. The respite my unexpected agility had given me permitted me to formulate plans for the immediate future and to note more closely the appearance of the 60/2610 .

warriors. The weapon which caused me to decide against an attempt at escape by flight was what was evidently a rifle of some description. The metal of the barrel is an alloy composed principally of aluminum and steel which they have learned to temper to a . had been pursuing me. and which I felt. which I learned later was a very light and intensely hard growth much prized on Mars. 61/2610 I noted that each was armed with several other weapons in addition to the huge spear which I have described. and entirely unknown to us denizens of Earth. for I could not disassociate these people in my mind from those other warriors who. they were peculiarly efficient in handling. for some reason. These rifles were of a white metal stocked with wood. only the day before.

62/2610 . This is quite far enough to imbue me with great respect for the Martian firearm. radium projectiles which they use. The weight of these rifles is comparatively little. and with the small caliber.hardness far exceeding that of the steel with which we are familiar. and the great length of the barrel. The theoretic effective radius of this rifle is three hundred miles. and some telepathic force must have warned me against an attempt to escape in broad daylight from under the muzzles of twenty of these death-dealing machines. explosive. but the best they can do in actual service when equipped with their wireless finders and sighters is but a trifle over two hundred miles. they are deadly in the extreme and at ranges which would be unthinkable on Earth.

entirely unarmed and as naked as I. and turning their mounts toward us sat watching the warrior by the enclosure. and was evidently the leader of the band. after conversing for a short time. threw down his spear and small arms. as I had noted that they seemed to have moved to their present position at his direction. When they had covered perhaps two hundred yards they halted. and breast.The Martians. turned and rode away in the direction from which they had come. When his force had come to a halt he dismounted. limbs. He was the one whose spear had so nearly transfixed me. 63/2610 . except for the ornaments strapped upon his head. leaving one of their number alone by the enclosure. and came around the end of the incubator toward me.

He then stopped as though waiting for my reply. it is needless to say. then. I could not understand. resonant voice. so why not.When he was within about fifty feet of me he unclasped an enormous metal armlet. 64/2610 As the silence became painful I concluded to hazard a little conversation on my own part. and holding it toward me in the open palm of his hand. pricking up his antennae-like ears and cocking his strange-looking eyes still further toward me. The throwing down of his weapons and the withdrawing of his troop before his advance toward me would have signified a peaceful mission anywhere on Earth. on Mars! . but in a language. as I had guessed that he was making overtures of peace. addressed me in a clear.

and locking one of his intermediary arms in mine we turned and walked back toward his mount. but he understood the action with which I immediately followed my words. I advanced and took the armlet from his open palm. At the same time he motioned his followers to advance. They started toward us on a wild run. but were 65/2610 . smiled at him and stood waiting.Placing my hand over my heart I bowed low to the Martian and explained to him that while I did not understand his language. clasping it about my arm above the elbow. his actions spoke for the peace and friendship that at the present moment were most dear to my heart. Of course I might have been a babbling brook for all the intelligence my speech carried to him. Stretching my hand toward him. His wide mouth spread into an answering smile.

where I hung on as best I could by the belts and straps which held the Martian's weapons and ornaments. The entire cavalcade then turned and galloped away toward the range of hills in the distance. motioned to me that I would ride behind one of them. and then mounted his own animal. 66/2610 He exchanged a few words with his men. The fellow designated reached down two or three hands and lifted me up behind him on the glossy back of his mount. Evidently he feared that were I to be really frightened again I might jump entirely out of the landscape. .checked by a signal from him.

Toward this we galloped. in the bottom of which my encounter with the Martians had taken place. at the far extremity of which was a low table land upon which I beheld an enormous city. In a short time we gained the foot of the mountains. We were.CHAPTER IV A PRISONER 67/2610 We had gone perhaps ten miles when the ground began to rise very rapidly. as I was later to learn. but only to the edge of the table . entering it by what appeared to be a ruined roadway leading out from the city. nearing the edge of one of Mars' long-dead seas. and after traversing a narrow gorge came to an open valley.

68/2610 Upon closer observation I saw as we passed them that the buildings were deserted. The women varied in appearance but little from the in some instances curving nearly to their high-set . and upon this and in the buildings immediately surrounding it were camped some nine or ten hundred creatures of the same breed as my captors. for such I now considered them despite the suave manner in which I had been trapped. With the exception of their ornaments all were naked. except that their tusks were much larger in proportion to their height. where it ended abruptly in a flight of broad steps. Toward the center of the city was a large plaza. and while not greatly decayed had the appearance of not having been tenanted for years. possibly for ages.

at about the age of one thousand years. until. which were entirely lacking among the males. nor is there any appreciable difference in their appearance from the age of maturity. Their bodies were smaller and lighter in color. or would be . older. and their fingers and toes bore the rudiments of nails. I presumed. I saw no signs of extreme age among them. The adult females ranged in height from ten to twelve feet. which leads no living Martian knows whither and from whose bosom no Martian has ever returned.ears. 69/2610 The children were light in color. even lighter than the women. they go voluntarily upon their last strange pilgrimage down the river Iss. except that some were taller than others. about forty. and all looked precisely alike to me.

in aviation and in war. The other nine hundred and seventy-nine die violent deaths in duels. Owing to the waning resources of the planet it evidently became necessary to counteract the increasing longevity . The average life expectancy of a Martian after the age of maturity is about three hundred years.allowed to live did he return after once embarking upon its cold. in hunting. but perhaps by far the greatest death loss comes during the age of childhood. dark waters. but would be nearer the one-thousand mark were it not for the various means leading to violent death. 70/2610 Only about one Martian in a thousand dies of sickness or disease. when vast numbers of the little Martians fall victims to the great white apes of Mars. and possibly about twenty take the voluntary pilgrimage.

but nothing contributes so greatly to this end as the fact that no male or female Martian is ever voluntarily without a weapon of destruction. and so human life has come to be considered but lightly on Mars.which their remarkable skill in therapeutics and surgery produced. There are other and natural causes tending toward a diminution of population. as is evidenced by their dangerous sports and the almost continual warfare between the various communities. and we proceeded at a trot across the plaza to the entrance of as . 71/2610 As we neared the plaza and my presence was discovered we were immediately surrounded by hundreds of the creatures who seemed anxious to pluck me from my seat behind my guard. A word from the leader of the party stilled their clamor.

but covered an enormous area.magnificent an edifice as mortal eye has rested upon. were assembled about forty or fifty male Martians around the steps of a rostrum. There was no stairway. but a gentle incline to the first floor of the building opened into an enormous chamber encircled by galleries. It was constructed of gleaming white marble inlaid with gold and brilliant stones which sparkled and scintillated in the sunlight. On the platform proper squatted an enormous warrior heavily loaded with metal ornaments. The main entrance was some hundred feet in width and projected from the building proper to form a huge canopy above the entrance hall. which was dotted with highly carved wooden desks and chairs. On the floor of this chamber. 72/2610 The building was low. gay- .

then.colored feathers and beautifully wrought leather trappings ingeniously set with precious stones. What struck me as most remarkable about this assemblage and the hall in which they were congregated was the fact that the creatures were entirely out of proportion to the desks. these being of a size adapted to human beings such as I. and other furnishings. whereas the great bulks of the Martians could scarcely have squeezed into the chairs. From his shoulders depended a short cape of white fur lined with brilliant scarlet silk. Evidently. but the evidences of extreme antiquity which showed all around me indicated that these buildings might have belonged to 73/2610 . nor was there room beneath the desks for their long legs. chairs. there were other denizens on Mars than the wild and grotesque creatures into whose hands I had fallen.

There were few formalities observed in approaching the Martian chieftain. the others making way for him as he advanced. The chieftain rose to his feet and uttered the name of my escort who. Again locking his arm in mine. and at a sign from the leader I had been lowered to the ground. Had the men been . this ceremony and the words they uttered meant nothing to me. but later I came to know that this was the customary greeting between green Martians. My captor merely strode up to the rostrum. we had proceeded into the audience chamber.some long-extinct and forgotten race in the dim antiquity of Mars. 74/2610 Our party had halted at the entrance to the building. in turn. halted and repeated the name of the ruler followed by his title. At the time.

and the similar occurrence during my first . or have fought out their introduction with some other of their various weapons. but I noticed that when I smiled slightly on concluding. and when he had concluded the chieftain addressed me at some length. he did likewise. 75/2610 My captor. This fact. I replied in our good old English tongue merely to convince him that neither of us could understand the other.strangers. including my capture. He evidently explained briefly the incidents connected with his expedition. had their missions been peaceful--otherwise they would have exchanged shots. and a man of great ability as a statesman and warrior. was virtually the vice-chieftain of the community. whose name was Tars Tarkas. they would have silently exchanged ornaments. and therefore unable to exchange names.

and that the Martian laugh is a thing to cause strong men to blanch in horror. therefore to laugh. feeling my muscles and the texture of my skin. The . while their chief form of commonest amusement is to inflict death on their prisoners of war in various ingenious and horrible ways. The death agonies of a fellow being with Tars Tarkas. But I was to learn that the Martian smile is merely perfunctory. The assembled warriors and chieftains examined me closely. convinced me that we had at least something in common. to these strange creatures provocative of the wildest hilarity. denoting a sense of humor. the ability to smile. 76/2610 The ideas of humor among the green men of Mars are widely at variance with our conceptions of incitants to merriment.

. he started with Tars Tarkas for the open plaza. I had made no attempt to walk. After bruising myself severely.principal chieftain then evidently signified a desire to see me perform. but this did not suit them and I was roughly jerked to my feet by a towering fellow who had laughed most heartily at my misfortunes. As he banged me down upon my feet his face was bent close to mine and I did the only thing a gentleman might do under the circumstances of brutality. motioning me to follow. I again had recourse to creeping. much to the amusement of the Martians. 77/2610 Now. since my first signal failure. and so now I went skipping and flitting about among the desks and chairs like some monstrous grasshopper. except while tightly grasping Tars Tarkas' arm. and.

I did not recognize the applause as such. As he sunk to the floor I wheeled around with my back toward the nearest desk. at first struck dumb with wonderment. as the other Martians. nor did any of his mates 78/2610 . however. I learned that I had won what they seldom accord. when I had become acquainted with their customs.boorishness. I swung my fist squarely to his jaw and he went down like a felled ox. expecting to be overwhelmed by the vengeance of his fellows. but later. finally broke into wild peals of laughter and applause. The fellow whom I had struck lay where he had fallen. but determined to give them as good a battle as the unequal odds would permit before I gave up my life. a manifestation of approbation. and lack of consideration for a stranger's rights. My fears were groundless.

holding out one of his arms. but I was not long in being enlightened.approach him. but landed squarely upon my feet without falling. know the reason for which we had come to the open. and we thus proceeded to the plaza without further mishap. They first repeated the word "sak" a number of times. lose my equilibrium. turning to me. 79/2610 My exhibition had been witnessed by several hundred lesser Martians. I did not. then. of course. nor did I this time. and then Tars Tarkas made several jumps. he said. I then returned by easy jumps of twenty-five or thirty feet to the little group of warriors. and gathering myself together I "sakked" with such marvelous success that I cleared a good hundred and fifty feet. Tars Tarkas advanced toward me. "sak!" I saw what they were after. repeating the same word before each leap. and .

80/2610 Tars Tarkas and the chief exchanged a few words." and each time they were made I motioned to my mouth and rubbed my stomach. but I was both hungry and thirsty. which the chieftain then ordered me to make. I grasped her proffered arm and together we crossed the plaza toward a large building on the far side.they immediately broke into demands for a repetition. gave her some instructions and motioned me to accompany her. . and the former. I therefore ignored the repeated commands to "sak. calling to a young female among the throng. and determined on the spot that my only method of salvation was to demand the consideration from these creatures which they evidently would not voluntarily accord.

and which. and she belonged to the retinue of Tars Tarkas. glossy hide. was Sola. having just arrived at maturity.My fair companion was about eight feet tall. Her name. but upon all there seemed to rest that indefinable touch of the finger of antiquity which convinced me that the architects and builders of these wondrous creations had nothing in common with the crude half-brutes which now occupied them. from the litter of silks and furs upon the floor. She conducted me to a spacious chamber in one of the buildings fronting on the plaza. but not yet to her full height. She was of a light olive-green color. with a smooth. 81/2610 . as I afterward learned. The room was well lighted by a number of large windows and was beautifully decorated with mural paintings and mosaics. I took to be the sleeping quarters of several of the natives.

made a peculiar hissing sound. and squatted down before the girl like an obedient puppy. but its head bore a slight resemblance to that of a frog. It waddled in on its ten short legs. 82/2610 . sharp tusks. except that the jaws were equipped with three rows of long. turning. The thing was about the size of a Shetland pony. as though signaling to someone in an adjoining room. and.Sola motioned me to be seated upon a pile of silks near the center of the room. In response to her call I obtained my first sight of a new Martian wonder.

and lay down full length across the threshold. twice . muttered a word or two of command. This was my first experience with a Martian watch dog. for this fellow guarded me carefully during the time I remained a captive among these green men. crossed the room to the only exit which led to the street. I could not but wonder what this ferocious-looking monstrosity might do when left alone in such close proximity to such a relatively tender morsel of meat. pointed to me. but it was destined not to be my last. and left the chamber. as the beast.CHAPTER V I ELUDE MY WATCH DOG 83/2610 Sola stared into the brute's wicked-looking eyes. but my fears were groundless. after surveying me intently for a moment.

so perfect the technique. yet nowhere was there a representation of a living animal. The mural painting depicted scenes of rare and wonderful beauty.saving my life. so subtle the atmosphere. While Sola was away I took occasion to examine more minutely the room in which I found myself captive. sun-kissed gardens-scenes which might have portrayed earthly views but for the different colorings of the vegetation. either human or brute. winding roadways. rivers. trees and flowers. and never voluntarily being away from me a moment. The work had evidently been wrought by a master hand. ocean. by which I could guess at the likeness of these other and perhaps extinct denizens of Mars. mountains. lake. While I was allowing my fancy to run riot in wild conjecture on the possible 84/2610 . meadow.

the moisture of the air. It came.explanation of the strange anomalies which I had so far met with on Mars. though slightly acid. Sola returned bearing both food and drink. but seems to distill its plentiful supply of milk from the products of the soil. and the rays of the sun. These she placed on the floor beside me. 85/2610 . A single plant of this species will give eight or ten quarts of milk per day. and I learned in a short time to prize it very highly. as I later discovered. It was not unpleasant to the taste. while the liquid was apparently milk from some animal. and seating herself a short ways off regarded me intently. as there is only one mammal on Mars and that one very rare indeed. but from a large plant which grows practically without water. not from an animal. The food consisted of about a pound of some solid substance of the consistency of cheese and almost tasteless.

and I was very cold. I must have slept several hours. This girl alone. Suddenly a hand reached out and pulled the fur over me. disclosed characteristics of sympathy. and her solicitous care saved me from much suffering and many hardships. as it was dark when I awoke. shortly afterwards adding another to my covering. I presumed that my watchful guardian was Sola. and affection. among all the green Martians with whom I came in contact. nor was I wrong. 86/2610 . but feeling the need of rest I stretched out upon the silks and was soon asleep. her ministrations to my bodily wants were unfailing. but it had become partially dislodged and in the darkness I could not see to replace it. I noticed that someone had thrown a fur over me. kindliness.After I had eaten I was greatly invigorated.

if both of the moons are in the heavens at night the surface of the ground is brightly illuminated. the nearer moon being but about five thousand miles distant. and as there is practically no twilight or dawn. while the further is but little more than fourteen thousand miles away. Both of Mars' moons are vastly nearer her than is our moon to Earth. or. the Martian nights are extremely cold. as are the transitions from brilliant daylight to darkness. The nights are either brilliantly illumined or very dark. the changes in temperature are sudden and most uncomfortable. the very thin atmosphere. rather. fails to diffuse the starlight to any great extent. on the other hand. for if neither of the two moons of Mars happen to be in the sky almost total darkness results. since the lack of atmosphere. against the nearly one-quarter 87/2610 .As I was to learn.

for the green men of Mars. a kind of candle. revealing all her phases during each transit of the heavens. The nearer moon of Mars makes a complete revolution around the planet in a little over seven and one-half hours. have but crude means for artificial lighting. 88/2610 The further moon revolves about Mars in something over thirty and one-quarter hours. and with her sister satellite makes a nocturnal Martian scene one of splendid and weird grandeur.million miles which separate us from our moon. and a peculiar . depending principally upon torches. so that she may be seen hurtling through the sky like some huge meteor two or three times each night. being a nomadic race without high intellectual development. And it is well that nature has so graciously and abundantly lighted the Martian night.

five in number. 89/2610 This last device produces an intensely brilliant far-reaching white light. were all females. and whose hatred for manual labor has kept them in a semi-barbaric state for countless ages. Across the threshold lay stretched the sleepless guardian brute. but as the natural oil which it requires can only be obtained by mining in one of several widely separated and remote localities it is seldom used by these creatures whose only thought is for today. . After Sola had replenished my coverings I again slept. and they were still sleeping.oil lamp which generates a gas and burns without a wick. The other occupants of the room. nor did I awaken until daylight. piled high with a motley array of silks and furs. just as I had last seen him on the preceding day.

Slowly and carefully. only to see that my watcher did . I felt fairly secure in my belief that I could escape him should he pursue me once I was outside the building. for I had begun to take great pride in my ability as a jumper. I could see from the shortness of his legs that the brute himself was no jumper and probably no runner. 90/2610 I have ever been prone to seek adventure and to investigate and experiment where wiser men would have left well enough alone. his eyes were fairly glued upon me. therefore.apparently he had not moved a muscle. It therefore now occurred to me that the surest way of learning the exact attitude of this beast toward me would be to attempt to leave the room. and I fell to wondering just what might befall me should I endeavor to escape. I gained my feet. Furthermore.

He wheeled instantly and charged me with the most appalling 91/2610 . As I neared the brute he backed cautiously away from me. and when almost upon him sprang into the air. He then fell in behind me and followed about ten paces in my rear as I made my way along the deserted street. uttering strange sounds and baring his ugly and ferocious tusks. and when I had reached the open he moved to one side to let me pass.the same. I rushed toward him. Thinking to have some amusement at his expense. cautiously I advanced toward him. I thought. finding that by moving with a shuffling gait I could retain my balance as well as make reasonably rapid progress. alighting far beyond him and away from the city. but when we reached the edge of the city he suddenly sprang before me. Evidently his mission was to protect me only.

and ferocity is used in hunting. and as he came tearing after me I jumped for a window about thirty feet from the ground in the face of one of the buildings overlooking the valley. loyalty. I had thought his short legs a bar to swiftness. and I was able to reach the city quite a bit ahead of him. in war. this is the fleetest animal on Mars. and so I met his charge by doubling in my tracks and leaping over him as he was almost upon me.speed I had ever beheld. This maneuver gave me a considerable advantage. but had he been coursing with greyhounds the latter would have appeared as though asleep on a door mat. . and as the protector of the Martian man. 92/2610 I quickly saw that I would have difficulty in escaping the fangs of the beast on a straightaway course. and owing to its intelligence. As I was to learn.

and gazed down at the baffled animal beneath me. and beheld standing over me a colossal ape-like creature. Here I was thrown upon my back. however.Grasping the sill I pulled myself up to a sitting posture without looking into the building. white and hairless except for an enormous shock of bristly hair upon its head. for scarcely had I gained a secure seat upon the sill than a huge hand grasped me by the neck from behind and dragged me violently into the room. My exultation was short-lived. 93/2610 .

The creatures were about ten or fifteen feet tall.CHAPTER VI A FIGHT FRIENDS THAT 94/2610 WON The thing. Their eyes were close together and non-protruding. This other. standing erect. and had. an intermediary set of arms or legs. bearing a mighty stone cudgel with which it evidently intended to brain me. their . soon came toward us. which more nearly resembled our earthly men than it did the Martians I had seen. like the green Martians. held me pinioned to the ground with one huge foot. which was evidently its mate. midway between their upper and lower limbs. while it jabbered and gesticulated at some answering creature behind me.

while their snouts and teeth were strikingly like those of our African gorilla. but more laterally located than those of the Martians. which was nothing less than my faithful watch-thing.ears were high set. but its mate closed in a terrific death struggle with my preserver. Altogether they were not unlovely when viewed in comparison with the green Martians. I cannot bring myself to call so hideous a creature a dog. As quickly as possible I gained my feet and backing against the wall I witnessed . With a shriek of fear the ape which held me leaped through the open window. 95/2610 The cudgel was swinging in the arc which ended upon my upturned face when a bolt of myriad-legged horror hurled itself through the doorway full upon the breast of my executioner.

which was held in the vise-like grip of the powerful jaws.such a battle as it is vouchsafed few beings to see. Back and forth upon the floor they rolled. having sunk his mighty fangs far into the breast of his adversary. and blind ferocity of these two creatures is approached by nothing known to earthly man. had locked the throat of my guardian and slowly were choking out his life. neither one emitting a sound of fear or pain. and bending back his head and neck upon his body. The strength. where I momentarily expected the former to fall limp at the end of a broken neck. backed by muscles far transcending those of the Martian men I had seen. agility. Presently I 96/2610 . In accomplishing this the ape was tearing away the entire front of its breast. My beast had an advantage in his first hold. but the great arms and paws of the ape.

The ape's mate.saw the great eyes of my beast bulging completely from their sockets and blood flowing from its nostrils. and swinging it with all the power of my earthly arms I crashed it full upon the head of the ape. recovered from its first shock of terror. which had fallen to the floor at the commencement of the battle. had returned to the scene of the encounter by way of the interior of the building. but so also was the ape. I seized the cudgel. That he was weakening perceptibly was evident. 97/2610 Suddenly I came to myself and. Scarcely had the blow descended when I was confronted with a new danger. whose struggles were growing momentarily less. I glimpsed him . with that strange instinct which seems ever to prompt me to my duty. crushing his skull as though it had been an eggshell.

just before he reached the doorway and the sight of him. at least there was a chance for safety in flight. so far as I might be concerned. filled me. seemed sudden death. with dire forebodings. 98/2610 I am ever willing to stand and fight when the odds are not too overwhelmingly against me. in the extremity of his rage. and frothing at the mouth. but in this instance I perceived neither glory nor profit in pitting my relatively puny strength against the iron muscles and brutal ferocity of this enraged denizen of an unknown world. in fact. I was standing near the window and I knew that once in the street I might gain the plaza and safety before the creature could overtake me. now roaring as he perceived his lifeless fellow stretched upon the floor. the only outcome of such an encounter. I must confess. .

against almost certain death should I remain and fight however desperately. 99/2610 It is true I held the cudgel. but my eyes alighting on the form of my erstwhile guardian threw all thoughts of flight to the four winds. on second thought. In the instant that these thoughts passed through my mind I had turned to make for the window. but what could I do with it against his four great arms? Even should I break one of them with my first blow. he could reach out and annihilate me with the others before I could recover for a second attack. nor could I. his great eyes fastened upon me in what seemed a pitiful appeal for protection. He lay gasping upon the floor of the chamber. for I figured that he would attempt to ward off the cudgel. I could not withstand that look. have deserted my .

The effect was marvelous. therefore. he . as on the preceding day. so I merely threw it as heavily as I could at his advancing bulk. for.rescuer without giving as good an account of myself in his behalf as he had in mine. He was now too close upon me for the cudgel to prove of any effective assistance. I turned to meet the charge of the infuriated bull ape. and so throwing him off his balance that he lunged full upon me with arms wide stretched to ease his fall. Again. and swinging my right fist full upon the point of his chin I followed it with a smashing left to the pit of his stomach. 100/2610 Without more ado. as I lightly sidestepped. eliciting a howl of pain and rage. It struck him just below the knees. I had recourse to earthly tactics. after delivering the second blow.

As they had approached the limits of the city they had witnessed the actions of the bull ape as he bolted into the building. and she had quickly informed Tars Tarkas.reeled and fell upon the floor doubled up with pain and gasping for wind. Leaping over his prostrate body. for the second time. turning. the recipient of their zealously guarded applause. who had set out immediately with a handful of warriors to search for me. and three or four warriors standing in the doorway of the chamber. As my eyes met theirs I was. frothing with rage. 101/2610 My absence had been noted by Sola on her awakening. I seized the cudgel and finished the monster before he could regain his feet. and. Sola. . As I delivered the blow a low laugh rang out behind me. I beheld Tars Tarkas.

was 102/2610 . She. This encounter. was the only one of the Martians whose face had not been twisted in laughter as I battled for my life. thinking it barely possible that his actions might prove a clew to my whereabouts and had witnessed my short but decisive battle with him. these people fairly worship physical prowess and bravery. together with my set-to with the Martian warrior on the previous day and my feats of jumping placed me upon a high pinnacle in their regard. Sola. or affection. on the contrary.They had followed immediately behind him. and nothing is too good for the object of their adoration as long as he maintains his position by repeated examples of his skill. strength. love. Evidently devoid of all the finer sentiments of friendship. who had accompanied the searching party of her own volition. and courage.

had rescued. started toward the door of the chamber. as soon as I had finished the monster. who. but remembering my ignorance of his language turned back to Tars Tarkas. and whose life I. and. There seemed something menacing in their attitude toward my beast. gave some command to the fellow and turned to follow us from the room. taking my hand. and I . They seemed to be deep in argument. 103/2610 Tars Tarkas and the other warriors had entered and were standing over the now rapidly reviving brute which had saved my life. with a word and gesture. and finally one of them addressed me.sober with apparent solicitude and. rushed to me and carefully examined my body for possible wounds or injuries. Satisfying herself that I had come off unscathed she smiled quietly. in turn.

they could not understand. The looks of surprise which my actions elicited from the Martians were ludicrous. but the latter signed that I be left to my own devices. such attributes as gratitude and compassion. except in a feeble and childish way. The bullet striking the wooden casing of the window exploded. and so we returned to the plaza with my 104/2610 .hesitated to leave until I had learned the outcome. The warrior whose gun I had struck up looked enquiringly at Tars Tarkas. blowing a hole completely through the wood and masonry. I then knelt down beside the fearsomelooking thing. It was well I did so. for the warrior drew an evil looking pistol from its holster and was on the point of putting an end to the creature when I sprang forward and struck up his arm. and raising it to its feet motioned for it to follow me.

and a dumb brute which. more loyalty. as I later came to know. 105/2610 I had at least two friends on Mars. and Sola grasping me tightly by the arm. CHAPTER VII CHILD-RAISING ON MARS After a breakfast.great beast following close at heel. a young woman who watched over me with motherly solicitude. which was an exact replica of the meal of the preceding day . held in its poor ugly carcass more love. more gratitude than could have been found in the entire five million green Martians who rove the deserted cities and dead sea bottoms of Mars.

with jewels and silks and furs. any one of which. might easily have drawn the entire wagon train when fully loaded. each drawn by a single animal. Sola escorted me to the plaza. and gorgeously decorated. The chariots themselves were large. In each was seated a female Martian loaded with ornaments of metal. There were about two hundred and fifty of these vehicles. where I found the entire community engaged in watching or helping at the harnessing of huge mastodonian animals to great three-wheeled chariots.and an index of practically every meal which followed while I was with the green men of Mars. commodious. from their appearance. the heavier 106/2610 . and upon the back of each of the beasts which drew the chariots was perched a young Martian driver. Like the animals upon which the warriors were mounted.

As the cavalcade took up the line of march in single file. but were guided entirely by telepathic means. 107/2610 This power is wonderfully developed in all Martians.draft animals wore neither bit nor bridle. It is the universal language of Mars. and accounts largely for the simplicity of their language and the relatively few spoken words exchanged even in long conversations. depending upon the intellectual sphere of the species and the development of the individual. Sola dragged me into an empty chariot and we proceeded with the procession toward the point by which I had entered the city the day before. At the head of the caravan rode . through the medium of which the higher and lower animals of this world of paradoxes are able to communicate to a greater or less extent.

five abreast. and at the tail of each chariot trotted a Martian hound.some two hundred warriors. in fact. women. and. 108/2610 . and down into the dead sea bottom which I had traversed on my journey from the incubator to the plaza. my own beast following closely behind ours. and a like number brought up the rear. The incubator. we were soon within sight of our goal. Every one but myself--men. was the terminal point of our journey this day. as the entire cavalcade broke into a mad gallop as soon as we reached the level expanse of sea bottom. as it proved. the faithful creature never left me voluntarily during the entire ten years I spent on Mars. Our way led out across the little valley before the city. while twenty-five or thirty outriders flanked us on either side. and children--were heavily armed. through the hills.

I had by this time mastered the intricacies of walking under Martian conditions. as nearly as I can translate it into English. Lorquas Ptomel. calling to Sola. and quickly responding to his command I advanced to the side of the incubator where the warriors stood. headed by the enormous chieftain. jed being his title.On reaching it the chariots were parked with military precision on the four sides of the enclosure. . Tars Tarkas signed for her to send me to him. as. 109/2610 I was soon appraised of the subject of their conversation. I could see Tars Tarkas explaining something to the principal chieftain. and including Tars Tarkas and several other lesser chiefs. whose name. dismounted and advanced toward it. and half a score of warriors. was. Jed. by the way.

the incubator being fairly alive with the hideous little devils. as I must confess that my prowess gave me no little satisfaction. They paid no further attention to me and I was thus permitted to remain close and watch . and turning to his warriors gave a few words of command relative to the incubator. They ranged in height from three to four feet. Tars Tarkas pointed over the incubator and said. As I returned. leaping entirely over the parked chariots on the far side of the incubator. and were moving restlessly about the enclosure as though searching for food. I responded quickly. 110/2610 As I came to a halt before him. Lorquas Ptomel grunted something at me.As I reached their side a glance showed me that all but a very few eggs had hatched. "Sak." I saw that he wanted me to repeat my performance of yesterday for the edification of Lorquas Ptomel. and.

and so on until all the little fellows had left the enclosure and been appropriated by some youth or female. the last in the line capturing the first little one to reach the end of the gauntlet. being permitted to run the full length of the aisle.their operations. where they were captured one at a time by the women and older children. 111/2610 On either side of this opening the women and the younger Martians. Between these walls the little Martians scampered. formed two solid walls leading out through the chariots and quite away into the plain beyond. As the women caught the young they fell out of line and returned to their . her opposite in the line capturing the second. wild as deer. which consisted in breaking an opening in the wall of the incubator large enough to permit of the exit of the young Martians. both male and female.

. who. they are the common children of the community.respective chariots. Entirely unknown to their mothers. the period of incubation. they step forth into the world perfectly developed except in size. 112/2610 I saw that the ceremony. if it could be dignified by such a name. while those who fell into the hands of the young men were later turned over to some of the women. Coming from eggs in which they have lain for five years. in turn. was over. green Martians consists solely in teaching them to talk. and seeking out Sola I found her in our chariot with a hideous little creature held tightly in her arms. would have difficulty in pointing out the fathers with any degree of accuracy. The work of rearing young. and to use the weapons of warfare with which they are loaded down from the very first year of their lives.

who had not commenced to lay. until less than a year before she became the mother of another woman's offspring. they know not the meaning of the word home. as was the case with Sola. From birth they know no father or mother love. But this counts for little among the green Martians. they are taught that they are only suffered to live until they can demonstrate by their physique and ferocity that they are fit to .and their education devolves upon the females who chance to capture them as they leave the incubator. as parental and filial love is as unknown to them as it is common among us. 113/2610 Their foster mothers may not even have had an egg in the incubator. I believe this horrible system which has been carried on for ages is the direct cause of the loss of all the finer feelings and higher humanitarian instincts among these poor creatures.

114/2610 . Should they prove deformed or defective in any way they are promptly shot. and with almost supernatural foresight they regulate the birth rate to merely offset the loss by the natural resources of which have dwindled to a point where the support of each additional life means an added tax upon the community into which it is thrown. I do not mean that the adult Martians are unnecessarily or intentionally cruel to the young. but theirs is a hard and pitiless struggle for existence upon a dying planet. By careful selection they rear only the hardiest specimens of each species. nor do they see a tear shed for a single one of the many cruel hardships they pass through from earliest infancy.

and specific gravity tests are hidden in the recesses of some subterranean vault where the temperature is too low for incubation. weight. If the remaining eggs ever hatched we knew nothing of the fate of the little Martians. all but about one per cent of the eggs hatching in two days. These are then placed in the almost air-tight incubators to be hatched by the sun's rays after a period of another five years. and those which meet the size. The hatching which we had witnessed today was a fairly representative event of its kind. and all but about one hundred of the most perfect are destroyed out of each yearly supply. At the end of five years about five hundred almost perfect eggs have been chosen from the thousands brought forth. Every year these eggs are carefully examined by a council of twenty chieftains. 115/2610 .Each adult Martian female brings forth about thirteen eggs each year.

The result of such a catastrophe would mean no children in the community for another five years. They roamed an enormous tract of arid and semi-arid land between forty and eighty degrees south . 116/2610 The incubators are built in remote fastnesses.They were not wanted. The community of which the green Martians with whom my lot was cast formed a part was composed of some thirty thousand souls. I was later to witness the results of the discovery of an alien incubator. almost to an hour. where there is little or no likelihood of their being discovered by other tribes. as their offspring might inherit and transmit the tendency to prolonged incubation. and thus upset the system which has maintained for ages and which permits the adult Martians to figure the proper time for return to the incubators.

On the day following our return all the warriors had ridden forth early in the morning and had not returned until just before darkness fell. 117/2610 After our return to the dead city I passed several days in comparative idleness. and bounded on the east and west by two large fertile tracts. which they had then walled . knew nothing. Their headquarters lay in the southwest corner of this district. As the incubator had been placed far north of their own territory in a supposedly uninhabited and unfrequented area. As I later learned. of course. concerning which I. near the crossing of two of the so-called Martian canals.latitude. they had been to the subterranean vaults in which the eggs were kept and had transported them to the incubator. we had before us a tremendous journey.

up for another five years. . in all probability. Why they did not arrange to build their vaults and incubators nearer home has always been a mystery to me. like many other Martian mysteries. as she was compelled to care for the young Martian as well as for me. Sola's duties were now doubled. 118/2610 The vaults which hid the eggs until they were ready for the incubator were located many miles south of the incubator. would not be visited again during that period. and would be visited yearly by the council of twenty chieftains. Sola took it upon herself to train us together. and. and which. unsolved and unsolvable by earthly reasoning and customs. and as we were both about equally advanced in Martian education. but neither one of us required much attention.

is extremely simple. The Martian language. very strong and physically perfect. under Sola's tutelage. he learned quickly. at least I did. and we had considerable amusement. as I have said. but later I was very glad of it. What surprised Sola most in me was that while I could catch telepathic messages easily from others. also. as it gave me an undoubted advantage over the Martians.Her prize consisted in a male about four feet tall. and often when they were not intended for me. no one could read a jot from my mind under any circumstances. 119/2610 . At first this vexed me. I developed my telepathic powers so that I shortly could sense practically everything that went on around me. Likewise. over the keen rivalry we displayed. and in a week I could make all my wants known and understand nearly everything that was said to me.

As though trained for years in this particular evolution. until.120/2610 CHAPTER VIII A FAIR CAPTIVE FROM THE SKY The third day after the incubator ceremony we set forth toward home. . mastodons and mounted warriors was nowhere to be seen. in less than three minutes. the green Martians melted like mist into the spacious doorways of the nearby buildings. the entire cavalcade of chariots. but scarcely had the head of the procession debouched into the open ground before the city than orders were given for an immediate and hasty return.

and gray-painted. and upon the prow of each was painted some odd device that gleamed in the sunlight and showed plainly even at the distance at which we were from 121/2610 .Sola and I had entered a building upon the front of the city. sailed slowly and majestically toward us. and another. long. until twenty of them. Each carried a strange banner swung from stem to stern above the upper works. swinging low above the ground. low. swung slowly over the crest of the nearest hill. wishing to see what had caused the sudden retreat. the same one in which I had had my encounter with the apes. and another. and. in fact. and there I saw the cause of their sudden scurrying to cover. I mounted to an upper floor and peered from the window out over the valley and the hills beyond. A huge craft. Following it came another.

at the same time moving parallel to our front for a short distance and then turning back with the evident intention of completing a great circle which would bring her up to position once more opposite our firing line. Whether they had discovered us or simply were looking at the deserted city I could not say.the vessels. the other vessels followed in her . 122/2610 Instantly the scene changed as by magic. I could see figures crowding the forward decks and upper works of the air craft. but in any event they received a rude reception. and bringing her guns into play returned our fire. for suddenly and without warning the green Martian warriors fired a terrific volley from the windows of the buildings facing the little valley across which the great ships were so peacefully advancing. the foremost vessel swung broadside toward us.

It seems that each green warrior has certain objective points for his fire under 123/2610 . The fire from the vessels was most ineffectual. to the unexpected suddenness of the first volley. owing. each one opening upon us as she swung into position. and it seemed as though a little figure on one of the craft dropped at the explosion of each bullet. Our own fire never diminished. It had never been given me to see such deadly accuracy of aim. which caught the ship's crews entirely unprepared and the sighting apparatus of the guns unprotected from the deadly aim of our warriors. while the banners and upper works dissolved in spurts of flame as the irresistible projectiles of our warriors mowed through them.wake. as I afterward learned. and I doubt if twenty-five per cent of our shots went wild.

Several of the craft were limping perceptibly. Our warriors then rushed up to the roofs 124/2610 . others pick off the gunners. while certain other quotas concentrate their attention upon the other members of the crew. still others the officers. another detail attends to the smaller guns in the same way. always the best marksmen. a proportion of them. Their fire had ceased entirely and all their energies seemed focused upon escape. and seemed but barely under the control of their depleted crews. direct their fire entirely upon the wireless finding and sighting apparatus of the big guns of an attacking naval force. and upon the steering gear and propellers.relatively identical circumstances of warfare. upon the upper works. For example. Twenty minutes after the first volley the great fleet swung trailing off in the direction from which it had first appeared.

and. as not a moving figure was visible upon her decks. far from being in a position to inflict harm upon us. however. the ships managed to dip below the crests of the outlying hills until only one barely moving craft was in sight. she could not even control herself sufficiently to escape. One by one. circling back toward us in an erratic and pitiful manner. Slowly she swung from her course. As she neared the city the warriors rushed out upon the plain to meet her. Instantly the warriors ceased firing.of the buildings which we occupied and followed the retreating armada with a continuous fusillade of deadly fire. but it was evident that she still was too 125/2610 . This had received the brunt of our fire and seemed to be entirely unmanned. for it was quite apparent that the vessel was entirely helpless.

dismount and enter the building she seemed destined to touch. although I could not make out what manner of creatures they might be. It soon became evident that she would strike the face of the buildings about a mile south of our position. . and as I watched the progress of the chase I saw a number of warriors gallop ahead. Not a sign of life was manifest upon her as she drifted slowly with the light breeze in a southeasterly direction. From my vantage point in the window I could see the bodies of her crew strewn about.high for them to hope to reach her decks. or of reinforcements. followed by all but some hundred of the warriors who had been ordered back to the roofs to cover the possibility of a return of the fleet. 126/2610 She was drifting some fifty feet above the ground.

. 127/2610 After making her fast. they swarmed the sides and searched the vessel from stem to stern. the Martian warriors swarmed upon her from the windows. and in a few moments they had thrown out grappling hooks and the big boat was being hauled to ground by their fellows below. and with their great spears eased the shock of the collision. I could see them examining the dead sailors.As the craft neared the building. and just before she struck. The creature was considerably less than half as tall as the green Martian warriors. and presently a party of them appeared from below dragging a little figure among them. and from my balcony I could see that it walked erect upon two legs and surmised that it was some new and strange Martian monstrosity with which I had not as yet become acquainted. evidently for signs of life.

This operation required several hours. the first I had seen since my advent upon Mars. during which time a number of the chariots were requisitioned to transport the loot. and a quantity of solid foods and liquids. A few of them then boarded her and were busily engaged in what appeared. jewels. ammunition. from my distant position. After the last load had been removed the warriors made lines fast to the craft and towed her far out into the valley in a southwesterly direction. strangely carved stone vessels. silks.They removed their prisoner to the ground and then commenced a systematic rifling of the vessel. including many casks of water. furs. as the emptying of the contents of various carboys upon the dead bodies of the sailors and over the decks and works of the vessel. which consisted in arms. 128/2610 .

Ascending to the roof of the building I watched her for hours. her decks and upper works a mass of roaring flames. rising higher and higher as the flames ate away her wooden parts and diminished the weight upon her. Scarcely had he alighted than the guy ropes were simultaneous released. soared majestically into the air. they hastily clambered over her sides.This operation concluded. waiting an instant to note the outcome of his act. 129/2610 Slowly she drifted to the southeast. As a faint spurt of flame rose from the point where the missile struck he swung over the side and was quickly upon the ground. until finally she was lost in the . sliding down the guy ropes to the ground. The last warrior to leave the deck turned and threw something back upon the vessel. and the great warship. lightened by the removal of the loot.

typifying the life story of these strange and ferocious creatures into whose unfriendly hands fate had carried it. to me. a derelict of death and destruction. creatures. though unfriendly. drifting unguided and unmanned through the lonely wastes of the Martian heavens. and. I could not fathom the seeming hallucination.dim vistas of the distance. The scene I had witnessed seemed to mark the defeat and annihilation of the forces of a kindred people. 130/2610 Much depressed. unaccountably so. nor could I free myself from it. rather than the routing by our green warriors of a horde of similar. but somewhere in the innermost recesses of my soul I felt a strange yearning toward these . I slowly descended to the street. The sight was awe-inspiring in the extreme as one contemplated this mighty floating funeral pyre.

followed Woola.unknown foemen. The cavalcade was returning to the plaza. owing to the fear of a return attack by the air craft. and as I emerged upon the street Sola rushed up to me as though I had been the object of some search on her part. in his now accustomed place. the homeward march having been given up for that day. in fact. and so we remained at the . the hound. Lorquas Ptomel was too astute an old warrior to be caught upon the open plains with a caravan of chariots and children. and a mighty hope surged through me that the fleet would return and demand a reckoning from the green warriors who had so ruthlessly and wantonly attacked it. 131/2610 Close at my heel. nor. was it recommenced for more than a week.

exultation. but just as she was disappearing through the portal of the building which was to be her prison she turned. 132/2610 As Sola and I entered the plaza a sight met my eyes which filled my whole being with a great surge of mingled hope. fear. girlish figure. for just as we neared the throng of Martians I caught a glimpse of the prisoner from the battle craft who was being roughly dragged into a nearby building by a couple of green Martian females. She did not see me at first. and her eyes met mine.deserted city until the danger seemed passed. similar in every detail to the earthly women of my past life. Her face was oval and . and yet most dominant was a subtle sense of relief and happiness. and depression. And the sight which met my eyes was that of a slender.

beautiful in the extreme. her every feature was finely chiseled and exquisite. She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied her. Her skin was of a light reddish copper color. against which the crimson glow of her cheeks and the ruby of her beautifully molded lips shone with a strangely enhancing effect. her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black. a 133/2610 . As her gaze rested on me her eyes opened wide in astonishment. save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked. indeed. and she made a little sign with her free hand. caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure. waving hair.

I realized I had not answered her signal. and then the look of hope and renewed courage which had glorified her face as she discovered me. 134/2610 . Just a moment we gazed upon each other. understand. mingled with loathing and contempt. faded into one of utter dejection. of course. I intuitively felt that she had made an appeal for succor and protection which my unfortunate ignorance had prevented me from answering. and ignorant as I was of Martian customs.sign which I did not. And then she was dragged out of my sight into the depths of the deserted edifice.

and a bearing at once respectful and menacing. A warrior approached bearing the arms.CHAPTER IX I LEARN THE LANGUAGE As I came back to myself I glanced at Sola. who had witnessed this encounter and I was surprised to note a strange expression upon her usually expressionless countenance. As I reached the doorway of our building a strange surprise awaited me. for as yet I had learned but little of the Martian tongue. enough only to suffice for my daily needs. These he presented to me with a few unintelligible words. What her thoughts were I did not know. ornaments. . and full accouterments of his kind.

Sola.Later. 136/2610 From then on Sola instructed me in the mysteries of the various weapons. The training of myself and the young Martians was conducted solely by the women. remodeled the trappings to fit my lesser proportions. but are also the artisans who produce every manufactured article wrought by the green . with the aid of several of the other women. who not only attend to the education of the young in the arts of individual defense and offense. but my great familiarity with similar earthly weapons made me an unusually apt pupil. and with the Martian young I spent several hours each day practicing upon the plaza. I was not yet proficient with all the weapons. and I progressed in a very satisfactory manner. and after they completed the work I went about garbed in all the panoply of war.

They make the laws as they are needed. a new law for each emergency. 137/2610 The men are trained in the higher branches of the art of war.Martians. but the punishment for ignoring a custom is a matter for individual treatment by a jury of the culprit's peers. In time of actual warfare they form a part of the reserves. Customs have been handed down by ages of repetition. in strategy and the maneuvering of large bodies of troops. . and I may say that justice seldom misses fire. They are unfettered by precedent in the administration of justice. in fact everything of value is produced by the females. and when the necessity arises fight with even greater intelligence and ferocity than the men. the cartridges. but seems rather to rule in inverse ratio to the ascendency of law. the firearms. They make the powder.

I could not but note the unnecessary harshness and brutality with which her guards treated her. and the respectful attitude of the few green Martians who took the trouble to notice me at all. and then only to catch a fleeting glimpse of her as she was being conducted to the great audience chamber where I had had my first meeting with Lorquas Ptomel. so different from the almost maternal kindliness which Sola manifested toward me.In one respect at least the Martians are a happy people. they have no lawyers. 138/2610 I did not see the prisoner again for several days subsequent to our first encounter. I had observed on the two occasions when I had seen her that the prisoner exchanged words with her guards. and this convinced me that they spoke. or at least could make themselves understood .

myself. and now that I could understand their language I was always a keen listener. At this time our sleeping quarters were occupied by three or four females and a couple of the recently hatched young. although I never proffered any remarks myself. beside Sola and her youthful ward. and Woola the a common language. 139/2610 . After they had retired for the night it was customary for the adults to carry on a desultory conversation for a short time before lapsing into sleep. With this added incentive I nearly drove Sola distracted by my importunities to hasten on my education and within a few more days I had mastered the Martian tongue sufficiently well to enable me to carry on a passable conversation and to fully understand practically all that I heard.

On the night following the prisoner's visit to the audience chamber the conversation finally fell upon this subject. and yet. I had feared to question Sola relative to the beautiful captive. I felt it safer to affect indifference in the matter until I learned more surely Sola's attitude toward the object of my solicitude. and it was toward her the question turned. Sarkoja. as I could not but recall the strange expression I had noted upon her face after my first encounter with the prisoner. had been present at the audience as one of the captive's guards. 140/2610 . judging all things by mundane standards as I still did. That it denoted jealousy I could not say. and I was all ears on the instant. one of the older women who shared our domicile.

"What will be the manner of her going out?" inquired Sola." snapped Sarkoja. Jed. Sola." Sarkoja and the other women grunted angrily at this evidence of weakness on the part of Sola. "It is sad." asked one of the women. and exhibit her last agonies at the great games before Tal Hajus. "when all the hollows of the land were filled with water. "will we enjoy the death throes of the red one? or does Lorquas Ptomel. and the peoples were as soft as the stuff they sailed upon. In . I had hoped that they would hold her for ransom. "She is very small and very beautiful. intend holding her for ransom?" 141/2610 "They have decided to carry her with us back to Thark." replied Sarkoja."When. that you were not born a million years ago.

and even in our own communities the 142/2610 .our day we have progressed to a point where such sentiments mark weakness and atavism." retorted Sola. and I have ever thought that their attitude toward us is but the reflection of ours toward them. as I doubt that he would care to entrust such as you with the grave responsibilities of maternity. It is only the men of her kind who war upon us. "She has never harmed us. They live at peace with all their fellows. while we are at peace with none. except when duty calls upon them to make war. It will not be well for you to permit Tars Tarkas to learn that you hold such degenerate sentiments." "I see nothing wrong with my expression of interest in this red woman. nor would she should we have fallen into her hands. forever warring among our own kind as well as upon the red men.

that. and also to convince me 143/2610 . Oh. they all lapsed into silence and were soon asleep. but at least no more frightful and terrible existence! Fortunate indeed is he who meets his end in an early death. after a few words of general reprimand. awful period of bloodshed from the time we break the shell until we gladly embrace the bosom of the river of mystery. One thing the episode had accomplished was to assure me of Sola's friendliness toward the poor girl." This wild outbreak on the part of Sola so greatly surprised and shocked the other women. the dark and ancient Iss which carries us to an unknown.individuals fight amongst themselves. it is one continual. he can mete out no worse fate to me than a continuation of the horrible existence we are forced to lead in this life. Say what you please to Tars Tarkas.

I knew that she was fond of me. 144/2610 . But where to go. was as much of a puzzle to me as the age-old search for the spring of eternal life has been to earthly men since the beginning of time. but I was more than willing to take my chances among people fashioned after my own mold rather than to remain longer among the hideous and bloodthirsty green men of Mars. provided of course that such a thing was within the range of possibilities.that I had been extremely fortunate in falling into her hands rather than those of some of the other females. and now that I had discovered that she hated cruelty and barbarity I was confident that I could depend upon her to aid me and the girl captive to escape. I did not even know that there were any better conditions to escape to. and how.

She had warned me. like all other deserted metropolises of an . and with this resolution strong upon me I turned among my silks and furs and slept the dreamless and refreshing sleep of Mars. against venturing forth unarmed. 145/2610 CHAPTER X CHAMPION AND CHIEF Early the next morning I was astir. Considerable freedom was allowed me. as Sola had informed me that so long as I did not attempt to leave the city I was free to go and come as I pleased. however.I decided that at the first opportunity I would take Sola into my confidence and openly ask her to aid me. as this city.

On this morning I had chosen a new street to explore when suddenly I found myself at the limits of the city. 146/2610 In advising me that I must not leave the boundaries of the city Sola had explained that Woola would prevent this anyway should I attempt it." she added.ancient Martian civilization. and. like the pioneer . Before me were low hills pierced by narrow and inviting ravines. "preferably dead. she said. that he would bring me back into the city dead or alive should I persist in opposing him. I longed to explore the country before me. and she warned me most urgently not to arouse his fierce nature by ignoring his warnings should I venture too close to the forbidden territory. was peopled by the great white apes of my second day's adventure. His nature was such.

man or beast. . and thrust his body against my legs. 147/2610 It also occurred to me that this would prove an excellent opportunity to test the qualities of Woola. I was convinced that the brute loved me. His expression was pleading rather than ferocious. and I was sure that gratitude for the acts that had twice saved his life would more than outweigh his loyalty to the duty imposed upon him by cruel and loveless masters. As I approached the boundary line Woola ran anxiously before me. nor did he bare his great tusks or utter his fearful guttural warnings. I had seen more evidences of affection in him than in any other Martian animal. to view what the landscape beyond the encircling hills might disclose from the summits which shut out my view.stock from which I sprang.

but now I sat upon the ground and putting my arms around his heavy neck I stroked and coaxed him. talking in my newly acquired Martian tongue as I would have to my hound at home.Denied the friendship and companionship of my kind. he stretched his great mouth to its full width. as I would have talked to any other friend among the lower animals. His response to my manifestation of affection was remarkable to a degree. I had developed considerable affection for Woola and Sola. I had never petted nor fondled him. sure that I would not be disappointed. and so I decided upon an appeal to a like instinct in this great brute. baring the entire expanse of his upper rows of tusks and wrinkling his snout until his great eyes were almost hidden by the 148/2610 . for the normal earthly man must have some outlet for his natural affections.

I could not resist the ludicrousness of the spectacle. then wriggling and squirming around me like a playful puppy presenting its back for the petting it craves. rolling me upon the ground by his great weight. in fact. his antics ceased and he crawled pitifully toward me. He threw himself upon his back and fairly wallowed at my feet. My laughter frightened Woola. the first. and holding my sides I rocked back and forth in the first laughter which had passed my lips in many days. long unused. poking his ugly head far into my 149/2610 . since the morning Powell had left camp when his horse. had precipitately and unexpectedly bucked him off headforemost into a pot of frijoles.folds of flesh. If you have ever seen a collie smile you may have some idea of Woola's facial distortion. jumped up and sprang upon me.

lap. one range above another. Quieting myself. and rising. Numerous brilliantly colored and strangely formed wild flowers dotted the ravines and from the summit of the first hill I saw still other hills stretching off toward the north. death. My walk to the hills occupied but a few minutes. and I his only and undisputed master. and arising started for the hills. I rubbed the poor old fellow's head and back. and then I remembered what laughter signified on Mars--torture. and then in an authoritative tone commanded him to follow me. suffering. until lost in mountains of quite respectable dimensions. and I found nothing of particular interest to reward me. Woola was my devoted slave from that moment hence. though I . 150/2610 There was no further question of authority between us. talked to him for a few minutes.

the suggestion of magnitude was merely relative.afterward found that only a few peaks on all Mars exceed four thousand feet in height. and I hastened to regain the city limits before the defection of Woola could be discovered by his erstwhile masters. as well as the probable death of Woola. 151/2610 My morning's walk had been large with importance to me for it had resulted in a perfect understanding with Woola. I now knew that while theoretically a prisoner I was virtually free. were we to be discovered. upon whom Tars Tarkas relied for my safe keeping. as it would certainly result in a curtailment of my liberties. The adventure decided me never again to leave the limits of my prescribed stamping grounds until I was ready to venture forth for good and all. .

was an . 152/2610 Had a green Martian woman desired to show dislike or contempt she would. She was standing with her guards before the entrance to the audience chamber. but as their sentiments are mostly atrophied it would have required a serious injury to have aroused such passions in them. let me add. in all likelihood. it was good to know that someone else on Mars beside myself had human instincts of a civilized order. even though the manifestation of them was so painful and mortifying. so earthly womanly.On regaining the plaza I had my third glimpse of the captive girl. that though it stung my pride it also warmed my heart with a feeling of companionship. have done it with a sword thrust or a movement of her trigger finger. The act was so womanly. and as I approached she gave me one haughty glance and turned her back full upon me. Sola.

exception. or fail in uniform kindliness and good nature. and also convinced that the warriors did not know of my proficiency in their language. as her fellow Martian had said of her. Seeing that the prisoner seemed the center of attraction I halted to view the proceedings. a dear and precious reversion to a former type of loved and loving ancestor. I never saw her perform a cruel or uncouth act. Realizing that I was a somewhat favored character. She was indeed. signing the guards to follow with the prisoner entered the audience chamber. an atavism. as I had pleaded with Sola to keep this a secret on the grounds that I did not wish to be forced to talk with the men until I had perfectly mastered the 153/2610 . I had not long to wait for presently Lorquas Ptomel and his retinue of chieftains approached the building and.

ferocity. or pushed her headlong before her. while below them stood the prisoner and her two guards. When it was necessary to move from one spot to another she either jerked her roughly. She seemed to be venting upon this poor defenseless creature all the hatred. and thus understood how she had been present at the hearing of the preceding day. and spite of her nine 154/2610 . cruelty. or twisted her arm in a most painful manner.Martian tongue. she sunk her rudimentary nails into the poor girl's flesh. Her attitude toward the captive was most harsh and brutal. The council squatted upon the steps of the rostrum. the results of which she had reported to the occupants of our dormitory last night. I saw that one of the women was Sarkoja. I chanced an attempt to enter the audience chamber and listen to the proceedings. When she held her.

Tars Tarkas made some reply which I could not catch. and fortunately she was at night. backed by unguessable ages of fierce and brutal ancestors. "What is your name?" asked Lorquas Ptomel. As Lorquas Ptomel raised his eyes to address the prisoner they fell on me and he turned to Tars Tarkas with a word. . she would have received no harsh treatment.hundred years. after which they paid no further attention to me. nor. and gesture of impatience. but which caused Lorquas Ptomel to smile. addressing the prisoner. if the prisoner had been left to her alone. 155/2610 The other woman was less cruel because she was entirely indifferent. by the same token would she have received any attention at all.

to rechart the air currents."Dejah Thoris. For ages we have . in a low. "We were unprepared for battle. The work we were doing was as much in your interests as in ours. and to take atmospheric density tests. daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium. "It was a purely scientific research party sent out by my father's father." replied the fair prisoner." she continued. the Jeddak of Helium." 156/2610 "And the nature of your expedition?" he continued. "as we were on a peaceful mission. for you know full well that were it not for our labors and the fruits of our scientific operations there would not be enough air or water on Mars to support a single human life. as our banners and the colors of our craft denoted. well-modulated voice.

You hate each other as you hate all else except yourselves. has resulted in your owning nothing in common. Come back to the ways of our common ancestors. without love. you will find the hands of . The way is open to you. without art. come back to the light of kindliness and fellowship. Owning everything in common. why will you not learn to live in amity with your fellows.maintained the air and water supply at practically the same point without an appreciable loss. the victim of eons of the horrible community idea. even to your women and children. 157/2610 "Why. and we have done this in the face of the brutal and ignorant interference of your green men. without homes. must you ever go on down the ages to your final extinction but little above the plane of the dumb brutes that serve you! A people without written language. oh.

and if one man high among them had been strong enough to rise above custom. but that they were moved I truly believe. It bespoke an inward and mighty battle with self. Together we may do still more to regenerate our dying planet.the red men stretched out to aid you. The granddaughter of the greatest and mightiest of the red jeddaks has asked you. What was passing in their minds no man may know. 158/2610 I saw Tars Tarkas rise to speak. Will you come?" Lorquas Ptomel and the warriors sat looking silently and intently at the young woman for several moments after she had ceased speaking. that moment would have marked a new and mighty era for Mars. and on his face was such an expression as I had never seen upon the countenance of a green Martian warrior. with .

but the mood passed. with age-old custom. of kindliness. mirthless laughter. and as he opened his mouth to speak. evidently sensing the trend of thought among the older men. and striking the frail captive a powerful blow across the face. as just then a young warrior. their old selves reasserted their . 159/2610 What words of moment were to have fallen from his lips were never spoken. momentarily lighted up his fierce and terrible countenance. a look almost of benignity. nor did the aspect of Lorquas Ptomel augur any too favorably for the brute. For an instant I thought Tars Tarkas would strike him dead. leaped down from the steps of the rostrum.heredity. placed his foot upon her prostrate form and turning toward the assembled council broke into peals of horrid. which felled her to the floor.

It was portentous however that they did not laugh aloud. but I believe that I . and ere the hand descended I was halfway across the hall. for the brute's act constituted a side-splitting witticism according to the ethics which rule green Martian humor. and they smiled. upturned.ascendency. The brute was twelve feet in height and armed to the teeth. 160/2610 That I have taken moments to write down a part of what occurred as that blow fell does not signify that I remained inactive for any such length of time. pleading face. for I realize now that I was crouched as for a spring as I saw the blow aimed at her beautiful. Scarcely had his hideous laugh rang out but once. I think I must have sensed something of what was coming. when I was upon him.

nor could he draw his pistol. Springing upward. which he attempted to do in direct opposition to Martian custom which says that you may not fight a fellow warrior in private combat with any other than the weapon with which you are attacked. hooking one leg over the butt of his pistol and grasping one of his huge tusks with my left hand while I delivered blow after blow upon his enormous chest. In fact he could do nothing but make a wild and futile attempt to dislodge me. I struck him full in the face as he turned at my warning cry and then as he drew his short-sword I drew mine and sprang up again upon his breast. With all his immense bulk he was little if any .could have accounted for the whole roomful in the terrific intensity of my rage. 161/2610 He could not use his short-sword to advantage because I was too close to him.

I was soon successful as her injuries amounted to little more than an ordinary nosebleed. 162/2610 Dejah Thoris had raised herself upon one elbow and was watching the battle with wide. and when she could speak she placed her hand upon my arm and looking up into my eyes.stronger than I. When I had regained my feet I raised her in my arms and bore her to one of the benches at the side of the room. said: "Why did you do it? You who refused me even friendly recognition in the first . and it was but the matter of a moment or two before he sank. bleeding and lifeless. staring eyes. to the floor. and tearing a piece of silk from my cape I endeavored to staunch the flow of blood from her nostrils. Again no Martian interfered with me.

or are you more than human?" 163/2610 "It is a strange tale." "Then you too are a prisoner? But why. are you human. then.hour of my peril! And now you risk your life and kill one of your companions for my sake. while your color is little darker than that of the white ape? Tell me. and. Suffice it. so far as our captors will permit. What strange manner of man are you. I cannot understand. though your form is that of my race. for the present. that I am your friend. those arms and the regalia of a Tharkian chieftain? What is your name? Where your country?" . that you consort with the green men." I replied. and one which I so much doubt the credibility of myself that I fear to hope that others will believe it. your protector and your servant. "too long to attempt to tell you now.

one of the United States of America. and I read in the menacing yet respectful attitude of the warrior who had brought me these trophies of the kill the same demeanor as that evinced by the other who had brought me my original equipment." 164/2610 We were interrupted at this juncture by the approach of one of the warriors. and I claim Virginia. on the occasion of my first battle in the audience chamber . as my home. nor was I aware that my regalia was that of a chieftain. bearing arms. I too am a prisoner. Dejah Thoris. accouterments and ornaments. but why I am permitted to wear arms I do not know. my name is John Carter. and in a flash one of her questions was answered and a puzzle cleared up for me. and now for the first time I realized that my blow. I saw that the body of my dead antagonist had been stripped. Earth."Yes.

and in the crude justice. the trappings and the position of the man I killed. and this I learned later was the cause of my great freedom and my toleration in the audience chamber. I had won my spurs. I was a Martian chieftain. I was accorded the honors due a conqueror. so to speak. In truth. which always marks Martian dealings. has caused me to call her the planet of paradoxes. and the eyes of the former rested upon me in a most quizzical manner. in the death of 165/2610 my The reason for the whole attitude displayed toward me was now apparent. As I had turned to receive the dead warrior's chattels I had noticed that Tars Tarkas and several others had pushed forward toward us. Finally he addressed me: . and which.had resulted adversary. among other things.

yourself." he answered. John Carter?" "You. Do you know what your unprecedented temerity would have cost you had you failed to kill either of the two chieftains whose metal you now wear?" "I presume that that one whom I had failed to kill. "in that you furnished me with an instructress of remarkable ability. Tars Tarkas."You speak the tongue of Barsoom quite readily for one who was deaf and dumb to us a few short days ago. "but your education in other respects needs considerable polish. Where did you learn it. I have to thank Sola for my learning. smiling. 166/2610 . would have killed me." "She has done well." I replied." I answered. are responsible.

Until we reach the headquarters of Tal Hajus it is the will of Lorquas Ptomel that you be accorded the respect your acts have earned you. be considered by Tal Hajus as worthy of his service you may be taken into the community and become a fullfledged Tharkian." and his face bespoke possibilities that were not pleasant to dwell upon. You will be treated by us as a Tharkian chieftain. we like to save them for other purposes."No. and prowess. but you must not forget that every chief who ranks you is responsible for your safe delivery to our mighty and most ferocious ruler. Only in the last extremity of self-defense would a Martian warrior kill a prisoner. "Should you. you are wrong. in recognition of your remarkable valor. 167/2610 "But one thing can save you now." ." he continued. I am done. ferocity.

" 168/2610 . or take whatever consequences may befall. whoever would offer her injury or insult in the future must figure on making a full accounting to me. but if not. and I can only act in the future as I have in the past."I hear you. Tars Tarkas. let the individual Barsoomians with whom I must deal either respect my rights as a stranger among you. "As you know I am not of Barsoom. but I do not." I answered. If you will leave me alone I will go in peace. whatever may be your ultimate intentions toward this unfortunate young woman. your ways are not my ways. in accordance with the dictates of my conscience and guided by the standards of mine own people. Of one thing let us be sure. and I can convince your most doughty warrior that these characteristics are not incompatible with an ability to fight. I understand that you belittle all sentiments of generosity and kindliness.

I would assume the 169/2610 . ignoring her hovering guardian harpies as well as the inquiring glances of the chieftains. then. Tars Tarkas himself seemed pleased with my reply. for my harangue evidently deeply impressed them. and assisting her to her feet I turned with her toward the exit. and their attitude toward me thereafter was still further respectful. Was I not now a chieftain also! Well.Ordinarily I am not given to long speeches. but his only comment was more or less enigmatical--"And I think I know Tal Hajus. Jeddak of Thark." I now turned my attention to Dejah Thoris. nor ever before had I descended to bombast. but I had guessed at the keynote which would strike an answering chord in the breasts of the green Martians. nor was I wrong.

Waving the . followed by the faithful Woola. and so Dejah Thoris. gentleman of Virginia. They did not molest us. Princess of Helium. The poor child shrank against me and I felt her two little hands fold tightly over my arm.responsibilities of one. passed through utter silence from the audience chamber of Lorquas Ptomel. and John Carter. 170/2610 CHAPTER XI WITH DEJAH THORIS As we reached the open the two female guards who had been detailed to watch over Dejah Thoris hurried up and made as though to assume custody of her once more. Jed among the Tharks of Barsoom.

So Sarkoja merely gave us an ugly look and departed to hatch up deviltries against us. My threat was unfortunate and resulted in more harm than good to Dejah Thoris. I informed them that Sola would attend the captive hereafter. nor women. for. . men do not kill women upon Mars. as I learned later.women away. and I further warned Sarkoja that any more of her cruel attentions bestowed upon Dejah Thoris would result in Sarkoja's sudden and painful demise. that I wished her to find other quarters where they would not be molested by Sarkoja. and I finally informed her that I myself would take up my quarters among the men. men. 171/2610 I soon found Sola and explained to her that I wished her to guard Dejah Thoris as she had guarded me.

and had by his promotions and kills won his way close to the rank of Tars Tarkas. John Carter. "You would be first. 172/2610 "You are a great chieftain now. but he was a great warrior. though indeed I am glad to do it under any circumstances. The man whose metal you carry was young." "And if I should kill Lorquas Ptomel?" I asked. John Carter. as you know. who. but you may only win that honor by the will of the entire council that Lorquas Ptomel . You are eleventh. "and I must do your bidding." she said.Sola glanced at the accouterments which were carried in my hand and slung across my shoulder. is second to Lorquas Ptomel only. there are but ten chieftains in this community who rank you in prowess.

unlike the frescoes in the other buildings I had examined. or should he attack you. I had no particular desire to kill Lorquas Ptomel. you may kill him in self-defense. and changed the subject. The decoration of the walls was most elaborate. and thus win first place." 173/2610 I laughed. and. portrayed many human figures in the compositions. which we found in a building nearer the audience chamber and of far more pretentious architecture than our former habitation. These were . I accompanied Sola and Dejah Thoris in a search for new quarters. and less to be a jed among the Tharks. We also found in this building real sleeping apartments with ancient beds of highly wrought metal swinging from enormous gold chains depending from the marble you in combat.

174/2610 Dejah Thoris clasped her hands with an exclamation of rapture as she gazed upon these magnificent works of art. wrought by a people long extinct. a fair-skinned.of people like myself. They were clad in graceful. for Dejah Thoris and Sola. apparently did not see them. and their luxuriant hair was of a beautiful golden and reddish bronze. I then dispatched . The men were beardless and only a few wore arms. while Sola. on the other hand. We decided to use this room. and another room adjoining and in the rear for the cooking and supplies. The scenes depicted for the most part. on the second floor and overlooking the plaza. highly ornamented with metal and jewels. and of a much lighter color than Dejah Thoris. fair-haired people at play. flowing robes.

would your prisoner escape should you leave her. then." "I heard your challenge to the creature you call Tars Tarkas. "there is no escape for either of us unless we go together. and ask your pardon for the cruel thoughts she has harbored against you these past few days?" "You are right. but what I cannot fathom is . and I think I understand your position among these people. 175/2610 As Sola departed Dejah Thoris turned to me with a faint smile." I answered. unless it was to follow you and crave your protection. "And whereto. telling her that I would guard Dejah Thoris until her return.Sola to bring the bedding and such food and utensils as she might need.

then. though their written languages differ. there is no record of a Barsoomian returning up the river Iss. You speak my language. except in the legends of our ancestors." she continued.your statement that you are not of Barsoom. All Barsoomians speak the same tongue from the ice-clad south to the ice-clad north. and. where the river Iss empties into the lost sea of Korus. from the shores of Korus in the valley of Dor. is there supposed to be a different language spoken. Only in the valley Dor." 176/2610 "In the name of my first ancestor. "where may you be from? You are like unto my people. and yet I heard you tell Tars Tarkas that you had but learned it recently. and yet so unlike. Do not tell me that you have thus returned! They would kill you horribly anywhere upon the surface .

but in my own Virginia a gentleman does not lie to save himself. the lost sea of Korus is still lost. It was not that I feared the results which would follow a general belief that I had returned from the 177/2610 .of Barsoom if that were true. I have never seen the mysterious Iss. tell me it is not!" Her eyes were filled with a strange. were pressed against me as though to wring a denial from my very heart. her voice was pleading. reached up upon my breast. so far as I am concerned. Do you believe me?" And then it struck me suddenly that I was very anxious that she should believe me. "I do not know your customs. weird light. Dejah Thoris. and her little hands. I am not of Dor.

her beautiful face upturned. I do not know what a 'gentleman' is. and it seemed that this fair name of my fair land had never sounded more beautiful than as it fell from those perfect lips on that fargone day. and as my eyes met hers I knew why. she whispered: "I believe you. but on Barsoom no man lies. and--I shuddered. John Carter. or whatever it was. and her wonderful eyes opening up the very depth of her soul. she drew away from me with a sigh. John Carter?" she asked.Barsoomian heaven or hell. then! Why should I care what she thought? I looked down at her. Why was it. and with her earnest. 178/2610 A similar wave of feeling seemed to stir her. Where is this Virginia. beautiful face turned up to mine. nor have I ever heard before of Virginia. . your country. if he does not wish to speak the truth he is silent.

nor could I hope that she would do so however much I craved her confidence and respect. 179/2610 Finally she smiled."I am of another world. rising. "the great planet Earth. and since my presence has permitted me to serve Dejah Thoris I am glad that I am here. which we know as Mars. but here I am. and. but no man could look into the depth of those eyes and refuse her slightest behest. How I came here I cannot tell you. I would much rather not have told her anything of my antecedents." I answered. said: "I shall have to believe even though I . which revolves about our common sun and next within the orbit of your Barsoom. That it was difficult to believe my statement I well knew. long and questioningly. for I do not know." She gazed at me with troubled eyes.

when my heart tells me that I believe because I wish to believe!" 180/2610 It was good logic. and if it satisfied her I certainly could pick no flaws in it. We fell into a general conversation then. She was curious to learn of the customs of my people and displayed a remarkable knowledge of events on Earth. and cried out: . good. As a matter of fact it was about the only kind of logic that could be brought to bear upon my problem.cannot understand. earthly. I can readily perceive that you are not of the Barsoom of today. asking and answering many questions on each side. yet different--but why should I trouble my poor head with such a problem. When I questioned her closely on this seeming familiarity with earthly things she laughed. you are like us. feminine logic.

I afterward. saw many . which permit them to throw upon a screen a perfect image of what is transpiring upon any planet and upon many of the stars. She then explained in general the instruments her people had used and been perfecting for ages. Can we not see everything which takes place upon Earth."Why. I must confess. objects no greater than a blade of grass may be distinctly recognized. and much concerning the fauna and flora. every school boy on Barsoom knows the geography. is it not hanging there in the heavens in plain sight?" 181/2610 This baffled me. fully as much as my statements had confounded her. These pictures are so perfect in detail that. when photographed and enlarged. and I told her so. in Helium. as well as the history of your planet fully as well as of his own. as you call it.

and their heads with hideous contraptions the purpose of which we have been unable to conceive. further. "nearly every planet and star having atmospheric conditions at all approaching those of Barsoom. unsightly pieces of cloth. cover their bodies with strange." she replied. while you." I asked. Earth men.of these pictures. almost without exception. 182/2610 "If. you are so familiar with earthly things. then. "why is it that you do not recognize me as identical with the inhabitants of that planet?" She smiled again as one might in bored indulgence of a questioning child. as well as the instruments which produced them. John Carter. and. when found . shows forms of animal life almost identical with you and me. "Because.

while the absence of grotesque coverings might cause a doubt as to your earthliness. explaining that my body there lay fully clothed in all the. who." I then narrated the details of my departure from the Earth. It seemed that as she had . would have to share the quarters with them. were entirely undisfigured and unadorned. strange garments of mundane dwellers. Sola asked us if we had had a visitor during her absence. of course. At this point Sola returned with our meager belongings and her young Martian protege. to her. and seemed much surprised when we answered in the the Tharkian warriors. 183/2610 "The fact that you wore no ornaments is a strong proof of your un-Barsoomian origin.

she had met Sarkoja descending. but had mixed with the other great race of early Martians. almost black. merely promising ourselves to be warned to the utmost caution in the future. Dejah Thoris and I then fell to examining the architecture and decorations of the beautiful chambers of the building we were occupying. 184/2610 . and also with the reddish yellow race which had flourished at the same time. but as we could recall nothing of importance that had passed between us we dismissed the matter as of little consequence. who were very dark.mounted the approach to the upper floors where our quarters were located. We decided that she must have been eavesdropping. They were the early progenitors of her race. She told me that these people had presumably flourished over a hundred thousand years before.

and before they had fitted themselves to the changed conditions. of which Dejah Thoris was a fair and beautiful daughter. much of the high civilization and many of the arts of the fair-haired Martians had become lost.These three great divisions of the higher Martians had been forced into a mighty alliance as the drying up of the Martian seas had compelled them to seek the comparatively few and always diminishing fertile areas. as well as with the green men. under new conditions of life. but the red race of today has reached a point where it feels that it has made up in new discoveries and in a more practical . During the ages of hardships and incessant warring between their own various races. 185/2610 Ages of close relationship and intermarrying had resulted in the race of red men. and to defend themselves. against the wild hordes of green men.

and literature were lost. records. 186/2610 These ancient Martians had been a highly cultivated and literary race. . It had been built upon a beautiful. landlocked by magnificent hills. but practically all their archives. not only did their advancement and production cease entirely. natural harbor. She said that the city in which we were camping was supposed to have been a center of commerce and culture known as Korad. beneath the countless intervening ages. she explained. but during the vicissitudes of those trying centuries of readjustment to new conditions. The little valley on the west front of the city. Dejah Thoris related many interesting facts and legends concerning this lost race of noble and kindly people.civilization for all that lies irretrievably buried with the ancient Barsoomians.

was all that remained of the harbor. in diminishing numbers. as the people had found it necessary to follow the receding waters until necessity had forced upon them their ultimate salvation. The shores of the ancient seas were dotted with just such cities. and lesser ones. were to be found converging toward the center of the oceans. the socalled Martian canals. We were brought back to a realization of our present conditions by a messenger bearing a summons from Lorquas Ptomel directing me . 187/2610 We had been so engrossed in exploration of the building and in our conversation that it was late in the afternoon before we realized it. while the pass through the hills to the old sea bottom had been the channel through which the shipping passed up to the city's gates.

. addressed me thus: "You have been with us a few days. I hastened to the audience appear before him forthwith. fixing his great. 188/2610 CHAPTER XII A PRISONER WITH POWER As I entered and saluted. Bidding Dejah Thoris and Sola farewell. and. yet during that time you have by your prowess won a high position among us. and commanding Woola to remain on guard. where I found Lorquas Ptomel and Tars Tarkas seated upon the rostrum. hideous eyes upon me. Lorquas Ptomel signaled me to advance.

you owe us no allegiance. would be sufficient grounds for your execution. Either one of these accusations." he continued. half believes you are returned from the valley of Dor. from her own admission. "if you run off with the red girl . if Tal Hajus so commands. you are not one of us. you are an alien and yet you are a Tharkian chieftain. you are a midget and yet you can kill a mighty warrior with one blow of your fist. in his fierce guttural tones. if proved. but we are a just people and you shall have a trial on our return to Thark. 189/2610 "Your position is a peculiar one. "you are a prisoner and yet you give commands which must be obeyed." he continued. And now you are reported to have been plotting to escape with another prisoner of another race.Be that as it may. "But. a prisoner who.

we do not wish to fight between ourselves. together we rule supreme the greatest of the lesser communities among the green men. for such is the custom of the Tharks. 190/2610 "I have no quarrel with Tars is I who shall have to account to Tal Hajus. John Carter. may you be killed by us without orders from Tal Hajus. should you attack one of us. however. or were you apprehended in an attempt to escape. "As a matter of justice I must warn you that we only await one of these two excuses for ridding ourselves of so great a . it is I who shall have to face Tars Tarkas. and either demonstrate my right to command. or the metal from my dead carcass will go to a better man. I should be glad. Under two conditions only. in personal combat in self-defense. and so if you were dead.

I have spoken. who is also our bitterest enemy. The safe delivery of the red girl to Tal Hajus is of the greatest importance. and now I recalled those portions of our conversation which had touched upon escape and upon my origin. The red girl told us that we were without the softer sentiments of humanity. but we are a just and truthful race. 191/2610 . she is the granddaughter of the greatest of the red jeddaks. You may go.responsibility. Not in a thousand years have the Tharks made such a capture. So this was the beginning of Sarkoja's persecution! I knew that none other could be responsible for this report which had reached the ears of Lorquas Ptomel so quickly. I left the audience chamber." Turning.

Now. 192/2610 However. the absolute necessity for escape. ferocity. this monster was the exaggerated personification of all the ages of cruelty. As described by Sola. was impressed upon me. more than before. in so far as Dejah Thoris was concerned. As such she was a mighty power behind the throne. Tars Tarkas. for no warrior had the confidence of Lorquas Ptomel to such an extent as did his ablest lieutenant. my audience with Lorquas Ptomel only served to center my every faculty on this subject. instead of putting thoughts of possible escape from my mind.Sarkoja was at this time Tars Tarkas' oldest and most trusted female. for I was convinced that some horrible fate awaited her at the headquarters of Tal Hajus. and brutality from which he had descended. . Cold.

193/2610 As I wandered about the plaza lost in my gloomy forebodings Tars Tarkas approached me on his way from the audience chamber. His demeanor toward me was unchanged. a slave to that brute passion which the waning demands for procreation upon their dying planet has almost stilled in the Martian breast.cunning. also. in marked contrast to most of his fellows. as did those brave frontier women of my lost land. Far better that we save friendly bullets for ourselves at the last moment. who took their own lives rather than fall into the hands of the Indian braves. The thought that the divine Dejah Thoris might fall into the clutches of such an abysmal atavism started the cold sweat upon me. he was. calculating. and he greeted me as .

" he said. 194/2610 "I have selected none. "Where are your quarters." I replied. "and the second floor also is fully occupied by warriors. and together we moved off across the plaza to a building which I was glad to see adjoined that occupied by Sola and her charges. and I was awaiting an opportunity to ask your advice. "My quarters are on the first floor of this building." "Come with me. John Carter?" he asked." he directed.though we had not just parted a few moments before. As you know. "I am not yet familiar with all the customs of the Tharks." and I smiled. "It seemed best that I quartered either by myself or among the other warriors. but the third floor and the floors above are .

and so. Well. you may take your choice of these." I thanked him. 195/2610 "I understand. which he . but you can fight well enough to do about as you please. "that you have given up your woman to the red prisoner. and so he promised to send women to me for this purpose and also for the care of my arms and the manufacture of my ammunition.vacant. your ways are not our ways. as you have said. and in accordance with our customs you may select any or all the females from the retinues of the chieftains whose metal you now wear. if you wish to give your woman to a captive." he continued. it is your own affair. but as a chieftain you should have those to serve you. but assured him that I could get along very nicely without assistance except in the matter of preparing food.

. and departed. 196/2610 He promised to do so. for the nights were cold and I had none of my own. I suggested that they might also bring some of the sleeping silks and furs which belonged to me as spoils of combat. whose apartment was on the second floor of the adjoining building.said would be necessary. and. I finally chose a front room on the third floor. I ascended the winding corridor to the upper floors in search of suitable quarters. as usual. Left alone. because this brought me nearer to Dejah Thoris. The beauties of the other buildings were repeated in this. I was soon lost in a tour of investigation and discovery. and it flashed upon me that I could rig up some means of communication whereby she might signal me in case she needed either my services or my protection.

and which was now given over to the quartering of the various animals belonging to the warriors occupying the adjoining buildings. which formed the center of the square made by the buildings which faced the four contiguous streets. dressing rooms.Adjoining my sleeping apartment were baths. and other sleeping and living apartments. when graced by the fairhaired. The windows of the back rooms overlooked an enormous court. laughing people whom stern and unalterable cosmic laws had driven not . 197/2610 While the court was entirely overgrown with the yellow. benches. in all some ten rooms on this floor. yet numerous fountains. and pergola-like contraptions bore witness to the beauty which the court must have presented in bygone times. moss-like vegetation which blankets practically the entire surface of Mars. statuary.

jewels. 198/2610 One could easily picture the gorgeous foliage of the luxuriant Martian vegetation which once filled this scene with life and color. silks. My thoughts were cut short by the advent of several young females bearing loads of weapons. and casks of food and . furs. until their hereditary instincts of culture and humanitarianism had risen ascendant once more in the final composite race which now is dominant upon Mars. but from all except the vague legends of their descendants. happiness and peace. It was difficult to realize that they had gone. the happy frolicking children--all sunlight. cruelty. the straight and handsome men. down through ages of darkness. and ignorance.only from their homes. cooking utensils. the graceful figures of the beautiful women.

drink. and so unlike anything known to us that it is most difficult to describe. and now. had been the property of the two chieftains I had slain. the relationship was peculiar. and then departed. it had become mine. only to return with a second load. All property among the green Martians is owned in common by the community. except the personal weapons. nor their wives. who. On the second trip they were accompanied by ten or fifteen other women and youths. ornaments and sleeping silks . 199/2610 They were not their families. At my direction they placed the stuff in one of the back rooms. it seemed. nor their servants. it seemed. by the customs of the Tharks. formed the retinues of the two chieftains. including considerable loot from the air craft. All this. which they advised me constituted the balance of my goods.

The green Martians use no word corresponding in meaning with this earthly word. sustenance. discipline. 200/2610 The women and children of a man's retinue may be likened to a military unit for which he is responsible in various ways. The council .and furs of the individuals. and is directed without reference to natural selection. and the exigencies of their continual roamings and their unending strife with other communities and with the red Martians. The surplus he holds merely as custodian. These alone can one claim undisputed right to. His women are in no sense wives. and it is passed on to the younger members of the community as necessity demands. nor may he accumulate more of these than are required for his actual needs. as in matters of instruction. Their mating is a matter of community interest solely.

as is often the case with theories. is shown in the cold. with the exception of such degenerates as Tal Hajus. cruel creatures. In theory it may sound well. 201/2610 . but better far a finer balance of human characteristics even at the expense of a slight and occasional loss of chastity. loveless. but the results of ages of this unnatural practice. and their gloomy. coupled with the community interest in the offspring being held paramount to that of the mother. mirthless existence. It is true that the green Martians are absolutely virtuous.of chieftains of each community control the matter as surely as the owner of a Kentucky racing stud directs the scientific breeding of his stock for the improvement of the whole. both men and women.

One of the girls I charged with the duties of my simple cuisine. the community remained within the city for several days. Thereafter I saw little of them. 202/2610 CHAPTER XIII LOVE-MAKING ON MARS Following the battle with the air ships. I made the best of it and directed them to find quarters on the upper floors. nor did I care to. and directed the others to take up the various activities which had formerly constituted their vocations.Finding that I must assume responsibility for these creatures. abandoning the . leaving the third floor to me. whether I would or not.

are as dangerous and vicious as their masters. Tars Tarkas had instructed me in many of the customs and arts of war familiar to the Tharks. for to be caught on the open plains with a cavalcade of chariots and children was far from the desire of even so warlike a people as the green Martians.homeward march until they could feel reasonably assured that the ships would not return. which are known as thoats. 203/2610 Two of these animals had fallen to me from the warriors whose metal I wore. During our period of inactivity. The . These creatures. and in a short time I could handle them quite as well as the native warriors. but when once subdued are sufficiently tractable for the purposes of the green Martians. including lessons in riding and guiding the great beasts which bore the warriors.

though upon some other beast. if not. If the thoats did not respond with sufficient celerity to the telepathic instructions of their riders they were dealt a terrific blow between the ears with the butt of a pistol. his torn and mangled body was gathered up by his women and burned in accordance with Tharkian custom. or had unseated their riders. If the former were quick enough with his pistol he might live to ride again.method was not at all complicated. First I taught them that they could not 204/2610 . and if they showed fight this treatment was continued until the brutes either were subdued. In the latter case it became a life and death struggle between the man and the beast. My experience with Woola determined me to attempt the experiment of kindness in my treatment of my thoats.

I could take a human life. I was always kind and humane in my dealings with the lower orders. I was ever a good hand with animals. by degrees. and even rapped them sharply between the ears to impress upon them my authority and mastery. with far less compunction than that of a poor. if necessary. unreasoning. They would follow me like dogs. as well as because it brought more lasting and satisfactory results. In the course of a few days my thoats were the wonder of the entire community. I won their confidence in much the same manner as I had adopted countless times with my many mundane mounts. irresponsible brute.unseat me. and by inclination. and respond to my every command with an alacrity and docility which caused the 205/2610 . Then. rubbing their great snouts against my body in awkward evidence of affection.

206/2610 "How have you bewitched them?" asked Tars Tarkas one afternoon. and I am a better warrior for the reason that I am a kind master. Your other warriors would find it to the advantage of themselves as well . "By kindness." I replied. and therefore my fighting efficiency is enhanced. "You see.Martian warriors to ascribe to me the possession of some earthly power unknown on Mars. the softer sentiments have their value. when he had seen me run my arm far between the great jaws of one of my thoats which had wedged a piece of stone between two of his teeth while feeding upon the moss-like vegetation within our court yard. even to a warrior. Tars Tarkas. In the height of battle as well as upon the march I know that my thoats will obey my every command.

and later he had me repeat it before Lorquas Ptomel and the assembled warriors. they might elect to unseat and rend their of the community to adopt my methods in this respect. That moment marked the beginning of a new existence for the poor thoats. told me that these great brutes. and before I left the community of Lorquas Ptomel I had the satisfaction of observing a regiment of as tractable and . by the uncertainty of their tempers." was Tars Tarkas' only rejoinder. yourself. often were the means of turning victory into defeat. since. Only a few days since you. 207/2610 And so I explained as carefully as I could the entire method of training I had adopted with my beasts. at a crucial moment." "Show me how you accomplish these results.

docile mounts as one might care to see. 208/2610 On the seventh day following the battle with the air craft we again took up the march toward Thark. as a sign of his appreciation of my service to the horde. as I had been kept very busy by Tars Tarkas with my lessons in the art of Martian warfare. The few times I had visited her quarters she had been absent. The effect on the precision and celerity of the military movements was so remarkable that Lorquas Ptomel presented me with a massive anklet of gold from his own leg. as well as in the training of my thoats. During the days just preceding our departure I had seen but little of Dejah Thoris. all probability of another attack being deemed remote by Lorquas Ptomel. or investigating the buildings in . walking upon the streets with Sola.

whose ferocity I was only too well acquainted with.the near vicinity of the plaza. who represented to me all that I had left behind upon Earth in agreeable and congenial companionship. However. I had warned them against venturing far from the plaza for fear of the great white apes. I advanced to meet them. and telling Sola that I would take the responsibility for Dejah Thoris' safekeeping. 209/2610 On the evening before our departure I saw them approaching along one of the great avenues which lead into the plaza from the east. since Woola accompanied them on all their excursions. There seemed . but for some reason I desired to be alone with Dejah Thoris. there was comparatively little cause for fear. I liked and trusted Sola. I directed her to return to her quarters on some trivial errand. and as Sola was well armed.

" she said. as she placed her little right hand upon my left shoulder in true red Martian salute. 210/2610 That she shared my sentiments in this respect I was positive. "Sarkoja told Sola that you had become a true Thark." "Sarkoja is a liar of the first magnitude.bonds of mutual interest between us as powerful as though we had been born under the same roof rather than upon different planets. "notwithstanding the proud claim of the Tharks to absolute verity." Dejah Thoris laughed. hurtling through space some forty-eight million miles apart. for on my approach the look of pitiful hopelessness left her sweet countenance to be replaced by a smile of joyful welcome. "and that I would now see no more of you than of any of the other warriors. ." I replied.

"for whenever you have been off duty one of the older women of Tars Tarkas' retinue has always arranged to trump up some excuse to get Sola and me out of sight. the opaque. They have had me down in the pits below the buildings helping them mix their awful radium powder."I knew that even though you became a member of the community you would not cease to be my friend. outer coating is broken by the impact." she continued. almost solid. but not his heart. 'A warrior may change his metal. and make their terrible projectiles. as exposure to sunlight always results in an explosion. You know that these have to be manufactured by artificial light. 211/2610 . You have noticed that their bullets explode when they strike an object? Well." "I think they have been trying to keep us apart.' as the saying is upon Barsoom. exposing a glass cylinder.

] 212/2610 ." [I have used the word radium in describing this powder because in the light of recent discoveries on Earth I believe it to be a mixture of which radium is the base. however. while the morning following the battle will be filled at sunrise with the sharp detonations of exploding missiles fired the preceding night. In Captain Carter's manuscript it is mentioned always by the name used in the written language of Helium and is spelled in hieroglyphics which it would be difficult and useless to reproduce. strikes this powder it explodes with a violence which nothing can withstand. If you ever witness a night battle you will note the absence of these the forward end of which is a minute particle of radium powder. even though diffused. non-exploding projectiles are used at night. As a rule. The moment the sunlight.

John Carter. and they. They know that I am the daughter of ten thousand jeddaks. "Nothing that can harm me outside my pride. but that they should subject her to dangerous and arduous labor filled me with rage. "Only in little ways. that I trace my ancestry straight back without a break to the builder of the first great waterway. I was more concerned by the immediate problem of their treatment of her." she answered. who do 213/2610 . That they were keeping her away from me was not a matter for surprise. Dejah Thoris?" I asked. "Have they ever subjected you to cruelty and ignominy.While I was much interested in Dejah Thoris' explanation of this wonderful adjunct to Martian warfare. feeling the hot blood of my fighting ancestors leap in my veins as I awaited her reply.

for even though we die at their hands we can afford them pity. since we are greater than they and they know it. nevertheless. Let us pity them.not even know their own mothers. I still had much to learn upon Barsoom. At heart they hate their horrid fates. but I did not know at that time." as applied by a red Martian woman to a man. my chieftain. but I hope. are jealous of me. Dejah Thoris. nor for many months thereafter." 214/2610 Had I known the significance of those words "my chieftain. and so wreak their poor spite on me who stand for everything they have not. that I may be . Yes. "I presume it is the better part of wisdom that we bow to our fate with as good grace as possible. I should have had the surprise of my life. and for all they most crave and never can attain.

if we live. and gazed upon me with dilated eyes and quickening breath. but I may not tell you. son of Tardos Mors. green. ." 215/2610 Dejah Thoris caught her breath at my last words. John Carter. and then. or violet. with an odd little laugh. pink. the daughter of Mors Kajak.present the next time that any Martian. in sore perplexity. which brought roguish dimples to the corners of her mouth. she shook her head and cried: "What a child! A great warrior and yet a stumbling little child. red. And I. have listened without anger." "What have I done now?" I asked." she soliloquized in conclusion. my princess. has the temerity to even so much as frown on you. "Some day you shall know.

"At least among civilized men. happy." she laughed. "I presume that should you accidentally wound an enemy you would take him home and nurse him back to health." 216/2610 This made her laugh again.Then she broke out again into one of her gay. . "That is precisely what we do on Earth. with all her tenderness and womanly sweetness. laughing moods. for. she was still a Martian. for every dead foeman means so much more to divide between those who live. She could not understand it." I answered. joking with me on my prowess as a Thark warrior as contrasted with my soft heart and natural kindliness. and to a Martian the only good enemy is a dead enemy.

"it is enough that you have said it and that I have listened. I desisted." she exclaimed. "No. so.I was very curious to know what I had said or done to cause her so much perturbation a moment before and so I continued to importune her to enlighten me. and. but the more I begged her to explain the more positive became her denials of my request. as likely I shall be ere the further moon has circled Barsoom another twelve times. And when you learn. Day had now given away to night and as we wandered along the great avenue lighted by the two moons of Barsoom." It was all Greek to me. and if I be dead. and with Earth looking down upon us 217/2610 . in very hopelessness. remember that I listened and that I--smiled. John Carter.

but in the breast of one of us at least had been born that which is ever oldest.out of her luminous green eye. and I. 218/2610 . we walked the surface of a dying world. The chill of the Martian night was upon us. but of that I was not sure. was content that it should be so. and removing my silks I threw them across the shoulders of Dejah Thoris. yet ever new. As my arm rested for an instant upon her I felt a thrill pass through every fiber of my being such as contact with no other mortal had even produced. And so. in silence. it seemed that we were alone in the universe. and it seemed to me that she had leaned slightly toward me. at least. Only I knew that as my arm rested there across her shoulders longer than the act of adjusting the silk required she did not draw away. nor did she speak.

The touch of my arm upon her naked shoulder had spoken to me in words I would not mistake. 219/2610 CHAPTER XIV A DUEL TO THE DEATH My first impulse was to tell her of my love.I loved Dejah Thoris. and I knew that I had loved her since the first moment that my eyes had met hers that first time in the plaza of the dead city of Korad. and protect her in my poor way against the thousands of hereditary enemies she must face upon our arrival at . and then I thought of the helplessness of her position wherein I alone could lighten the burdens of her captivity.

" she murmured. "Why are you so quiet. Should I be so indiscreet. "I am happy here. a stranger. in all probability she did not return. with you. "Possibly you would rather return to Sola and your quarters.Thark. I do not know why it is that I should always be happy and contented when you. John Carter. are with me. I could not chance causing her additional pain or sorrow by declaring a love which. to influence her decision was the final argument which sealed my lips. her position would be even more unbearable than now. I shall soon return to my father's court and feel his 220/2610 ." "No. and the thought that she might feel that I was taking advantage of her helplessness. yet at such times it seems that I am safe and that. Dejah Thoris?" I asked.

Dejah Thoris. "does not ask personal questions . then. in answer to my inquiry as to its meaning. brothers. thoughtful tone." 221/2610 "Do people kiss. yes. "Parents. when she had explained the word she used. "The man of Barsoom. have parents and brothers and sisters?" "Yes. and." she added in a low. upon Barsoom?" I asked." "And you. and sisters. "lovers.strong arms about me and my mother's tears and kisses on my cheek." she finally ventured. nor could I venture to repeat the question." "And a--lover?" She was silent.

and drawing my silks from her shoulder she held them out to me. I turned disconsolately and entered my own house. except his mother.of women. other than to see that she reached the building in safety. and then I wished my tongue had been cut from my mouth. and without a word. upon my silks meditating upon the queer freaks chance plays upon us poor devils of mortals. I did not attempt to follow her. for she turned even as I caught myself and ceased." 222/2610 "But I have fought--" I started. and crosstempered. and the woman he has fought for and won. directing Woola to accompany her. and with head held high. but. I sat for hours cross-legged. she moved with the carriage of the queen she was toward the plaza and the doorway of her quarters. .

A woman who was hatched from an egg. a woman whose hopes. whose standards of virtue and of right and wrong might vary as greatly from mine as did those of the green Martians. and though I was suffering the greatest misery I had ever known I would not have had it otherwise for all the riches 223/2610 . yet not identical with mine. it had remained for me to fall furiously and hopelessly in love with a creature from another world. in spite of a half-desire for love and a constant search for my ideal.So this was love! I had escaped it for all the years I had roamed the five continents and their encircling seas. in spite of beautiful women and urging opportunity. whose pleasures. whose people had strange customs and ideas. but I was in love. I was a fool. of a species similar possibly. and whose span of life might cover a thousand years. Yes.

and lighted up the gold and marble. and jeweled mosaics of my world-old chamber. and such are lovers wherever love is known. for ten of them I lived and fought for Dejah Thoris and her people. Twenty years have intervened. and I believe it today as I sit at my desk in the little study overlooking the Hudson. Dejah Thoris was all that was perfect. as do all Martian . The morning of our departure for Thark dawned clear and hot. I believed that from the bottom of my heart. and for ten I have lived upon her memory. from the depth of my soul on that night in Korad as I sat cross-legged upon my silks while the nearer moon of Barsoom raced through the western sky toward the horizon.of Barsoom. 224/2610 To me. all that was virtuous and beautiful and noble and good. Such is love.

turning to Sola. My duty dictated that I must see that she was comfortable.mornings except for the six weeks when the snow melts at the poles. and so I glanced into her chariot and rearranged her silks and furs. and so have effected. With the foolish inconsistency of love I held my peace when I might have plead ignorance of the nature of my offense. at worst. "What does this mean?" I cried. and I could see the red blood mount to her cheek. a half conciliation. but she turned her shoulder to me. In doing so I noted with horror that she was heavily chained by one ankle to the side of the vehicle. . 225/2610 I sought out Dejah Thoris in the throng of departing chariots. or at least the gravity of it.

You have ."Sarkoja thought it best." she answered." "Sarkoja wears it. as they seemed to my lover's eyes. 226/2610 I turned without further word and sought out Tars Tarkas." he answered. Examining the manacles I saw that they fastened with a massive spring lock. Sola? Let me have it. her face betokening her disapproval of the procedure. "John Carter. John Carter. "Where is the key." she answered. that were being heaped upon Dejah Thoris. to whom I vehemently objected to the unnecessary humiliations and cruelties. "if ever you and Dejah Thoris escape the Tharks it will be upon this journey. We know that you will not go without her.

"This much." "Unless you wish me to assume the responsibility. and knew that it were futile to appeal from his decision. "There is no such thing. but have your will.shown yourself a mighty fighter. smiling. I must confess. I shall direct that Sarkoja cease to annoy the girl. so we hold you both in the easiest way that will yet ensure security. you may do for me in return for the friendship that. but I asked that the key be taken from Sarkoja and that she be directed to leave the prisoner alone in future." "Friendship?" he replied. I have spoken. Tars Tarkas. I feel for you. and I myself will take the custody of the key." I said. ." 227/2610 I saw the strength of his reasoning at a flash. John Carter. and we do not wish to manacle you.

Tars Tarkas." I replied He smiled. "Were you to give me your neither you nor Dejah Thoris tempt to escape until after safely reached the court of you might have the key and chains into the river Iss.He looked at me long and earnestly before he spoke. but that night as we were making camp I saw him unfasten Dejah Thoris' fetters himself." 228/2610 word that would atwe have Tal Hajus throw the "It were better that you held the key. and said no more. Could it be a vestige of some human instinct come back from . With all his cruel ferocity and coldness there was an undercurrent of something in Tars Tarkas which he seemed ever battling to subdue.

It was this custom which entitled me to the names of either of the chieftains I had killed. venomous look she accorded me was the sweetest balm I had felt for many hours. and so was still as an o mad. a combination of the . hulking. how she hated me! It bristled from her so palpably that one might almost have cut it with a sword. some of the warriors addressed me as Dotar Sojat. or man with one name. in ancient forbear to haunt him with the horror of his people's ways! 229/2610 As I was approaching Dejah Thoris' chariot I passed Sarkoja. a big. he could win a second name only with the metal of some chieftain. and the black. powerful brute. A few moments later I saw her deep in conversation with a warrior named Zad. but one who had never made a kill among his own chieftains. Lord.

nor conceded by so much as the flutter of an eyelid that she realized my existence. while she seemed to be urging him very strongly to some action. and though I spoke her name she neither replied. or.surnames of the two warrior chieftains whose metal I had taken. in other words. I paid little attention to it at the time. I sought . 230/2610 As Sarkoja talked with Zad he cast occasional glances in my direction. Dejah Thoris would have none of me again on this evening. and at the same time gain a slight insight into the depths of Sarkoja's hatred and the lengths to which she was capable of going to wreak her horrid vengeance on me. whom I had slain in fair fight. In my extremity I did what most other lovers would have done. but the next day I had good reason to recall the circumstances.

poor child.word from her through an intimate. In this instance it was Sola whom I intercepted in another part of camp. "She says you have angered her. "What is the matter with Dejah Thoris?" I blurted out at her. except that she is the daughter of a jed and the granddaughter of a jeddak and she has been humiliated by a creature who could not polish the teeth of her grandmother's sorak. as though such strange actions on the part of two humans were quite beyond her." I pondered over this report for some time. finally asking. and that is all she will say. "What might a sorak be. "Why will she not speak to me?" 231/2610 Sola seemed puzzled herself. Sola?" . as indeed they were.

and to be a great uncle always seemed the height of ." And then commenced a train of thought quite new to me. but I could not help laughing at the strange figure of speech. I thought. or something of the kind equally foolish. 232/2610 Not fit to polish the teeth of her grandmother's cat! I must rank pretty low in the consideration of Dejah Thoris." explained Sola. There was a family of Carters in Virginia who claimed close relationship with me. for it sounded very much like "not fit to polish her shoes. It made me homesick. so homely and in this respect so earthly. I had not seen them for years. I began to wonder what my people at home were doing. I was supposed to be a great uncle."A little animal about as big as my hand. which the red Martian women keep to play with. I could pass anywhere for twenty-five to thirty years of age.

incongruity. I could see them just as plainly. and then my saving sense of humor came to my rescue. for my thoughts and feelings were those of a boy. but the great hall of the Carters had always stood for all that the word did mean to me. By nature a wanderer. and now my heart turned toward it from the cold and unfriendly peoples I had been thrown amongst. I had never known the true meaning of the word home. as I stood there under the moonlit skies of Barsoom. and laughing I turned into my silks and furs and slept upon the moon-haunted 233/2610 . so low in fact that I was not even fit to polish the teeth of her grandmother's cat. There was two little kiddies in the Carter family whom I had loved and who had thought there was no one on Earth like Uncle Jack. and I longed for them as I had never longed for any mortals before. For did not even Dejah Thoris despise me! I was a low creature.

finally announcing that it belonged to the green men . but the eggs were very small in comparison with those I had seen hatching in ours at the time of my arrival on Mars.ground the sleep of a tired and healthy fighting man. About noon we espied far to our right what was evidently an incubator. The latter took a dozen warriors. Two incidents broke the tediousness of the march. Tars Tarkas dismounted and examined the enclosure minutely. It was indeed an incubator. and we raced across the velvety carpeting of moss to the little enclosure. including myself. and Lorquas Ptomel directed Tars Tarkas to investigate it. 234/2610 We broke camp the next day at an early hour and marched with only a single halt until just before dark.

Then remounting we dashed back to join the cavalcade. "I noticed that their eggs were so much smaller than those I saw hatching in your incubator. During the ride I took occasion to ask Tars Tarkas if these Warhoons whose eggs we had destroyed were a smaller people than his Tharks. The work at the incubator was short indeed." he exclaimed." I added. crawling in. 235/2610 "They cannot be a day's march ahead of us. The warriors tore open the entrance and a couple of them.of Warhoon and that the cement was scarcely dry where it had been walled up. soon demolished all the eggs with their short-swords. . the light of battle leaping to his fierce face.

He explained that the eggs had just been placed there. but. they would grow during the five-year period of incubation until they obtained the size of those I had seen hatching on the day of my arrival on Barsoom. the new-laid egg is but little larger than an ordinary goose egg. This was indeed an interesting piece of information. could bring forth such enormous eggs as I had seen the four-foot infants emerging from. and as it does not commence to grow until subjected to the light of the sun the chieftains have little difficulty in transporting several hundreds of them at one time from the storage vaults to the incubators. like all green Martian eggs. Shortly after the incident of the Warhoon eggs we halted to rest the 236/2610 . As a matter of fact. large as they were. for it had always seemed remarkable to me that the green Martian women.

I was engaged in changing my riding cloths from one of my thoats to the other. when Zad approached me. I did not need a manual of green Martian etiquette to know what reply to make.animals. therefore I could have used my 237/2610 . I was so wild with anger that I could scarcely refrain from drawing my pistol and shooting him down for the brute he was. in fact. This latter alternative is always permissible. but he stood waiting with drawn long-sword. for I divided the day's work between them. and it was during this halt that the second of the day's interesting episodes occurred. and without a word struck my animal a terrific blow with his long-sword. and my only choice was to draw my own and meet him in fair fight with his choice of weapons or a lesser one. for.

leaving a clear space about one hundred feet in diameter for our battle.short-sword. to do it with his own weapon. and each time I sidestepped his rushes he would go lunging past me. The fight that followed was a long one and delayed the resumption of the march for an hour. and I wished. my hatchet. only to receive a nick from my sword upon his arm or back. my dagger. 238/2610 I chose the same weapon he had drawn because I knew he prided himself upon his ability with it. but I was much too quick for him. He was . but I could not use firearms or a spear while he held only his long-sword. The entire community surrounded us. Zad first attempted to rush me down as a bull might a wolf. if I worsted him at all. and been entirely within my rights. or my fists had I wished.

evidently decided to close in and end the battle in a final blaze of glory for 239/2610 . needle-like swords flashing in the sunlight.soon streaming blood from a half dozen minor wounds. he tried to do by science what he was unable to do by brute strength. and had it not been for my greater endurance and the remarkable agility the lesser gravitation of Mars lent me I might not have been able to put up the creditable fight I did against him. Finally Zad. I must admit that he was a magnificent swordsman. and ringing out upon the stillness as they crashed together with each effective parry. We circled for some time without doing much damage on either side. but I could not obtain an opening to deliver an effective thrust. and fighting warily and with extreme dexterity. Then he changed his tactics. realizing that he was tiring more than I. the long. straight.

240/2610 .himself. but in the sweep of my glance as I sought to again locate my adversary. and Sarkoja. upon Dejah Thoris' chariot stood three figures. so that I could not see his approach and could only leap blindly to one side in an effort to escape the mighty blade that it seemed I could already feel in my vitals. I was only partially successful. for the purpose evidently of witnessing the encounter above the heads of the intervening Tharks. There were Dejah Thoris. Sola. and as my fleeting glance swept over them a little tableau was presented which will stand graven in my memory to the day of my death. just as he rushed me a blinding flash of light struck full in my eyes. as a sharp pain in my left shoulder attested. a sight met my astonished gaze which paid me well for the wound the temporary blindness had caused me. There.

Dejah Thoris turned upon Sarkoja with the fury of a young tigress and struck something from her upraised hand. for it took my mind for the fraction of an instant entirely from my antagonist. and how Sarkoja had found a way to kill me without herself delivering the final thrust. whipped out her dagger and aimed a terrific blow at Dejah Thoris. Another thing I saw. 241/2610 . too. something which flashed in the sunlight as it spun to the ground.As I looked. Sarkoja. her face livid with hatred and baffled rage. and then Sola. our dear and faithful Sola. for. sprang between them. which almost lost my life for me then and there. as Dejah Thoris struck the tiny mirror from her hand. Then I knew what had blinded me at that crucial moment of the fight. the last I saw was the great knife descending upon her shielding breast.

I threw myself upon him with outstretched sword and with all the weight of my body. and I felt my knees giving beneath me. my head whirled in dizziness. I felt the steel tear into my chest. so I reluctantly gave my attention to the work in hand. 242/2610 We rushed each other furiously time after time. . all went black before me. but my mind was not upon the battle. determined that I would not die alone if I could prevent it. feeling the sharp point of his sword at my breast in a thrust I could neither parry nor escape. 'til suddenly.My enemy had recovered from his thrust and was making it extremely interesting for me.

and. and there I found it. buried to the hilt in the green breast of Zad. . who lay stone dead upon the ochre moss of the ancient sea bottom. as I soon learned. inflicting a painful but not dangerous wound. As I regained my full senses I found his weapon piercing my left breast.CHAPTER XV 243/2610 SOLA TELLS ME HER STORY When consciousness returned. I was down but a moment. As I had lunged I had turned so that his sword merely passed beneath the muscles. entering near the center of my chest and coming out below the shoulder. I sprang quickly to my feet searching for my sword. but only through the flesh and muscles which cover my ribs.

under earthly treatment. They soon had me patched up so that. I suffered no great distress from this thrust which. who.Removing the blade from my body I also regained my own. sore. but I cared not for it. . except for weakness from loss of blood and a little soreness around the wound. and turning my back upon his ugly carcass. A murmur of Martian applause greeted me. and disgusted. sick. dressed my wounds. I moved. 244/2610 Bleeding and weak I reached my women. accustomed to such happenings. Give a Martian woman a chance and death must take a back seat. toward the chariots which bore my retinue and my belongings. undoubtedly would have put me flat on my back for days. applying the wonderful healing and remedial agents which make only the most instantaneous of death blows fatal.

. "Is she injured?" I asked of Sola. 245/2610 As I approached I found Dejah Thoris lying prone upon her silks and furs. her lithe form wracked with sobs. where I found my poor Sola with her chest swathed in bandages. thus deflected. had inflicted but a slight flesh wound. indicating Dejah Thoris by an inclination of my head. who was standing a short distance from the vehicle. whose dagger it seemed had struck the edge of one of Sola's metal breast ornaments and. but apparently little the worse for her encounter with Sarkoja. nor did she hear me speaking with Sola.As soon as they were through with me I hastened to the chariot of Dejah Thoris. She did not notice my presence.

"and so it is difficult for me to interpret them. "I think you wrong her. and you must have hurt or wronged her grievously that she will not admit your existence living." she answered. "Tears are a strange sight upon Barsoom. "she thinks that you are dead."No. though she mourns you dead." she continued. but I am sure the granddaughter of ten thousand jeddaks would never grieve like this over any who held but the highest claim upon her affections. John Carter. as are all Barsoomians. smiling." 246/2610 "And that her grandmother's cat may now have no one to polish its teeth?" I queried." said Sola. but they are just. "I do not understand either her ways or yours. They are a proud race. I have .

"If you would like to hear the strange and un-Barsoomian story come to the chariot tonight." "Your mother!" I exclaimed. the other from baffled rage." 247/2610 "But I did. And my father also. John Carter. you could not have known your mother. other than Dejah Thoris. I shall not force myself upon . you must go. "Be sure to tell Dejah Thoris I am alive and well. "but. the other was Sarkoja. Sola. The first was my mother. and I will tell you that of which I have never spoken in all my life before." "I will come tonight. And now the signal has been given to resume the march. one wept from sorrow. Sola." she added." I promised. child. years ago before they killed her. when they dragged her from me today.seen but two people weep in all my life.

her. the two hundred and fifty ornate and brightly colored chariots. and I hastened to my waiting thoat and galloped to my station beside Tars Tarkas at the rear of the column. preceded by an advance guard of some two hundred mounted warriors and chieftains riding five abreast and one hundred yards apart. which was swinging into its place in line. We made a most imposing and awe-inspiring spectacle as we strung out across the yellow landscape. and be sure that you do not let her know I saw her tears. If she would speak with me I but await her command. and followed by a like number in the same formation. or heavy draught . the fifty extra mastodons. with a score or more of flankers on either side." 248/2610 Sola mounted the chariot.

The gleaming metal and jewels of the gorgeous ornaments of the men and women. and the five or six hundred extra thoats of the warriors running loose within the hollow square formed by the surrounding warriors. and interspersed with the flashing colors of magnificent silks and furs and feathers.animals. The green Martians converse . known as zitidars. duplicated in the trappings of the zitidars and thoats. or the squealing of fighting thoats. lent a barbaric splendor to the caravan which would have turned an East Indian potentate green with envy. and so we moved in utter silence. 249/2610 The enormous broad tires of the chariots and the padded feet of the animals brought forth no sound from the mosscovered sea bottom. except when the stillness was broken by the guttural growling of a goaded zitidar. like some huge phantasmagoria.

It was the first march of a large body of men and animals I had ever witnessed which raised no dust and left no spoor. leaving no sign that we had passed.but little. bending to the pressure of broad tire or padded foot. and even then the absence of high winds renders it almost unnoticeable. low and like the faint rumbling of distant thunder. 250/2610 We traversed a trackless waste of moss which. rose up again behind us. for there is no dust upon Mars except in the cultivated districts during the winter months. We might indeed have been the wraiths of the departed dead upon the dead sea of that dying planet for all the sound or sign we made in passing. and then usually in monosyllables. We camped that night at the foot of the hills we had been approaching for two .

days and which marked the southern boundary of this particular sea. and which. nor had they had water for nearly two months. not since shortly after leaving Thark. Mine own . Our animals had been two days without drink. She looked up at my approach. but. whom I found working by the light of a torch upon some of Tars Tarkas' trappings. as Tars Tarkas explained to me. "I am glad you came. they require but little and can live almost indefinitely upon the moss which covers Barsoom. holds in its tiny stems sufficient moisture to meet the limited demands of the animals. her face lighting with pleasure and with welcome." she said. "Dejah Thoris sleeps and I am lonely. 251/2610 After partaking of my evening meal of cheese-like food and vegetable milk I sought out Sola. he told me.

John Carter. and I often wish that I were a true green Martian woman. but I have known love and so I am lost. "My mother was rather small. in fact too small to be allowed the responsibilities of maternity.people do not care for me. without love and without hope. From what I have learned of you and the ways of your people I am sure that the tale will not seem strange to you. or rather the story of my parents. I am too unlike them. 252/2610 "I promised to tell you my story. It is a sad fate. since I must live my life amongst them. She was also less cold and cruel than most green Martian . as our chieftains breed principally for size. nor do our legends hold many similar tales. but among green Martians it has no parallel within the memory of the oldest living Thark.

and caring little for their society. or went and sat among the wild flowers that deck the nearby hills. as they came to meet more often. their ambitions and their hopes. their likes. and. as was now quite evident to both. whose duty it was to guard the feeding zitidars and thoats and see that they roamed not beyond the hills. She trusted him and told him of the awful repugnance she felt for the cruelties . They spoke at first only of such things as interest a community of Tharks. no longer by chance. for am I not the child of my mother? 253/2610 "And there among the hills she met a young warrior. she often roamed the deserted avenues of Thark alone. they talked about themselves.women. but gradually. thinking thoughts and wishing wishes which I believe I alone among Tharkian women today may understand.

She. "The egg from which I came was hidden beneath a great glass vessel upon the highest and most inaccessible of the partially ruined towers of ancient Thark. was of the retinue of the great Tal Hajus. hard lips. Once each year my mother visited it for the five long years it lay there in the 254/2610 . for the hideous. and then she waited for the storm of denunciation to break from his cold. loveless lives they must ever lead. my mother. but instead he took her in his arms and kissed her. "They kept their love a secret for six long years. while her lover was a simple warrior. wearing only his own metal. Had their defection from the traditions of the Tharks been discovered both would have paid the penalty in the great arena before Tal Hajus and the assembled hordes.of their kind.

and he soon stood high in the councils of Thark. that of wresting the metal from Tal Hajus in five short years. but his advance was rapid. During this period my father gained great distinction as a warrior and had taken the metal from several chieftains. But one day the chance was lost forever.process of incubation. by the might of his power. be free to claim her as his own. "It was a wild dream. as ruler of the Tharks. protect the child which otherwise would be quickly dispatched should the truth become known. in so far as it could come in 255/2610 . His love for my mother had never diminished. as well as. She dared not come oftener. for in the mighty guilt of her conscience she feared that her every move was watched. and his own ambition in life was to reach a point where he might wrest the metal from Tal Hajus himself. and thus.

Thereafter my mother continued to keep me in the old tower. for such is the manner of the green Barsoomian. for about a year after his departure. he does not labor for what he can wrest in battle from others. to make war upon the natives there and despoil them of their furs. the egg had hatched. visiting me nightly and lavishing upon me the love the community life would have robbed us both of. and when he returned all had been over for three. and shortly before the time for the return of an expedition which had gone forth to fetch the fruits of a community incubator. to mix me with the other young assigned to the quarters of Tal Hajus. "He was gone for four years. She hoped. and thus escape the fate 256/2610 .time to save his loved ones. for he was ordered away upon a long expedition to the ice-clad south. upon the return of the expedition from the incubator.

her gleaming. 257/2610 "She taught me rapidly the language and customs of my kind. and one night she told me the story I have told to you up to this point.which would surely follow discovery of her sin against the ancient traditions of the green men. and then drawing me close to her she whispered in my ear the name of my father. . and there stood Sarkoja. impressing upon me the necessity for absolute secrecy and the great caution I must exercise after she had placed me with the other young Tharks to permit no one to guess that I was further advanced in education than they. or my knowledge of my parentage. nor by any sign to divulge in the presence of others my affection for her. "And then a light flashed out upon the darkness of the tower chamber.

nor did she know. 258/2610 "One thing she had not heard. but no amount of abuse or threats could wring this from her. for she told Sarkoja that she alone knew nor would she even tell her child. . the whispered name of my father. That she had heard the entire story was apparent. This was apparent from her repeated demands upon my mother to disclose the name of her partner in sin. The torrent of hatred and abuse she poured out upon her turned my young heart cold in terror. and that she had suspected something wrong from my mother's long nightly absences from her quarters accounted for her presence there on that fateful night.baleful eyes fixed in a frenzy of loathing and contempt upon my mother. and to save me from needless torture she lied.

The sounds we heard were the squealing of thoats and the grumbling of zitidars. "As we neared the city's southern extremity a sound came to us from across the mossy flat."With final imprecations. but on whose face she wished to look once more before she died. Sarkoja hastened away to Tal Hajus to report her discovery. descended to the streets and ran wildly away toward the outskirts of the city. from the direction of the only pass through the hills which led to the gates. and while she was gone my mother. so that I was scarcely noticeable. out toward the man whose protection she might not claim. in the direction which led to the far south. the pass by which caravans from either north or south or east or west would enter the city. with the occasional clank of arms which 259/2610 . wrapping me in the silks and furs of her night coverings.

The thought uppermost in her mind was that it was my father returned from his expedition. My mother shrank further back into the friendly shadows.announced the approach of a body of warriors. As the head of the procession passed us the lesser moon swung clear of the overhanging roofs and lit up the scene with all the brilliancy of her wondrous light. and as a great chariot swung close to . but the cunning of the Thark held her from headlong and precipitate flight to greet him. but the returning caravan bearing the young Tharks. 260/2610 "Retreating into the shadows of a doorway she awaited the coming of the cavalcade which shortly entered the avenue. breaking its formation and thronging the thoroughfare from wall to wall. Instantly her plan was formed. and from her hiding place saw that the expedition was not that of my father.

straining me to her bosom in a frenzy of love. fed by women who had not accompanied the expedition. what I did not. that never again after that night would she hold me to her breast. 261/2610 "She knew. We were herded together into a great room. whose guardians during the journey were now free to relinquish their responsibility. She was imprisoned by Tal Hajus. and the next day we were parceled out among the retinues of the chieftains. nor was it likely we would ever look upon each other's face again.our hiding place she slipped stealthily in upon the trailing tailboard. In the confusion of the plaza she mixed me with the other children. "I never saw my mother after that night. including the most . crouching low in the shadow of the high side. and every effort.

but she remained steadfast and loyal. but does not dare expose me. I am sure. 262/2610 "When he returned from his expedition and learned the story of my mother's fate I was present as Tal Hajus told him. Sarkoja alone disbelieved her. at all events. dying at last amidst the laughter of Tal Hajus and his chieftains during some awful torture she was undergoing.horrible and shameful torture. but never by the quiver of a muscle did . and I feel to this day that she suspects my true origin. the identity of my father. and that she had thrown my body to the white apes. was brought to bear upon her to wring from her lips the name of my father. at the present. because she also guesses. "I learned afterwards that she told them that she had killed me to save me from a like fate at their hands.

"Yes." she replied. is he with us now?" I asked. I alone know my father's name. for I am as sure that he but waits the opportunity to wreak a terrible vengeance. as I am that we sit here upon the edge of a world-old ocean while sensible people sleep. and that his great love is as strong in his breast as when it first transfigured him nearly forty years ago. 263/2610 . and I am awaiting the day when he shall win the goal of his ambition. and feel the carcass of Tal Hajus beneath his foot." "And your father. "but he does not know me for what I am.he betray the slightest emotion. Sola. John Carter. nor does he know who betrayed my mother to Tal Hajus. only he did not laugh as Tal Hajus gleefully described her death struggles. From that moment on he was the cruelest of the cruel.

dead bosom of Barsoom you are one.and only I and Tal Hajus and Sarkoja know that it was she who carried the tale that brought death and torture upon her he loved. and because the knowledge may someday help you or him or Dejah Thoris or myself. senseless customs of their race had doomed to loveless lives of cruelty and of hate. "John Carter. nor place any restrictions or conditions upon your tongue." 264/2610 We sat silent for a few moments. When the time comes. I am going to tell you the name of my father. if ever a real man walked the cold. she wrapped in the gloomy thoughts of her terrible past. I know that I can trust you. and I in pity for the poor creatures whom the heartless. speak the truth if it seems best to you. I trust . Presently she spoke.

or canals. We were twenty days upon the road." 265/2610 CHAPTER XVI WE PLAN ESCAPE The remainder of our journey to Thark was uneventful. Twice we crossed the famous Martian waterways. crossing two sea bottoms and passing through or around a number of ruined cities. mostly smaller than Korad. My father's name is Tars because I know that you are not cursed with the terrible trait of absolute and unswerving truthfulness. that you could lie like one of your own Virginia gentlemen if a lie would save others from sorrow or suffering. so- .

I was unable to see but little. and. as we did. 266/2610 Crossing in the darkness. so that we were just leaving the confines of the high-walled fields when the sun broke out upon us. locating one of the numerous. and if no great body of red Martian troops was in sight we would advance as close as possible without chance of being seen and then camp until dark. When we approached these points a warrior would be sent far ahead with a powerful field glass.called by our earthly astronomers. broad highways which cross these areas at regular intervals. creep silently and stealthily across to the arid lands upon the other side. in her wild and . and the other consumed the entire night. when we would slowly approach the cultivated tract. except as the nearer moon. It required five hours to make one of these crossings without a single halt.

disclosing walled fields and low. The fellow must have been sleeping beside the road. There were many trees. wild beasts and wilder human beings. methodically arranged. Only once did I perceive a human being. and they announced their presence by terrified squealings and snortings as they scented our queer.ceaseless hurtling through the Barsoomian heavens. as I came abreast of him. and some of them were of enormous height. white turnpike which cuts each cultivated district longitudinally at its exact center. for. and that was at the intersection of our crossroad with the wide. presenting much the appearance of earthly farms. rambling buildings. there were animals in some of the enclosures. he raised upon one elbow and after a single glance at the approaching caravan 267/2610 . lit up little patches of the landscape from time to time.

268/2610 Not once did I have speech with Dejah Thoris. as she sent no word to me that I would be welcome at her chariot. The Tharks paid him not the slightest attention. and the only sign that I had that they had seen him was a quickening of the pace of the caravan as we hastened toward the bordering desert which marked our entrance into the realm of Tal Hajus. I verily believe that a man's way with women is in inverse ratio to his prowess among men. The weakling and the saphead have often great ability to charm the fair sex. scaling a nearby wall with the agility of a scared cat. while the fighting man who can face a . and my foolish pride kept me from making any advances.leaped shrieking to his feet and fled madly down the road. they were not out upon the warpath.

from whose long-forgotten people this horde of green men have stolen even their name. and are divided into twenty-five communities. There . and the balance are scattered among other deserted cities of ancient Mars throughout the district claimed by Tal Hajus. Jeddak of Thark. Each community has its own jed and lesser chieftains. Five communities make their headquarters at the city of Thark. sits hiding in the shadows like some frightened child. 269/2610 Just thirty days after my advent upon Barsoom we entered the ancient city of Thark. but all are under the rule of Tal Hajus. We made our entry into the great central plaza early in the afternoon.thousand real dangers unafraid. The hordes of Thark number some thirty thousand souls.

My home now was upon an avenue leading into the plaza from the south. but when it was discovered that they brought two captives a greater interest was aroused. 270/2610 We were soon assigned to new quarters. and the balance of the day was devoted to settling ourselves to the changed conditions. only. I was at the far end of the square and had an entire building to myself. in the formal greeting of their kind. The same grandeur of architecture which was so noticeable a characteristic of Korad was in evidence here.were no enthusiastic friendly greetings for the returned expedition. Those who chanced to be in sight spoke the names of warriors or women with whom they came in direct contact. the main artery down which we had marched from the gates of the city. and Dejah Thoris and I were the centers of inquiring groups. if that .

and so on to the bottom of the list of five jeds. each community being assigned a certain section of the city. The selection of building had to be made 271/2610 . or. sought shelter among any of the thousands of untenanted buildings in their own quarter of town. the largest in the city. but entirely unfitted for residence purposes. if they preferred. the more desirable.were possible. the next for the jed of a lesser rank. and so Tal Hajus occupied what must have been an enormous public building. but to these queer creatures nothing about a building appealed to them but its size and the enormity of its chambers. My quarters would have been suitable for housing the greatest of earthly emperors. The warriors occupied the buildings with the chieftains to whose retinues they belonged. the next largest was reserved for Lorquas Ptomel. the larger the building. on a larger and richer scale.

and I hastened out with the intention of locating Sola and her accordance with these divisions. I searched in vain until the upper rim of the great red sun was just disappearing behind the horizon and then I spied the ugly head of Woola peering from a second-story window on the opposite side of the very street where I was quartered. they all occupying edifices which fronted upon the plaza. . 272/2610 When I had finally put my house in order. as I had determined upon having speech with Dejah Thoris and trying to impress on her the necessity of our at least patching up a truce until I could find some way of aiding her to escape. it was nearing sunset. or rather seen that it had been done. but nearer the plaza. except in so far as the jeds were concerned.

and with a couple of quick strides I was standing beside her where she crouched among the furs and silks upon an ancient carved wooden seat. the poor old fellow was so glad to see me that I thought he would devour me. showing his three rows of tusks in his hobgoblin smile.Without waiting for a further invitation I bolted up the winding runway which led to the second floor. nearly hurling me to the floor. and entering a great chamber at the front of the building was greeted by the frenzied Woola. Quieting him with a word of command and a caress. and then. I called her name. I looked hurriedly through the approaching gloom for a sign of Dejah Thoris. There was an answering murmur from the far corner of the apartment. who threw his great carcass upon me. his head split from ear to ear. As 273/2610 . not seeing her.

When you are safe once more at your father's court you may do with me as you please.I waited she rose to her full height and looking me straight in the eye said: 274/2610 "What would Dotar Sojat. Have none of me if it is your will. is not my request. but from now on until that day I am your master. It was furtherest from my desire to hurt or offend you. and you must obey and aid me. of Dejah Thoris his captive?" "Dejah Thoris. Thark. but my command." She looked at me long and earnestly and I thought that she was softening toward me. if such a thing be possible. but that you must aid me in effecting your escape. I do not know how I have angered you. whom I had hoped to protect and comfort. .

"but you I do not understand. I only wish that I might read your heart. John Carter?" she whispered. You are a queer mixture of child and man. what from your . Dotar Sojat. of brute and noble. groping gesture. "What do you mean. it lies there now where it has lain since that other night at Korad. and where it will ever lie beating alone for you until death stills it forever."I understand your words. "What are you saying to me?" "I am saying what I had promised myself that I would not say to you." 275/2610 "Look down at your feet. Dejah Thoris. her beautiful hands outstretched in a strange." she replied." She took a little step toward me. at least until you were no longer a captive among the green men.

attitude toward me for the past twenty days I had thought never to say to you. your word shall be my law. body and soul. John Carter. and that is that you make no sign. either of condemnation or of approbation of my words until you are safe among your own people. I 276/2610 . that I am yours. Only one thing I ask of you in return. to serve you. whatever I may do to serve you will be prompted solely from selfish motives. Dejah Thoris. I am saying. since it gives me more pleasure to serve you than not. and I accept your service no more willingly than I bow to your authority. because I understand the motives which prompt them. and to die for you. to fight for you." "I will respect your wishes. and that whatever sentiments you harbor toward me they be not influenced or colored by gratitude.

" "Sola. "That horrible Sarkoja has been before Tal Hajus. "That you will be thrown to the wild calots [dogs] in the great arena as soon as the hordes have assembled for the yearly games.have twice wronged you in my thoughts and again I ask your forgiveness. "you are a Thark. "and from what I heard upon the plaza there is little hope for either of you." "What do they say?" inquired Dejah Thoris. who was much agitated and wholly unlike her usual calm and possessed self." 277/2610 Further conversation of a personal nature was prevented by the entrance of Sola. but you hate and loathe the customs of your ." I said." she cried.

I know that even that fear would not tempt you to interfere in our escape. amongst a . but we want you with us. "come with us. and I can promise you not only a home with us.people as much as we do. Sola. Sola. but the love and affection your nature craves and which must always be denied you by the customs of your own race." 278/2610 "Yes. Will you not accompany us in one supreme effort to escape? I am sure that Dejah Thoris can offer you a home and protection among her people. and your fate can be no worse among them than it must ever be here. Come with us. but your fate would be terrible if they thought you had connived to aid us. you will be better off among the red men of Helium than you are here. we want you to come to a land of sunshine and happiness. we might go without you." cried Dejah Thoris.

Dejah Thoris?" . "Can you not draw me a rough map of the country we must traverse. We might hide among the great trees for a time.people who know the meaning of love. Sola. but the chances are small indeed for escape." "Is there no other way we might reach Helium?" I asked. "a swift thoat might make it in three hours. of sympathy. tell me that you will. They would follow us to the very gates of Helium. Say that you will. They would know and they would follow us. and they would take toll of life at every step. and of gratitude. you do not know them." murmured Sola. most of the way through thinly settled districts." 279/2610 "The great waterway which leads to Helium is but fifty miles to the south. half to herself. and then to Helium it is five hundred miles.

and one far to the northwest of us she pointed out as Helium. It was crisscrossed in every direction with long straight lines. cities. 280/2610 . The lines. I pointed out a waterway far to the north of us which also seemed to lead to Helium. she said."Yes. sometimes running parallel and sometimes converging toward some great circle. and taking a great diamond from her hair she drew upon the marble floor the first map of Barsoomian territory I had ever seen. "Does not this pierce your grandfather's territory?" I asked." she replied. as they were not all friendly toward Helium. but she said she feared to enter many of them. after studying the map carefully in the moonlight which now flooded the room. the circles. There were other cities closer. Finally. were waterways.

"Yes. in fact. since the animals could not be urged too rapidly for so long a distance. "and that is why I think that it is the best route for our escape. as I could find and saddle my thoats. Sola was to ride one and Dejah Thoris and I the other." I answered. each of us carrying sufficient food and drink to last us for two days. "but it is two hundred miles north of us. I directed Sola to proceed with Dejah Thoris along one of the less frequented avenues to the southern boundary of . and it was decided that we should leave Thark this same night." 281/2610 "They would never suspect that we would try for that distant waterway. it is one of the waterways we crossed on the trip to Thark. just as quickly." Sola agreed with me." she answered.

before settling down for the night. where our animals were moving restlessly about. It was risky business. where I would overtake them with the thoats as quickly as possible. They were quieter now. this entering a . and furs we were to need. I slipped quietly to the rear of the first floor. and entered the courtyard.the city. silks. 282/2610 In the shadows of the buildings and out beneath the radiance of the Martian moons moved the great herd of thoats and zitidars. as was their habit. then. but as they scented me they became more restless and their hideous noise increased. the latter grunting their low gutturals and the former occasionally emitting the sharp squeal which denotes the almost habitual state of rage in which these creatures passed their existence. leaving them to gather what food. owing to the absence of man.

and also because for the slightest cause. where so much depended upon secrecy and dispatch. first. How I thanked the kind providence which had given me the foresight to win the love and confidence of these wild dumb brutes. Thus I moved silently to the great gates which opened upon the street at the back of the court. Having no desire to awaken their nasty tempers upon such a night as this. because their increasing noisiness might warn the nearby warriors that something was amiss. or for no cause at all some great bull thoat might take it upon himself to lead a charge upon me. ready at an instant's warning to leap into the safety of a nearby door or window. for presently from the far side of the court I saw two 283/2610 . I hugged the shadows of the buildings.paddock of thoats alone and at night. and as I neared the exit I called softly to my two animals.

but instead walked quietly in the shadows of the buildings toward an unfrequented avenue which led toward the point I had arranged to meet Dejah Thoris and Sola. Opening the gates I ordered the two great beasts to pass out. and then slipping quietly after them I closed the portals behind me. With the noiselessness of disembodied spirits we moved stealthily along the deserted streets. but not until we were within sight of the plain beyond the city did I commence to breathe freely.huge bulks forcing their way toward me through the surging mountains of flesh. rubbing their muzzles against my body and nosing for the bits of food it was always my practice to reward them with. I was sure that Sola and . They came quite close to me. 284/2610 I did not saddle or mount the animals there.

Presuming that one of the other women of the same household may have come in to speak to Sola.Dejah Thoris would find no difficulty in reaching our rendezvous undetected. as it was quite unusual for warriors to leave the city after dark. from the 285/2610 . Then there broke upon the stillness of the night the sound of an approaching party. I did not feel any undue apprehension until nearly an hour had passed without a sign of them. in fact there was no place for them to go within any but a long ride. but as Dejah Thoris and Sola were not there I led my animals into the entrance hall of one of the large buildings. and by the time another half hour had crawled away I was becoming filled with grave anxiety. which. but with my great thoats I was not so sure for myself. I reached the appointed meeting place safely. and so delayed their departure.

I knew could be no fugitives creeping stealthily toward liberty. 286/2610 "He would likely have arranged to meet them just without the city. now that the city probably was aroused by the knowledge of my escape was a problem of no mean proportions. but how to do it with these great monstrous thoats upon my hands. and the chances for escape from now on to the fearful end would be small indeed. but it was enough. in passing. and so--" I heard no more. who.noise. dropped a dozen words that fetched my heart clean into the top of my head. My one hope now was to return undetected to the quarters of Dejah Thoris and learn what fate had overtaken her. Soon the party was near me. Our plan had been discovered. and from the black shadows of my entranceway I perceived a score of mounted warriors. . they had passed on.

but as the buildings fronting the city's principal exposures were all designed upon a magnificent scale. and acting on my knowledge of the construction of the buildings of these ancient Martian cities with a hollow court within the center of each square. and thus we finally made the inner court where I found. calling the great thoats after me. they were able to wriggle through without sticking fast. They had difficulty in negotiating some of the doorways. nor was there but the remotest possibility that they would be discovered. as I had expected. the usual carpet of moss-like vegetation which would prove their food and drink until I could return them to their own enclosure.Suddenly an idea occurred to me. That they would be as quiet and contented here as elsewhere I was confident. I groped my way blindly through the dark chambers. as the green men had no great desire to enter these 287/2610 .

quickly made my way across the court to the rear of the buildings upon the further side. crossing through court after court with only the slight chance of detection which the necessary crossing of the avenues entailed. I hurried across to the opposite side and through the first doorway to the court beyond. thus. and. which caused them the sensation of fear--the great white apes of Barsoom. I hid them just within the rear doorway of the building through which we had entered the court. turning the beasts loose.outlying buildings. and thence to the avenue beyond. I made my way in safety to the courtyard in the rear of Dejah Thoris' quarters. Waiting in the doorway of the building until I was assured that no one was approaching. which were frequented by the only thing. I believe. . 288/2610 Removing the saddle trappings.

and. but.Here. for I had never observed them before from the court side. 289/2610 . of course. Drawing myself inside the room I moved stealthily toward the front of the building. I had another and safer method of reaching the upper story where Dejah Thoris should be found. I took advantage of my relatively great strength and agility and sprang upward until I grasped the sill of a second-story window which I thought to be in the rear of her apartment. fortunately for me. after first determining as nearly as possible which of the buildings she occupied. I found the beasts of the warriors who quartered in the adjacent buildings. and the warriors themselves I might expect to meet within if I entered. and not until I had quite reached the doorway of her room was I made aware by voices that it was occupied.

It will require the combined strength of all of you to do it if the reports they bring back from Korad are correct. but listened without to assure myself that it was Dejah Thoris and that it was safe to venture within. It was well indeed that I took this precaution. and the words which finally came to me proved a most timely warning." he was saying. you four are to spring upon him and disarm him. The speaker was a chieftain and he was giving orders to four of his warriors. 290/2610 "And when he returns to this chamber. for the conversation I heard was in the low gutturals of men.I did not rush headlong in. When you have him fast bound bear him to the vaults beneath the jeddak's quarters and chain him securely where he may be found when Tal Hajus wishes him. "as he surely will when he finds she does not meet him at the city's edge. Allow him .

I commend your carcasses to the cold bosom of Iss. There will be no danger of the girl returning. but I needed to wait no . for Tal Hajus will have speak with none." 291/2610 CHAPTER XVII A COSTLY RECAPTURE As the speaker ceased he turned to leave the apartment by the door where I was standing. and if you fail to capture him when he comes. nor permit any other to enter this apartment before he comes. and may all her ancestors have pity upon her. for by this time she is safe in the arms of Tal Hajus. the great Sarkoja has done a noble night's work. I go.

I soon discovered that my approach was not to be the easy thing I had hoped. I had heard enough to fill my soul with dread. discovering that the third was apparently unlighted. and advancing to the windows I peered within. I then glanced up at the stories above. 292/2610 The brilliantly lighted apartments of the first floor told me where first to seek. and stealing quietly away I returned to the courtyard by the way I had come. and so decided to make my entrance to the building from that point. It was the work of but a moment for me to reach the windows above. My plan of action was formed upon the instant. and crossing the square and the bordering avenue upon the opposite side I soon stood within the courtyard of Tal Hajus. and soon I had drawn myself . for the rear rooms bordering the court were filled with warriors and women.longer.

The floor of this great circular hall was thronged with chieftains. two stories below me. Reaching what appeared to be a doorway I discovered that it was but an opening upon an immense inner chamber which towered from the first floor. 293/2610 Fortunately the room I had selected was untenanted. warriors and women. and at one end was a great raised platform upon which squatted the most hideous beast I had ever put my eyes upon. There was . high above my head. to the dome-like roof of the building. terrible features of the green warriors. and creeping noiselessly to the corridor beyond I discovered a light in the apartments ahead of me. He had all the cold.within the sheltering shadows of the unlighted third floor. hard. but accentuated and debased by the animal passions to which he had given himself over for many years. cruel.

his six limbs accentuating the similarity in a horrible and startling manner. every inch of her dear. her head high held.not a mark of dignity or pride upon his bestial countenance. She was indeed the proud daughter of a thousand jeddaks. and even at the distance I was from them I could read the scorn and disgust upon her face as she let her haughty glance rest without sign of fear upon him. but I could not hear what she said. nor could I make out the low grumbling of his reply. while his enormous bulk spread itself out upon the platform where he squatted like some huge devil fish. 294/2610 But the sight that froze me with apprehension was that of Dejah Thoris and Sola standing there before him. and the fiendish leer of him as he let his great protruding eyes gloat upon the lines of her beautiful figure. . She was speaking. She stood there erect before him.

and that the prisoners be left alone before him. but in her majesty dwarfing them into insignificance. and I could read his 295/2610 . so frail beside the towering warriors around her. One chieftain alone had hesitated before departing. I saw him standing in the shadows of a mighty column. so small.precious little body. It was Tars Tarkas. the warriors and the women melted away into the shadows of the surrounding chambers. his fingers nervously toying with the hilt of his great-sword and his cruel eyes bent in implacable hatred upon Tal Hajus. and Dejah Thoris and Sola stood alone before the jeddak of the Tharks. Slowly the chieftains. Presently Tal Hajus made a sign that the chamber be cleared. she was the mightiest figure among them and I verily believe that they felt it.

As I reached the floor Tal Hajus was speaking. but finally he also strode from the room. He was thinking of that other woman who. and I. and I reached the main floor of the chamber unobserved. forty years ago. had stood before this beast.thoughts as they were an open book for the undisguised loathing upon his face. hurried to the winding runway which led to the floors below. 296/2610 . half anticipating his intentions. No one was near to intercept me. half fearing. Tal Hajus arose. not knowing that he left his own daughter at the mercy of the creature he most loathed. and could I have spoken a word into his ear at that moment the reign of Tal Hajus would have been over. taking my station in the shadow of the same column that Tars Tarkas had but just deserted.

ten days of pleasure were all too short to show the love I harbor for your race. they will shudder in the shadows of the night as their fathers tell them of the awful vengeance of the green men. I might wring a mighty ransom from your people would I but return you to them unharmed. tonight thou art Tal Hajus'."Princess of Helium. your grandfather. that he may grovel upon the ground in the agony of his sorrow. that I promise you. it shall be long drawn out. but a thousand times rather would I watch that beautiful face writhe in the agony of torture. Tomorrow the torture will commence. The terrors of your death shall haunt the slumbers of the red men through all the ages to come. of the power and might and hate and cruelty of Tal Hajus. Jeddak of Helium. come!" 297/2610 . and word of that too shall go forth to Tardos Mors. But before the torture you shall be mine for one short hour.

I could have plunged it into his putrid heart before he realized that I was upon him. weary years. but as I raised my arm to strike I thought of Tars Tarkas.He sprang down from the platform and grasped her roughly by the arm. and. I swung my good right fist full upon the point of his jaw. I could not rob him of that sweet moment for which he had lived and hoped all these long. and so. and motioning Sola to follow we sped noiselessly from the chamber and to the floor above. with all my hatred. with all my rage. My short-sword. but scarcely had he touched her than I leaped between them. instead. In the same deathly silence I grasped Dejah Thoris by the hand. Without a sound he slipped to the floor as one dead. Unseen we reached a rear 298/2610 . sharp and gleaming was in my right hand.

and placing the trappings upon them we hastened through the building to the avenue beyond. first Sola and then Dejah Thoris to the ground below. we turned to the northeast and . we rode from the city of Thark through the hills to the south. Mounting. Dropping lightly after them I drew them rapidly around the court in the shadows of the buildings. Sola upon one beast. and thus we returned over the same course I had so recently followed from the distant boundary of the city. Instead of circling back around the city to the northwest and toward the nearest waterway which lay so short a distance from us. 299/2610 We finally came upon my thoats in the courtyard where I had left them.window and with the straps and leather of my trappings I lowered. and Dejah Thoris behind me upon the other.

lay another main artery leading to Helium. and should we not make it. in unbroken silence. "the debt is no less. but I could hear the quiet sobbing of Dejah Thoris as she clung to me with her dear head resting against my shoulder. No word was spoken until we had left the city far behind. greater than she can ever pay you. though Helium will never know." 300/2610 I did not answer. for two hundred dangerous and weary miles. my chieftain. but instead reached to my side and pressed the little fingers of her I loved where they clung to me for support.struck out upon the mossy waste across which. for you have saved the last of our line from worse than death. and then. "If we make it. ." she continued. the debt of Helium will be a mighty one.

each of us occupied with his own thoughts. and with all our unpassed danger my heart was singing as gaily as though we were already entering the gates of Helium. We rode all night and all the following day with only a few short rests. 301/2610 Our earlier plans had been so sadly upset that we now found ourselves without food or drink.we sped over the yellow. and I alone was armed. with Dejah Thoris' warm body pressed close to mine. moonlit moss. We therefore urged our beasts to a speed that must tell on them sorely before we could hope to sight the ending of the first stage of our journey. and so we lay down upon the moss and slept for some . On the second night both we and our animals were completely fagged. For my part I could not be other than joyful had I tried.

302/2610 Evidently we had circled. nor did it seem possible with the sun to guide us by day and the moons and stars by night. the terrible truth flashed upon us--we were lost.five or six hours. These we decided to attempt to reach in the hope that from some ridge we might discern the missing waterway. At any rate no waterway was in sight. taking up the journey once more before daylight. the mark of the great waterways throughout all Barsoom. and when. Far ahead of us and a trifle to the right we could distinguish the outlines of low mountains. Night fell upon us before we reached our goal. late in the afternoon we had sighted no distant trees. almost fainting . but which way it was difficult to say. and. thirst and fatigue. All the following day we rode. and the entire party was almost ready to drop from hunger.

the faithful brute had followed us across that trackless waste to share our fate. Shortly after this Dejah Thoris and Sola awakened. nor of the tears that came to my eyes as I thought of his love for me. nor am I ashamed that I did it.from weariness and weakness. Putting my arms about his neck I pressed my cheek close to his. whatever it might be. and it was decided that we push on at once in an effort to gain the hills. 303/2610 I was awakened early in the morning by some huge body pressing close to mine. We had gone scarcely a mile when I noticed that my thoat was commencing to stumble and stagger in a most pitiful manner. we lay down and slept. and opening my eyes with a start I beheld my blessed old Woola snuggling close to me. although we had not attempted .

but the poor beast was in a pitiable condition. Suddenly he lurched wildly to one side and pitched violently to the ground. although relieved of our weight. In this way we had progressed to within about a mile of the hills we were endeavoring to reach 304/2610 . we left the poor fellow to his force them out of a walk since about noon of the preceding day. not even being able to rise. as was my first intention. Dejah Thoris and I were thrown clear of him and fell upon the soft moss with scarcely a jar. as I had thought it cruel to leave him alone there to die of hunger and thirst. when it fell. and pushed on with the one thoat as best we could. which I flung down beside him. Relieving him of his trappings. Sola told me that the coolness of the night. making Dejah Thoris ride. much against her will. Sola and I walked. and so I decided not to kill him. together with the rest would doubtless revive him.

presenting as small an object as possible for fear of attracting the attention of the warriors toward us.when Dejah Thoris. 305/2610 . Sola and I both looked in the direction she indicated. and there. plainly discernible. were several hundred mounted warriors. They doubtless were Thark warriors who had been sent out to capture us. which would take them away from us. Quickly lifting Dejah Thoris from the thoat. I commanded the animal to lie down and we three did the same. from her point of vantage upon the thoat. and we breathed a great sigh of relief that they were traveling in the opposite direction. They seemed to be headed in a southwesterly direction. cried out that she saw a great party of mounted men filing down from a pass in the hills several miles away.

since. and I could feel the cold sweat start from every pore in my body. before they were lost to view behind a friendly ridge. to us a most providential ridge. Presently it swung full upon us and-stopped. threw his small but powerful fieldglass to his eye and scanned the sea bottom in all directions.We could see them as they filed out of the pass. Evidently he was a chieftain. The tension on our nerves was near the breaking point. for in certain marching formations among the green men a chieftain brings up the extreme rear of the column. As what proved to be the last warrior came into view from the pass. he halted and. had they been in view for any great length of time. they scarcely could have failed to discover us. and I doubt if 306/2610 . just for an instant. As his glass swung toward us our hearts stopped in our breasts. to our consternation.

and then he lowered it and we could see him shout a command to the warriors who had passed from our sight behind the ridge. and directed Sola to take Dejah Thoris with her upon him and make a mighty effort to reach the hills before . He did not wait for them to join him. and the charging chieftain pitched backward from his flying mount. however. 307/2610 There was but one slight chance and that we must take quickly. Raising my strange Martian rifle to my shoulder I sighted and touched the button which controlled the trigger.any of us breathed for the few moments he held us covered by his glass. Springing to my feet I urged the thoat to rise. there was a sharp explosion as the missile reached its goal. instead he wheeled his thoat and came tearing madly in our direction.

" she cried. as a last resort. I knew that in the ravines and gullies they might find a temporary hiding place." and I tried to smile as I lied. "Good-bye. my princess." I whispered. Forcing my two revolvers upon them as a slight means of protection. and. "are you not coming with us?" 308/2610 . "we may meet in Helium yet. I have escaped from worse plights than this. I lifted Dejah Thoris in my arms and placed her upon the thoat behind Sola. who had already mounted at my command. as an escape for themselves from the horrid death which recapture would surely mean. "What.the green warriors were upon us. and even though they died there of hunger and thirst it would be better so than that they fell into the hands of the Tharks.

. slapping the thoat upon the flank. and pressing my lips to hers for the first time. Sola! Dejah Thoris remains to die with the man she loves. Dejah Thoris? Someone hold these fellows off for a while. I picked her up bodily and tossed her to her seat behind Sola again. Ah." Those words are engraved upon my heart. saying with quiet dignity: "Fly. commanding the latter in peremptory tones to hold her there by force. gladly would I give up my life a thousand times could I only hear them once again. but I could not then give even a second to the rapture of her sweet embrace." 309/2610 She sprang quickly from the thoat and. throwing her dear arms about my neck. and then. I saw them borne away. turned to Sola. can better escape them alone than the three of us together."How must and I could may I.

My respite was short-lived however. and another hundred in the belt at my back. numbering some thousand men. lying flat upon my belly in the moss. I fired until my rifle was empty and they were almost upon me. 310/2610 Turning. but scarcely had they discovered me than I commenced firing. I had an even hundred rounds in the magazine of my rifle. and then me.Dejah Thoris struggling to the last to free herself from Sola's grasp. I beheld the green warriors mounting the ridge and looking for their chieftain. and I kept up a continuous stream of fire until I saw all of the warriors who had been first to return from behind the ridge either dead or scurrying to cover. In a moment they saw him. racing madly toward me. and then a glance showing me . for soon the entire party. came charging into view.

311/2610 If ever Martians had an exhibition of jumping. but while it led them away from Dejah Thoris it did not distract their attention from endeavoring to capture me. and although I drew my longsword in an attempt to sell my life as dearly as possible. and started away in the direction opposite to that taken by Sola and her charge. I reeled beneath their blows which fell upon me in perfect torrents. and down I went sprawling upon the moss. my head . I sprang up. throwing down my useless gun. As I looked up they were upon me. finally.that Dejah Thoris and Sola had disappeared among the hills. They raced wildly after me until. it was soon over. it was granted those astonished warriors on that day long years ago. my foot struck a projecting piece of quartz.

. and I went down beneath them to oblivion. and bending over me was an ancient and ugly female. I was lying among a pile of sleeping silks and furs in the corner of a small room in which were several green warriors.swam. 312/2610 CHAPTER XVIII CHAINED IN WARHOON It must have been several hours before I regained consciousness and I well remember the feeling of surprise which swept over me as I realized that I was not dead. all was black.

saying. terribly scarred about the face and chest." replied the one so addressed. "He will live. for his ornaments and metal were not of that horde. . Strapped on either breast were human skulls and depending from these a number of dried human hands. I saw that he was no Thark." 313/2610 "'Tis well. and with one broken tusk and a missing ear." And now as my eyes fell upon him. He was a huge fellow. O Jed.As I opened my eyes she turned to one of the warriors. His reference to the great games of which I had heard so much while among the Tharks convinced me that I had but jumped from purgatory into gehenna. rising and approaching my couch. "he should render rare sport for the great games.

314/2610 I was strapped securely to as wild and unmanageable a thoat as I had ever seen. so wonderfully and rapidly had the applications and injections of the female exercised their therapeutic powers. Just before dark we reached the main body of troops shortly after they had made camp for the night. with a mounted warrior on either side to prevent the beast from bolting. I was immediately taken before the leader. during which she assured him that I was now fully fit to travel. and. and so deftly had she bound and plastered the injuries. we rode forth at a furious pace in pursuit of the column. who .After a few more words with the female. My wounds gave me but little pain. the jed ordered that we mount and ride after the main column.

was the object of the fierce and jealous hatred of his old lieutenant. 315/2610 Like the jed who had brought me. The jeddak. Dak Kova. he was frightfully scarred. and also decorated with the breastplate of human skulls and dried dead hands which seemed to mark all the greater warriors among the Warhoons. as well as to indicate their awful ferocity. who was comparatively young. Bar Comas. and I could not but note the almost studied efforts which the latter made to affront his superior. He entirely omitted the usual formal salutation as we entered the presence of the jeddak. which greatly transcends even that of the Tharks.proved to be the jeddak of the hordes of Warhoon. and as he pushed me . the jed who had captured me.

Bar Comas. O. 316/2610 "If at all?" roared Dak Kova. if at all. "I have brought a strange creature wearing the metal of a Thark whom it is my pleasure to have battle with a wild thoat at the great games. sees fit. with emphasis and dignity.roughly before the ruler he exclaimed in a loud and menacing voice. No maudlin weakness on your part shall save him. your jeddak." replied the young ruler. his . would that Warhoon were ruled by a real jeddak rather than by a water-hearted weakling from whom even old Dak Kova could tear the metal with his bare hands!" Bar Comas eyed the defiant and insubordinate chieftain for an instant." "He will die as Bar Comas. "By the dead hands at my throat but he shall die.

expression one of haughty. It soon seemed that the encounter was done saving only the final death thrust when Bar Comas 317/2610 . fearless contempt and hate. Bar Comas had much the better of the battle as he was stronger. I never before had seen two green Martian warriors battle with nature's weapons and the exhibition of animal ferocity which ensued was as fearful a thing as the most disordered imagination could picture. quicker and more intelligent. They tore at each others' eyes and ears with their hands and with their gleaming tusks repeatedly slashed and gored until both were cut fairly to ribbons from head to foot. and then without drawing a weapon and without uttering a word he hurled himself at the throat of his defamer.

the great tusk finally wedging in the bones of Bar Comas' jaw. It was the one little opening that Dak Kova needed. and hurling himself at the body of his adversary he buried his single mighty tusk in Bar Comas' groin and with a last powerful effort ripped the young jeddak wide open the full length of his body. Victor and vanquished rolled limp and lifeless upon the moss. had not been moved from where it fell. Three days later he walked without assistance to the body of Bar Comas which.slipped in breaking away from a clinch. and placing his foot upon the neck of his erstwhile ruler he assumed the title of Jeddak of Warhoon. a huge mass of torn and bloody flesh. and only the most herculean efforts on the part of Dak Kova's females saved him from the fate he deserved. . 318/2610 Bar Comas was stone dead. by custom.

and the entire body of warriors. until after the great games. ten thousand in number. They are a smaller horde than the Tharks but much more ferocious. turned back toward Warhoon. and then his women cremated what remained. which was a raid upon a small Thark community in retaliation for the destruction of the incubator. amid wild and terrible laughter.The dead jeddak's hands and head were removed to be added to the ornaments of his conqueror. 319/2610 The injuries to Dak Kova had delayed the march so greatly that it was decided to give up the expedition. My introduction to these cruel and bloodthirsty people was but an index to the scenes I witnessed almost daily while with them. Not a day passed but that some members of the various Warhoon .

and in the darkness I occasionally caught glimpses of gleaming. or weeks. or months. Food was brought me at intervals but owing to the utter darkness of the place I do not know whether I lay there days. 320/2610 We reached the city of Warhoon after some three days march and I was immediately cast into a dungeon and heavily chained to the floor and walls. crawling things. fixed in horrible intentness upon me. sinuous bodies passed over me when I lay down. cold.communities met in deadly combat. fiery eyes. It was the most horrible experience of all my life and that my mind did not give way to the terrors of that inky blackness has been a wonder to me ever since. No sound reached me from the world above and no word . The place was filled with creeping. I have seen as high as eight mortal duels within a single day.

with the cunning of a madman. So. As he stooped to place 321/2610 . I had noticed that he always advanced with his dim torch to where he could place the food within my reach and as he stooped to place it upon the floor his head was about on a level with my breast. I backed into the far corner of my cell when next I heard him approaching and gathering a little slack of the great chain which held me in my hand I waited his coming. Finally all the hatred and maniacal loathing for these awful creatures who had placed me in this horrible place was centered by my tottering reason upon this single emissary who represented to me the entire horde of Warhoons. although I at first bombarded him with questions. crouching like some beast of prey.would my jailer vouchsafe when my food was brought to me.

Without a sound he slipped to the floor. Presently they came in contact with a small chain at the end of which dangled a number of keys. The touch of my fingers on these keys brought back my reason with the suddenness of food upon the ground I swung the chain above my head and crashed the links with all my strength upon his skull. upon . unwinking. 322/2610 Laughing and chattering like the idiot I was fast becoming I fell upon his prostrate form my fingers feeling for his dead throat. but a sane. No longer was I a jibbering idiot. reasoning man with the means of escape within my very hands. As I was groping to remove the chain from about my victim's neck I glanced up into the darkness to see six pairs of gleaming eyes fixed. stone dead.

323/2610 CHAPTER XIX BATTLING IN THE ARENA Slowly I regained my composure and finally essayed again to attempt to remove the keys from the dead body of my former But as I reached out . Slowly they approached and slowly I shrank back from the awful horror of them. Back into my corner I crouched holding my hands palms out. and stealthily on came the awful eyes until they reached the dead body at my feet. Then slowly they retreated but this time with a strange grating sound and finally they disappeared in some black and distant recess of my dungeon. before me.

Shortly after this episode another prisoner was brought in and chained near me. By the dim torch light I saw that he was a red Martian and I could scarcely await the departure of his guards to 324/2610 . the owners of those gleaming eyes had dragged my prize away from me to be devoured in their neighboring lair. Then the truth flashed on me.into the darkness to locate it I found to my horror that it was gone. for weeks. but not again did I allow my reason to be submerged by the horror of my position. but then a new messenger appeared and my incarceration went on as before. through all this awful eternity of my imprisonment to drag my dead carcass to their feast. For two days no food was brought me. for months. as they had been waiting for days.

" And then I told him my story as I have written it here. omitting only any reference to my love for Dejah Thoris. He was much excited by the news of Helium's princess and seemed quite positive that she and Sola could easily have reached a point of safety from where they left me. a friend of the red men of Helium. As their retreating footsteps died away in the distance. 325/2610 "Who are you who speaks out of the darkness?" he answered "John Carter. "but I do not recall your name. He said that he knew the place well because the defile through which the Warhoon warriors ." "I am of Helium. I called out softly the Martian word of greeting. kaor." he said.address him.

a padwar (lieutenant) in the navy of Helium. the capital of Helium's hereditary enemies among the red men of .had passed when they discovered us was the only one ever used by them when marching to the south. and he briefly related the events which followed the defeat of the battleships." he assured me. but while passing near the city of Zodanga. Badly injured and only partially manned they had limped slowly toward Helium. My fellow prisoner was Kantos Kan. He had been a member of the illfated expedition which had fallen into the hands of the Tharks at the time of Dejah Thoris' capture. 326/2610 "Dejah Thoris and Sola entered the hills not five miles from a great waterway and are now probably quite safe.

Barsoom. they had been attacked by a great body of war vessels and all but the craft to which Kantos Kan belonged were either destroyed or captured. and from these vessels two thousand smaller craft had been kept out continuously in futile search for the missing princess. or about the time of our coming to Thark. Thirty days after the capture of Dejah Thoris. had been dispatched to search for Dejah Thoris. each of one hundred mighty war ships. his vessel had reached Helium with about ten survivors of the original crew of seven hundred officers and men. Immediately seven great fleets. His vessel was chased for days by three of the Zodangan war ships but finally escaped during the darkness of a moonless night. 327/2610 .

The bravery and daring of the man won my greatest respect and admiration. after assuring himself 328/2610 . They had been searching among the northern hordes. For two days and nights he had explored their quarters and their dungeons in search of his beloved princess only to fall into the hands of a party of Warhoons as he was about to leave. Alone he had landed at the city's boundary and on foot had penetrated to the buildings surrounding the plaza. but no trace of Dejah Thoris had been found. Kantos Kan had been detailed to one of the small one-man fliers and had had the misfortune to be discovered by the Warhoons while exploring their city. and only within the past few days had they extended their quest to the south.Two green Martian communities had been wiped off the face of Barsoom by the avenging fleets.

which instead of having been built upon the surface of the ground was excavated below the surface. The arena was immense but extremely uneven and unkempt. Around it the Warhoons had piled building stone from some of the ruined edifices of the . A few days only elapsed.that Dejah Thoris was not a captive there. It had partially filled with debris so that how large it had originally been was difficult to say. however. before we were dragged forth from our dungeon for the great games. In its present condition it held the entire twenty thousand Warhoons of the assembled hordes. and formed a warm personal friendship. We were conducted early one morning to an enormous amphitheater. 329/2610 During the period of our incarceration Kantos Kan and I became well acquainted.

The din of their roaring. Kantos Kan and I were confined together in one of the cages. growling and squealing was deafening and the formidable appearance of any one of them was enough to make the stoutest heart feel grave forebodings. thoats. green warriors. and women of other hordes. In the others were wild calots. The 330/2610 . and many strange and ferocious wild beasts of Barsoom which I had never before seen. mad zitidars. and at each end had been constructed cages to hold them until their turns came to meet some horrible death upon the arena. Kantos Kan explained to me that at the end of the day one of these prisoners would gain freedom and the others would lie dead about the arena.ancient city to prevent the animals and the captives from escaping into the audience.

at the far end. with his jeds and chieftains. 331/2610 . the victor in the last encounter being set free. At a signal from Dak Kova the doors of two cages were thrown open and a dozen green Martian females were driven to the center of the arena. The following morning the cages would be filled with a new consignment of victims. Dak Kova. and so on throughout the ten days of the games. Shortly after we had been caged the amphitheater began to fill and within an hour every available part of the seating space was in the various contests of the day would be pitted against each other until only two remained alive. Each was given a dagger and then. whether animal or man. sat at the center of one side of the arena upon a large raised platform.

rushed upon the almost defenseless women I turned my head that I might not see the horrid sight. as Kantos Kan told me it was over. growling and foaming. hot. Next a mad zitidar was loosed among the remaining dogs. but as I was armed with a long-sword and always . The yells and laughter of the green horde bore witness to the excellent quality of the sport and when I turned back to the arena. During the day I was pitted against first men and then beasts. or wild dogs were loosed upon them. I saw three victorious calots. The women had given a good account of themselves.a pack of twelve calots. 332/2610 As the brutes. horrible day. and so it went throughout the long. snarling and growling over the bodies of their prey.

Kantos Kan had fought several times during the day and like myself had always proven victorious. I had little hope that he could best his . and myself. Time and time again I won the applause of the bloodthirsty multitude. 333/2610 Finally there were but three of us left. a great green warrior of some far northern horde. it proved but child's play to me. Kantos Kan. and toward the end there were cries that I be taken from the arena and be made a member of the hordes of Warhoon.outclassed my adversary in agility and generally in strength as well. but occasionally by the smallest of margins. especially when pitted against the green warriors. The other two were to battle and then I to fight the conqueror for the liberty which was accorded the final winner.

giant adversary who had mowed down all before him during the day. as he came to within about twenty feet of the huge fellow he threw his sword arm far behind him over his shoulder and with a mighty sweep hurled his weapon point foremost at the green warrior. The fellow towered nearly sixteen feet in height. As they advanced to meet one another I saw for the first time a trick of Martian swordsmanship which centered Kantos Kan's every hope of victory and life on one cast of the dice. while Kantos Kan was some inches under six feet. for. It flew true as an arrow and piercing the poor devil's heart laid him dead upon the arena. Kantos Kan and I were now pitted against each other but as we approached to the encounter I whispered to him to prolong the battle until nearly dark in the hope that we might find 334/2610 .

I whispered to him to go and claim his 335/2610 . The horde evidently guessed that we had no hearts to fight each other and so they howled in rage as neither of us placed a fatal thrust. Just as I saw the sudden coming of dark I whispered to Kantos Kan to thrust his sword between my left arm and my body. In the darkness which had now fallen none could tell but that he had really finished me. Kantos Kan perceived my coup and stepping quickly to my side he placed his foot upon my neck and withdrawing his sword from my body gave me the final death blow through the neck which is supposed to sever the jugular vein. but in this instance the cold blade slipped harmlessly into the sand of the arena. As he did so I staggered back clasping the sword tightly with my arm and thus fell to the ground with his weapon apparently protruding from my chest.some means of escape.

freedom and then look for me in the hills east of the city. 336/2610 When the amphitheater had cleared I crept stealthily to the top and as the great excavation lay far from the plaza and in an untenanted portion of the great dead city I had little trouble in reaching the hills beyond. CHAPTER XX IN THE FACTORY ATMOSPHERE For two days I waited there for Kantos Kan. and so he left me. but as he did not come I started off on foot in a northwesterly direction toward a point where he had told me lay .

. uncouth monstrosities that leaped upon me in the dark. but once I was down with vicious fangs at my jugular and a hairy face pressed close to mine before I knew that I was even threatened. 337/2610 Through two long weeks I wandered. Usually my strange. newly acquired telepathic power warned me in ample time. strange. stumbling through the nights guided only by the stars and hiding during the days behind some protruding rock or among the occasional hills I traversed. My only food consisted of vegetable milk from the plants which gave so bounteously of this priceless fluid. Several times I was attacked by wild beasts.the nearest waterway. so that I had ever to grasp my long-sword in my hand that I might be ready for them.

I realized that all was over. upon its windpipe. as the hairy face touched mine again. And then a living mass of destruction sprang from the surrounding darkness full upon the creature that held me pinioned to the ground. My hands were at its throat before the fangs had a chance to bury themselves in my neck.What manner of thing was upon me I did not know. until. The two 338/2610 . and slowly I forced the hairy face from me and closed my fingers. the beast exerting every effort to reach me with those awful fangs. and inch by inch the burning eyes and gleaming tusks of my antagonist crept toward me. and I straining to maintain my grip and choke the life from it as I kept it from my throat. Slowly my arms gave to the unequal struggle. Without sound we lay there. but that it was large and heavy and many-legged I could feel. vise-like.

hurtling suddenly above the horizon and lighting up the Barsoomian scene. but from whence he had come. By the light of the now brilliant moons I saw that he was but a shadow of his . I was at a loss to know. or how found me. Only her death I felt sure. showed me that my preserver was Woola. 339/2610 The nearer moon. but my pleasure at seeing him was tempered by anxiety as to the reason of his leaving Dejah Thoris. but it was soon over and my preserver stood with lowered head above the throat of the dead thing which would have killed me. could account for his absence from her. That I was glad of his companionship it is needless to say.rolled growling upon the moss. so faithful I knew him to be to my commands. tearing and rending one another in a frightful manner.

About noon I dragged myself wearily to the portals of a huge building which covered perhaps four square miles and towered two hundred feet in the air. .former self. 340/2610 At daybreak of the fifteenth day of my search I was overjoyed to see the high trees that denoted the object of my search. I. nor was there any sign of life about it. and as he turned from my caress and commenced greedily to devour the dead carcass at my feet I realized that the poor fellow was more than half starved. It showed no aperture in the mighty walls other than the tiny door at which I sank exhausted. myself. When Woola had finished his meal I again took up my weary and seemingly endless wandering in quest of the elusive waterway. was in but little better plight but I could not bring myself to eat the uncooked flesh and I had no means of making a fire.

where from. It was of about the bigness of a lead pencil and thinking that it might be in the nature of a speaking tube I put my mouth to it and was about to call into it when a voice issued from it asking me whom I might be. what manner of creature are you?" 341/2610 . In the name of the ninth day. unless a small round role in the wall near the door was for that purpose. and the nature of my errand. "You wear the metal of a green warrior and are followed by a calot. I explained that I had escaped from the Warhoons and was dying of starvation and exhaustion. In color you are neither green nor red.I could find no bell or other method of making my presence known to the inmates of the place. yet you are of the figure of a red man.

In the name of humanity open to us. fully twenty feet. at the further end of which was another door. exposing a short. No one was in sight. 342/2610 Presently the door commenced to recede before me until it had sunk into the wall fifty feet. . then it stopped and slid easily to the left. narrow corridor of concrete."I am a friend of the red men of Barsoom and I am starving." I replied. similar in every respect to the one I had just passed. and as it reached its place once more after closing behind us. As the door had slipped aside I had noted its great thickness. great cylinders of steel had dropped from the ceiling behind it and fitted their lower ends into apertures countersunk in the floor. yet immediately we passed the first door it slid gently into place behind us and receded rapidly to its original position in the front wall of the building.

A second and third door receded before me and slipped to one side as the first. on concluding its questioning. I can tell that by the conformation of your brain and the strange location of your internal organs and the shape and size of your heart. 343/2610 . and while I was thus engaged my invisible host put me through a severe and searching crossexamination. before I reached a large inner chamber where I found food and drink set out upon a great stone table. "Your statements are most remarkable." "Can you see through me?" I exclaimed. "but you are evidently speaking the truth. and it is equally evident that you are not of Barsoom." said the voice. A voice directed me to satisfy my hunger and to feed my calot.

dried up. and were you a Barsoomian I could read those." 344/2610 Then a door opened at the far side of the chamber and a strange. a small collar of gold from which depended upon his chest a great ornament as large as a dinner plate set solid with huge diamonds. were new and nameless. little mummy of a man came toward me. . the seven colors of our earthly prism and two beautiful rays which. I only know that they were beautiful in the extreme."Yes. to me. except for the exact center which was occupied by a strange stone. I cannot describe them any more than you could describe red to a blind man. I can see all but your thoughts. an inch in diameter. that scintillated nine different and distinct rays. He wore but a single article of clothing or adornment.

and thus I learned a great deal which proved of immense value to me later and which I would never have known had he suspected my strange power. for the Martians have such perfect control of their mental machinery that they are able to direct their thoughts with absolute precision. The building in which I found myself contained the machinery which produces that artificial atmosphere which sustains life on Mars. The secret of the entire process hinges on the use of the ninth ray.The old man sat and talked with me for hours. one of the beautiful scintillations . and the strangest part of our intercourse was that I could read his every thought while he could not fathom an iota from my mind unless I spoke. 345/2610 I did not apprise him of my ability to sense his mental operations.

and the only fear.which I had noted emanating from the great stone in my host's diadem. three-quarters of which is used for reservoirs in which the ninth ray is stored. as it is released. or rather certain proportions of refined electric vibrations are incorporated with it. 346/2610 This ray is separated from the other rays of the sun by means of finely adjusted instruments placed upon the roof of the huge building. This product is then treated electrically. contact with the ether of space transforms it into atmosphere. as my new friend told me. . There is always sufficient reserve of the ninth ray stored in the great building to maintain the present Martian atmosphere for a thousand years. and the result is then pumped to the five principal air centers of the planet where.

or a little over twenty-four and one-half Earth hours. isolated plant. 347/2610 He led me to an inner chamber where I beheld a battery of twenty radium pumps any one of which was equal to the task of furnishing all Mars with the atmosphere compound. He has one assistant who divides the watch with him. Half a Martian year.was that some accident might befall the pumping apparatus. which. each of these men spend alone in this huge. Every red Martian is taught during earliest childhood the principles of the manufacture of atmosphere. he had watched these pumps which are used alternately a day each at a stretch. he told me. about three hundred and forty-four of our days. but only two at one time ever hold the secret of ingress to the great building. built as it is . For eight hundred years.

is absolutely unassailable. even the roof being guarded from assault by air craft by a glass covering five feet thick. To experiment with my newfound toy I thought to surprise him into revealing this combination and so I asked him in a casual manner how he had managed to unlock the massive . as all Barsoomians realize that the very existence of every form of life of Mars is dependent upon the uninterrupted working of this plant. One curious fact I discovered as I watched his thoughts was that the outer doors are manipulated by telepathic means. The locks are so finely adjusted that the doors are released by the action of a certain combination of thought waves. 348/2610 The only fear they entertain of attack is from the green Martians or some demented red man.with walls a hundred and fifty feet thick.

"But be sure that you do not let them know you are bound for Helium as they are at war with that country.doors for me from the inner chambers of the building. and I read suspicion and fear in his looks and thoughts. but as quickly faded as he answered that this was a secret he must not divulge. 349/2610 From then on his manner toward me changed as though he feared that he had been surprised into divulging his great secret. Before I retired for the night he promised to give me a letter to a nearby agricultural officer who would help me on my way to Zodanga. which he said. was the nearest Martian city. As quick as a flash there leaped to his mind nine Martian sounds. though his words were still fair. My .

" he continued.assistant and I are of no country. "I am sorry. even among the green men--though we do not trust ourselves to their hands if we can avoid it. "And so good-night." As he closed the door of my chamber behind him his thoughts were cut off from me as was the sight of him." And though he smiled pleasantly I saw in his thoughts the wish that he had never admitted me. my friend. we belong to all Barsoom and this talisman which we wear protects us in all lands. a long sleep. and the swift thrust of a long dagger and the half formed words." he added. and then a picture of him standing over me in the night. which 350/2610 . but it is for the best good of Barsoom. "may you have a long and restful sleep--yes.

but once he was dead I could no more escape. and with the stopping of the machinery of the great plant I should die with all the other inhabitants of the planet--all. even Dejah Thoris were she not already dead. I would attempt to force the great locks by the nine thought waves I had read in my host's mind. Cautiously I opened the door of my apartment and. sought the inner of the great doors. For the others I did not give the snap of my finger. 351/2610 What was I to do? How could I escape through these mighty walls? Easily could I kill him now that I was warned. A wild scheme had come to me. but the thought of Dejah Thoris drove from my mind all desire to kill my mistaken host.seemed strange to me in my little knowledge of thought transference. followed by Woola. .

I was on the point of stepping boldly out into the room when a slight noise behind me warned me back into the shadows of a recess in the corridor.Creeping stealthily through corridor after corridor and down winding runways which turned hither and thither I finally reached the great hall in which I had broken my long fast that morning. 352/2610 Presently the old man passed close by me. Nowhere had I seen my host. and as he entered the dimly lighted chamber which I had been about to pass through I saw that he held a long thin dagger in his hand and that he was sharpening it upon a stone. In his mind was the decision to inspect the radium pumps. which would take about thirty . Dragging Woola after me I crouched low in the darkness. nor did I know where he kept himself by night.

353/2610 Concentrating my mind upon the massive lock I hurled the nine thought waves against it. but little better off than we had been before. and then return to my bed chamber and finish me. . when finally the great door moved softly toward me and slid quietly to one side. As he passed through the great hall and disappeared down the runway which led to the pump-room. other than that we had full stomachs. In breathless expectancy I waited. One after the other the remaining mighty portals opened at my command and Woola and I stepped forth into the darkness. I stole stealthily from my hiding place and crossed to the great door. free. the inner of the three which stood between me and liberty.minutes.

Weary and exhausted from sleeplessness I threw myself upon the ground commanding Woola to stand guard. There were low rambling buildings of concrete barred with heavy impassable doors.Hastening away from the shadows of the formidable pile I made for the first crossroad. and no amount of hammering and hallooing brought any response. This I reached about morning and entering the first enclosure I came to I searched for some evidences of a habitation. 354/2610 Some time later I was awakened by his frightful growlings and opened my eyes to see three red Martians standing a short distance from us and covering me with their rifles. . intending to strike the central turnpike as quickly as possible.

" They lowered their rifles and advanced pleasantly toward me placing their right hands upon my left shoulder." I hastened to explain."I am unarmed and no enemy. had been raised at night 355/2610 . and. after the manner of their custom of salute. the house proper standing among a grove of enormous trees. All I ask is food and rest for myself and my calot and the proper directions for reaching my destination. "I have been a prisoner among the green men and am on my way to Zodanga. The buildings I had been hammering at in the early morning were occupied only by stock and farm produce. They then took me to the house of one of them which was only a short distance away. like all red-Martian homes. and asking me many questions about myself and my wanderings.

occupied three similar houses on this farm. prisoners of war. They also have private means for lowering or raising them from the ground without if they wish to go away and leave them. . with their wives and children. and was operated by a tiny radium engine in the entrance hall of the building. the red Martians simply run them up out of harm's way during the night. being government officers in charge. Instead of bothering with bolts and bars for their dwellings. 356/2610 These brothers. delinquent debtors and confirmed bachelors who were too poor to pay the high celibate tax which all red-Martian governments impose. The labor was performed by convicts.some forty or fifty feet from the ground on a large round metal shaft which slid up or down within a sleeve sunk in the ground. They did no work themselves.

They were the personification of cordiality and hospitality and I spent several days with them. resting and recuperating from my long and arduous experiences. This you can most easily do through military service. 357/2610 When they had heard my story--I omitted all reference to Dejah Thoris and the old man of the atmosphere plant--they advised me to color my body to more nearly resemble their own race and then attempt to find employment in Zodanga." . "and save our richest favors for the fighting man." explained one of them. as we are a warlike people on Barsoom. "The chances are small that your tale will be believed until after you have proven your trustworthiness and won friends among the higher nobles of the court. either in the army or the navy.

which was the family name of my benefactors. in the prevailing fashion of the time. which had grown quite long. My metal and ornaments were also renewed in the style of a Zodangan gentleman. square at the back and banged in front. such as is used for saddle purposes by all red Martians. so that I could have passed anywhere upon Barsoom as a full-fledged red Martian.When I was ready to depart they furnished me with a small domestic bull thoat. but in color and shape an exact replica of his huge and fierce cousin of the wilds. The animal is about the size of a horse and quite gentle. attached to the house of Ptor. 358/2610 The brothers had supplied me with a reddish oil with which I anointed my entire body and one of them cut my hair. .

through wild stretches peopled by wild animals and wilder men. Paper money is issued by individuals as they require it and redeemed twice yearly. the government pays his creditors in full and the debtor works out the amount upon the farms or in mines. stretching as they do like narrow ribbons from pole to pole. The medium of exchange upon Mars is not dissimilar from our own except that the coins are oval. which are all owned by the government. If a man issues more than he can redeem. This suits everybody except the debtor as it has been a difficult thing to obtain sufficient voluntary labor to work the great isolated farm lands of Mars.They filled a little sack at my side with Zodangan money. When I mentioned my inability to repay them for their kindness to me they assured me that I would have ample 359/2610 .

and bidding me farewell they watched me until I was out of sight upon the broad white turnpike. 360/2610 CHAPTER XXI AN AIR ZODANGA SCOUT FOR As I proceeded on my journey toward Zodanga many strange and interesting sights arrested my attention. and at the several farm houses where I stopped I learned a number of new and instructive things concerning the methods and manners of Barsoom.opportunity if I lived long upon Barsoom. .

The water which supplies the farms of Mars is collected in immense underground reservoirs at either pole from the melting ice caps, and pumped through long conduits to the various populated centers. Along either side of these conduits, and extending their entire length, lie the cultivated districts. These are divided into tracts of about the same size, each tract being under the supervision of one or more government officers. Instead of flooding the surface of the fields, and thus wasting immense quantities of water by evaporation, the precious liquid is carried underground through a vast network of small pipes directly to the roots of the vegetation. The crops upon Mars are always uniform, for there are no droughts, no rains, no high winds, and no insects, or destroying birds.


On this trip I tasted the first meat I had eaten since leaving Earth--large, juicy steaks and chops from the well-fed domestic animals of the farms. Also I enjoyed luscious fruits and vegetables, but not a single article of food which was exactly similar to anything on Earth. Every plant and flower and vegetable and animal has been so refined by ages of careful, scientific cultivation and breeding that the like of them on Earth dwindled into pale, gray, characterless nothingness by comparison. At a second stop I met some highly cultivated people of the noble class and while in conversation we chanced to speak of Helium. One of the older men had been there on a diplomatic mission several years before and spoke with regret of the conditions which seemed destined ever to keep these two countries at war.


"Helium," he said, "rightly boasts the most beautiful women of Barsoom, and of all her treasures the wondrous daughter of Mors Kajak, Dejah Thoris, is the most exquisite flower.


"Why," he added, "the people really worship the ground she walks upon and since her loss on that ill-starred expedition all Helium has been draped in mourning. "That our ruler should have attacked the disabled fleet as it was returning to Helium was but another of his awful blunders which I fear will sooner or later compel Zodanga to elevate a wiser man to his place." "Even now, though our victorious armies are surrounding Helium, the people of Zodanga are voicing their displeasure, for the war is not a popular one, since it

is not based on right or justice. Our forces took advantage of the absence of the principal fleet of Helium on their search for the princess, and so we have been able easily to reduce the city to a sorry plight. It is said she will fall within the next few passages of the further moon." "And what, think you, may have been the fate of the princess, Dejah Thoris?" I asked as casually as possible. "She is dead," he answered. "This much was learned from a green warrior recently captured by our forces in the south. She escaped from the hordes of Thark with a strange creature of another world, only to fall into the hands of the Warhoons. Their thoats were found wandering upon the sea bottom and evidences of a bloody conflict were discovered nearby."


While this information was in no way reassuring, neither was it at all conclusive proof of the death of Dejah Thoris, and so I determined to make every effort possible to reach Helium as quickly as I could and carry to Tardos Mors such news of his granddaughter's possible whereabouts as lay in my power. Ten days after leaving the three Ptor brothers I arrived at Zodanga. From the moment that I had come in contact with the red inhabitants of Mars I had noticed that Woola drew a great amount of unwelcome attention to me, since the huge brute belonged to a species which is never domesticated by the red men. Were one to stroll down Broadway with a Numidian lion at his heels the effect would be somewhat similar to that which I should have produced had I entered Zodanga with Woola.


The very thought of parting with the faithful fellow caused me so great regret and genuine sorrow that I put it off until just before we arrived at the city's gates; but then, finally, it became imperative that we separate. Had nothing further than my own safety or pleasure been at stake no argument could have prevailed upon me to turn away the one creature upon Barsoom that had never failed in a demonstration of affection and loyalty; but as I would willingly have offered my life in the service of her in search of whom I was about to challenge the unknown dangers of this, to me, mysterious city, I could not permit even Woola's life to threaten the success of my venture, much less his momentary happiness, for I doubted not he soon would forget me. And so I bade the poor beast an affectionate farewell, promising him, however, that if I came through my adventure in safety that in some way I


should find the means to search him out.


He seemed to understand me fully, and when I pointed back in the direction of Thark he turned sorrowfully away, nor could I bear to watch him go; but resolutely set my face toward Zodanga and with a touch of heartsickness approached her frowning walls. The letter I bore from them gained me immediate entrance to the vast, walled city. It was still very early in the morning and the streets were practically deserted. The residences, raised high upon their metal columns, resembled huge rookeries, while the uprights themselves presented the appearance of steel tree trunks. The shops as a rule were not raised from the ground nor were their doors bolted or barred, since thievery is practically unknown upon

Barsoom. Assassination is the everpresent fear of all Barsoomians, and for this reason alone their homes are raised high above the ground at night, or in times of danger. The Ptor brothers had given me explicit directions for reaching the point of the city where I could find living accommodations and be near the offices of the government agents to whom they had given me letters. My way led to the central square or plaza, which is a characteristic of all Martian cities.


The plaza of Zodanga covers a square mile and is bounded by the palaces of the jeddak, the jeds, and other members of the royalty and nobility of Zodanga, as well as by the principal public buildings, cafes, and shops.

As I was crossing the great square lost in wonder and admiration of the magnificent architecture and the gorgeous scarlet vegetation which carpeted the broad lawns I discovered a red Martian walking briskly toward me from one of the avenues. He paid not the slightest attention to me, but as he came abreast I recognized him, and turning I placed my hand upon his shoulder, calling out: "Kaor, Kantos Kan!"


Like lightning he wheeled and before I could so much as lower my hand the point of his long-sword was at my breast. "Who are you?" he growled, and then as a backward leap carried me fifty feet from his sword he dropped the point to the ground and exclaimed, laughing,

"I do not need a better reply, there is but one man upon all Barsoom who can bounce about like a rubber ball. By the mother of the further moon, John Carter, how came you here, and have you become a Darseen that you can change your color at will?"


"You gave me a bad half minute my friend," he continued, after I had briefly outlined my adventures since parting with him in the arena at Warhoon. "Were my name and city known to the Zodangans I would shortly be sitting on the banks of the lost sea of Korus with my revered and departed ancestors. I am here in the interest of Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium, to discover the whereabouts of Dejah Thoris, our princess. Sab Than, prince of Zodanga, has her hidden in the city and has fallen madly in love with her. His father, Than Kosis, Jeddak of Zodanga, has made her

voluntary marriage to his son the price of peace between our countries, but Tardos Mors will not accede to the demands and has sent word that he and his people would rather look upon the dead face of their princess than see her wed to any than her own choice, and that personally he would prefer being engulfed in the ashes of a lost and burning Helium to joining the metal of his house with that of Than Kosis. His reply was the deadliest affront he could have put upon Than Kosis and the Zodangans, but his people love him the more for it and his strength in Helium is greater today than ever. "I have been here three days," continued Kantos Kan, "but I have not yet found where Dejah Thoris is imprisoned. Today I join the Zodangan navy as an air scout and I hope in this way to win the confidence of Sab Than, the prince,


who is commander of this division of the navy, and thus learn the whereabouts of Dejah Thoris. I am glad that you are here, John Carter, for I know your loyalty to my princess and two of us working together should be able to accomplish much."


The plaza was now commencing to fill with people going and coming upon the daily activities of their duties. The shops were opening and the cafes filling with early morning patrons. Kantos Kan led me to one of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus. No hand touched the food from the time it entered the building in its raw state until it emerged hot and delicious upon the tables before the guests, in response to the touching of tiny buttons to indicate their desires.

After our meal, Kantos Kan took me with him to the headquarters of the airscout squadron and introducing me to his superior asked that I be enrolled as a member of the corps. In accordance with custom an examination was necessary, but Kantos Kan had told me to have no fear on this score as he would attend to that part of the matter. He accomplished this by taking my order for examination to the examining officer and representing himself as John Carter. "This ruse will be discovered later," he cheerfully explained, "when they check up my weights, measurements, and other personal identification data, but it will be several months before this is done and our mission should be accomplished or have failed long before that time." The next few days were spent by Kantos Kan in teaching me the intricacies of


flying and of repairing the dainty little contrivances which the Martians use for this purpose. The body of the one-man air craft is about sixteen feet long, two feet wide and three inches thick, tapering to a point at each end. The driver sits on top of this plane upon a seat constructed over the small, noiseless radium engine which propels it. The medium of buoyancy is contained within the thin metal walls of the body and consists of the eighth Barsoomian ray, or ray of propulsion, as it may be termed in view of its properties.


This ray, like the ninth ray, is unknown on Earth, but the Martians have discovered that it is an inherent property of all light no matter from what source it emanates. They have learned that it is the solar eighth ray which propels the light of the sun to the various planets, and that it is the individual eighth ray of

each planet which "reflects," or propels the light thus obtained out into space once more. The solar eighth ray would be absorbed by the surface of Barsoom, but the Barsoomian eighth ray, which tends to propel light from Mars into space, is constantly streaming out from the planet constituting a force of repulsion of gravity which when confined is able to lift enormous weights from the surface of the ground.


It is this ray which has enabled them to so perfect aviation that battle ships far outweighing anything known upon Earth sail as gracefully and lightly through the thin air of Barsoom as a toy balloon in the heavy atmosphere of Earth. During the early years of the discovery of this ray many strange accidents occurred before the Martians learned to measure and control the wonderful

power they had found. In one instance, some nine hundred years before, the first great battle ship to be built with eighth ray reservoirs was stored with too great a quantity of the rays and she had sailed up from Helium with five hundred officers and men, never to return. Her power of repulsion for the planet was so great that it had carried her far into space, where she can be seen today, by the aid of powerful telescopes, hurtling through the heavens ten thousand miles from Mars; a tiny satellite that will thus encircle Barsoom to the end of time.


The fourth day after my arrival at Zodanga I made my first flight, and as a result of it I won a promotion which included quarters in the palace of Than Kosis.

As I rose above the city I circled several times, as I had seen Kantos Kan do, and then throwing my engine into top speed I raced at terrific velocity toward the south, following one of the great waterways which enter Zodanga from that direction.


I had traversed perhaps two hundred miles in a little less than an hour when I descried far below me a party of three green warriors racing madly toward a small figure on foot which seemed to be trying to reach the confines of one of the walled fields. Dropping my machine rapidly toward them, and circling to the rear of the warriors, I soon saw that the object of their pursuit was a red Martian wearing the metal of the scout squadron to which I was attached. A short distance away lay his tiny flier, surrounded by

the tools with which he had evidently been occupied in repairing some damage when surprised by the green warriors.


They were now almost upon him; their flying mounts charging down on the relatively puny figure at terrific speed, while the warriors leaned low to the right, with their great metal-shod spears. Each seemed striving to be the first to impale the poor Zodangan and in another moment his fate would have been sealed had it not been for my timely arrival. Driving my fleet air craft at high speed directly behind the warriors I soon overtook them and without diminishing my speed I rammed the prow of my little flier between the shoulders of the nearest. The impact sufficient to have torn through inches of solid steel, hurled the

fellow's headless body into the air over the head of his thoat, where it fell sprawling upon the moss. The mounts of the other two warriors turned squealing in terror, and bolted in opposite directions. Reducing my speed I circled and came to the ground at the feet of the astonished Zodangan. He was warm in his thanks for my timely aid and promised that my day's work would bring the reward it merited, for it was none other than a cousin of the jeddak of Zodanga whose life I had saved.


We wasted no time in talk as we knew that the warriors would surely return as soon as they had gained control of their mounts. Hastening to his damaged machine we were bending every effort to finish the needed repairs and had almost completed them when we saw the

two green monsters returning at top speed from opposite sides of us. When they had approached within a hundred yards their thoats again became unmanageable and absolutely refused to advance further toward the air craft which had frightened them. The warriors finally dismounted and hobbling their animals advanced toward us on foot with drawn long-swords. I advanced to meet the larger, telling the Zodangan to do the best he could with the other. Finishing my man with almost no effort, as had now from much practice become habitual with me, I hastened to return to my new acquaintance whom I found indeed in desperate straits. He was wounded and down with the huge foot of his antagonist upon his


throat and the great long-sword raised to deal the final thrust. With a bound I cleared the fifty feet intervening between us, and with outstretched point drove my sword completely through the body of the green warrior. His sword fell, harmless, to the ground and he sank limply upon the prostrate form of the Zodangan.


A cursory examination of the latter revealed no mortal injuries and after a brief rest he asserted that he felt fit to attempt the return voyage. He would have to pilot his own craft, however, as these frail vessels are not intended to convey but a single person. Quickly completing the repairs we rose together into the still, cloudless Martian sky, and at great speed and without further mishap returned to Zodanga.

As we neared the city we discovered a mighty concourse of civilians and troops assembled upon the plain before the city. The sky was black with naval vessels and private and public pleasure craft, flying long streamers of gaycolored silks, and banners and flags of odd and picturesque design. My companion signaled that I slow down, and running his machine close beside mine suggested that we approach and watch the ceremony, which, he said, was for the purpose of conferring honors on individual officers and men for bravery and other distinguished service. He then unfurled a little ensign which denoted that his craft bore a member of the royal family of Zodanga, and together we made our way through the maze of low-lying air vessels until we hung directly over the jeddak of Zodanga and his staff. All were mounted


upon the small domestic bull thoats of the red Martians, and their trappings and ornamentation bore such a quantity of gorgeously colored feathers that I could not but be struck with the startling resemblance the concourse bore to a band of the red Indians of my own Earth. One of the staff called the attention of Than Kosis to the presence of my companion above them and the ruler motioned for him to descend. As they waited for the troops to move into position facing the jeddak the two talked earnestly together, the jeddak and his staff occasionally glancing up at me. I could not hear their conversation and presently it ceased and all dismounted, as the last body of troops had wheeled into position before their emperor. A member of the staff advanced toward the troops, and calling the name of a


soldier commanded him to advance. The officer then recited the nature of the heroic act which had won the approval of the jeddak, and the latter advanced and placed a metal ornament upon the left arm of the lucky man. Ten men had been so decorated when the aide called out, "John Carter, air scout!"


Never in my life had I been so surprised, but the habit of military discipline is strong within me, and I dropped my little machine lightly to the ground and advanced on foot as I had seen the others do. As I halted before the officer, he addressed me in a voice audible to the entire assemblage of troops and spectators. "In recognition, John Carter," he said, "of your remarkable courage and skill in

defending the person of the cousin of the jeddak Than Kosis and, singlehanded, vanquishing three green warriors, it is the pleasure of our jeddak to confer on you the mark of his esteem."


Than Kosis then advanced toward me and placing an ornament upon me, said: "My cousin has narrated the details of your wonderful achievement, which seems little short of miraculous, and if you can so well defend a cousin of the jeddak how much better could you defend the person of the jeddak himself. You are therefore appointed a padwar of The Guards and will be quartered in my palace hereafter." I thanked him, and at his direction joined the members of his staff. After the ceremony I returned my machine to its quarters on the roof of the barracks

of the air-scout squadron, and with an orderly from the palace to guide me I reported to the officer in charge of the palace.



The major-domo to whom I reported had been given instructions to station me near the person of the jeddak, who, in time of war, is always in great danger of assassination, as the rule that all is fair in war seems to constitute the entire ethics of Martian conflict. He therefore escorted me immediately to the apartment in which Than Kosis then was. The ruler was engaged in conversation with his son, Sab Than, and several courtiers of his household, and did not perceive my entrance. The walls of the apartment were completely hung with splendid tapestries which hid any windows or doors which may have pierced them. The room was lighted by imprisoned rays of sunshine

held between the ceiling proper and what appeared to be a ground-glass false ceiling a few inches below.


My guide drew aside one of the tapestries, disclosing a passage which encircled the room, between the hangings and the walls of the chamber. Within this passage I was to remain, he said, so long as Than Kosis was in the apartment. When he left I was to follow. My only duty was to guard the ruler and keep out of sight as much as possible. I would be relieved after a period of four hours. The major-domo then left me. The tapestries were of a strange weaving which gave the appearance of heavy solidity from one side, but from my hiding place I could perceive all that took place within the room as readily as though there had been no curtain intervening.

Scarcely had I gained my post than the tapestry at the opposite end of the chamber separated and four soldiers of The Guard entered, surrounding a female figure. As they approached Than Kosis the soldiers fell to either side and there standing before the jeddak and not ten feet from me, her beautiful face radiant with smiles, was Dejah Thoris.


Sab Than, Prince of Zodanga, advanced to meet her, and hand in hand they approached close to the jeddak. Than Kosis looked up in surprise, and, rising, saluted her. "To what strange freak do I owe this visit from the Princess of Helium, who, two days ago, with rare consideration for my pride, assured me that she would prefer Tal Hajus, the green Thark, to my son?"

Dejah Thoris only smiled the more and with the roguish dimples playing at the corners of her mouth she made answer:


"From the beginning of time upon Barsoom it has been the prerogative of woman to change her mind as she listed and to dissemble in matters concerning her heart. That you will forgive, Than Kosis, as has your son. Two days ago I was not sure of his love for me, but now I am, and I have come to beg of you to forget my rash words and to accept the assurance of the Princess of Helium that when the time comes she will wed Sab Than, Prince of Zodanga." "I am glad that you have so decided," replied Than Kosis. "It is far from my desire to push war further against the people of Helium, and, your promise shall be recorded and a proclamation to my people issued forthwith."

"It were better, Than Kosis," interrupted Dejah Thoris, "that the proclamation wait the ending of this war. It would look strange indeed to my people and to yours were the Princess of Helium to give herself to her country's enemy in the midst of hostilities." "Cannot the war be ended at once?" spoke Sab Than. "It requires but the word of Than Kosis to bring peace. Say it, my father, say the word that will hasten my happiness, and end this unpopular strife."


"We shall see," replied Than Kosis, "how the people of Helium take to peace. I shall at least offer it to them." Dejah Thoris, after a few words, turned and left the apartment, still followed by her guards.

Thus was the edifice of my brief dream of happiness dashed, broken, to the ground of reality. The woman for whom I had offered my life, and from whose lips I had so recently heard a declaration of love for me, had lightly forgotten my very existence and smilingly given herself to the son of her people's most hated enemy.


Although I had heard it with my own ears I could not believe it. I must search out her apartments and force her to repeat the cruel truth to me alone before I would be convinced, and so I deserted my post and hastened through the passage behind the tapestries toward the door by which she had left the chamber. Slipping quietly through this opening I discovered a maze of winding corridors, branching and turning in every direction.

Running rapidly down first one and then another of them I soon became hopelessly lost and was standing panting against a side wall when I heard voices near me. Apparently they were coming from the opposite side of the partition against which I leaned and presently I made out the tones of Dejah Thoris. I could not hear the words but I knew that I could not possibly be mistaken in the voice. Moving on a few steps I discovered another passageway at the end of which lay a door. Walking boldly forward I pushed into the room only to find myself in a small antechamber in which were the four guards who had accompanied her. One of them instantly arose and accosted me, asking the nature of my business.


"I am from Than Kosis," I replied, "and wish to speak privately with Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium." "And your order?" asked the fellow.


I did not know what he meant, but replied that I was a member of The Guard, and without waiting for a reply from him I strode toward the opposite door of the antechamber, behind which I could hear Dejah Thoris conversing. But my entrance was not to be so easily accomplished. The guardsman stepped before me, saying, "No one comes from Than Kosis without carrying an order or the password. You must give me one or the other before you may pass." "The only order I require, my friend, to enter where I will, hangs at my side," I

answered, tapping my long-sword; "will you let me pass in peace or no?"


For reply he whipped out his own sword, calling to the others to join him, and thus the four stood, with drawn weapons, barring my further progress. "You are not here by the order of Than Kosis," cried the one who had first addressed me, "and not only shall you not enter the apartments of the Princess of Helium but you shall go back to Than Kosis under guard to explain this unwarranted temerity. Throw down your sword; you cannot hope to overcome four of us," he added with a grim smile. My reply was a quick thrust which left me but three antagonists and I can assure you that they were worthy of my metal. They had me backed against the wall in no time, fighting for my life.

Slowly I worked my way to a corner of the room where I could force them to come at me only one at a time, and thus we fought upward of twenty minutes; the clanging of steel on steel producing a veritable bedlam in the little room. The noise had brought Dejah Thoris to the door of her apartment, and there she stood throughout the conflict with Sola at her back peering over her shoulder. Her face was set and emotionless and I knew that she did not recognize me, nor did Sola.


Finally a lucky cut brought down a second guardsman and then, with only two opposing me, I changed my tactics and rushed them down after the fashion of my fighting that had won me many a victory. The third fell within ten seconds after the second, and the last lay dead upon the bloody floor a few moments

later. They were brave men and noble fighters, and it grieved me that I had been forced to kill them, but I would have willingly depopulated all Barsoom could I have reached the side of my Dejah Thoris in no other way. Sheathing my bloody blade I advanced toward my Martian Princess, who still stood mutely gazing at me without sign of recognition. "Who are you, Zodangan?" she whispered. "Another enemy to harass me in my misery?" "I am a friend," I answered, "a once cherished friend." "No friend of Helium's princess wears that metal," she replied, "and yet the voice! I have heard it before; it is not--it cannot be--no, for he is dead."


"It is, though, my Princess, none other than John Carter," I said. "Do you not recognize, even through paint and strange metal, the heart of your chieftain?"


As I came close to her she swayed toward me with outstretched hands, but as I reached to take her in my arms she drew back with a shudder and a little moan of misery. "Too late, too late," she grieved. "O my chieftain that was, and whom I thought dead, had you but returned one little hour before--but now it is too late, too late." "What do you mean, Dejah Thoris?" I cried. "That you would not have promised yourself to the Zodangan prince had you known that I lived?"

"Think you, John Carter, that I would give my heart to you yesterday and today to another? I thought that it lay buried with your ashes in the pits of Warhoon, and so today I have promised my body to another to save my people from the curse of a victorious Zodangan army." "But I am not dead, my princess. I have come to claim you, and all Zodanga cannot prevent it."


"It is too late, John Carter, my promise is given, and on Barsoom that is final. The ceremonies which follow later are but meaningless formalities. They make the fact of marriage no more certain than does the funeral cortege of a jeddak again place the seal of death upon him. I am as good as married, John Carter. No longer may you call me your

princess. No chieftain."






"I know but little of your customs here upon Barsoom, Dejah Thoris, but I do know that I love you, and if you meant the last words you spoke to me that day as the hordes of Warhoon were charging down upon us, no other man shall ever claim you as his bride. You meant them then, my princess, and you mean them still! Say that it is true." "I meant them, John Carter," she whispered. "I cannot repeat them now for I have given myself to another. Ah, if you had only known our ways, my friend," she continued, half to herself, "the promise would have been yours long months ago, and you could have claimed me before all others. It might have meant the fall of Helium, but I

would have given my empire for my Tharkian chief."


Then aloud she said: "Do you remember the night when you offended me? You called me your princess without having asked my hand of me, and then you boasted that you had fought for me. You did not know, and I should not have been offended; I see that now. But there was no one to tell you what I could not, that upon Barsoom there are two kinds of women in the cities of the red men. The one they fight for that they may ask them in marriage; the other kind they fight for also, but never ask their hands. When a man has won a woman he may address her as his princess, or in any of the several terms which signify possession. You had fought for me, but had never asked me in marriage, and so when you called me your princess, you see," she faltered, "I

was hurt, but even then, John Carter, I did not repulse you, as I should have done, until you made it doubly worse by taunting me with having won me through combat." "I do not need ask your forgiveness now, Dejah Thoris," I cried. "You must know that my fault was of ignorance of your Barsoomian customs. What I failed to do, through implicit belief that my petition would be presumptuous and unwelcome, I do now, Dejah Thoris; I ask you to be my wife, and by all the Virginian fighting blood that flows in my veins you shall be." "No, John Carter, it is useless," she cried, hopelessly, "I may never be yours while Sab Than lives." "You have sealed his death warrant, my princess--Sab Than dies."


"Nor that either," she hastened to explain. "I may not wed the man who slays my husband, even in self-defense. It is custom. We are ruled by custom upon Barsoom. It is useless, my friend. You must bear the sorrow with me. That at least we may share in common. That, and the memory of the brief days among the Tharks. You must go now, nor ever see me again. Good-bye, my chieftain that was."


Disheartened and dejected, I withdrew from the room, but I was not entirely discouraged, nor would I admit that Dejah Thoris was lost to me until the ceremony had actually been performed. As I wandered along the corridors, I was as absolutely lost in the mazes of winding passageways as I had been before I discovered Dejah Thoris' apartments.

I knew that my only hope lay in escape from the city of Zodanga, for the matter of the four dead guardsmen would have to be explained, and as I could never reach my original post without a guide, suspicion would surely rest on me so soon as I was discovered wandering aimlessly through the palace. Presently I came upon a spiral runway leading to a lower floor, and this I followed downward for several stories until I reached the doorway of a large apartment in which were a number of guardsmen. The walls of this room were hung with transparent tapestries behind which I secreted myself without being apprehended.


The conversation of the guardsmen was general, and awakened no interest in me until an officer entered the room and ordered four of the men to relieve the

detail who were guarding the Princess of Helium. Now, I knew, my troubles would commence in earnest and indeed they were upon me all too soon, for it seemed that the squad had scarcely left the guardroom before one of their number burst in again breathlessly, crying that they had found their four comrades butchered in the antechamber. In a moment the entire palace was alive with people. Guardsmen, officers, courtiers, servants, and slaves ran helter-skelter through the corridors and apartments carrying messages and orders, and searching for signs of the assassin. This was my opportunity and slim as it appeared I grasped it, for as a number of soldiers came hurrying past my hiding place I fell in behind them and followed through the mazes of the palace until, in


passing through a great hall, I saw the blessed light of day coming in through a series of larger windows. Here I left my guides, and, slipping to the nearest window, sought for an avenue of escape. The windows opened upon a great balcony which overlooked one of the broad avenues of Zodanga. The ground was about thirty feet below, and at a like distance from the building was a wall fully twenty feet high, constructed of polished glass about a foot in thickness. To a red Martian escape by this path would have appeared impossible, but to me, with my earthly strength and agility, it seemed already accomplished. My only fear was in being detected before darkness fell, for I could not make the leap in broad daylight while the court below and the avenue beyond were crowded with Zodangans.


Accordingly I searched for a hiding place and finally found one by accident, inside a huge hanging ornament which swung from the ceiling of the hall, and about ten feet from the floor. Into the capacious bowl-like vase I sprang with ease, and scarcely had I settled down within it than I heard a number of people enter the apartment. The group stopped beneath my hiding place and I could plainly overhear their every word. "It is the work of Heliumites," said one of the men. "Yes, O Jeddak, but how had they access to the palace? I could believe that even with the diligent care of your guardsmen a single enemy might reach the inner chambers, but how a force of six or eight fighting men could have done so unobserved is beyond me. We


shall soon know, however, for here comes the royal psychologist."


Another man now joined the group, and, after making his formal greetings to his ruler, said: "O mighty Jeddak, it is a strange tale I read in the dead minds of your faithful guardsmen. They were felled not by a number of fighting men, but by a single opponent." He paused to let the full weight of this announcement impress his hearers, and that his statement was scarcely credited was evidenced by the impatient exclamation of incredulity which escaped the lips of Than Kosis. "What manner of weird tale are you bringing me, Notan?" he cried.

"It is the truth, my Jeddak," replied the psychologist. "In fact the impressions were strongly marked on the brain of each of the four guardsmen. Their antagonist was a very tall man, wearing the metal of one of your own guardsmen, and his fighting ability was little short of marvelous for he fought fair against the entire four and vanquished them by his surpassing skill and superhuman strength and endurance. Though he wore the metal of Zodanga, my Jeddak, such a man was never seen before in this or any other country upon Barsoom. "The mind of the Princess of Helium whom I have examined and questioned was a blank to me, she has perfect control, and I could not read one iota of it. She said that she witnessed a portion of the encounter, and that when she looked there was but one man engaged


with the guardsmen; a man whom she did not recognize as ever having seen."


"Where is my erstwhile savior?" spoke another of the party, and I recognized the voice of the cousin of Than Kosis, whom I had rescued from the green warriors. "By the metal of my first ancestor," he went on, "but the description fits him to perfection, especially as to his fighting ability." "Where is this man?" cried Than Kosis. "Have him brought to me at once. What know you of him, cousin? It seemed strange to me now that I think upon it that there should have been such a fighting man in Zodanga, of whose name, even, we were ignorant before today. And his name too, John Carter, who ever heard of such a name upon Barsoom!"

Word was soon brought that I was nowhere to be found, either in the palace or at my former quarters in the barracks of the air-scout squadron. Kantos Kan, they had found and questioned, but he knew nothing of my whereabouts, and as to my past, he had told them he knew as little, since he had but recently met me during our captivity among the Warhoons.


"Keep your eyes on this other one," commanded Than Kosis. "He also is a stranger and likely as not they both hail from Helium, and where one is we shall sooner or later find the other. Quadruple the air patrol, and let every man who leaves the city by air or ground be subjected to the closest scrutiny." Another messenger now entered with word that I was still within the palace walls.

"The likeness of every person who has entered or left the palace grounds today has been carefully examined," concluded the fellow, "and not one approaches the likeness of this new padwar of the guards, other than that which was recorded of him at the time he entered."


"Then we will have him shortly," commented Than Kosis contentedly, "and in the meanwhile we will repair to the apartments of the Princess of Helium and question her in regard to the affair. She may know more than she cared to divulge to you, Notan. Come." They left the hall, and, as darkness had fallen without, I slipped lightly from my hiding place and hastened to the balcony. Few were in sight, and choosing a moment when none seemed near I sprang quickly to the top of the glass

where I felt sure I should find Kantos Kan. and rightly. My only means of reaching. As I neared the building I became more careful. and after considerable .wall and from there to the avenue beyond the palace grounds. the upper story where our apartments were situated was through an adjoining building. unseen. Several men in civilian metal loitered near the front entrance and in the rear were others. that the place would be guarded. as I judged. 413/2610 CHAPTER XXIII LOST IN THE SKY Without effort at concealment I hastened to the vicinity of our quarters.

and in another moment I stood in the room before him. He was alone and showed no surprise at my coming. The news that Dejah Thoris had promised her hand to Sab Than filled him with dismay. I saw that he knew nothing of the events of the day at the palace. 414/2610 Leaping from roof to roof. saying he had expected me much earlier." he exclaimed. and when I had enlightened him he was all excitement. "It is impossible! Why no man in all Helium but would prefer death to the selling of our loved princess to the ruling house of . I soon reached an open window in the building where I hoped to find the Heliumite.maneuvering I managed to attain the roof of a shop several doors away. as my tour of duty must have ended some time since. "It cannot be.

John Carter?" he continued. "I can solve the difficulty in so far as Helium is concerned." I answered." "What can be done. Can you not think of some way to save Helium from this disgrace?" "If I can come within sword's reach of Sab Than. who do not know how we of Helium love the members of our ruling house. You. "You are a resourceful man. but for personal reasons I would prefer that another struck the blow that frees Dejah Thoris. cannot appreciate the horror with which I contemplate such an unholy alliance. She must have lost her mind to have assented to such an atrocious bargain.Zodanga. 415/2610 ." Kantos Kan eyed me narrowly before he spoke.

exclaiming: "And had the choice been left to me I could not have chosen a more fitting mate for the first princess of Barsoom. Here is my hand upon your shoulder. Kantos Kan."You love her!" he said. This very night I shall try to reach his quarters in the palace. and for you. and repulses me only because she is promised to Sab Than. for Dejah Thoris. "Does she know it?" 416/2610 "She knows it. and my word that Sab Than shall go out at the point of my sword for the sake of my love for Helium. and grasping me by the shoulder raised his sword on high. John Carter." ." The splendid fellow sprang to his feet.

I therefore drew near and discovered that the possessor of the peering face was none other than Sab Than." he said at last. In this work it is required that we investigate any unusual occurrence we may witness. 417/2610 "I only need to pass these guards and I can do it. He was slightly put out at being detected and commanded me to keep the matter to . to me."How?" I asked. I fell upon it by chance one day as I was passing above the palace on patrol duty. then raised it with an air of confidence. "I know a secret entrance to the palace through the pinnacle of the highest tower. "You are strongly guarded and a quadruple force patrols the sky." He bent his head in thought a moment. most unusual. and a face peering from the pinnacle of the high tower of the palace was.

and was known only to him. and wait me there." Without stopping to explain my plans I retraced my way to the street and hastened to the barracks. "There is usually but one man on duty there at night upon the roof. I did not dare to enter the building. guarded as you say it is?" "How well are the machine sheds at the barracks guarded?" I asked. explaining that the passage from the tower led directly to his apartments. but how am I to escape from this building." "Go to the roof of this building. filled as it was with members of the air-scout 418/2610 . Kantos Kan.myself. If I can reach the roof of the barracks and get my machine I can be in Sab Than's quarters in five minutes.

and one fraught with much danger. rearing its lofty head fully a thousand feet into the air. The fact that Barsoomian architecture is extremely ornate made the feat much simpler than I had anticipated.squadron. It was a long climb up the face of the building. though several topped it by a few hundred feet. and so I essayed the task. while the freight and passenger stations of the merchant squadrons rose nearly as high. the docks of the great battleships of the line standing some fifteen hundred feet from the ground. who. But few buildings in Zodanga were higher than these barracks. since I found ornamental ledges and projections which 419/2610 . but there was no other way. The building was an enormous one. were on the lookout for me. in common with all Zodanga.

reach the roof through the building. There was one slight. and filled with soldiers engaged in the pastimes of their kind. desperate chance. and no man has lived who would not risk a thousand deaths for such as she. The top floor was alight. The eaves projected nearly twenty feet from the wall to which I clung. I could not.fairly formed a perfect ladder for me all the way to the eaves of the building. and that I decided I must take--it was for Dejah Thoris. therefore. Here I met my first real obstacle. I unloosened one of the long leather straps of my trappings at the end of which dangled a great hook by . 420/2610 Clinging to the wall with my feet and one hand. and though I encircled the great building I could find no opening through them.

releasing my grasp upon the supporting ornament. the hard pavements. gently I pulled on it to strengthen its hold. and by means of which landing parties are lowered to the ground from the battleships. 421/2610 I swung this hook cautiously to the roof several times before it finally found lodgment. An instant I hesitated. and then. I swung out into space at the end of the strap. It might be barely caught upon the very outer verge of the roof.which air sailors are hung to the sides and bottoms of their craft for various purposes of repair. so that as my body swung out at the end of the strap it would slip off and launch me to the pavement a thousand feet below. Far below me lay the brilliantly lighted streets. There was a little jerk . but whether it would bear the weight of my body I did not know. and death.

422/2610 Clambering quickly aloft I grasped the edge of the eaves and drew myself to the surface of the roof above. As I gained my feet I was confronted by the sentry on duty. grating sound which turned me cold with apprehension." . "Who are you and whence came you?" he cried." I replied. into the muzzle of whose revolver I found myself looking. and a nasty slipping. "But how came you upon the roof. for just by the merest chance I escaped falling to the avenue below. then the hook caught and I was safe. explain yourself. and very near a dead one. friend. "I am an air scout. the top of the supporting eaves. man? No one has landed or come up from the building for the past hour. or I call the guard.

stepped to my side and to his undoing." I answered. I knew it would be morning before he would be discovered. and I needed all the time that I could gain. and my fingers choked off his attempted cry for assistance. 423/2610 The fellow. acting on impulse of curiosity."Look you here. twenty feet below. . hung all my weapons. for as he leaned to peer over the eaves I grasped him by his throat and his pistol arm and threw him heavily to the roof. turning toward the edge of the roof. sentry. I gagged and bound him and then hung him over the edge of the roof as I myself had hung a few moments before. at the end of my strap. and you shall see how I came and how close a shave I had to not coming at all. The weapon dropped from his grasp. where.

I lost no time in explanation. It was decided that I was to try to make Helium while Kantos Kan was to enter the palace and dispatch Sab Than. but plunged immediately into a discussion of our plans for the immediate future. Making his fast behind mine I started my engine. In less than a minute I was settling safely upon the roof of our apartment beside the astonished Kantos Kan. a clever little device which will remain steadfastly fixed upon any given point on the surface of Barsoom.Donning my trappings and weapons I hastened to the sheds. If successful he was then to follow me. and soon had out both my machine and Kantos Kan's. and skimming over the edge of the roof I dove down into the streets of the city far below the plane usually occupied by the air patrol. and bidding each other 424/2610 . He set my compass for me.

By twisting and turning my little machine. and later by a swift cruiser carrying a hundred men and a battery of rapid-fire guns. following with a shot as I paid no attention to his hail. I managed to elude their search-lights most of the time. and so I decided to hazard . and a voice roared out a command to halt. while I rose steadily and at terrific speed raced through the Martian sky followed by a dozen of the air-scout craft which had joined the pursuit. throwing its piercing searchlight full upon my craft.farewell we rose together and sped in the direction of the palace which lay in the route which I must take to reach Helium. Kantos Kan dropped quickly into the darkness. 425/2610 As we neared the high tower a patrol shot down from above. but I was also losing ground by these tactics. now rising and now falling.

everything on a straight-away course and leave the result to fate and the speed of my machine. The concussion nearly . which is known only to the navy of Helium. when a well-directed shot from the cruiser exploded at the prow of my little craft. Gradually I left my pursuers further and further behind. As I sped through the air the screeching of the bullets around me convinced me that only by a miracle could I escape. that greatly increased the speed of our machines. so that I felt sure I could distance my pursuers if I could dodge their projectiles for a few moments. and I was just congratulating myself on my lucky escape. and throwing on full speed I raced a straight course toward Helium. 426/2610 Kantos Kan had shown me a trick of gearing. but the die was cast.

but without knowing the exact . It was true I could follow the stars in the general direction of Helium. and finally making out their lights far behind me. and then I found to my consternation that a fragment of the projectile had utterly destroyed my only guide. Not until their lights were no longer discernible did I venture to flash my little lamp upon my compass. as well as my speedometer. and with a sickening plunge she hurtled downward through the dark night. 427/2610 How far I fell before I regained control of the plane I do not know. but I must have been very close to the ground when I started to rise again. saw that they were landing.capsized her. evidently in search of me. as I plainly heard the squealing of animals below me. Rising again I scanned the heavens for my pursuers.

but it was not Helium. barring accidents. however. in between four and five hours. passing during 428/2610 . As it turned out. Presently a great city showed below me. Helium lies a thousand miles southwest of Zodanga.location of the city or the speed at which I was traveling my chances for finding it were slim. morning found me speeding over a vast expanse of dead sea bottom after nearly six hours of continuous flight at high speed. Believing that I had come too far to the north and west. as that alone of all Barsoomian metropolises consists in two immense circular walled cities about seventy-five miles apart and would have been easily distinguishable from the altitude at which I was flying. and with my compass intact I should have made the trip. I turned back in a southeasterly direction.

another distinguishing feature is the two immense towers. and as I skimmed out across the plain beyond I .the forenoon several other large cities. but none resembling the description which Kantos Kan had given me of Helium. 429/2610 CHAPTER XXIV TARS TARKAS FRIEND FINDS A About noon I passed low over a great dead city of ancient Mars. while the other. marks her sister. In addition to the twin-city formation of Helium. one of vivid scarlet rising nearly a mile into the air from the center of one of the cities. of bright yellow and of the same height.

430/2610 I fell almost directly in the center of the fierce combat. among warriors who had not seen my approach so busily were they engaged in life and death struggles. while an occasional shot from a sharpshooter on the outskirts of the conflict would bring down a warrior who might for an instant separate himself from the entangled mass. with good chances of dying in any event. The men were fighting on foot with long-swords.came full upon several thousand green warriors engaged in a terrific battle. and with the almost unfailing accuracy of their aim my little craft was instantly a ruined wreck. sinking erratically to the ground. Scarcely had I seen them than a volley of shots was directed at me. and so I . As my machine sank among them I realized that it was fight or die.

filled with the light of battle.struck the ground with drawn longsword ready to defend myself as I could. and as I glanced at his fierce face. but in stepping back for another thrust he fell over a dead body behind him and was down and at the mercy of his foes in an instant. He did not see me. The mighty fellow made quick work of one of them. and just then the three warriors opposing him. I had accounted for one of . and Tars Tarkas would have been gathered to his fathers in short order had I not sprung before his prostrate form and engaged his adversaries. 431/2610 I fell beside a huge monster who was engaged with three antagonists. and whom I recognized as Warhoons. Quick as lightning they were upon him. as I was a trifle behind him. I recognized Tars Tarkas the Thark. charged simultaneously.

and together we fought. for the Warhoons were closing in about us.them when the mighty Thark regained his feet and quickly settled the other. during all that long. "I would scarcely recognize you. and a slight smile touched his grim lip as. hot afternoon. but there is no other mortal upon Barsoom who would have done what you have for me. and fled into the gathering darkness. until the tide of battle turned and the remnant of the fierce Warhoon horde fell back upon their thoats." He said no more. John Carter. shoulder to shoulder. . nor was there opportunity. I think I have learned that there is such a thing as friendship. 432/2610 He gave me one look. my friend. touching my shoulder. he said.

On our return to the city after the battle we had gone directly to Tars Tarkas' quarters. and upon the field of battle lay three thousand dead. as Tars Tarkas later told me. Neither side asked or gave quarter. It was Woola--faithful. and as I glanced up there rushed suddenly upon me a huge and hideous creature which bore me backward upon the pile of silks and furs upon which I had been reclining. loving Woola. He had found his way back to Thark and.Ten thousand men had been engaged in that titanic struggle. 433/2610 As I sat awaiting the return of the green warrior I heard something move in an adjoining apartment. nor did they attempt to take prisoners. where I was left alone while the chieftain attended the customary council which immediately follows an engagement. had gone .

on his return from the jeddak's quarters. "Sarkoja saw and recognized you as we were returning." "And when you return. Tars Tarkas?" I asked. Tars Tarkas may be a cruel green warrior. John Carter. Come. and I will accompany you to the nearest waterway that leads to Helium." he replied.immediately to my former quarters where he had taken up his pathetic and seemingly hopeless watch for my return. we must start." said Tars Tarkas. you may take your choice from among them. John Carter. but he can be a friend as well. Tal Hajus has ordered me to bring you before him tonight. 434/2610 "Tal Hajus knows that you are here. "Unless I should chance to have . possibly. or worse. "The wild calots. I have ten thoats.

but the great muscles of his face worked in passion and in agony at recollection of the horrors which had been heaped upon the only . While we were eating I repeated to Tars Tarkas the story which Sola had told me that night upon the sea bottom during the march to Thark." He objected strenuously. and that if ever he laid his hands upon me I would be subjected to the most horrible tortures. saying that Tal Hajus often flew into wild fits of passion at the mere thought of the blow I had dealt him.the opportunity I have so long waited of battling with Tal Hajus. Tars Tarkas." 435/2610 "We will stay. and it may be that tonight you can have the chance you wait. You shall not sacrifice yourself. and see Tal Hajus tonight. He said but little.

thing he had ever loved in all his cold. He may not kill you. At his request I accompanied him to her quarters. "Sarkoja. only saying that he would like to speak to Sarkoja first. it is not our custom. Sarkoja." said Tars Tarkas. 436/2610 He no longer demurred when I suggested that we go before Tal Hajus. but there is nothing to prevent him tying one end of a strap about your neck and the other end to a . I have just discovered that the warrior who loved that woman has learned of your part in the transaction. "forty years ago you were instrumental in bringing about the torture and death of a woman named Gozava. and the look of venomous hatred she cast upon me was almost adequate recompense for any future misfortunes this accidental return to Thark might bring me. terrible existence. cruel.

"We shall see who it is dares strike the mighty Tal Hajus.wild thoat. Come. for I am a just man. John Carter. The river Iss is but a short pilgrimage. where we were immediately admitted to his presence. in fact. Sarkoja. Heat the irons. "Strap him to that pillar. with my own hands I shall burn the eyes ." he shrieked. I thought it only right to warn you. 437/2610 In silence we hastened to the jeddak's palace. nor was she ever seen after. he could scarcely wait to see me and was standing erect upon his platform glowering at the entrance as I came in." The next morning Sarkoja was gone. Having heard that he would do this on the morrow. merely to test your fitness to survive and help perpetuate our race.

at least. You claim to be just people--" "Silence." I cried." 438/2610 "Chieftains of Thark. .from his head that he may not pollute my person with his vile gaze. I continued." exclaimed Lorquas Ptomel." "Yes. and today I have fought for Thark shoulder to shoulder with her greatest warrior." "Justice. turning to the assembled council and ignoring Tal Hajus. "I have been a chief among you. "Gag the creature and bind him as I command. I have won that much today. while Tal Hajus fumed and frothed. You owe me. a hearing." roared Tal Hajus. justice!" echoed a dozen voices. and so. Tal Hajus. "Who are you to set aside the customs of ages among the Tharks.

for 439/2610 ."You are a brave people and you love bravery. Jeddak of Thark?" A roar of deep-toned applause greeted this suggestion. Tars Tarkas. Chieftains. He rends defenseless women and little children in his lair. and Tal Hajus must prove his fitness to rule. but how recently has one of you seen him fight with men? Why. how sounds. a midget beside him. "It but remains for this council to command. but where was your mighty jeddak during the fighting today? I did not see him in the thick of battle. he was not there. even I. felled him with a single blow of my fist. Is it of such that the Tharks fashion their jeddaks? There stands beside me now a great Thark. Were he a brave man he would invite Tars Tarkas to combat. a mighty warrior and a noble man.

" continued Lorquas Ptomel. but Tal Hajus is afraid." After I ceased there was tense silence. "shall the jeddak. 440/2610 "Tal Hajus. and the froth froze upon his lips. as all eyes were riveted upon Tal Hajus. "Chieftains. Tal Hajus. There could be but one answer to this arraignment.he does not love him. With my bare hands I could kill him. prove his fitness to rule over Tars Tarkas?" . Tal Hajus." And still Tal Hajus stood as though electrified. your jeddak. hard voice. We wait it. but the blotchy green of his countenance turned livid. "never in my long life have I seen a jeddak of the Tharks so humiliated. is a coward." said Lorquas Ptomel in a cold. He did not speak or move. and he knows it.

441/2610 His first act was to make me a fullfledged chieftain with the rank I had won by my combats the first few weeks of my captivity among them. and so Tal Hajus drew his long-sword and advanced to meet Tars Tarkas. I told Tars Tarkas the story of . Seeing the favorable disposition of the warriors toward Tars Tarkas. as well as toward me. with his foot upon the neck of the dead monster. That decree was final.There were twenty chieftains about the rostrum. There was no alternative. and. I grasped the opportunity to enlist them in my cause against Zodanga. and twenty swords flashed high in assent. The combat was soon over. Tars Tarkas became jeddak among the Tharks.

and I have often thought that had we an alliance with the people of Helium we could obtain sufficient assurance of sustenance to permit us to increase the size and frequency of our hatchings. The loot of Zodanga would be magnificent. "which meets with my sanction. "John Carter suggests that we rescue her and return her to Helium. and in a few words had explained to him the thought I had in mind." he said. I shall put it to you briefly. and thus become unquestionably supreme . addressing the council. whose son she must wed to save her country from devastation at the hands of the Zodangan forces. who was our prisoner. Dejah adventures. 442/2610 "John Carter has made a proposal. is now held by the jeddak of Zodanga. the Princess of Helium.

. an opportunity to loot. and they rose to the bait as a speckled trout to a fly. as Tars Tarkas had been able to enlist the services of three smaller hordes on the promise of the great loot of Zodanga. one hundred thousand strong. For Tharks they were wildly enthusiastic. and before another half hour had passed twenty mounted messengers were speeding across dead sea bottoms to call the hordes together for the expedition. What say you?" 443/2610 It was a chance to fight. At the head of the column I rode beside the great Thark while at the heels of my mount trotted my beloved Woola.among the green men of all Barsoom. In three days we were on the march toward Zodanga.

It was a monstrous task to keep even a semblance of harmony among them. On the march Tars Tarkas. one hundred and fifty thousand strong.We traveled entirely by night. and it was a marvel to me 444/2610 . ten days after we set out we halted at midnight outside the great walled city of Zodanga. had such a force of green warriors marched to battle together. timing our marches so that we camped during the day at deserted cities where. Never in the history of Barsoom. The fighting strength and efficiency of this horde of ferocious green monsters was equivalent to ten times their number of red men. we were all kept indoors during the daylight hours. Tars Tarkas told me. even to the beasts. so that. through his remarkable ability and statesmanship. enlisted fifty thousand more warriors from various hordes.

These gates have no regular guard. who patrol the 445/2610 . and especially for the Zodangans. and directing Tars Tarkas to hold his forces in two divisions out of earshot of the city. but are covered by sentries. with each division opposite a large gateway. I took twenty dismounted warriors and approached one of the small gates that pierced the walls at short intervals.that he got them to the city without a mighty battle among themselves. who had for years waged a ruthless campaign of extermination against the green men. directing special attention toward despoiling their incubators. But as we neared Zodanga their personal quarrels were submerged by their greater hatred for the red men. Now that we were before Zodanga the task of obtaining entry to the city devolved upon me.

The fellows who had been detailed to accompany me were of one of the smaller hordes. to my escort of green warriors. The head of the topmost warrior towered over forty feet from the ground.avenue that encircles the city just within the walls as our metropolitan police patrol their beats. Placing three of them with their faces to the wall and arms locked. and a sixth I ordered to climb upon the shoulders of the upper two. and the task of entering the city seemed. and therefore did not know me. I commanded two more to mount to their shoulders. They are built of enormous blocks of carborundum. 446/2610 The walls of Zodanga are seventy-five feet in height and fifty feet thick. . an impossibility.

lowering myself to the end of my leather strap. and with a final bound from the broad shoulders of the highest I clutched the top of the great wall and quietly drew myself to its broad expanse. I dropped the remaining thirty feet to the pavement below. Then starting from a short distance behind them I ran swiftly up from one tier to the next. I built a series of three steps from the ground to the shoulders of the topmost man. and passing one end to the topmost warrior I lowered the other end cautiously over the opposite side of the wall toward the avenue below. I had learned from Kantos Kan the secret of opening these gates. with ten warriors. so. and in 447/2610 .In this way. No one was in sight. These lengths we had previously fastened together. After me I dragged six lengths of leather from an equal number of my warriors.

and on the instant I determined to lead a detachment of warriors directly within the palace itself. Dispatching one of my men to Tars Tarkas for a detail of fifty Tharks. with word of my intentions. 448/2610 I found to my delight that I had entered at the lower boundary of the enormous palace grounds. . no shots were to be fired and no general advance made until I had reached the palace with my fifty Tharks.another moment my twenty great fighting men stood within the doomed city of Zodanga. We were to do our work quietly. while the balance of the great horde was attacking the barracks of the soldiery. The building itself showed in the distance a blaze of glorious light. I ordered ten warriors to capture and open one of the great gates while with the nine remaining I took the other.

and soon my . which I negotiated easily without assistance. 449/2610 CHAPTER XXV THE LOOTING OF ZODANGA As the great gate where I stood swung open my fifty Tharks. Once inside. and the guards at both gates followed them in silence. rode in upon their mighty thoats. headed by Tars Tarkas himself. but I finally was rewarded by seeing it swing upon its huge hinges. The two sentries we met were dispatched to their fathers upon the banks of the lost sea of Korus.Our plans worked to perfection. the gate gave me considerable trouble. I led them to the palace walls. however.

surrounded by officers and dignitaries of state. due. I presume. to the fact that the city and palace walls were considered impregnable. At one end of the chamber. Before them stretched a broad aisle lined on either side with soldiery. upon massive golden thrones encrusted with diamonds. and as I looked there entered this . sat Than Kosis and his consort. 450/2610 As we approached the palace I could see through the great windows of the first floor into the brilliantly illuminated audience chamber of Than Kosis. as though some important function was in progress. The immense hall was crowded with nobles and their women. There was not a guard in sight without the palace.fierce escort was riding across the gardens of the jeddak of Zodanga. and so I came close and peered within.

These two . facing each other at opposite sides of the aisle. At the foot of the throne these two parties separated and halted. so that not a feature of either was discernible. and the officers of the palace and of the army. and finally two figures entirely muffled in scarlet silk. 451/2610 First there marched four officers of the jeddak's Guard bearing a huge salver on which reposed.aisle at the far end of the hall. a great golden chain with a collar and padlock at each end. upon a cushion of scarlet silk. Then came more dignitaries. Directly behind these officers came four others carrying a similar salver which supported the magnificent ornaments of a prince and princess of the reigning house of Zodanga. the head of a procession which advanced to the foot of the throne.

springing the padlock fast. who stood revealed before me. facing Than Kosis. but presently two officers advanced and removed the scarlet robe from one of the figures. I could not hear his words. and I saw that Kantos Kan had failed in his mission. Than Kosis now took a set of the ornaments from one of the salvers and placed one of the collars of gold about his son's neck. from which the officers now removed the enshrouding silks. Princess of Helium. Prince of Zodanga. disclosing to my now comprehending view Dejah Thoris. After a few more words addressed to Sab Than he turned to the other figure. When the balance of the procession had entered and assumed their stations Than Kosis addressed the couple standing before him.stopped at the foot of the throne. for it was Sab Than. 452/2610 .

a thousand drawn swords menaced me from 453/2610 .The object of the ceremony was clear to me. but to me it seemed the most fiendish sight I had ever witnessed. with the heavy hilt. I shattered the glass of the great window and sprang into the midst of the astonished assemblage. and as he stood riveted with surprise I brought my long-sword down upon the golden chain that would have bound Dejah Thoris to another. With a bound I was on the steps of the platform beside Than Kosis. In an instant all was confusion. in another moment Dejah Thoris would be joined forever to the Prince of Zodanga. It was an impressive and beautiful ceremony. I presume. and. and as the ornaments were adjusted upon her beautiful figure and her collar of gold swung open in the hands of Than Kosis I raised my long-sword above my head.

and there. "Look!" All eyes turned in the direction I had indicated." I cried. I could have killed him as easily as I might a fly. and in a moment the soldiers and 454/2610 . and Sab Than sprang upon me with a jeweled dagger he had drawn from his nuptial ornaments.every quarter. but the age-old custom of Barsoom stayed my hand. and grasping his wrist as the dagger flew toward my heart I held him as though in a vise and with my long-sword pointed to the far end of the hall. A cry of alarm and amazement broke from the assemblage. "Zodanga has fallen. but no word of fear. forging through the portals of the entranceway rode Tars Tarkas and his fifty warriors on their great thoats.

He was soon joined by a quartet of officers. and again we faced each other. and. Dejah Thoris sprang before him and then my sword found the spot that made Sab Than jeddak of Zodanga. and I found no mean antagonist. with drawn long-sword. As his father rolled dead upon the floor the new jeddak tore himself free from Dejah Thoris' grasp. but. I drew Dejah Thoris to my side. 455/2610 Thrusting Sab Than headlong from the platform.nobles of Zodanga were hurling themselves upon the advancing Tharks. as he raised his hand to strike. Behind the throne was a narrow doorway and in this Than Kosis now stood facing me. In an instant we were engaged. with my back against a golden throne. I fought once . As we circled upon the broad platform I saw Sab Than rushing up the steps to aid his father.

Two I had disarmed. and three of them sprang in behind me and blocked my chances for gaining a position where 456/2610 . I was hard pressed to defend myself and yet not strike down Sab Than and. but the officers realized my intentions. it is her plot. My blade was swinging with the rapidity of lightning as I sought to parry the thrusts and cuts of my opponents. when several more rushed to the aid of their new ruler. my last chance to win the woman I loved. As they advanced there were cries of "The woman! The woman! Strike her down. Kill her! Kill her!" Calling to Dejah Thoris to get behind me I worked my way toward the little doorway back of the throne. and one was down. and to avenge the death of the old.again for Dejah Thoris. with him.

other than Dejah Thoris and myself. dealing death and destruction right and left. With one swing of his mighty longsword he laid a dozen corpses at his feet. when I saw Tars Tarkas surging through the crowd of pygmies that swarmed about him. not one attempted to escape. The bravery of the Zodangans was aweinspiring. and when the fighting ceased it was because only Tharks remained alive in the great hall.I could have defended Dejah Thoris against any army of swordsmen. . 457/2610 The Tharks were having their hands full in the center of the room. and I began to realize that nothing short of a miracle could save Dejah Thoris and myself. and so he hewed a pathway before him until in another moment he stood upon the platform beside me.

and leaving Dejah Thoris in charge of Tars Tarkas I took a dozen warriors and hastened to the dungeons beneath the palace. 458/2610 My first thought when the battle was over was for Kantos Kan. The jailers had all left to join the fighters in the throne room. so we searched the labyrinthine prison without opposition.Sab Than lay dead beside his father. we soon found him helpless in a dark recess. and finally I was rewarded by hearing a faint response. I called Kantos Kan's name aloud in each new corridor and compartment. Guided by the sound. and to know the meaning of the fight. and the corpses of the flower of Zodangan nobility and chivalry covered the floor of the bloody shambles. faint . He was overjoyed at seeing me.

459/2610 We discovered that it would be futile to attempt to cut away the bars and chains which held him prisoner. Fortunately among the first I examined I found his jailer. Kantos Kan accompanied him to act as guide. the green warriors commencing a . at his suggestion I returned to search the bodies on the floor above for keys to open the padlocks of his cell and of his chains. so. The sounds of heavy firing. mingled with shouts and cries. came to us from the city's streets.echoes of which had reached his prison cell. and soon we had Kantos Kan with us in the throne room. He told me that the air patrol had captured him before he reached the high tower of the palace. and Tars Tarkas hastened away to direct the fighting without. so that he had not even seen Sab Than.

love for Dejah Thoris. "I know that Barsoom has never before seen your like." "The answer is easy. threatened." I replied smiling. a stranger. persecuted. you have done in a few short months what in all the past ages of Barsoom no man has ever done: joined together the wild hordes of the sea bottoms and brought them to fight as allies of a red Martian people. a . "It was not I who did it. it was love. "Was there ever such a man!" she exclaimed. 460/2610 She had sunk into one of the golden thrones. and as I turned to her she greeted me with a wan smile. and Dejah Thoris and I were left alone. hunted.thorough search of the palace for other Zodangans and for loot. Dejah Thoris. Can it be that all Earth men are as you? Alone.

John Carter. ere it is again too late." 461/2610 A pretty flush overspread her face and she answered. That you are a princess does not abash me.power that would work greater miracles than this you have seen." "And more still I have to say. and I may listen. to be mine. "I have done many strange things in my life." . for I am free." I returned. but never in my wildest fancies have I dreamed of winning a Dejah Thoris for myself--for never had I dreamed that in all the universe dwelt such a woman as the Princess of Helium. but that you are you is enough to make me doubt my sanity as I ask you. "You may say that now. many things that wiser men would not have dared. my princess.

did Dejah Thoris. Princess of Helium. the God of War. with death and destruction reaping their terrible harvest around her." she replied. and so I took her in my arms and kissed her. Gentleman of Virginia."He does not need to be abashed who so well knew the answer to his plea before the plea were made. 462/2610 . true daughter of Mars. And thus in the midst of a city of wild conflict. filled with the alarms of war. rising and placing her dear hands upon my shoulders. promise herself in marriage to John Carter.

and no further resistance was to be expected from within. Her forces were entirely destroyed or captured. so it was decided that we collect what warriors we could. . man as many vessels as possible with Zodangan prisoners and make for Helium without further loss of time. The lesser hordes had commenced looting and quarreling among themselves. but there were thousands of war and merchant vessels under guard of Thark warriors.CHAPTER XXVI THROUGH JOY CARNAGE 463/2610 TO Sometime later Tars Tarkas and Kantos Kan returned to report that Zodanga had been completely reduced. Several battleships had escaped.

and fighting amongst themselves. and columns of dense smoke were rising above the city as though to blot out from the eye of heaven the horrid sights beneath. carrying nearly one hundred thousand green warriors. In the middle of the afternoon we sighted the scarlet and yellow towers of Helium. and a short time later a great fleet of Zodangan battleships rose from . murdering.Five hours later we sailed from the roofs of the dock buildings with a fleet of two hundred and fifty battleships. In a hundred places they had applied the torch. They were looting. followed by a fleet of transports with our thoats. 464/2610 Behind us we left the stricken city in the fierce and brutal clutches of some forty thousand green warriors of the lesser hordes.

having no navy. 465/2610 . The twin cities of Helium. The vessels carrying our green warriors were kept circling above the contending fleets of Helium and Zodanga. perceiving that we were friends. The banners of Helium had been strung from stem to stern of each of our mighty craft. and advanced to meet us.the camps of the besiegers without the city. and then began the first real air battle I had ever witnessed. since their batteries were useless in the hands of the Tharks who. for our green Martian warriors had opened fire upon them almost as they left the ground. With their uncanny marksmanship they raked the on-coming fleet with volley after volley. but the Zodangans did not need this sign to realize that we were enemies. sent out hundreds of vessels to aid us.

and the final outcome of the engagement was strongly influenced. Their small-arm fire. 466/2610 At first the two forces circled at the same altitude. the little figures of her crew plunging.have no skill in naval gunnery. however. was most effective. and with redoubled ferocity they fell upon the Zodangan . if not wholly determined. then with sickening velocity she tore after them. pouring broadside after broadside into each other. by their presence. with a lurch she turned completely over. Presently a great hole was torn in the hull of one of the immense battle craft from the Zodangan camp. turning and twisting toward the ground a thousand feet below. almost completely burying herself in the soft loam of the ancient sea bottom. A wild cry of exultation arose from the Heliumite squadron.

fleet. from which they poured upon them from their keel bomb batteries a perfect torrent of exploding bombs. Several others attempted to escape. the battleships of Helium succeeded in rising above the Zodangans. Within but little more than an hour from the moment the victorious Zodangan squadron had risen to meet us from the . but they were soon surrounded by thousands of tiny individual fliers. 467/2610 Then. one by one. and above each hung a monster battleship of Helium ready to drop boarding parties upon their decks. and in a short time a number of the beleaguering battleships were drifting hopeless wrecks toward the high scarlet tower of greater Helium. By a pretty maneuver two of the vessels of Helium gained a position above their adversaries.

and the . thus indicating the surrender of the remaining vessels. the result of an age-old custom which demanded that surrender should be signalized by the voluntary plunging to earth of the commander of the vanquished vessel. did the fighting of the besiegers the battle was over. One after another the brave fellows. Not until the commander of the entire fleet took the fearful plunge. holding their colors high above their heads. and the remaining vessels of the conquered Zodangans were headed toward the cities of Helium under prize crews. leaped from the towering bows of their mighty craft to an awful death. 468/2610 There was an extremely pathetic side to the surrender of these mighty fliers.

useless sacrifice of brave men come to an end. We now signaled the flagship of Helium's navy to approach. and a moment later the colors of the Princess of Helium broke from a hundred points upon her upper works. 469/2610 As the full import of my announcement bore in upon them a great cry arose from the decks of the flagship. and when she was within hailing distance I called out that we had the Princess Dejah Thoris on board. and that we wished to transfer her to the flagship that she might be taken immediately to the city. . When the other vessels of the squadron caught the meaning of the signals flashed them they took up the wild acclaim and unfurled her colors in the gleaming sunlight.

who advanced to meet them. and as she swung gracefully to and touched our side a dozen officers sprang upon our decks. they stopped aghast. for they were men high in the esteem and service of her grandfather. but at sight of Kantos Kan. "the man to whom Helium owes her princess as well as her victory today. 470/2610 Dejah Thoris and I then advanced. crowding about him. calling each by name. She received them gracefully." . they came forward. and they had no eyes for other than her. As their astonished gaze fell upon the hundreds of green warriors." she said to them. and she knew them well.The flagship bore down upon us. who now came forth from the fighting shelters. turning toward me. "Lay your hands upon the shoulder of John Carter.

nor." I said. the Tharks are extremely formal. meet one of Barsoom's greatest soldiers and statesmen.They were very courteous to me and said many kind and complimentary things. but what seemed to impress them most was that I had won the aid of the fierce Tharks in my campaign for the liberation of Dejah Thoris. "You owe your thanks more to another man than to me. "and here he is. and the relief of Helium. was he much behind them in ease of bearing or in courtly speech. Jeddak of Thark. Tars Tarkas." With the same polished courtesy that had marked their manner toward me they extended their greetings to the great Thark. and their ways lend themselves 471/2610 . Though not a garrulous race. to my surprise.

Jeddak of Helium. with the thoats of the green . as I explained to her. the battle was but partly won. but. Tardos Mors. 472/2610 Dejah Thoris went aboard the flagship. The commander of the naval forces of Helium promised to arrange to have the armies of Helium attack from the city in conjunction with our land attack. In the distance lay our fleet of transports.amazingly well to dignified and courtly manners. and I would not leave Tars Tarkas until that had been accomplished. and so the vessels separated and Dejah Thoris was borne in triumph back to the court of her grandfather. we still had the land forces of the besieging Zodangans to account for. and was much put out that I would not follow.

the south and the east. Without landing stages it was to be a difficult matter to unload these beasts upon the open plain. 473/2610 . but there was nothing else for it.warriors. and so we put out for a point about ten miles from the city and began the task. however. where they had remained during the battle. but with little loss. Twice we were attacked by parties of Zodangan cavalry. and after darkness shut down they withdrew. It was necessary to lower the animals to the ground in slings and this work occupied the remainder of the day and half the night. and in three parties we crept upon the Zodangan camp from the north. As soon as the last thoat was unloaded Tars Tarkas gave the command to advance.

wherever stretched their ribbonlike waterways. gathered from pole to pole. The forces from Helium had not arrived. ferocious cries and amidst the nasty squealing of battle-enraged thoats we bore down upon the Zodangans. as had been prearranged. accepted this as the signal to charge. . nor could we receive any word from them. With wild. but found a well-entrenched battle line confronting us. toward noon. while pitted against them were less than a hundred thousand green warriors. The Zodangans numbered nearly a million fighting men.About a mile from the main camp we encountered their outposts and. Time after time we were repulsed until. I began to fear for the result of the battle. 474/2610 We did not catch them napping.

. the prisoners were marched back to Helium. but in vain. Nobly they fought. 475/2610 Again Tars Tarkas ordered the charge. a huge triumphal procession of conquering heroes. and once more the mighty thoats bore their terrible riders against the ramparts of the enemy. but finally the carnage ceased. At the same moment the battle line of Helium surged over the opposite breastworks of the Zodangans and in another moment they were being crushed as between two millstones. The plain before the city became a veritable shambles ere the last Zodangan surrendered. and we knew then that our much-needed reinforcements had come. and we entered the greater city's gates.Just at noon we heard heavy firing all along the line between the Zodangans and the cities.

platinum. among which were the few men whose duties necessitated that they remain within the city during the battle.The broad avenues were lined with women and children. and by the loads of ornaments that were fastened upon me and my huge thoat as we passed up the 476/2610 . silver. We were greeted with an endless round of applause and showered with ornaments of gold. Never before had an armed body of green warriors entered the gates of Helium. and precious jewels. My fierce Tharks caused the wildest excitement and enthusiasm. and that they came now as friends and allies filled the red men with rejoicing. That my poor services to Dejah Thoris had become known to the Heliumites was evidenced by the loud crying of my name. The city had gone mad with joy.

477/2610 As we approached this magnificent pile we were met by a party of officers who greeted us warmly and requested that Tars Tarkas and his jeds with the jeddaks and jeds of his wild allies. tall. together with myself. and as we reached the lower steps one of their number descended to meet us. straight as an arrow.avenues to the palace. dismount and accompany them to receive from Tardos Mors an expression of his gratitude for our services. At the top of the great steps leading up to the main portals of the palace stood the royal party. . for even in the face of the ferocious appearance of Woola the populace pressed close about me. He was an almost perfect specimen of manhood.

478/2610 The first member of our party he met was Tars Tarkas and his first words sealed forever the new friendship between the races. earnestly. "That Tardos Mors." "Jeddak of Helium." he said. "may meet the greatest living warrior of Barsoom is a priceless honor. Jeddak of Helium. I did not need to be told that he was Tardos Mors." returned Tars Tarkas. "it has remained for a man of another world to teach the green warriors of Barsoom the meaning of friendship. that they .superbly muscled and with the carriage and bearing of a ruler of men. but that he may lay his hand on the shoulder of a friend and ally is a far greater boon. to him we owe the fact that the hordes of Thark can understand you.

He had followed close behind Tardos Mors and seemed even more affected by the meeting than had his father. my son. and to each spoke words of friendship and appreciation. the most precious jewel in all Helium." We were then presented to Mors Kajak. As he approached me he laid both hands upon my shoulders.can appreciate and reciprocate the sentiments so graciously expressed. Jed of lesser Helium. and without one word of opposition. gladly." he said. and father of Dejah Thoris. "Welcome. on all Barsoom." 479/2610 Tardos Mors then greeted each of the green jeddaks and jeds. is sufficient earnest of my esteem. yes. "that you are granted. .

then. and. In common with all Helium he worshiped his daughter.He tried a dozen times to express his gratitude to me. loaded with costly presents and escorted by ten thousand . 480/2610 CHAPTER XXVII FROM JOY TO DEATH For ten days the hordes of Thark and their wild allies were feasted and entertained. and yet he had. but his voice choked with emotion and he could not speak. nor could he think of what she had escaped without deep emotion. as I was to later learn. a reputation for ferocity and fearlessness as a fighter that was remarkable even upon warlike Barsoom.

they started on the return journey to their own lands. returned upon a battleship that had been dispatched to Thark to fetch them in time for the ceremony which made Dejah Thoris and John Carter one. accompanied by Tars Tarkas and Sola. her father. 481/2610 For nine years I served in the councils and fought in the armies of Helium as a prince of the house of Tardos Mors. The . The jed of lesser Helium with a small party of nobles accompanied them all the way to Thark to cement more closely the new bonds of peace and friendship. Three weeks later. Mors Kajak and his officers. Sola also accompanied Tars Tarkas. who before all his chieftains had acknowledged her as his daughter.soldiers of Helium commanded by Mors Kajak.

and no day passed that did not bring some new proof of their love for my princess. Vivid in my memory is the picture of the last night as we sat there talking in low tones of the strange romance which had woven our lives together and of this wonder which was coming to augment our happiness and fulfill our hopes. For nearly five years ten soldiers of the jeddak's Guard had constantly stood over it. when the delicate shell should break.people seemed never to tire of heaping honors upon me. the incomparable Dejah Thoris. 482/2610 In a golden incubator upon the roof of our palace lay a snow-white egg. . and not a day passed when I was in the city that Dejah Thoris and I did not stand hand in hand before our little shrine planning for the future.

483/2610 Flashing the signals which proclaimed it a dispatch bearer for the jeddak. Like a bolt of lightning it raced toward Helium until its very speed bespoke the unusual. pacing back and forth with tense-drawn face. Ten minutes after it touched at the palace a message called me to the council chamber. it circled impatiently awaiting the tardy patrol boat which must convoy it to the palace docks. On the raised platform of the throne was Tardos Mors. . When all were in their seats he turned toward us. but we attached no special significance to so common a sight. which I found filling with the members of that body.In the distance we saw the bright-white light of an approaching airship.

"This morning. All day a thousand cruisers have been searching for him until just now one of them returns bearing his dead body. nor had almost ceaseless calls upon him from a score of capitals elicited a sign of response." he said. 484/2610 "I do not need to tell you what this means to Barsoom. which was found in the pits beneath his house horribly mutilated by some assassin. and there would be little to . "The ambassadors of the other nations asked us to take the matter in hand and hasten the assistant keeper to the plant. "word reached the several governments of Barsoom that the keeper of the atmosphere plant had made no wireless report for two days. in fact the work has already commenced. It would take months to penetrate those mighty walls.

and then a young noble arose." . The instruments show a rapidly decreasing air pressure on all parts of Barsoom--the engine has stopped. but the worst. has happened." "we 485/2610 There was absolute silence for several minutes. and with his drawn sword held high above his head addressed Tardos Mors. Let us go about our duties as though a thousand useful years still lay before us." he concluded.fear were the engine of the pumping plant to run as it should and as they all have for hundreds of years now. "The men of Helium have prided themselves that they have ever shown Barsoom how a nation of red men should live. have at best three days to live. we fear." "My gentlemen. now is our opportunity to show them how they should die.

All 486/2610 . so I told her all that I had heard. but on the morning of the third day breathing became difficult at the higher altitudes of the rooftops. The avenues and plazas of Helium were filled with people. "and I thank whatever fate overtakes us that it permits us to die together." she said. "We have been very happy. When I returned to my palace I found that the rumor already had reached Dejah Thoris." The next two days brought no noticeable change in the supply of air. John Carter.The chamber rang with applause and as there was nothing better to do than to allay the fears of the people by our example we went our ways with smiles upon our faces and sorrow gnawing at our hearts.

. Even Woola seemed to feel the weight of the impending calamity. Here and there. however. when we conversed at all. We conversed in low tones. for he pressed close to Dejah Thoris and to me. 487/2610 Toward the middle of the day many of the weaker commenced to succumb and within an hour the people of Barsoom were sinking by thousands into the unconsciousness which precedes death by asphyxiation. Dejah Thoris and I with the other members of the royal family had collected in a sunken garden within an inner courtyard of the palace. whining pitifully. as the awe of the grim shadow of death crept over us. men and women gave way to quiet grief. For the most part the people looked bravely into the face of their unalterable had ceased.

It is the end. The days of the greatness of Barsoom are over. 488/2610 "Let us bid each other farewell. saying. As I turned sadly from him my eyes fell upon Dejah Thoris. and laid his strong hand upon the shoulders of the men. As it was becoming perceptibly difficult to breathe Tardos Mors arose. to all appearances .The little incubator had been brought from the roof of our palace at request of Dejah Thoris and now she sat gazing longingly upon the unknown little life that now she would never know. Her head was drooping upon her breast. Tomorrow's sun will look down upon a dead world which through all eternity must go swinging through the heavens peopled not even by memories." He stooped and kissed the women of his family.

there must be some way." 489/2610 And with my words there crept above the threshold of my conscious mind a . "It shall not be. "I love you! I love you! It is cruel that we must be torn apart who were just starting upon a life of love and happiness. John Carter. "Kiss me." I cried. With a cry I sprang to her and raised her in my arms. will find it. Her eyes opened and looked into mine. who has fought his way through a strange world for love of you. and John Carter.she was lifeless. "There is. The fighting blood of Virginia sprang to life in my veins." she murmured." As I pressed her dear lips to mine the old feeling of unconquerable power and authority rose in me. my princess.

Kissing Dejah Thoris a dozen times and commanding Woola. Like a flash of lightning in the darkness their full purport dawned upon me--the key to the three great doors of the atmosphere plant! Turning suddenly toward Tardos Mors as I still clasped my dying love to my breast I cried. air-scout machine that the skill of Barsoom had ever produced. I can save Barsoom yet. but in an instant a guard was racing to the nearest dock and though the air was thin and almost gone at the rooftop they managed to launch the fastest one-man. who would have 490/2610 . "A flier.series of nine long forgotten sounds." He did not wait to question. Jeddak! Quick! Order your swiftest flier to the palace top.

As I turned for a last look as I left the palace garden I had seen her stagger and sink upon the ground beside the little incubator. throwing caution to the 491/2610 . I had to fly low to get sufficient air to breathe. and so. The face of Dejah Thoris hung always before me. but I took a straight course across an old sea bottom and so had to rise only a few feet above the ground. to remain and guard her.followed me. I traveled with awful velocity for my errand was a race against time with death. I bounded with my old agility and strength to the high ramparts of the palace. and in another moment I was headed toward the goal of the hopes of all Barsoom. I well knew. if the air supply remained unreplenished. That she had dropped into the last coma which would end in death.

492/2610 . and lying on my belly along the deck with one hand on the steering wheel and the other pushing the speed lever to its last notch I split the thin air of dying Mars with the speed of a meteor. and now most of them lay in the last sleep from which not even air would awaken them. and with a sickening thud I plunged to the ground before the small door which was withholding the spark of life from the inhabitants of an entire planet. Beside the door a great crew of men had been laboring to pierce the wall. An hour before dark the great walls of the atmosphere plant loomed suddenly before me.winds. but they had scarcely scratched the flint-like surface. I flung overboard everything but the engine and compass. even to my ornaments.

493/2610 "If I can open these doors is there a man who can start the engines?" I asked. I can last but a few moments more. and it was with difficulty that I breathed at all. ." he replied.Conditions seemed much worse here than at Helium. For three days men crazed with fear have surged about this portal in vain attempts to solve its mystery. and to one of these I spoke. "if you open quickly." I had no time to talk. they are both dead and no one else upon Barsoom knew the secret of these awful locks. But it is useless. "I can. There were a few men still conscious. I was becoming very weak and it was with difficulty that I controlled my mind at all.

But. and then the third. "and if you reach the pump room turn loose all the pumps. It is the only chance Barsoom has to exist tomorrow!" From where I lay I opened the second door." I cried to my companion. 494/2610 Slowly the mighty door receded before us. and as I saw the hope of Barsoom crawling weakly on hands and knees through the last doorway I sank unconscious upon the ground. "After it. . as I sank weakly to my knees I hurled the nine thought waves at that awful thing before me. with a final effort. I attempted to rise and follow it but I was too weak. The Martian had crawled to my side and with staring eyes fixed on the single panel before us we waited in the silence of death.

Before me was a small patch of moonlit sky which showed through a ragged aperture. Strange.495/2610 CHAPTER XXVIII AT THE ARIZONA CAVE It was dark when I opened my eyes again. As my hands passed over my body they came in contact with pockets and in one . though when I fell unconscious at the little doorway I had been naked. I felt myself over from head to foot and from head to foot I was clothed. stiff garments were upon my body. garments that cracked and powdered away from me as I rose to a sitting posture.

toward the back of which I discovered a strange. From the thong which held them stretched another to the dead hand of the little old woman. as I touched the cord the skeletons swung to 496/2610 . As I approached it I saw that it was the dead and mummified remains of a little old woman with long black hair.of these a small parcel of matches wrapped in oiled paper. and its dim flame lighted up what appeared to be a huge cave. and stretching entirely across the cave. and the thing it leaned over was a small charcoal burner upon which rested a round copper vessel containing a small quantity of greenish powder. depending from the roof upon rawhide thongs. Behind her. One of these matches I struck. still figure huddled over a tiny bench. was a row of human skeletons.

I could scarcely believe my eyes. . but the truth slowly forced itself upon me--I was looking upon Arizona from the same ledge from which ten years before I had gazed with longing upon Mars. 497/2610 It was a most grotesque and horrid tableau and I hastened out into the fresh air.the motion with a noise as of the rustling of dry leaves. The sight that met my eyes as I stepped out upon a small ledge which ran before the entrance of the cave filled me with consternation. the cacti-studded valley below me were not of Mars. glad to escape from so gruesome a place. A new heaven and a new landscape met my gaze. the almost stationary moon hanging in the sky. The silvered mountains in the distance.

broken. forty-eight million miles away. the jeddak of Helium? For ten years I have waited and prayed for an answer to my questions. and sorrowful. Did the Martian reach the pump room? Did the vitalizing air reach the people of that distant planet in time to save them? Was my Dejah Thoris alive.Burying my head in my arms I turned. For ten years I have waited and prayed to be taken back to the world of my lost love. I would rather lie dead beside her there . or did her beautiful body lie cold in death beside the tiny golden incubator in the sunken garden of the inner courtyard of the palace of Tardos Mors. down the trail from the cave. 498/2610 Above me shone the red eye of Mars holding her awful secret.

and at her side is a little boy who puts his arm around her as she points into the sky toward the planet Earth. I can see her shining in the sky through the little window by my desk. a beautiful black-haired woman standing in the garden of a palace.than live on Earth all those millions of terrible miles from her. just twenty years have elapsed since I first opened my eyes upon Mars. has made me fabulously wealthy. while at their feet is a . and tonight she seems calling to me again as she has not called before since that long dead night. and I think I can see. across that awful abyss of space. which I found untouched. but what care I for wealth! As I sit here tonight in my little study overlooking the Hudson. 499/2610 The old mine.

500/2610 I believe that they are waiting there for me.htm or 62-h. End of Project Gutenberg's A Princess of Mars. by Edgar Rice Burroughs *** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A PRINCESS OF MARS *** ***** This file should be named ***** This and all associated files of various formats will be found in: http://www.huge and hideous creature with a heart of gold.gutenberg. and something tells me that I shall soon .

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502/2610 .

503/2610 THE MARS GODS OF Edgar Rice Burroughs FOREWORD Twelve years had passed since I had laid the body of my great-uncle. away from the sight of men in that strange mausoleum in the old cemetery at Richmond. and especially those parts which directed that he be laid in an OPEN casket and that the ponderous mechanism which . Captain John Carter. Often had I pondered on the odd instructions he had left me governing the construction of his mighty tomb. of Virginia.

and for nearly ten years had been a prince of the house of Tardos Mors. who had fought for the green men of Barsoom and fought against them. Princess of Helium. this man who remembered no childhood and who could not even offer a vague guess as to his age. Twelve years had passed since I had read the remarkable manuscript of this remarkable man. this man who had spent ten years upon the planet Mars. who was always young and yet who had dandled my grandfather's great-grandfather upon his knee. for his wife.controlled the bolts of the vault's huge door be accessible ONLY FROM THE INSIDE. 504/2610 . Jeddak of Helium. who had fought for and against the red men and who had won the ever beautiful Dejah Thoris.

and thus gone back to a living death upon a dead world? Or was he 505/2610 .Twelve years had passed since his body had been found upon the bluff before his cottage overlooking the Hudson. had he found that he had been too late. or if he again roamed the dead sea bottoms of that dying planet. Or. I had wondered if he had found his black-haired Princess and the slender son he had dreamed was with her in the royal gardens of Tardos Mors. and oft-times during these long years I had wondered if John Carter were really dead. if he had returned to Barsoom to find that he had opened the frowning portals of the mighty atmosphere plant in time to save the countless millions who were dying of asphyxiation on that far-gone day that had seen him hurtled ruthlessly through forty-eight million miles of space back to Earth once more. awaiting his return.

really dead after all. 'JOHN CARTER' hotel Raleigh Early the next morning I took the first train for Richmond and within two hours was being ushered into the room occupied by John Carter. As I entered he rose to greet me. handed me a telegram. never to return either to his mother Earth or his beloved Mars? 506/2610 Thus was I lost in useless speculation one sultry August evening when old Ben. Tearing it open I read: 'Meet me to-morrow Richmond. my body servant. his old-time cordial smile of welcome .

nephew. You have been back to Mars? Tell me. clean-limbed fighting-man of thirty. I reckon. His keen grey eyes were undimmed.' I replied. but maybe it's just the sight of you again that affects his handsome face. and the only lines upon his face were the lines of iron character and determination that always had been there since first I remembered him. Apparently he had not aged a minute.' he greeted me. 'Well. 'for I certainly feel mighty good. or suffering from the effects of too many of Uncle Ben's juleps?' 'Juleps. nearly thirty-five years before. And Dejah Thoris? You found her well and awaiting you?' 507/2610 . but was still the straight. 'do you feel as though you were seeing a ghost.

I have learned the secret. 'I have come now because my affection for you prompted me to see you once more before you pass over for ever into that other life that I shall never know. and--but it's a long story.'Yes. as you know death. too long to tell in the limited time I have before I must return. coming and going between the countless planets as I list. and while it is there in the keeping of my Martian Princess. I have been to Barsoom again. 508/2610 . I doubt that I shall ever again leave the dying world that is my life. but my heart is always in Barsoom. I am as unable to fathom as are you. nephew. and I may traverse the trackless void at my will. and which though I have died thrice and shall die again to-night.

though they will not believe for many years. that ancient cult which for countless ages has been credited with holding the secret of life and death in their impregnable fastnesses upon the hither slopes of the Mountains of Otz. are as ignorant as we. too. and I know that the world.'Even the wise and mysterious therns of Barsoom. since they cannot understand. Earth men have not yet progressed to a point where they can comprehend the . for many ages. 509/2610 'I know that you are interested and that you believe. I have proved it.' He patted a swelling portfolio that lay on the table at his elbow. though I near lost my life in the doing of it. but you shall read it all in the notes I have been making during the last three months that I have been back upon Earth. is interested. yes.

' He entered the vault. . 'Good-bye. of Virginia. 510/2610 'Give them what you wish of it. The lock clicked.things that I have written in those notes. what you think will not harm them. At the door of his vault he turned and pressed my hand. I have never seen Captain John Carter.' That night I walked down to the cemetery with him. The great door swung slowly to. since. 'I may never see you again.' he said. but do not feel aggrieved if they laugh at you. and the span of life upon Barsoom is often more than a thousand years. nephew. for I doubt that I can ever bring myself to leave my wife and boy while they live. The ponderous bolts grated into place.

Princess of Helium. 511/2610 There is much which I have left out. even more remarkable than was his first manuscript which I gave to an unbelieving world a short time since and through which we followed the fighting Virginian across dead sea bottoms under the moons of Mars. as I have gleaned it from the great mass of notes which he left for me upon the table of his room in the hotel at Richmond. R. B. much which I have not dared to tell. E. but you will find the story of his second search for Dejah Thoris. .But here is the story of his return to Mars on that other occasion.

Barsoom VII. Thuvia V. Doomed to Die . Eternal X. The Plant Men II. The Depths of Omean Issus. A Fair Goddess VIII. The Chamber of Mystery IV. Goddess of Life IX. The Prison Isle of Shador XI. Corridors of Peril The Black Pirates of VI. When Hell Broke Loose XII. A Forest Battle III.512/2610 CONTENTS CHAPTER I.

XVIII. XIX. XX. XIV. XV. XVI. the noble Hudson flowing like the grey and silent spectre . 1886. Victory and Defeat CHAPTER I THE PLANT MEN As I stood upon the bluff before my cottage on that clear cold night in the early part of March. XVII. A Break for Liberty The Eyes in the Dark Flight and Pursuit Under Arrest The Death Sentence Sola's Story Black Despair The Air Battle Through Flood and XXI.513/2610 XIII. Flame XXII.

With arms outstretched toward the red eye of the great star I stood praying for a return of that strange power which twice had drawn me through the immensity of space. Not since that other March night in 1866. compelling influence of the mighty god of war. when I had stood without that Arizona cave in which my still and lifeless body lay wrapped in the similitude of earthly death had I felt the irresistible attraction of the god of my profession.of a dead river below me. I felt again the strange. which for ten long and lonesome years I had implored with outstretched arms to carry me back to my lost love. 514/2610 . my beloved Mars. praying as I had prayed on a thousand nights before during the long ten years that I had waited and hoped.

lifeless thing . my senses swam. again. as though even here upon the banks of the placid Hudson. my knees gave beneath me and I pitched headlong to the ground upon the very verge of the dizzy bluff. as on that far-gone night. I could hear the awful moans and rustling of the fearsome thing which had lurked and threatened me from the dark recesses of the cave. 515/2610 Instantly my brain cleared and there swept back across the threshold of my memory the vivid picture of the horrors of that ghostly Arizona cave. my muscles refused to respond to my will and again. and I stood naked and free beside the staring. I made the same mighty and superhuman effort to break the bonds of the strange anaesthesia which held me. and again came the sharp click as of the sudden parting of a taut wire.Suddenly a qualm of nausea swept over me.

There was the same instant of unthinkable cold and utter darkness that I had experienced twenty years before. The scene that met my eyes was so unMartian that my heart sprang to my throat as the sudden fear swept through me that I had been aimlessly tossed . beneath the burning rays of a hot sun. 516/2610 With scarcely a parting glance I turned my eyes again toward Mars.that had so recently pulsed with the warm. Nor did I have long to wait. red life-blood of John Carter. which beat through a tiny opening in the dome of the mighty forest in which I lay. for scarce had I turned ere I shot with the rapidity of thought into the awful void before me. and waited. lifted my hands toward his lurid rays. and then I opened my eyes in another world.

517/2610 Why not? What guide had I through the trackless waste of interplanetary space? What assurance that I might not as well be hurtled to some far-distant star of another solar system. as to Mars? I lay upon a close-cropped sward of red grasslike vegetation. The vegetation was similar to that which covers the lawns of the red Martians of the great waterways. and about me stretched a grove of strange and beautiful trees. and then through .upon some strange planet by a cruel fate. but mortal eye ne'er rested on such odd. voiceless birds. unearthly shapes. but the trees and birds were unlike anything that I had ever seen upon Mars. covered with huge and gorgeous blossoms and filled with brilliant. I call them birds since they were winged.

The lesser attraction of this smaller planet and the reduced air pressure of its greatly rarefied atmosphere. and this . however. unknown corner of Mars. gave me some slightly increased assurance that. afforded so little resistance to my earthly muscles that the ordinary exertion of the mere act of rising sent me several feet into the air and precipitated me upon my face in the soft and brilliant grass of this strange world. its blue waters shimmering beneath the brazen sun. to me. This experience. 518/2610 As I rose to investigate further I experienced the same ridiculous catastrophe that had met my first attempt to walk under Martian conditions. I might indeed be in some.the further trees I could see that most un-Martian of all sights--an open sea. after all.

laughing at my forgetfulness. . so that as one turned his glance in any direction the forest had the appearance at a little distance of a vast. The grass was as close-cropped and carpet-like as some old English lawn and the trees themselves showed evidence of careful pruning to a uniform height of about fifteen feet from the ground.was very possible since during my ten years' residence upon the planet I had explored but a comparatively tiny area of its vast expanse. high-ceiled chamber. As I walked slowly down the imperceptible slope toward the sea I could not help but note the park-like appearance of the sward and trees. and soon had mastered once more the art of attuning my earthly sinews to these changed conditions. 519/2610 I arose again.

some of them fully a hundred feet in diameter. since at no point could I penetrate their dense foliage above me to more than sixty or eighty feet. attested their prodigious height. As far aloft as I could see the stems and branches and twigs were as smooth and as highly polished as the newest of 520/2610 . Their great stems. which I could only guess at.All these evidences of careful and systematic cultivation convinced me that I had been fortunate enough to make my entry into Mars on this second occasion through the domain of a civilized people and that when I should find them I would be accorded the courtesy and protection that my rank as a Prince of the house of Tardos Mors entitled me to. The trees of the forest attracted my deep admiration as I proceeded toward the sea.

yellow. again.American-made pianos. The wood of some of the trees was as black as ebony. while their nearest neighbours might perhaps gleam in the subdued light of the forest as clear and white as the finest china. or. and indeed might challenge the language of the gods. And in the same way was the foliage as gay and variegated as the stems. 521/2610 As I neared the confines of the forest I beheld before me and between the grove and the open sea. scarlet. a broad expanse of meadow land. and as I was about to emerge from the shadows of the trees a sight met my eyes that banished all romantic and poetic reflection . while the blooms that clustered thick upon them may not be described in any earthly tongue. or deepest purple. they were azure.

dim line indicated its further shore.upon the landscape. At a little distance up the river rose mighty perpendicular bluffs. from the very base of which the great river seemed to rise. But it was not these inspiring and magnificent evidences of Nature's grandeur that took my immediate attention from the beauties of the forest. while at my right a mighty river. It was the sight of a score of figures moving slowly about the meadow near the bank of the mighty river. placid. beauties of the strange 522/2610 To my left the sea extended as far as the eye could reach. broad. . and majestic. flowed between scarlet banks to empty into the quiet sea before me. before me only a vague.

unlike anything that I had ever seen upon Mars. most manlike in appearance. . or if there were bones it seemed that they must be vertebral in nature. however. in that they moved in sinuous and snakelike undulations. and to be proportioned as to torso and lower extremities precisely as is earthly man. at a distance. As I watched them from behind the stem of a huge tree. and from where I stood seemed as though fashioned much after the manner of an elephant's trunk. The larger specimens appeared to be about ten or twelve feet in height when they stood erect. as though entirely without bony structure. one of the creatures moved slowly in my direction. 523/2610 Their arms. were very short. grotesque shapes they were. and yet.Odd.

engaged in the occupation that seemed to be the principal business of each of them. As he approached quite close to me I obtained an excellent view of him. for what purpose I could not determine. Its hairless body was a strange and ghoulish blue. 524/2610 . except for a broad band of white which encircled its protruding. and which consisted in running their oddly shaped hands over the surface of the sward. and though I was later to become better acquainted with his kind. The fastest flier of the Heliumetic Navy could not quickly enough have carried me far from this hideous creature. I may say that that single cursory examination of this awful travesty on Nature would have proved quite sufficient to my desires had I been a free agent.

was covered by a tangled mass of jet-black hair some eight or ten inches in length. inflamed. 525/2610 Its nose was a ragged. Each hair was about the bigness of a large angleworm.single eye: an eye that was all dead white--pupil. for the thing had no mouth that I could discover. circular hole in the centre of its blank face. with the exception of the face. iris. and ball. and as the thing moved the muscles of its scalp this awful head-covering seemed to writhe and wriggle and crawl about the fearsome face as though indeed each . a hole that resembled more closely nothing that I could think of other than a fresh bullet wound which has not yet commenced to bleed. Below this repulsive orifice the face was quite blank to the chin. The head.

were the result of its peculiar method of feeding.separate hair was endowed with independent life. which consists in cropping off the tender vegetation with its razorlike talons and sucking it up from its two mouths. . too. As it came quite close to me I discovered that its strange movements. From heel to toe they were fully three feet long. were human in shape. which lie one in the palm of each hand. and very flat and very broad. running its odd hands over the surface of the turf. through its armlike throats. 526/2610 The body and the legs were as symmetrically human as Nature could have fashioned them. but of monstrous proportions. and the feet.

quite round where it joined the body. from its armpits. which trailed at right angles to the ground. 527/2610 . were the two tiny replicas of it. or merely portions of a composite creature. They were suspended by a small stem which seemed to grow from the exact tops of their heads to where it connected them with the body of the adult. I did not know. thin blade toward the end. Whether they were the young. By far the most remarkable feature of this most remarkable creature. which dangled. one on either side. the beast was equipped with a massive tail about six feet in length. but tapering to a flat.In addition to the features which I have already described. however. each about six inches in length.

As I had been scrutinizing this weird monstrosity the balance of the herd had fed quite close to me and I now saw that while many had the smaller specimens dangling from them. not all were thus equipped. for they did not seem to be particularly . I did not know whether to fear them or not. 528/2610 Fearsome-looking as they were. and from the young of that size the herd graded up to the immense adults. and I further noted that the little ones varied in size from what appeared to be but tiny unopened buds an inch in diameter through various stages of development to the fullfledged and perfectly formed creature of ten to twelve inches in length. Feeding with the herd were many of the little fellows not much larger than those which remained attached to their parents.

and I was on the point of stepping from my hidingplace and revealing myself to them to note the effect upon them of the sight of a man when my rash resolve was. And indeed the 529/2610 . Naked and unarmed. nipped in the bud by a strange shrieking wail. which seemed to come from the direction of the bluffs at my right. but at the moment of the shriek each member of the herd turned in the direction from which the sound seemed to come. fortunately for me. as I was.well equipped for fighting. my end would have been both speedy and horrible at the hands of these cruel creatures had I had time to put my resolve into execution. and at the same instant every particular snake-like hair upon their heads rose stiffly perpendicular as if each had been a sentient organism looking or listening for the source or meaning of the wail.

for this strange growth upon the craniums of the plant men of Barsoom represents the thousand ears of these hideous creatures. Their speed and method of locomotion were both remarkable. much after the manner of a kangaroo.latter proved to be the truth. a large fellow who evidently was the leader. . the last remnant of the strange race which sprang from the original Tree of Life. 530/2610 Instantly every eye turned toward one member of the herd. springing as they did in great leaps of twenty or thirty feet. followed by the entire herd. A strange purring sound issued from the mouth in the palm of one of his hands. and at the same time he started rapidly toward the bluff.

They were rapidly disappearing when it occurred to me to follow them. for the muscles of an athletic Earth man produce remarkable results when pitted against the lesser gravity and air pressure of Mars. hurling caution to the winds. Their way led directly towards the apparent source of the river at the base of the cliffs. and so. For this reason I came quite close to the cause of the disturbance before the scene broke upon my horrified gaze. I sprang across the meadow in their wake with leaps and bounds even more prodigious than their own. and as I neared this point I found the meadow dotted with huge boulders that the ravages of time had evidently dislodged from the towering crags above. As I topped a great boulder I saw the herd of plant men surrounding a little group 531/2610 .

here were the gleaming white tusks protruding from their massive lower jaws to a point near the centre of their foreheads. or to either side without turning their heads. protruding eyes with which they could look forward or backward. here the strange antennae-like ears rising from the tops of their foreheads. 532/2610 That I was indeed upon Mars I now had no doubt. for here were members of the wild hordes that people the dead sea bottoms and deserted cities of that dying planet. Here were the great males towering in all the majesty of their imposing height.of perhaps five or six green men and women of Barsoom. the laterally placed. and the additional pair of arms extending from midway between the shoulders and the hips. .

except on that single historic instance when the great Tars Tarkas of Thark gathered a hundred and fifty thousand green warriors from several hordes to march upon the doomed city of Zodanga to rescue Dejah Thoris. from the clutches of Than Kosis. . Princess of Helium. I would have known them on the instant for what they were. a fact which tended to puzzle me infinitely. and never. since the various hordes of green men of Barsoom are eternally at deadly war with one another. had I seen green Martians of different hordes associated in other than mortal combat.Even without the glossy green hide and the metal ornaments which denoted the tribes to which they belonged. for where else in all the universe is their like duplicated? 533/2610 There were two men and four females in the party and their ornaments denoted them as members of different hordes.

in wide-eyed amazement.But now they stood back to back. and by its very strangeness was the more potent. facing. else it had been short shrift for the gruesome plant men of Barsoom. 534/2610 Both men and women were armed with long-swords and daggers. Presently the leader of the plant men charged the little party. and his method of attack was as remarkable as it was effective. the like of which it soon was evident to me they were as unfamiliar with as they were with the monstrosities which confronted them. but no firearms were in evidence. the very evidently hostile demonstrations of a common enemy. since in the science of the green warriors there was no defence for this singular manner of attack. .

and as he passed close above them he brought it down in one terrific sweep that crushed a green warrior's skull as though it had been an eggshell. The balance of the frightful herd was now circling rapidly and with bewildering speed about the little knot of victims. the mighty sweep of those awful tails met with no resistance and two more green Martians went down to an ignoble death. with a bound. rose as though to pass directly above their heads.The plant man charged to within a dozen feet of the party and then. screeching purr of their uncanny mouths were well calculated to confuse and terrorize their prey. His powerful tail was raised high to one side. Their prodigious bounds and the shrill. 535/2610 . so that as two of them leaped simultaneously from either side.

lay dead upon the scarlet sward. As the green warrior saw the last of his companions go down and at the same time perceived that the entire herd was charging him in a body. however. dealt a single blow with his cruel tail that laid both of the females crushed corpses upon the ground. and it seemed that it could be but a matter of seconds ere these. The other. the warrior. also. who was now prepared by the experiences of the past few minutes. But as two more of the plant men charged. he rushed boldly to meet them. swinging his long- 536/2610 .There were now but one warrior and two females left. swung his mighty longsword aloft and met the hurtling bulk with a clean cut that clove one of the plant men from chin to groin.

and then commenced a mad race for the forest. more upon 537/2610 . He had turned for that portion of the forest which abutted on the cliffs. As I had watched the noble fight which the great warrior had put up against such enormous odds my heart had swelled in admiration for him. Cutting and hewing to right and left. and thus the mad race was taking the entire party farther and farther from the boulder where I lay concealed. he laid an open path straight through the advancing plant men.sword in the terrific manner that I had so often seen the men of his kind wield it in their ferocious and almost continual warfare among their own race. in the shelter of which he evidently hoped that he might find a haven of refuge. and acting as I am wont to do.

and a red mist swam before my eyes and I felt my lips respond to my heart in the old smile that has ever marked me in the midst of the joy of battle. I instantly sprang from my sheltering rock and bounded quickly toward the bodies of the dead green Martians. and now he stood with his back 538/2610 . but this time I grasped a mighty long-sword in my hand and in my heart was the old blood lust of the fighting man. and another instant saw me again in my stride in quick pursuit of the hideous monsters that were rapidly gaining on the fleeing warrior. for the green warrior had been overtaken ere he had made half the distance to the forest. Swift as I was I was none too soon. a welldefined plan of action already formed. Half a dozen great leaps brought me to the spot.impulse than after mature deliberation.

laid to the right and left of him as I had never seen but one other warrior do. . temporarily balked. springing to my side. with great circling strokes that formed a figure eight about him and that never stopped until none stood living to oppose him. 539/2610 With their single eyes in the centre of their heads and every eye turned upon their a boulder. while the herd. and in that instant the green warrior rose to the occasion and. his keen blade passing through flesh and bone and metal as though each had been alike thin air. so that I was upon them with my great long-sword and four of them lay dead ere they knew that I was among them. For an instant they recoiled before my terrific onslaught. hissed and screeched about him. they did not note my soundless approach.

far above us rose that shrill. Again and again it rose. weird cry which I had heard once before. smeared us from head to foot. Great tails lashed in frenzied anger about us. but we were too much engaged with the fierce and powerful creatures about us to attempt to search out even with our eyes the author of the horrid notes. Once I felt the great weight of one of the monsters upon my back and as keen 540/2610 . for every cut and thrust of our longswords brought spurts of this stuff upon us from the severed arteries of the plant men. razor-like talons cut our limbs and bodies. through which it courses in its sluggish viscidity in lieu of blood. and a green and sticky syrup. and which had called the herd to the attack upon their victims.As we bent to the slaughter. such as oozes from a crushed caterpillar.

and tearing himself from those that surrounded him.talons sank into my flesh I experienced the frightful sensation of moist lips sucking the lifeblood from the wounds to which the claws still clung. we stood almost back to back against the great boulder. while two more. 541/2610 The green warrior was much put to it to hold his own. he raked the assailant from my back with a single sweep of his blade. Once together. and thus . and thus relieved I had little difficulty with the others. I was very much engaged with a ferocious fellow who was endeavouring to reach my throat from in front. one on either side. and I felt that the unequal struggle could last but a moment longer when the huge fellow discovered my plight. were lashing viciously at me with their tails.

A glance in the direction toward which he was looking was sufficient to apprise me of his aims and at the same time to . and far above us upon a little natural balcony on the face of the cliff stood a strange figure of a man shrieking out his shrill signal. and as we were easily their match while they remained upon the ground. and with the other pointed and gesticulated toward us. 542/2610 This time I glanced up. we were making great headway in dispatching what remained of them when our attention was again attracted by the shrill wail of the caller above our heads. the while he waved one hand in the direction of the river's mouth as though beckoning to some one there.the creatures were prevented from soaring above us to deliver their deadly blows.

from out of the forest. and from the far distance of the flat land across the river. for. John Carter." he replied. streaming in from all directions across the meadow. "Look!" As he shot a quick glance in the direction I indicated he smiled. and with them some strange new monsters which ran with great swiftness. "We may at least die fighting and as great warriors should. I could see converging upon us a hundred different lines of wildly leaping creatures such as we were now engaged with.fill me with the dread of dire apprehension. "It will be a great death. 543/2610 We had just finished the last of our immediate antagonists as he spoke. and I . now erect and now upon all fours." I said to my companion.

544/2610 And there before my astonished eyes I beheld the greatest of the green men of Barsoom. their shrewdest statesman. CHAPTER II A FOREST BATTLE Tars Tarkas and I found no time for an exchange of experiences as we stood there before the great boulder surrounded by the corpses of our grotesque assailants. my great and good friend. Jeddak of Thark. Tars Tarkas. their mightiest general.turned in surprised wonderment at the sound of my name. for from all directions down the .

There lies our only hope of even temporary escape. "Come. there we may find a cave or a narrow ledge which two may defend for ever against this motley." cried Tars Tarkas. perhaps. "we must make for the cliffs. We had. three hundred yards to cover between our boulder and the cliffs. and then to search out a suitable shelter for our stand against the terrifying things that were pursuing us." 545/2610 Together we raced across the scarlet sward. I timing my speed that I might not outdistance my slower companion. They were rapidly overhauling us when Tars Tarkas cried to me to hasten ahead .broad valley was streaming a perfect torrent of terrifying creatures in response to the weird call of the strange figure far above us. unarmed horde.

were the only indication that any disintegration of the massive. The cliffs rose perpendicular directly from the almost level sward of the valley. and. The suggestion was a good one. throwing every ounce of my earthly muscles into the effort. The scattered boulders that had fallen from above and lay upon or partly buried in the turf. forming a more or less rough ascent to them. the sanctuary we sought. 546/2610 . I cleared the remaining distance between myself and the cliffs in great leaps and bounds that put me at their base in a moment. There was no accumulation of fallen debris.and discover. as is the case with nearly all other cliffs I have ever seen. if possible. towering pile of rocks ever had taken place. for thus many valuable minutes might be saved to us.

except where the weird herald stood still shrieking his shrill summons. apparently unbroken. which terminated at its very foot. the faintest indication of even a bare foothold upon the lofty escarpment. To my right the bottom of the cliff was lost in the dense foliage of the forest. to be lost in the outlines of what appeared to be a range of mighty mountains that skirted and confined the valley in every direction.My first cursory inspection of the face of the cliffs filled my heart with forebodings. To the left the cliff ran. rearing its gorgeous foliage fully a thousand feet against its stern and forbidding neighbour. 547/2610 . across the head of the broad valley. since nowhere could I discern.

as my gaze ran quickly. over . my first inspection of them. time and again. and occasional areas of white quartz. and as there seemed not the remotest chance for escape in that direction I turned my attention again toward the forest. as it seemed. Here and there they were broken with streaks and patches of dusky red. Just then I was absorbed in them only as a medium of escape. directly from the base of the cliffs. The sun was not quite upon them and they loomed a dull yellow in their own shade.Perhaps a thousand feet from me the river broke. 548/2610 The cliffs towered above me a good five thousand feet. Altogether they were very beautiful. but I fear that I did not regard them with a particularly appreciative eye on this. green. and so.

Tars Tarkas was approaching me rapidly. I came suddenly to loathe them as the prisoner must loathe the cruel and impregnable walls of his dungeon. and gleaming whites--a more gorgeous and inspiring spectacle human eye has never rested upon. It seemed the forest now or nothing. of soft greens. and still more rapidly came the awful horde at his heels.their vast expanse in search of some cranny or crevice. and I was just on the point of motioning Tars Tarkas to follow me in that direction when the sun passed the cliff's zenith. and as the bright rays touched the dull surface it burst out into a million scintillant lights of burnished gold. of flaming red. 549/2610 .

and diamond boulders--a faint and alluring indication of the vast and unguessable riches which lay deeply buried behind the magnificent surface. was the several black spots which now appeared quite plainly in evidence high across the gorgeous wall close to the forest's top. and extending apparently below and behind the branches. so shot with veins and patches of solid gold as to quite present the appearance of a solid wall of that precious metal except where it was broken by outcroppings of ruby. as later inspection conclusively proved. the dark openings of caves entering the solid walls-- 550/2610 . Almost immediately I recognised them for what they were.The face of the entire cliff was. emerald. But what caught my most interested attention at the moment that the sun's rays set the cliff's face a-shimmer.

and as the ascent was usually gradual. Upon the entire surface of that ancient planet I never before had seen a hill or mountain that exceeded four thousand feet in height above the dead sea bottoms. could we but reach them. Nor would the Martians have embraced even such opportunities as might present themselves. for they could always find a circuitous route about the base of any eminence. would find it a task possibly quite beyond his prowess or his skill. and . That I could scale them I knew full well. 551/2610 There was but a single way. but Tars Tarkas. with his mighty bulk and enormous weight. and that led through the mighty. towering trees upon our right. nearly to their summits they presented but few opportunities for the practice of climbing. for Martians are at best but poor climbers.possible avenues of escape or temporary shelter.

The Thark grasped the possibilities and the difficulties of the plan at once. 552/2610 However. nor was there any considerable will in the efforts that Tars Tarkas made. Our relentless pursuers were now close to us. nor ever before had I seen one fleeing from death . there was nothing else to consider than an attempt to scale the trees contiguous to the cliff in an effort to reach the caves above. for the green men of Barsoom do not relish flight. but there was no alternative. and so we set out rapidly for the trees nearest the cliff.these roads they preferred and followed in preference to the shorter but more arduous ways. so close that it seemed that it would be an utter impossibility for the Jeddak of Thark to reach the forest in advance of them.

and the cause of the Thark's great and sudden love of life I could not fathom. however. yes. cruel. unhappy people. In my case it was love--love of the divine Dejah Thoris. loveless. At whatsoever form it might have confronted him. tens of thousands in countless mortal combats with men and beasts. as he knew that a greater power than pride or honour spurred me to escape these fierce destroyers. But that Tars Tarkas was the bravest of the brave he had proven thousands of times. for it is oftener that they seek death than life--these strange. while right behind us sprang the swiftest of our pursuers-a giant plant man with claws 553/2610 . we reached the shadows of the forest. And so I knew that there was another reason than fear of death behind his flight.

As I raised my long-sword to deal the creature its death thrust it halted in its charge and. 554/2610 He was. as my sword cut harmlessly .outreaching to fasten his bloodsucking mouths upon us. But I had reckoned without a just appreciation either of the cunning of my immediate antagonist or the swiftness with which his fellows were covering the distance which had separated them from me. and so I called to Tars Tarkas to ascend a great tree that brushed the cliff's face while I dispatched the fellow. a hundred yards in advance of his closest companion. thus giving the less agile Thark an opportunity to reach the higher branches before the entire horde should be upon us and every vestige of escape cut off. I should say.

an eventual victory had we had time to discuss the merits of our relative prowess uninterrupted. in conjunction with the deathly strangle hold I had upon him. I suddenly caught a glimpse over the shoulder of my antagonist of the 555/2610 . but ere it could fasten its hideous mouths into my breast and throat I grasped a writhing tentacle in either hand. I think. and powerful but my earthly sinews and greater agility. the great tail of the thing swept with the power of a grizzly's arm across the sward and carried me bodily from my feet to the ground. would have given me. The plant man was well muscled. In an instant the brute was upon me.through the empty air. But as we strained and struggled about the tree into which Tars Tarkas was clambering with infinite difficulty. heavy.

556/2610 Now. and I may say that of all the fearsome and terrible.great swarm of pursuers that now were fairly upon me. My former experiences upon Mars had familiarized me thoroughly with them and their methods. which gives . at last. I saw the nature of the other monsters who had come with the plant men in response to the weird calling of the man upon the cliff's face. I think that the cause of this feeling which these apes engender within me is due to their remarkable resemblance in form to our Earth men. weird and grotesque inhabitants of that strange world. it is the white apes that come nearest to familiarizing me with the sensation of fear. They were that most dreaded of Martian creatures--great white apes of Barsoom.

but do not protrude as do those of the green men of Mars. 557/2610 They stand fifteen feet in height and walk erect upon their hind feet.them a human appearance that is most uncanny when coupled with their enormous size. their ears are high set. Like the green Martians. they have an intermediary set of arms midway between their upper and lower limbs. It was into the eyes of such as these and the terrible plant men that I gazed above the shoulder of my foe. in a mighty wave of snarling. purring rage. snapping. Upon their heads grows an enormous shock of bristly hair. Their eyes are very close set. but more laterally located than are the green men's. and then. they swept . while their snouts and teeth are much like those of our African gorilla. screaming.

I succeeded in struggling to my feet. cold. where. I struggled to free myself. What it has taken minutes to write occurred in but a few seconds. and even though weighed down by these immense bodies.over me--and of all the sounds that assailed my ears as I went down beneath them. I wrought such havoc among them that at one time I stood for an instant free. but during that time Tars Tarkas had seen my plight and had dropped from the lower branches. still grasping my long-sword. sucking lips fastened themselves upon my arteries. which he had reached with . to me the most hideous was the horrid purring of the plant men. 558/2610 Instantly a score of cruel fangs and keen talons were sunk into my flesh. and shortening my grip upon it until I could use it as a dagger.

as we had done a hundred times before. 559/2610 Time and again the ferocious apes sprang in to close with us. and as I flung the last of my immediate antagonists from me the great Thark leaped to my side. but every attack met a gleaming blade in sword hands that had been reputed for twenty years the best that Mars ever had known.such infinite labour. for Tars Tarkas and John Carter were names that the fighting men of the world of warriors loved best to speak. and again we fought. But even the two best swords in a world of fighters can avail not for ever against . The great tails of the plant men lashed with tremendous power about us as they charged from various directions or sprang with the agility of greyhounds above our heads. back to back. and time and again we beat them back with our swords.

and. Tars Tarkas was in the lead. "Here is shelter for one at least. and then. we were forced back." he said. until we had been forced half-way around the huge base of the colossal trunk. and so. At length we stood against the giant tree that we had chosen for our ascent. 560/2610 . step by step. John Carter.overwhelming numbers of fierce and savage brutes that know not what defeat means until cold steel teaches their hearts no longer to beat. as charge after charge hurled its weight upon us. I saw an opening in the base of the tree about three feet in diameter. glancing down. and suddenly I heard a little cry of exultation from him. we gave back again and again.

"for I shall not go first. John Carter." We still were fighting furiously as we talked in broken sentences. 561/2610 "We shall both die if we remain without. punctured . Tars Tarkas. Let me defend the opening while you get in. Take it and you may live to avenge me. it is useless for me to attempt to worm my way into so small an opening with this horde of demons besetting us on all sides. while I might slip in easily. here is a slight chance for one of us. saying that his bulk was too great for the little aperture." "Then we shall die together."In with you." I replied. then my smaller stature will permit me to slip in with you before they can prevent. but he would not go. Tars Tarkas." I cried.

as he. even to the greatest of Jeddaks who rule upon Barsoom." There was a grim smile upon his cruel. "It was ever your way. 562/2610 At length he yielded." he said. for it seemed the only way in which either of us might be saved from the ever-increasing numbers of our assailants. to think last of your own life.with vicious cuts and thrusts at our swarming enemy. . turned to obey the dictates of a creature of another world--of a man whose stature was less than half his own. hard face. John Carter. the greatest Jeddak of them all. who were still swarming upon us from all directions across the broad valley. "but still more your way to command the lives and actions of others.

for never before in his whole life of continual strife had he turned his back upon aught than a dead or defeated enemy. I cannot hold them for ever alone." "As you will. 563/2610 "Haste. "know that the cruel and heartless Thark. my friend. will come out to die beside you." he said. now red . Tars Tarkas. John Carter. To right and left flew my shimmering blade. "but quickly now." I urged. the whole howling pack of hideous devils hurled themselves upon me." He hesitated a little at that word. "or we shall both go down to profitless defeat. now green with the sticky juice of a plant man. while I cover your retreat. to whom you taught the meaning of friendship. head first."If you fail." I replied." As he dropped to the ground to force his way into the tree.

with the crimson blood of a great white ape. against such frightful odds that I cannot realize even now that human muscles could have withstood that awful onslaught. With the fear that we would escape them. but always flying from one opponent to another. and I went down beneath them for the second time that day. and though the ground about me was piled high with their dead and dying comrades. 564/2610 And thus I fought as I never had fought before. battling flesh. hesitating but the barest fraction of a second to drink the lifeblood in the centre of some savage heart. and once again . that terrific weight of hurtling tons of ferocious. the creatures redoubled their efforts to pull me down. they succeeded at last in overwhelming me.

but after a few attempts to reach us they confined their efforts to terrorizing . 565/2610 But scarce had I fallen ere I felt powerful hands grip my ankles. For a moment it was a tug of war between Tars Tarkas and a great plant man. Torn and bleeding from many cruel wounds. who clung tenaciously to my breast. while Tars Tarkas defended the opening from the furious mob without. and in another second I was being drawn within the shelter of the tree's interior.felt those awful sucking lips against my flesh. For an hour they howled about the tree. I lay panting upon the ground within the hollow of the tree. but presently I got the point of my longsword beneath him and with a mighty thrust pierced his vitals.

the only outcome of which could be our death by starvation. whither in this unknown and hostile valley could we hope to turn our steps toward possible escape? As the attacks of our enemies ceased and our eyes became accustomed to the semi-darkness of the interior of our strange retreat. for even should we be able to slip out after dark.shrieks and screams. who had apparently been left to prevent our escape. 566/2610 At length. and the fearsome and indescribable purring by the plant men. all but a score. and our adventure seemed destined to result in a siege. I took the opportunity to explore our shelter. to horrid growling on the part of the great white apes. . had left us.

and as I pursued my investigation I presently came upon a rough ladder at the far side of the cave. As I raised my eyes toward its roof to note the height I saw far above me a faint glow of light. only to find that it connected at the top with the lower of a series of horizontal wooden bars that spanned the now narrow and shaft-like interior of the tree's stem. hard floor I judged that it had often been used to domicile others before our occupancy. If we could but reach it we might still hope to make the shelter of the cliff caves. and from its flat. 567/2610 There was an opening above.The tree was hollow to an extent of about fifty feet in diameter. Quickly I mounted it. My eyes had now become quite used to the subdued light of the interior. These bars were set one above another about three .

and opened directly upon a large flat limb. I detailed my discovery to Tars Tarkas. the light from above grew brighter and brighter. and as I ascended. who suggested that I explore aloft as far as I could go in safety while he guarded the entrance against a possible attack. 568/2610 Dropping to the floor once more.feet apart. the well worn surface of which . until at length I reached the opening in the stem which admitted the light. and formed a perfect ladder as far above me as I could see. For fully five hundred feet I continued to climb. It was of about the same diameter as the entrance at the foot of the tree. As I hastened above to explore the strange shaft I found that the ladder of horizontal bars mounted always as far above me as my eyes could reach.

but instead hurried to retrace my steps to Tars Tarkas. Tars Tarkas went in advance and as I reached the first of the horizontal bars I drew the ladder up after me and. handing it to him. In like manner I dislodged the lower bars as I passed them. so that we soon had the interior of the . where he wedged it safely between one of the bars and the side of the shaft.testified to its long continued use as an avenue for some creature to and from this remarkable shaft. 569/2610 I did not venture out upon the limb for fear that I might be discovered and our retreat in this direction cut off. he carried it a hundred feet further aloft. I soon reached him and presently we were both ascending the long ladder toward the opening above.

thus precluding possible pursuit and attack from the rear. this precaution saved us from dire predicament. and was eventually the means of our salvation. owing to my lesser weight and greater agility. As we were to learn later. hanging pathway. 570/2610 When we reached the opening at the top Tars Tarkas drew to one side that I might pass out and investigate. as. I was better fitted for the perilous threading of this dizzy. The limb upon which I found myself ascended at a slight angle toward the cliff.tree denuded of all possible means of ascent for a distance of a hundred feet from the base. and as I followed it I found that it terminated a few feet above a narrow .

.ledge which protruded from the cliff's face at the entrance to a narrow cave. nearly five thousand feet above towered the mighty. Five hundred feet below me lay the vivid scarlet carpet of the valley. possibly a thousand feet. But so far as I might know it was as good for our purpose as another. it swayed gently on a level with the ledge at a distance of a couple of feet. 571/2610 As I approached the slightly more slender extremity of the branch it bent beneath my weight until. as I balanced perilously upon its outer tip. The cave that I faced was not one of those that I had seen from the ground. gleaming face of the gorgeous cliffs. and so I returned to the tree for Tars Tarkas. and which lay much higher.

572/2610 We finally agreed that Tars Tarkas should return along the branch. leaving his longest leather harness strap with me. and on Tars Tarkas' return I could then lower the strap and haul him up to the safety of the ledge. This we did without mishap and soon found ourselves together upon the verge of a dizzy little balcony. with a magnificent view of the valley spreading out below us. and that when the limb had risen to a height that would permit me to enter the cave I was to do so.Together we wormed our way along the waving pathway. but when we reached the end of the branch we found that our combined weight so depressed the limb that the cave's mouth was now too far above us to be reached. .

and about all towered the brilliant monster guardian cliffs. Once we thought we discerned a gilded minaret gleaming in the sun amidst the waving tops of far-distant trees. Knowing that attack from the tree was now improbable. but we soon abandoned the idea in the belief that it was but an hallucination born of our great desire to discover the haunts of civilized men in this beautiful. yet forbidding. spot.As far as the eye could reach gorgeous forest and crimson sward skirted a silent sea. we determined to 573/2610 . while great herds of plant men grazed in ever-widening circles about the sward which they kept as close clipped as the smoothest of lawns. Below us upon the river's bank the great white apes were devouring the last remnants of Tars Tarkas' former companions.

but quite evidently away from this valley of grim ferocity. we clasped hands. which we had every reason to believe was but a continuation of the path we had already traversed. Tars Tarkas keeping in touch with one wall while I felt along the other. while. Its walls rose some twenty feet above the floor. As we advanced we found a well-proportioned tunnel cut from the solid cliff. The roof was arched. which was about five feet in width. but presently we 574/2610 . leading the gods alone knew where. We had no means of making a light. and so groped our way slowly into the ever-increasing darkness. to prevent our wandering into diverging branches and becoming separated or lost in some intricate and labyrinthine maze.explore the cave. How far we traversed the tunnel in this manner I do not know.

but of something which felt like very hard wood. I had the satisfaction of feeling the door slowly give before me. Without more ado I swung the door wide open and. 575/2610 Silently I groped over its surface with my hands. Gently pressing it.came to an obstruction which blocked our further progress. It seemed more like a partition than a sudden ending of the cave. for it was constructed not of the material of the cliff. followed by the huge . which. and in another instant we were looking into a dimly lighted apartment. and presently was rewarded by the feel of the button which as commonly denotes a door on Mars as does a door knob on Earth. was unoccupied. so far as we could see.

when. to my astonishment. for something in the uncanny movement of the thing and the tense and almost palpable silence of the chamber seemed to portend a lurking evil lying hidden in this rock-bound chamber within the bowels of the Golden Cliffs. . I saw the door close with a sharp click as though by an unseen hand. while my eyes sought in vain for a duplicate of the button which had given us ingress.Thark. My fingers clawed futilely at the unyielding portal. 576/2610 Instantly I sprang toward it to wrench it open again. As we stood for a moment in silence gazing about the room a slight noise behind caused me to turn quickly. stepped into the chamber.

577/2610 CHAPTER III THE CHAMBER MYSTERY OF For moments after that awful laugh had ceased reverberating through the rocky room. At length Tars Tarkas laughed softly. from unseen lips. But no further sound broke the stillness.And then. after the manner of his strange kind when in the presence of the horrible or . nor within the range of our vision did aught move. a cruel and mocking peal of laughter rang through the desolate place. Tars Tarkas and I stood in tense and expectant silence.

It is not an hysterical laugh. but rather the genuine expression of the pleasure they derive from the things that move Earth men to loathing or to tears. "What do you make of it all?" I asked.terrifying. I looked up at the Thark. "Where in the deuce are we?" He looked at me in surprise. for here in truth was greater need for a smiling face than a trembling chin. 578/2610 . a smile upon my own lips. Often and again have I seen them roll upon the ground in mad fits of uncontrollable mirth when witnessing the death agonies of women and little children beneath the torture of that hellish green Martian fete--the Great Games.

I know not where we be. John Carter. for the sights I have seen this day are as unlike the things of my beloved Barsoom as I knew it ten long years ago as they are unlike the world of my birth. though the men ."Where are we?" he repeated." "Where have you been since you opened the mighty portals of the atmosphere plant years ago. that had not already died. and but for you and the great white apes I should not even guess that. of asphyxiation? Your body even was never found. after the keeper had died and the engines stopped and all Barsoom was dying. "No. "Do you tell me. that you know not where you be?" 579/2610 "That I am upon Barsoom is all that I can guess. Tars Tarkas.

" I interrupted him. for I feared I might have been too late to save her--she was very low when I left her in the royal . your princess. "There was but one conclusion to reach when all efforts to locate you had failed. to await in the Valley Dor upon the shores of the Lost Sea of Korus the beautiful Dejah Thoris. last pilgrimage down the mysterious River Iss. "I did not dare to ask you. that you had taken the long. for your princess still lived--" 580/2610 "Thank God.of a whole world sought after it for years. "Why you had gone none could guess. though the Jeddak of Helium and his granddaughter. your princess. offered such fabulous rewards that even princes of royal blood joined in the search. and that.

the woman who taught me to love. Many years ago you heard the story of the woman who taught me the thing that green Martians are reared to hate. John Carter--and another. I thought. .gardens of Tardos Mors that long-gone night. so very low that I scarcely hoped even then to reach the atmosphere plant ere her dear spirit had fled from me for ever." 581/2610 "You have not told me where we are. You know the cruel tortures and the awful death her love won for her at the hands of the beast. And she lives yet?" "She lives. John Carter. "She. Tal Hajus. "We are where I expected to find you. awaited me by the Lost Sea of Korus." I reminded him.

I thought. 582/2610 "Thus were the two I most longed for at the end of the long pilgrimage I must take some day. for yourself. the end of which you have this day witnessed."You know that it was left for a man from another world. I at last gave way to my great yearning and a month since I started upon the journey. . John Carter?" "And that was the River Iss. Do you understand now where you be. for she has always tried to believe that you had but temporarily returned to your own planet. to teach this cruel Thark what friendship is. also roamed the care-free Valley Dor. and you. emptying into the Lost Sea of Korus in the Valley Dor?" I asked. and so as the time had elapsed which Dejah Thoris had hoped might bring you once more to her side. John Carter.

"This is the valley of love and peace and rest to which every Barsoomian since time immemorial has longed to pilgrimage at the end of a life of hate and strife and bloodshed. nor did there seem aught else to say. "Think. John Carter. its bitterness but reflecting the terrible disappointment he had suffered. "This. "I am sorry. is Heaven." he replied. such an uprooting of age-old tradition might have excused a vastly greater demonstration on the part of the Thark." I said." 583/2610 His tone was cold and ironical. such a blasting of life-long hopes and aspirations. Such a fearful disillusionment. of the countless billions of Barsoomians who have taken the voluntary pilgrimage down this cruel . John Carter. I laid my hand upon his shoulder.

but the ancients killed the blasphemer. 584/2610 "There is an ancient legend that once a red man returned from the banks of the Lost Sea of Korus. brutes that pounced upon each Barsoomian as he terminated his pilgrimage and devoured him upon the banks of the Lost Sea where he had looked to find love and peace and happiness. only to fall into the ferocious clutches of the terrible creatures that to-day assailed us. as tradition has ordained that any shall be killed who return from the bosom of the River of Mystery. and the legend has it that he narrated a fearful blasphemy of horrid brutes that inhabited a valley of wondrous loveliness. that the legend is a true one. returned from the Valley Dor. "But now we know that it was no blasphemy. .river since the beginning of time. back through the mysterious River Iss.

green Barsoomian or red man." 585/2610 "As Earth men say. we also would be treated as blasphemers? We are between the wild thoat of certainty and the mad zitidar of fact--we can escape neither. "There is naught that we can do but take things as they come. nor could I help but smile at our dilemma.and that the man told only of what he saw." I replied. since even should we escape. whosoever it shall be that takes the last toll from us will know that it is costly in lives to wipe out . Tars Tarkas. but what does it profit us. and at least have the satisfaction of knowing that whoever slays us eventually will have far greater numbers of their own dead to count than they will get in return. we are between the devil and the deep sea. White ape or plant man. John Carter.

for which. John Carter. Prince of the House of Tardos Mors. and Tars Tarkas." he cried at last. with all its cruel and terrible customs. and he joined in with me in one of those rare laughs of real enjoyment which was one of the attributes of this fierce Tharkian chief which marked him from the others of his kind. and how is it that I find you here to-day?" 586/2610 "I have been back to Earth. "For ten long Earth years I have been praying and hoping for the day that would carry me once more to this grim old planet of yours. Jeddak of Thark. I feel a . at the same time." I replied.John Carter." I could not help but laugh at his grim humour. "If you have not been here all these years where indeed have you been. "But about yourself.

and if there were. hurled into the one tiny spot of all Barsoom from which there is apparently no escape. 587/2610 "For ten years have I been enduring a living death of uncertainty and doubt as to whether Dejah Thoris lived. and now that for the first time in all these years my prayers have been answered and my doubt relieved I find myself. at a price which would put out for ever the last flickering hope which I may cling to of seeing my princess again in this life--and you have seen to-day with what pitiful futility man yearns toward a material hereafter. through a cruel whim of of sympathy and love even greater than for the world that gave me birth. "Only a bare half-hour before I saw you battling with the plant men I was standing in the moonlight upon the banks of a broad river that taps the eastern shore .

" replied Tars Tarkas. Do you believe?" "I believe. two hundred feet in length and half as broad. and diamond patched the golden walls and ceiling. The apartment was hewn from the material of the cliff. I have answered you. ." 588/2610 As we talked I had been searching the interior of the chamber with my eyes.of Earth's most blessed land. my friend. with what appeared to be a doorway in the centre of the wall directly opposite that through which we had entered. It was. emerald. "though I cannot understand. Here and there polished surfaces of ruby. showing mostly dull gold in the dim light which a single minute radium illuminator in the centre of the roof diffused throughout its great dimensions. perhaps.

Hope not. tightening my grip upon the hilt of my great sword. the dead return not. that cruel and mocking laugh rang out once more. nor is there any resurrection. Aside from the two doors I could discern no sign of other aperture. the dead return not. And then from the far corner of the great chamber a hollow voice chanted: "There is no hope.The floor was of another material. so close to me this time that I involuntarily shrank back. very hard. and as one we knew to be locked against us I approached the other. As I extended my hand to search for the controlling button." 589/2610 . and worn by much use to the smoothness of glass. for there is no hope. there is no hope.

as do those upon a hound's neck when in the night his eyes see those uncanny things which are hidden from the sight of man. there was no one in sight. Goddess of Death. but it had ceased ere I reached the further wall. shrill and piercing: "Fools! Fools!" it shrieked. bear you upon her 590/2610 . Quickly I walked toward the mournful voice. and I must admit that cold shivers played along my spine and the short hairs at the base of my head stiffened and rose up. "Thinkest thou to defeat the eternal laws of life and death? Wouldst cheat the mysterious Issus.Though our eyes instantly turned toward the spot from which the voice seemed to emanate. and then from the other end of the chamber came another voice. the ancient Iss. of her just dues? Did not her mighty messenger.

that Issus wilt give up her own? Thinkest thou to escape from whence in all the countless ages but a single soul has fled? "Go back the way thou camest. who conceived both Life and Death. O fools. for there lies speedy surcease from suffering. to the merciful maws of the children of the Tree of Life or the gleaming fangs of the great white apes. avert their eyes from its . past the ramparts of the impregnable fortresses of the Holy Therns.leaden bosom at your own behest to the Valley Dor? 591/2610 "Thinkest thou. and upon your way Death in its most frightful form will overtake you--a death so horrible that even the Holy Therns themselves. but insist in your rash purpose to thread the mazes of the Golden Cliffs of the Mountains of Otz.

"Most uncanny. "We cannot fight empty air." O fools." I remarked. as you say.fiendishness and close their ears against the hideous shrieks of its victims. camest. "Go back. turning to Tars Tarkas." "If. "What shall we do?" he asked. on . the way 592/2610 thou And then the awful laugh broke out from another part of the chamber. "neither. Tars Tarkas. we cannot fight empty air. I would almost sooner return and face foes into whose flesh I may feel my blade bite and know that I am selling my carcass dearly before I go down to that eternal oblivion which is evidently the fairest and most desirable eternity that mortal man has the right to hope for." I replied.

and the fact that they remain invisible to us is the best proof to my mind that they are mortal. Tars Tarkas. shall not be turned back by wind. nor overly courageous mortals at that. In their veins flows lifeblood that may be let as easily as ours." "But unseen voices may emanate from unseen and unseeable creatures who wield invisible blades. I. "Rot. Tars Tarkas." answered the green warrior. who have faced and conquered in my time thousands of sinewy warriors and tempered blades. nor no more shall you." I cried. Think you. Thark. that John Carter will fly at the first shriek of a cowardly foe who dare not come out into the open and face a good blade?" 593/2610 .the other hand. can empty air fight us. "those voices come from beings as real as you or as I.

that the whole business was but a plan to frighten us back into the valley of death from which we had escaped. 594/2610 .I had spoken in a loud voice that there might be no question that our would-be terrorizers should hear me. The banth is a fierce beast of prey that roams the low hills surrounding the dead seas of ancient Mars. for I was tiring of this nerve-racking fiasco. stealthy sound behind me caused me to turn suddenly to behold a great many-legged banth creeping sinuously upon me. It had occurred to me. For a long period there was silence. then of a sudden a soft. Like nearly all Martian animals it is almost hairless. that we might be quickly disposed of by the savage creatures there. having only a great bristly mane about its thick neck. too.

Its long. but its mighty voice had held no paralysing terrors for me. and when it saw that it was discovered it emitted the terrifying roar which often freezes its prey into momentary paralysis in the instant that it makes its spring. or Martian hound. and it met cold steel instead of the tender flesh its cruel jaws gaped so widely to engulf. its enormous jaws are equipped. with several rows of long needle-like fangs. lithe body is supported by ten powerful legs. while its enormous. And so it launched its great bulk toward me. protruding eyes of green add the last touch of terror to its awful aspect. like those of the calot. As it crept toward me it lashed its powerful tail against its yellow sides. 595/2610 . its mouth reaches to a point far back of its tiny ears.

An instant later I drew my blade from the still heart of this great Barsoomian lion. for my part. while I. springing apparently from the empty air about us. turning. From then on for the better part of an hour one hideous creature after another was launched upon us. beheld another of the savage denizens of the Martian wilds leaping across the chamber toward me. as though drawn by the instinct of my guardian subconscious mind. and turning toward Tars Tarkas was surprised to see him facing a similar monster. here was something tangible that he could cut and slash with his great blade. Tars Tarkas was satisfied. 596/2610 No sooner had he dispatched his than I. may say that the diversion .

and the very real blood which flowed from their severed arteries as they died the real death. I noticed during the period of this new persecution that the beasts appeared only when our backs were turned. 597/2610 That there was nothing supernatural about our new foes was well evidenced by their howls of rage and pain as they felt the sharp steel at their vitals. we never saw one really materialize from thin air.was a marked improvement over the uncanny voices from unseen lips. . nor did I for an instant sufficiently lose my excellent reasoning faculties to be once deluded into the belief that the beasts came into the room other than through some concealed and well-contrived doorway.

which hung midway between his shoulders and his waist against his broad back. 598/2610 Once as he stood looking down at a newly fallen antagonist my eyes happened to fall upon this mirror and in its shiny surface I saw pictured a sight that caused me to whisper: "Move not. was a small mirror. which is the only manner of clothing worn by Martians other than silk capes and robes of silk and fur for protection from the cold after dark. about the bigness of a lady's hand glass. . Tars Tarkas! Move not a muscle!" He did not ask why.Among the ornaments of Tars Tarkas' leather harness. but stood like a graven image while my eyes watched the strange thing that meant so much to us.

so that the edge of the card perfectly bisected the surface of the coin. It was as though you placed a visiting-card upon end on a silver dollar that you had laid flat upon a table. As the turn was half completed a great beast was revealed sitting upon its haunches upon that part of the revolving floor that had been on the opposite side before the wall commenced 599/2610 . The card might represent the section of the wall that turned and the silver dollar the section of the floor. Both were so nicely fitted into the adjacent portions of the floor and wall that no crack had been noticeable in the dim light of the chamber. and with it a section of the floor directly in front of it was turning.What I saw was the quick movement of a section of the wall behind me. It was turning upon pivots.

to move. . such as had been turned upon us. and others equally as ferocious. but white. in which were several men and women chained to the wall. The prisoners behind him were red Martians. like myself. the beast was facing toward me on our side of the partition--it was very simple. with a great mass of flowing yellow hair. well lighted. evidently directing and operating the movement of the secret doorway. 600/2610 But what had interested me most was the sight that the half-turned section had presented through the opening that it had made. a wicked-faced man. and in front of them. nor green as are the green men. Chained with them were a number of fierce beasts. when the section stopped. neither red as are the red men of Mars. A great chamber.

601/2610 "Watch the wall at your end of the chamber. so it was quite clear to me that the partitions were in some way pierced that our actions might be observed from without. and backing quite close to Tars Tarkas I unfolded my scheme in a low ." I was very close to him and spoke in a low whisper that my knowledge of their secret might not be disclosed to our tormentors.As I turned to meet my new foe it was with a heart considerably lightened. As long as we remained each facing an opposite end of the apartment no further attacks were made upon us. At length a plan of action occurred to me." I cautioned. "it is through secret doorways in the wall that the brutes are loosed upon us. Tars Tarkas.

keeping my eyes still glued upon my end of the room. When we had reached a point some ten feet from the secret doorway I halted my companion. and in accordance with my plan commenced backing toward the wall which I faced while I advanced slowly ahead of him. 602/2610 The great Thark grunted his assent to my proposition when I had done. and cautioning him to remain absolutely motionless until I gave the prearranged signal I quickly turned my back to the door through which I could almost feel the burning and baleful eyes of our would be executioner. Instantly my own eyes sought the mirror upon Tars Tarkas' back and in another second I was closely watching the .whisper.

A single bound carried me completely through into the adjoining room and brought me face to face with the fellow whose cruel face I had seen before. a shortsword. Scarcely had it started than I gave the signal to Tars Tarkas. and one of the . He was about my own height and well muscled and in every outward detail moulded precisely as are Earth men. 603/2610 I had not long to wait. a dagger. simultaneously springing for the receding half of the pivoting door. for presently the golden surface commenced to move rapidly. In like manner the Thark wheeled and leaped for the opening being made by the inswinging section. At his side hung a long-sword.section of the wall which had been disgorging its savage terrors upon us.

Instantly he drew his long-sword. 604/2610 The fact that I was armed only with a long-sword. while I had . and so according to the laws and ethics of battle everywhere upon Barsoom should only have been met with a similar or lesser weapon. seemed to have no effect upon the moral sense of my enemy. and thus evenly armed we set to in earnest for one of the closest battles I ever have fought. The fellow was a marvellous swordsman and evidently in practice. for he whipped out his revolver ere I scarce had touched the floor by his side.destructive radium revolvers that are common upon Mars. but an uppercut from my long-sword sent it flying from his grasp before he could discharge it.

. "That you are no Barsoomian from the outer world is evident from your colour. "Who are you. 605/2610 But it did not take me long to fall easily into my fighting stride.not gripped the hilt of a sword for ten long years before that morning. And you are not of us." His last question. white man?" he hissed. His face became livid with rage as he found my guard impregnable. while blood flowed from a dozen minor wounds upon his face and body. statement was almost a "What if I were from the Temple of Issus?" I hazarded on a wild guess. so that in a few minutes the man began to realize that he had at last met his match.

606/2610 I did not know how to follow up my lead. and either this man feared the inmates of the temple or else he held their persons or their power in such reverence that he trembled to think of the harm and indignities he had heaped upon one of them. his face going white under the blood that now nearly covered it. it was to get my sword between his ribs. But my present business with him was of a different nature than that which requires any considerable abstract reasoning."Fate forfend!" he exclaimed. His answer indicated that for all he KNEW I might be from the Temple of Issus and in it were men like unto myself. and this I succeeded in doing . but I carefully laid the idea away for future use should circumstances require it.

and as I wheeled at the first note of her shrill cry I found myself facing a second man of the same race as he who lay at my feet. not a sound had fallen in the room other than the clashing of our contending blades. But as the body of my antagonist sank an inert mass to the floor a cry of warning broke from one of the female prisoners. 607/2610 The chained prisoners had been watching the combat in tense silence. . nor was I an instant too soon.within the next few seconds. "Turn! Turn! Behind you!" she shrieked. the soft shuffling of our naked feet and the few whispered words we had hissed at each other through clenched teeth the while we continued our mortal duel.

and that as quickly and ferociously as lay in me. Tars Tarkas was nowhere in sight and the secret panel in the wall. and for the first time in years felt a question as to my ability to cope with an antagonist. for my only salvation was to rush him off his feet by the 608/2610 . but there was naught else for it than to engage my man. was closed. I had passed through such experiences and adventures as must sap the vitality of man. How I wished that he were by my side now! I had fought almost continuously for many hours. and with all this I had not eaten for nearly twenty-four hours.The fellow had crept stealthily from a dark corridor and was almost upon me with raised sword ere I saw him. through which I had come. nor slept. I was fagged out.

and I must admit that he led me a pretty chase and in the end came near to making a sorry fool of me--and a dead one into the bargain. and then it was that he worked his pretty little coup that came near to losing me my life. I could feel myself growing weaker and weaker. if possible.impetuosity of my attack--I could not hope to win a long-drawn-out battle. 609/2610 But the fellow was evidently of another mind. until at length objects commenced to blur before my eyes and I staggered and blundered about more asleep than awake. He was a more adroit swordsman. . for he backed and parried and parried and sidestepped until I was almost completely fagged from the exertion of attempting to finish him. than my previous foe.

come in contact with a bit of cold metal. so that I was equal for the moment to tearing my enemy to pieces with my bare hands. My head struck the hard pavement with a resounding whack. and I verily believe that I should have attempted it had not my right hand. and as my heel struck it the impetus of my body flung me backward across the dead man. and then he rushed me suddenly so that I was forced back upon it. in the act of raising my body from the ground.He had backed me around so that I stood in front of the corpse of his fellow. As the eyes of the layman so is the hand of the fighting man when it comes in contact with an implement of his 610/2610 . for it cleared my brain and the pain roused my temper. and to that alone I owe my life.

His body. the point of his gleaming blade directed straight at my heart. his thin lips curled in the snarl of his hateful laugh. and a bullet from the revolver of his dead companion bursting in his heart. lying where it had fallen when I struck it from his grasp. was at my disposal. borne by the impetus of his headlong rush. 611/2610 The fellow whose ruse had put me down was springing toward me. and thus I did not need to look or reason to know that the dead man's revolver. and as he came there rang from his lips the cruel and mocking peal of laughter that I had heard within the Chamber of Mystery.vocation. The hilt of his sword must have struck my . plunged upon me. And so he died.

for with the impact of the corpse I lost consciousness.head. the clank of metal accoutrements. . 612/2610 CHAPTER IV THUVIA It was the sound of conflict that aroused me once more to the realities of life. and the heavy breathing of a man. the snarling of grim beasts. And then from beyond the blank wall beside which I lay I heard the shuffling of feet. For a moment I could neither place my surroundings nor locate the sounds which had aroused me.

The latter emotion seemed plainly evident upon the handsome and intelligent face of the young red Martian woman whose cry of warning had been instrumental in saving my life. 613/2610 She was the perfect type of that remarkably beautiful race whose outward appearance is identical with the more god-like races of Earth men. and hope. The prisoners and the savage brutes rested in their chains by the opposite wall eyeing me with varying expressions of curiosity. sullen rage.As I rose to my feet I glanced hurriedly about the chamber in which I had just encountered such a warm reception. though it was evident . except that this higher race of Martians is of a light reddish copper colour. As she was entirely unadorned I could not even guess her station in life. surprise.

and then of a sudden I grasped the fact that they were caused by Tars Tarkas in what was evidently a desperate struggle with wild beasts or savage men. With a cry of encouragement I threw my weight against the secret door. and I was about to raise my longsword against the sullen gold when the young woman prisoner called out to me. 614/2610 It was several seconds before the sounds upon the opposite side of the partition jolted my slowly returning faculties into a realization of their probable import.that she was either a prisoner or slave in her present environment. but as well have assayed the down-hurling of the cliffs themselves. Then I sought feverishly for the secret of the revolving panel. . but my search was fruitless.

"Yes. The keys to my fetters are upon the first dead of thy foemen. if you wish. O Mighty Warrior. release me and I will give you entrance to the other horror chamber." I answered. for thou shalt need it more where it will avail to some purpose--shatter it not against senseless metal which yields better to the lightest finger touch of one who knows its secret. or whatever other form of destruction they have loosed within that awful trap?" "Because my friend fights there alone." 615/2610 "Know you the secret of it then?" I asked. But why would you return to face again the fierce banth. as I hastily sought and found the keys upon the carcass of the dead ."Save thy sword.

needle-like affair which she inserted in an almost invisible hole in the wall. while facing him in a semi-circle a half-dozen huge monsters crouched waiting for an opening. Their blood-streaked heads .custodian horrors. This time a slender. The great Thark stood with his back against an angle of the walls. Instantly the door swung upon its pivot. Again she sought out a key upon the ring. and freed she hurried toward the secret panel. and the contiguous section of the floor upon which I was standing carried me with it into the chamber where Tars Tarkas fought. of this grim chamber 616/2610 of There were many keys upon the oval ring. but the fair Martian maid quickly selected that which sprung the great lock at her waist.

arm. and breast literally to ribbons. But with the tenacity and indomitable courage of his kind he still faced his cruel and relentless foes-the personification of that ancient proverb of his tribe: "Leave to a Thark his head and one hand and he may yet conquer. Sharp talons and cruel fangs had torn leg.and shoulders testified to the cause of their wariness as well as to the swordsmanship of the green warrior whose glossy hide bore the same mute but eloquent witness to the ferocity of the attacks that he had so far withstood. but whether the smile signified relief or 617/2610 ." As he saw me enter. a grim smile touched those grim lips of his. So weak was he from continued exertion and loss of blood that but for the supporting wall I doubt that he even could have stood erect.

all defenceless and unarmed." and pushing me advanced. to my surprise.merely amusement at the sight of my own bloody and dishevelled condition I do not know. When quite close to them she spoke a single Martian word in low but peremptory tones. but instead the creatures . that the young woman had followed me into the chamber. and I looked to see her torn to pieces before I could reach her side. 618/2610 "Wait. Like lightning the great beasts wheeled upon her. "leave them to me. upon the snarling banths. As I was about to spring into the conflict with my sharp long-sword I felt a gentle hand upon my shoulder and turning found." she whispered.

until I heard the report of a revolver shot. Then Tars Tarkas said: "I heard the fighting beyond the partition through which you passed. and then she started toward the opposite side of the chamber with the six mighty monsters trailing at heel. For a moment neither of us spoke. John Carter. but in tones so low I could not catch the words.slunk to her feet like puppies that expect a merited whipping. I knew that there lived no man upon all . 619/2610 Again she spoke to them. leaving us alone. One by one she sent them through the secret panel into the room beyond. and when the last had passed from the chamber where we stood in wide-eyed amazement she turned and smiled at us and then herself passed through. but I did not fear for you.

The fact that the prisoners within were securely chained led us to believe that surely there must be an avenue of ." 620/2610 I did as he bade. Tell me of it. and then together we sought the secret panel through which I had just entered the apartment--the one at the opposite end of the room from that through which the girl had led her savage companions.Barsoom who could face you with naked steel and live. but the shot stripped the last vestige of hope from me. since you I knew to be without firearms. To our disappointment the panel eluded our every effort to negotiate its secret lock. We felt that once beyond it we might look with some little hope of success for a passage to the outside world.

"Who are you?" she asked. that you have the temerity to attempt to escape from the Valley Dor and the death you have chosen?" "I have chosen no death. and the young woman who had led away the banths stood once more beside us. 621/2610 Again and again we turned from one door to another.escape from the terrible creatures which inhabited this unspeakable place. My friend here is ." I replied. maiden. When we had about given up all hope one of the panels turned silently toward us. nor have I taken yet the voluntary pilgrimage upon the River Iss. "and what your mission. from the baffling golden panel at one end of the chamber to its mate at the other--equally baffling. "I am not of Barsoom.

" she replied. many years ago. "naught that passes in the world we have left is unknown here. Perchance some faint rumour of me may have leaked within the confines of your hellish abode." She smiled. Jeddak of Helium. "I am of another world. and though he has not yet expressed a desire to return to the living world. 622/2610 "Yes.Jeddak of all the Tharks. I have heard of you. The therns have ofttimes wondered whither you had flown. nor could be found upon the face of Barsoom. since you had neither taken the pilgrimage. Prince of the House of Tardos Mors. I am taking him with me from the living lie that hath lured him to this frightful place." . I am John Carter.

" She shuddered. yet with power over the ferocious beasts of the place that denotes familiarity and authority far beyond that which might be expected of a prisoner or a slave?" "Slave I am. And to this cruel 623/2610 . "What death?" I asked. "and who be you." she answered me. "For fifteen years a slave in this terrible place." she answered." I said. and now that they have tired of me and become fearful of the power which my knowledge of their ways has given me I am but recently condemned to die the death. "The Holy Therns eat human flesh. and why a prisoner."Tell me. "but only that which has died beneath the sucking lips of a plant man--flesh from which the defiling blood of life has been drawn.

no. The Holy Therns abide upon the outer slopes of these grim hills. and fierce beasts. but of the same cruel and hateful race. and hordes of slaves. had your advent not caused an interruption of their plans." "Was it then Holy Therns who felt the weight of John Carter's hand?" I asked. "Labyrinthine passages connect these caves with the luxurious palaces of the Holy Therns. and through them pass upon their many duties the lesser therns. 624/2610 . facing the broad world from which they harvest their victims and their spoils. and prisoners. the grim inhabitants of this sunless world. those whom you laid low are lesser therns. "Oh.end I have been condemned. It was to be within a few hours.

"They are kept to do the bidding of the race of therns. and beasts who."There be within this vast network of winding passages and countless chambers men. escapes the plant men and the great white apes that guard the Temple of Issus and falls into the remorseless clutches of the therns. born within its dim and gruesome underworld. as was my misfortune. drifting out upon the silent sea from the cold Iss. women. 625/2610 "Now and again some hapless pilgrim. or. to furnish at once their sport and their sustenance. is coveted by the Holy Thern who chances to be upon watch in the balcony above the river where it issues from the bowels of the mountains through the cliffs of gold to empty into the Lost Sea of Korus. have never seen the light of day--nor ever shall. .

while their arms and ornaments become the portion of the therns. but if one escapes the terrible denizens of the valley for even a few hours the therns may claim such a one as their own. the rightful prey of the plant men and the apes. should he see a victim he covets. And again the Holy Thern on watch. often tramples upon the rights of the unreasoning brutes of the valley and takes his prize by foul means if he cannot gain it by fair. "It is said that occasionally some deluded victim of Barsoomian superstition will so far escape the clutches of the countless enemies that beset his path from the moment that he emerges from the subterranean passage through which the Iss flows for a thousand miles before it enters the Valley Dor as to reach the very walls of the Temple of 626/2610 ."All who reach the Valley Dor are. by custom.

I take it. "Let us hope that there it will be meted to the therns as they have meted it here unto others." I said.Issus. it is the ultimate haven of peace." 627/2610 "The Temple of Issus is. but what fate awaits one there not even the Holy Therns may guess. and happiness to which they pass after this life and wherein an eternity of eternities is spent amidst the delights of the flesh which appeal most strongly to this race of mental giants and moral pygmies. for who has passed within those gilded walls never has returned to unfold the mysteries they have held since the beginning of time. a heaven within a heaven. "The Temple of Issus is to the therns what the Valley Dor is imagined by the peoples of the outer world to be to them." . refuge.

"Who knows?" the girl murmured. and it is for this reason that the plant men are held . as one might speak of the gods themselves. "Those who die before are supposed to spend the balance of their allotted time in the image of a plant man. one thousand years." she replied." "The therns are mortal. when by the authority of custom they may take their way in happiness through the long tunnel that leads to Issus. "They die from the same causes as you or I might: those who do not live their allotted span of life. and yet have I always heard them spoken of with the utmost awe and reverence by the people of Barsoom. 628/2610 "The therns. I judge from what you have said. are no less mortal than we.

sacred by the therns. . then. but should the ape die short of the exact hour that terminates the thousand years the soul is for ever lost and passes for all eternity into the carcass of the slimy and fearsome silians whose wriggling thousands seethe the silent sea beneath the hurtling moons when the sun has gone and strange shapes walk through the Valley Dor." "And should a plant man die?" I asked. laughing. 629/2610 "Should he die before the expiration of the thousand years from the birth of the thern whose immortality abides within him then the soul passes into a great white ape." "We sent several Holy Therns to the silians to-day." said Tars Tarkas. since they believe that each of these hideous creatures was formerly a thern.

" Tars Tarkas listened in silence. "and you shall go with us." "It is useless even to try." she answered hopelessly." said the maiden. "And come it will--you cannot escape." "To be put to death by mine own people. "But try we shall. but I could feel his eyes riveted upon me and I knew that he awaited my answer as . centuries ago." 630/2610 "One has escaped." I reminded her." I cried. if you wish."And so will your death be the more terrible when it comes. "and what has been done may be done again. and render my memory a disgrace to my family and my nation? A Prince of the House of Tardos Mors should know better than to suggest such a thing.

one might listen to the reading of his sentence by the foreman of a jury. for we know that the fabled life of love and peace in the blessed Valley of Dor is a rank and wicked deception. since if I bowed to the inevitable decree of age-old superstition we must all remain and meet our fate in some horrible form within this awful abode of horror and cruelty. "We have the right to escape if we can. 631/2610 What I advised the girl to do would seal our fate as well. that they are a race of cruel and heartless mortals. we know that the Holy Therns are not holy. knowing no more of the real life to come than we do. ." I answered. We know that the valley is not sacred. "Our own moral senses will not be offended if we succeed.

remote. we should be craven cowards indeed were we to shirk the plain duty which confronts us."Not only is it our right to bend every effort to escape--it is a solemn duty from which we should not shrink even though we know that we should be reviled and tortured by our own peoples when we returned to them. so wedded are mortals to their stupid infatuation for impossible superstitions. "Again there is a chance that with the weight of the testimony of several of us the truth of our statements may be accepted. 632/2610 "Only thus may we carry the truth to those without. I grant you." . and though the likelihood of our narrative being given credence is. and at least a compromise effected which will result in the dispatching of an expedition of investigation to this hideous mockery of heaven.

but I doubt that we ever shall escape.Both the girl and the green warrior stood silent in thought for some moments. "Indeed would I give my life a thousand times if I could but save a single soul from the awful life that I have led in this cruel place. you are right. 633/2610 "Never had I considered the matter in that light before. "To the gates of Issus." spoke the green warrior. Tars Tarkas follows where John Carter leads. Yes." she said. I have spoken." I turned an inquiring glance toward the Thark. The former it was who eventually broke the silence. or to the bottom of Korus. and I will go with you as far as we can go. "to the snows to the north or to the snows to the south." .

then. and we stepped through once more into the presence of the other prisoners. then. "we must make the start." 634/2610 So saying she swung the secret panel that separated us from the apartment in which I had found her."Come." said the girl. men and women. There were in all ten red Martians. and when we had briefly explained our plan they decided to join forces with us." "Come. though it was evident that it was with some considerable misgivings that they thus tempted fate by . for we could not be further from escape than we now are in the heart of this mountain and within the four walls of this chamber of death." I cried. "but do not flatter yourself that you can find no worse place than this within the territory of the therns.

Tars Tarkas and I stripped the bodies of the two therns of their weapons.opposing an ancient superstition. even though each knew through cruel experience the fallacy of its entire fabric. Thuvia being one so armed. 635/2610 Thuvia. and two revolvers of the curious and deadly type manufactured by the red Martians. following winding corridors. which included swords. and now and again . crossing great chambers hewn from the solid metal of the cliff. We distributed the weapons as far as they would go among our followers. With the latter as our guide we set off rapidly but cautiously through a maze of passages. the girl whom I had first freed. ascending steep inclines. daggers. soon had the others at liberty. giving the firearms to two of the women.

Our destination. It reaches to every nation of Barsoom." 636/2610 . and death awaits us before we may pollute the air with our blasphemies. "the arm of the Holy Thern is long. from where it would require both wondrous wit and mighty fighting to win our way through the very heart of the stronghold of the Holy Therns to the world without. O Prince. His secret temples are hidden in the heart of every community. Wherever we go should we escape we shall find that word of our coming has preceded us.concealing ourselves in dark recesses at the sound of approaching footsteps." she cried. "And even then. From there she was to lead us to the summit of the cliffs. was a distant storeroom where arms and ammunition in plenty might be found. Thuvia said.

It is the one priceless jewel of Barsoom. evidently a thern. 637/2610 He wore in addition to his leathern trappings and jewelled ornaments a great circlet of gold about his brow in the exact centre of which was set an immense stone. when on entering a great chamber we came upon a man.We had proceeded for possibly an hour without serious interruption. Only two are known to exist. and these were worn as the insignia of their rank and position by the two old men in whose charge was placed the operation of the great engines which pump the artificial atmosphere to all parts of Mars . and Thuvia had just whispered to me that we were approaching our first destination. the exact counterpart of that which I had seen upon the breast of the little old man at the atmosphere plant nearly twenty years before.

an inch in diameter I should say. the seven primary colours of our earthly prism and the two rays which are unknown upon Earth. "What means this. As the thern saw us his eyes narrowed to two nasty slits. but whose wondrous beauty is indescribable.from the huge atmosphere plant. Thuvia?" 638/2610 . It scintillated nine different and distinct rays. "Stop!" he cried. the secret to whose mighty portals placed in my possession the ability to save from immediate extinction the life of a whole world. The stone worn by the thern who confronted us was of about the same size as that which I had seen before.

The way is still difficult. "After all these years I am at last revenged. "Fate is indeed kind to us. nor were his eyes and features unlike mine.For answer the girl raised her revolver and fired point-blank at him." she cried." Then as she turned toward me. but his hair was a mass of flowing yellow locks. like those of the 639/2610 . evidently with a word of explanation on her lips. Notest thou not the remarkable resemblance between this Holy Thern and thyself?" The man was indeed of my precise stature. "O Prince. and with a little exclamation she started toward me. Without a sound he sank to the earth. her eyes suddenly widened as they rested upon me. but through this vile thing upon the floor we may yet win to the outer world. "Beast!" she hissed. dead.

" she said. and for answer approached the body of the man she had slain. while mine is black and close cropped. Prince. "What of the resemblance?" I asked the girl Thuvia. short hair to pose as a yellowhaired priest of this infernal cult?" She smiled. and kneeling beside it removed the circlet of gold from the forehead. "and you may pass where you will in the realms of the therns. "Now don his harness. crowned me with the golden circlet set with the magnificent gem.two I had killed. for Sator Throg 640/2610 . Rising. "Do you wish me with my black. she advanced to my side and placing the yellow wig over my black hair. and then to my utter amazement lifted the entire scalp bodily from the corpse's head.

however.was a Holy Thern of the Tenth Cycle. and so important a part do they consider it that it is cause for the deepest disgrace were a thern to appear in public without it." 641/2610 As I stooped to the dead man to do her bidding I noted that not a hair grew upon his head. "The race from which they sprang were crowned with a luxuriant growth of golden hair." explained Thuvia noting my surprise. The wig." In another moment I stood garbed in the habiliments of a Holy Thern. "They are all thus from birth. . but for many ages the present race has been entirely bald. which was quite as bald as an egg. has come to be a part of their apparel. and mighty among his kind.

and cautioning two of the released prisoners to keep careful watch. Here the keys which Thuvia bore from the dead thern of the prison vault were the means of giving us immediate entrance to the chamber. and very quickly we were thoroughly outfitted with arms and ammunition. which we reached without further mishap. so I threw myself upon the floor.At Thuvia's suggestion two of the released prisoners bore the body of the dead thern upon their shoulders with us as we continued our journey toward the storeroom. . In an instant I was asleep. bidding Tars Tarkas to do likewise. 642/2610 By this time I was so thoroughly fagged out that I could go no further.

In an instant I was upon my feet. I was awakened with a start by cries of alarm. but it must have been many hours. nor had I yet sufficiently collected my wits to quite realize where I was. reverberating through the subterranean corridors in a series of deafening echoes.643/2610 CHAPTER V CORRIDORS OF PERIL How long I slept upon the floor of the storeroom I do not know. and scarce were my eyes opened. A dozen lesser therns confronted us from a large doorway at the opposite end of . when a fusillade of shots rang out.

and alarm. had been asleep upon the floor and thus escaped the first raking fire. Instantly I rose to the occasion. their faces distorted in mingled chagrin. consternation. About me lay the bodies of my companions. As I gained my feet the therns lowered their wicked rifles. who.the storeroom from which we had entered. "Is Sator Throg to be murdered by his own vassals?" "Have mercy. while the others edged toward the doorway as though to attempt a surreptitious escape from the presence of the mighty one. . like myself. with the exception of Thuvia and Tars Tarkas. 644/2610 "What means this?" I cried in tones of fierce anger. O Master of the Tenth Cycle!" cried one of the fellows.

" and here the fellow cast a suspicious glance toward Tars Tarkas." spoke Thuvia. here. "and if you will look upon this dead man by the door perhaps you will recognize the other. is one of them. "Two from the outer world are at large within the dominions of the therns. then. indicating the Thark. It was left for Sator Throg and his poor slaves to accomplish what the lesser therns of the guard were unable to do-we have killed one and captured the other. the other a huge green warrior. "Here. for this had Sator Throg given us our liberty. And now in your stupidity . fellows?" I cried. We sought them at the command of the Father of Therns." 645/2610 "What do you here. One was white with black hair."Ask them their mission whispered Thuvia at my elbow.

O Mighty One?" asked Thuvia of me. and like to have killed the mighty Sator Throg himself. "Yes. 646/2610 "Had they not better throw these bodies to the plant men and then return to their quarters." I said. and then the fellow stole a furtive. That he suspicioned something of the truth I could have sworn. As the men picked up the bodies I noticed that the one who stooped to gather up the late Sator Throg started as his closer scrutiny fell upon the upturned face.have you come and killed all but myself." The men looked very sheepish and very scared. but that it was . sneaking glance in my direction from the corner of his eye. do as Thuvia bids you.

647/2610 Again. Thuvia. The fatal marksmanship of the therns had snatched from our companions whatever slender chance they had of gaining the perilous freedom of the world without. Only Tars Tarkas. The last fleeting glimpse that I obtained of his profile as he passed from my sight without the chamber revealed a cunning smile of triumph upon his lips. he shot a quick but searching glance toward me. So soon as the last of the gruesome procession had disappeared the girl .only a suspicion which he did not dare voice was evidenced by his silence. as he bore the body from the room. and I were left. and then his eyes fell once more upon the bald and shiny dome of the dead man in his arms.

" she said. How I longed for the almost miraculous healing power of the strange salves and lotions of the green Martian . there be those above with power sufficient to demand a closer scrutiny. I was refreshed from my sleep. but still weak from loss of blood. would indeed prove fatal.urged us to take up our flight once more. Prince. No medicinal aid seemed possible. It seemed that in any event the outcome of our plight must end in death. O Prince. My wounds were painful." I shrugged my shoulders. and that. had noted the questioning attitude of the thern who had borne Sator Throg away. "For even though this fellow dared not chance accusing you in error. too. 648/2610 She. "It bodes no good for us.

Thuvia?" I asked. "What will the fellow do first. might we not even yet escape before the general alarm was sounded? We could at least try. He may have to wait for an audience. in . yellow locks of the Holy Thern. blew about my face.women. Never had a feeling of such utter hopelessness come over me in the face of danger. In an hour they would have had me as new. caught by some vagrant draught. I was discouraged. Then the long flowing. 649/2610 Might they not still open the way of freedom? If we acted in time. "How long will it be before they may return for us?" "He will go directly to the Father of Therns. but since he is very high among the lesser therns. old Matai Shang.

From there our way will lie within the temples of the therns and across them to the outer court. What is the best way.fact as a thorian among them. the courts and gardens. Then the ramparts--O Prince. the shortest way out of this celestial Hades?" 650/2610 "Straight to the top of the cliffs. "and then through the gardens to the inner courts. . Prince. Ten thousand warriors could not hew a way to liberty from out this awful place." she replied. it is hopeless. Thuvia. "Then if the Father of Therns puts credence in his story. another hour will see the galleries and chambers. it will not be long that Matai Shang will keep him waiting." "What we do then must be done within an hour. filled with searchers.

"Since the beginning of time. "There would seem to be no chance by day." "Can we not better make the attempt after dark?" asked Tars Tarkas. Thuvia. stone by stone. "Within the temples that lie behind the ramparts a million fighting-men are ever ready. We must face them. A continuous line of impregnable fortifications circles the outer slopes of the Mountains of Otz." 651/2610 ." "If there is no other way. "None could go a stone's throw without detection. with women and with children. little by little. why dwell upon the difficulties of this. have the therns been ever adding to the defences of their stronghold. The courts and gardens are filled with slaves.

"It was midnight when you released me from my chains." said Thuvia. we will go to some nearby window in the cliff and make sure."There would be a little better chance by night. though. below the western range of Otz. but even then the ramparts are well guarded. At our right the sun was setting. she led the way through winding corridors until at a sudden turn we came upon an opening which overlooked the Valley Dor." So saying. 652/2610 . "What is the hour?" I asked. There are fewer abroad in the courts and gardens. It must now be nearly sundown again. "Two hours later we reached the storeroom. a huge red orb. Come. possibly better than by day." said Thuvia. There you slept for fourteen hours.

When the great orb of day disappears beneath the horizon the effect is precisely as that of the extinguishing of a single lamp within a chamber. Then the moons come. hurtling like monster meteors low across the face of the planet. magic moons of Mars. at night it is intensely cold. His scarlet robe of office was pulled tightly about him in anticipation of the cold that comes so suddenly with darkness as the sun sets. There is no twilight on Mars. Nor does the thin atmosphere refract the sun's rays or diffuse its light as upon Earth. During the daylight hours it is always extremely hot.A little below us stood the Holy Thern on watch upon his balcony. the mysterious. So rare is the atmosphere of Mars that it absorbs very little heat from the sun. 653/2610 . From brilliant light you are plunged without warning into utter darkness.

The declining sun lighted brilliantly the eastern banks of Korus, the crimson sward, the gorgeous forest. Beneath the trees we saw feeding many herds of plant men. The adults stood aloft upon their toes and their mighty tails, their talons pruning every available leaf and twig. It was then that I understood the careful trimming of the trees which had led me to form the mistaken idea when first I opened my eyes upon the grove that it was the playground of a civilized people.


As we watched, our eyes wandered to the rolling Iss, which issued from the base of the cliffs beneath us. Presently there emerged from the mountain a canoe laden with lost souls from the outer world. There were a dozen of them. All were of the highly civilized and cultured race of red men who are dominant on Mars.

The eyes of the herald upon the balcony beneath us fell upon the doomed party as soon as did ours. He raised his head and leaning far out over the low rail that rimmed his dizzy perch, voiced the shrill, weird wail that called the demons of this hellish place to the attack. For an instant the brutes stood with stiffly erected ears, then they poured from the grove toward the river's bank, covering the distance with great, ungainly leaps.


The party had landed and was standing on the sward as the awful horde came in sight. There was a brief and futile effort of defence. Then silence as the huge, repulsive shapes covered the bodies of their victims and scores of sucking mouths fastened themselves to the flesh of their prey.

I turned away in disgust.


"Their part is soon over," said Thuvia. "The great white apes get the flesh when the plant men have drained the arteries. Look, they are coming now." As I turned my eyes in the direction the girl indicated, I saw a dozen of the great white monsters running across the valley toward the river bank. Then the sun went down and darkness that could almost be felt engulfed us. Thuvia lost no time in leading us toward the corridor which winds back and forth up through the cliffs toward the surface thousands of feet above the level on which we had been. Twice great banths, wandering loose through the galleries, blocked our progress, but in each instance Thuvia spoke

a low word of command and the snarling beasts slunk sullenly away.


"If you can dissolve all our obstacles as easily as you master these fierce brutes I can see no difficulties in our way," I said to the girl, smiling. "How do you do it?" She laughed, and then shuddered. "I do not quite know," she said. "When first I came here I angered Sator Throg, because I repulsed him. He ordered me to be thrown into one of the great pits in the inner gardens. It was filled with banths. In my own country I had been accustomed to command. Something in my voice, I do not know what, cowed the beasts as they sprang to attack me. "Instead of tearing me to pieces, as Sator Throg had desired, they fawned at my feet. So greatly were Sator Throg

and his friends amused by the sight that they kept me to train and handle the terrible creatures. I know them all by name. There are many of them wandering through these lower regions. They are the scavengers. Many prisoners die here in their chains. The banths solve the problem of sanitation, at least in this respect. "In the gardens and temples above they are kept in pits. The therns fear them. It is because of the banths that they seldom venture below ground except as their duties call them." An idea occurred to me, suggested by what Thuvia had just said. "Why not take a number of banths and set them loose before us above ground?" I asked. Thuvia laughed.


"It would distract attention from us, I am sure," she said. She commenced calling in a low singsong voice that was half purr. She continued this as we wound our tedious way through the maze of subterranean passages and chambers.


Presently soft, padded feet sounded close behind us, and as I turned I saw a pair of great, green eyes shining in the dark shadows at our rear. From a diverging tunnel a sinuous, tawny form crept stealthily toward us. Low growls and angry snarls assailed our ears on every side as we hastened on and one by one the ferocious creatures answered the call of their mistress. She spoke a word to each as it joined us. Like well-schooled terriers, they

paced the corridors with us, but I could not help but note the lathering jowls, nor the hungry expressions with which they eyed Tars Tarkas and myself.


Soon we were entirely surrounded by some fifty of the brutes. Two walked close on either side of Thuvia, as guards might walk. The sleek sides of others now and then touched my own naked limbs. It was a strange experience; the almost noiseless passage of naked human feet and padded paws; the golden walls splashed with precious stones; the dim light cast by the tiny radium bulbs set at considerable distances along the roof; the huge, maned beasts of prey crowding with low growls about us; the mighty green warrior towering high above us all; myself crowned with the priceless diadem of a Holy Thern; and leading the procession the beautiful girl, Thuvia.

I shall not soon forget it.


Presently we approached a great chamber more brightly lighted than the corridors. Thuvia halted us. Quietly she stole toward the entrance and glanced within. Then she motioned us to follow her. The room was filled with specimens of the strange beings that inhabit this underworld; a heterogeneous collection of hybrids--the offspring of the prisoners from the outside world; red and green Martians and the white race of therns. Constant confinement below ground had wrought odd freaks upon their skins. They more resemble corpses than living beings. Many are deformed, others maimed, while the majority, Thuvia explained, are sightless.

As they lay sprawled about the floor, sometimes overlapping one another, again in heaps of several bodies, they suggested instantly to me the grotesque illustrations that I had seen in copies of Dante's INFERNO, and what more fitting comparison? Was this not indeed a veritable hell, peopled by lost souls, dead and damned beyond all hope?


Picking our way carefully we threaded a winding path across the chamber, the great banths sniffing hungrily at the tempting prey spread before them in such tantalizing and defenceless profusion. Several times we passed the entrances to other chambers similarly peopled, and twice again we were compelled to cross directly through them. In others were chained prisoners and beasts.

"Why is it that we see no therns?" I asked of Thuvia. "They seldom traverse the underworld at night, for then it is that the great banths prowl the dim corridors seeking their prey. The therns fear the awful denizens of this cruel and hopeless world that they have fostered and allowed to grow beneath their feet. The prisoners even sometimes turn upon them and rend them. The thern can never tell from what dark shadow an assassin may spring upon his back. "By day it is different. Then the corridors and chambers are filled with guards passing to and fro; slaves from the temples above come by hundreds to the granaries and storerooms. All is life then. You did not see it because I led you not in the beaten tracks, but through roundabout passages seldom


used. Yet it is possible that we may meet a thern even yet. They do occasionally find it necessary to come here after the sun has set. Because of this I have moved with such great caution." But we reached the upper galleries without detection and presently Thuvia halted us at the foot of a short, steep ascent. "Above us," she said, "is a doorway which opens on to the inner gardens. I have brought you thus far. From here on for four miles to the outer ramparts our way will be beset by countless dangers. Guards patrol the courts, the temples, the gardens. Every inch of the ramparts themselves is beneath the eye of a sentry." I could not understand the necessity for such an enormous force of armed men


about a spot so surrounded by mystery and superstition that not a soul upon Barsoom would have dared to approach it even had they known its exact location. I questioned Thuvia, asking her what enemies the therns could fear in their impregnable fortress. We had reached the doorway now and Thuvia was opening it. "They fear the black pirates of Barsoom, O Prince," she said, "from whom may our first ancestors preserve us." The door swung open; the smell of growing things greeted my nostrils; the cool night air blew against my cheek. The great banths sniffed the unfamiliar odours, and then with a rush they broke past us with low growls, swarming across the gardens beneath the lurid light of the nearer moon.


Suddenly a great cry arose from the roofs of the temples; a cry of alarm and warning that, taken up from point to point, ran off to the east and to the west, from temple, court, and rampart, until it sounded as a dim echo in the distance. The great Thark's long-sword leaped from its scabbard; Thuvia shrank shuddering to my side.






"What is it?" I asked of the girl. For answer she pointed to the sky. I looked, and there, above us, I saw shadowy bodies flitting hither and thither high over temple, court, and garden. Almost immediately flashes of light broke from these strange objects. There was a roar of musketry, and then answering flashes and roars from temple and rampart. "The black pirates Prince," said Thuvia. of Barsoom, O

In great circles the air craft of the marauders swept lower and lower toward the defending forces of the therns. Volley after volley they vomited upon the temple guards; volley on volley crashed through the thin air toward the fleeting and illusive fliers.


As the pirates swooped closer toward the ground, thern soldiery poured from the temples into the gardens and courts. The sight of them in the open brought a score of fliers darting toward us from all directions. The therns fired upon them through shields affixed to their rifles, but on, steadily on, came the grim, black craft. They were small fliers for the most part, built for two to three men. A few larger ones there were, but these kept high

aloft dropping bombs upon the temples from their keel batteries.


At length, with a concerted rush, evidently in response to a signal of command, the pirates in our immediate vicinity dashed recklessly to the ground in the very midst of the thern soldiery. Scarcely waiting for their craft to touch, the creatures manning them leaped among the therns with the fury of demons. Such fighting! Never had I witnessed its like before. I had thought the green Martians the most ferocious warriors in the universe, but the awful abandon with which the black pirates threw themselves upon their foes transcended everything I ever before had seen. Beneath the brilliant light of Mars' two glorious moons the whole scene presented itself in vivid distinctness. The

golden-haired, white-skinned therns battling with desperate courage in handto-hand conflict with their ebonyskinned foemen.


Here a little knot of struggling warriors trampled a bed of gorgeous pimalia; there the curved sword of a black man found the heart of a thern and left its dead foeman at the foot of a wondrous statue carved from a living ruby; yonder a dozen therns pressed a single pirate back upon a bench of emerald, upon whose iridescent surface a strangely beautiful Barsoomian design was traced out in inlaid diamonds. A little to one side stood Thuvia, the Thark, and I. The tide of battle had not reached us, but the fighters from time to time swung close enough that we might distinctly note them.

The black pirates interested me immensely. I had heard vague rumours, little more than legends they were, during my former life on Mars; but never had I seen them, nor talked with one who had. They were popularly supposed to inhabit the lesser moon, from which they descended upon Barsoom at long intervals. Where they visited they wrought the most horrible atrocities, and when they left carried away with them firearms and ammunition, and young girls as prisoners. These latter, the rumour had it, they sacrificed to some terrible god in an orgy which ended in the eating of their victims. I had an excellent opportunity to examine them, as the strife occasionally brought now one and now another close to where I stood. They were large men,


possibly six feet and over in height. Their features were clear cut and handsome in the extreme; their eyes were well set and large, though a slight narrowness lent them a crafty appearance; the iris, as well as I could determine by moonlight, was of extreme blackness, while the eyeball itself was quite white and clear. The physical structure of their bodies seemed identical with those of the therns, the red men, and my own. Only in the colour of their skin did they differ materially from us; that is of the appearance of polished ebony, and odd as it may seem for a Southerner to say it, adds to rather than detracts from their marvellous beauty. But if their bodies are divine, their hearts, apparently, are quite the reverse. Never did I witness such a malign lust for blood as these demons of the


outer air evinced in their mad battle with the therns.


All about us in the garden lay their sinister craft, which the therns for some reason, then unaccountable to me, made no effort to injure. Now and again a black warrior would rush from a near by temple bearing a young woman in his arms. Straight for his flier he would leap while those of his comrades who fought near by would rush to cover his escape. The therns on their side would hasten to rescue the girl, and in an instant the two would be swallowed in the vortex of a maelstrom of yelling devils, hacking and hewing at one another, like fiends incarnate. But always, it seemed, were the black pirates of Barsoom victorious, and the girl, brought miraculously unharmed

through the conflict, borne away into the outer darkness upon the deck of a swift flier. Fighting similar to that which surrounded us could be heard in both directions as far as sound carried, and Thuvia told me that the attacks of the black pirates were usually made simultaneously along the entire ribbon-like domain of the therns, which circles the Valley Dor on the outer slopes of the Mountains of Otz. As the fighting receded from our position for a moment, Thuvia turned toward me with a question. "Do you understand now, O Prince," she said, "why a million warriors guard the domains of the Holy Therns by day and by night?"


"The scene you are witnessing now is but a repetition of what I have seen enacted a score of times during the fifteen years I have been a prisoner here. From time immemorial the black pirates of Barsoom have preyed upon the Holy Therns.


"Yet they never carry their expeditions to a point, as one might readily believe it was in their power to do, where the extermination of the race of therns is threatened. It is as though they but utilized the race as playthings, with which they satisfy their ferocious lust for fighting; and from whom they collect toll in arms and ammunition and in prisoners." "Why don't they jump in and destroy these fliers?" I asked. "That would soon put a stop to the attacks, or at least the blacks would scarce be so bold. Why, see how perfectly unguarded they leave

their craft, as though they were lying safe in their own hangars at home."


"The therns do not dare. They tried it once, ages ago, but the next night and for a whole moon thereafter a thousand great black battleships circled the Mountains of Otz, pouring tons of projectiles upon the temples, the gardens, and the courts, until every thern who was not killed was driven for safety into the subterranean galleries. "The therns know that they live at all only by the sufferance of the black men. They were near to extermination that once and they will not venture risking it again." As she ceased talking a new element was instilled into the conflict. It came from a source equally unlooked for by either thern or pirate. The great banths

which we had liberated in the garden had evidently been awed at first by the sound of the battle, the yelling of the warriors and the loud report of rifle and bomb.


But now they must have become angered by the continuous noise and excited by the smell of new blood, for all of a sudden a great form shot from a clump of low shrubbery into the midst of a struggling mass of humanity. A horrid scream of bestial rage broke from the banth as he felt warm flesh beneath his powerful talons. As though his cry was but a signal to the others, the entire great pack hurled themselves among the fighters. Panic reigned in an instant. Thern and black man turned alike against the common enemy, for the banths showed no partiality toward either.

The awful beasts bore down a hundred men by the mere weight of their great bodies as they hurled themselves into the thick of the fight. Leaping and clawing, they mowed down the warriors with their powerful paws, turning for an instant to rend their victims with frightful fangs. The scene was fascinating in its terribleness, but suddenly it came to me that we were wasting valuable time watching this conflict, which in itself might prove a means of our escape.


The therns were so engaged with their terrible assailants that now, if ever, escape should be comparatively easy. I turned to search for an opening through the contending hordes. If we could but reach the ramparts we might find that the pirates somewhere had thinned the

guarding forces and left a way open to us to the world without. As my eyes wandered about the garden, the sight of the hundreds of air craft lying unguarded around us suggested the simplest avenue to freedom. Why it had not occurred to me before! I was thoroughly familiar with the mechanism of every known make of flier on Barsoom. For nine years I had sailed and fought with the navy of Helium. I had raced through space on the tiny one-man air scout and I had commanded the greatest battleship that ever had floated in the thin air of dying Mars. To think, with me, is to act. Grasping Thuvia by the arm, I whispered to Tars Tarkas to follow me. Quickly we glided toward a small flier which lay furthest from the battling warriors. Another instant found us huddled on the tiny deck.


My hand was on the starting lever. I pressed my thumb upon the button which controls the ray of repulsion, that splendid discovery of the Martians which permits them to navigate the thin atmosphere of their planet in huge ships that dwarf the dreadnoughts of our earthly navies into pitiful significance. The craft swayed slightly but she did not move. Then a new cry of warning broke upon our ears. Turning, I saw a dozen black pirates dashing toward us from the melee. We had been discovered. With shrieks of rage the demons sprang for us. With frenzied insistence I continued to press the little button which should have sent us racing out into space, but still the vessel refused to budge. Then it came to me--the reason that she would not rise.


We had stumbled upon a two-man flier. Its ray tanks were charged only with sufficient repulsive energy to lift two ordinary men. The Thark's great weight was anchoring us to our doom. The blacks were nearly upon us. There was not an instant to be lost in hesitation or doubt.


I pressed the button far in and locked it. Then I set the lever at high speed and as the blacks came yelling upon us I slipped from the craft's deck and with drawn long-sword met the attack. At the same moment a girl's shriek rang out behind me and an instant later, as the blacks fell upon me. I heard far above my head, and faintly, in Thuvia's voice: "My Prince, O my Prince; I would rather remain and die with--" But the

rest was lost assailants.







I knew though that my ruse had worked and that temporarily at least Thuvia and Tars Tarkas were safe, and the means of escape was theirs. For a moment it seemed that I could not withstand the weight of numbers that confronted me, but again, as on so many other occasions when I had been called upon to face fearful odds upon this planet of warriors and fierce beasts, I found that my earthly strength so far transcended that of my opponents that the odds were not so greatly against me as they appeared. My seething blade wove a net of death about me. For an instant the blacks pressed close to reach me with their shorter swords, but presently they gave

back, and the esteem in which they suddenly had learned to hold my sword arm was writ large upon each countenance.


I knew though that it was but a question of minutes before their greater numbers would wear me down, or get around my guard. I must go down eventually to certain death before them. I shuddered at the thought of it, dying thus in this terrible place where no word of my end ever could reach my Dejah Thoris. Dying at the hands of nameless black men in the gardens of the cruel therns. Then my old-time spirit reasserted itself. The fighting blood of my Virginian sires coursed hot through my veins. The fierce blood lust and the joy of battle surged over me. The fighting smile that has brought consternation to a thousand foemen touched my lips. I put the thought of death out of my mind, and

fell upon my antagonists with fury that those who escaped will remember to their dying day. That others would press to the support of those who faced me I knew, so even as I fought I kept my wits at work, searching for an avenue of escape. It came from an unexpected quarter out of the black night behind me. I had just disarmed a huge fellow who had given me a desperate struggle, and for a moment the blacks stood back for a breathing spell. They eyed me with malignant fury, yet withal there was a touch of respect in their demeanour. "Thern," said one, "you fight like a Dator. But for your detestable yellow hair and your white skin you would be an honour to the First Born of Barsoom."


"I am no thern," I said, and was about to explain that I was from another world, thinking that by patching a truce with these fellows and fighting with them against the therns I might enlist their aid in regaining my liberty. But just at that moment a heavy object smote me a resounding whack between my shoulders that nearly felled me to the ground.


As I turned to meet this new enemy an object passed over my shoulder, striking one of my assailants squarely in the face and knocking him senseless to the sward. At the same instant I saw that the thing that had struck us was the trailing anchor of a rather fair-sized air vessel; possibly a ten man cruiser. The ship was floating slowly above us, not more than fifty feet over our heads. Instantly the one chance for escape that

it offered presented itself to me. The vessel was slowly rising and now the anchor was beyond the blacks who faced me and several feet above their heads.


With a bound that left them gaping in wide-eyed astonishment I sprang completely over them. A second leap carried me just high enough to grasp the now rapidly receding anchor. But I was successful, and there I hung by one hand, dragging through the branches of the higher vegetation of the gardens, while my late foemen shrieked and howled beneath me. Presently the vessel veered toward the west and then swung gracefully to the south. In another instant I was carried beyond the crest of the Golden Cliffs, out over the Valley Dor, where, six

thousand feet below me, the Lost Sea of Korus lay shimmering in the moonlight.


Carefully I climbed to a sitting posture across the anchor's arms. I wondered if by chance the vessel might be deserted. I hoped so. Or possibly it might belong to a friendly people, and have wandered by accident almost within the clutches of the pirates and the therns. The fact that it was retreating from the scene of battle lent colour to this hypothesis. But I decided to know positively, and at once, so, with the greatest caution, I commenced to climb slowly up the anchor chain toward the deck above me. One hand had just reached for the vessel's rail and found it when a fierce black face was thrust over the side and eyes filled with triumphant hate looked into mine.


For an instant the black pirate and I remained motionless, glaring into each other's eyes. Then a grim smile curled the handsome lips above me, as an ebony hand came slowly in sight from above the edge of the deck and the cold, hollow eye of a revolver sought the centre of my forehead. Simultaneously my free hand shot out for the black throat, just within reach, and the ebony finger tightened on the trigger. The pirate's hissing, "Die, cursed thern," was half choked in his windpipe by my clutching fingers. The

hammer fell with a futile click upon an empty chamber. Before he could fire again I had pulled him so far over the edge of the deck that he was forced to drop his firearm and clutch the rail with both hands. My grasp upon his throat effectually prevented any outcry, and so we struggled in grim silence; he to tear away from my hold, I to drag him over to his death.


His face was taking on a livid hue, his eyes were bulging from their sockets. It was evident to him that he soon must die unless he tore loose from the steel fingers that were choking the life from him. With a final effort he threw himself further back upon the deck, at the same instant releasing his hold upon the rail to tear frantically with both hands at my

fingers in an effort to drag them from his throat.


That little second was all that I awaited. With one mighty downward surge I swept him clear of the deck. His falling body came near to tearing me from the frail hold that my single free hand had upon the anchor chain and plunging me with him to the waters of the sea below. I did not relinquish my grasp upon him, however, for I knew that a single shriek from those lips as he hurtled to his death in the silent waters of the sea would bring his comrades from above to avenge him. Instead I held grimly to him, choking, ever choking, while his frantic struggles dragged me lower and lower toward the end of the chain.

Gradually his contortions became spasmodic, lessening by degrees until they ceased entirely. Then I released my hold upon him and in an instant he was swallowed by the black shadows far below.


Again I climbed to the ship's rail. This time I succeeded in raising my eyes to the level of the deck, where I could take a careful survey of the conditions immediately confronting me. The nearer moon had passed below the horizon, but the clear effulgence of the further satellite bathed the deck of the cruiser, bringing into sharp relief the bodies of six or eight black men sprawled about in sleep. Huddled close to the base of a rapid fire gun was a young white girl, securely bound. Her eyes were widespread in an expression of horrified anticipation and

fixed directly upon me as I came in sight above the edge of the deck.


Unutterable relief instantly filled them as they fell upon the mystic jewel which sparkled in the centre of my stolen headpiece. She did not speak. Instead her eyes warned me to beware the sleeping figures that surrounded her. Noiselessly I gained the deck. The girl nodded to me to approach her. As I bent low she whispered to me to release her. "I can aid you," she said, "and you will need all the aid available when they awaken." "Some of them will awake in Korus," I replied smiling. She caught the meaning of my words, and the cruelty of her answering smile horrified me. One is not astonished by

cruelty in a hideous face, but when it touches the features of a goddess whose fine-chiselled lineaments might more fittingly portray love and beauty, the contrast is appalling. Quickly I released her. "Give me a revolver," she whispered. "I can use that upon those your sword does not silence in time." I did as she bid. Then I turned toward the distasteful work that lay before me. This was no time for fine compunctions, nor for a chivalry that these cruel demons would neither appreciate nor reciprocate. Stealthily I approached the nearest sleeper. When he awoke he was well on his journey to the bosom of Korus. His piercing shriek as consciousness


returned to him came faintly up to us from the black depths beneath.


The second awoke as I touched him, and, though I succeeded in hurling him from the cruiser's deck, his wild cry of alarm brought the remaining pirates to their feet. There were five of them. As they arose the girl's revolver spoke in sharp staccato and one sank back to the deck again to rise no more. The others rushed madly upon me with drawn swords. The girl evidently dared not fire for fear of wounding me, but I saw her sneak stealthily and cat-like toward the flank of the attackers. Then they were on me. For a few minutes I experienced some of the hottest fighting I had ever passed through. The quarters were too small for foot work. It was stand your ground and

give and take. At first I took considerably more than I gave, but presently I got beneath one fellow's guard and had the satisfaction of seeing him collapse upon the deck.


The others redoubled their efforts. The crashing of their blades upon mine raised a terrific din that might have been heard for miles through the silent night. Sparks flew as steel smote steel, and then there was the dull and sickening sound of a shoulder bone parting beneath the keen edge of my Martian sword. Three now faced me, but the girl was working her way to a point that would soon permit her to reduce the number by one at least. Then things happened with such amazing rapidity that I can scarce comprehend even now all that took place in that brief instant.

The three rushed me with the evident purpose of forcing me back the few steps that would carry my body over the rail into the void below. At the same instant the girl fired and my sword arm made two moves. One man dropped with a bullet in his brain; a sword flew clattering across the deck and dropped over the edge beyond as I disarmed one of my opponents and the third went down with my blade buried to the hilt in his breast and three feet of it protruding from his back, and falling wrenched the sword from my grasp. Disarmed myself, I now faced my remaining foeman, whose own sword lay somewhere thousands of feet below us, lost in the Lost Sea. The new conditions seemed to please my adversary, for a smile of satisfaction bared his gleaming teeth as he rushed


at me bare-handed. The great muscles which rolled beneath his glossy black hide evidently assured him that here was easy prey, not worth the trouble of drawing the dagger from his harness.


I let him come almost upon me. Then I ducked beneath his outstretched arms, at the same time sidestepping to the right. Pivoting on my left toe, I swung a terrific right to his jaw, and, like a felled ox, he dropped in his tracks. A low, silvery laugh rang out behind me. "You are no thern," said the sweet voice of my companion, "for all your golden locks or the harness of Sator Throg. Never lived there upon all Barsoom before one who could fight as you have fought this night. Who are you?" "I am John Carter, Prince of the House of Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium," I

replied. "And whom," I added, "has the honour of serving been accorded me?" She hesitated a moment before speaking. Then she asked:


"You are no thern. Are you an enemy of the therns?" "I have been in the territory of the therns for a day and a half. During that entire time my life has been in constant danger. I have been harassed and persecuted. Armed men and fierce beasts have been set upon me. I had no quarrel with the therns before, but can you wonder that I feel no great love for them now? I have spoken." She looked at me intently for several minutes before she replied. It was as though she were attempting to read my inmost soul, to judge my character and

my standards of chivalry in that longdrawn, searching gaze. Apparently the inventory satisfied her.


"I am Phaidor, daughter of Matai Shang, Holy Hekkador of the Holy Therns, Father of Therns, Master of Life and Death upon Barsoom, Brother of Issus, Prince of Life Eternal." At that moment I noticed that the black I had dropped with my fist was commencing to show signs of returning consciousness. I sprang to his side. Stripping his harness from him I securely bound his hands behind his back, and after similarly fastening his feet tied him to a heavy gun carriage. "Why not Phaidor. the simpler way?" asked

"I do not understand. What 'simpler way'?" I replied.


With a slight shrug of her lovely shoulders she made a gesture with her hands personating the casting of something over the craft's side. "I am no murderer," I said. "I kill in selfdefence only." She looked at me narrowly. Then she puckered those divine brows of hers, and shook her head. She could not comprehend. Well, neither had my own Dejah Thoris been able to understand what to her had seemed a foolish and dangerous policy toward enemies. Upon Barsoom, quarter is neither asked nor given, and each dead man means so much more of the waning resources of this dying

planet to be divided amongst those who survive.


But there seemed a subtle difference here between the manner in which this girl contemplated the dispatching of an enemy and the tender-hearted regret of my own princess for the stern necessity which demanded it. I think that Phaidor regretted the thrill that the spectacle would have afforded her rather than the fact that my decision left another enemy alive to threaten us. The man had now regained full possession of his faculties, and was regarding us intently from where he lay bound upon the deck. He was a handsome fellow, clean limbed and powerful, with an intelligent face and features of such exquisite chiselling that Adonis himself might have envied him.

The vessel, unguided, had been moving slowly across the valley; but now I thought it time to take the helm and direct her course. Only in a very general way could I guess the location of the Valley Dor. That it was far south of the equator was evident from the constellations, but I was not sufficiently a Martian astronomer to come much closer than a rough guess without the splendid charts and delicate instruments with which, as an officer in the Heliumite Navy, I had formerly reckoned the positions of the vessels on which I sailed. That a northerly course would quickest lead me toward the more settled portions of the planet immediately decided the direction that I should steer. Beneath my hand the cruiser swung gracefully about. Then the button which controlled the repulsive rays sent us soaring far out into space. With speed


lever pulled to the last notch, we raced toward the north as we rose ever farther and farther above that terrible valley of death.


As we passed at a dizzy height over the narrow domains of the therns the flash of powder far below bore mute witness to the ferocity of the battle that still raged along that cruel frontier. No sound of conflict reached our ears, for in the rarefied atmosphere of our great altitude no sound wave could penetrate; they were dissipated in thin air far below us. It became intensely cold. Breathing was difficult. The girl, Phaidor, and the black pirate kept their eyes glued upon me. At length the girl spoke. "Unconsciousness comes quickly at this altitude," she said quietly. "Unless you

are inviting death for us all you had best drop, and that quickly."


There was no fear in her voice. It was as one might say: "You had better carry an umbrella. It is going to rain." I dropped the vessel quickly to a lower level. Nor was I a moment too soon. The girl had swooned. The black, too, was unconscious, while I, myself, retained my senses, I think, only by sheer will. The one on whom all responsibility rests is apt to endure the most. We were swinging along low above the foothills of the Otz. It was comparatively warm and there was plenty of air for our starved lungs, so I was not surprised to see the black open his eyes, and a moment later the girl also.

"It was a close call," she said.


"It has taught me two things though," I replied. "What?" "That even Phaidor, daughter of the Master of Life and Death, is mortal," I said smiling. "There is immortality only in Issus," she replied. "And Issus is for the race of therns alone. Thus am I immortal." I caught a fleeting grin passing across the features of the black as he heard her words. I did not then understand why he smiled. Later I was to learn, and she, too, in a most horrible manner. "If the other thing you have just learned," she continued, "has led to as erroneous deductions as the first you

He shrugged his shoulders and turned his eyes elsewhere. . "is that our dusky friend here does not hail from the nearer moon--he was like to have died at a few thousand feet above Barsoom. then where?" she asked.are little richer in knowledge than you were before. "If you are not of Thuria. The girl stamped her little foot in a peremptory manner. but did not reply." 706/2610 "The other." I replied. Had we continued the five thousand miles that lie between Thuria and the planet he would have been but the frozen memory of a man." Phaidor looked at the black in evident astonishment.

"What are your intentions concerning me?" "I intend taking you both back to Helium." she said. "No harm will come to you. "Xodar. "One of the lesser breed should feel honoured that a member of the holy race that was born to inherit life eternal should deign even to notice him." Again the black smiled that wicked." I said. is accustomed to give commands. not to receive them."The daughter of Matai Shang is not accustomed to having her queries remain unanswered. but if they listen to me there will be no more voluntary pilgrimages down the river 707/2610 . Then." replied the black pirate. Dator of the First Born of Barsoom. turning to me. knowing smile. You will find the red men of Helium a kindly and magnanimous race.

708/2610 "I can well believe that you are not of Barsoom." I replied. and the impossible belief that they have cherished for ages will be shattered into a thousand pieces. "but I am not of Barsoom. I am of another world.Iss. . "I am a Prince of the House of Tardos Mors." he said at length. But how is it that you wear the golden hair and the jewelled circlet of a Holy Thern?" He emphasized the word holy with a touch of irony. "None of this world could have bested eight of the First Born single-handed." "Are you of Helium?" he asked. Jeddak of Helium." Xodar looked at me intently for a few moments.

Evidently he had looked for the bald pate of a thern." and with a sweep of my hand I removed the disguise from my head. "With the skin of a thern. but whom. "They are the spoils of conquest. When the black's eyes fell on my closecropped black hair they opened in astonishment. the black hair of a First Born and the muscles of a dozen Dators it was no disgrace even for Xodar to acknowledge your supremacy. and what a 709/2610 ." I interrupted. "I glean that your name is Xodar. pray." he added." I said. "You are travelling several laps ahead of me. a touch of awe in his voice. my friend."I had forgotten them." he said. "You are indeed of another world. are the First Born. A thing he could never do were you a Barsoomian.

" he explained. direct to the Tree of Life which flourished in the centre of the Valley Dor twenty-three million years ago. In the first stages the fruit of the tree possessed only the power of independent muscular action. "are the race of black men of which I am a Dator. We trace our lineage. as the lesser Barsoomians would say. unbroken.Dator. Prince. or. passing by degrees from true plant life to a combination of plant and animal. could you not acknowledge it?" 710/2610 "The First Born of Barsoom. later a brain developed in the . if you were conquered by a Barsoomian. while the stem remained attached to the parent plant. and why. My race is the oldest on the planet. "For countless ages the fruit of this tree underwent the gradual changes of evolution.

and thus reason and the power to reason were born upon Barsoom. such as we now see reproduced in such huge dimensions in the Valley Dor. "Ages passed. with the development of perceptions came a comparison of them. 711/2610 "Then.fruit. "The buds from which the plant men blossomed resembled large nuts about a . but still all were attached to the parent plant by stems of varying lengths. Many forms of life came and went upon the Tree of Life. judgments were reached and compared. so that hanging there by their long stems they thought and moved as individuals. but still hanging to the limbs and branches of the tree by the stems which grew from the tops of their heads. At length the fruit tree consisted in tiny plant men.

and seas. lakes. hopping and skipping about the broad planet. In one section grew the plant man. "When the bud burst the plant man remained dangling at the end of his stem. falling into rivers. all Barsoom was covered with these imprisoned creatures. where the efforts of their imprisoned occupants to escape sent them hopping about in all directions. in another a sixteen-legged worm. to be still further spread about the surface of the new world. "Thus as time went on. divided by double partition walls into four sections. but the three other sections fell to the ground. For countless ages they lived their long lives within their hard shells. in the third the progenitor of the white ape and in the fourth the primaeval black man of Barsoom.foot in diameter. 712/2610 .

"Countless billions died before the first black man broke through his prison walls into the light of day. They are a lower order still. he broke open other shells and the peopling of Barsoom commenced. the first ape and renegade black man has sprung every other form of animal life upon Barsoom. Prompted by curiosity." and he smiled maliciously as he spoke. There is but one race of true and immortal humans on Barsoom. but from the sixteen-legged worm. It is the race of black men. "The pure strain of the blood of this first black man has remained untainted by admixture with other creatures in the race of which I am a member. 713/2610 . "The therns. "are but the result of ages of evolution from the pure white ape of antiquity.

but otherwise they have progressed but little in all the ages of their existence. and to translate the food sensations which are carried to it from their eyes and ears. but before it died the plant men learned to detach themselves from it and roam the face of Barsoom with the other children of the First Parent."The Tree of Life is dead. since the brain of a plant man is but a trifle larger than the end of your smallest finger. They have no sense of self-preservation and so are entirely without fear in 714/2610 . and their brain is just large enough to direct their movements in the direction of food. They live upon vegetation and the blood of animals. "Now their bisexuality permits them to reproduce themselves after the manner of true plants. Their actions and movements are largely matters of instinct and not guided to any great extent by reason.

Especially in view of the fact that the black still lay securely bound upon the deck." 715/2610 I wondered why the black man took such pains to discourse thus at length to enemies upon the genesis of life Barsoomian. It was the faintest straying of his eye beyond me for the barest fraction of a second that explained his motive for thus dragging out my interest in his truly absorbing story. It seemed a strangely inopportune moment for a proud member of a proud race to unbend in casual conversation with a captor. He lay a little forward of where I stood at the levers. and thus he faced the stern of the vessel as he addressed me. It was at the end of his description of . That is why they are such terrible antagonists in combat.the face of danger.

loomed close astern.the plant men that I caught his eye fixed momentarily upon something behind me. I turned an apprehensive glance behind me. and the sight that I saw froze the new-born hope of freedom that had been springing up within me. A great battleship. forging silent and unlighted through the dark night. Some time before I had reduced our speed. and I felt comparatively safe. Nor could I be mistaken in the swift gleam of triumph that brightened those dark orbs for an instant. 716/2610 . for we had left the Valley Dor many miles astern.

For miles he had sensed the approach of succour. and but for that single tell-tale glance the battleship would have been directly above us in another moment. would have swarmed our deck.717/2610 CHAPTER VIII THE DEPTHS OF OMEAN Now I realized why the black pirate had kept me engrossed with his strange tale. placing my rising hope of escape in sudden and total eclipse. I was too old a hand in aerial warfare to be at a loss now for the right manoeuvre. and the boarding party which was doubtless even now swinging in their harness from the ship's keel. Simultaneously I reversed the .

At sight of us a shout of rage went up from a hundred throats. disclosing a hundred grim. Like a bolt from a crossbow my splendid craft shot its steel prow straight at the whirring propellers of the giant above us. throwing my speed lever to its last notch. If I could but touch them the huge bulk would be disabled for hours and escape once more possible. Then I rose at a sharp angle. but it was too late to save the 718/2610 .engines and dropped the little vessel a sheer hundred feet. black faces peering over the stern of the battleship upon us. Orders were shouted. At the same instant the sun shot above the horizon. Above my head I could see the dangling forms of the boarding party as the battleship raced over us.

There was no fight. "but do not injure them. but that second was amply long to swarm my deck with black devils. Only a second I hung there before tearing away. and with a crash we rammed them. At least he thought that 719/2610 . He now personally attended to my disarming and saw that I was properly bound. In the first place there was no room to fight." he said. Instantly with the shock of impact I reversed my engine. Then as swords menaced me a command from Xodar stayed the hands of his fellows.giant propellers. We were simply submerged by numbers. but my prow was wedged in the hole it had made in the battleship's stern." Several of the pirates already had released Xodar. "Secure them.

When the time came I could snap them as they had been cotton string. and then they fastened us together. It was evident that these self-thought supermen 720/2610 . The girl they bound also.the binding was secure. but I had to smile at the puny strands that confined my wrists. It would have been had I been a Martian. The girl's beauty elicited many brutal comments and vulgar jests. Fully a thousand black men manned the great engine of destruction. In the meantime they had brought our craft alongside the disabled battleship. Her decks were crowded with them as they pressed forward as far as discipline would permit to get a glimpse of their captives. and soon we were transported to the latter's deck.

Without exception the blacks were handsome men. Many harnesses were so encrusted with gold. and placed me on a better footing in their estimation. The fact that I wore the harness and metal of a thern who had been killed by a member of my party convinced them that I was an enemy of their hereditary foes. The officers were conspicuous through the wondrous magnificence of their resplendent trappings. silver and . When Xodar told his fellow nobles of my fighting ability and strange origin they crowded about me with numerous questions. platinum.were far inferior to the red men of Barsoom in refinement and in chivalry. 721/2610 My close-cropped black hair and thern complexion were the subjects of much comment. and well built.

the gloriously grained sorapus of the cabins. the shining metal of the guns. The whole scene was enchanting. still fast bound. inlaid with priceless jewels and precious metals in intricate and beautiful design. the polished skeel wood of the deck.precious stones as to entirely hide the leather beneath. we were thrown into a small compartment which contained a single port-hole. . The handsome men. Against the ebony background of his skin they blazed out with a peculiarly accentuated effulgence. the burnished gold of hand rails. As our escort left us they barred the door behind them. 722/2610 The harness of the commanding officer was a solid mass of diamonds. Phaidor and I were taken below decks. the barbaric splendour of the accoutrements. where.

For my part I was wondering as to the fate of Tars Tarkas and the girl. and as fugitives from the Valley Dor they could look for but little else than a swift and terrible death. Each was occupied with his own thoughts.We could hear the men broken propellers. Thuvia. and hole we could see that drifting lazily toward the working on the from the portthe vessel was south. It seemed to me that I could not fail to impress upon the intelligent red men of Barsoom the wicked deception that a cruel and senseless superstition had foisted upon them. . 723/2610 For some time neither of us spoke. How I wished that I might have accompanied them. Even if they succeeded in eluding pursuit they must eventually fall into the hands of either red men or green.

Well. Like Tars Tarkas. Then there were a thousand of my red and green warrior friends whom I knew would face eternal damnation gladly for my sake. My only danger lay in that should I ever escape the black pirates it might be to fall into the hands of unfriendly red or green men. Then it would mean short shrift for me. 724/2610 . where I led they would follow. there seemed little to worry about on that score. Not a doubt as to that entered my head.Tardos Mors would believe me. Of that I was positive. for the likelihood of my ever escaping the blacks was extremely remote. Dejah Thoris would believe me. And that he would have the courage of his convictions my knowledge of his character assured me.

725/2610 . It was of sorapus wood. impenetrable composition extensively utilized in the construction of Martian fighting ships. a light. ceiling and walls were of carborundum aluminum. As I had sat meditating upon the future my eyes had been riveted upon the port-hole which was just level with them as I sat.The girl and I were linked together by a rope which permitted us to move only about three or four feet from each other. The floor. When we had entered the compartment we had seated ourselves upon a low bench beneath the porthole. She was very beautiful then. The bench was the only furniture of the room. Suddenly I looked toward Phaidor. She was regarding me with a strange expression I had not before seen upon her face.

but I did not. and I thought I discovered a delicate flush tingeing her cheek. and I admired a brave heart that could look for humour on the road to death. 726/2610 "Do you find the study of the lower orders interesting?" I asked. laughing. and so I laughed with her. . I thought. "Oh very. She looked up again with a nervous but relieved little laugh. I felt that she was poking fun at me." she said. Evidently she was embarrassed at having been detected in the act of staring at a lesser creature. "especially when they have such excellent profiles. "Do you know where we are going?" she said." It was my turn to flush.Instantly her white lids veiled her eyes.

I imagine. 727/2610 "I am going to a worse fate than that."To solve the mystery of the eternal hereafter. "What do you mean?" ." "Is it not a just retribution?" I could not help but ask." she replied. "since no thern damsel of all the millions that have been stolen away by black pirates during the ages they have raided our domains has ever returned to narrate her experiences among them. That they never take a man prisoner lends strength to the belief that the fate of the girls they steal is worse than death." I replied. "What do you mean?" "I can only guess. with a little shudder." she said.

Did we not occasionally save a few of the lower orders that stupidly float down an unknown river to an unknown end all would become the prey of the plant men and the apes. "That is the wickedest of your deeds. It is an honour to a lesser creature to be a slave among us. "We therns are a holy race." "But do you not by every means encourage the superstition among those of the outside world?" I argued."Do not the therns themselves do likewise with the poor creatures who take the voluntary pilgrimage down the River of Mystery? Was not Thuvia for fifteen years a plaything and a slave? Is it less than just that you should suffer as you have caused others to suffer?" 728/2610 "You do not understand." she replied. Can you tell me why you foster the cruel deception?" .

" 729/2610 ." "As man may eat of the flesh of beasts. "but not the flesh of man. The Holy Therns are the gods of Barsoom. "is created solely for the support of the race of therns."All life on Barsoom. She looked at me in pitying commiseration for my ignorance. Do not you also?" "The flesh of beasts. so may gods eat of the flesh of man. yes. "Truly we eat the flesh of the lower orders." she said." I replied. How else could we live did the outer world not furnish our labour and our food? Think you that a thern would demean himself by labour?" "It is true then that you eat human flesh?" I asked in horror.

" she hesitated. "perhaps we shall find a way to keep you as--as--one of us. "You are an unbeliever now. Dejah Thoris was wont to say that in some things I was a veritable simpleton." I answered. And--. "since .I was disgusted and I imagine that I showed it. "I fear that I would ill requite your father's hospitality. and I guess that she was right. I could not understand her meaning." 730/2610 Again her eyes dropped to the floor. and a faint colour suffused her cheek. nor did I for a long time." she continued gently. "but should we be fortunate enough to escape the clutches of the black pirates and come again to the court of Matai Shang I think that we shall find an argument to convince you of the error of your ways.

" 731/2610 . they would mete out a frightful death to you. "Not even I could save you." She looked at me really horror struck. Also should I devote my life to the extermination of the hideous plant men and their horrible companions. Should they ever guess that you entertained such frightful thoughts." she cried. Not even my--my--" Again she flushed. no. and started over. "you must not say such terribly sacrilegious things--you must not even think them.the first thing that I should do were I a thern would be to set an armed guard at the mouth of the River Iss to escort the poor deluded voyagers back to the outer world. "No. should we chance to regain the temples of the therns. the great white apes.

At this point the door of our prison opened to admit Xodar." he said. The therns worshipped the hideous plant men and the apes. and when he smiled his expression was kindly-anything but cruel or vindictive. Evidently it was useless. 732/2610 "Since you cannot escape under any circumstances. You will witness . They only worshipped a beautiful hope for a life of love and peace and happiness in the hereafter. or at least they reverenced them as the abodes of the departed spirits of their own dead. She was even more steeped in superstition than the Martians of the outer world. He smiled pleasantly at me.I said no more. "I cannot see the necessity for keeping you confined below. I will cut your bonds and you may come on deck.

shall embrace her. perchance. and as you never shall return to the outer world it will do no harm to permit you to see it. and Issus." he added. You will see what no other than the First Born and their slaves know the existence of--the subterranean entrance to the Holy Land." replied Xodar. "It will be an excellent lesson for this daughter of the therns. thern. with an ugly smile. "nor do I 733/2610 . "What blasphemy is this. dog of a pirate?" she cried." Phaidor's head went high. "for she shall see the Temple of Issus.something very interesting. to the real heaven of Barsoom." "You have much to learn. "Issus would wipe out your entire breed an' you ever came within sight of her temple.

"What course?" I asked him. Evidently we were too far south even for the great fur-bearing animals which the Martians so delight in hunting. As far as the eye could reach in any direction naught else was visible." 734/2610 As we came on deck I saw to my surprise that the vessel was passing over a great field of snow and ice.envy you the manner in which you will learn it. There could be but one solution to the mystery. We were above the south polar ice cap. No sign of life appeared below us. Only at the poles of Mars is there ice or snow upon the planet. . Xodar was at my side as I stood looking out over the ship's rail.

We shall skirt it for a few hundred miles. "You crossed this ice field last night in the long chase that you led us. "but. On the shore of this sea stands the Golden Temple of Issus in the Land of the First Born. The Otz Valley lies in a mighty depression at the south pole." he replied. A hundred miles from its northern boundary rise the Otz Mountains which circle the inner Valley of Dor. is not there where lie the domains of the therns from which I but just escaped?" "Yes. like a great round bowl. It is sunk thousands of feet below the level of the surrounding country." . "You will see the Otz Valley directly. man." answered Xodar. It is there that we are bound. in the exact centre of which lies the Lost Sea of Korus." 735/2610 "The Otz Valley!" I exclaimed."A little west of south.

but none has ever escaped the First Born. "It was thus that one did escape the therns in bygone times." I finished aloud. broken here and there by low rolling hills and little clumps of forest." said Xodar. windswept waste of bleak ice alone and on foot would be impossible. My only wonder was that even the one had been successful. We had now reached the southernmost extremity of the great ice barrier. 736/2610 "Only by air boat could the journey be made. with a touch of pride in his voice. To cross this frozen.As I looked I commenced to realize why it was that in all the ages only one had escaped from the Valley Dor. and with tiny rivers . It ended abruptly in a sheer wall thousands of feet high at the base of which stretched a level valley.

"This strip between the ice barrier and the mountains is considered neutral ground. "It runs far beneath the ice field. "It is a village of lost souls. "That is the bed of the River Iss." he answered. . 737/2610 Once we passed far above what seemed to be a deep canyon-like rift stretching from the ice wall on the north across the valley as far as the eye could reach. and pointing it out to Xodar asked him what it might be. laughing." Presently I descried what I took to be a village. scaling the awful walls of its canyon below us. Some turn off from their voluntary pilgrimage down the Iss.formed by the melting of the ice barrier at its base. stop in the valley. but its canyon is open here. and below the level of the Valley Otz." said Xodar. and.

"The poor creatures of this outer valley are not molested by us since they have nothing that we desire.Also a slave now and then escapes from the therns and makes his way hither. "There are several villages of them. 738/2610 "They do not attempt to recapture such. and as a matter of fact they fear the patrolling cruisers of the First Born too much to venture from their own domains. nor are they numerically strong enough to give us an interesting fight--so we too leave them alone. but they have increased in numbers but little in many years since they are always warring among themselves." Now we swung a little north of west. leaving the valley of lost souls. and . since there is no escape from this outer valley.

It was not high and seemed to have a flat top. 739/2610 "Is what he has been telling me true?" I asked her. If it is not false--" she hesitated. it cannot be true. but what he says of the location of the Temple of Issus in the centre of his country is false. "That about the outer valley is true.shortly I discerned over our starboard bow what appeared to be a black mountain rising from the desolate waste of ice. "Oh it cannot be true." she answered. The girl had not once spoken since we had been brought to the deck. and Phaidor and I stood alone beside the rail. For if it were true then for countless ages have my people gone to torture . "In part. Xodar had left us to attend to some duty on the vessel. yes.

As we neared the dark." "I cannot believe it. so may it be that the therns themselves have been lured by the First Born to an equally horrid fate. truncated cone the vessel's speed was diminished until . "We shall see. and then we fell silent again for we were rapidly approaching the black mountains. but a just one." 740/2610 "As the lesser Barsoomians of the outer world have been lured by you to the terrible Valley Dor. Phaidor. "It would be a stern and awful retribution." I answered. which in some indefinable way seemed linked with the answer to our problem." she said." I suggested. instead of to the beautiful Life Eternal that we have been taught to believe Issus holds for us.and ignominious death at the hands of their cruel enemies.

Then we topped the crest of the mountain and below us I saw yawning the mouth of a huge circular well. The diameter of this enormous pit was fully a thousand feet.we barely moved. the bottom of which was lost in inky blackness. The walls were smooth and appeared to be composed of a black. 741/2610 For a moment the vessel hovered motionless directly above the centre of the gaping void. then slowly she began to settle into the black chasm. basaltic rock. Lower and lower she sank until as darkness enveloped us her lights were thrown on and in the dim halo of her own radiance the monster battleship dropped on and on down into what seemed to me must be the very bowels of Barsoom. .

Little islands rose here and there to support the strange and colourless vegetation of this strange world. riding the new element as buoyantly and as safely as she had the air. Her great propellers had been drawn and housed during our descent of the shaft and in their place had been run out the smaller but more powerful water propellers. Thousands of ships dotted the bosom of the ocean. A phosphorescent radiance illuminated the scene. 742/2610 . Slowly and with majestic grace the battleship dropped until she rested on the water. Below us rose and fell the billows of a buried sea. As these commenced to revolve the ship took up its journey once more.For quite half an hour we descended and then the shaft terminated abruptly in the dome of a mighty subterranean world.

It receives the waters of the lesser sea above it. and turning we saw Xodar watching us with an amused smile on his lips." he continued. "Here is the harbour of the navy of the First Born. To keep it from filling above a certain level we have four great pumping stations that force the oversupply back into the reservoirs far north . There were a few lighters and barges. 743/2610 Nearly all the vessels we saw were war craft. "This sea.Phaidor and I were dumbfounded. but none of the great merchantmen such as ply the upper air between the cities of the outer world. Neither had either heard or dreamed that such a world existed beneath the surface of Barsoom. "is larger than Korus." said a voice behind us.

The red men had always considered it a miracle that caused great columns of water to spurt from the solid rock of their reservoir sides to increase the supply of the precious liquid which is so scarce in the outer world of Mars. and pierced midway between the ground and their tops with small.from which the red men draw the water which irrigates their farm lands. heavily barred windows. apparently roofless. Never had their learned men been able to fathom the secret of the source of this enormous volume of water. As ages passed they had simply come to accept it as a matter of course and ceased to question its origin. We passed several islands on which were strangely shaped circular buildings. They ." 744/2610 A new light burst on me with this explanation.

bore the earmarks of prisons. which were further accentuated by the armed guards who squatted on low benches without. Occasionally she selects slaves from among them to ." said Xodar to Phaidor. or patrolled the short beach lines. "The few prisoners we take are presented to her. This proved to be our destination. but presently we sighted a much larger one directly ahead. "You shall soon see Issus. Xodar signalled us to follow him and with a half-dozen officers and men we left the battleship and approached a large oval structure a couple of hundred yards from the shore. and the great ship was soon made fast against the steep shore. 745/2610 Few of these islets contained over an acre of ground.

None serves Issus above a single year. 746/2610 Phaidor. though loath to believe that Issus was allied to such as these. Near one side of the pool floated an odd-looking black object. no longer the proud daughter of the Master of Life and Death upon Barsoom. She clung very closely to me. In its centre was a long tank of water." and there was a grim smile on the black's lips that lent a cruel and sinister meaning to his simple statement. set below the level of the floor like the swimming pool of a natatorium. but a young and frightened girl in the power of relentless enemies. The building which we now entered was entirely roofless. Whether it were some strange monster of these .replenish the ranks of her handmaidens. had commenced to entertain doubts and fears.

" replied the man. and a black seaman sprang from the bowels of the strange craft. Xodar cried out a few words in a strange tongue. would be transported to the gardens of Issus beside the Golden Temple. for as we reached the edge of the pool directly above the thing. however. escorting two prisoners." "Blessed be the shell of thy first ancestor. Immediately a hatch cover was raised from the surface of the object. or a queer raft. "the commands of Dator Xodar." he said. Say to him that Dator Xodar. Xodar addressed the seaman. I could not at once perceive. with officers and men." . "Transmit to your officer. "It shall be done even as thou sayest. 747/2610 We were soon to know. most noble Dator.buried waters.

and the vessel commenced to vibrate to the rhythmic purr of its machinery. having port-holes on either side below the water line. palms backward. . in accordance with which the hatch was closed and secured. No sooner were all below than a number of commands were given. and in the latter's wake we filed aboard and below.and raising both hands. The cabin in which we found ourselves extended entirely across the ship. he disappeared once more into the entrails of his ship. 748/2610 A moment later an officer resplendent in the gorgeous trappings of his rank appeared on deck and welcomed Xodar to the vessel. above his head after the manner of salute which is common to all races of Barsoom.

had the same terror of deep water as is a common attribute of all Martians. Phaidor shuddered." "Then where?" she asked again. For such long ages have the waters of Barsoom's seas been a thing of tradition only that even this daughter of the therns." I replied. Presently the sensation of sinking became very apparent." I replied. 749/2610 "From the appearance of the craft I judge we are going down. We were going ."Where can we be going in such a tiny pool of water?" asked Phaidor. born as she had been within sight of Mars' only remaining sea. "for I noticed particularly that while the building is roofless it is covered with a strong metal grating. "Not up.

for with a swift glance about the apartment to assure herself that we were alone. and placed my hand over hers where it rested on my arm. and then in a very low voice." I felt very sorry for the poor child.down swiftly. Phaidor grasped my arm. Now we could hear the water rushing past the port-holes. I presume my motive was misunderstood. "Phaidor already is yours. and in the dim light that filtered through them to the water beyond the swirling eddies were plainly visible. Anything within the power of the Holy Therns to give will be yours. Phaidor--" she stumbled a little here. she threw . "Save me and your every wish shall be granted. 750/2610 "Save me!" she whispered.

751/2610 CHAPTER IX ISSUS. GODDESS OF LIFE ETERNAL The confession of love which the girl's fright had wrung from her touched me deeply. being more concerned with fighting and kindred arts which have ever seemed to me more befitting a man .both her arms about my neck and dragged my face down to hers. since I felt that in some thoughtless word or act I had given her reason to believe that I reciprocated her affection. but it humiliated me as well. Never have I been much of a ladies' man.

to her 752/2610 . A thousand times rather face the wild hordes of the dead sea bottoms than meet the eyes of this beautiful young girl and tell her the thing that I must tell her. panting. But there was nothing else to be done. I fear. Very clumsily too. So I was quite at a loss as to what to do or say. That of all the women of two worlds that I had known and admired during my long life she alone had I loved. The tale did not seem to please her. Gently I unclasped her hands from about my neck. or kissing a dead flower that has begun to smell like a cabbage. and so I did it. and still holding them in mine I told her the story of my love for Dejah Thoris.than mooning over a scented glove four sizes too small for him. Like a tigress she sprang.

Her beautiful face was distorted in an expression of horrible malevolence. supplicates? She commands. daughter of Matai Shang. "Dog of a blasphemer! Think you that Phaidor. and you have spurned her. Her eyes fairly blazed into mine. "Dog.feet. Ten thousand unthinkably atrocious deaths could not atone for the affront that you have put upon me. Tortures 753/2610 . What to her is your puny outer world passion for the vile creature you chose in your other life? "Phaidor has glorified you with her love. "And you! You shall be the meanest slave in the service of the goddess you have attempted to humiliate. You have sealed the warrant for her doom. The thing that you call Dejah Thoris shall die the most horrible of them all." she hissed.

It amazed me to think that one so divinely beautiful could at the same time be so fiendishly vindictive. 754/2610 "In my gracious generosity I shall at length grant your prayer. and from the high balcony of the Golden Cliffs I shall watch the great white apes tear you asunder. I pointed to the nearest port-hole. . but rather to permit her to rearrange her plans along more practical lines.and ignominies shall be heaped upon you until you grovel at my feet asking the boon of death. without any intent to add to her discomfiture. that she had overlooked one little factor in her revenge. The whole lovely programme from start to finish. It occurred to me. however. and so." She had it all fixed up.

Presently our downward motion ceased. for a single glance at the dark. but the light from our port-holes. and the reflection from what must have been a powerful searchlight . It was very dark down there. 755/2610 Down.Evidently she had entirely forgotten her surroundings and her present circumstances. and I could hear the propellers swirling through the water at our stern and forcing us ahead at high speed. swirling waters without sent her crumpled upon a low bench. Evidently we were very far beneath the surface crust of Mars. down we continued to sink until the heavy glass of the port-holes became noticeably warm from the heat of the water without. where with her face buried in her arms she sobbed more like a very unhappy little girl than a proud and all-powerful goddess.

756/2610 After a few minutes the propellers ceased their whirring. . and then commenced to rise swiftly toward the surface. Soon the light from without increased and we came to a stop. Xodar entered the cabin with his men. and tube-like. We came to a full stop. and we followed him through the hatchway which had been opened by one of the seamen. We found ourselves in a small subterranean vault.on the submarine's nose showed that we were forging through a narrow passage. rock-lined. floating as we had first seen her with only her black back showing." he said. "Come. in the centre of which was the pool in which lay our submarine.

and after a short walk halted before a steel cage which lay at the bottom of a shaft rising above us as far as one could see.Around the edge of the pool was a level platform. and then the walls of the cave rose perpendicularly for a few feet to arch toward the centre of the low roof. The walls about the ledge were pierced with a number of entrances to dimly lighted passageways. The cage proved to be one of the common types of elevator cars that I had seen in other parts of Barsoom. . They are operated by means of enormous magnets which are suspended at the top of the shaft. 757/2610 Toward one of these our captors led us. By an electrical device the volume of magnetism generated is regulated and the speed of the car varied.

with . since the small force of gravity inherent to Mars results in very little opposition to the powerful force above.In long stretches they move at a sickening speed. The combined languages of Earth men hold no words to convey to the mind the gorgeous beauties of the scene. so rapid was our ascent of the long shaft. 758/2610 Scarcely had the door of the car closed behind us than we were slowing up to stop at the landing above. of winding walks paved with crushed rubies. When we emerged from the little building which houses the upper terminus of the elevator. we found ourselves in the midst of a veritable fairyland of beauty. especially on the upward trip. One may speak of scarlet sward and ivory-stemmed trees decked with brilliant purple blooms.

of a magnificent temple of burnished gold. for long years accustomed to the barbaric splendours of a Martian Jeddak's court." she whispered. were amazed at the glory of the scene. even with diamonds themselves. but where are the words to describe the glorious colours that are unknown to earthly eyes? where the mind or the imagination that can grasp the gorgeous scintillations of unheard-of rays as they emanate from the thousand nameless jewels of Barsoom? 759/2610 Even my eyes. hand-wrought with marvellous designs. half to herself. "The Temple of Issus. with turquoise. . Phaidor's eyes were wide in amazement.emerald.

Xodar watched us with his grim smile. The places of the outer world and the temples of the therns had been robbed of their princesses and goddesses that the blacks might have their slaves. Together they entered the temple. 760/2610 The gardens swarmed with brilliantly trapped black men and women. When they returned it was to announce that Issus desired to look upon the . where they remained for some time. At the main entrance we were halted by a cordon of armed guards. Through this scene we moved toward the temple. Among them moved red and white females serving their every want. partly of amusement and partly malicious gloating. Xodar spoke a few words to an officer who came forward to question us.

and noble halls. where we were directed to get down on our hands and knees with our backs toward the room we were to enter. and the strange creature from another world who had been a Prince of Helium. We were then led up to the door. One of the officers who had accompanied us advanced to a large door in the further end of the chamber. Here he must have made some sort of signal for immediately the door opened and another richly trapped courtier emerged.daughter of Matai Shang. 761/2610 Slowly we moved through endless corridors of unthinkable beauty. The doors were swung open and after being cautioned not to turn our heads under penalty of instant death we were . through magnificent apartments. At length we were halted in a spacious chamber in the centre of the temple.

yet one that had evidently been accustomed to command for many years. wavering voice. "Rise. a thin. 762/2610 Never have I been in so humiliating a position in my life. "Let them rise.commanded to back into the presence of Issus." said a voice behind us." . and only my love for Dejah Thoris and the hope which still clung to me that I might again see her kept me from rising to face the goddess of the First Born and go down to my death like a gentleman." said our escort. After we had crawled in this disgusting fashion for a matter of a couple of hundred feet we were halted by our escort. facing my foes and with their blood mingling with mine. "but do not face toward Issus.

Slowly. She was standing quite close to me." said the thin. I could not see the girl's face as her eyes rested for the first time on the 763/2610 . wavering voice again after a few moments of silence." I watched Phaidor from the corner of my eye. knowing that those of the lower orders who gaze upon the holy vision of her radiant face survive the blinding glory but a single year. Let the woman turn and look upon Issus. so close that her bare arm touched mine as she finally faced Issus. very slowly she turned. The man you may return to the Isle of Shador which lies against the northern shore of the Sea of Omean. as though drawn by some invisible yet irresistible force. "She shall serve me the allotted time."The woman pleases me. Goddess of Life Eternal. She paled to a ghastly hue.

" thought I. and the heavy hand of the officer fell upon my shoulder. .Supreme Deity of Mars. "to cause such emotion in the breast of so radiant a beauty as Phaidor. In accordance with his instructions I dropped to my hands and knees once more and crawled from the Presence. Remove the man. "It must be dazzling loveliness indeed." 764/2610 "Let the woman remain. It had been my first audience with deity. daughter of Matai Shang. but I am free to confess that I was not greatly impressed--other than with the ridiculous figure I cut scrambling about on my marrow bones." Thus spoke Issus. Go. but felt the shudder that ran through her in the trembling flesh of the arm that touched mine.

Once without the chamber the doors closed behind us and I was bid to rise." "What will be my fate?" I asked. "and I would aid you if I might. I can help to make your life here more bearable. "That will depend largely upon Issus. You may never hope to return to the outer world. but your fate is inevitable." "Why should she send for me?" I asked. you may live on for years in as mild a form of bondage as I can arrange for you." he said after we had proceeded some little way in silence. . 765/2610 "You spared my life when you easily might have taken it. So long as she does not send for you and reveal her face to you. Xodar joined me and together we slowly retraced our steps toward the gardens.

and against beasts for the edification of Issus and the replenishment of her larder. for example. Such a fighter as you. looking upon the other inhabitants of Mars as we look upon the . would render fine sport in the monthly rites of the temple." 766/2610 "She eats human flesh?" I asked. where ages of narrow fanaticism and self-worship had eradicated all the broader humanitarian instincts that the race might once have possessed."The men of the lower orders she often uses for various purposes of amusement. however. There are men pitted against men. Not in horror. They were a people drunk with power and success. for since my recently acquired knowledge of the Holy Therns I was prepared for anything in this still less accessible heaven. where all was evidently dictated by a single omnipotence.

beasts of the field and the forest. I still had much to learn as to the depths of cruelty and bestiality to which omnipotence may drag its possessor. 767/2610 "She eats only the flesh of the best bred of the Holy Therns and the red Barsoomians. The flesh of the others goes to our boards." I did not understand then that there lay any special significance in his reference to other dainties. . She also eats other dainties. The animals are eaten by the slaves. I thought the limit of ghoulishness already had been reached in the recitation of Issus' menu. Why then should they not eat of the flesh of the lower orders whose lives and characters they no more understood than do we the inmost thoughts and sensibilities of the cattle we slaughter for our earthly tables.

"The girl has told her that he is of wondrous beauty and of such prowess that alone he slew seven of the First Born. For 768/2610 . "Issus would look again upon this man.We had about reached the last of the many chambers and corridors which led to the gardens when an officer overtook us. Without a word he turned and we followed the officer once again to the closed doors before the audience chamber of Issus." Xodar looked uncomfortable." he said. Here the ceremony of entrance was repeated. and with his bare hands took Xodar captive. Again Issus bid me rise. Goddess of Life Eternal. binding him with his own harness. Evidently he did not relish the thought that Issus had learned of his inglorious defeat.

Presently the thin wavering voice broke the stillness. On this bench. . 769/2610 "Let the man turn and look upon Issus. or throne.several minutes all was silent as the tomb. expecting such a treat as only the revealment of divine glory to mortal eyes might produce. knowing that those of the lower orders who gaze upon the holy vision of her radiant face survive the blinding glory but a single year. What I saw was a solid phalanx of armed men between myself and a dais supporting a great bench of carved sorapus wood. The eyes of deity were appraising me. repeating in a singsong drone the words which for countless ages had sealed the doom of numberless victims." I turned as I had been bid.

On either side of her thin. "This is the man who slew seven of the First Born and. With the exception of two yellow fangs she was entirely toothless. bound . She was evidently very old. The skin of her face was seamed and creased with a million deepcut furrows. 770/2610 Emaciated arms and legs attached to a torso which seemed to be mostly distorted abdomen completed the "holy vision of her radiant beauty. hawklike nose her eyes burned from the depths of horribly sunken sockets. bare-handed.squatted a female black. white and trembling. and as repulsive." Surrounding her were a number of female slaves. Not a hair remained upon her wrinkled skull. Her body was as wrinkled as her face. among them Phaidor.

" she Xodar was brought from the adjoining room. Xodar. "Produce Dator commanded. a baleful light in her hideous eyes. "And such as you are a Dator of the First Born?" she squealed." replied the officer who stood at my side.Dator Xodar with his own harness?" asked Issus. to fetch and carry for the lower orders that serve in the gardens of . it is. Issus glared at him. but for evermore a slave of slaves. "For the disgrace you have brought upon the Immortal Race you shall be degraded to a rank below the lowest. 771/2610 "Most glorious vision of divine loveliness. No longer be you a Dator.

Take him away out of the sight of my divine eyes. Cowards and slaves wear no trappings. nor a tremor shook his giant frame as a soldier of the guard roughly stripped his gorgeous trappings from him.Issus. but instead of the light of the gardens of Issus let you serve as a slave of this slave who conquered you in the prison on the Isle of Shador in the Sea of Omean. "Begone." 772/2610 Xodar stood stiffly erect." screamed the infuriated little old woman. Remove his harness. Not a muscle twitched." Slowly and with high held head the proud Xodar turned and stalked from the chamber. Issus rose and turned to leave the room by another exit. . "Begone.

We have both looked upon Issus and in 773/2610 . followed by her retinue. Let me share your imprisonment on Shador. Only take me away with you. We might have lived together for ever in love and happiness.Turning to me. as among the lower orders of the outer world. my Prince. Later Issus will see the manner of your fighting. "You did not understand the honour that I did you." she begged. Among the therns there is no marriage or giving in marriage. so rapidly she spoke. "Oh. she said: "You shall be returned to Shador for the present. the girl came running after me. do not leave me in this terrible place. I did not mean them." Her words were an almost incoherent volley of thoughts. and as I started to follow my guard toward the gardens. Only Phaidor lagged behind. "Forgive the things I said to you. Go." Then she disappeared.

the customs and the social laws that guide me? I do not wish to hurt you. I am not dead. Phaidor. "can you not understand that possibly it is equally difficult for you to understand the motives. Let us live that year at least together in what measure of joy remains for the doomed. nor to seem to undervalue the honour which you have done me. Regardless of the foolish belief of the peoples of the outer world. 774/2610 ." I replied. but the thing you desire may not be.a year we die. but what comes after that I know not. When death overtakes me my heart shall have ceased to beat. Princess of Helium. While I live my heart beats for but one woman--the incomparable Dejah Thoris. or of Holy Thern." "If it was difficult for me to understand you. or ebon First Born. And in that I am as wise as Matai Shang.

and turning walked slowly in the direction of the door through which Issus and her retinue had passed. Goddess of Life Eternal.Master of Life and Death upon Barsoom. . or Issus." 775/2610 Phaidor stood looking at me intently for a moment. "I do not understand. A moment later she had passed from my sight. only a pathetic expression of hopeless sorrow." she said. No anger showed in her eyes this time.

" "Let him bind Thurid. "Thurid is a . The women spat upon him. "so this is the creature who overcame the great Xodar barehanded. When I appeared they turned their attentions toward me. laughing. Let us see how it was done. "Ah. The men slapped his face.CHAPTER X THE PRISON SHADOR ISLE 776/2610 OF In the outer gardens to which the guard now escorted me." suggested a beautiful woman. They were reviling and cursing him." cried one. I found Xodar surrounded by a crowd of noble blacks.

noble Dator. "Calot!" he hissed. "What now?" he cried." "Yes. "What would you of Thurid?" Quickly a dozen voices explained. and turning in the direction indicated I saw a huge black weighed down with resplendent ornaments and arms advancing with noble and gallant bearing toward us. 777/2610 "Here he is now." exclaimed another. Let Thurid show the dog what it means to face a real man. "Ever did I think you carried the heart of a sorak in your putrid breast. his eyes narrowing to two nasty slits. Thurid! Thurid!" cried a dozen voices. Thurid turned toward Xodar. Often have you bested me in .

The degraded Dator stood erect . Calot. I had no love for Xodar." and with the words he turned to kick Xodar. and doing things on the impulse of the moment that I presume I never should do after mature deliberation. I spurn you with my foot. For minutes it had been boiling at the cowardly treatment they had been according this once powerful comrade because he had fallen from the favour of Issus. I was standing close beside Xodar as Thurid swung his foot for the cowardly kick.the secret councils of Issus. 778/2610 My blood was up. but I cannot stand the sight of cowardly injustice and persecution without seeing red as through a haze of bloody mist. but now in the field of war where men are truly gauged your scabby heart hath revealed its sores to all the world.

with a roar of rage sprang for my throat. The big fellow spun around like a top. just as Xodar had upon the deck of the cruiser. . I caught him a painful blow upon shin bone that saved Xodar from added ignominy. 779/2610 For a moment there was tense silence. then Thurid. and as he lunged past me planted a terrific right on the side of his jaw. I ducked beneath his outstretched arms. his knees gave beneath him and he crumpled to the ground at my feet. and take them in manly silence and stoicism.and motionless as a carven image. He was prepared to take whatever his former comrades had to offer in the way of insults and reproaches. The results were identical. But and the this as Thurid's foot swung so did mine.

then at me as though they could not believe that such a thing could be. "As you have done to Xodar.The blacks gazed in astonishment." I cried. now do you likewise to Thurid. Take him before Issus. first at the still form of the proud Dator lying there in the ruby dust of the pathway. and bound the fellow's arms and legs securely. bound in his own harness. tore the harness from it. "behold!" And then I stooped beside the prostrate form. 780/2610 ." "Who are you?" whispered the woman who had first suggested that I attempt to bind Thurid. that she may see with her own eyes that there be one among you now who is greater than the First Born. "You asked me to bind Thurid.

" There was little of disrespect in the tone that the man used in addressing either Xodar or myself. It was evident that he felt less contempt for the former Dator since he had witnessed the ease with which I disposed of the powerful Thurid. as I have said."I am a citizen of two worlds. and tell her. With naked hands. "my orders are imperative." said the officer who was guarding me back to Shador. Take this man to your goddess. that as I have done to Xodar and Thurid. Jeddak of Helium. I challenge the flower of her fighting-men to combat. with long-sword or with short-sword. there is to be no delay. Captain John Carter of Virginia. Xodar. Prince of the House of Tardos Mors. come you also. 781/2610 . so also can I do to the mightiest of her Dators. too." "Come.

We dropped down the awful shaft in the same car that had brought us to the surface. The return to the Sea of Omean was uneventful. Here we found a small stone prison and a guard 782/2610 . taking the long dive to the tunnel far beneath the upper world. There we entered the submarine. a drawn short-sword in his hand. From the island of the submarine we were transported on a small cruiser to the distant Isle of Shador. Then through the tunnel and up again to the pool from which we had had our first introduction to the wonderful passageway from Omean to the Temple of Issus.That his respect for me was greater than it should have been for a slave was quite apparent from the fact that during the balance of the return journey he walked or stood always behind me.

and of his beautiful companion. what hope had I of the succour which I knew they would gladly extend if it lay in their power. we walked in. the lock grated. Thuvia. Even should they by some miracle have escaped and been received and spared by a friendly nation. . I fell to wondering about the fate of the great Thark. and with the sound there swept over me again that terrible feeling of hopelessness that I had felt in the Chamber of Mystery in the Golden Cliffs beneath the gardens of the Holy Therns. One of the blacks opened the door of the prison with a huge key. the door closed behind us. 783/2610 Then Tars Tarkas had been with me. the girl. There was no ceremony wasted in completing our incarceration. but now I was utterly alone in so far as friendly companionship was concerned.of half a dozen blacks.

I would make the best of it. and. Nor would it have advantaged me any had they known the exact location of my prison. . rising. upon a low stone bench near the centre of the room in which we were. He had not spoken since Issus had degraded him. With the idea of exploring my prison. The building was roofless. the walls rising to a height of about thirty feet. Xodar sat. I started to look around. with bowed head. for none on all Barsoom even dream of such a place as this. I swept aside the brooding despair that had been endeavouring to claim me. 784/2610 Well.They could not guess my whereabouts or my fate. for who could hope to penetrate to this buried sea in the face of the mighty navy of the First Born? No: my case was hopeless.

beautiful in the extreme. Thus I continued through several of the chambers until in the last one I found a young red Martian boy sleeping upon the stone bench which constituted the only furniture of any of the prison cells. I entered one of these rooms. As he slept I leaned over and looked at him. but two doors which led to other rooms were opened. like the proportions of his graceful limbs and body. Evidently he was the only other prisoner. The prison was divided into several rooms by partitions twenty feet high. There was something strangely familiar about his face. His features were very regular and. heavily barred windows. He was 785/2610 . There was no one in the room which we occupied. and yet I could not place him.Half-way up were a couple of small. but found it vacant.

"it will profit you nothing to mope thus.very light in colour for a red man." I cried. I did not awaken him. Returning to my own cell. 786/2610 "Man. You have seen that in the ease with which I accounted for Thurid." he said. I found Xodar still sitting in the same position in which I had left him. . but in other respects he seemed a typical specimen of this handsome race." "I would that you had dispatched me at the same time. You knew it before when on the cruiser's deck you saw me slay three of your comrades. for sleep in prison is such a priceless boon that I have seen men transformed into raging brutes when robbed by one of their fellow-prisoners of a few precious moments of it. It were no disgrace to be bested by John Carter.

"There is hope yet. Xodar?" I asked. She hears now the words you speak. It is sacrilege even to dream of breaking her commands. "The curse of Issus will fall upon you. "In another instant you will be smitten down. ." "Rot." I ejaculated impatiently." he replied. Xodar. Why not win to freedom?" He looked at me in amazement. come!" I cried. writhing to your death in horrible agony. 787/2610 "You know not of what you speak. She knows the thoughts you think." "Do you believe that. Issus is omniscient." he cried. Neither of us is dead. He sprang to his feet in horror."Come. "Issus is omnipotent. We are great fighters.

I deny. who would dare doubt?" 788/2610 "I doubt.'" ."Of course. since upon all Barsoom is none who can read what passes in the secret chambers of my brain. yes. Xodar. the other I never had to learn. unless you will it. And another wonderful power. I am afraid that her pride would have suffered a rather severe shock when I turned at her command to 'gaze upon the holy vision of her radiant face. "Your goddess cannot read my thoughts. The red men have all had that power for ages. Had she been able to read mine." I said. "Why. nor can she read yours when you are out of sight. I learned the first secret years ago. you tell me that she even knows my thoughts. and further. They can shut their minds so that none may read their thoughts.

glaring up at me in impotent rage. so low that I could scarcely hear him. There he hung helpless for a moment. nor was it necessary. swinging my right arm about his left shoulder. "I mean that I thought her the most repulsive and vilely hideous creature my eyes ever had rested upon. I did not wish to strike him again." 789/2610 For a moment he eyed me in horrorstricken amazement."What do you mean?" he whispered in an affrighted voice. and. since he was unarmed and therefore quite harmless to me. and then with a cry of "Blasphemer" he sprang upon me. . As he came I grasped his left wrist with my left hand. caught him beneath the chin with my elbow and bore him backward across my thigh.

"I will say a few more words. nor is she rescuing her faithful Xodar from the clutches of the unbeliever who defamed her fair beauty. Once out of her clutches and she cannot harm you. with no intent to wound your feelings further. "let us be friends. Xodar."Xodar. Xodar. No. 790/2610 . we may be forced to live together in the narrow confines of this tiny room." I said. possibly. your Issus is a mortal old woman. but I could not dream that one who had suffered from the cruel injustice of Issus still could believe her divine. has not struck me dead. I am sorry to have offended you. "Issus. you see. For a year. but rather that you may give thought to the fact that while we live we are still more the arbiters of our own fate than is any god.

looking up. 791/2610 . Instead. and my knowledge of the outer world. and. would not our memories be fairer than as though we remained in servile fear to be butchered by a cruel and unjust tyrant--call her goddess or mortal. nor did he speak. two such fighting-men as you and I should be able to win our way to freedom. he walked toward the bench." As I finished I raised Xodar to his feet and released him. as you will. and. sinking down upon it."With your knowledge of this strange land. A long time afterward I heard a soft sound at the doorway leading to one of the other apartments. remained lost in deep thought for hours. beheld the red Martian youth gazing intently at us. He did not renew the attack upon me. Even though we died in the attempt.

I looked upon the radiant beauty of Issus nearly a year since." . He too smiled. Goddess of Death. "I also." I cried. "Kaor. a brave and winning smile." he said. That they should call such a one Goddess of Life Eternal. "What do you here?" 792/2610 "I await my death. It has always been a source of keen wonder to me that I did not drop dead at the first sight of that hideous countenance. "Mine will come soon. and fifty other equally impossible titles." I replied with a wry smile. Mother of the Nearer Moon. And her belly! By my first ancestor." he replied. I presume. after the red Martian manner of greeting. is quite beyond me."Kaor. but never was there so grotesque a figure in all the universe.

793/2610 "It is very simple. "I had reached the area of eternal ice when my port propeller jammed."How came you here?" I asked. I must have inherited from my father a wild lust for adventure. Before I knew it the air was black with fliers. and I dropped to the ground to make repairs. but before I went down beneath them they had tasted of the steel of my . "With drawn swords they made for me. as well as a hollow where my bump of reverence should be. and a hundred of these First Born devils were leaping to the ground all about me. I was flying a oneman air scout far to the south when the brilliant idea occurred to me that I should like to search for the Lost Sea of Korus which tradition places near to the south pole.

My only sorrow now is that my mother must mourn me as she has for ten long years mourned my father. He was about to reply when the outer door of our prison opened and a burly guard entered and ordered him to his own quarters for the night. I have been very happy. and I had given such an account of myself as I know would have pleased my sire had he lived to witness it. 794/2610 "He died before the shell broke to let me step out into a world that has been very good to me." "Your father is dead?" I asked. But for the sorrow that I had never the honour to know my father. .father's sword." "Who was your father?" I asked. locking the door after him as he passed through into the further chamber.

"This cowardly slave of a slave is to serve you well. "you have heard the commands of Issus. Xodar. Xodar still sat with his face buried in his hands." I said. You are a brave man. you are to beat him into submission. It is Issus' wish that you heap upon him every indignity and degradation of which you can conceive." With these words he left us." said the guard when he had returned to our cell." he said to me. It is your own affair if you wish to be persecuted and humiliated. but . indicating Xodar with a wave of his hand. but you need not fear that I shall attempt to put them into execution. 795/2610 "Xodar. "If he does not. I walked to his side and placed my hand upon his shoulder."It is Issus' wish that you two be confined in the same room.

" he said.were I you I should assert my manhood and defy my enemies. "The whole fabric of our religion is based on superstitious belief in lies that have . "I believe now that she is a fraud. nor the Holy Therns more holy than the red men. Little by little I have been piecing together the things that you said which sounded blasphemous to me then with the things that I have seen in my past life and dared not even think about for fear of bringing down upon me the wrath of Issus. John Carter. "of all the new ideas you gave me a few hours since." 796/2610 "I have been thinking very hard. More I am willing to concede--that the First Born are no holier than the Holy Therns. no more divine than you or I.

" "But we cannot escape even from the four walls of our prison." he cried." urged Xodar. but what will it avail us? Be the First Born gods or mortals. "nor while life is in me shall I despair of escaping from the Isle of Shador and the Sea of Omean. "I am ready to cast off the ties that have bound me. to whose personal profit and aggrandizement it was to have us continue to believe as they wished us to believe. I am ready to defy Issus herself. 797/2610 . and we are as fast in their clutches as though we were already dead." I replied. they are a powerful race. my friend. "Test this flint-like surface." "I have escaped from bad plights in the past. There is no escape.been foisted upon us for ages by those directly above us.

Xodar. and only a dozing watch nods in the tops of the battleships. The watchers upon the ." I smiled." "Night time is the best and offers the only slender chance we have. No watch is kept upon the cruisers and smaller craft. "And look upon this polished surface. 798/2610 "That is the least of our troubles." I replied. none could cling to it to reach the top.smiting the solid rock that confined us. for then men sleep. "I will guarantee to scale the wall and take you with me. if you will help with your knowledge of the customs here to appoint the best time for the attempt. and guide me to the shaft that lets from the dome of this abysmal sea to the light of God's pure air above.

"At the appointed hour of night upon the world above. but the light is ever the same. ever rolling over a windless sea. "it is not dark! How can it be night." I exclaimed. just as the billows are always as you see them--rolling. "You forget. it is always thus upon Omean." he said." "But. The light of the sun never penetrates here. The phosphorescent light you now see pervading this great subterranean vault emanates from the rocks that form its dome. It is night now. There are no moons and no stars reflected in the bosom of Omean." 799/2610 . "that we are far below ground.larger vessels see to all about them. the men whose duties hold them here sleep. then?" He smiled.

for what. is the pleasure of doing an easy thing? "Let us sleep on it to-night. First I had him sketch upon the ." said Xodar. 800/2610 CHAPTER XI WHEN HELL BROKE LOOSE Early the next morning Xodar and I commenced work upon our plans for escape. and then I shrugged my shoulders. "A plan may come with our awakening." So we threw ourselves upon the hard stone floor of our prison and slept the sleep of tired men. pray." I said."It will make escape more difficult.

stone floor of our cell as accurate a map of the south polar regions as was possible with the crude instruments at our disposal--a buckle from my harness. These I studied until they were indelibly imprinted in my memory. It seemed that during the hours set aside for sleep only one man was on duty at a time. From Xodar I learned the duties and customs of the guards who patrolled Shador. and the sharp edge of the wondrous gem I had taken from Sator Throg. He . 801/2610 From this I computed the general direction of Helium and the distance at which it lay from the opening which led to Omean. indicating plainly the position of Shador and of the opening in the dome which led to the outer world. Then I had him draw a map of Omean.

The pace of the sentries. at a distance of about a hundred feet from the building. "will be all very valuable AFTER we get out. requiring nearly ten minutes to make a single round. 802/2610 "This information you ask. ." said Xodar." I replied.paced a beat that passed around the prison. Xodar said. This meant that for practically five minutes at a time each side of the prison was unguarded as the sentry pursued his snail like pace upon the opposite side." "We will get out all right. laughing." "When shall we make the attempt?" he asked. "Leave that to me. was very slow. but nothing that you have asked has any bearing on that first and most important consideration.

" I replied. "To-night." I thought. 803/2610 . when. Several small craft and two large battleships lay within a hundred yards of Shador. and was just about to voice my decision to Xodar. and took a quick survey of the scene without."The first night that finds a small craft moored near the shore of Shador. "But how will you know that any craft is moored near Shador? The windows are far beyond our reach. look!" With a bound I sprang to the bars of the window opposite us." "Not so. the door of our prison opened and a guard stepped in. friend Xodar. without warning.

804/2610 There was my only chance to escape detection. nor could I have dropped to the floor undetected. The man had entered and was standing facing the centre of the room.If the fellow saw me there our chances of escape might quickly go glimmering. I was lost. Five feet above me was the top of a partition wall separating our cell from the next. since he was no nearly below me that I would have struck him had I done so. "Where is the white man?" cried the guard of Xodar. for I knew that they would put me in irons if they had the slightest conception of the wonderful agility which my earthly muscles gave me upon Mars. If the fellow turned. so that his back was toward me. "Issus commands his .

"I know not. "He was here even as you entered. Then I dropped lightly to the floor of the cell beyond. "What was that?" I heard the deep voice of the black bellow as my metal grated against the stone wall as I slipped over. I scrambled up the iron grating of the window until I could catch a good footing on the sill with one foot. I am not his keeper--go find him. "Where is the white slave?" again cried the guard. then I let go my hold and sprang for the partition top." He started to turn to see if I were in another part of the cell.presence. and then I heard 805/2610 ." replied Xodar." The black grumbled something that I could not understand.

Certain it is that I cannot bounce over them as you do." We heard the guard moving about from cell to cell. When his eyes fell upon me they fairly bulged from his head. Then I sprang once more to the top of the partition and dropped into my own cell beside the astonished Xodar. he again entered ours. I caught the sound as the door closed behind him. and finally. Listening intently. 806/2610 "Do you see now how we will escape?" I asked him in a whisper. his rounds completed. "Where have you been?" . "I see how you may.him unlocking the door into one of the other cells on the further side." he replied. "but I am no wiser than before as to how I am to pass these walls. "By the shell of my first ancestor!" he roared.

You had better look to your eyesight. The journey I had taken to the Temple of Issus on the preceding day was repeated. leaving Xodar behind. "I was in this room when you entered. and with them the red Martian youth who occupied another cell upon Shador. "Issus commands your presence. 807/2610 . There we found several other guards. "Come. The guards kept the red boy and myself separated."I have been in prison since you put me here yesterday. so that we had no opportunity to continue the conversation that had been interrupted the previous night." he said." I answered." He conducted me outside the prison." He glared at me in mingled rage and relief.

The way wound through enchanted parks to a mighty wall that towered a hundred feet in air. I could have sworn that I knew him. his manner of speaking. Massive gates gave egress upon a small plain. There was something strangely familiar in every line of him. surrounded by the same gorgeous forests that I had seen at the foot of the Golden Cliffs. Where had I seen him before. Crowds of blacks were strolling in the same direction that our guards were leading us. and with them mingled my . in his carriage.The youth's face had haunted me. and yet I knew too that I had never seen him before. 808/2610 When we reached the gardens of Issus we were led away from the temple instead of toward it. his gestures.

a great amphitheatre situated at the further edge of the plain. Through a massive arched gateway the blacks poured in to take their seats. If they were in the way the blacks pushed them roughly to one side. and the animals slunk away as in great fear. while our guards led us to a smaller entrance near one end of the structure. or whacked them with the flat of a sword. 809/2610 The brutal beasts moved among the crowd as pet dogs might. Through this we passed into an enclosure beneath the seats.old friends the plant men and great white apes. Some of them were . and about half a mile beyond the garden walls. Presently we came upon our destination. where we found a number of other prisoners herded together under guard.

or is it something worse than that?" "It is sus. 810/2610 During the trip from Shador I had had no opportunity to talk with my fellowprisoner." wash blood a part of the monthly rites of Ishe replied. with the result that I found myself able to approach the red Martian youth for whom I felt such a strange attraction. "in which black men the sins from their souls in the of men from the outer world. If. but now that we were safely within the barred paddock our guards abated their irons. but for the most part they seemed sufficiently awed by the presence of their guards to preclude any possibility of attempted escape. . "Are we to fight for the edification of the First Born. "What is the object of this assembly?" I asked him.

or singly we may be sent forth to face wild beasts." I asked." "And if we are victorious. or some famous black warrior. If he lives through the contest he is held acquitted of the charge that forced the sentence of the rites. None who enters the domains of the First Born ever leave. upon him. If we are not mighty . "what then--freedom?" He laughed. The only freedom for us death. If we prove able fighters we are permitted to fight often. as it is called. forsooth. or twice the number of blacks. A number of us may be pitted together against an equal number. it is evidence of his disloyalty to Issus--the unpardonable sin. the black is killed.perchance. 811/2610 "The forms of combat vary. "Freedom.

My mother would be very proud could she only know how well I have maintained the traditions of my father's prowess. "I have known most of the warriors of Barsoom in my time. 812/2610 "Very often. Some hundred black devils have I accounted for during nearly a year of the rites of Issus." "Your father must have been a mighty warrior!" I said. doubtless I knew him. Who was he?" "My father was--" "Come. "To the slaughter with you. calots!" cried the rough voice of a guard. "It is my only pleasure.fighters--" He shrugged his shoulders." and roughly we were hustled to the ." "And you have fought often?" I asked." he replied. "Sooner or later we die in the arena.

which formed the low wall surrounding the pit. Just beneath the lowest tier of seats was a series of barred cages on a level with the surface of the arena. 813/2610 The amphitheatre. Directly opposite my cage was the throne of Issus. surrounded by a hundred slave maidens sparkling in jewelled trappings. unfortunately. was built in a large excavation. Only the highest seats. But.steep incline that led to the chambers far below which let out upon the arena. Here the horrid creature squatted. were above the level of the ground. Brilliant cloths of many hues . Into these we were herded. like all I had ever seen upon Barsoom. The arena itself was far below the surface. my youthful friend was not of those who occupied a cage with me.

elbow to elbow. 814/2610 On four sides of the throne and several feet below it stood three solid ranks of heavily armed soldiery.and strange patterns formed the soft cushion covering of the dais upon which they reclined about her. On both sides of the throne stretched a solid mass of humanity from top to bottom of the amphitheatre. upon their foreheads the insignia of their rank set in circles of gold. In front of these were the high dignitaries of this mock heaven--gleaming blacks bedecked with precious stones. There were as many women as men. and each was clothed in the wondrously wrought harness of his station and his house. drawn from the domains of the therns and from the outer world. With each black was from one to three slaves." There is no . The blacks are all "noble.

The women do nothing. 815/2610 The First Born do no work. There were ten of them-splendid beauties from the proud courts of mighty Jeddaks and from the temples . who have slaves that talk for them.peasantry among the First Born. There are some. and has his slaves to wait upon him. even. The first event of the day was the Tribute to Issus. slaves dress them. and I saw one who sat during the rites with closed eyes while a slave narrated to her the events that were transpiring within the arena. slaves feed them. The men fight--that is a sacred privilege and duty. It marked the end of those poor unfortunates who had looked upon the divine glory of the goddess a full year before. Even the lowest soldier is a god. absolutely nothing. to fight and die for Issus. Slaves wash them.

tomorrow they would grace the tables of the court functionaries. Carefully he inspected them. grasped the girl by the wrist. Presently he selected one of their number whom he led before the throne of Issus. and dragged her from the arena through a small doorway below the throne. He addressed some words to the goddess which I could not hear. . The black raised his hands above his head in token of salute. Issus nodded her head. felt of their limbs and poked them in the ribs.of the Holy Therns." said a prisoner beside me. 816/2610 "Issus will dine well to-night. to-day they were to pay the price of this divine preferment with their lives. A huge black entered the arena with the young women. For a year they had served in the retinue of Issus.

The girls shrank in a frightened group in the centre of the enclosure. One was on her knees with imploring hands outstretched toward Issus. Didst not note how carefully he selected the plumpest and tenderest of the lot?" I growled out my curses on the monster sitting opposite us on the gorgeous throne." I turned again in time to see the gate of a nearby cage thrown open and three monstrous white apes spring into the arena. but ." admonished my companion. "Fume not. 817/2610 "That was her dinner that old Thabis is taking to the kitchens. "you will see far worse than that if you live even a month among the First Born."What do you mean?" I asked.

A wave of mad fury surged over me. At length the apes spied the huddled knot of terror-stricken maidens and with demoniacal shrieks of bestial frenzy. charged upon them. to keep those poor victims from rushing into the arena which the edict of the gods had appointed as their death place! . The bloodred haze that presaged death to my foes swam before my eyes. 818/2610 The guard lolled before the unbarred gate of the cage which confined me. What need of bars.the hideous deity only leaned further forward in keener anticipation of the entertainment to come. indeed. The cruel cowardliness of the powerdrunk creature whose malignant mind conceived such frightful forms of torture stirred to their uttermost depths my resentment and my manhood.

and as I stood facing them a sullen roar from the audience answered the wild cheers from the cages. I sprang into the arena. For an instant silence reigned in the great amphitheatre. at the feet of the fainting girls. headless. but a couple of mighty bounds were all my earthly muscles required to carry me to the centre of the sand-strewn floor.A single blow sent the black unconscious to the ground. My long-sword circled whirring through the air. The apes were almost upon the maidens. then a wild shout arose from the cages of the doomed. Then a figure broke from one of the 819/2610 . Snatching up his longsword. The other apes turned now upon me. and a great ape sprawled. From the tail of my eye I saw a score of guards rushing across the glistening sand toward me.

From every cage that harboured red men a thunderous shout went up in answer to his exhortation. and at the back of this unknown warrior turn this day's Tribute to Issus into an orgy of revenge that will echo through the ages and cause black skins to blanch at each repetition of the rites of Issus. The inner guards went down beneath howling . he turned and bounded toward me. He paused a moment before the cages. men of the outer world!" he shouted. It was the youth whose personality so fascinated me." Without waiting to note the outcome of his plea.cages behind them. 820/2610 "Come. Come! The racks without your cages are filled with blades. "Let us make our deaths worth while. with upraised sword.

The great apes. and as it was in their service that I fought.mobs. I remained standing there to meet my inevitable death. towering in all their fifteen feet of height. had gone down before my sword while the charging guards were still some distance away. 821/2610 The racks that stood without were stripped of the swords with which the prisoners were to have been armed to enter their allotted combats. but with the determination to give such an account of myself as would long be remembered in the land of the First Born. and the cages vomited forth their inmates hot with the lust to kill. Close behind them pursued the youth. and a swarm of determined warriors sped to our support. . At my back were the young girls.

His leaps and bounds were little short of those which my earthly muscles had produced to create such awe and respect on the part of the green Martians into whose hands I had fallen on that long-gone day that had seen my first advent upon Mars.I noted the marvellous speed of the young red man as he raced after the guards. Never had I seen such speed in any Martian. 822/2610 In the rapid fighting that followed I had little chance to note aught else than the movements of my immediate adversaries. and as they turned. The guards had not reached me when he fell upon them from the rear. I rushed them from my side. but now and again I caught a fleeting glimpse of a purring sword and a . thinking from the fierceness of his onslaught that a dozen were attacking them.

823/2610 On the handsome face of the boy a grim smile played. and ever and anon he threw a taunting challenge to the foes that faced him.lightly springing figure of sinewy steel that filled my heart with a strange yearning and a mighty but unaccountable pride. now stepping quickly in to let my sword's point . For my part. I was fighting as I had fought a thousand times before--now sidestepping a wicked thrust. while the awful havoc that his sword played amongst the blacks filled my soul with a tremendous respect for him. Perhaps it was this vague likeness which made me love the boy. In this and other ways his manner of fighting was similar to that which had always marked me on the field of combat.

Slowly and by repeated commands I had succeeded in drawing the prisoners into a rough formation about us. while from every side the armed prisoners swarmed upon them. we two. On they came with fierce cries. We were having a merry time of it.drink deep in a foeman's heart. and ever the sword of the young red man flashed beside me. so that at last we fought formed into a rude circle 824/2610 . blood-streaked demons. For half an hour it was as though all hell had broken loose. In the walled confines of the arena we fought in an inextricable mass--howling. cursing. before it buried itself in the throat of his companion. when a great body of Issus' own guards were ordered into the arena.

but by far the greater havoc had been wrought in the ranks of the guards of Issus. They were going to annihilate us by force of numbers--that was quite evidently their plan. 825/2610 Many had gone down on both sides. I caught a glimpse of Issus leaning far forward upon her throne. I could see messengers running swiftly through the audience. in which I thought I could distinguish an expression of fear. It was that face that inspired me to the thing that followed. and as they passed the nobles there unsheathed their swords and sprang into the arena. . her hideous countenance distorted in a horrid grimace of hate and the centre of which were the doomed maids.

we will reap where vengeance is The youth at my side was the first to take up the cry of "Down with Issus!" and then at my back and from all sides rose a hoarse shout.Quickly I ordered fifty of the prisoners to drop back behind us and form a new circle about the maidens." I commanded. an irresistible fighting mass. turning outer line. I Follow me to vengeance deserved. "To the throne! To the throne!" As one man we moved. "Down with Issus! the throne." to those who formed the cried. 826/2610 "Remain and protect them until I return. Hordes of the doughtiest fighting-men of the First . Then. over the bodies of dead and dying foes toward the gorgeous throne of the Martian deity.

In another moment the entire amphitheatre was filled with the shrieks of the dying and the wounded. vaulting the low wall with dripping swords lusting for the crowded victims who awaited them. some of you!" I cried as we approached the arena's barrier wall.Born poured from the audience to check our progress. 827/2610 "To the seats. "Ten of us can take the throne." for I had seen that Issus' guards had for the most part entered the fray within the arena. On both sides of me the prisoners broke to left and right for the seats. We mowed them down before us as they had been paper men. . mingled with the clash of arms and triumphant shouts of the victors.

snatched swords from the hands of the fallen and fell upon the guards of Issus. proud daughters no doubt of some of Barsoom's noblest warriors.Side by side the young red man and I. 828/2610 The frightened slaves about her trembled in wide-eyed expectancy. reinforced by the high dignitaries and nobles of the First Born. now screaming highpitched commands to her following. with perhaps a dozen others. fought our way to the foot of the throne. The remaining guards. closed in between us and Issus. who sat leaning far forward upon her carved sorapus bench. Several among them. . but they were soon cut down. glorious martyrs to a hopeless cause. knowing not whether to pray for our victory or our defeat. now hurling blighting curses upon those who sought to desecrate her godhood.

but never since Tars Tarkas and I fought out that long. and of Life Eternal. 829/2610 Presently a cry went up from a section of the stands near by--"Rise slaves!" "Rise slaves!" it rose and fell until it swelled to a mighty volume of sound . Others swarmed in to fill the breach. had I seen two men fight to such good purpose and with such unconquerable ferocity as the young red man and I fought that day before the throne of Issus. foot by foot we won nearer and nearer to our goal. hot afternoon shoulder to shoulder against the hordes of Warhoon in the dead sea bottom before Thark.The men with us fought well. Man by man those who stood between us and the carven sorapus wood bench went down before our blades. but inch by inch. Goddess of Death.

A dagger snatched from the harness of her mistress was waved aloft by some fair slave.that swept in great billows around the entire amphitheatre. 830/2610 For an instant. In all parts of the structure the female slaves were falling upon their masters with whatever weapon came first to hand. we ceased our fighting to look for the meaning of this new note nor did it take but a moment to translate its significance. as though by common assent. heavy ornaments which could be turned into bludgeons--such were the implements with which these fair women wreaked the long-pent vengeance which at best could but partially recompense them for the unspeakable cruelties and indignities which their black masters had heaped . its shimmering blade crimson with the lifeblood of its owner. swords plucked from the bodies of the dead about them.

upon them. 831/2610 It was at once a sight to make one shudder and to cheer. Her face was blue with terror. The others all had fallen. The youth sprang to my . She seemed too paralysed with fear to move. Foam flecked her lips. and I was like to have gone down too from a nasty long-sword cut had not a hand reached out from behind my adversary and clutched his elbow as the blade was falling upon me. And those who could find no other weapons used their strong fingers and their gleaming teeth. Only the youth and I fought now. but in a brief second we were engaged once more in our own battle with only the unquenchable battle cry of the women to remind us that they still fought--"Rise slaves!" "Rise slaves!" Only a single thin rank of men now stood between us and Issus.

and they and the slave women are fast being cut down. my Prince!" she cried. All within the arena are dead. 832/2610 I should have died even then but for that as my sword was tight wedged in the breastbone of a Dator of the First Born. Only among the seats are there left any of your fighting-men. Listen! You can scarce hear the battlecry of the women now for nearly all are .side and ran his sword through the fellow before he could recover to deliver another blow. daughter of Matai Shang. "It is useless to fight them longer. "Fly. As the fellow went down I snatched his sword from him and over his prostrate body looked into the eyes of the one whose quick hand had saved me from the first cut of his sword--it was Phaidor. All who charged the throne are dead but you and this youth.

For each one of you there are ten thousand blacks within the domains of the First Born. There tell your story to Matai Shang. and together the boy and I took up the fight once more.dead. He will keep you. "Down with Issus!" I shouted. With your mighty sword arm you may yet win to the Golden Cliffs and the templed gardens of the Holy Therns." But that was not my mission. As my sword went up to end her horrid career her 833/2610 . Two blacks went down with our swords in their vitals. my father. and we stood face to face with Issus. Fly while there is yet a bare chance for flight. Break for the open and the sea of Korus. and together you may find a way to rescue me. nor could I see much to be preferred in the cruel hospitality of the Holy Therns to that of the First Born.

834/2610 . but I caught him in my left arm and turned to face an infuriated mob of religious fanatics crazed by the affront I had put upon their goddess. Her scattered guard rallied at her cry and rushed for us. A blow fell upon the head of the youth. Directly behind her a black gulf suddenly yawned in the flooring of the dais. and with an ear-piercing shriek she turned to flee. He staggered and would have fallen. just as Issus disappeared into the black depths beneath me.paralysis left her. She sprang for the opening with the youth and I close at her heels.

For a second I toppled there upon the brink. As I rose to my feet the first thing I saw was the malignant countenance of Issus . We struck a polished chute. I had backed into the pit which had received Issus. My foot felt for the floor but found only empty space. and we shot down. into a dimly lighted apartment far below the arena. unharmed. but the first rush of them forced me back a step or two. the opening above us closed as magically as it had opened.CHAPTER XII DOOMED TO DIE 835/2610 For an instant I stood there before they fell upon me. Then I too with the boy still tightly clutched in my arms pitched backward into the black abyss.

" That was all. . "Pleasant old lady.glaring at me through the heavy bars of a grated door at one side of the chamber. 836/2610 "Rash mortal!" she shrilled. until crazed by loneliness and hunger you feed upon the crawling maggots that were once a man. and the dim light which had filled the cell faded into Cimmerian blackness." said a voice at my side. "Who speaks?" I asked. "You shall pay the awful penalty for your blasphemy in this secret cell. In another instant she was gone. Here you shall lie alone and in darkness with the carcass of your accomplice festering in its rottenness by your side.

your companion. "I feared for that nasty cut upon your head." he replied." 837/2610 "I thank God that you are not dead."'Tis I." ." I replied. who has had the honour this day of fighting shoulder to shoulder with the greatest warrior that ever wore metal upon Barsoom." "Maybe it were as well had it been final. "A mere scratch." "It but stunned me. "We seem to be in a pretty fix here with a splendid chance of dying of starvation and thirst." "Where are we?" "Beneath the arena." I said. "We tumbled down the shaft that swallowed Issus as she was almost at our mercy." I said.

and at that time we found below these an ancient system of corridors and chambers that had been sealed up for ages. and then reaching out through the inky blackness he sought my shoulder and pulled my ear close to his mouth. The blacks in charge of the work explored them.He laughed a low laugh of pleasure and relief. "Nothing could be better. taking several of us along to do whatever work there might be occasion for." "What do you mean?" 838/2610 "I laboured with the other slaves a year since in the remodelling of these subterranean galleries. I know the entire system perfectly. ." he whispered. "There are secrets within the secrets of Issus of which Issus herself does not dream.

"Xodar." I whispered."There are miles of corridors honeycombing the ground beneath the gardens and the temple itself. the black. 839/2610 "If we can reach the submarine undetected we may yet make the sea in which there are many islands where the blacks never go. is there. my friend. and who knows what may transpire to aid us to escape?" He had spoken all in a low whisper. and there is one passage that leads down to and connects with the lower regions that open on the water shaft that gives passage to Omean. evidently fearing spying ears even here. . and so I answered him in the same subdued tone. "Lead back to Shador. There we may live for a time.

" 840/2610 "No. "one cannot desert a friend. At length he summoned me by a low. So utterly dark was it that we could not . It were better to be recaptured ourselves than that.We were to attempt our escape together." Very quietly I lowered myself from the inky cell above into the inky pit below. "There is a drop here of about ten feet. so I cannot desert him. "S-s-t." and I crept toward the sound of his voice to find him kneeling on the brink of an opening in the floor." said the boy." he whispered." Then he commenced groping his way about the floor of the dark chamber searching for the trap that led to the corridors beneath. "Hang by your hands and you will alight safely on a level floor of soft sand.

The boy followed me. Never.see our hands at an inch from our noses. When the feet tread empty air and the distance below is shrouded in darkness there is a feeling akin to panic at the thought of releasing the hold and taking the plunge into unknown depths. 841/2610 For an instant I hung in mid air. Although the boy had told me that it was but ten feet to the floor below I experienced the same thrills as though I were hanging above a bottomless pit. There is a strange sensation connected with an experience of that nature which is quite difficult to describe. I think. . have I known such complete absence of light as existed in the pits of Issus. Then I released my hold and dropped-four feet to a soft cushion of sand.

leading me very slowly. with much feeling about and frequent halts to assure himself that he did not stray into wrong passageways." he said. Presently we commenced the descent of a very steep incline. While it was devoid of important incidents yet it was filled for me with a strange charm of excitement and adventure which I think I must have hinged principally on the unguessable antiquity of these long-forgotten ."Raise me to your shoulders. "before we shall have light." he said." Never shall I forget that trip through the pits of Issus. "It will not be long. At the lower levels we meet the same strata of phosphorescent rock that illuminates Omean." 842/2610 This done he took me by the hand. "and I will replace the trap.

843/2610 In addition to the green men there had been three principal races upon Barsoom. the mysteries and the cruelties which they had practised to make their last stand against the swarming hordes of the dead sea bottoms that had driven them step by step to the uttermost pinnacle of the world where they were now intrenched behind an impenetrable barrier of superstition.corridors. all other resources dwindled until life upon . As the waters of the planet dried and the seas receded. The things which the Stygian darkness hid from my objective eye could not have been half so wonderful as the pictures which my imagination wrought as it conjured to life again the ancient peoples of this dying world and set them once more to the labours. the whites. the intrigues. The blacks. and a race of yellow men.

but now that the receding seas necessitated constant abandonment of their fortified cities and forced upon them a more or less nomadic life in which they became separated into smaller communities they soon fell prey to the fierce hordes of green men.the planet became a constant battle for survival. the result of which is shown in the present splendid race of red men. The result was a partial amalgamation of the blacks. 844/2610 The various races had made war upon one another for ages. yet within the past four days I had found both whites and blacks . and the three higher types had easily bested the green savages of the water places of the world. whites and yellows. I had always supposed that all traces of the original races had disappeared from the face of Mars.

As we advanced the light increased until presently we emerged into well-lighted passageways. and looking up I beheld at a long distance before us a dim radiance. The craft lay at her moorings with uncovered hatch. the youth crept . "At last. From then on our progress was rapid until we came suddenly to the end of a corridor that let directly upon the ledge surrounding the pool of the great multitudes. Raising his finger to his lips and then tapping his sword in a significant manner. Could it be possible that in some far-off corner of the planet there still existed a remnant of the ancient race of yellow men? 845/2610 My reveries were broken in upon by a low exclamation from the boy. the lighted way." he cried.

Quickly we covered and secured the hatch. . I was close at his heels. Even here was no sign of life. A stealthy glance below revealed no guard in sight. and so with the quickness and the soundlessness of cats we dropped together into the main cabin of the submarine. touched a button and the boat sank amid swirling waters toward the bottom of the shaft. Even then there was no scurrying of feet as we had expected. and on hands and knees crawled toward the hatchway. 846/2610 Silently we dropped to the deserted deck. and while the boy remained to direct the boat I slid from cabin to cabin in futile search for some member of the crew. The craft was entirely deserted. Then the boy stepped into the pilot house.noiselessly toward the vessel.

"ZITHAD" . Haste. "This may explain the absence of the crew." he said. Too late to get aid from Omean. Issus is threatened.Such good fortune unbelievable. seemed almost 847/2610 When I returned to the pilot house to report the good news to my companion he handed me a paper. It was a radio-aerial message to the commander of the submarine: "The slaves have risen. Come with what men you have and those that you can gather on the way. They are massacring all within the amphitheatre.

"We gave them a bad scare--one that they will not soon forget. There were plenty of blacks on Omean to thwart us were we apprehended." explained the youth." "Let us hope that it is but the beginning of the end of Issus. We reached the submarine pool in Omean without incident. however many more might come from the temples and gardens of Issus would not in any decrease our chances. but finally decided that it would add nothing to our chances for escape. 848/2610 ." he replied. Here we debated the wisdom of sinking the craft before leaving her." I said. "Only our first ancestor knows."Zithad is Dator of the guards of Issus.

"Good." I found a dispatch blank in the cabin and wrote the following order: 849/2610 . At last I hit upon a plan. "What is the name or title of the officer in charge of these guards?" I asked the boy." he replied. "A fellow named Torith was on duty when we entered this morning.We were now in a quandary as to how to pass the guards who patrolled the island about the pool. And what is the name of the commander of the submarine?" "Yersted.

"Come. as I handed the forged order to the boy. smiling." "But our swords!" he exclaimed."Dator Torith: Return these two slaves at once to Shador. in the power of the First Born?" "It is the only way. we shall see now how well it works. "What shall we say to explain them?" "Since we cannot explain them we shall have to leave them behind us." I replied." I said." I answered. "Is it not the extreme of rashness to thus put ourselves again. "YERSTED" 850/2610 "That will be the simpler way to return. "You may trust me to find a way out of the . unarmed.

and strode to the main exit which led to the sentry's post and the office of the Dator of the guard. that we shall find no great difficulty in arming ourselves once more in a country which abounds so plentifully in armed men." he replied with a smile and shrug. and I think. leaving our swords behind us. Come. once out. I held out the message to one of them." 851/2610 "As you say. "I could not follow another leader who inspired greater confidence than you.prison of Shador. let us put your ruse to the test." Boldly we emerged from the hatchway of the craft. and with levelled rifles halted us. He took it and seeing to whom it was addressed turned . At sight of us the members of the guard sprang forward in surprise.

and handed it to Torith who was emerging from his office to learn the cause of the commotion. Torith took a half step toward the entrance to the pool as though to corroborate my story. for had he done so and found the empty submarine still lying at her wharf the whole weak fabric of my concoction would have tumbled about our heads. The black read the order. as I cursed myself for a stupid fool in not having sunk the submarine to make good the lie that I must tell. and my heart sank within me. For that instant everything hung in the balance. but . and for a moment eyed us with evident suspicion. 852/2610 "Where is Dator Yersted?" he asked. "His orders were to return immediately to the temple landing." I replied.

" He seemed satisfied with this reply. and in a few minutes were . We entered a small boat lying beside the island." he ordered. turning to one of his subordinates. "But it amounted to little.evidently he decided the message must be genuine. "Were you connected with the rising of the slaves?" asked Torith. "We have just had meagre reports of some such event. "Take them to Shador." I replied. nor indeed was there any good reason to doubt it since it would scarce have seemed credible to him that two slaves would voluntarily have given themselves into custody in any such manner as this. It was the very boldness of the plan which rendered it successful. The guards quickly overcame and killed the majority of us." 853/2610 "All were involved.

disembarking upon Shador. Here we were returned to our respective cells. 854/2610 CHAPTER XIII . I with Xodar. and behind locked doors we were again prisoners of the First Born. the boy by himself.

that one could threaten her with sword in hand and not be blasted into a thousand fragments by the mere fury of her divine wrath. "It is the final proof.A BREAK FOR LIBERTY Xodar listened in incredulous astonishment to my narration of the events which had transpired within the arena at the rites of Issus. wielding a mighty power for evil through machinations that have kept her own people and all Barsoom in religious ignorance for ages." ." he said. at last. "No more is needed to completely shatter the last remnant of my superstitious belief in the divinity of Issus. She is only a wicked old woman. even though he had already professed his doubt as to the deity of Issus. He could scarce conceive.

" he said." said Xodar. "How may I aid in the adventure?" "Can you swim?" I asked him. 856/2610 . "No slimy silian that haunts the depths of Korus is more at home in water than is Xodar."She is still all-powerful here. however." I replied. "So it behooves us to leave at the first moment that appears at all propitious. "It will soon be night." "I hope that you may find a propitious moment." I replied." he replied. with a laugh. "for it is certain that in all my life I have never seen one in which a prisoner of the First Born might escape." "To-night will do as well as any.

a river or a sea. but I fear that the red youth could not thus perform the trip. "since there is scarce enough water in all their domains to float the tiniest craft." I said. The red one in all probability cannot swim. I had hoped that we might make the entire distance below the surface. Even the bravest of the brave among them are terrorized at the mere thought of deep water." "It is well." "The red one is to accompany us?" asked Xodar. for it has been ages since their forebears saw a lake. "Yes."Good. One of us therefore will have to support him through the sea to the craft we select. Three swords are better than two. Especially when the third is as mighty as this fellow's. I have seen him 857/2610 .

It is very marked when you fight--there is the same grim smile. One might think you two master and pupil. the same maddening contempt for your adversary apparent in every movement of your bodies and in every changing expression of your faces. Xodar. he is a great fighter." .battle in the arena at the rites of Issus many times. or father and son. I think that we will make a trio difficult to overcome. were but one of us we could fight our way from one end of Barsoom to the other even though the whole world were pitted against us. Never." 858/2610 "Be that as it may. Come to recall his face there is a resemblance between you. and if my friend Tars Tarkas. Jeddak of Thark. until I saw you fight. had I seen one who seemed unconquerable even in the face of great odds.

The poor deluded fools think that they are receiving the revelations of a goddess through some supernatural agency. She works through the Holy Therns who are as ignorant of her real self as are the Barsoomians of the outer world. That is but one of the superstitions which Issus has foisted upon a credulous humanity. It was dug ages ago by the slaves of the First Born in such utter secrecy that no thern ever guessed its existence. Her decrees are borne to the therns written in blood upon a strange parchment. since they find these messages upon their guarded altars to which none could have access without detection. I myself have borne these messages for Issus for many years. "when they find from whence you have come." said Xodar. 859/2610 . There is a long tunnel from the temple of Issus to the principal temple of Matai Shang."It will be.

that they may copy what they cannot create. and take the newest in battleships and the trained artisans who build them. Occasionally the First Born themselves make raids upon the outer world."The therns for their part have temples dotted about the entire civilized world. . the Valley Dor. and the Lost Sea of Korus to persuade the poor deluded creatures to take the voluntary pilgrimage that swells the wealth of the Holy Therns and adds to the numbers of their slaves. Here priests whom the people never see communicate the doctrine of the Mysterious River Iss. 860/2610 "Thus the therns are used as the principal means for collecting the wealth and labour that the First Born wrest from them as they need it. It is then that they capture many females of the royal houses of the red men.

She has lived for countless ages. That is the work of the lower orders. who live merely that the First Born may enjoy long lives of luxury and idleness. ." 861/2610 "Would not the other Barsoomians live for ever but for the doctrine of the voluntary pilgrimage which drags them to the bosom of Iss at or before their thousandth year?" I asked him. Our females would live for ever but for the fact that we tire of them and remove them to make place for others. were it not for that there would be more of the First Born than all the creatures of Barsoom could support. With us fighting is all that counts. for in so far as I know none of us ever dies a natural death. priding ourselves upon our non-productiveness."We are a non-productive race. It is criminal for a First Born to labour or invent. Issus alone of all is protected against death.

" As he ceased speaking a weird call rang out across the waters of Omean. His duty was soon performed and the heavy door of our prison closed behind him--we were alone for the night."I feel now that there is no doubt but that they are precisely the same species of creature as the First Born. when the men of Omean spread their silks upon the deck of battleship and cruiser and fall into the dreamless sleep of Mars. 862/2610 . Our guard entered to inspect us for the last time before the new day broke upon the world above. and I hope that I shall live to fight for them in atonement of the sins I have committed against them through the ignorance born of generations of false teaching. I had heard it at the same time the previous evening and knew that it marked the ending of the day.

a quarter of a mile perhaps. lay a monster battleship. Upon the battleship alone was there a watch. The discipline on Omean was lax indeed. then I sprang to the grated window and surveyed the nearby waters. and as I watched I saw him spread his sleeping silks upon the tiny platform in which he was stationed. I could see him plainly in the upper works of the ship. or even of the First Born. But it is not to be wondered at since no enemy guessed the existence upon Barsoom of such a fleet. or the Sea of Omean. Why indeed should they maintain a watch? 863/2610 .I gave him time to return to his quarters. while between her and the shore were a number of smaller cruisers and one-man scouts. Soon he threw himself at full length upon his couch. At a little distance from the island. as Xodar said he probably would do.

And I knew then that the First Born had stolen it from the ships of Helium. that is the swiftest of the swift. And I knew too that Xodar spoke the truth when he lauded the speed of his . built to carry five men. describing the various craft I had seen." he said.Presently I dropped to the floor again and talked with Xodar. and all that went to make her the flier that she was. In his explanation I recognized a trick of gearing that Kantos Kan had taught me that time we sailed under false names in the navy of Zodanga beneath Sab Than. 864/2610 "There is one there." and then he went on to describe to me the equipment of the boat. "my personal property. for only they are thus geared. the Prince. her engines. If we can board her we can at least make a memorable run for liberty.

and when he spied me balancing upon the partition wall above him his eyes opened wide in astonishment. There I found a flat surface about a foot in width and along this I walked until I came to the cell in which I saw the boy sitting upon his bench.little craft. for nothing that cleaves the thin air of Mars can approximate the speed of the ships of Helium. We decided to wait for an hour at least until all the stragglers had sought their silks. In the meantime I was to fetch the red youth to our cell so that we would be in readiness to make our rash break for freedom together. 865/2610 I sprang to the top of our partition wall and pulled myself up on to it. Then a wide grin . He had been leaning back against the wall looking up at the glowing dome above Omean.

I will tell you why when we have more time." I lay upon my belly across the wall and reached my hand far down toward him. and coming close below me whispered: "Catch my hand. With a little run from the centre of the cell he sprang up until I grasped his outstretched hand. He smiled." . "You are the first jumper I ever saw among the red men of Barsoom. 866/2610 As I stooped to drop to the floor beside him he motioned me to wait. and thus I pulled him to the wall's top beside me." I said. I have tried it many times. I can almost leap to the top of that wall myself.of appreciative understanding spread across his countenance. and each day I come a little closer. Some day I should have been able to make it. "It is not strange.

descending to talk with him until the hour had passed. binding ourselves by a solemn oath to fight to the death for one another against whatsoever enemies should confront us. and that if we made the outer world in safety we should attempt to reach Helium without a stop. There we made our plans for the immediate future." I replied. "I am a prince of Helium. "Why Helium?" asked the red youth. 867/2610 It was agreed that I should navigate the craft after we had reached her.Together we returned to the cell in which Xodar sat. . for we knew that even should we succeed in escaping the First Born we might still have a whole world against us--the power of religious superstition is mighty.

He grasped the end and was soon sitting beside us. "The balance should be even simpler. "now is as good a time as any. but said nothing further on the subject. "How simple." I replied.He gave me a peculiar look. but in the press of other matters it soon left my mind. Then I raised myself to the top of the outer wall of the prison. Unbuckling my harness I snapped it together with a single long strap which I lowered to the waiting Xodar below. nor did I have occasion to think of it again until later." 868/2610 Another moment found me at the top of the partition wall again with the boy beside me. Let us go. I wondered at the time what the significance of his expression might be." he laughed. "Come." I said at length. just so .

directly past the guardhouse filled with sleeping soldiers. I watched him until he had made the turn at the end of the building which carried him out of sight of the side of the prison that was to witness our dash for freedom. The moment his form disappeared I grasped Xodar and drew him to the top of the wall. Placing one end of my harness strap in his hands I lowered him quickly to the ground below. . Then the boy grasped the strap and slid down to Xodar's side. 869/2610 In accordance with our arrangement they did not wait for me.that I could peer over and locate the passing sentry. a matter of a hundred yards. For a matter of five minutes I waited and then he came in sight on his slow and snail-like beat about the structure. but walked slowly toward the water.

I glanced toward Xodar and the youth and saw that they had slipped over the edge of the dock into the water. In accordance with our plan they were to remain there clinging to the metal rings which studded the concrete-like substance of the dock at the water's level.They had taken scarce a dozen steps when I too dropped to the ground and followed them leisurely toward the shore. until I should join them. 870/2610 The lure of the swords within the guardhouse was strong upon me. with only their mouths and noses above the surface of the sea. As I passed the guard-house the thought of all the good blades lying there gave me pause. for if ever men were to have need of swords it was my companions and I on the perilous trip upon which we were about to embark. and I .

Gently I pressed it open a crack. That he who hesitates is lost proved itself a true aphorism in this instance. I cursed myself for a fool to have thus jeopardized our chances for escape.hesitated a moment. A hinge gave out a resentful groan. Warily I pushed the door a trifle wider to admit my body. One of the men stirred. and my heart stood still. 871/2610 . At the far side of the room a rack held the swords and firearms of the men. enough to discover a dozen blacks stretched upon their silks in profound slumber. but there was nothing for it now but to see the adventure through. half inclined to risk the attempt to take the few we needed. for another moment saw me creeping stealthily toward the door of the guardhouse.

The scraping of the scabbard against its holder as I withdrew it . Then the fellow turned again upon his side and resumed the even respiration of deep slumber. Their regular breathing rose and fell in a soothing rhythm that seemed to me the sweetest music I ever had heard. For what seemed an eternity to my overwrought nerves I remained poised thus. 872/2610 Carefully I picked my way between and over the soldiers until I had gained the rack at the far side of the room.With a spring as swift and as noiseless as a tiger's I lit beside the guardsman who had moved. Here I turned to survey the sleeping men. My hands hovered about his throat awaiting the moment that his eyes should open. Gingerly I drew a long-sword from the rack. All were quiet.

and was on the point of forestalling their attack by a rapid charge for the doorway. I was about to leave the rack when my attention was attracted by the revolvers. I knew that it must awaken some of the men at least. As I took one . and I looked to see the room immediately filled with alarmed and attacking guardsmen. But none stirred. Either they were wondrous heavy sleepers or else the noises that I made were really much less than they seemed to me. 873/2610 The second sword I withdrew noiselessly.sounded like the filing of cast iron with a great rasp. to my intense surprise. for I was already too heavily laden to move quietly with any degree of safety or speed. not a black moved. I knew that I could not carry more than one away with me. but the third clanked in its scabbard with a frightful din. when again.

of them from its pin my eye fell for the first time on an open window beside the rack. Where I hit him I do not know. 874/2610 And as I congratulated myself. and there looking me full in the face stood the officer of the guard. I heard the door opposite me open. for it let directly upon the dock. for our revolvers came up simultaneously and the sounds of the two reports were as one as we touched the buttons on the grips that exploded the cartridges. and at the same instant I saw him crumple to the ground. He evidently took in the situation at a glance and appreciated the gravity of it as quickly as I. here was a splendid means of escape. Ah. I felt the wind of his bullet as it whizzed past my ear. for scarce had he started to collapse when I was through the window at my . nor if I killed him. not twenty feet from the water's edge.

its deep boom . The revolver I had dropped.rear. and I with the three long-swords. aroused by the shots. and the three of us were making for the little flier a hundred yards away. Then an alarm gun bellowed from a ship's bow. I was swimming entirely beneath the surface. In another second the waters of Omean closed above my head. In fact we reached the boat's side and were all aboard before the watch upon the battleship. but Xodar was compelled to rise often to let the youth breathe. 875/2610 Xodar was burdened with the boy. so that while we were both strong swimmers it seemed to me that we moved at a snail's pace through the water. detected us. so it was a wonder that we were not discovered long before we were.

for an alarm on Omean was a thing of rare occurrence. 876/2610 .reverberating in deafening tones beneath the rocky dome of Omean. "Rise high. I lay at full length along the deck with the levers and buttons of control before me." whispered Xodar. and another second saw us rising swiftly from the surface of the sea. The decks of a thousand monster craft teemed with fighting-men. Xodar and the boy were stretched directly behind me. We cast away before the sound of the first gun had died. Instantly the sleeping thousands were awake. prone also that we might offer as little resistance to the air as possible. "They dare not fire their heavy guns toward the dome--the fragments of the shells would drop back among their own craft.

Rifles cracked.If we are high enough our keel plates will protect us from rifle fire. and striking out for the small cruisers and one-man fliers that lay moored about the big ships. The larger craft were getting under way. "A little to your right. The pandemonium that had broken out below us was deafening. following us rapidly. men yelled directions to one another from the water and from the decks of myriad boats." 877/2610 I did as he bade." cried Xodar. . while through all ran the purr of countless propellers cutting water and air. officers shouted orders. for there are no points of compass upon Omean where every direction is due north. Below us we could see the men leaping into the water by hundreds. but not rising from the water.

but even so we were hitting a clip that I doubt has ever been equalled on the windless sea. The smaller fliers were commencing to rise toward us when Xodar shouted: "The shaft! The shaft! Dead ahead. It was rising at an angle of about fortyfive degrees dead ahead of us." and I saw the opening. black and yawning in the glowing dome of this underworld. 878/2610 A ten-man cruiser was rising directly in front to cut off our escape.I had not dared pull my speed lever to the highest for fear of overrunning the mouth of the shaft that passed from Omean's dome to the world above. but at the rate that it was traveling it would come between us and the shaft in plenty of time to thwart our plans. It was the only vessel that stood in our way. with the .

for that would have allowed her to force us against the rocky dome above. There was but one forlorn hope for us.evident intention of combing us with grappling hooks from above as it skimmed low over our deck. and precisely where she wanted us. As we neared the cruiser I rose as though to pass above her. On either side a hundred other menacing craft were hastening toward us. so that she would do just what she did do. and we were already too near that as it was. and I took it. To have attempted to dive below her would have put us entirely at her mercy. Then as we were almost upon her I 879/2610 . with but a slender chance of success. It was useless to try to pass over her. rise at a steeper angle to force me still higher. The alternative was filled with risk--in fact it was all risk.

and then with a shattering jolt we were in collision. What I had hoped for happened. already tilted at a perilous angle.yelled to my companions to hold tight. 880/2610 . but it was too late. Almost at the instant of impact I turned my bows upward. and throwing the little vessel into her highest speed I deflected her bows at the same instant until we were running horizontally and at terrific velocity straight for the cruiser's keel. Her commander may have seen my intentions then. The cruiser. Her crew fell twisting and screaming through the air to the water far below. her propellers still madly churning. while the cruiser. dived swiftly headforemost after them to the bottom of the Sea of Omean. was carried completely over backward by the impact of my smaller vessel.

where Xodar and I succeeded in grasping the hand-rail. our vessel careened wildly in its mad flight.The collision crushed our steel bows. It took but an instant. As it was we landed in a wildly clutching heap at the very extremity of the flier. however. 881/2610 Unguided. but the boy would have plunged overboard had I not fortunately grasped his ankle as he was already partially over. The collision had retarded our progress and now a hundred swift scouts were close upon us. rising ever nearer the rocks above. Xodar had told me that . for me to regain the levers. and notwithstanding every effort on our part came near to hurling us from the deck. and with the roof barely fifty feet above I turned her nose once more into the horizontal plane and headed her again for the black mouth of the shaft.

why then there is but a single alternative left. or around it. 882/2610 As many boats were now quite close to us it was inevitable that we would be quickly overhauled in the shaft. To me there always seems a way to gain the opposite side of an obstacle. or below it.ascending the shaft by virtue of our repulsive rays alone would give our enemies their best chance to overtake us. The swifter craft are seldom equipped with large buoyancy tanks. since our propellers would be idle and in rising we would be outclassed by many of our pursuers. since the added bulk of them tends to reduce a vessel's speed. If one cannot pass over it. and that is to pass through it. I could not get around the fact that many of these other boats could rise faster than ours by the fact of . and captured or killed in short order.

behind me. and clutching a stanchion with one hand and the steering-wheel with the other hung on like grim death and consigned my soul to its author. reverse. "Grasp the boy and hold tight--we are going straight up the shaft. dragged the speed lever to its last notch. 883/2610 . I threw the bow hard up. "For the love of your first ancestor. "Reverse?" screamed Xodar. We are at the shaft.their greater buoyancy." The words were scarce out of my mouth as we swept beneath the pitch-black opening." "Hold tight!" I screamed in reply. but I was none the less determined to reach the outer world far in advance of them or die a death of my own choosing in event of failure.

To have touched the side at the speed we were making would doubtless have resulted in instant death for us all. Then I glanced below me. At best it was but a slender cord that held . endeavouring to keep the circle of light below me ever perfect. The boy laughed too and said something which I could not catch for the whistling of the wind of our awful speed.I heard a little exclamation of surprise from Xodar. hoping to catch the gleam of stars by which I could direct our course and hold the hurtling thing that bore us true to the centre of the shaft. and there I saw a rapidly diminishing circle of light-the mouth of the opening above the phosphorescent radiance of Omean. followed by a grim laugh. But not a star showed above-only utter and impenetrable darkness. 884/2610 I looked above my head. By this I steered.

us from destruction. Black darkness enshrouded all about us. Omean lies perhaps two miles below the surface crust of Mars. for Martian fliers are swift. so that at most we were in the shaft not over forty seconds. There were neither moons nor stars. and for the moment I was nonplussed. and I think that I steered that night more by intuition and blind faith than by skill or reason. . Our speed must have approximated two hundred miles an hour. and possibly the very fact of our enormous speed saved us. for evidently we started in the right direction and so quickly were we out again that we had no time to alter our course. We were not long in the shaft. 885/2610 We must have been out of it for some seconds before I realised that we had accomplished the impossible. Never before had I seen such a thing upon Mars.

were shutting out the light of heaven from this portion of the planet. clouds. unknown upon the greater part of Barsoom. I dropped into a horizontal course and headed due north. We plunged through the cold damp fog without diminishing our speed. The ice cap was melting and those meteoric phenomena. nor did it take me long to grasp the opportunity for escape which this happy condition offered us. 886/2610 Fortunate indeed it was for us. Our enemies were a . Keeping the boat's nose at a stiff angle I raced her for the impenetrable curtain which Nature had hung above this dying world to shut us out from the sight of our pursuing enemies. It was summer at the south pole. and in a moment emerged into the glorious light of the two moons and the million stars.Then the explanation came to me.

"John Carter!" he cried. nevertheless. "John Carter! Why." At the sound of that name the boy jumped to his feet. John Carter. We had performed the miraculous and come through a thousand dangers unscathed-we had escaped from the land of the First Born. Prince of 887/2610 ." he replied.good half-hour behind us with no conception of our direction. "It is very wonderful. and now as I looked back upon it it did not seem to have been so difficult after all. I said as much to Xodar. "No one else could have accomplished it but John Carter. man. No other prisoners in all the ages of Barsoom had done this thing. over my shoulder.

. I am his son. Slowly I rose and faced the handsome youth. There was much of his mother's incomparable beauty in his clear-cut features. Now that I looked at him closely I commenced to see why his face and personality had attracted me so strongly.Helium. and his grey eyes and the expression of them were mine. has been dead for years." 888/2610 CHAPTER XIV THE EYES IN THE DARK My son! I could not believe my ears. but it was strongly masculine beauty.

and for a brief moment as I held my boy close to me the tears welled to my eyes and I was like to have choked after the manner of some maudlin fool--but I do not regret it. nor am I ashamed. "are as my mother has .The boy stood facing me. A long life has taught me that a man may seem weak where women and children are concerned and yet be anything but a weakling in the sterner avenues of life. "Tell me all you can of the years that I have been robbed by a relentless fate of her dear companionship." 889/2610 With a cry of pleasure he sprang toward me and threw his arms about my neck." I said. the terrible ferocity of your swordsmanship. "Your stature." said the boy. your manner. half hope and half uncertainty in his look. "Tell me of your mother.

Only. when she thinks I am not . my boy?" I asked. Tell me of her. however much I desired it to be true. my son. "Your first words to me--they were of my mother." 890/2610 "Those who have known her longest say that she has not changed." "For long years. I can scarce recall a moment that the radiant vision of your mother's face has not been ever before me.described them to me a thousand times-but even with such evidence I could scarce credit the truth of what seemed so improbable to me. None else but the man who loved her as she has told me my father did would have thought first of her. unless it be to grow more beautiful--were that possible. Do you know what thing it was that convinced me more than all the others?" "What.

so wistful." . and all Helium mourns with her and for her. her face grows very sad. oh. but there are tears mingled with the thanksgiving--tears of real regret that the author of the happiness is not with them to share the joy of living he died to give them. and fairly worship your memory as the saviour of Barsoom. Her grandfather's people love her. Upon all Barsoom there is no greater name than John Carter. They loved you also. and. 891/2610 "Each year that brings its anniversary of the day that saw you racing across a near dead world to unlock the secret of that awful portal behind which lay the mighty power of life for countless millions a great festival is held in your honour. my father. She thinks ever of you.about to see her.

so the name that she called me is the one that you desired."And by what name has your mother called you. my boy?" I asked. but my mother said no. a combination of hers and yours--Carthoris. The wound in her bow has opened one of her forward ray tanks. and that your wish must be honoured before all others. that you and she had chosen a name for me together." he said. 892/2610 "The people of Helium asked that I be named with my father's name. "So long as we were rising at a stiff angle it was not noticeable. John Carter." Xodar had been at the wheel as I talked with my son. "She is dropping badly by the head. but now that I am trying to keep a horizontal course it is different. and now he called me." .

Not only was the forced angle at which we were compelled to maintain the bow in order to keep a horizontal course greatly impeding our speed.It was true. 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. We had slightly reduced our speed with the dawning of a sense of security. 893/2610 . but at the rate that we were losing our repulsive rays from the forward tanks it was but a question of an hour or more when we would be floating stern up and helpless. but now I took the helm once more and pulled the noble little engine wide open. so that again we raced north at terrific velocity. and after I had examined the damage I found it a much graver matter than I had anticipated.

with here and there the grim and silent cities of the dead past. low surrounding hills. and by the great white apes of Barsoom.It was still dark when we passed the northern boundary of the ice cap and the area of clouds. Lower and lower sagged the bow until it became necessary to stop the engine to prevent our flight terminating in a swift dive to the ground. great piles of mighty architecture tenanted only by age-old memories of a once powerful race. turned half upon her side. and then with . Below us lay a typical Martian landscape. 894/2610 It was becoming more and more difficult to maintain our little vessel in a horizontal position. Rolling ochre sea bottom of long dead seas. As the sun rose and the light of a new day swept away the darkness of night our craft gave a final spasmodic plunge.

Directly north of us rose a rather lofty range of hills. 895/2610 To hand-rail and stanchion we clung. I was swinging quite close to the controlling devices. The boat responded to the touch. snapped the buckles of our harness to the rings at her sides.deck tilting at a sickening angle swung in a slow circle. toward which . and finally as we saw the end approaching. so I reached out to the lever that directed the rays of repulsion. her bow dropping further below her stern each moment. It was fully half an hour before we touched. In another moment the deck reared at an angle of ninety degrees and we hung in our leather with feet dangling a thousand yards above the ground. and very gently we began to sink toward the ground.

There we found numbers of huge milk-giving shrubs--that strange plant which serves in great part as food and drink for the wild hordes of green men. This was the beginning of my fifth day upon Barsoom since I had found myself . It was indeed a boon to us. amid the beautiful flowering plants that abound in the arid waste places of Barsoom. for we all were nearly famished.we decided to make our way. 896/2610 An hour later found us in the time-rounded gullies of the hills. Beneath a cluster of these which afforded perfect concealment from wandering air scouts. since they afforded greater opportunity for concealment from the pursuers we were confident might stumble in this direction. we lay down to sleep-for me the first time in many hours.

though once the clock around within the storehouse of the therns.suddenly translated from my cottage on the Hudson to Dor." The girl's voice awoke Xodar and Carthoris. "'Tis you whom I had mourned as dead. . With a start I opened my eyes to look into the beautiful face of Thuvia. It was mid-afternoon when I was awakened by some one seizing my hand and covering it with kisses. in an ecstasy of happiness. the valley beautiful. I have not lived in vain. 897/2610 "My Prince! My Prince!" she cried. the valley hideous. In all this time I had slept but twice. but she did not seem to realize the presence of another than I. The boy gazed upon the woman in surprise. My ancestors have been good to me.

but nothing can prevent me loving you. for ever as your slave. "you are overwrought by the danger and hardships you have passed through. I would not take the place of Dejah Thoris. You forget yourself." . my Prince. no greater happiness could I hope. My greatest ambition is to serve you. come." 898/2610 "I forget nothing. as you forget that I am the husband of the Princess of Helium. No greater boon could I ask. no greater honour could I crave. my Prince. "You have spoken no word of love to me. "Come. Thuvia." I said soothingly.She would have thrown her arms about my neck and smothered me with caresses." she replied. nor do I expect that you ever shall. had I not gently but firmly disengaged myself.

"And I ever return to Helium. I am no ladies' man. which your innocence has mistaken for 899/2610 . Forget your foolish gratitude-begotten infatuation. Thuvia. and I must admit that I seldom have felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed as I did that moment. and not as a slave. whose high and chivalrous honour is always ample protection for every woman in his household.As I have before said. "you shall go with me. but as an honoured equal. There you shall find plenty of handsome young nobles who would face Issus herself to win a smile from you. yet I had never myself chosen other than men as my body servants. and we shall have you married in short order to one of the best of them." I said. While I was quite familiar with the Martian custom which allows female slaves to Martian men.

" your friendship better." she replied sadly. but a multitude of green warriors of another horde than his overwhelmed him. "He was a mighty fighter. is dead. The last that I saw of him they were bearing him. Thuvia?" I asked. "How came you here. it shall be as you say. I like Thuvia. to the deserted city from which they had sallied to attack us." she replied simply. I fear. "And where is Tars Tarkas?" "The great Thark. but there was a note of sadness in her voice. "And where is this city of which you speak?" . then?" I asked." "You are not sure that he is dead. wounded and 900/2610 "You are my master.

"It is just beyond this range of hills. with the result that we drifted aimlessly about for two days. where he told me to remain in hiding until I could escape. 901/2610 . Yesterday we crossed these hills and came upon the dead city beyond. when at an intersecting avenue we saw a body of green warriors approaching. making my way to Helium if possible. We had passed within its streets and were walking toward the central portion. and they saw him. The Thark sprang back to my side and forced me into an adjacent doorway. Then we decided to abandon the craft and attempt to make our way on foot to the nearest waterway. The vessel in which you so nobly resigned a place that we might find escape defied our small skill in navigation. but me they did not see. "Tars Tarkas was in advance.

"'There will be no escape for me now." "Before we go farther we must be sure. those behind pushing the foremost upon him until there remained no space to swing his great sword.' 902/2610 "Then he stepped out to meet them. until the Warhoon dead formed a hill where he had stood. Ah. When they carried him away toward the heart of the city. When they have seen my metal it will be to the death. 'for these be the Warhoon of the South. he was dead." I said. To-night I shall enter the city and make sure. "I cannot leave Tars Tarkas alive among the Warhoons." . Then he stumbled and went down and they rolled over him like a huge wave. but at last they overwhelmed him. my Prince. such fighting! For an hour they swarmed about him. I think. for I did not see him move.' he said.

"And I shall Carthoris. in case I should not return." They did not like it. but both were good soldiers. One man alone may succeed where more would invite disaster." spoke 903/2610 "And I." I replied. I shall go alone. I bade them all farewell and set forth at a rapid dogtrot toward the city. "Neither one of you shall go. so that I did not have long to wait before the sudden darkness of Barsoom engulfed us. not force. and it had been agreed that I should command." said Xodar. If I need your help. . "It is work that requires stealth and strategy. The sun already was low. With a parting word of instructions to Carthoris and Xodar. go with you. I will return for you.

I kept close in the dense shadows of the walls.As I emerged from the hills the nearer moon was winging its wild flight through the heavens. The city had been built upon the gently rolling foothills that in the dim and distant past had sloped down to meet the sea. its bright beams turning to burnished silver the barbaric splendour of the ancient metropolis. and as they come and go always across the dead sea bottoms that the cities face. it is usually a matter of comparative ease to enter from the hillside. It was due to this fact that I had no difficulty in entering the streets unobserved. At intersections I halted a moment to make sure that none was in sight before I . Once within the streets. 904/2610 The green hordes that use these deserted cities seldom occupy more than a few squares about the central plaza.

It was as one might feel on coming home after a long absence. Thus I made the journey to the vicinity of the plaza without detection. 905/2610 These old familiar sounds that are so distinctive of green Martian life sent a thrill of pleasure surging through me. It was amid such sounds that I had first courted the incomparable Dejah Thoris in the age-old marble halls of the dead city of Korad. As I approached the purlieus of the inhabited portion of the city I was made aware of the proximity of the warriors' quarters by the squealing and grunting of the thoats and zitidars corralled within the hollow courtyards formed by the buildings surrounding each square. As I stood in the shadows at the far corner of the first square which housed members of the horde.sprang quickly to the shadows of the opposite side. I saw warriors .

it was evident that something was afoot which might have a bearing on the recent capture of Tars Tarkas. My knowledge of green Martian customs convinced me that this was either the quarters of the principal chieftain or contained the audience chamber wherein the Jeddak met his jeds and lesser chieftains. which I now felt it imperative that I do. 906/2610 To reach this building. I knew that there were many people in the surrounding buildings-probably several communities of the . In either event. From the noises of the animals which came from every courtyard about me. They all went in the same direction. toward a great building which stood in the centre of the plaza. I must needs traverse the entire length of one square and cross a broad avenue and a portion of the plaza.emerging from several of the buildings.

and I came into the inner court close to the rear walls of the east buildings without detection. 907/2610 To pass undetected among all these people was in itself a difficult task. I had entered the city from the south and now stood on the corner of the avenue through which I had passed and the first intersecting avenue south of the plaza. Within the court a . as I could see no lights.great horde of the Warhoons of the South. Nothing occurred to interrupt my progress through the deserted pile I chose. The buildings upon the south side of this square did not appear to be inhabited. and so I decided to gain the inner courtyard through one of them. but if I was to find and rescue the great Thark I must expect even more formidable obstacles before success could be mine.

I crept in dense shadows the full length of the courtyard. 908/2610 Close to the east wall. but above the third floor all was dark. cropping the moss-like ochre vegetation which overgrows practically the entire uncultivated area of Mars. since they swarmed with green Martian men . their squealing and grunting would have grown to such a volume as to attract the attention of the warriors within the buildings. Had they. out of the question. beneath the overhanging balconies of the second floors.great herd of thoats and zitidars moved restlessly about. of course. To pass through the lighted rooms was. These were lighted for about three floors up. so there was little danger that the beasts would scent me. until I came to the buildings at the north end. What breeze there was came from the north-west.

As I drew closer to listen to their words a warrior entered the room from the hall beyond.and women. "we are to take the Thark before Kab Kadja. Here through the open windows I saw the green folk squatting upon their sleeping silks and furs." 909/2610 ." he cried. My only path lay through the upper floors. which. In another instant I had drawn myself upon the balcony. "Come. The reaching of the balcony of the second floor was a matter of easy accomplishment--an agile leap gave my hands a grasp upon the stone hand-rail above. Bring another with you. is ample for their conversational requirements. Tan Gama. in connection with their wondrous telepathic powers. grunting an occasional monosyllable. and to gain these it was necessary to scale the face of the wall.

beckoning to a fellow squatting near. The hall was broad and led straight through to the front of the building. At least I would learn the location of his prison. and on the impulse of the moment I stepped within. I had no more than entered the corridor than I saw the three warriors at the other end--those whom I had just seen leaving the apartment. the three turned and left the apartment. On either side were the doorways of the various apartments which lined it. Then a turn to the right took them from my sight . If I could but follow them the chance might come to free Tars Tarkas at once.The warrior addressed arose and. 910/2610 At my right was a door leading from the balcony into the building. It was at the end of an unlighted hall.

And so I felt certain that Tars Tarkas lay in the dark pits beneath some nearby building. At the far end of the corridor I found a spiral stairway leading to the floors above and below. I myself had once been a prisoner of the cruel hordes of northern Warhoon. The three had evidently left the floor by this avenue. but I felt that Fate had been kind indeed to throw such an opportunity within my grasp. That they had gone down and not up I was sure from my knowledge of these ancient buildings and the methods of the Warhoons. and the memory of the underground dungeon in which I lay still is vivid in my memory. My gait was reckless. and I could not afford to allow it to elude me now. and that in that 911/2610 .again. Quickly I hastened along the hallway in pursuit.

and at a safe distance behind I followed the flicker of their torch. Down they went toward the pits beneath the structure. At the bottom of the runway.direction I should find the trail of the three warriors leading to his cell. We had gone perhaps a hundred yards when the party turned abruptly through a doorway at their right. 912/2610 Nor was I wrong. unlighted save for the wavering light they carried. I saw that the shaft descended into the pits beneath. through an open . I hastened on as rapidly as I dared through the darkness until I reached the point at which they had left the corridor. The way led through a maze of tortuous corridors. and as I glanced down the flickering light of a torch revealed the presence of the three I was trailing. or rather at the landing on the floor below. There.

There was nothing for me but to hasten on in advance and keep out of the light of their torch. I saw them removing the chains that secured the great Thark. they came immediately from the chamber. to the wall. But I managed to run along the corridor in the direction I had been going in my pursuit of them far enough to be without the radius of their meagre light as they emerged from the cell. I dared not attempt to halt in the . they wheeled directly in my direction as they left the room. to my chagrin. so quickly in fact that I was near to being apprehended. I had naturally assumed that they would return with Tars Tarkas the same way that they had come. which would have carried them away from me. 913/2610 Hustling him roughly between them. Tars Tarkas. but.door.

and so keep me from dashing myself against the walls at the turns. I knew not at what moment I might plunge headlong into some terrible pit or meet with some of the ghoulish creatures that inhabit these lower worlds beneath the dead cities of dying Mars. 914/2610 The sensation of moving rapidly through these dark passages was far from reassuring. Presently I came to a place where five corridors diverged from a common .darkness of any of the many intersecting corridors. There filtered to me a faint radiance from the torch of the men behind-just enough to permit me to trace the direction of the winding passageways directly before me. for I knew nothing of the direction they might take. Chance was as likely as not to carry me into the very corridor they might choose to enter.

and so I hastened back with a feeling of considerable relief to take up a much safer and more desirable position behind them. 915/2610 Quickly I realized that the warriors had taken one of the other corridors with their prisoner. It was necessary to feel every foot of the way back with my hand against the side wall. It was much slower work returning. for now the darkness was as utter as the silence. I had hastened along one of them for some little distance when suddenly the faint light of the torch disappeared from behind me. but the silence was as utter as the silence of the tomb.point. however. After what seemed an eternity to me. I . than it had been coming. that I might not pass the spot where the five roads radiated. I paused to listen for sounds of the party behind me.

searching for the light. and stopping to listen occasionally for a repetition of the sound. Up this. then. In not one. I hastened. however.reached the place and recognized it by groping across the entrances to the several corridors until I had counted five of them. when to my surprise I came upon the entrance to three diverging corridors. though presently I thought I detected the clank of side arms in the far distance of the middle corridor. but soon I was forced to admit that I must have been following a blind lead. as only darkness and silence rewarded my efforts. Again I retraced my steps toward the parting of the ways. any one of which I might have traversed in my hasty dash . but the naked feet of the green men sent back no guiding echoes. 916/2610 I listened intently. showed the faintest sign of light.

But unless I could find my way back to that point the chances were most excellent that I would wander for days through the awful blackness. I might wait with some assurance for the return of the warriors with Tars Tarkas.after the false clue I had been following. I lay down to die. or--What was that! A faint shuffling sounded behind me. and as I cast a hasty glance over my 917/2610 . Here was a pretty fix. until. I had not the slightest doubt but that they would preserve so doughty a warrior as the great Thark for the rare sport he would furnish at the Great Games. My knowledge of their customs lent colour to the belief that he was but being escorted to the audience chamber to have sentence passed upon him. indeed! Once back at the point where the five passageways met. overcome by thirst and hunger.

shoulder my blood froze in my veins for the thing I saw there. revealing no sign of the beast behind them. I think that the most fearsome attribute of these awesome creatures is their silence and the fact that one never sees them--nothing but those baleful eyes glaring unblinkingly out of the dark void behind. blazing at me through the terrible darkness. 918/2610 . It was not so much fear of the present danger as it was the horrifying memories it recalled of that time I near went mad over the corpse of the man I had killed in the dungeons of the Warhoons. when blazing eyes came out of the dark recesses and dragged the thing that had been a man from my clutches and I heard it scraping over the stone of my prison as they bore it away to their terrible feast. And now in these black pits of the other Warhoons I looked into those same fiery eyes.

and. I backed slowly along the corridor away from the thing that watched me. Suddenly I heard the shuffling noise at my right. and then before I could turn I heard it again at my left. but I could not escape my sinister pursuer. They had me surrounded at the intersection of two corridors. As I started to renew my slow retreat I heard the noise repeated behind me. saw another pair of eyes.Grasping my long-sword tightly in my hand. looking. except the occasional shuffling sound as of the dragging of a dead limb. nor was there any sound. On and on I went. The things were all about me. that had first attracted my attention. evidently approaching from an intersecting corridor. but ever as I retreated the eyes advanced. not even the sound of breathing. Retreat was cut off in all 919/2610 .

920/2610 Why is it that darkness so magnifies our dangers? By day I would have charged the great banth itself. but hemmed in by the darkness of these silent pits I hesitated before a pair of eyes.directions. I could not even guess the size or nature of the weird creatures. That they were of goodly proportions I guessed from the fact that the eyes were on a level with my own. had I thought it necessary. as were those at my left and those behind and before me. Gradually they were closing in upon me-but still that awful stealthy silence! . unless I chose to charge one of the beasts. for the eyes at my right were moving slowly nearer me. Even then I had no doubt but that the others would hurl themselves upon my back. Soon I saw that the matter shortly would be taken entirely from my hands.

and. only to see the eyes retreat before me and hear 921/2610 . but as I advanced they retreated as had their fellow. I had been constantly turning this way and that to prevent any sudden rush from behind. And again I charged. I turned suddenly and charged down upon one of my tormentors. but a sound from behind caused me to wheel in time to see three pairs of eyes rushing at me from the rear. With a cry of rage I turned to meet the cowardly beasts. As I was almost upon it the thing retreated before me. Another glance over my shoulder discovered the first eyes sneaking on me again. until I was fairly worn out. until I felt that I should go mad for the horror of it. taking a fresh grasp upon my long-sword.For what seemed hours the eyes approached gradually closer and closer. At length I could endure it no longer.

until I thought that I should go mad with the terrible strain of the ordeal. 922/2610 Thus we continued. I turned to meet the charge. At that moment I caught another glimpse from the corner of my eye of the single pair of eyes at my back making a sudden rush upon me. I could feel myself weakening from the mental and physical strain I had been undergoing. In fact. for I could not endure the wear of this repeated charge and countercharge indefinitely. That they were waiting to spring upon my back seemed evident. the eyes always a little closer in the end than they had been before.the muffled rush of the three at my back. and that it would not be long before they succeeded was equally apparent. . there was a quick rush of the three from the other direction.

A cold.but I determined to pursue the single pair until I should have at least settled my account with one of the beasts and thus be relieved of the strain of meeting attacks from both directions. I stumbled and went down. and then I felt a heavy body upon my back. yet I knew that those three uncanny creatures were almost upon me. 923/2610 There was no sound in the corridor. . The eyes in front were not retreating so rapidly now. I raised my sword arm to deal the blow that should free me. only that of my own breathing. I was almost within sword reach of them. slimy something fastened itself upon my throat. moist.

CHAPTER XV FLIGHT AND PURSUIT 924/2610 I could not have been unconscious more than a few seconds. and yet I know that I was unconscious. I sprang to my feet to ascertain the cause of the light. who were coming rapidly down the corridor toward me. It came from a torch in the hand of one of a party of four green warriors. and so I lost no time in slipping into the first intersecting corridor that I could find. I was unharmed except for a slight bruise upon my forehead where it had struck the stone flagging as I fell. This time. for the next thing I realized was that a growing radiance was illuminating the corridor about me and the eyes were gone. . They had not yet seen me.

As they passed by I breathed a sigh of relief. Two of the warriors remained without while the man with the keys entered with the Thark to fasten his irons upon him once more. 925/2610 The party came rapidly toward the opening of the passageway in which I crouched against the wall. It consisted of Tars Tarkas and his three guards. and in a moment were . I did not advance so far away from the main corridor as on the other occasion that had resulted in my losing Tars Tarkas and his guards. I had not been discovered. I fell in behind them and soon we were at the cell in which the great Thark had been chained. and. best of all. The two outside started to stroll slowly in the direction of the spiral runway which led to the floors above.however. the party was the same that I had followed into the pits.

926/2610 The torch had been stuck in a socket beside the door. and there I stood with my longsword above my head. As I saw the two warriors disappear I approached the entrance to the cell. Keeping near the wall. While I disliked the thought of carrying out the thing that I had decided upon. I came quite close to the door to Tars Tarkas' cell. grasped with both hands. that I might bring it down in one .lost to view beyond a turn in the corridor. there seemed no alternative if Tars Tarkas and I were to go back together to my little camp in the hills. with a well-defined plan already formulated. so that its rays illuminated both the corridor and the cell at the same time.

The two companions of the man who lay now beside the door of the cell that had been Tars Tarkas' had just started to ascend the runway as the Thark came in view. 927/2610 I dislike to dwell upon what followed after I heard the footsteps of the man as he approached the doorway. wearing the metal of a Warhoon chief. It is enough that within another minute or two.quick cut upon the skull of the jailer as he emerged. Prince of Helium. Tars Tarkas. A dozen paces behind him followed John Carter. was hurrying down the corridor toward the spiral runway. Tan Gama?" cried one of the men. . bearing the Warhoon's torch to light his way. "Why so long.

so there was but one thing 928/2610 . At the first floor we found that the hallway ran but halfway through." "Yes." replied Tars Tarkas. we extinguished the torch. "We shall see you above directly." replied Tars Tarkas. "And now I find that I have left my short-sword in the Thark's cell." "As you will. I'll return and fetch it. Tan Gama. necessitating the crossing of a rear room full of green folk. and together we crept toward the spiral incline that led to the upper floors of the building. ere we could reach the inner courtyard. and turned as though to retrace his steps to the cell."I had trouble with a lock. Go you on. Then I joined him. but he only waited until the two had disappeared at the floor above." replied he who had before spoken.

We could hear the sounds of conversation coming from the room above. His companions had returned here. without being detected. but the hall still was unlighted. At our right was the window letting into the room in which I had seen Tan Gama and the other warriors as they started to Tars Tarkas' cell earlier in the evening. and we now overheard a portion of their conversation. nor was any one in sight as we gained the top of the runway. and that was to gain the second floor and the hallway through which I had traversed the length of the building.left for us to do. 929/2610 Cautiously we ascended. . Together we threaded the long hall and reached the balcony overlooking the courtyard.

" "Tan Gama wore no short-sword this night. to return and get it. The warriors sprang to their feet." and as she spoke she drew Tan Gama's short-sword from beneath her sleeping silks and furs."What can be detaining Tan Gama?" asked one. . "Tan Gama left his short-sword in the Thark's cell. "His short-sword?" "What mean you?" asked a woman." said the woman. 930/2610 "He certainly could not be all this time fetching his shortsword from the Thark's cell. and Tan Gama gave it to me to repair." spoke another. I have it here. See." explained the first speaker. "It was broken in to-day's battle with the Thark. "and left us at the runway.

"By this time. I lowered Tars Tarkas to the courtyard beneath."There is something amiss here. We had spoken scarcely a dozen words since I had felled Tan Gama at the cell door and seen in the torch's light the expression of utter bewilderment upon the great Thark's face." said another." cried one. and an instant later dropped to his side. "I should have learned to wonder at nothing ." "Come! let us hasten to the pits." he had said. 931/2610 "'Tis even what I myself thought when Tan Gama left us at the runway." We waited to hear no more. "Methought then that his voice sounded strangely. Slinging my harness into a long single strap.

. Jeddak of the Tharks. bending low at the side of his mighty thoat as I stood beside the incubator of his horde upon the dead sea bottom beyond Korad. which had witnessed my first advent upon Mars. 932/2610 This fierce green warrior had been the first to greet me that day. He had met me with levelled spear and cruel hatred in his heart as he charged down upon me. He did not need to tell me that he appreciated the friendship which had prompted me to risk my life to rescue him. nor did he need to say that he was glad to see me. And now among the inhabitants of two worlds I counted none a better friend than Tars Tarkas." That was all.which John Carter accomplishes. now twenty years gone.

Tars Tarkas. "Thuvia." I said. on the Sea of Omean. We shall need five thoats to bear us. John Carter. Xodar. Be they upon Barsoom?" "Upon and below. I found him in the prison of Shador." "Carthoris!" he cried. and you shall hear the strangest narrative that ever a Barsoomian of the outer world gave ear to. Now we must steal our thoats and be well away to the 933/2610 . Carthoris. and ourselves. but wait until we shall have made good our escape.As we reached the courtyard we stood in the shadows beneath the balcony for a moment to discuss our plans. my friend. in the land of the First Born. "Your son?" "Yes." "I know not any of these places. "There be five now in the party.

through which it was necessary to take our thoats to the avenue beyond. but when they are aroused they are fully as dangerous as they look. It is no easy matter to handle five of these great. The thoat stands a good ten feet at the shoulder." 934/2610 In safety we reached the great gates at the far end of the courtyard. As we approached them they sniffed our unfamiliar scent and with squeals of rage circled about us. which by nature are as wild and ferocious as their masters and held in subjection by cruelty and brute force alone. Their long.north before these fellows discover how we have tricked them. massive necks upreared raised their great. His hide is sleek . gaping mouths high above our heads. fierce beasts. They are fearsome appearing brutes at best.

and so our object now was to find two that would obey our unspoken commands. At length I was successful in reaching the side of one great brute.and hairless. padded. A broad. and ere he 935/2610 . and of a dark slate colour on back and sides. larger at the tip than at the root. flat tail. shading down his eight legs to a vivid yellow at the huge. As they charged about us we succeeded in mastering them sufficiently to prevent any concerted attack upon us. As the thoats are guided by telepathic means alone. the belly is pure white. but the din of their squealing was certain to bring investigating warriors into the courtyard were it to continue much longer. completes the picture of this ferocious green Martian mount--a fit war steed for these warlike people. nailless feet. there is no need for rein or bridle.

and then between us we herded three or four more toward the great gates. hurried off toward the southern boundary of the city. Thus far our escape had been little short of marvellous.knew what I was about I was firmly seated astride his glossy back. threw the barriers open. Tars Tarkas rode ahead and. for we passed the outer purlieus of the dead city and came to our camp without hearing even the faintest sound of pursuit. 936/2610 . while I held the loose thoats from breaking back to the herd. Then together we rode through into the avenue with our stolen mounts and. A moment later Tars Tarkas had caught and mounted another. nor did our good fortune desert us. without waiting to close the gates. leaning down to the latch.

Here a low whistle. and we set out at a rapid pace toward the east. apprised the balance of our party that I was returning. Then Thuvia was lifted to the least fractious thoat. At the far extremity of the city we circled toward the north. and we were met by the three with every manifestation of enthusiastic rejoicing. 937/2610 But little time was wasted in narration of our adventure. Xodar and Carthoris mounted two others. Tars Tarkas and Carthoris exchanged the dignified and formal greetings common upon Barsoom. the prearranged signal. Xodar and the green Jeddak were formally presented to each other. but I could tell intuitively that the Thark loved my boy and that Carthoris reciprocated his affection. and under the glorious rays of the two moons we sped noiselessly across the .

938/2610 Toward noon of the following day we halted to rest our mounts and ourselves. It seemed to me that I had but closed my eyes when I felt her hand upon my shoulder and heard her soft voice warning me of a new danger.dead sea bottom. Thuvia volunteered to remain on watch while the balance of the party slept for an hour. The beasts we hobbled. away from the Warhoons and the First Born." ." she whispered. but to what new dangers and adventures we knew not. that they might move slowly about cropping the ochre moss-like vegetation which constitutes both food and drink for them on the march. "Arise. O Prince. "There be that behind us which has the appearance of a great body of pursuers.

Then we turned our faces once more toward the north and took our flight again at the highest speed of our slowest beast. 939/2610 For the balance of the day and all the following night we raced across that ochre wilderness with the pursuers at .The girl stood pointing in the direction from whence we had come. and as I arose and looked. "It is a great body of mounted men. Tars Tarkas." he said. I awoke the others. We sprang to our hobbled thoats. and mounted. thought that I could detect a thin dark line on the far horizon. too. whose giant stature towered high above the rest of us. could see the farthest. I. "and they are travelling at high speed." There was no time to be lost. freed them.

I was riding beside her . Slowly but surely they were lessening the distance between us. but Thuvia's mount. As the sun rose on the second day of our flight it disclosed the pursuing horde not a half-mile in our rear. already was showing signs of exhaustion. and all during the long night we distinctly heard the clanking of their accoutrements behind us. 940/2610 Several miles in advance lay a range of hills--the farther shore of the dead sea we had been crossing. Just before dark they had been close enough for us to plainly distinguish that they were green Martians. Could we but reach these hills our chances of escape would be greatly enhanced. although carrying the lightest burden.our back ever gaining upon us. As they saw us a fiendish shout of triumph rose from their ranks.

yet we were of different countries. Thuvia and I were in the 941/2610 . for the others would proceed no faster than the slowest of us could go. In that little party there was not one who would desert another. where she clung with her arms about me. different colours. behind me. but ere he fell I snatched the girl from his back and swung her to a place upon my own thoat. different races. but the Warhoons were gaining so rapidly that we had given up all hope of reaching them in time. I saw that he was going down. This double burden soon proved too much for my already overtaxed beast. We were quite close to the hills. different religions--and one of us was of a different world. and thus our speed was terribly diminished.when suddenly her animal staggered and lurched against mine.

hoping to reach her side and bear her on again in our hopeless flight. I urged him after her. I turned and saw that she had deliberately slipped to the ground in the very path of the cruel demons who pursued us.rear. for our beast was lagging more and more." she murmured. Then her arms slipped from about my waist and she was gone. and. Turning my thoat. "For thy sake. thinking that by lightening the burden of my mount it might thus be enabled to bear me to the safety of the hills. Carthoris must have glanced behind him at about the same time and taken in the situation. 942/2610 . Poor child! She should have known John Carter better than that. for by the time I had reached Thuvia's side he was there also. Suddenly I felt the girl's warm lips press a kiss upon my shoulder. O my Prince.

but if it were not writ upon the book of Fate that such was to be. I hated to go out without having seen my divine Princess. turning the animal's head toward the hills. and in these last few moments that were to be 943/2610 . nor did I care that it had wrested from us our last frail chance for escape. The Warhoons were now close upon us. he threw her upon its back and. then would I take the most that was coming to me. gave the beast a sharp crack across the rump with the flat of his sword. Everything pointed toward a splendid ending of my second journey to Barsoom. Then he attempted to do the same with mine.springing from his mount. The brave boy's act of chivalrous selfsacrifice filled me with pride. and held her in my arms once again. Tars Tarkas and Xodar had discovered our absence and were charging rapidly to our support.

At once all was confusion. Riderless thoats plunged . I slipped from the back of my own mount and took my place at his side to meet the charge of the howling devils bearing down upon us. and almost at the same instant a shell burst in their advancing ranks. A hundred warriors toppled to the ground. 944/2610 As Carthoris was not mounted. The Warhoons were perhaps a hundred yards from us when a loud explosion sounded from above and behind us. turning their thoats loose that we might all be on an equal footing.vouchsafed me before I passed over into that unguessed future I could at least give such an account of myself in my chosen vocation as would leave the Warhoons of the South food for discourse for the next twenty generations. A moment later Tars Tarkas and Xodar ranged themselves on either hand.

All semblance of order had left the ranks of the green men. and there we saw. disorder turned to retreat and retreat to a wild panic. We turned to look in the direction from whence the first report had come. 945/2610 . a great battleship swinging majestically through the air. In another moment they were racing as madly away from us as they had before been charging down upon us. just clearing the tops of the nearer hills. Dismounted warriors were trampled underfoot in the stampede which followed. and as they looked far above our heads to trace the origin of this unexpected attack. Her bow gun spoke again even as we looked. and another shell burst among the fleeing Warhoons.hither and thither among the dead and dying.

and I stood gazing at the magnificent vessel which meant so much to all of us. for upon her bows I saw the device of Helium. Xodar. Tars Tarkas. 946/2610 CHAPTER XVI UNDER ARREST As Carthoris. and in a moment more . Now a score of one-man air scouts were launching from the upper decks of the nearer vessel. we saw a second and then a third top the summit of the hills and glide gracefully after their sister.As she drew nearer I could not repress a wild cry of elation.

placing his hands upon the boy's shoulder. Princess of Helium. "Carthoris. and of her husband. John Carter." .were speeding in long. Where have you been. O my Prince? All Helium has been plunged in sorrow. my Prince. With an exclamation of surprised pleasure he sprang forward. and an officer had stepped forward to address us. Terrible have been the calamities that have befallen your great-grandsire's mighty nation since the fatal day that saw you leave our midst. "Kaor! Kaor! Hor Vastus greets the son of Dejah Thoris. called him by name. and. swift dives to the ground about us." he cried. 947/2610 In another instant we were surrounded by armed sailors. when his eyes fell upon Carthoris.

"Grieve not. the River of . but I knew the question that his lips dared not frame. and then a sudden troubled look came into his eyes. my good Hor Vastus. The loyal fellow would not be the one to force from mine a confession of the terrible truth that I had returned from the bosom of the Iss. 948/2610 "John Carter!" he exclaimed." he started." cried Carthoris. and as his eyes fell upon me he was like to have collapsed from sheer surprise. "My Prince. Prince of Helium!" Hor Vastus turned in the direction indicated by Carthoris. but also one whom all Barsoom loved best-her greatest warrior and her saviour-John Carter. "since I bring not back myself alone to cheer my mother's heart and the hearts of my beloved people. "where hast thou--" and then he stopped.

Could you know the customs and the character of red Martians you would appreciate the depth of meaning that that simple act conveyed to me and to all about us who witnessed it. The thing was equivalent to saying." With these words the noble fellow unbuckled his scabbard and flung his sword upon the ground before me. as though no thought had interrupted his greeting. Be you right or wrong. "My sword. and the Valley Dor. and let Hor Vastus' sword have the high honour of being first at thy feet. my soul are yours to do with as you wish. Until death and after death I look to you alone for authority for my every act. 949/2610 "Ah." he continued. my body. "that you are back is sufficient.Mystery. your word shall be my only . back from the shore of the Lost Sea of Korus. my life. my Prince.

Whoso raises his hand against you must answer to my sword. "Hor Vastus." 950/2610 It is the oath of fealty that men occasionally pay to a Jeddak whose high character and chivalrous acts have inspired the enthusiastic love of his followers. and then. Never had I known this high tribute paid to a lesser mortal. stepping to Hor Vastus. "you know best the promptings of your own heart. I stooped and lifted the sword from the ground.truth. That I shall need your sword I have little doubt. but accept from John Carter upon his sacred honour the assurance that he will never call upon you to draw this . There was but one response possible. placing my hand upon his shoulder. raised the hilt to my lips." I said. I buckled the weapon upon him with my own hands.

As she touched. and righteousness. an officer sprang from her deck to the ground. "Kantos Kan desires that this party whom we have rescued be brought immediately to the deck of the Xavarian. "ere ever I threw my beloved blade at thy feet. my Prince. perhaps." he said." he replied." 951/2610 "That I knew.sword other than in the cause of truth. advancing to Hor Vastus. saluted. and dropped lightly near us. As we approached the little craft I looked about for the members of my . justice. and." As we spoke other fliers came and went between the ground and the battleship. and presently a larger boat was launched from above. one capable of carrying a dozen persons.

but he was still to me the same brave comrade who had shared with me the privations of a Warhoon dungeon. Questioning elicited the fact that none had seen her since Carthoris had sent her thoat galloping madly toward the hills. 952/2610 Immediately Hor Vastus dispatched a dozen air scouts in as many directions to search for her. It could not be possible that she had gone far since we had last seen her. The first man to greet me was Kantos Kan himself. and a moment later were upon the Xavarian. .party and for the first time noticed that Thuvia was not among them. in the hope of carrying her out of harm's way. My old friend had won to the highest place in the navy of Helium. We others stepped to the deck of the craft that had been sent to fetch us. the terrible atrocities of the Great Games.

He greeted Carthoris and Tars Tarkas with the keenest delight. Jeddak of Helium. 953/2610 He did not ask me where I had been. That it must come some time he well knew. Then I had been an unknown wanderer upon a strange planet. he too dreaded the truth and would not be the one to wrest a statement from me. and I was a Prince of the House of Tardos Mors. but until it came he seemed satisfied to but know that I was with him once more. and he a simple padwar in the navy of Helium. but he asked neither where he had been. . He could scarcely keep his hands off the boy.and later the dangers of our search for Dejah Thoris within the hostile city of Zodanga. To-day he commanded all Helium's great terrors of the skies. Like Hor Vastus.

Dejah Thoris has grieved and mourned for her lost boy. "For a year. "Ever since Carthoris disappeared." 954/2610 "What mean you. When it became known that he was lost. ten million people wept. when you did not return from the atmosphere plant."You do not know. Kantos Kan." . "by 'his poor mother'?" for the words had seemed to carry a sinister meaning which I could not fathom." I whispered." he said. It is as though all the great love we bore his noble father and his poor mother had been centred in him. He drew me to one side. John Carter. was lessened to some extent by the duties of motherhood. for your son broke his white shell that very night. "how we of Helium love this son of yours. The blow of years ago." he said to me.

all Helium knew. Mors Kajak. 955/2610 . until all who saw her felt that it could be but a matter of days ere she went to join her loved ones within the precincts of the Valley Dor. but rumours were rife that they had met with a terrible disaster and that all were dead. her grandfather. her father. and after expedition upon expedition returned with the same hopeless tale of no clue as to his whereabouts. and a month ago sailed away to explore every inch of ground in the northern hemisphere of Barsoom. our beloved Princess drooped lower and lower. and Tardos Mors. For two weeks no word has come back from them. took command of two mighty expeditions. "As a last resort. for did not all Helium suffer with her the loss of her lord! But with the boy gone there was nothing left."That she suffered terribly then.

He has been for ever after her since you disappeared. Tardos Mors appointed him after you had refused the honour. but the next day Dejah Thoris had disappeared."About this time Zat Arras renewed his importunities for her hand in marriage. including Sola the green woman--Tars Tarkas' daughter. to which position. you will remember. She hated him and feared him. No word left they of their intentions. What took place none knows. but it is always thus with those who go upon the voluntary pilgrimage from which none returns. and with her had gone a dozen of her household guard and body servants. Zat Arras was very powerful. We cannot think aught than that Dejah Thoris has . for he is still Jed of Zodanga. 956/2610 "He had a secret audience with her six days ago. but with both her father and grandfather gone. you recall.

He commands this fleet which has been searching for her since. however. and now there was added the further burden of apprehension concerning the fate of this girl whom I believed to be the daughter of some proud Barsoomian house. Hor Vastus' fliers were returning to the Xavarian. . and that her devoted servants have chosen to accompany her. I was much depressed over the news of Dejah Thoris' disappearance. 957/2610 "Zat Arras was at Helium when she disappeared. had discovered a trace of Thuvia. Not one.sought the icy bosom of Iss. and it had been my intention to make every effort to return her to her people. No trace of her have we found." While we talked. and I fear that it be a futile quest.

Now that he has so excellent an 958/2610 .I was about to ask Kantos Kan to prosecute a further search for her when a flier from the flagship of the fleet arrived at the Xavarian with an officer bearing a message to Kantos Kan from Arras. smiling. my friend. He is supreme in Helium. "Zat Arras commands me to bring our 'prisoners' before him." "You know full well." I said. My friend read the dispatch and then turned to me. yet it would be far more in keeping with chivalry and good taste were he to come hither and greet the saviour of Barsoom with the honours that are his due. There is naught else to do. Nothing would please him better than to humiliate me and then to kill me. "that Zat Arras has good cause to hate me.

let us go and see if he has the courage to take advantage of it. but he did not respond. "Kaor. His attitude was cold. As we approached the Jed of Zodanga no sign of greeting or recognition crossed his face." replied the officer. "They are not prisoners." 959/2610 Summoning Carthoris." I said in greeting. . haughty. not even to Carthoris did he vouchsafe a friendly word. and uncompromising. Zat Arras. "Why were these prisoners not disarmed?" he asked to Kantos Kan. we entered the small flier with Kantos Kan and Zat Arras' officer. Tars Tarkas. Zat Arras.excuse. and Xodar. and in a moment were stepping to the deck of Zat Arras' flagship.

Zat Arras. The other is a friend and companion of the Prince of Helium--that is enough for me to know. from a valley of torture and death. Where have you been. "you do not deny it. is Tardos Mors' best beloved ally. then? You have returned from the bosom of Iss?" "I have come back from a land of false hope. "Ah!" he exclaimed in evident pleasure." I replied. "More must I hear from those who have taken the pilgrimage than their names. with my companions I have 960/2610 ." retorted Zat Arras. Tars Tarkas. Jeddak of Thark." "It is not enough for me. however."Two of them are of Helium's noblest family. John Carter?" "I have just come from the Valley Dor and the Land of the First Born.

but this time from death in its most frightful form. "Hope not to save thy cowardly carcass by inventing horrid lies to--" But he got no further." 961/2610 "Cease. Before a hand could be raised to stop me.escaped from the hideous clutches of lying fiends. One does not call John Carter "coward" and "liar" thus lightly. you will find me still the same John Carter that I have always been. and Zat Arras should have known it. "Come I from heaven or hell. I have come back to the Barsoom that I saved from a painless death to again save her. Zat Arras. blasphemer!" cried Zat Arras. I was at his side and one hand grasped his throat." And with that I commenced to bend him back across my . nor did ever man call me such names and live-without apologizing.

"Desist. turning my back upon him. It will but involve us all.knee and tighten my grip upon his throat. walked toward the ship's rail. "the Prince of Helium would return to the Xavarian." I said. My officers and men will join me and we shall have a mutiny then that may lead to the revolution. 962/2610 "Seize him!" cried Zat Arras. For the sake of Tardos Mors and Helium. desist. Kantos Kan came close and whispered to me." At his words I released Zat Arras and. Kantos Kan." . and a dozen officers sprang forward to assist him. "Come. I beg of you. for I cannot see these men lay hands upon you without aiding you.

and shortly after stepped once more upon the deck of the Xavarian. Zat Arras stood white and trembling amidst his officers. In silence we embarked. Carthoris and I were wrapped in the gloomiest of thoughts.None interfered. Some there were who looked upon him with scorn and drew toward me. Fifteen minutes later we received orders from the flagship to proceed toward Helium. a man long in the service and confidence of Tardos Mors. I thanked him and passed on. "You may count my metal among your fighting-men. Our journey thither was uneventful. spoke to me in a low tone as I passed him. John Carter. while one." he said. Kantos Kan was sombre in contemplation of the further calamity that might fall upon Helium 963/2610 .

They offered us only the most courteous treatment. It was a simple wish and one most likely to be gratified. 964/2610 "Let us hope that we may at least go out with good red blood upon our blades. he could be no worse off in Helium than elsewhere.should Zat Arras attempt to follow the age-old precedent that allotted a terrible death to fugitives from the Valley Dor." he said. Among the officers of the Xavarian I thought I could discern division into factions ere we had reached Helium. Xodar alone was care-free--a fugitive and outlaw. Tars Tarkas grieved for the loss of his daughter. while about an equal number held aloof from us. There were those who gathered about Carthoris and myself whenever the opportunity presented. but were evidently bound by their superstitious belief in the doctrine of Dor and Iss and .

may gain upon an otherwise intelligent people. and stating the facts as they existed we had outraged the religion of their fathers. by recounting our adventures there.Korus. for I knew how strong a hold a creed. Even those who still clung to us from personal love and loyalty I think did so in the face of the fact that at heart they questioned our veracity--it is very hard to accept a new religion for an old. no matter how alluring the promises of the new may be. We were blasphemers--lying heretics. but to reject the old as a tissue of falsehoods without being offered anything in its stead is indeed a most difficult thing to ask of any people. however ridiculous it may be. . 965/2610 By returning from Dor we had committed a sacrilege. I could not blame them.

and . "that I jeopardize my life here and hereafter by countenancing you at all--do not ask me to add still further to my sins by listening to what I have always been taught was the rankest heresy." I knew that sooner or later the time must come when our friends and enemies would be forced to declare themselves openly. 966/2610 "It is enough. To take sides against him were equivalent to treason.Kantos Kan would not talk of our experiences among the therns and the First Born. The majority of the troops would doubtless follow the lead of their officers. and if Tardos Mors had not returned I feared that the enmity of Zat Arras might weigh heavily against us. for he represented the government of Helium. When we reached Helium there must be an accounting." he said.

There was always before me. the majority of the populace unquestionably would demand that we pay the penalty of our sacrilege. At times I would cover my face with my hands in a vain effort to shut out the fearful thing from my mind. a horrible nightmare of the frightful scenes through which I knew my Princess might even then be passing-the horrid plant men--the ferocious white apes. man. . day and night. but my mind was so torn with anguish at the thought of Dejah Thoris that I realize now that I gave the terrible question of Helium's plight but scant attention at that time. 967/2610 On the other hand. or devil. The outlook seemed dark from whatever angle I viewed it.I knew that many of the highest and most powerful men of both land and air forces would cleave to John Carter in the face of god.

as is customary. and I. As we descended in great circles toward the navy docks a mighty multitude could be seen surging in the streets beneath. Always before I had seen prisoners of note. It is here that Martian justice is meted to benefactor and malefactor. were transferred to a lesser flier to be transported to quarters within the Temple of Reward. 968/2610 From the deck of the Xavarian we four. Tars Tarkas. We were taken into the temple from the landing stage upon the roof.It was in the forenoon that we arrived above the mile-high scarlet tower which marks greater Helium from her twin city. or returned wanderers of eminence. so that we did not pass among the people at all. paraded from the Gate of . Xodar. Here the hero is decorated. Here the felon is condemned. Carthoris. Helium had been notified by radio-aerogram of our approach.

The people in the temple plaza and in the streets for a . What his plans were I could only guess. for he feared that their love for Carthoris and myself might break into a demonstration which would wipe out their superstitious horror of the crime we were to be charged with. 969/2610 I knew that Zat Arras dared not trust the people near to us. but that they were sinister was evidenced by the fact that only his most trusted servitors accompanied us upon the flier to the Temple of Reward. five miles away.Jeddaks to the Temple of Reward up the broad Avenue of Ancestors through dense crowds of jeering or cheering citizens. overlooking the Avenue of Ancestors down which we could see the full length to the Gate of Jeddaks. We were lodged in a room upon the south side of the temple.

His notes contain many Martian tables. and the like I have translated them into as nearly their equivalent in earthly values as is possible.distance of a full mile were standing as close packed as it was possible for them to get. but . and a great volume of scientific data. 970/2610 *Wherever Captain Carter has used Martian measurements of time. distance. Earth time. weight.M. They were very orderly--there were neither scoffs nor plaudits. and when they saw us at the window above them there were many who buried their faces in their arms and wept. or about 8:40 A. Late in the afternoon a messenger arrived from Zat Arras to inform us that we would be tried by an impartial body of nobles in the great hall of the temple at the 1st zode* on the following day.

and verifying this vast fund of remarkable and valuable information. I have felt that it will add nothing to the interest of Captain Carter's story or to the sum total of human knowledge to maintain a strict adherence to the original manuscript in these matters. while it might readily confuse the reader and detract from the interest of the history. Earth time.M. commencing the day at about 6 A. however. investigating.since the International Astronomic Society is at present engaged in classifying. each of which in turn is composed of 200 brief periods of time. The zodes are divided into fifty shorter periods. This the Martians divide into ten equal parts. For those who may be interested. about equivalent to the earthly second. I will explain that the Martian day is a trifle over 24 hours 37 minutes duration (Earth time). The Barsoomian Table of Time as here given is 971/2610 .

1 xat 50 xats . . . . 1 zode 10 zodes . . . . . . 972/2610 CHAPTER XVII THE DEATH SENTENCE A few moments before the appointed time on the following morning a strong guard of Zat Arras' officers appeared at our quarters to conduct us to the great hall of the temple. . . . . TABLE 200 tals . . .but a part of the full table appearing in Captain Carter's notes. . . . . . . . 1 revolution of Mars upon its axis. . . .

or for the great Thark who had commanded the savage tribesmen who . There could be little justice here for John Carter. supposedly selected by lot from men of the noble class. to the platform in the centre of the hall. and it was I to whom Zodanga owed her defeat at the hands of the green hordes and her subsequent vassalage to Helium. But to my amazement I saw no single friendly face among them. As is the custom upon Barsoom there were thirty-one. while three solid ranks of Zodangan soldiery lined either side of the aisle from the entrance to the rostrum. 973/2610 As we reached the raised enclosure I saw our judges. or his son.In twos we entered the chamber and marched down the broad Aisle of Hope. Practically all were Zodangans. Before and behind us marched armed guards. as it is called. for nobles were on trial.

. the silence of death enveloped the ten thousand spectators. The judges were seated in a great circle about the periphery of the circular platform. burning. We were assigned seats with our backs toward a small platform in the exact centre of the larger one. All classes were represented--all ages. or Throne of Righteousness. Upon the smaller platform each would take his place while his case was being heard. looting. 974/2610 About us the vast circular coliseum was packed to its full capacity. This placed us facing the judges and the audience. and murdering.overran Zodanga's broad avenues. As we entered the hall the hum of subdued conversation ceased until as we halted upon the platform. and both sexes.

he arose and called my name. "take your place upon the Pedestal of Truth to be judged impartially according to your acts and here to know the reward you have earned thereby. 975/2610 "Know you. That. and against the Valley . "that John Carter.Zat Arras himself sat in the golden chair of the presiding magistrate. one time Prince of Helium. in the presence of many men of Helium he has blasphemed against the Sacred Iss." Then turning to and fro toward the audience he narrated the acts upon the value of which my reward was to be determined. O judges and people of Helium. "John Carter. As we were seated and our guards retired to the foot of the stairway leading to the platform." he said. has returned by his own statement from the Valley Dor and even from the Temple of Issus itself." he cried.

and of Life Eternal. He who attempts it must be made dead for ever. and the Lost Sea of Korus. your duty lies plain before you--here can be no testimony in contravention of truth.Dor. and even against Issus. And know you further by witness of thine own eyes that see him here now upon the Pedestal of Truth that he has indeed returned from these sacred precincts in the face of our ancient customs. and the Holy Therns themselves. . 976/2610 "He who be once dead may not live again. and in violation of the sanctity of our ancient religion. What reward shall be meted to John Carter in accordance with the acts he has committed?" "Death!" shouted one of the judges. Judges. Goddess of Death.

"Speak. "The defendant has not been heard. nor has he had an opportunity to call others in his behalf.And then a man sprang to his feet in the audience. turning to me. and as all eyes turned toward him he leaped past the Zodangan soldiery and sprang upon the platform. then." . and raising his hand on high." he snarled. 977/2610 "What manner of justice be this?" he cried to Zat Arras. In the name of the people of Helium I demand fair and impartial treatment for the Prince of Helium. "but blaspheme not against the things that are sacred upon Barsoom." A great cry arose from the audience then: "Justice! Justice! Justice!" and Zat Arras dared not deny them. cried: "Justice! Justice! Justice!" It was Kantos Kan.

dead Iss carries them to from homes of love and life and happiness. and speaking over the heads of my judges. It is to save them from the sucking embrace of the plant men. It is not in his own cause that he speaks now--it is in thine. nor does he appeal for mercy to any."Men of Helium. It is to the men of Helium that he states his case. and of wives and daughters yet unborn. It is to save them from the unthinkably atrocious indignities that I have seen heaped upon the fair women of Barsoom in the place men call the Temple of Issus. "how can John Carter expect justice from the men of Zodanga? He cannot nor does he ask it. from the fangs of the great white apes of Dor. 978/2610 . In the cause of your wives and daughters." I cried. from all that the cold. from the cruel lust of the Holy Therns. turning to the spectators.

And so. through torture and persecution. I think that I have the right to demand that I be heard. in which I sacrificed myself and the happiness of my Princess that you might live. or to speak lightly of the strange religion which he respected without understanding."Sits there no man here who does not know the history of John Carter. that I be believed. men of Helium. or to say aught that might harm the people of Barsoom. or elsewhere upon Barsoom to-day who does not owe his life directly to a single act of mine. and that you let me serve you and save you from the false hereafter of Dor and Issus as I . to a place high among the highest of Barsoom. 979/2610 "There be no man here. How he came among you from another world and rose from a prisoner among the green men. Nor ever did you know John Carter to lie in his own behalf.

and so for two hours I talked with the people of Helium. John Carter. Zat Arras has taken my sword from me. Zat Arras knew better than to interfere with such a sentiment as was expressed that day in the Temple of Reward. turning to the judges. But when I had finished. When I am done let the men of Zodanga have their will with me. Will you listen?" "Speak." cried a great noble from the audience. so the men of Zodanga no longer fear me. Zat Arras arose and. 980/2610 "It is to you of Helium that I speak now. said in a low .saved you from the real death that other day. Prince of Helium. and the multitude echoed his permission. until the building rocked with the noise of their demonstration.

is your verdict?" "Death to the blasphemer!" cried one. gentlemen. springing to his feet. who had not left the platform since first he had taken his place near me.tone: "My nobles. raised his hand for silence. 981/2610 If the people did not hear Zat Arras' charge. they certainly did hear the verdict of the tribunal. What. but instead he has but utilized the time in further blasphemy. every opportunity has been given him to prove his innocence if he be not guilty. you have heard John Carter's plea. and then Kantos Kan. A sullen murmur rose louder and louder about the packed coliseum. . and in an instant the entire thirty-one judges were on their feet with upraised swords in token of the unanimity of their verdict. When he could be heard he spoke to the people in a cool and level voice.

Let each man act according to his own heart. and a hundred blades rattled and clanked to the floor at my feet. head of the navy of Helium. Zat Arras and his officers were furious."You have heard the fate that the men of Zodanga would mete to Helium's noblest hero. 982/2610 In an instant soldiers and citizens. Here is the answer of Kantos Kan. One by one I raised the swords to my lips and buckled them again upon their owners. . A hundred men surged upon the platform. but they were helpless. to Zat Arras and his judges. officers and nobles were crowding past the soldiers of Zodanga and forcing their way to the Throne of Righteousness." and with that he unbuckled his scabbard and threw his sword at my feet. It may be the duty of the men of Helium to accept the verdict as final.

From every quarter of the coliseum swords flashed and men rushed threateningly upon the Zodangans. "we will escort John Carter and his party to his own palace. let no prisoner leave the Throne of Righteousness."Come. but I do not think that he looked for the opposition that was raised the moment the soldiers advanced toward the throne." and they formed about us and started toward the stairs leading to the Aisle of Hope. Some one raised a cry: "Tardos Mors is dead--a . "Soldiers of Helium." 983/2610 The soldiery from Zodanga were the only organized body of Heliumetic troops within the temple. so Zat Arras was confident that his orders would be obeyed. "Stop!" cried Zat Arras." said Kantos Kan.

or Mors Kajak. "Let us each give in a point to the other. If neither be back at the end of a . No man's life is worth that sacrifice. I knew that only a miracle could avert a clash that would end in civil war.thousand years to John Carter. Rather would I submit to the biased judgment of Zat Arras than be the cause of civil strife in Helium. his son." As I heard that and saw the ugly attitude of the men of Helium toward the soldiers of Zat Arras. 984/2610 "Hold!" I cried. Jeddak of Helium. and let this entire matter rest until Tardos Mors returns. leaping to the Pedestal of Truth once more. A single sword thrust here to-day may plunge Helium into a bitter and bloody war the results of which none can foresee. "Let no man move till I am done. It will turn brother against brother and father against son.

Once that multitude of swords below is drawn against your soldiery no man upon Barsoom--not even Tardos Mors himself--can avert the consequences. grant a respite of one year." And then turning to Zat Arras." he shouted. I. What say you? Speak quickly. Jed of Zodanga. Zat Arras." The Jed of Zodangan Helium raised his voice to the angry sea beneath us. "The sentence of the court is passed. but the day of retribution has not been set. appreciating the royal connections of the prisoner and his past services to Helium and Barsoom. I said in a low voice: "Unless you be a bigger fool than I take you to be. you will grasp the chance I am offering you ere it is too late.year a second trial may be held--the thing has a precedent. or 985/2610 . his voice trembling with rage. "Stay your hands. men of Helium.

pointing toward the main entrance. I stepped to the edge of the platform and." 986/2610 No one moved. they stood in tense silence with their eyes fastened upon me. "Clear the temple." commanded Zat Arras. in a low tone to one of his officers. as though waiting for a signal to attack. Go. . Fearing the result of an attempt to carry out this order by force. Disperse quietly to your houses. or Tardos Mors to Helium. As one man they turned at my request and filed. Instead. Jed of Zodanga.until the return of Mors Kajak. silent and threatening. past the soldiers of Zat Arras. bid them pass out. who stood scowling in impotent rage.

"we will escort you to your palace. Here my old slaves fell upon their knees and kissed . nor was a hand raised to stay us. my Prince. We four and the hundred loyal ones followed behind him. but they opened a pathway for us.Kantos Kan with the others who had sworn allegiance to me still stood upon the Throne of Righteousness with me. 987/2610 "Come. though glowering eyes followed our triumphal march through the temple. Tars Tarkas." And with a haughty sneer for Zat Arras upon his handsome lips. Come." said Kantos Kan to me. Carthoris and Xodar. and many were the swords that were flung at my feet as I passed through the city of Helium toward my palace upon the outskirts. In the avenues we found a press of people. he turned and strode to the throne steps and up the Aisle of Hope. Come.

I had not had the heart to tell him what Kantos Kan had told me. so that I was forced to turn away that I might hide my emotions." cried one. . In marked contrast to his kind. master. Sola. had accompanied Dejah Thoris upon the last long pilgrimage. With the stoicism of the green Martian he showed no sign of suffering. They cared not where I had been. Carthoris wept openly as the slaves pressed about him with expressions of affection." Tears came to my eyes. "if our divine Princess were but here this would be a day indeed. yet I knew that his grief was as poignant as my hands as I greeted them. It was now that Tars Tarkas for the first time learned that his daughter. It was enough that I had returned to them. and words of sorrow for our common loss. 988/2610 "Ah.

not counting the members of my little court. was triangular. 989/2610 It was a sad and sombre party that sat at the feast of welcome in the great dining hall of the palace of the Prince of Helium that day. for Dejah Thoris and I had maintained a household consistent with our royal rank. We were over a hundred strong. The board. carven chair stood vacant except for her gorgeous wedding trappings and jewels which were draped upon it. according to red Martian custom. Carthoris and I presided in the centre of our sides of the table--midway of the third side Dejah Thoris' high-backed. friendship. and charity. for there were three in our family. Behind stood a slave as in the days when his mistress had occupied .he had in well-developed form the kindlier human characteristics of love.

The place of honour at a Martian hoard is always at the hostess's right. so I endured the anguish of it. It was the way upon Barsoom. and this place was ever reserved by Dejah Thoris for the great Thark upon the occasions that he was in Helium. Hor Vastus sat in the seat of honour upon Carthoris' side of the table. while to the right of Dejah Thoris' empty place Tars Tarkas sat in a huge chair before a raised section of the board which years ago I had had constructed to meet the requirements of his mighty bulk.her place at the board. At my right sat Kantos Kan. It was a 990/2610 . ready to do her bidding. though it wrung my heart to see that silent chair where should have been my laughing and vivacious Princess keeping the great hall ringing with her merry gaiety. There was little general conversation.

Nearer and nearer came the tumult. "A messenger from Dejah Thoris!" . The loss of Dejah Thoris was still fresh in the minds of all.quiet and saddened party. 991/2610 Suddenly our attention was attracted by the sound of distant shouting. as well as doubt and uncertainty as to the fate of Helium. as of many people raising their voices at once. and to this was added fear for the safety of Tardos Mors and Mors Kajak. but whether in anger or rejoicing. should it prove true that she was permanently deprived of her great Jeddak. "Dejah Thoris is found!" he cried. we could not tell. A slave rushed into the dining hall to cry that a great concourse of people was swarming through the palace gates. A second burst upon the heels of the first alternately laughing and shrieking as a madman.

992/2610 . Thirty feet below lay the scarlet sward of the lawn and beyond were many people crowding about a great thoat which bore a rider headed toward the palace.I waited to hear no more. The great windows of the dining hall overlooked the avenue leading to the main gates-they were upon the opposite side of the hall from me with the table intervening. I vaulted to the ground below and ran swiftly toward the advancing party. I did not waste time in circling the great board--with a single leap I cleared table and diners and sprang upon the balcony beyond. As I came near to them I saw that the figure on the thoat was Sola. "Where is the Princess of Helium?" I cried.

The black pirates of Barsoom have stolen her. Even now she may be a captive upon the lesser moon. . when she had greeted her father after the formal manner of the green men." CHAPTER XVIII SOLA'S STORY Once within the palace.The green girl slid from her mighty mount and ran toward me. I drew Sola to the dining hall. and. "She is gone for ever. she told the story of the pilgrimage and capture of Dejah Thoris. 993/2610 "O my Prince! My Prince!" she cried.

and as one they enlisted with me to follow our beloved Princess in her wanderings. but for once we disobeyed her."Seven days ago. Dejah Thoris attempted to slip from the palace in the dead of night. and when I discovered her creeping from the palace I did not need to be told her destination. and ordered us back to the palace. I explained my fears to them. but none other. even to the Sacred Iss and the Valley Dor. Although I had not heard the outcome of her interview with Zat Arras I knew that something had occurred then to cause her the keenest mental agony. after her audience with Zat Arras. We came upon her but a short distance from the palace. With her was faithful Woola the hound. 994/2610 "Hastily arousing a dozen of her most faithful guards. When we overtook her she feigned anger. and when she found that we would .

she attempted to take her own life. The Princess's guard fought nobly to the end. but one of the blacks tore her dagger from her. and . and together we went out into the night toward the south. "When she realized that she was in the clutches of the black pirates.not let her go upon the last long pilgrimage alone. she wept and embraced us. Only Dejah Thoris and I were spared. They saw us before we could seek shelter. but they were soon overcome and slain. and soon we were surrounded by a horde of black men. We travelled very fast and very far due south until the morning of the fifth day we sighted a great fleet of battleships sailing north. 995/2610 "The following day we came upon a herd of small thoats. and thereafter we were mounted and made good time.

There were about twenty large battleships in all. That evening one of the smaller cruisers that had been far in advance of the fleet returned with a prisoner--a young red woman whom they had picked up in a range of hills under the very noses. 996/2610 "The fleet continued north after capturing us. of a fleet of three red Martian battleships. "From scraps of conversation which we overheard it was evident that the black pirates were searching for a party of fugitives that had escaped them several days prior.then they bound us both so that we could not use our hands. That they considered the capture of the young woman important was evident from the long and earnest interview the commander of the fleet held with her when she was brought to . they said. besides a number of small swift cruisers.

Later she was bound and placed in the compartment with Dejah Thoris and myself. but finally when the girl had narrated all the strange adventures that had befallen her since she had met John Carter. and Carthoris. and when she heard she fell upon her knees and kissed Dejah Thoris' fettered hands. She was Thuvia. the Jeddak of Ptarth. 997/2610 "Dejah Thoris could not believe her at first. the Princess of Ptarth. She told Dejah Thoris that many years ago she had taken the voluntary pilgrimage from the court of her father. and told her that that very morning she had been with John Carter.him. and Carthoris. and Xodar had . "The new captive was a very beautiful girl. and told her of the things John Carter. her son. Prince of Helium. And then she asked Dejah Thoris who she might be.

' 998/2610 "The fleet continued north nearly to Helium. Thuvia. 'upon all Barsoom other than John Carter could have done the deeds you tell of.' she said. but last night they evidently .' she said. "'I do not blame you for loving him. and his loyalty and devotion to the Princess of his choice.narrated of their adventures in the Land of the First Born. 'For who. Dejah Thoris knew that it could be none other than the Prince of Helium.' And when Thuvia told Dejah Thoris of her love for John Carter. Dejah Thoris broke down and wept--cursing Zat Arras and the cruel fate that had driven her from Helium but a few brief days before the return of her beloved lord. 'and that your affection for him is pure and sincere I can well believe from the candour of your avowal of it to me.

realized that John Carter had indeed escaped them and so they turned toward the south once more. Evidently this seemed to him the easiest way of ridding the vessel of my presence and killing me at the same time. but to my . and by a miracle I escaped with but slight bruises.' he said. and as I lunged overboard into the darkness beneath I shuddered at the awful plunge I thought awaited me. "But a kind fate intervened. 999/2610 "'There is no place in the Land of the First Born for a green one. The ship was moving slowly at the time. Shortly thereafter a guard entered our compartment and dragged me to the deck. for all day the fleet had sailed thousands of feet above the ground. and with that he gave me a terrific shove that carried me toppling from the deck of the battleship.

When I reached it I found to my delight that it belonged to Helium. Here . 1000/2610 "I lay all night where I had fallen and the next morning brought an explanation of the fortunate coincidence that had saved me from a terrible death. As the sun rose I saw a vast panorama of sea bottom and distant hills lying far below me.utter surprise I struck upon a soft mass of vegetation not twenty feet from the deck of the ship. the keel of the vessel must have been grazing the surface of the ground at the time. The fleet in the darkness of the preceding night had barely grazed the crest of the hills. as he supposed. to my death. "A few miles west of me was a great waterway. and in the brief span that they hovered close to the surface the black guard had pitched me. In fact. I was upon the highest peak of a lofty range.

rescue. . Dejah Thoris in the clutches of the First Born! I shuddered at the thought. Tars Tarkas. and with back-thrown shoulders and upraised sword took a solemn vow to reach. and Hor Vastus. Already my plans were formulated. withdrew to my own audience chamber with Kantos Kan. I sprang to my feet. and leaving Carthoris to entertain them. A hundred swords leaped from a hundred scabbards. and a hundred fightingmen sprang to the table-top and pledged me their lives and fortunes to the expedition. Xodar. and revenge my Princess.a thoat was procured for me--the rest you know. but of a sudden the old fire of unconquerable selfconfidence surged through me." 1001/2610 For many minutes none spoke. I thanked each loyal friend.

For many years charge of the battleships that Omean. 1002/2610 "For that length of time at least they will be comparatively safe. Xodar was positive that Issus would choose both Dejah Thoris and Thuvia to serve her for a year. The former agreed to take such vessels as we required into dock as rapidly as possible. where Xodar would direct their equipment with water propellers. "and we will at least know where to look for them." he said. and so the black had been in refitting of captured they might navigate was familiar with the ." In the matter of equipping a fleet to enter Omean the details were left to Kantos Kan and Xodar.Here we discussed the details of our expedition until long after dark.

housings." he said. 1003/2610 It was estimated that it would require six months to complete our preparations in view of the fact that the utmost secrecy must be maintained to keep the project from the ears of Zat Arras. "I of the propellers. and you may rest assured that so long as he is supreme here there is no safety for either of you. "if he would even welcome Dejah Thoris' return. for it would mean another nearer the throne than he. With you and Carthoris out of the way there would be little to prevent him from assuming the title of Jeddak." . Kantos Kan was confident now that the man's ambitions were fully aroused and that nothing short of the title of Jeddak of Helium would satisfy him. and the auxiliary gearing required.

and grim smiles of pleasure and anticipation overspread their faces. The eyes of my companions lighted. but some day I shall stand upon the dome of the Temple of Reward and shout it to cheering multitudes below."There is a way." "What do you mean?" asked Kantos Kan. . He smiled. "John Carter." cried Hor Vastus." said Hor Vastus in a low voice. But I shook my head." "What?" I asked. Jeddak of Helium. as each eye turned toward me questioningly. 1004/2610 "I shall whisper it here. "to thwart him effectually and for ever.

"but--What was that?" he whispered. if I be here." I said. Not yet. Whom they choose may count upon the loyalty of my sword."No. nor shall I seek the honour for myself. at least. but it cannot be. When we know that Tardos Mors and Mors Kajak are gone to return no more. The words were scarce out of his mouth ere he had sprung to the balcony without. smiling." "As you will. 1005/2610 . then I shall join you all to see that the people of Helium are permitted to choose fairly their next Jeddak. "I thank you. and Zat Arras is his representative. pointing toward the window overlooking the gardens." said Hor Vastus. Until then Tardos Mors is Jeddak of Helium. my friends. John Carter.

"A spy sent by Zat Arras." ." cried Hor Vastus. "The guards! Below there! The guards!" 1006/2610 We were close behind him. "Quick! Let us follow him!" Together we ran to the gardens." he replied."There he goes!" he cried excitedly. "What do you make of it. but even though we scoured the grounds with the entire guard for hours. "It was ever his way. Kantos Kan?" asked Tars Tarkas. and all saw the figure of a man run quickly across a little piece of sward and disappear in the shrubbery beyond. no trace could we find of the night marauder. "He was on the balcony when I first saw him.

" I said." laughed Hor Vastus. were it necessary. and in that I will not be thwarted."He will have something interesting to report to his master then. If it throws all Helium into a bloody conflict. I shall go on with these plans to save my Princess. and should I die. . for he will attempt to thwart us. it will mean civil war. 1007/2610 "I hope he heard only our references to a new Jeddak. Nothing shall stay me now short of death. "If he overheard our plans to rescue Dejah Thoris. There would I turn against Tardos Mors himself. will you take oath to prosecute the search for her and bring her back in safety to her grandfather's court?" Upon the hilt of his sword each of them swore to do as I had asked. my friends.

but each man there had his particular duties outlined. would accommodate at least six battleships at a time. Kantos Kan and Xodar were to attend to the remodelling of the ships. another Heliumetic city. and the details of the entire plan had been mapped out. Tars 1008/2610 . it would be a simple matter for him to order the vessels there as they could be handled. far to the south-west. As he was commander-in-chief of the navy. in addition to their regular work. and thereafter keep the remodelled fleet in remote parts of the empire until we should be ready to assemble it for the dash upon Omean. Kantos Kan thought that the docks there. It was late that night before our conference broke up.It was agreed that the battleships that were to be remodelled should be ordered to Hastor.

1009/2610 Upon Hor Vastus devolved the delicate mission of organising a secret force of fighting-men sworn to follow John Carter wherever he might lead. he was to repair immediately to Thark and devote his time to the assembling of a great horde of green warriors whom it was our plan to send in transports directly to the Valley Dor and the Temple of Issus. If favourable. while the fleet entered Omean and destroyed the vessels of the First Born. it was no trifling job that Hor Vastus had before him. .Tarkas was to get into communication with Thark and learn the sentiments of his people toward his return from Dor. As we estimated that it would require over a million men to man the thousand great battleships we intended to use on Omean and the transports for the green men as well as the ships that were to convoy the transports.

and going to my own apartments. When I awoke suddenly it was to find a halfdozen powerful men upon me. But even now I was to be disappointed. that I was utterly beyond the power to resist them by the time I was fully awake. Never a word spoke they. for I was very tired. and a moment later my arms and legs securely bound. Silently they lifted me and bore me toward the door of my chamber. 1010/2610 How long I slept I do not know. So quickly had they worked and to such good purpose.After they had left I bid Carthoris goodnight. and the gag effectually prevented me speaking. a gag already in my mouth. bathed and lay down upon my sleeping silks and furs for the first good night's sleep I had had an opportunity to look forward to since I had returned to Barsoom. As they .

Then he closed the panel behind him and followed us. they turned toward a secret panel in the wall which led to the passage that terminated in the pits beneath the palace. touched the concealed button. The leader rapped upon it with the hilt of his sword--three quick. I was doubtful. . He stepped directly to the panel. and as the door swung open he stood aside while his companions entered with me.passed the window through which the farther moon was casting its brilliant beams. I saw that each of the party had his face swathed in layers of silk--I could not recognize one of them. That any knew of this panel outside my own household. 1011/2610 When they had come into the corridor with me. Yet the leader of the band did not hesitate a moment. Down through the passageways to the pits we went.

and then two. CHAPTER XIX BLACK DESPAIR " blows. cruel lips-it was Zat Arras. another pause. "to what kindly circumstance am I indebted for the pleasure of this unexpected visit from the Prince of Helium?" . and I was pushed within a brilliantly lighted chamber in which sat three richly trapped men. a pause. A second later the wall swung in. 1012/2610 One of them turned toward me with a sardonic smile upon his thin. then three more." said Zat Arras.

one of my guards had removed the gag from my mouth. And I doubt not that my expression was coloured by the contempt I felt for the man.While he was speaking. and when only his two companions and ourselves were left in the chamber. with many pauses. until finally a flush of anger crept slowly over his face." he said to those who had brought me. he spoke to me again in a voice of ice--very slowly and deliberately. as though he would choose his words cautiously. 1013/2610 "You may go. . but I made no reply to Zat Arras: simply standing there in silence with level gaze fixed upon the Jed of Zodanga. The eyes of those within the chamber were fixed first upon me and then upon Zat Arras.

you are condemned to die. upon one condition. none would be the wiser. The people cannot save you--I alone may accomplish that."John Carter." he said. in accordance with the conditions of your reprieve. Tardos Mors will never return to Helium. there is little fear that the people would ever insist upon the execution of the sentence imposed upon you. "by the edict of custom. Neither will Mors Kajak. You are absolutely in my power to do with as I wish--I may kill you. by the law of our religion. 1014/2610 "Should you go free in Helium for a year. "You may go free within two minutes. Zat Arras would be Jeddak of . and by the verdict of an impartial court. and should I elect to kill you. Helium must select a new Jeddak within the year. or I may free you. nor Dejah Thoris.

I am done. but that I would be the means of sealing Dejah Thoris' fate--of consigning her. to the horrors of the arena of Issus. and if I were dead I could see little reason to doubt that he might easily become Jeddak of Helium. I could prosecute the search for Dejah Thoris. Free.Helium. by refusing to accede to his request." 1015/2610 I knew it was within the scope of Zat Arras' cruel heart to destroy me. For a moment I was perplexed. This is the price of your freedom. Were I dead. The proud daughter of a thousand Jeddaks would choose death . but for a moment only. it was quite probable that not only would I not prevent him from becoming Jeddak of Helium. So. through my refusal. my brave comrades might not be able to carry out our plans. Say that you will espouse my cause.

so make the best of them while you can. that the great Jeddak is dead." I said." Zat Arras shrugged his shoulders." he said. Then I turned to Zat Arras. Into the silence and darkness of the pits you will enter upon your reflection this night with the knowledge that should you fail within a . "that your opinions will be of interest even to yourself. "It will not be long. nor could John Carter do less for Helium than his Princess would do. 1016/2610 "There can be no alliance. "between a traitor to Helium and a prince of the House of Tardos Mors. I do not believe. John Carter. Zat Arras. Zat Arras will permit you in due time to reflect further upon the magnanimous offer he has made a dishonorable alliance such as this.

ever down beneath the city of Helium.reasonable time to agree to the alternative which has been offered you." he said. Nor shall you know at what minute the hand will reach out through the darkness and the silence with the keen dagger that shall rob you of your last chance to win again the warmth and the freedom and joyousness of the outer world. The guards returned. Four men accompanied me from the chamber. and with a radium hand-light to illumine the way." Zat Arras clapped his hands as he ceased speaking. waved his hand in my 1017/2610 "To the pits. never shall you emerge from the darkness and the silence again. down. . escorted me through seemingly interminable tunnels. Zat Arras direction. That was all.

and. One of these they kicked aside. but even this grew fainter and fainter. There were rings set in the rocky walls.At length they halted within a fair-sized chamber. I was alone with my gruesome companions-with the bones of dead men whose fate was likely but the index of my own. unlocking the huge padlock that had held a chain about what had once been a human ankle. Utter darkness prevailed. How long I stood listening in the darkness I do not know. until at last the silence was as complete as the darkness. taking the light with them. they snapped the iron band about my own leg. and at the ends of many of the chains were human skeletons. Then they left me. To them chains were fastened. but the silence was 1018/2610 . For a few minutes I could hear the clanking of accoutrements.

leaning my head against the stony wall. in the other a receptacle containing a gruel-like mixture--the common prison fare of Barsoom. To gain your freedom you have but to request me to advise Zat Arras that you accept the terms of his proposition. not inclined to withdraw the offer which he has made you. he is. 1019/2610 "Zat Arras sends you greetings. where. "and commands me to inform you that though he is fully advised of the plot to make you Jeddak of Helium. It must have been several hours later that I awakened to find a young man standing before me.unbroken." I but shook my head." said the young man. I slept. In one hand he bore a light. after placing the food upon . and. however. The youth said no more. and at last I sunk to the hard floor of my prison.

1020/2610 Twice a day for many days this youth came to my cell with food. I was beside myself with anxiety for knowledge of the progress of the . taking the light with him. returned up the corridor. and so. For months I sought to devise methods to inform Carthoris of my whereabouts. hoping eventually to wear it through. but he would not talk. that I might follow the youth back through the winding tunnels to a point where I could make a break for liberty. I desisted. For a long time I tried to engage him in conversation upon other matters. and ever the same greetings from Zat Arras.the floor at my side. at length. For months I scraped and scraped upon a single link of the massive chain which held me.

but in so far as I knew.expedition which was to rescue Dejah Thoris. The chances were that that matter. about . was well known to him. were he free to act. and to this end I adopted strategy when next the youth came to my cell. or else his prisoners. I had noticed that he was a handsome fellow. 1021/2610 That Zat Arras' spy had overheard our conversation relative to the selection of a new Jeddak. he also might be a prisoner in Zat Arras' pits. Tars Tarkas. I knew. Carthoris. Kantos Kan. I determined to make at least one more effort to learn something. I felt that Carthoris would not let the matter drop. Hor Vastus. and Xodar might even now be the victims of Zat Arras' assassins. and scarcely a half-dozen minutes prior we had discussed the details of the plan to rescue Dejah Thoris. too.

And I had also noticed that his shabby trappings but illy comported with his dignified and noble bearing. I wish. "You have been very kind to me during my imprisonment here. to furnish substantial testimony of my appreciation of all that you have done to render my imprisonment bearable. seeing that it was pure and of sufficient quantity. 1022/2610 It was with these observations as a basis that I opened my negotiations with him upon his next subsequent visit. Never by word or deed have you attempted to take advantage of my defenceless condition to . "Promptly you have brought my food each day." I said to him. "and as I feel that I have at best but a very short time to live. ere it is too late.the size and age of Carthoris.

Tell me that you will do it. Go thou there and select the harness which most pleases you--it shall be yours. For a moment he stood in thought before he spoke. "In the guard-room of my palace are many fine trappings. that I may know that my wish has been realized. and I saw him glance from his rusty trappings to the magnificence of my own. You have been uniformly courteous and considerate--it is this more than any other thing which prompts my feeling of gratitude and my desire to give you some slight token of it. All I ask is that you wear it. .insult or torture me." 1023/2610 The boy's eyes had lighted with pleasure as I spoke. and for that moment my heart fairly ceased beating-so much for me there was which hung upon the substance of his answer.

and such a harmless act that it could be condemned by no one. though I thank you for the offer. they would laugh at me and. No." Again he stood silently in deep thought. and so none but us three need know. My son will be discreet. it cannot be. into the bargain. would more than likely throw me headforemost into the avenue. my son. my boy. 1024/2610 ." "There can be no harm in it. if Zat Arras even dreamed that I contemplated such a thing he would have my heart cut out of me."And I went to the palace of the Prince of Helium with any such demand. that you may know that it contains nothing harmful to Zat Arras. You may read the note before you deliver it." I urged. Why. "By night you may go to my palace with a note from me to Carthoris. It is very simple.

1025/2610 "Bring writing materials when you come next to my cell. I ." Still in thought. When you get the harness. and for hours I sat fretting over the outcome of the matter. If the youth returned wearing the harness and the sword. see that Carthoris gives you that also. he turned and left me. If he accepted a message to Carthoris it would mean to me that Carthoris still lived and was free. With it and the harness which you may select there will be no more handsomely accoutred warrior in all Zodanga. and without speaking. I could not guess what his decision might be. and within a few hours we shall see you garbed in a style befitting your birth and carriage."And there is a jewelled short-sword which I took from the body of a northern Jeddak.

I penned a brief order to Carthoris to 1026/2610 . As he placed the food upon the floor by my side he also deposited writing materials at the same time. picking them up.would know that Carthoris had received my note and that he knew that I still lived. My heart fairly bounded for joy. I did not speak beyond my accustomed greeting of him. It was with feelings of excited expectancy which I could scarce hide that I heard the youth's approach upon the occasion of his next regular visit. but soon I permitted an expression of dawning comprehension to come into my face. and then. I had won my point. That the bearer of the note was a Zodangan would be sufficient to explain to Carthoris that I was a prisoner of Zat Arras. For a moment I looked at the materials in feigned surprise.

her end must soon come. without a word. since those whom Issus chose lived but a single year. but judge. As nearly as I could estimate. were she not already dead.deliver to Parthak a harness of his selection and the short-sword which I described. 1027/2610 I laid the note open upon the floor. But it meant everything to me and to Carthoris. my chagrin . if you can. That was all. left me. I had at this time been in the pits for three hundred days. If anything was to be done to save Dejah Thoris it must be done quickly. Parthak picked it up and. The next time I heard approaching footsteps I could scarce await to see if Parthak wore the harness and the sword. for.

but the fellow would not answer. "What has become of Parthak?" I asked. nor would he ever speak a word to me.and disappointment when I saw that he who bore my food was not Parthak. either in reply to the simplest question or of his own initiative. for now I did not even know that Carthoris lived. 1028/2610 I could only speculate on the cause of Parthak's removal. After all my rejoicing. for if Parthak had wished to raise himself in . and as soon as he had deposited my food. I was no better off than before. and still my new jailer continued his duties. turned and retraced his steps to the world above. but that it was connected in some way directly with the note I had given him was most apparent to me. Days came and went.

To think of that beautiful creature torn and rended by the cruel fangs of the hideous white apes! It was unthinkable. so that he could carry my note to his master. and only with the greatest difficulty was it that I repressed the tears that welled to my eyes despite my every effort. I buried my face in my arms. in proof of his own loyalty and devotion.the estimation of Zat Arras he would have permitted me to go on precisely as I did. Thirty days had passed since I had given the youth the note. As closely as I could figure. Such a horrid fact could not 1029/2610 . there remained a bare thirty days ere Dejah Thoris would be ordered to the arena for the rites of Issus. As the terrible picture forced itself vividly across my imagination. Three hundred and thirty days had passed since my incarceration.

until at last a part of it would be rescued to be served as food upon the tables of the black nobles. Kill my jailer by a ruse. and yet my reason told me that within thirty days my incomparable Princess would be fought over in the arena of the First Born by those very wild beasts. With the thought came instant I threw myself upon the floor of my cell 1030/2610 . that her bleeding corpse would be dragged through the dirt and the dust. and trust to fate to lead me to the outer world in safety. Now a new and grim determination came to me. It distracted my attention from the terrible thoughts that had been occupying my entire mind. I think that I should have gone crazy but for the sound of my approaching jailer. I would make one super-human effort to escape.

Now I heard him halt before me. My grip tightened upon the chain.close by the wall. So brief was the interval between the opening of my eyes and the fall of the chain that I could not check it. I felt him kneel beside me. in a strained and distorted posture. When he should stoop over me I had but to grasp his throat with one hand and strike him a terrific blow with the slack of my chain. as though I were dead after a struggle or convulsions. I must open my eyes to find his throat. 1031/2610 Nearer and nearer came the doomed man. He leaned close to me. though it . grasp it. which I gripped firmly in my right hand for the purpose. The thing worked just as I had planned. and strike one mighty final blow all at the same instant. There was a muttered exclamation. and then a step as he came to my side.

Carthoris. When I regained consciousness it was to feel a cool. I was endeavouring to gather the loose ends of many thoughts and memories which flitted elusively through my tired and overwrought brain.that minute interval I recognized the face so close to mine as that of my son. . in ignorance of his identity! A benign though tardy Providence blurred my vision and my mind as I sank into unconsciousness across the lifeless body of my only son. For an instant I did not open my eyes. firm hand pressed upon my forehead. 1032/2610 God! What cruel and malign fate had worked to such a frightful end! What devious chain of circumstances had led my boy to my side at this one particular minute of our lives when I could strike him down and kill him.

Reaching out my arms. so why not now. I wondered who it could be who ministered to me. Well. Carthoris must have had a companion whom I had not seen. and with a sigh I opened my eyes. I must face the inevitable some time. it was there beneath the crust of dying Mars as I thanked the Eternal Mystery for my son's life. a great bruise upon his forehead where the chain had struck. but alive. alive! There was no one with him. Leaning over me was Carthoris.At length came the cruel recollection of the thing that I had done in my last conscious act. I took my boy within them. and then I dared not to open my eyes for fear of what I should see lying beside me. thank God. 1033/2610 . and if ever there arose from any planet a fervent prayer of gratitude.

When I had read your note I did as you had bid.The brief instant in which I had seen and recognized Carthoris before the chain fell must have been ample to check the force of the blow. "It was by your wit in apprising me of your existence and imprisonment through the youth. we had thought you dead. my obligation to him ceased. Parthak. and later bringing the jewelled short-sword to him. He told me that he had lain unconscious for a time-how long he did not know. giving Parthak his choice of the harnesses in the guardroom. mystified that he had found me without a guide. but the minute that I had fulfilled the promise you evidently had made him. Until he came for his harness and his sword. Then I commenced 1034/2610 . "How came you here at all?" I asked.

"No threats of torture or death. but he would give me no information as to your whereabouts. were it to-morrow or a thousand years hence. 'A traitor is gone to his deserts. I had him removed to the pits. no bribes. but still he maintained his stubborn partisanship. 1035/2610 "Finally I gave him a fair choice between freedom and the pits beneath the palace--the price of freedom to be full information as to where you were imprisoned and directions which would lead us to you.' . where he still question him. Despairing. would move him. however fabulous. He was intensely loyal to Zat Arras. no man could truly say. His only reply to all our importunities was that whenever Parthak died.

until only to-day Parthak. thinking that he was speaking not only to a countryman. there are but single entrances from those beneath . To come to you. but to a dear friend. As you know. Little by little he won the confidence and friendship of the Zodangan. was a trifle more difficult matter. evolved a plan whereby we might worm the information from him. though. while all the pits beneath the city are connected. who is a fiend for subtle craftiness. 1036/2610 "It took me but a short time to locate the plans of the pits of Helium among thy official papers. revealed that Hor Vastus the exact cell in which you lay. but not in vain. And so I caused Hor Vastus to be harnessed in the metal of a Zodangan soldier and chained in Parthak's cell beside him."Finally. Xodar. For fifteen days the noble Hor Vastus has languished in the darkness of the pits.

As he talked Carthoris had been working at the lock which held my fetters. I found there a Zodangan soldier on guard." he ended. he dropped the end of the chain to the floor. laughing. and I stood up once more. 1037/2610 "Of course. while I easily came to the entrance to the pits beneath the palace which Zat Arras is occupying. There I left him when I had gone by. and now. and so. "And here I am. freed .each section and its neighbour. these openings which lead from contiguous pits to those beneath government buildings are always guarded. but his soul was no longer with him. just in time to be nearly killed by you. with an exclamation of pleasure. and that at the upper level just underneath the ground.

At the point where we left the pits of Zat Arras we found the body of the guard Carthoris had slain. and thus armed we set out upon the return journey to my palace. Tars Tarkas. . and. Hor Vastus. we carried the body with us for a short distance. in order to still further delay search and mystify the jed's people. Some half-hour later we came to the pits beneath our own palace. It had not yet been discovered. hiding it in a tiny cell off the main corridor of the pits beneath an adjoining estate. where we found Kantos Kan. and Xodar awaiting us most impatiently. and soon thereafter emerged into the audience chamber itself. 1038/2610 He had brought a long-sword and a dagger for me.from the galling irons I had chafed in for almost a year.

Upon each battleship there are five ten-man cruisers." replied Kantos Kan. no word of our real plans has reached the villain's ear. "To-night there lies about the great docks at Hastor a fleet of a thousand of the mightiest battleships that ever sailed above Barsoom.No time was lost in fruitless recounting of my imprisonment. Yet. What I desired to know was how well the plans we had laid nearly a year ago and had been carried out. and a . and each equipped to navigate the air of Omean and the waters of Omean itself. "The fact that we were compelled to maintain utter secrecy has handicapped us terribly. to the best of my knowledge. and ten five-man scouts. Zat Arras' spies are everywhere. 1039/2610 "It has taken much longer than we had expected.

" replied the Thark. "We are a just people." "How is it. Tars Tarkas." I asked. but we waited in the hope that by so doing your rescue might be encompassed in time for you to command the expedition. It is well we waited. and with them their convoys. nine hundred large troopships. 1040/2610 "At Thark lie the transports for the green warriors of Tars Tarkas. and when I had told them the entire story they were as .hundred one-man scouts. in all. "that the men of Thark take not the accustomed action against one who returns from the bosom of Iss?" "They sent a council of fifty chieftains to talk with me here. one hundred and sixteen thousand craft fitted with both air and water propellers. my Prince. Seven days ago all was in readiness.

and representing a thousand different communities. Two hundred and fifty thousand fighting men. They are ready to sail for the Land of the First Born when I give the word and fight there until I bid them stop. from a hundred wild and warlike hordes. All they ask is the loot they take and transportation to their own territories when the fighting and the looting are over. I am done. I was to resume my throne as Jeddak of Thark. In the meantime. I have done that which I man in agreeing that their action toward me would be guided by the action of Helium toward John Carter. fill the great city of Thark to-night. at their request. that I might negotiate with neighboring hordes for warriors to compose the land forces of the expedition. gathered from the ice cap at the north to the ice cap at the south." 1041/2610 .

" I asked. "Already the people of Hastor are questioning the purpose of so great a fleet fully manned with fightingmen. "what has been thy success?" 1042/2610 "A million veteran fighting-men from Helium's thin waterways man the battleships. Hor Vastus. Kantos Kan. nor were enough recruited from a single district to cause suspicion. and the convoys." "Good!" I cried. may we not repair at once to Hastor and get under way before to-morrow's sun?" "We should lose no time. let us leave at--" A fusillade of shots from the . A cruiser awaits above at your own dock. "Each has done his duty. Prince."And thou. "Each is sworn to loyalty and secrecy. the transports. and now." replied Kantos Kan." he replied. I wonder much that word of it has not before reached Zat Arras.

1043/2610 Together we rushed to the balcony in time to see a dozen members of my palace guard disappear in the shadows of some distant shrubbery as in pursuit of one who fled. such as common soldiers wear. Directly beneath us upon the scarlet sward a handful of guardsmen were stooping above a still and prostrate form. .palace gardens just without cut short his further words. When they stretched the body at our feet we saw that it was that of a red man in the prime of life--his metal was plain. While we watched they lifted the figure in their arms and at my command bore it to the audience chamber where we had been in council. or those who wish to conceal their identity.

and then to the guard: "You may remove the body. pointing to his work. as white as mine. ask that a cloth and a little thoat oil be brought. dipping a corner of the cloth in the thoat oil. Then he turned to me with a smile."Another of Zat Arras' spies. The black kneeled beside the body and. "If you will. I looked and saw that where Xodar had applied the thoat oil the face was white." "Wait!" said Xodar. Prince. who left the chamber. 1044/2610 "So it would seem. rubbed for a moment on the dead face before him." I nodded to one of the soldiers." I replied." said Hor Vastus. and then Xodar seized the black hair of the corpse and with a . returning presently with the things that Xodar had requested.

"But let us see.sudden wrench tore it all away. 1045/2610 Guardsmen and nobles pressed close about the silent witness upon the marble floor. "Worse than that." replied Xodar." With that he drew his dagger and cut open a locked pouch which had dangled from the thern's harness. . Many were the exclamations of astonishment and questioning wonder as Xodar's acts confirmed the suspicion which he had held. revealing a hairless pate beneath. and from it he brought forth a circlet of gold set with a large gem--it was the mate to that which I had taken from Sator Throg. I fear. "A thern!" whispered Tars Tarkas.

" he said."He was a Holy Thern. "With this you may discover the spy among you. "My Prince. I at once ordered a secret search within the city." Xodar handed him the thoat oil and cloth." said Xodar. "I have to report that this fellow's companion escaped us. "Fortunate indeed it is for us that he did not escape." he said. I have ordered them all under arrest. I think that it was with the connivance of one or more of the men at the gate. for every Martian noble maintains a secret service of his own." 1046/2610 The officer of the guard entered the chamber at this juncture. .

prepared to strike the first blow for the preservation of Dejah Thoris. This time it was to confirm our worst fears--half the guards at the gate that night had been therns disguised as red men. "Come!" I cried." Ten minutes later we were speeding through the night toward Hastor. On to Hastor at once. Should the therns attempt to check us at the southern verge of the ice cap it may result in the wrecking of all our plans and the total destruction of the expedition.A half-hour later the officer of the guard came again to report. "We must lose no time. 1047/2610 .

Tars Tarkas. at the rate of one a second. and I arrived at Hastor.CHAPTER XX THE AIR BATTLE Two hours after leaving my palace at Helium. Kantos Kan. The transports were to get under way immediately and move slowly south. The fleet of battleships would overtake them on the morning of the second day. Xodar. and Hor Vastus had gone directly to Thark upon another cruiser. Carthoris. or about midnight. At Hastor we found all in readiness. and thereafter. and so perfectly had Kantos Kan planned every detail of the campaign that within ten minutes of our arrival the first of the fleet had soared aloft from its dock. .

thin line which stretched for miles toward the south. The expedition was no longer one of rescue but of revenge. When Kantos Kan told me. 1049/2610 It was not until after we had entered the cabin of Kantos Kan that I thought to ask the date. I realized with a pang of dismay that I had misreckoned the time while I lay in the utter darkness of my cell.the great ships floated gracefully out into the night to form a long. Three hundred and sixty-five days had passed-it was too late to save Dejah Thoris. In so far as I knew she might be already dead. I did not remind Kantos Kan of the terrible fact that ere we could hope to enter the Temple of Issus. the Princess of Helium would be no more. for I did not know the . for up to now I was not positive how long I had lain in the pits of Zat Arras.

and so I said nothing to any other of the fact that we were too late. 1050/2610 What now the value of burdening my friends with my added personal sorrows-they had shared quite enough of them with me in the past.exact date on which she first viewed Issus. If it could open to the red men the fair Valley Dor it would have accomplished much. and thus save thousands each year from the horrid fate that awaited them at the conclusion of the voluntary pilgrimage. The expedition could yet do much if it could but teach the people of Barsoom the facts of the cruel deception that had been worked upon them for countless ages. and in the Land of Lost Souls between the Mountains of Otz and the ice barrier were many broad acres that . Hereafter I would keep my grief to myself.

here was water in plenty. On the morning of the second day we raised the great fleet of transports and .needed no harvests. Here alone were dews and rains. and all this was but the stamping ground of fierce brutes and from its beauteous and fertile expanse the wicked remnants of two once mighty races barred all the other millions of Barsoom. here alone was an open sea. irrigation to bear 1051/2610 rich Here at the bottom of a dying world was the only naturally productive area upon its surface. Could I but succeed in once breaking down the barrier of religious superstition which had kept the red races from this El Dorado it would be a fitting memorial to the immortal virtues of my Princess--I should have again served Barsoom and Dejah Thoris' martyrdom would not have been in vain.

For so long a time has this gone on that practically every possibility of wireless communication has been exhausted and no nation dares transmit dispatches of importance in this way. I may mention here that radioaerograms are seldom if ever used in war time. The battleships passed through to take an advanced position. or invents a new instrument for wireless purposes its neighbours bend every effort until they are able to intercept and translate the messages.their consorts at the first flood of dawn. Tars Tarkas reported all well with the transports. and the combined fleets moved slowly over the ice cap. hugging the surface closely to prevent detection by the 1052/2610 . or for the transmission of secret dispatches at any time. for as often as one nation discovers a new cipher. and soon were near enough to exchange signals.

Scarcely had his tiny flier come to rest upon the broad . In this formation we had progressed toward the entrance to Omean for several hours when one of our scouts returned from the front to report that the cone-like summit of the entrance was in sight. Kantos Kan and I awaited him upon the little forward deck which corresponds with the bridge of earthly battleships. land we were 1053/2610 Far in advance of all a thin line of oneman air scouts protected us from surprise. His very speed bespoke the importance of his information. and on either side they flanked us.therns whose approaching. while a smaller number brought up the rear some twenty miles behind the transports. At almost the same instant another scout from the left flank came racing toward the flagship.

to follow closely in the wake of the battleships ." he cried." "The thern spies were not in the palace of John Carter for nothing. Prince." 1054/2610 "Dispatch ten battleships to guard the entrance to Omean. That will bottle up the great fleet of the First Born. "Form the balance of the battleships into a great V with the apex pointing directly south-south-east. "Your orders.landing-deck of the flagship ere he was bounding up the stairway to the deck where we stood. surrounded by their convoys. Order the transports. my Prince. "A great fleet of battleships southsouth-east. "There must be several thousands and they are bearing down directly upon us. with orders to let no hostile enter or leave the shaft." said Kantos Kan to me.

and our chances of ever returning to the outer world will be greatly minimized. or there will be no peace for us while our fleet remains near Dor. the battleships of each leg engage the enemy fiercely and drive him back to form a lane through his line into which the transports with their convoys must race at top speed that they may gain a position above the temples and gardens of the therns. then the V must open outward at the apex.until the point of the V has entered the enemies' line. but we must settle this attack with the therns once and for all." . 1055/2610 "Here let them land and teach the Holy Therns such a lesson in ferocious warfare as they will not forget for countless ages. It had not been my intention to be distracted from the main issue of the campaign.

the ten that were to guard the way to Omean were speeding toward their destination. 1056/2610 . So sudden was our onslaught that they had no time to prepare for it.Kantos Kan saluted and turned to deliver my instructions to his waiting aides. and in another moment the ships of the enemy were in full view. In an incredibly short space of time the formation of the battleships changed in accordance with my commands. The order of full speed ahead was given. and the troopships and convoys were closing up in preparation for the spurt through the lane. the fleet sprang through the air like coursing greyhounds. They formed a ragged line as far as the eye could reach in either direction and about three ships deep. It was as unexpected as lightning from a clear sky.

Slowly the two lines of Helium's battleships joined their ends. By the time the therns had rallied from the attack a hundred thousand green warriors were already pouring through their courts and gardens. then the V opened up and a broad lane appeared through which the transports leaped toward the temples of the therns which could now be plainly seen glistening in the sunlight. while a hundred and fifty thousand others leaned from low swinging transports to direct their almost uncanny marksmanship upon the thern soldiery that manned the ramparts. and then . or attempted to defend the temples. Our huge ships mowed their way entirely through the line of thern battlecraft. 1057/2610 Now the two great fleets closed in a titanic struggle far above the fiendish din of battle in the gorgeous gardens of the therns.Every phase of my plan worked splendidly.

By this time they were moving at high speed so that they presented a difficult target for the enemy. Broadside after broadside they delivered as each vessel came in line with the ships of the therns. Around and around in each other's tracks moved the ships under Kantos Kan.commenced the circling within the line of the enemy which is so marked a characteristic of Barsoomian naval warfare. until at length they formed nearly a perfect circle. but it was like stopping a buzz saw with the bare hand. sickening dive which proclaims its total destruction. From my position on the deck beside Kantos Kan I saw ship after ship of the enemy take the awful. Slowly we manoeuvered our circle of 1058/2610 . The latter attempted to rush in and break up the formation.

The order was passed down for them to embark. we could not even conjecture. It could be nothing other than a fleet of war. which he immediately handed . When they had come close enough to make us out at all.death until we hung above the gardens where our green warriors were engaged. Kantos Kan's operator received a radioaerogram. 1059/2610 In the meantime the therns' fire had practically ceased. for scarcely had we gotten under way once more in the direction of the entrance to Omean than we saw far to the north a great black line topping the horizon. Whose or whither bound. Then they rose slowly to a position within the centre of the circle. They had had enough of us and were only too glad to let us go on our way in peace. But our escape was not to be encompassed with such ease.

for you cannot escape. in the name of the Jeddak of Helium." 1060/2610 The therns must have caught and translated the message almost as soon as did we. and as soon as he drew near he too commenced to pour a terrific fusillade of heavy shot into us. "Surrender. Before Zat Arras had approached near enough to fire a shot we were again hotly engaged with the thern fleet. "Zat Arras. for they immediately renewed hostilities when they realized that we were soon to be set upon by other enemies. "Kantos Kan:" it read. He read the thing and handed it to my companion." and it was signed. Ship after ship reeled and staggered into uselessness beneath the pitiless fire that we were undergoing. .

firing their stern batteries almost continuously. "Wreak your vengeance to the utmost. "for by night there will be none left to avenge your wrongs. There could be but one explanation." was my message to the green allies. I ordered the transports to descend again into the gardens of the therns. They were returning at full speed." Presently I saw the ten battleships that had been ordered to hold the shaft of Omean. The expedition already was doomed. How I wished that I might face Zat Arras with my longsword for just an instant before I died! It was he who had caused our failure. 1061/2610 . They were being pursued by another hostile fleet.The thing could not last much longer. No man that had embarked upon it would return across that dreary ice cap. the situation could be no worse. Well.

but finally I was forced to admit that the most fatal calamity had overtaken the expedition. for the fleet I saw was none other than the fleet of the First Born. that I should have been so terribly thwarted at every angle of my search for my lost love! Could it be possible that the curse of Issus was upon me! That there was. that should have been safely bottled up in Omean. for a moment I could not believe my eyes. In the wild lust of handto-hand combat my old dauntless 1062/2610 . throwing back my shoulders. and.As I watched the oncoming ten I saw their pursuers race swiftly into sight. What a series of misfortunes and disasters! What awful fate hovered over me. some malign divinity in that hideous carcass! I would not believe it. It was another great fleet. I ran to the deck below to join my men in repelling boarders from one of the thern craft that had grappled us broadside. indeed.

Then I joined Kantos Kan. Immediately he passed an order to one of his officers. He had been watching what had taken place on the deck below. And as thern after thern went down beneath my blade. even from apparent failure. 1063/2610 My presence among the men so greatly inspirited them that they fell upon the luckless whites with such terrible ferocity that within a few moments we had turned the tables upon them and a second later as we swarmed their own decks I had the satisfaction of seeing their commander take the long leap from the bows of his vessel in token of surrender and defeat.hopefulness returned. and presently the colours of the Prince . I could almost feel that we should win success in the end. and it seemed to have given him a new thought.

but eventually the colours of the Prince of Helium floated above every ship that had followed Zat Arras upon our trail-only his flagship flew them not. "Men of Helium for the Prince of Helium against all his enemies.of Helium broke from every point of the flagship. a cheer that was taken up by every other vessel of our expedition as they in turn broke my colours from their upper works. A signal legible to every sailor of all the fleets engaged in that fierce struggle was strung aloft upon the flagship. Then from another and another. . On some we could see fierce battles waging between the Zodangan soldiery and the Heliumetic crews." it read. 1064/2610 Then Kantos Kan sprang his coup. Presently my colours broke from one of Zat Arras' ships. A great cheer arose from the men of our own ship.

There could be little or no manoeuvering of fleets in that crowded. I could see the thin features of the man from where I stood. His Zodangan crew was pouring broadside after broadside into us and we were returning their fire with equal ferocity. 1065/2610 Zat Arras' flagship was close to my own.Zat Arras had brought five thousand ships. fire-split sky. and the fight had settled to countless individual duels. I rushed to the deck to be . It was Helium against the field now. Closer and closer came the two vessels until but a few yards intervened. The sky was black with the three enormous fleets. There was but a yard between the two mighty ships as the first grappling irons were hurled. We were preparing for the death struggle with our hated enemy. Grapplers and boarders lined the contiguous rails of each.

and . and as my men cleared the lower decks I sprang to the forward deck where stood Zat Arras.with my men as they boarded. cheering. For an instant he stood hesitating. "Yield and you shall have quarter. 1066/2610 Down went the Zodangans before that surging tide of war. Just as the vessels came together with a slight shock. Zat Arras. After me poured a yelling. "You are my prisoner." I cried. Nothing could withstand them in the fever of battle lust which enthralled them. cursing throng of Helium's best fighting-men. I forced my way through the lines and was the first to spring to the deck of Zat Arras' ship." For a moment I could not tell whether he contemplated acceding to my demand or facing me with drawn sword.

and in this I thought I saw our salvation. 1067/2610 And thus came Zat Arras. On and on went that strange battle. Wherever thern ship met ship of the First Born was a battle royal. taking a position to the west and south of the combatants. Jed of Zodanga. I also sent an air scout to the fighting green men in .then throwing down his arms he turned and rushed to the opposite side of the deck. to his end. Before I could overtake him he had sprung to the rail and hurled himself headforemost into the awful depths below. The therns and blacks had not combined against us. Wherever messages could be passed between us that could not be intercepted by our enemies I passed the word that all our vessels were to withdraw from the fight as rapidly as possible.

1068/2610 My commanders were further instructed that when engaged with an enemy to draw him as rapidly as possible toward a ship of his hereditary foeman. with Kantos Kan. Carthoris and I. and to the transports to join us. .the gardens below to re-embark. and by careful manoeuvring to force the two to engage. and just before the sun went down I had the satisfaction of seeing all that was left of my once mighty fleet gathered nearly twenty miles southwest of the still terrific battle between the blacks and whites. I now transferred Xodar to another battleship and sent him with all the transports and five thousand battleships directly overhead to the Temple of Issus. This stratagem worked to perfection. thus leaving him-self free to withdraw.

while Carthoris. and though they gave battle immediately in an effort to stem the tide . guided by Xodar. which Carthoris knew so well. It seemed that when they had come upon the shaft the navy of the First Born were already issuing from its mouth. 1069/2610 Our plan now was to attempt to make a combined assault upon Issus at dawn of the following day. Fully twenty vessels had emerged. were to land within the garden of Issus or the surrounding plains. and I were to lead our smaller force from the sea of Omean through the pits beneath the temple.took the remaining ships and headed for the entrance to Omean. Kantos Kan. I now learned for the first time the cause of my ten ships' retreat from the mouth of the shaft. Tars Tarkas with his green warriors and Hor Vastus with the red men.

the odds against them were too great and they were forced to flee. 1070/2610 With great caution we approached the shaft. . under cover of darkness. and from there Carthoris went ahead alone upon a one-man flier to reconnoitre. while one by one the other vessels followed me in quick succession. At a distance of several miles I caused the fleet to be halted. and so we moved swiftly and noiselessly forward once more toward Omean. At the mouth of the shaft we stopped again for a moment for all the vessels to reach their previously appointed stations. then with the flagship I dropped quickly into the black depths.that rolled from the black pit. In perhaps half an hour he returned to report that there was no sign of a patrol boat or of the enemy in any form.

for we did not have sufficient force all told to have withstood the vast navy of the First Born had they returned to engage us. And such proved to be the case. Nor would it have profited us any to have done so. In fact. four hundred of my fleet of five hundred rested safely upon the bosom of Omean . 1071/2610 For the safety of our entrance upon Omean we depended largely upon the very boldness of it.We had decided to stake all on the chance that we would be able to reach the temple by the subterranean way and so we left no guard of vessels at the shaft's mouth. believing that it would be some little time before the First Born on guard there would realize that it was an enemy and not their own returning fleet that was entering the vault of the buried sea.

for the First Born in the carelessness of fancied security had left but a handful of ancient and obsolete hulks to guard their mighty harbour. where we managed to wedge a number of them securely in the interior of the great well. We now felt that it would be some time at least before the returning First Born . The battle was short and hot. Then we turned on the buoyance rays in the balance of them and let them rise by themselves to further block the passage to Omean as they came into contact with the vessels already lodged there.before the first shot was fired. and then towed the ships of the First Born to the shaft. 1072/2610 It was at Carthoris' suggestion that we landed our prisoners under guard upon a couple of the larger islands. but there could have been but one outcome.

and at once placed a strong guard upon it and the island. where I remained to wait the coming of Carthoris and the others. He recognized me from the three trips that I had taken with him during my captivity among the First Born. Among the prisoners was Yersted. 1073/2610 I found the submarine in its pool.could reach the surface of Omean. One of the first steps I took was to hasten personally with a good-sized force to the island of the submarine. . commander of the submarine. and that we would have ample opportunity to make for the subterranean passages which lead to Issus. which I took without resistance on the part of the small guard there.

"How does it seem. "for you were all ready to become my prisoners with scarce a blow struck on either side." he replied. 1074/2610 "It will not be for long." I said. "to have the tables turned? To be prisoner of your erstwhile captive?" He smiled. "We have been expecting you and we are prepared." I answered. "but it will return to Omean." "The fleet must have missed you. a very grim smile pregnant with hidden meaning." he said." "I do not know that the fleet has missed me as yet. and then that will be a very different matter-for John Carter." "So it would appear." I asked him. but of course he did . John Carter.

" he assented. for her great beauty. 1075/2610 "Many prisoners travel to Issus in your grim craft. for the fact that she was wife to the first mortal that ever escaped from Issus through all the countless ages of her godhood. and then. Yersted?" I asked. "Might you remember one whom men called Dejah Thoris?" "Well. "Very many.not grasp my meaning." I shuddered for fear of the cowardly revenge that I knew Issus might have taken upon the innocent Dejah Thoris . too. And the way that Issus remembers her best as the wife of one and the mother of another who raised their hands against the Goddess of Life Eternal. and only looked puzzled. indeed.

"and I saw her then sitting in her accustomed place at the foot of Issus. It was to me as though it brought her closer to me. no.for the sacrilege of her son and her husband." replied Yersted. "she is not dead." replied the black. "Yesterday the monthly rites of Issus were held. then?" "Why." I cried." "What. 1076/2610 "And where is Dejah Thoris now?" I asked. knowing that he would say the words I most dreaded. but yet I loved her so that I could not refrain from hearing even the worst about her fate so that it fell from the lips of one who had seen her but recently. "it has been no year since she gazed upon the divine glory of the radiant face of--" "No year?" I interrupted. .

Why had I forgotten the great difference in the length of Martian and Earthly years! The ten Earth years I had spent upon Barsoom had encompassed but five years and ninety-six days of Martian time. "It cannot have been upward of three hundred and seventy or eighty days. How stupid I had been! I could scarcely retain an outward exhibition of my great joy. until at last I must have voiced them audibly. I am in time! I am in time! The words surged through my brain again and again. . no." 1077/2610 A great light burst upon me." insisted Yersted. for Yersted shook his head. and whose years number six hundred and eighty-seven days. whose days are forty-one minutes longer than ours."Why.

Dejah Thoris will be put away for ever from the last faint hope of rescue. if such a calamity should befall. other than as a last resort. John Carter. Issus will not give up her own. It lies far within the inner court of the Temple of Issus. She knows that you are coming. Beneath it. and ere ever a vandal foot is set within the precincts of the Temple of Issus." he replied." "You mean that she will be killed merely to thwart me?" I asked. "Hast ever heard of the Temple of the Sun? It is there that they will put her. in the ground. "No."In time to save your Princess?" he asked. a little temple that raises a thin spire far above the spires and minarets of the great temple that surrounds it. and then without waiting for my reply. 1078/2610 "Not that. there lies the main body of the temple consisting in six hundred and .

eighty-seven circular chambers. 1079/2610 "Here Issus puts those who displease her. but whom she does not care to execute forthwith. "As the entire Temple of the Sun revolves once with each revolution of Barsoom about the sun. or again but enough food is deposited in . To each chamber a single corridor leads through solid rock from the pits of Issus. one below another. that death may come in a certain horrible form upon a given day. Or to punish a noble of the First Born she may cause him to be placed within a chamber of the Temple of the Sun for a year. but once each year does the entrance to each separate chamber come opposite the mouth of the corridor which forms its only link to the world without. Ofttimes she imprisons an executioner with the condemned.

yet was I as far from her as when I stood upon the banks of the Hudson forty-eight million miles away. . and her fate will be sealed by the first alien foot that crosses the threshold of Issus. although I had performed the miraculous and come within a few short moments of my divine Princess. 1080/2610 "Thus will Dejah Thoris die.the chamber to sustain life but the number of days that Issus has allotted for mental anguish." So I was to be thwarted in the end.

for at my back I would have a force ample for the occasion. Once within its hated walls I was positive that I could overcome the guards of Issus and bear away my Princess. No sooner had Carthoris and the others joined me than we commenced the transportation of our men through the submerged passage to the mouth of the gangways which lead from the submarine pool at the temple end of the watery tunnel to the pits of Issus.CHAPTER XXI THROUGH FLAME FLOOD 1081/2610 AND Yersted's information convinced me that there was no time to be lost. . I must reach the Temple of Issus secretly before the forces under Tars Tarkas assaulted at dawn.

and I at once conjectured that another submarine was rising to the 1082/2610 . and so it was decided that he lead us all as quickly as possible to a point near the temple's centre. but at last all stood safely together again at the beginning of the end of our quest. At first they seemed to be merely agitated as from the movement of some great body beneath the surface. As Carthoris alone knew the hidden ways of the tunnels we could not divide the party and attack the temple at several points at once as would have been most desirable.Many trips were required. an officer called my attention to the waters upon which the submarine floated. As we were about to leave the pool and enter the corridor. all seasoned fighting-men of the most warlike race of the red men of Barsoom. Five thousand strong we were.

We must reach the upper levels of the pits in advance of the flood or we shall never reach them. "We will follow. Come." I cried. "Haste!" he cried." "Lead the way." 1083/2610 . For a moment I did not fully grasp the terrible import of the slowly rising water. It was Carthoris who realized the full meaning of the thing--its cause and the reason for it. but presently it became apparent that the level of the waters was rising. "If we delay. and that soon they would overflow the sides of the pool and submerge the floor of the chamber. not with extreme rapidity. The pumps of Omean have been stopped. but very surely. Carthoris.surface in pursuit of us. we all are lost. They would drown us like rats in a trap.

Entirely unaccustomed to water except in quantities sufficient for drinking and bathing purposes the red Martians instinctively shrank from it in such formidable depths and menacing activity. spoke well for their bravery and their discipline. I was the last to leave the chamber of the submarine. and in column of twos the soldiers followed him in good order. the youth leaped into one of the corridors. and as I followed the rear of the column toward the corridor. each company entering the corridor only at the command of its dwar.At my command. That they were undaunted while it swirled and eddied about their ankles. and that the men were nervous was quite evident. or captain. 1084/2610 Before the last company filed from the chamber the water was ankle deep. I .

so. the rapidity of its rise would increase in inverse ratio to the everlessening space to be filled. The corridor. was flooded to the same depth. that they were gaining rapidly upon us. nor was there any perceptible rise for many yards. who brought up the rear. too. The march of the troops through the corridor was as rapid as was consistent with the number of men that moved through so narrow a passage.moved through water to my knees. as with the narrowing expanse of Omean as the waters rose toward the apex of its dome. did the waters rise until it soon became apparent to me. but it was not ample to permit us to gain appreciably on the pursuing tide. for its floor was on a level with the floor of the chamber from which it led. I could understand the reason for this. As the level of the passage rose. too. 1085/2610 .

Long ere the last of the column could hope to reach the upper pits which lay above the danger point I was convinced that the waters would surge after us in overwhelming volume. Something must be done at once or they would rush forward upon their fellows in a mad stampede that would result in trampling down hundreds beneath the flood and eventually clogging the passage beyond any hope of retreat for those in advance. and that fully half the expedition would be snuffed out. I saw a diverging corridor which seemed to rise at a steep angle at my right. The waters were now swirling about my waist. 1086/2610 As I cast about for some means of saving as many as possible of the doomed men. The men directly before me were quickly becoming panicstricken. .

Raising my voice to its utmost. so that some three thousand men came about and hastened into the teeth of the flood to reach the corridor up which I directed them. The men filed rapidly past me and entered the ." I shouted. and under no circumstances to venture into the open. "or you know that I died before I could reach you. "Call back the last twenty-five utans. I shouted my command to the dwars ahead of me." 1087/2610 My orders were obeyed by nearer thirty utans. As the first dwar passed in with his utan I cautioned him to listen closely for my commands. Turn back and follow me. or leave the pits for the temple proper until I should have come up with him. "Here seems a way of escape." The officer saluted and left me.

floundered. The water rose breast high. At length the dwar of the 10th utan took a stand beside me. Gur Tus by name. and went down. and a padwar of the fifth utan joined us when his utan reached the opening through which the men were fleeing. Djor Kantos. Many I grasped and set upon their feet again. Thereafter not a man was lost of all the hundreds that remained to pass from the main corridor to the branch. and together we kept the now thoroughly frightened troops in the semblance of order and rescued many that would have drowned otherwise. Soldiers were being swept beneath the boiling torrent. son of Kantos Kan.diverging corridor which I hoped would lead to safety. but alone the work was greater than I could cope with. He was a valorous soldier. 1088/2610 . Men stumbled. never to rise.

so that within a hundred yards we had reached a point above the waters. which I hoped would soon bring us quickly to the upper pits that let into the Temple of Issus. But I was to meet with a cruel disappointment. For a few minutes we continued rapidly up the steep grade.As the last utan was filing past us the waters had risen until they surged about our necks. followed almost at once by cries of terror and the loud commands of dwars and padwars who were evidently attempting to direct their men away from some grave danger. but we clasped hands and stood our ground until the last man had passed to the comparative safety of the new passageway. Suddenly I heard a cry of "fire" far ahead. At last the 1089/2610 . Here we found an immediate and steep ascent.

Again I stood to one side while the soldiers hastened through on the new way. "They have fired the pits ahead." "We are hemmed in by flames in front and flood behind. when the stream ceased." and then there swept back upon us at the rear a wave of dense smoke that sent came back to us. The fire and smoke were to be feared a thousand times over the water. and so I seized upon the first gallery which led out of and up from the suffocating smoke that was engulfing us. into a choking retreat. John Carter. but I was not sure that all had been rescued who had not passed the point of 1090/2610 . Some two thousand must have passed at a rapid run." "Help. we are suffocating. There was naught to do other than seek a new avenue of escape. stumbling and blinded.

origin of the flames. but at last I reached a point where the fire lit up the corridor sufficiently for me to see that no soldier of Helium lay between me and the conflagration--what was in it or upon the far side I could not know. nor could any man have passed through that seething hell of chemicals and lived to learn. Having satisfied my sense of duty. It was hot and stifling work. I ran quickly up the gallery in the direction of the flames which I could now see burning with a dull glow far ahead. To my horror. I turned and ran rapidly back to the corridor through which my men had passed. I found that my retreat in this direction had been blocked--across the mouth of the 1091/2610 . however. unsuccoured. and so to assure myself that no poor devil was left behind to die a horrible death.

nor the starting of a chemical combustion within the one corridor through which we were advancing upon the Temple of Issus been due to aught than well-calculated design. in view of the attack of the fleet upon us the day before. 1092/2610 That our principal movements were known to the First Born I could not have doubted. then. to rescue Dejah Thoris were I to be compelled to . What chance had I. nor could the stopping of the pumps of Omean at the psychological moment have been due to chance.corridor stood a massive steel grating that had evidently been lowered from its resting-place above for the purpose of effectually cutting off my escape. And now the dropping of the steel gate to pen me effectually between fire and flood seemed to indicate that invisible eyes were upon us at every moment.

fight foes who never showed themselves. Now I saw that it would have been much better to have kept our force intact and made a concerted attack upon the temple from the valley side. It was this fact that assured me that I was not far from the 1093/2610 . The smoke from the fire was forcing me further and further back down the corridor toward the waters which I could hear surging through the darkness. nor was this corridor lighted by the radiance of phosphorescent rock as were those of the lower levels. A thousand times I berated myself for being drawn into such a trap as I might have known these pits easily could be. With my men had gone the last torch. trusting to chance and our great fighting ability to have overwhelmed the First Born and compelled the safe delivery of Dejah Thoris to me.

waiting for my head to touch the top of the corridor. . unafraid and in the possession of his highest reasoning faculties. There seemed but one thing to do. The smoke was thick behind me. and I swam on through utter blackness toward--what? The instinct of self-preservation is strong even when one. knows that death--positive and unalterable--lies just ahead. which would mean that I had reached the limit of my flight and the point where I must sink for ever to an unmarked grave. And so I swam slowly on. and that to choose the easier death which confronted me. My suffering was intense. 1094/2610 Finally I felt the lapping waters about my feet. and so I moved on down the corridor until the cold waters of Omean closed about me.upper pits which lie directly beneath the temple.

I was positive that I must soon feel the solid floor beneath my feet again and that once more my chance would come to reach the Temple of Issus and the side of the fair prisoner who languished there. On and on I swam. I had come to the main corridor. my heart growing lighter at every stroke.But to my surprise I ran against a blank wall before I reached a point where the waters came to the roof of the corridor. And then I turned up the main corridor in the direction that Carthoris and the head of the column had passed a half-hour before. Could I be mistaken? I felt around. and still there was a breathing space between the surface of the water and the rocky ceiling above. for I knew that I was approaching closer and closer to the point where there would be no chance that the waters ahead could be deeper than they were about me. No. 1095/2610 .

but of what value was that to me. The worst. 1096/2610 . then. I had reached one of those rare places where a Martian tunnel dips suddenly to a lower level. Time and time again I rose with upstretched hand. Somewhere beyond I knew that it rose again.But even as hope was at its highest I felt the sudden shock of contact as my head struck the rocks above. icy blackness on and on along the submerged gallery. I dived beneath the surface and swam through the inky. had come to me. Filling my lungs with air. only to feel the disappointing rocks close above me. and I took it. since I did not know how great the distance that it maintained a level entirely beneath the surface of the water! There was but a single forlorn hope.

I knew positively that I could never endure to retrace my path now to the point from which I had felt the waters close above my head.Not for much longer would my lungs withstand the strain upon them. Weakly I rose for the last time--my tortured lungs gasped for the breath that would fill them with a strange and numbing element. nor was there any retreating now that I had gone this far. nor ever can I recall a time that I so distinctly felt the icy breath from his dead lips upon my brow. I felt that I must soon succumb. but instead I felt the revivifying breath of lifegiving air surge through my starving nostrils into my dying lungs. 1097/2610 One more frantic effort I made with my fast ebbing strength. Death stared me in the face. . I was saved.

which ran on. probably. It was at the right side of the corridor. Sooner than I had expected I came to what appeared to me to be a sudden exit into the temple above. What knew I where any of them led! And so without waiting to be again 1098/2610 . To me one point was as good as another. If I could not have Dejah Thoris again I was at least determined to avenge her death. to other entrances to the pile above. and soon thereafter I was above the water level entirely. and racing like mad along the corridor searching for the first doorway that would lead me to Issus.A few more strokes brought me to a point where my feet touched the floor. nor would any life satisfy me other than that of the fiend incarnate who was the cause of such immeasurable suffering upon Barsoom.

From the hangings and sumptuous furniture of the room I judged it to be a living-room of some priestess. and before it could be slammed against me I sprang into the chamber beyond. At the thought the blood tingled through my veins. What. Closer and closer . steep incline and pushed open the doorway at its end. Although not yet dawn. I ran quickly up the short.discovered and thwarted. Its sole occupant lay prone upon a low couch at the further side. With her as hostage I could force acquiescence to my every demand. if fortune had been kind enough to place the hideous creature alone and unguarded in my hands. apparently in sleep. on noiseless feet. 1099/2610 The portal swung slowly in. possibly of Issus herself. Cautiously I approached the recumbent figure. indeed. the room was brilliantly lighted.

and.I came to it. but I had crossed but little more than half the chamber when the figure stirred. as I sprang. rose and faced me. 1100/2610 My heart pounded within my breast as I advanced toward her--tears came to my eyes--and the words that would have poured forth in a perfect torrent choked in my throat as I opened my arms and took into them once more the woman I loved--Dejah Thoris. . At first an expression of terror overspread the features of the woman who confronted me--then startled incredulity--hope--thanksgiving. Princess of Helium.

When the girl. Thuvia. I resigned . John Carter.CHAPTER XXII VICTORY AND DEFEAT 1101/2610 "John Carter. for it seemed that such happiness would be impossible for one who had suffered so in silent loneliness for all these long years. I listened. with her dear head upon my shoulder. when I realized that it was truth. but I could not understand. told me that you had returned to Barsoom. I learned to doubt that even you could reach me here. and then came to know the awful place in which I was held prisoner. "As the days passed. and moon after moon went by without bringing even the faintest rumour of you. At last. "even now I can scarce believe the witness of my own eyes." she sobbed.

" I replied. She said that she would . scarce can I believe it. our son?" 1102/2610 "He was with me less than an hour since. Dejah Thoris shrugged her shoulders. And now that you have come. but I have hoped against hope that it might be the men of Helium headed by my Prince. "Where is Issus?" I asked suddenly. I knew not what they meant. "She sent me under guard to this room just before the fighting began within the temple halls. "And tell me.myself to my fate. "It must have been he whose men you have heard battling within the precincts of the temple. For an hour I have heard the sounds of conflict within the palace. what of Carthoris. Dejah Thoris.

Now I know that it must have been because she had learned that John Carter. I knew that I was needed there. Prince of Helium. nor dared I take her with me into the turmoil and danger of battle. was approaching to demand an accounting of her for the imprisonment of his Princess. Never have I seen her act in so uncertain and almost terrified a manner. but I dared not leave Dejah Thoris. Why not secrete her there until I could return and fetch her away in safety and for 1103/2610 ." The sounds of conflict.send for me later. At last I bethought me of the pits from which I had just emerged. She seemed very angry and somewhat fearful. the clash of arms. the shouting and the hurrying of many feet came to us from various parts of the temple.

I explained my plan to her. None can imagine her ferocious cruelty who has not witnessed her daily acts for over half a year. "I cannot bear to be parted from you now.ever from this awful place. "I shudder at the thought of being alone again where that terrible creature might discover me. . my Princess. even for a moment. John Carter. then she drew my face to hers and kissed me." "I shall not leave you. You do not know her. then." she said. It has taken me nearly all this time to realize even the things that I have seen with my own eyes. 1104/2610 For a moment she clung more closely to me. She was silent for a moment." I replied.

and the soldiers of Helium. kissed her once again. I hurried from the chamber in the direction of the greatest tumult. I must not think of myself now. and then. Hide me in the pits. I guided her across the threshold." 1105/2610 I led her to the door through which I had entered the chamber from below. though it tore my heart to do it. John Carter." she said. but of them and of my husband's duty. I may not stand in the way of that. and filled me only with the blackest shadows of terrible foreboding. There I pressed her dear form to me. Without hesitating longer. Where they are you should be. fighting for the Princess of Helium. "Our son is there."Go. Scarce half a dozen chambers had I traversed before I came . and closed the door upon her. and go.

Coming from within as I did. while the reds without took heart at the sound of my voice. and with shouts of "John Carter! John Carter!" redoubled their efforts so effectually that before the blacks could recover from their 1106/2610 . The blacks were massed at the entrance to a great chamber where they were attempting to block the further progress of a body of red men toward the inner sacred precincts of the temple. I charged swiftly across the chamber and fell upon them from the rear with my keen long-sword. I found myself behind the blacks. "For Helium!" And then I rained cut after cut upon the surprised warriors. without waiting to even calculate their numbers or the foolhardiness of my venture.upon the theatre of a fierce struggle. As I struck the first blow I cried aloud. and.

No man asked quarter or gave it. With . had it had but a competent chronicler.temporary demoralization their ranks were broken and the red men had burst into the chamber. as though to determine once and for all their right to live. 1107/2610 The fight within that room. the black men against the red. I think we all knew that upon the outcome of this battle would hinge for ever the relative positions of these two races upon Barsoom. Five hundred men fought there that day. in accordance with the law of the survival of the fittest. would go down in the annals of Barsoom as a historic memorial to the grim ferocity of her warlike people. As though by common assent they fought. but not for once did I question the outcome of it. It was a battle between the old and the new.

and with one accord every eye turned in the direction I had indicated. As we swung toward the great windows which overlooked the gardens of Issus a sight met my gaze which sent a wave of exultation over me. and the sight they saw was one no man of the First Born had ever imagined could be. until the floor was ankle deep in blood.Carthoris at my side I fought for the red men of Barsoom and for their total emancipation from the throttling bondage of a hideous superstition. . 1108/2610 Back and forth across the room we surged. look!" For an instant the fighting ceased. "Look!" I cried. and dead men lay so thickly there that half the time we stood upon their bodies as we fought. "Men of the First Born.

one. but only for a moment--then the fearsome beasts that . and with a wild and terrifying battle-cry the green warriors charged. fiercer and more grimly terrible than his fellows. while beyond them and forcing them ever back was a great horde of green warriors astride their mighty thoats. Another word from the great Thark. rode forward from the rear. Then it was that we interpreted his command. and as he couched his great forty-foot metal-shod lance we saw his warriors do likewise. And as we watched. Jeddak of Thark. stood a wavering line of black warriors.Across the gardens. 1109/2610 It was Tars Tarkas. For a moment the black line held. Twenty yards now separated the green men from the black line. from side to side. and as he came he shouted some fierce command to his terrible legion.

A silk lay upon the floor. It had not been there before. There were also a dagger and several metal ornaments . The green horde broke to surround the temple. 1110/2610 After them came utan upon utan of red men. with my boy close beside me.bore equally terrible riders passed completely through it. My first thought was of Dejah Thoris. I started on a run toward the chamber where I had left her. The red men charged for the interior. but our foes had vanished. and then we turned to continue our interrupted battle. The moment I entered the room I saw that some one had been there since I had left. Calling to Carthoris that I had found his mother. After us came those of our little force who had survived the bloody conflict.

but let no man harm her but John Carter. and. "Issus!" I cried." cried the boy. . without waiting to know that I had heard him. but I know that for an instant I was seized with the rage of a maniac. the door leading to the pits where I had hidden my Princess was ajar.strewn about as though torn from their wearer in a struggle. "Issus! Where is Issus? Search the temple for her. where are the apartments of Issus?" "This way. Carthoris. I think in that instant I hovered upon the verge of insanity. 1111/2610 With a bound I was before it. and. Dejah Thoris had vanished. But worst of all. I called her name aloud again and again. but there was no response. rushed within. he dashed off at breakneck speed. thrusting it open. I do not recall what I said or did.

And then by the mere weight and momentum of my body. Within. I rushed completely through the two remaining ranks and sprang upon the dais beside the carved sorapus throne. With a single cut I struck down two in the front rank. so quickly were we upon them. . however. As fast as he went. a foot ahead of me. We did not even give the men a chance to draw. 1112/2610 At last we came to a great carved door. and through this Carthoris dashed.further into the bowels of the temple. and about it the ranks of soldiery. with the reclining slaves. I was still beside him. urging him on to greater speed. we came upon such a scene as I had witnessed within the temple once before--the throne of Issus.

Before she had half arisen I had grasped her by the arm. as I saw the guard starting to make a concerted rush upon me from all sides. while from the outer corridor there swept into the throne room at the heels of my little party of survivors a full thousand red . Then an officer ordered them back." For an instant they hesitated. 1113/2610 "Back!" I cried to them. holding it close to that vile breast.The repulsive creature. ordered them to halt. attempted to escape me and leap into a trap behind her. and then. "Back! The first black foot that is planted upon this platform sends my dagger into Issus' heart. squatting there in terror. But this time I was not to be outwitted by any such petty subterfuge. I whipped out my dagger and.

a terrible realization of what it meant to her--the loss of power--humiliation--the exposure of the fraud and imposture which she had for so long played upon her own people. and Xodar. "Where is Dejah Thoris?" I cried to the thing within my hands. and that was added by the . too. There was just one thing needed to complete the reality of the picture she was seeing. When she under Kantos Kan. there must have come. 1114/2610 For a moment her eyes roved wildly about the scene beneath her. I think that it took a moment for the true condition to make any impression upon her-she could not at first realize that the temple had fallen before the assault of men of the outer world. Hor Vastus.

Strike!" And then it was that she went mad. 1115/2610 "Issus. thy people depend upon thee." he cried. The slave girls upon the dais shrieked and cowered away. Issus. and of Life Eternal. And the thing jumped at them . We await thy will.highest noble of her realm--the high priest of her religion--the prime minister of her government. "arise in the might of thy righteous wrath and with one single wave of thy omnipotent hand strike dead thy blasphemers! Let not one escape. Goddess of Death. I am done. Daughter of the Lesser Moon. Thou only canst save thy people. A screaming. And then it laughed a weird and terrible laughter that froze the blood. It bit and clawed and scratched in impotent fury. gibbering maniac writhed in my grasp. thou only art all-powerful.

unearthly laugh pierced our ears once more. "Dejah Thoris? Dejah Thoris?" and then that shrill. hoping to recall it for a moment to rationality.and gnashed its teeth and then spat upon them from frothing lips. but it was a horrid sight. daughter of Matai Shang. and Phaidor. "Yes. "Where is Dejah Thoris?" I cried again. then a sudden gleam of cunning shot into those hideous. And Thuvia. Dejah Thoris--I know. but ere the year is quite gone there will 1116/2610 . They each love John Carter. Ha-ah! but it is droll. God. Together for a year they will meditate within the Temple of the Sun. close-set eyes. The awful creature in my grasp mumbled inarticulately for a moment. Finally. I shook the thing.

or you die!" "It is too late. I trembled in the ferocity of my rage." and she licked the froth from her cruel lips. "Countermand your orders!" I cried. Almost of its own no more food for them. Ho-oh! what divine entertainment. To this awful fate the creature within my power had condemned my Princess. As a terrier shakes a rat I shook Issus. Ha-ah! Ha-ah!" and then she commenced her gibbering and shrieking again. "There will be no more food--except each other. Haste. Ha-ah! Ha-ah!" 1117/2610 The horror of the suggestion nearly paralysed me. But . "Recall the condemned. Goddess of Life Eternal. my dagger flew up above that putrid heart.

Take her. "you have seen to-day the impotency of Issus--the gods are impotent. It were a terrible thing to have struck down a woman with one's own hand. would not contaminate his hand with her blood. She is a cruel and wicked old woman. turning to those who stood within the chamber. Issus is no god. But a fitter fate occurred to me for this false deity.something stayed my hand." and with that I pushed the raving beast. Prince of Helium." I cried. "First Born. and I am now glad that it did. John Carter. who has deceived and played upon you for ages. whom a short half-hour before a whole world had worshipped as divine. 1118/2610 . from the platform of her throne into the waiting clutches of her betrayed and vengeful people.

1119/2610 . and. without waiting to learn what fate the First Born would wreak upon their goddess. inlaid with diamond.Spying Xodar among the officers of the red men. until we stood within the central court--a great circular space paved with a transparent marble of exquisite whiteness. and the thousand nameless gems of Mars. I called him to lead me quickly to the Temple of the Sun. I rushed from the chamber with Xodar. which far transcend in loveliness and purity of ray the most priceless stones of Earth. turquoise. Hor Vastus. The black led us rapidly through the inner chambers of the temple. and a score of other red nobles. emerald. Before us rose a golden temple wrought in the most wondrous and fanciful designs. Carthoris. ruby. Kantos Kan. sapphire.

Just as we were on the point of descending we heard a deep-toned roar burst from the Temple of Issus. "The blacks have fired the temple." he cried." cried Xodar. padwar of the fifth utan. "In a thousand places it is burning now. Haste to the outer gardens. crying to us to return. and far above the highest minaret of Issus hung an ever-growing pall of smoke."This way. or you are lost. broke from a nearby gate. Djor Kantos. 1120/2610 ." As he spoke we saw smoke pouring from a dozen windows looking out upon the courtyard of the Temple of the Sun. which we had but just quitted. and then a red man. leading us toward the entrance to a tunnel which opened in the courtyard beside the temple.

and with her were Thuvia and Phaidor. At his heels I ran down through a halfdozen tiers of galleries. "The way! Xodar."Go back! Go back!" I cried to those who had accompanied me. Slowly the interval was closing. Massive bars blocked our further progress. 1121/2610 . but beyond I saw her--my incomparable Princess. I shall reach my Princess yet. John Carter. and without waiting for my reply he dashed down into the tunnel at our feet. When she saw me she rushed toward the bars that separated us." "Follow me." replied Xodar. until at last he led me along a level floor at the end of which I discerned a lighted chamber. point the way and leave me. Already the chamber had turned upon its slow way so far that but a portion of the opening in the temple wall was opposite the barred end of the corridor.

though I shall go and make the attempt. But in the meantime what horrible things would go on within that chamber! "Xodar!" I cried. and for a long Barsoomian year the chamber would slowly revolve until once more for a brief day the aperture in its wall would pass the corridor's end.In a short time there would be but a tiny crack. I fear. . whom we could fetch in time. Wait for me here. and then even that would be closed." After he had left I stood and talked with Dejah Thoris. "Can no power stop this awful revolving thing? Is there none who holds the secret of these terrible bars?" 1122/2610 "None. and she stretched her dear hand through those cruel bars that I might hold it until the last moment.

.Thuvia and Phaidor when Thuvia saw alone she withdrew the chamber. "this be the last time that you shall see any of us. Thereafter she stood a little way apart. "I am sorry." she said." She bit her lip and turned away. but that we would be to the further side of so the daughter of 1123/2610 "John Carter. but not before I saw the black and ugly scowl she turned upon Dejah Thoris." I replied quietly. Not Matai Shang. for I had many little confidences to impart to my long-lost love." "I love only the Princess of Helium. Tell me that you love me. but not so far as I should have desired. but it is as I have told you from the beginning. came close also. Phaidor. that I may die happy.

"even the pits are burning. Above we could hear the faint echoes of a great tumult." 1124/2610 . Ever smaller and smaller grew the opening. Oh. and hurrying feet. As we stood waiting for Xodar the smoke became thicker and thicker. In a short time now it would be too small even to permit the slender form of my Princess to pass. "Come back. Presently we heard shouting at the far end of the corridor. come back!" cried a voice. John Carter.For a few minutes we stood thus talking in low tones. why did not Xodar haste. A draught from above brought the fumes of smoke to our nostrils. It was the multitude of black and red and green men fighting their way through the fire from the burning Temple of Issus.

" "Go. Our only hope is to quench this conflagration and trust to fate that a year will find your Princess alive and well. When this crack closes no smoke can reach them. "I shall remain here beside my Princess until a merciful 1125/2610 . and Xodar. yourself and take these others with you. and Kantos Kan. There was Carthoris. and Hor Vastus. John Carter. then." I replied.In a moment a dozen men broke through the now blinding smoke to my side. and if we hasten to extinguish the flames I believe they will be safe. with a few more who had followed me to the temple court." cried Xodar. "There is no hope. "The keeper of the keys is dead and his keys are not upon his carcass. I have brought sufficient food to last them.

Nor ever hope to hold thy Dejah Thoris in thy arms again.death releases me from my anguish. but know that when the waiting is over it . I care not to live. whispering words of hope and courage to me." 1126/2610 As I spoke Xodar had been tossing a great number of tiny cans within the prison cell. Dejah Thoris stood as close to it as she could. John Carter. The remaining crack was not over an inch in width a moment later. that you may so lightly cast aside the love of Phaidor. long year. "Think not. daughter of Matai Shang. Suddenly beyond her I saw the beautiful face of Phaidor contorted into an expression of malign hatred. Wait you the long. As my eyes met hers she spoke. and urging me to save myself.

" cried Xodar. she dies!" 1127/2610 And as she finished speaking I saw her raise a dagger on high. A blinding gust of smoke blotted out the tragedy within that fearsome cell--a shriek rang out. but gazing upon a blank wall. "In a moment it will be too late. a single shriek. They urged me to leave. and then I saw another figure.shall be Phaidor's arms which shall welcome you--not those of the Princess of Helium. and for a that hideous chamber would secret from the eyes of men. "There is. as the dagger fell. Behold. The smoke cleared away. but a bare we stood The last long year retain its . As the dagger fell toward the unprotected breast of my love. It was Thuvia's. in fact. crevice had closed. Thuvia was almost between them.

chance that we can come through to the outer garden alive even now. and in five minutes the pits will be flooded. nor has any other who was there that day intruded on my sorrow or recalled to my mind the 1128/2610 . I have ordered the pumps started. I have never asked. When they carry her dear body from that terrible place a year hence let them find the body of her lord awaiting her. If we would not drown like rats in a trap we must hasten above and make a dash for safety through the burning temple. I do not know." Of what happened after that I have only a confused recollection. It seems as though I struggled with many men. and then that I was picked bodily from the ground and borne away. "Let me die here beside my Princess--there is no hope or happiness elsewhere for me." "Go." I urged them.

zip ***** .htm or 64-h. by Edgar Rice Burroughs *** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE GODS OF MARS *** ***** This file should be named 64-h. what a burden of suspense would be lifted from my shoulders! But whether the assassin's dagger reached one fair bosom or another. only time will divulge. 1129/2610 End of Project Gutenberg's The Gods of Mars.occurrences which they know could but at best reopen the terrible wound within my heart. Ah! If I could but know one thing.

2008 [EBook #68] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG . give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www. by Edgar Rice Burroughs 1130/2610 This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.gutenberg.This and all associated files of various formats will be found in: http://www. You may copy Title: Warlord of Mars Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs Release Date: June The Project Gutenberg EBook of Warlord of Mars.

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1132/2610 Warlord of Mars Edgar Rice Burroughs .

1133/2610 CONTENTS On the River Iss Under the Mountains The Temple of the Sun The Secret Tower On the Kaolian Road A Hero in Kaol New Allies Through the Carrion Caves With the Yellow Men In Durance The Pit of Plenty "Follow the Rope!" The Magnet Switch The Tide of Battle Rewards The New Ruler .

1134/2610 ON THE RIVER ISS In the shadows of the forest that flanks the crimson plain by the side of the Lost Sea of Korus in the Valley Dor. . my princess lay entombed--but whether alive or dead I knew not. I crept stealthily along the trail of a shadowy form that hugged the darker places with a persistency that proclaimed the sinister nature of its errand. Had Phaidor's slim blade found that beloved heart? Time only would reveal the truth. For six long Martian months I had haunted the vicinity of the hateful Temple of the Sun. far beneath the surface of Mars. beneath the hurtling moons of Mars. within whose slowrevolving shaft. speeding their meteoric way close above the bosom of the dying planet.

As if it were yesterday. daughter of Matai Shang. yet vivid in my memory. . there remained the last scene before the gust of smoke blinded my eyes and the narrow slit that had given me sight of the interior of her cell closed between me and the Princess of Helium for a long Martian year. 1135/2610 Half of them had passed. distorted with jealous rage and hatred as she sprang forward with raised dagger upon the woman I loved. or would on the morrow. obliterating every event that had come before or after. I still saw the beautiful face of Phaidor.Six hundred and eighty-seven Martian days must come and go before the cell's door would again come opposite the tunnel's end where last I had seen my ever-beautiful Dejah Thoris.

I saw the red girl. had been spent close to the grim shaft that . and when the smoke had cleared. Thuvia of Ptarth. and all the time that I could spare from the numerous duties that had devolved upon me in the reconstruction of the government of the First Born since our victorious fleet and land forces had overwhelmed them. but never for an instant had the memory of the thing faded. 1136/2610 The smoke from the burning temple had come then to blot out the tragedy. Then silence. leap forward to prevent the hideous deed. the revolving temple had shut off all sight or sound from the chamber in which the three beautiful women were imprisoned. Much there had been to occupy my attention since that terrible moment. but in my ears rang the single shriek as the knife fell.

and with her the whole false fabric of their religion. Their deity was gone.held the mother of my boy. had been left in a state of chaos by my revealment of her as naught more than a wicked old woman. . and Tars Tarkas. Carthoris of Helium. 1137/2610 The race of blacks that for ages had worshiped Issus. the false deity of Mars. In their rage they had torn her to pieces. Fierce green warriors from the ocher sea bottoms of outer Mars had ridden their wild thoats across the sacred gardens of the Temple of Issus. Their vaunted navy had fallen in defeat before the superior ships and fighting men of the red men of Helium. From the high pinnacle of their egotism the First Born had been plunged to the depths of humiliation.

Jeddak of Thark. even the First Born themselves concurring in it. had sat upon the throne of Issus and ruled the First Born while the allies were deciding the conquered nation's fate. or prince. 1138/2610 At my suggestion Xodar became Jeddak of the First Born. Almost unanimous was the request that I ascend the ancient throne of the black men. the green warriors dispersed to their desolate sea bottoms. The peace of the Valley Dor thus assured. My heart could never be with the race that had heaped indignities upon my princess and my son. while we of Helium returned to our own country. . but I would have none of it. fiercest of them all. He had been a dator. until Issus had degraded him. so that his fitness for the high office bestowed was unquestioned.

her father. or his no less redoubtable son. for I would not believe that the mighty Tardos Mors. grandfather of Dejah Thoris. "Let one of their own blood rule you until they return. Once again I refused a throne.Here again was a throne offered me." I said to the assembled nobles of Helium. Jed of Helium. or his son. 1139/2610 Over a year had elapsed since they had set out to explore the northern hemisphere in search of Carthoris. and at last their disheartened people had accepted as truth the vague rumors of their death that had filtered in from the frozen region of the pole. Mors Kajak. since no word had been received from the missing Jeddak of Helium. Tardos Mors. was dead. as I addressed them .

the nobles and the people lifted their voices in a long cheer of approbation.from the Pedestal of Truth beside the Throne of Righteousness in the Temple of Reward. As I spoke I stepped forward and laid my hand upon the shoulder of Carthoris where he stood in the front rank of the circle of nobles about me. should return. and the glorious fighting men of ancient Helium hailed Carthoris Jeddak of Helium. Having thus satisfactorily arranged this important duty 1140/2610 . from the very spot where I had stood a year before when Zat Arras pronounced the sentence of death upon me. As one. or grandfather. Ten thousand swords sprang on high from as many scabbards. His tenure of office was to be for life or until his great-grandfather.

accompanied me. my Martian hound. as he crept after me on his ten short. that he might have the benefit of their wisdom. but to me . I left with Carthoris at Helium. with hideous head and frightful fangs. 1141/2610 At my heels tonight the faithful beast moved softly in my tracks. I started the following day for the Valley Dor that I might remain close to the Temple of the Sun until the fateful day that should see the opening of the prison cell where my lost love lay buried. muscular legs.for Helium. Only Woola. As large as a Shetland pony. with my other noble lieutenants. bravery. and loyalty in the performance of the arduous duties which had devolved upon him. Hor Vastus and Kantos Kan. he was indeed an awesome spectacle.

. and had sworn fealty to Xodar. he had apparently accepted the new order of things with good grace. 1142/2610 The figure ahead was that of the black dator of the First Born.he was the embodiment of love and loyalty. to the end that of late I had become convinced that he was occupied with some manner of intrigue. whose undying enmity I had earned that time I laid him low with my bare hands in the courtyard of the Temple of Issus. Thurid. Like many of his fellows. but I knew that he hated me. his new ruler. and bound him with his own harness before the noble men and women who had but a moment before been extolling his prowess. so I had kept a watch upon his comings and goings. and I was sure that in his heart he envied and hated Xodar.

swinging low across the valley. where no honest business could lead any man. taking his way out into the cruel and horrible Valley Dor. then he turned across the crimson sward toward the shore of the Lost Sea of Korus.Several times I had observed him leaving the walled city of the First Born after dark. after the manner of one who is upon an evil errand. 1143/2610 Tonight he moved quickly along the edge of the forest until well beyond sight or sound of the city. . The rays of the nearer moon. though he must have felt quite safe from pursuit. Twice he turned his head back toward the forest. touched his jewelincrusted harness with a thousand changing lights and glanced from the glossy ebony of his smooth hide.

since it best suited my plans not to interrupt his--I wished him to reach his destination unsuspecting. 1144/2610 So it was that I remained hidden until after Thurid had disappeared over the edge of the steep bank beside the sea a quarter of a mile away. crouching deep in its warm nest within the sunken area at the south pole of the dying planet. I hastened across the open after the black dator. the precious metals and scintillating jewels that composed them . Then. In the far distance the Golden Cliffs raised their mighty barrier faces far into the starlit heavens. that I might learn just where that destination lay and the business that awaited the night prowler there. with Woola following.I did not dare follow him there beneath the moonlight. The quiet of the tomb lay upon the mysterious valley of death.

The plant men. and the monstrous white apes that make Dor hideous by day. .sparkling in the brilliant light of Mars's two gorgeous moons. to which for countless ages had been borne the deluded and unhappy Martians of the outer world upon the voluntary pilgrimage to this false heaven. where it wound out from beneath the Golden Cliffs to empty into Korus. with their blood-sucking hands. pruned and trimmed like the sward to parklike symmetry by the browsing of the ghoulish plant men. 1145/2610 At my back was the forest. the River of Mystery. while farther on I caught the shimmering ribbon of Iss. Before me lay the Lost Sea of Korus. were hidden in their lairs for the night.

broad bosom of ancient Iss. The navies of Helium and the First Born had cleared the fortresses and the temples of the therns when they had refused to surrender and accept the new order of things that had swept their false religion from long-suffering Mars. and was in hiding--where we knew not. Father of Therns. their hekkador. Strenuous had been our endeavors to capture him. 1146/2610 . but Matai Shang. had been driven from his temple. In a few isolated countries they still retained their age-old power. but with a few of the faithful he had escaped.There was no longer a Holy Thern upon the balcony in the Golden Cliffs above the Iss to summon them with weird cry to the victims floating down to their maws upon the cold.

and as he passed out of sight round a near-by promontory I shoved one of the boats into the water and. at one end of which was a pike. with their organization of priests and lesser therns. Thurid was hugging the shore. that the long journey of their victims might be facilitated. each with its long pole.As I came cautiously to the edge of the low cliff overlooking the Lost Sea of Korus I saw Thurid pushing out upon the bosom of the shimmering water in a small skiff--one of those strangely wrought craft of unthinkable age which the Holy Therns. were wont to distribute along the banks of the Iss. at the other a paddle. calling Woola into it. Drawn up on the beach below me were a score of similar boats. pushed out from shore. 1147/2610 .

He hugged the shore where the current was less strong.The pursuit of Thurid carried me along the edge of the sea toward the mouth of the Iss. so that I was ensured concealing darkness for that length of time at least. 1148/2610 . The farther moon lay close to the horizon. Thuria. After him came Woola and I. nor would it rise again for near four hours. Without an instant's hesitation he turned up the grim river. had set. closer now. Now he was opposite the mouth of the Iss. paddling hard against the strong current. On and on went the black warrior. casting a dense shadow beneath the cliffs that fringed the water. the nearer moon. for the man was too intent upon forcing his craft up the river to have any eyes for what might be transpiring behind him.

and I was almost on the point of giving up the pursuit and drifting back to the mouth of the river. there to await his return. 1149/2610 My quarry was plainly visible again.Presently he came to the dark cavernous portal in the face of the Golden Cliffs. It seemed hopeless to attempt to follow him here where I could not see my hand before my face. when a sudden bend showed a faint luminosity ahead. . On into the Stygian darkness beyond he urged his craft. through which the river poured. and in the increasing light from the phosphorescent rock that lay embedded in great patches in the roughly arched roof of the cavern I had no difficulty in following him.

1150/2610 Terrible as they were. Even now the low islands which dotted the broad stream were choked with the skeletons and half devoured carcasses of those who. . and the things I saw there will live forever in my memory. Xodar. the great green warrior. through fear or a sudden awakening to the truth. they could not have commenced to approximate the horrible conditions which must have obtained before Tars Tarkas. the black dator. had halted almost at the completion of their journey. and I brought the light of truth to the outer world and stopped the mad rush of millions upon the voluntary pilgrimage to what they believed would end in a beautiful valley of peace and happiness and love.It was my first trip upon the bosom of Iss.

or with clawlike hands clutched at the bloated bodies that drifted down with the current. the weaker furnishing sustenance for the stronger. and then.In the awful stench of these frightful charnel isles haggard maniacs screamed and gibbered and fought among the torn remnants of their grisly feasts. . while on those which contained but clean-picked bones they battled with one another. crossing over to the left bank. He continued up the river for perhaps a mile. 1151/2610 Thurid paid not the slightest attention to the screaming things that either menaced or pleaded with him as the mood directed them--evidently he was familiar with the horrid sights that surrounded him. drew his craft up on a low ledge that lay almost on a level with the water.

finding that I would soon reach a point from where I could no longer see . so that it was difficult to hold my craft in its position. but. 1152/2610 As I lay there beneath the dark rocks I noticed that a strong current seemed to flow directly toward the center of the river. looking up the river. I edged farther into the shadow that I might find a hold upon the bank.I dared not follow across the stream. for he most surely would have seen me. I touched nothing. though I proceeded several yards. as though he were awaiting one whom he expected from that direction. Instead I stopped close to the opposite wall beneath an overhanging mass of rock that cast a dense shadow beneath it. Here I could watch Thurid without danger of discovery. and then. The black was standing upon the ledge beside his boat.

and I could see the rippling junction of it and the mysterious current which had aroused my curiosity. 1153/2610 I could not imagine what might cause this strong lateral flow. came in low but distinct tones. who had raised both palms forward above his head in the universal salute of Martians.the black man. I was compelled to remain where I was. my attention was suddenly riveted upon Thurid. and a moment later his "Kaor!" the Barsoomian word of greeting. While I was still speculating upon the phenomenon. holding my position as best I could by paddling strongly against the current which flowed from beneath the rocky mass behind me. . for the main channel of the river was plainly visible to me from where I sat.

and then I saw that it was none other than Matai Shang. he in the bow of the boat arose to step ashore. As they drew up beside the ledge upon which Thurid awaited them. in which were six men. The evident cordiality with which the two men exchanged greetings filled me with wonder. for the black and white men of Barsoom were hereditary 1154/2610 . Five were at the paddles. the flowing yellow wigs which covered their bald pates. while the sixth sat in the seat of honor. Father of Therns. and the gorgeous diadems set in circlets of gold about their heads marked them as Holy Therns. and presently there came within my limited range of vision a long boat.I turned my eyes up the river in the direction that his were bent. The white skins.

1155/2610 Evidently the reverses that had recently overtaken both peoples had resulted in an alliance between these two individuals--at least against the common enemy--and now I saw why Thurid had come so often out into the Valley Dor by night. . and so I lay quietly watching them. who would have given so much to have known how close I lay to them. I wished that I might have found a point closer to the two men from which to have heard their conversation. but it was out of the question now to attempt to cross the river.enemies--nor ever before had I known of two meeting other than in battle. and how easily they might have overcome and killed me with their superior force. and that the nature of his conspiring might be such as to strike very close to me or to my friends.

. which turned out into the river and.Several times Thurid pointed across the river in my direction. The light from the river was no longer visible. but that his gestures had any reference to me I did not for a moment believe. swinging round. forged steadily across in my direction. 1156/2610 Every instant I expected to feel my prow crash against solid rock. but ahead I saw the faint tinge of a distant radiance. As they advanced I moved my boat farther and farther in beneath the overhanging wall. and still the water before me was open. The five paddlers sent the larger boat ahead at a speed that taxed my energies to equal. Presently he and Matai Shang entered the latter's boat. but at last it became evident that their craft was holding the same course.

Swinging the prow of my boat toward the right. There was no time to be lost. The noise of their own paddles drowned the sound of mine. Whatever action I was to take must be taken at once.At last the truth dawned upon me--I was following a subterranean river which emptied into the Iss at the very point where I had hidden. 1157/2610 The rowers were now quite close to me. and there I lay while Matai Shang and Thurid approached up the center of the stream. which was much narrower than the Iss. but in another instant the growing light ahead would reveal me to them. I sought the river's rocky side. As they came nearer I heard the voices of Thurid and the Father of Therns raised in argument. .

"I tell you. but from where they finally came to rest I was as secure 1158/2610 . Prince of Helium." To the rowers he issued the command that brought their boat in toward the bank not a dozen paces beyond the spot where I lay. Had they pulled in below me they must surely have seen me against the faint glow of light ahead. Thern." the black dator was saying. "that I wish only vengeance upon John Carter." replied the hekkador. What could I gain by betraying you to those who have ruined my nation and my house?" "Let us stop here a moment that I may hear your plans. "and then we may proceed with a better understanding of our duties and obligations. I am leading you into no trap.

and I was anxious to learn what manner of vengeance Thurid was planning against me. Nor had I long to wait. but even that I do not demand--it shall be as your own desire in the matter directs. at some court that is yet loyal to thy ancient faith.from detection as though miles separated us. 1159/2610 The few words I had already overheard whetted my curiosity." . has no price. as is befitting my ancient lineage and noble rank." continued the First Born. "There are no obligations. for I cannot return to the Valley Dor or elsewhere within the power of the Prince of Helium. "Thurid. Dator of Issus. When the thing has been accomplished I shall be glad if you will see to it that I am well received. I listened intently. Father of Therns.

" he continued with a malicious snarl. Princess of Helium."It shall be as you wish. to me." said Thurid. Matai Shang. 1160/2610 "Ah. "if you but say the word. "but the Earth man shall suffer for the indignities he has put upon the holy of holies. nor shall any vileness be too vile to inflict upon his princess. Would that it were in my power to force him to witness the humiliation and degradation of the red woman. Dator. and place within my power Dejah Thoris. "nor is that all--power and riches shall be yours if you restore my daughter." replied Matai Shang. Dator. Phaidor." replied Matai Shang." "I have heard of the Temple of the Sun. "but never ." "You shall have your way with her before another day has passed.

By chance. then." 1161/2610 . I came upon an ancient plan of the temple. nor was it ever Issus' way to divulge more of her secrets than were necessary. "Only Issus knew this. plainly writ." replied Thurid. after her death.have I heard that its prisoners could be released before the allotted year of their incarceration had elapsed. and there I found. may you accomplish the impossible?" "Access may be had to any cell of the temple at any time. but those who thus learned the secret way were wont to die mysteriously immediately they had returned and made their reports to cruel Issus. the most minute directions for reaching the cells at any time. How. "And more I learned--that many men had gone thither for Issus in the past. always on errands of death and torture to the prisoners.

"Let us proceed." Matai Shang spoke to the paddlers. and after we have defiled the Princess of Helium there will be still greater reason for the maintenance of our allegiance--unless I greatly mistake the temper of her lord." replied Thurid. then. "nor need you. for we are six to your one. "I must trust you. The boat moved on up the tributary." said Matai Shang at last. but quickly I saw the mad rashness of such an act." 1162/2610 "I do not fear. yet at the same time you must trust me. Our hatred of the common enemy is sufficient bond to insure our loyalty to each other. which would cut down the only man who could lead the way to Dejah Thoris' . It was with difficulty that I restrained myself from rushing upon them and slaying the two vile plotters.

With silent paddle I swung slowly into the wake of the larger craft. Prince of Helium. too. should he lead John Carter.prison before the long Martian year had swung its interminable circle. If he should lead Matai Shang to that hollowed spot. . then. 1163/2610 UNDER THE MOUNTAINS As we advanced up the river which winds beneath the Golden Cliffs out of the bowels of the Mountains of Otz to mingle its dark waters with the grim and mysterious Iss the faint glow which had appeared before us grew gradually into an all-enveloping radiance.

the sapphire. and the countless. the ruby. and so. I was forced to wait in the shadows until the other boat had passed from my sight at the far extremity of the lake. though I was loath to permit Thurid to pass even for an instant beyond my sight.The river widened until it presented the aspect of a large lake whose vaulted dome. Beyond the lighted chamber of the lake was darkness--what lay behind the darkness I could not even guess. lighted by glowing phosphorescent rock. 1164/2610 To have followed the thern boat across the gleaming water would have been to invite instant detection. nameless jewels of Barsoom which lay incrusted in the virgin gold which forms the major portion of these magnificent cliffs. was splashed with the vivid rays of the diamond. .

I reached the shadows at the upper end of the lake I found that the river issued from a low aperture. Directly before me the river ran into this smaller chamber through three separate arched openings.Then I paddled out upon the brilliant surface in the direction they had taken. after what seemed an eternity. myself. and I. . Instead only a feeble glow emanated from small and scattered patches of phosphorescent rock in wall and roof. must need bend double before the low roof cleared my head. to pass beneath which it was necessary that I compel Woola to lie flat in the boat. Immediately the roof rose again upon the other side. but no longer was the way brilliantly lighted. 1165/2610 When.

Here the way was through utter darkness.Thurid and the therns were nowhere to be seen--into which of the dark holes had they disappeared? There was no means by which I might know. and then broke upon my ears with all the intensity of its mad fury as I swung round a sharp curve into a dimly lighted stretch of water. . The stream was narrow--so narrow that in the blackness I was constantly bumping first one rock wall and then another as the river wound hither and thither along its flinty bed. 1166/2610 Far ahead I presently heard a deep and sullen roar which increased in volume as I advanced. and so I chose the center opening as being as likely to lead me in the right direction as another.

I could find them at all. if. 1167/2610 Thurid and the therns could not have come this way. and they had gained so much ahead of me that now I might not be able to find them before it was too late.Directly before me the river thundered down from above in a mighty waterfall that filled the narrow gorge from side to side. . deafening roar of those tumbling waters penned in the rocky. But the roar--the awful. in fact. subterranean vault! Had the fall not entirely blocked my further passage and shown me that I had followed the wrong course I believe that I should have fled anyway before the maddening tumult. By stumbling upon the wrong course I had lost the trail. rising far above me several hundred feet--as magnificent a spectacle as I ever had seen.

although the pace would be much swifter. 1168/2610 Never in my life. and other hours would be required for the descent. With a sigh I turned the prow of my craft down stream.It had taken several hours to force my way up to the falls against the strong current. Two unexplored channels still remained from which to choose. So . and with mighty strokes hastened with reckless speed through the dark and tortuous channel until once again I came to the chamber into which flowed the three branches of the river. have I suffered such an agony of indecision. nor was there any means by which I could judge which was the more likely to lead me to the plotters. that I can recall.

I cast my all upon the left-hand archway.much depended upon a correct choice. yet it was with a lingering doubt that I turned a parting look at the sullen waters which rolled. and maybe days in a fruitless exploration of another blind lead would unquestionably prove fatal. convinced by the oft-recurring phenomenon. low archway on the right. from beneath the grim. 1169/2610 The hours that I had already lost might seal the fate of the incomparable Dejah Thoris were she not already dead--to sacrifice other hours. Several times I essayed the right-hand entrance only to turn back as though warned by some strange intuitive sense that this was not the way. dark and forbidding. At last. . so much depended upon haste.

on toward the Iss and Korus. Quickly I abandoned all thought of the left-hand passage. 1170/2610 I could scarce restrain a shout of elation as this silent. for it told me that journeying Martians were above me on that very stream.And as I looked there came bobbing out upon the current from the Stygian darkness of the interior the shell of one of the great. insensate messenger floated past me. and having eaten had cast the husk overboard. They had eaten of this marvelous fruit which nature concentrates within the hard shell of the sorapus nut. The stream . succulent fruits of the sorapus tree. It could have come from no others than the party I sought. and a moment later had turned into the right.

for it was unpolluted by decaying bodies--like the Iss-and as for food. but in so far as he was concerned it mattered but little. The water of the river was sweet and cold. but was convinced that I was nearly a day behind those I was tracking. 1171/2610 I made good time. Neither Woola nor I had eaten since the previous day. Nor did I suffer.soon widened. the river became narrower and the current swift and turbulent--so swift in fact that it was . and recurring areas of phosphorescent rock lighted my way. since practically all the animals of the dead sea bottoms of Mars are able to go for incredible periods without nourishment. why the mere thought that I was nearing my beloved princess raised me above every material want. As I proceeded.

Had I been a woman I should have wept. and to rest my tired muscles before turning back I let my boat drift into its embrace. my intuition had been correct--it was the left-hand channel that I should have followed.with difficulty that I forced my craft upward at all. slowmoving eddy that circled far beneath the cliff's overhanging side. It would mean another half-day's loss of time to retrace my way and take 1172/2610 . I could not have been making to exceed a hundred yards an hour when. The sorapus nutshell had proved a false prophet. and. I was almost prostrated by disappointment. I was confronted by a series of rapids through which the river foamed and boiled at a terrific rate. at a bend. My heart sank within me. after all. At my right was a great.

but the contact resulted in a different sound--the sound of wood scraping upon wood. 1173/2610 In an instant I was on the alert. my hand shot out across the boat's side. A third time it struck. .the only passage that yet remained unexplored. and a second later I felt my fingers gripping the gunwale of another craft. Almost coincidentally with my first apprehension of the noise. What hellish fate had led me to select from three possible avenues the two that were wrong? As the lazy current of the eddy carried me slowly about the periphery of the watery circle my boat twice touched the rocky side of the river in the dark recess beneath the cliff. gently as it had before. for there could be no wood within that buried river that had not been man brought.

It was entirely possible that there might be men on board it who were still ignorant of my presence. . 1174/2610 Peer as I would I could not penetrate the darkness. and then I listened intently for the sound of breathing near me. As usual. straining my eyes into the utter darkness before me in an effort to discover if the boat were occupied. so that the gentle touch of my boat upon the other easily could have gone unnoticed. I thought rapidly. for the boat was scraping gently against the rocks upon one side. and the lapping of the water at their sides I could distinguish no sound.As though turned to stone I sat in tense and rigid silence. the soft scraping of the boats. but except for the noise of the rapids.

Groping with my hands along the face of the rocks to which the craft was moored. I discovered a narrow ledge 1175/2610 . Very softly I gathered it up. I stood motionless after entering the strange craft. In one hand I grasped the rope. in the other my keen long-sword. if there were any. But there was no answering sound. and a moment later I had felt from stem to stern and found the boat deserted. perhaps. but it had been the scraping of its side against the side of my own boat that had seemed most likely to alarm its occupants.A rope lay coiled in the bottom of my own craft. For a full minute. It had rocked a trifle beneath my weight. and making one end fast to the bronze ring in the prow I stepped gingerly into the boat beside me.

after the manner of green . This omission I now made haste to correct. crept after me. savage brute. 1176/2610 As he passed through the boat that had been occupied by Thurid and the therns he emitted a single low growl. Calling to Woola to follow me I stepped out upon the ledge. The great. and. for I had made no effort to impart to him the nature of our quest or the status of those we tracked. I think he sensed telepathically the recent presence of an enemy. That they could be none other than Thurid and his party I was convinced by the size and build of the boat I had found.which I knew must be the avenue taken by those who had come before me. agile as a cat. and when he came beside me upon the ledge and my hand rested upon his neck I felt his short mane bristling with anger.

I let him know partially by the weird and uncanny telepathy of Barsoom and partly by word of mouth that we were upon the trail of those who had recently occupied the boat through which we had just passed. but scarcely had I done so than I felt his mighty fangs tugging at my leathern harness. A soft purr. with a word to him to follow. and then. 1177/2610 .Martians with their beasts. like that of a great cat. nor would he desist until I had turned about and indicated that I would follow him voluntarily. As I turned to discover the cause of his act he continued to pull me steadily in the opposite direction. indicated that Woola understood. I turned to the right along the ledge.

For hours we followed the dark and gloomy river farther and farther into the bowels of Mars. so it was with a feeling of entire security that I moved cautiously in the huge beast's wake. and possibly beneath the Sea of Omean as well--it could not be much farther now to the Temple of the Sun. and then it was that I saw that the trail had been cut from the living rock. As we advanced.Never had I known him to be in error in a matter of tracking. From the direction and distance I knew that we must be well beneath the Valley Dor. the way led from beneath the overhanging cliffs out into a dim light. 1178/2610 . and that it ran up along the river's side beyond the rapids. Through Cimmerian darkness he moved along the narrow ledge beside the boiling rapids.

Even as my mind framed the thought. from its appointments. and so I pressed quietly forward to his side. Quickly he crouched back away from the entrance. and slightly raised platforms for the sleeping silks and furs of the warriors. Before me was a fair-sized chamber that. There were racks for weapons. . I knew must have at one time been a guardroom. 1179/2610 Words could not have more plainly told me that danger of some sort lay near by. at the same time turning his eyes toward me. Woola halted suddenly before a narrow. arched doorway in the cliff by the trail's side. but now its only occupants were two of the therns who had been of the party with Thurid and Matai Shang. and passing him looked into the aperture at our right.

pray." one of them was saying. "He will have Matai Shang leave others elsewhere on some pretext or other. There was no necessity for leaving us here to guard the way." "I believe you. and from their tones it was apparent that they were entirely unaware that they had listeners. Against what. "there can never be aught else than deadly hatred between thern and First Born. and then at last he will fall upon us with his confederates and slay us all. abysmal path? It was but a ruse to divide our numbers. "I do not trust the black one. And what think you of the ridiculous matter of the light? 'Let the light . Lakor.The men were in earnest conversation. 1180/2610 "I tell you. should we guard this long-forgotten." replied the other.

' Those were his very words. and to think that wise old Matai Shang should listen to such foolishness. it is silly." "Indeed. "Perchance if we hasten after them we may come in time to rescue Matai Shang. and then for twenty-five tals with nine units. "It will open nothing other than the way to a quick death for us all. and so he made his answer quickly from his imagination--I would wager a hekkador's diadem that he could not now repeat it himself. and wreak our 1181/2610 . and for one xat let it shine with the intensity of one radium unit.shine with the intensity of three radium units for fifty tals." replied Lakor." "Let us not remain here longer. Lakor." spoke the other thern. He had to make some answer when Matai Shang asked him flatly what he should do when he came to the Temple of the Sun.

" answered Lakor." I. . thought that they were foolish to remain. I shall stay here until I rot if he does not return to bid me elsewhere. What say you?" 1182/2610 "Never in a long life. yet I would have passed them by were it possible without molesting them. "I cannot do other than you sanction.own vengeance upon the black dator." Lakor's companion shook his head." he said. too. I had no reason to harbor any considerable love for this race of self-deified demons. "You are my superior. though I still believe that we are foolish to remain. for I saw from Woola's actions that the trail led through the room where the two therns held guard. "have I disobeyed a single command of the Father of Therns.

not with you. the black dator. for a fight might delay us considerably. for if I mistake not he is as much your enemy as mine. but I raised my hand in a gesture of restraint. 1183/2610 Signaling Woola to heel I stepped suddenly into the room before the two men. .It was worth trying anyway. Let me pass then in peace. "I seek Thurid. At sight of me their long-swords flashed from the harness at their sides. or even put an end entirely to my search--better men than I have gone down before fighters of meaner ability than that possessed by the fierce thern warriors." I said." They lowered their swords and Lakor spoke. and you can have no cause to protect him. "My quarrel is with him.

"Tell us who you be. In fact. but were it only Thurid whose safety were at stake you might pass. I was the only white man upon Mars whose hair 1184/2610 ."I know not whom you may be. in so far as we be concerned. and what mission calls you to this unknown world beneath the Valley Dor. with the white skin of a thern and the black hair of a red man. and welcome. then maybe we can see our way to let you pass upon the errand which we should like to undertake would our orders permit. for I thought that I was quite sufficiently well known either by personal experience or reputation to every thern upon Barsoom as to make my identity immediately apparent in any part of the planet." I was surprised that neither of them had recognized me.

To be quite candid I did not attempt to delude myself with any such sophistry. 1185/2610 To reveal my identity might be to precipitate an attack. since I knew well that upon war-like Mars there are few cowards. And so I gripped my long-sword the tighter as I replied to Lakor. for every thern upon Barsoom knew that to me they owed the fall of their age-old spiritual supremacy. and that every man. with the exception of my son.was black and whose eyes were gray. . whether prince. Carthoris. priest. On the other hand my reputation as a fighting man might be sufficient to pass me by these two were their livers not of the right complexion to welcome a battle to the death. or peasant. glories in deadly strife.

such as Thurid. during our parley. "for it would avail you nothing to die uselessly in the rocky bowels of Barsoom merely to protect a hereditary enemy. Dator of the First Born. rushed toward me with ready sword. ." I said."I believe that you will see the wisdom of permitting me to pass unmolested." 1186/2610 For a moment that name seemed to paralyze the two men. Lakor. and then the younger of them. He had been standing a little behind his companion. but only for a moment. "That you shall die should you elect to oppose me is evidenced by the moldering corpses of all the many great Barsoomian warriors who have gone down beneath this blade--I am John Carter. Prince of Helium. with a vile name upon his lips.

and thus we shall have rid ourselves of two enemies. but a moment since. were wishing that we might undertake. 1187/2610 "Hold!" commanded Lakor. "There will be plenty of time to fight if we find it wise to fight at all. but let us mix wisdom with our righteous hate. There be good reasons why every thern upon Barsoom should yearn to spill the blood of the blasphemer. the sacrilegist. The Prince of Helium is bound upon an errand which we ourselves." . ere he could engage me. "Let him go then and slay the black. nor have incurred the displeasure of the Father of Therns. When he returns we shall still be here to bar his way to the outer world. the older man grasped his harness and drew him back.and now.

John Carter. too. drew back and nodded acquiescence to his superior's suggestion. as though begging for the word that would 1188/2610 .As he spoke I could not but note the crafty glint in his evil eyes." said Lakor. that his words did but veil some sinister intent. subconsciously perhaps. pleading whine. and while I saw the apparent logic of his reasoning I felt. "but know that if Thurid does not lay you low there will be those awaiting your return who will see that you never pass again into the sunlight of the upper world. "Proceed. Go!" During our conversation Woola had been growling and bristling close to my side. The other thern turned toward him in evident surprise. Occasionally he would look up into my face with a low. but when Lakor had whispered a few brief words into his ear he.

and toward the one upon the extreme right Lakor motioned. Thern. But when I would have called Woola to follow me there the beast whined and held back. "and while I do not doubt your superior knowledge. "That way leads to Thurid. 1189/2610 Beyond the therns several doorways opened off the guardroom." I said." he said. I think that I shall do . too. where he stood emitting his coughing bark. sensed the villainy behind the smooth words. as though urging me to follow him upon the right way. "The brute is seldom wrong. and at last ran quickly to the first opening at the left. He. I turned a questioning look upon Lakor.send him headlong at the bare throats before him.

The passageway was dimly lighted by occasional radium bulbs. yet I heard no sound of pursuit." As I spoke I smiled grimly that he might know without words that I distrusted him." I turned and followed Woola into the left-hand passage. These same lamps may have been doing continuous duty in these subterranean chambers for ages. since they require no attention and are so compounded that they give off but the minutest of . my ears were on the alert.well to listen to the voice of instinct that is backed by love and loyalty. the universal lighting medium of Barsoom. and though my back was toward my enemies. "In the end it shall be all the same. 1190/2610 "As you will." the fellow replied with a shrug.

their substance in the generation of years of luminosity. his mane all abristle and all his rows of glistening fangs bared by snarling. too. Woola heard it. but not once did Woola hesitate. fighting man. and together . than could the words of my mother tongue--it was the clank of metal--the metal of a warrior's harness-and it came from a little distance up the corridor upon my right. 1191/2610 We had proceeded for but a short distance when we commenced to pass the mouths of diverging corridors. backdrawn lips. and like a flash he had wheeled and stood facing the threatened danger. It was at the opening to one of these corridors upon my right that I presently heard a sound that spoke more plainly to John Carter. With a gesture I silenced him.

Very cautiously they were moving now--the accidental clank that had alarmed me was not repeated. 1192/2610 . for presently we saw the shadows of two men fall upon the floor of the main corridor athwart the doorway of our hiding place. They halted quite close to the entrance of our retreat. Presently they came opposite our station. and in the right hand of each gleamed a keen longsword. "Can it be that we have distanced them already?" said Lakor. whispering to each other. nor was I surprised to see that the two were Lakor and his companion of the guardroom. nor did we have long to wait.we drew aside into another corridor a few paces farther on. They walked very softly. Here we waited.

He surely would have stepped upon it. he should have been rapidly approaching it. and by now. "no amount of fighting ability would have saved him from the pivoted flagstone. if the pit beneath it has a bottom. Curses on that calot of his that warned him toward the safer avenue!" "There be other dangers ahead of him. "which he may not so easily escape--should he succeed in escaping our two good swords." said Lakor. which Thurid denies. what . though." 1193/2610 "Yes. John Carter would have found it a short road to death had he taken it as you suggested to him."Either that or the beast has led the man upon a wrong trail. for example." replied the other. "for the way which we took is by far the shorter to this point--for him who knows it." spoke Lakor's fellow. Consider.

. sword in hand. but fate intervened. for my untimely sneeze had warned them of my presence and they were ready for me.chance he will have. coming unexpectedly into the chamber of--" 1194/2610 I would have given much to have heard the balance of that conversation that I might have been warned of the perils that lay ahead. nor did I have any advantage as I sprang. into the corridor before the two therns. and just at the very instant of all other instants that I would not have elected to do it. I sneezed. THE TEMPLE OF THE SUN There was nothing for it now other than to fight.

must have known that I understood their plan. In an instant I was engaged with both. 1195/2610 While it lasted it was indeed as joyous a conflict as I ever had experienced. and they. The very presence of the two proclaimed their treachery. unless it were that they were even more skilled and fearless than the average among their race. and these two were no exception. of course. for they would have been a waste of breath. That they were following to fall upon me unawares was all too plain. I must in all fairness admit that they are mighty swordsmen. and though I loathe the very name of thern.There were no words. Twice at least I saved my breast from the mortal thrust of piercing steel only by the wondrous agility with which my earthly muscles endow me under the .

The other thern was engaging me at the time. and as I stepped back to parry a wicked thrust he lashed . for Lakor played a trick upon me that in all my experience of fighting upon two planets I never before had witnessed the like of. yet not being able to penetrate his marvelous guard to reach a vulnerable spot for the brief instant that would have been sufficient to send him to his ancestors. and I was forcing him back-touching him here and there with my point until he was bleeding from a dozen wounds. It was then that Lakor quickly unslung a belt from his harness. 1196/2610 Yet even so I came near to tasting death that day in the gloomy corridor beneath Mars's southern pole.conditions of lesser gravity and air pressure upon Mars.

a roaring embodiment of a thousand demons hurtled above my prostrate form and my loyal Martian calot was upon them. throwing me heavily upon my back. while he jerked suddenly upon the other end. exposing three rows of long. a huge grizzly with ten legs armed with mighty talons and an enormous froglike mouth splitting his head from ear to ear. 1197/2610 Then. . end of it about my left ankle so that it wound there for an instant. and you will have some faint conception of Woola in action. Then endow this creature of your imagination with the agility and ferocity of a half-starved Bengal tiger and the strength of a span of bulls. they were upon me. and before ever a blade touched me. if you can. white tusks. but they had reckoned without Woola. like leaping panthers.

so wondrous was his affection for me. The diadem in the center of the circlet of gold upon the brow of Lakor proclaimed 1198/2610 . Never had I had the heart to punish Woola during the long years that had passed since that first day upon Mars when the green jed of the Tharks had placed him on guard over me. yet when I spoke to him sharply he cowed sheepishly as though he had done a thing to deserve censure and chastisement. and had literally torn the other thern to ribbons. yet I believe he would have submitted to any cruelty that I might have inflicted upon him.Before I could call him off he had crushed Lakor into a jelly with a single blow of one mighty paw. and I had won his love and loyalty from the cruel and loveless masters of his former life.

as well as all his harness. while his companion. to my own person. diadem. As I stood for a moment looking at the gruesome havoc Woola had wrought. 1199/2610 A moment later I had torn his yellow wig from his bald pate and transferred it and the circlet.him a Holy Thern. the Holy Thern whom Thuvia of Ptarth had slain. there recurred to me the memory of that other occasion upon which I had masqueraded in the wig. which is but one below that of the Holy Therns. was a lesser thern. . though from his harness I gleaned that he had reached the Ninth Cycle. and now it occurred to me that it might prove of worth to utilize Lakor's trappings for the same purpose. not thus adorned. and harness of Sator Throg.

I kept abreast of Woola that we might have the benefit of all our eyes for what might appear suddenly ahead to menace us. warned by the fragment of conversation I had overheard. but when I spoke to him and patted his huge head he at length became reconciled to the change. We moved cautiously now. so that at that point it formed a perfect letter S. the . and at my command trotted off along the corridor in the direction we had been going when our progress had been interrupted by the therns. 1200/2610 At the bottom of a flight of narrow steps the corridor turned sharply back upon itself.Woola did not approve of the metamorphosis. immediately making another turn in the original direction. He sniffed at me and growled ominously. and well it was that we were forewarned.

Then it occurred to me that Thurid and Matai Shang with their party must have crossed it. and for a moment I was almost completely discouraged. and so there was a way. and the floor of which was completely covered by venomous snakes and loathsome reptiles. illy lighted. Had it not been for the fortunate accident by which I overheard even so small a portion of the therns' conversation we should have blundered at least a step or two into that wriggling mass of destruction. .top leg of which debouched suddenly into a large chamber. and a single step would have been all-sufficient to have sealed our doom. 1201/2610 To have attempted to cross that floor would have been to court instant death.

1202/2610 A more hideous aggregation of monsters had never before assailed my vision. but I knew from their similarity to the fossilized remains of supposedly extinct species I had seen in the museums of Helium that they comprised many of the known prehistoric reptilian genera. by comparison.These were the only reptiles I had ever seen upon Barsoom. since substance is the only thing which they possess in common with any creature of the past or present with which you are familiar-even their venom is of an unearthly virulence that. As they spied me there was a concerted rush by those nearest the entrance . would make the cobra de capello seem quite as harmless as an angleworm. It would be futile to attempt to describe them to Earth men. as well as others undiscovered.

The simple fact that we had found no reptiles in the corridor through which we had just come was sufficient assurance that they did not venture there. though I had not guessed at what deterred them. 1203/2610 I had been quite sure that they would not venture beyond the room in which I had discovered them. . and then began a careful survey of as much of the Chamber of Reptiles as I could see from where I stood. As my eyes became accustomed to the dim light of its interior I gradually made out a low gallery at the far end of the apartment from which opened several exits. I drew Woola out of harm's way.where we stood. but a line of radium bulbs inset along the threshold of their chamber brought them to a sudden halt-evidently they dared not cross that line of light.

and there. Here there were no reptiles--the way was clear to the opposite side of the hideous chamber--and a moment later Woola and I dropped down to safety in the corridor beyond. I followed this gallery with my eyes. In an instant I had leaped to it and called Woola after me. . the walls of which were inlaid with gold in the strange hieroglyphics of the First Born.Coming as close to the threshold as I dared. 1204/2610 Not ten minutes later we came into a vast circular apartment of white marble. I saw an end of the gallery not a foot above my head. to my delight. discovering that it circled the room as far as I could see. Then I glanced above me along the upper edge of the entrance to which we had come.

and as I watched I saw that it slowly revolved. 1205/2610 . Part way around I found a tiny radium flash torch.From the high dome of this mighty apartment a huge circular column extended to the floor. Slowly I circled the great shaft. daughter of Matai Shang. now that I had found the only vulnerable spot in their mighty prison. was still a baffling riddle. and with her were Phaidor. and as I examined it in mild curiosity as to its presence there in this almost inaccessible and unknown spot. I had reached the base of the Temple of the Sun! Somewhere above me lay Dejah Thoris. and Thuvia of Ptarth. looking for a means of ingress. I came suddenly upon the insignia of the house of Thurid jewel-inset in its metal case. But how to reach them.

Again and again I went carefully over every square inch of its surface. which I knew must be somewhere about. Then I continued my search for the entrance. but where was the means to open it? No button or lock were visible. but the most that I could find was a tiny pinhole a little above and to the right of the door's center--a pinhole that seemed only an accident of manufacture or an imperfection of material. for almost immediately thereafter I came upon a small door so cunningly inlaid in the shaft's base that it might have passed unnoticed by a less keen or careful observer. nor had I long to search. I thought. as I slipped the bauble into the pocket-pouch which hung from my harness. 1206/2610 . There was the door that would lead me within the prison.I am upon the right trail.

that this portal had been the means of ingress to the temple used by Thurid. some 1207/2610 .Into this minute aperture I attempted to peer. but whether it was but a fraction of an inch deep or passed completely through the door I could not tell--at least no light showed beyond it. whining and tugging at my harness to draw me back. but again my efforts brought negligible results. and Matai Shang. I put my ear to it next and listened. and then leaped after me. the black dator. Turning away abruptly. I walked on. For a moment he hesitated. and as my glance fell upon him it occurred to me to test the correctness of my hypothesis. I called to him to follow me. During these experiments Woola had been standing at my side gazing intently at the door. Father of Therns. however.

But how had he accomplished it? . that I might see precisely what he would do.distance from the door before I let him have his way. Then I permitted him to lead me wherever he would. again taking up his position facing the blank stone. gazing straight at its shining surface. Carefully I recalled every circumstance of my pursuit of Thurid. and my conclusion was identical with my original belief--that Thurid had come this way without other assistance than his own knowledge and passed through the door that barred my progress. For an hour I worked to solve the mystery of the combination that would open the way before me. 1208/2610 Straight back to that baffling portal he dragged me. unaided from within.

Such a tiny keyhole as now defied me had opened the way to the intricate lock in that other door. Hastily I dumped the contents of my pocket-pouch upon the ground before me. Could I but find a slender bit of steel I might yet fashion a key that would give me ingress to the temple prison. needle-like key from the keyring of her dead jailer to open the door leading back into the Chamber of Mystery where Tars Tarkas fought for his life with the great banths. As I examined the heterogeneous collection of odds and ends that is always to be found in the pocket-pouch of a 1209/2610 . and she had taken a slender.I recalled the incident of the Chamber of Mystery in the Golden Cliffs that time I had freed Thuvia of Ptarth from the dungeon of the therns.

but what I read carried no immediate meaning to my mind. There were three sets of characters. 1210/2610 Casual curiosity prompted me to decipher them. one below another: 3 |--| 50 T 1 |--| 1 X 9 |--| 25 T For only an instant my curiosity was piqued. As I was about to lay the thing aside as of no value in my present predicament my eyes chanced upon a few strange characters roughly and freshly scratched upon the soft gold of the case. and then I replaced the torch in my pocket-pouch. but my fingers had .Martian warrior my hand fell upon the emblazoned radium flash torch of the black dator.

not unclasped from it when there rushed to my memory the recollection of the conversation between Lakor and his companion when the lesser thern had quoted the words of Thurid and scoffed at them: "And what think you of the ridiculous matter of the light? Let the light shine with the intensity of three radium units for fifty tals"--ah. seizing a powerful magnifying glass from the litter of my pocket-pouch. "and for one xat let it shine with the intensity of one radium unit"--there was the second line." The formula was complete. but--what did it mean? 1211/2610 I thought I knew. and. "and then for twenty-five tals with nine units. there was the first line of characters upon the torch's metal case--3--50 T. I applied myself to a careful examination of the marble .

immediately about the pinhole in the door. presenting them to view 1212/2610 . held the combination in my hand-scratched by the hand of my enemy upon his own torch case. Prince of Helium. John Carter. and I. In a cylindrical bracelet of gold about my wrist was my Barsoomian chronometer--a delicate instrument that records the tals and xats and zodes of Martian time. I could have cried aloud in exultation when my scrutiny disclosed the almost invisible incrustation of particles of carbonized electrons which are thrown off by these Martian torches. It was evident that for countless ages radium torches had been applied to this pinhole. and for what purpose there could be but a single answer--the mechanism of the lock was actuated by light rays.

For seven tals I waited--there had been no appreciable effect upon the lock's . regulating the intensity of the light by means of the thumb-lever upon the side of the case. 1213/2610 For fifty tals I let three units of light shine full in the pinhole. and for twenty-five tals nine units.beneath a strong crystal much after the manner of an earthly odometer. then one unit for one xat. I held the torch to the small aperture in the door. Timing my operations carefully. Those last twenty-five tals were the longest twenty-five seconds of my life. Would the lock click at the end of those seemingly interminable intervals of time? Twenty-three! five! Twenty-four! Twenty- I shut off the light with a snap.

mechanism. At the point where the light shone was a sharp . Could it be that my theory was entirely wrong? 1214/2610 Hold! Had the nervous strain resulted in a hallucination. and toward this we made our way. Scarcely was the entrance uncovered than Woola and I had leaped through-then the door slipped quietly back into place. Back and back it slid for ten feet until it had disclosed at its right a narrow doorway leading into a dark and narrow corridor that paralleled the outer wall. or did the door really move? Slowly the solid stone sank noiselessly back into the wall--there was no hallucination here. Down the corridor at some distance I saw the faint reflection of a light.

turn. We had scarcely started up the runway when Woola suddenly displayed the wildest excitement. and a little distance beyond this a brilliantly lighted chamber. Immediately I knew that we had reached the center of the base of the Temple of the Sun--the spiral runway led upward past the inner walls of the prison cells. Here we discovered a spiral stairway leading up from the center of the circular room. and finally when I pushed him from me and started once more to ascend he grasped 1215/2610 . until I thought that he was mad. snapping at my legs and harness. Somewhere above me was Dejah Thoris. He leaped back and forth. unless Thurid and Matai Shang had already succeeded in stealing her.

mad or sword arm between his jaws and dragged me back. Down into the chamber he dragged me. standing between me and the way we had come. Here was another doorway leading into a corridor which ran directly down a steep incline. Without a moment's hesitation Woola jerked me along this rocky passage. 1216/2610 No amount of scolding or cuffing would suffice to make him release me. Presently he stopped and released me. and across it to the side opposite that at which we had entered. and I was entirely at the mercy of his brute strength unless I cared to use my dagger upon him with my left hand. looking up into my face as though to ask if I would now follow him . but. I had not the heart to run the sharp blade into that faithful body.

voluntarily or if he must still resort to force. At first I thought it was one vast. 1217/2610 Looking ruefully at the marks of his great teeth upon my bare arm I decided to do as he seemed to wish me to do. . unbroken chamber. his strange instinct might be more dependable than my faulty human judgment. After all. And well it was that I had been forced to follow him. so clear and transparent were the walls of the winding corridors. but after I had nearly brained myself a couple of times by attempting to pass through solid vitreous walls I went more carefully. But a short distance from the circular chamber we came suddenly into a brilliantly lighted labyrinth of crystal glass partitioned passages.

as in a haze that made them seem unreal and ghostly. one of 1218/2610 . they halted and looked about. dimly through the many thicknesses of intervening crystal.We had proceeded but a few yards along the corridor that had given us entrance to this strange maze when Woola gave mouth to a most frightful roar. At the same instant. at the same time dashing against the clear partition at our left. evidently startled by Woola's fierce cry. Far in the distance. Then. of a sudden. The resounding echoes of that fearsome cry were still reverberating through the subterranean chambers when I saw the thing that had startled it from the faithful beast. I discerned the figures of eight people--three females and five men.

and Thurid.them. Thurid shook his fist at me. A moment later they had disappeared into a stone corridor beyond the labyrinth of glass. and then two of the therns grasped Dejah Thoris and Thuvia roughly by their arms and hurried them on. With her were Thuvia of Ptarth. and the three lesser therns that had accompanied them. but so great a love as that of Dejah Thoris that knew me even beneath the thern disguise I wore and across the misty vista of that . 1219/2610 They say that love is blind. held her arms out toward me. my ever beautiful and ever youthful Princess of Helium. a woman. Phaidor. and even at that great distance I could see that her lips moved--it was Dejah Thoris. and the Father of Therns. daughter of Matai Shang.

. through the dark and devious ways beyond that led beneath the Valley Dor and Golden Cliffs to emerge at last upon the flank of the Otz Mountains just above the Valley of Lost Souls--that pitiful purgatory peopled by the poor unfortunates who dare not continue their abandoned pilgrimage to Dor. 1220/2610 THE SECRET TOWER I have no stomach to narrate the monotonous events of the tedious days that Woola and I spent ferreting our way across the labyrinth of glass.crystal maze must indeed be far from blind. or return to the various lands of the outer world from whence they came.

dispensed the spiritual words among the half dozen . Here. where we found fighting aplenty with the members of the various tribes that make up the population of this vale of hopelessness. Father of Therns. who had once been served by millions of vassals and dependents. and sometimes out into the valley.Here the trail of Dejah Thoris' abductors led along the mountains' base. the hekkador of the ancient faith. 1221/2610 But through it all we came at last to where the way led up a narrow gorge that grew steeper and more impracticable at every step until before us loomed a mighty fortress buried beneath the side of an overhanging cliff. surrounded by a handful of the faithful. across steep and rugged ravines. Here was the secret hiding place of Matai Shang. by the side of appalling precipices.

Here we lay until the quick transition from daylight to darkness had passed. the triple-barred gate stood ajar. Then I crept out to approach the fortress walls in search of a way within. 1222/2610 Darkness was just falling as we came in sight of the seemingly impregnable walls of this mountain stronghold. Beyond were a handful of guards. into a clump of the hardy. laughing and talking over one of . purple scrub that thrives upon the barren sides of Otz.nations of Barsoom that still clung tenaciously to their false and discredited religion. Either through carelessness or over-confidence in the supposed inaccessibility of their hiding place. and lest we be seen I drew back with Woola behind a jutting granite promontory.

I walked boldly through the gateway and up to the thern guard. "I have but just found my way hither from the Golden Cliffs. and so. Similarly they looked at Woola. growling at my heel. but there was no sign of suspicion. The men stopped their game and looked up at me. and the warriors arose and saluted me. Barsoomian 1223/2610 I saw that none of the guardsmen had been of the party that accompanied Thurid and Matai Shang." I continued. relying entirely upon my disguise. Matai Shang. Where may he be found?" . "Kaor!" I said in true Martian greeting. Father of Therns.their incomprehensible games. "and seek audience with the hekkador.

more like a schoolboy . turning. Afterward I learned that thern spies had been aware of my coming for hours before I reached the hidden fortress. The gate had been purposely left ajar to tempt me on. the fact is that I marched buoyantly behind my guide straight into the jaws of death."Follow me. 1224/2610 Why the apparent ease with which I seemingly deceived them did not rouse my suspicions I know not. and I. led me across the outer courtyard toward a second buttressed wall. Be that as it may." said one of the guard. unless it was that my mind was still so full of that fleeting glimpse of my beloved princess that there was room in it for naught else. and. The guards had been schooled well in their part of the conspiracy.

circular chamber within the buttress. presumably. For a moment I . stepping back. Here my guide produced a key and opened the way within. ran headlong into the trap. then. he motioned me to enter. 1225/2610 At the far side of the outer court a narrow door let into the angle made by one of the buttresses with the wall.than a seasoned warrior. the fellow closed the door quickly upon us. "Matai Shang is in the temple court beyond. I found myself in a small. and as Woola and I passed through. Before me a door opened. upon the inner court beyond. The nasty laugh that came to my ears through the heavy planking of the door after the lock clicked was my first intimation that all was not as it should be." he said.

and there. I opened the door and stepped out into the glare of torches that lighted the inner court. A handful of thern warriors stood just behind the little party. and with him were Thurid and Phaidor. was Matai Shang. and Dejah Thoris--the last two heavily ironed. Thuvia. As I entered the enclosure the eyes of those in the balcony were full upon me. though tardily. . all my suspicions now suddenly. It was of the strangely beautiful modern Barsoomian style of architecture. indeed. 1226/2610 Directly opposite me a massive tower rose to a height of three hundred feet. with a shrug of my shoulders.hesitated. Thirty feet above the courtyard and overlooking it was a broad balcony. aroused. then. its entire surface hand carved in bold relief with intricate and fanciful designs.

Like a tigress she turned upon him. striking the beast a heavy blow with the manacles upon her wrist. Thurid hurled a taunt at me and placed a familiar hand upon the shoulder of my princess.An ugly smile distorted the cruel lips of Matai Shang. and then I saw that the two men were not overfriendly. for the manner of the thern was arrogant and domineering as he made it plain to the First Born that the Princess of Helium was the personal property of the Father of Therns. And Thurid's bearing toward the ancient hekkador savored not at all of liking or respect. He would have struck back had not Matai Shang interfered. When the altercation in the balcony had subsided Matai Shang turned again to me. 1227/2610 .

"Earth man. but that the death you die tonight may be doubly bitter. for a Martian year. Dejah Thoris. Princess of Helium. to lead a quiet and honored life as high priestess of some hallowed shrine." he cried. as is the law among us. Instead. Thurid. as is usual. shall become the plaything of my lieutenants--perhaps of thy most hated enemy. 1228/2610 "At the end of that time. know you that when you have passed. Hekkador of the Holy Therns. the black dator. but not. your widow becomes the wife of Matai Shang." As he ceased speaking he awaited in silence evidently for some outbreak of rage upon my part--something that . "you have earned a more ignoble death than now lies within our weakened power to inflict upon you. she shall be discarded. as you know.

whose scintillant rays mark the attainment of the Tenth Cycle. Then I wiped my feet upon the . would find a way to die before they could heap further tortures or indignities upon her. 1229/2610 Instead. But I did not give him the satisfaction that he craved. knowing this. for I knew that if I died Dejah Thoris. Of all the holy of holies which the thern venerates and worships none is more revered than the yellow wig which covers his bald pate. and next thereto comes the circlet of gold and the great diadem. tossing them carelessly upon the flagging of the court. I did the one thing of all others that might rouse his anger and increase his hatred of me. too.would have added to the spice of his revenge. I removed the wig and circlet from my head. And.

yellow tresses. I cried: "And thus did I with the holies of Issus. gave voice to the . for he had been high in the favor of Issus. so. for to him these things were not holy. but upon the lips of Thurid I could see a grim smile of amusement. and as a groan of rage arose from the balcony I spat full upon the holy diadem. turning to the Father of Therns. 1230/2610 Matai Shang went livid with anger. Matai Shang rose and. to be torn to pieces in her own temple. "Let us have an end to this blaspheming!" he cried. Goddess of Life Eternal. ere I threw Issus herself to the mob that once had worshiped her. lest he should derive too much amusement from my act. leaning over the edge of the balcony." That put an end to Thurid's grinning.

1231/2610 . when. there could be but a single outcome to so unequal a struggle. they called the fearsome white apes and the hideous plant men to the feast of victims floating down the broad bosom of the mysterious Iss toward the silian-infested waters of the Lost Sea of Korus. Even with the assistance of the fierce Woola. This was not the first time that I had faced the ferocious Barsoomian lion. but never had I been pitted. and immediately a dozen doors in the base of the tower swung open.weird call that I had heard from the lips of the priests upon the tiny balcony upon the face of the Golden Cliffs overlooking the Valley Dor. against a full dozen of them. in times past. single-handed. "Let loose the death!" he cried. and a dozen grim and terrible banths sprang into the arena.

For a moment the beasts hesitated beneath the brilliant glare of the torches. Then. struggling with the guards who now held her. and with bristling manes and deep-throated roars they advanced. but presently their eyes. and as my eyes met hers she extended both arms toward me as. In the brief interval of life that was left me I shot a last. 1232/2610 . becoming accustomed to the light. lashing their tawny sides with their powerful tails. Her beautiful face was set in an expression of horror. parting glance toward my Dejah Thoris. she endeavored to cast herself from the balcony into the pit beneath. she turned and buried her dear face in her arms. fell upon Woola and me. as the banths were about to close upon me. that she might share my death with me.

.Suddenly my attention was drawn toward Thuvia of Ptarth. for I knew that her expression meant anything but the enjoyment of the grim tragedy that would so soon be enacted below her. but I could not force my gaze from the features of the red girl. but I could not bring myself to desert the faithful Woola and leave him to die alone beneath the cruel fangs of the hungry banths. which I could easily have done. that is not the way upon Barsoom. there was some deeper. nor was it ever the way of John Carter. For an instant I thought of relying on my earthly muscles and agility to escape the banths and reach the balcony. 1233/2610 In another instant the banths would be upon me. The beautiful girl was leaning far over the edge of the balcony. hidden meaning which I sought to solve. her eyes bright with excitement.

Guards sprang to drag Thuvia away. roared out their recognition and their greeting. and. that time that. but ere they had succeeded she had hurled a volley of commands at the listening brutes. At the first note of that soothing sound the banths halted in their tracks. 1234/2610 . she called the fierce banths about her and led them as a shepherdess might lead her flock of meek and harmless sheep. within the Golden Cliffs. and every fierce head went high as the beasts sought the origin of the familiar call. Presently they discovered the red girl in the balcony above them. turning.Then the secret of Thuvia's excitement became apparent as from her lips there issued the purring sound I had heard once before. and as one they turned and marched back into their dens.

"You need not fear them now. before they could silence her. running leap I sprang far aloft until my hands grasped its lowest sill. either. For an instant Thurid hesitated. "Those banths will never harm you now. Matai Shang shrank back." 1235/2610 It was all I cared to know. Then Matai Shang grasped her about the waist and dragged her away through a door leading within the tower. and with a long. Thurid sprang forward with drawn sword to cut me down. There was naught to keep me from that balcony now. Again Dejah Thoris wielded her heavy irons and fought him back. as though fearing that the Father . In an instant all was wild confusion. nor Woola. John Carter!" cried Thuvia. and then.

he. "John Carter. Then she turned toward me. the others she commanded to remain and prevent me from following. Two of the guards she ordered to bear away Thuvia of Ptarth. daughter of the Holy Hekkador. 1236/2610 Phaidor alone retained her presence of mind. Accept and your princess shall be returned to the court of her grandfather. and you shall live in peace and happiness." she cried. too. for by this time they have reached a place where even you may not follow. "You cannot save her now. Refuse and the fate that my father has threatened shall fall upon Dejah Thoris. Refuse and . dashed from the balcony in their wake.of Therns would escape him with the Princess of Helium. "for the last time I offer you the love of Phaidor.

would pass!" With that I leaped over the low baluster that surrounded the balcony. for. though the way to the last stronghold of the Holy Therns was made easy for you. Make way. There were three of them. they rushed me-- . and with drawn long-sword faced my enemies. Phaidor. Instead. "for John Carter. Prince of Helium. the way hence hath been made impossible." I replied.naught can save you. "before ever you spoke. What say you?" 1237/2610 "You knew my answer. for she turned and fled from the balcony the moment she saw that I would have none of her proposition. but Phaidor must have guessed what the outcome of the battle would be. The three guardsmen did not wait for my attack." I cried to the guards.

I let him keep ever far enough ahead to think that he was safely escaping my sword. guessing that his steps would lead him along the way taken by those I sought. The red stain upon my point roused to its full the old blood-lust of the fighting man that has ever been so strong within my breast. When at last the sharp steel found the heart of one of them the other turned to flee. for they fouled one another in the narrow precincts of the balcony. so that the foremost of them stumbled full upon my blade at the first onslaught. and it was that which gave me an advantage. so that my blade flew through the air with a swiftness and deadly accuracy that threw the two remaining therns into wild despair. 1238/2610 .the three of them simultaneously. and.

At the upper end we came out into a small chamber.Through several inner chambers he raced until he came to a spiral runway. Here the fellow tore frantically at what appeared to be but a piece of the blank wall opposite the single window. But. the panel would yield neither to cunning nor force. Up this he dashed. try as he would. the walls of which were blank except for a single window overlooking the slopes of Otz and the Valley of Lost Souls beyond. my long-lost princess. so 1239/2610 . In an instant I guessed that it was a secret exit from the room. I in close pursuit. and so I paused that he might have an opportunity to negotiate it. for I cared nothing to take the life of this poor servitor--all I craved was a clear road in pursuit of Dejah Thoris.

that I was like to have gone down before his first rush. that I might not be delayed too long in this chamber while Matai Shang and Thurid made way with Dejah Thoris and Thuvia of Ptarth. So there was nothing for it but to give him what he sought. pointing toward the entrance to the runway up which we had but just come. The fellow was a clever swordsman--resourceful and extremely tricky. nor do I crave your life. and so suddenly. 1240/2610 "Go thy way. at that.that eventually he gave it up and turned to face me." I said to him. "I have no quarrel with you. In fact. he seemed never to have heard that there existed such a thing as a code of . Thern. and that as quickly as might be. Go!" For answer he sprang upon me with his sword.

he hurled it. drawing his shortsword. for I had fought with therns before.honor. for he repeatedly outraged a dozen Barsoomian fighting customs that an honorable man would rather die than ignore. and so was ever on the alert for some new and devilish subterfuge when I was engaged with one of their race. I knew them to be the least honorable and most treacherous fighters upon Mars. so as to blind me for a moment while he thrust at my unprotected breast. But at length he overdid the thing. When he thrust. 1241/2610 . for. however. He even went so far as to snatch his holy wig from his head and throw it in my face. I was not there. and while none had ever resorted to precisely that same expedient.

but all to no avail. and then. as I sidestepped my antagonist's impetuous rush. and with a frightful shriek he sank to the floor. at the same instant rushing upon me with his longsword. I let him have my point full in the stomach as he hurtled by. through which the thern had attempted to pass. dead. Here I sought for the secret of its lock. 1242/2610 Halting only for the brief instant that was required to wrench my sword from the carcass of my late antagonist. at my body.javelinwise. Clear to the hilt my weapon passed through his body. I sprang across the chamber to the blank wall beyond. A single sweeping circle of my own blade caught the flying weapon and hurled it clattering against the far wall. .

but. possibly. In disgust I desisted from my useless efforts and stepped to the chamber's single window. towering far above me. Somewhere within that massive pile was Dejah Thoris. but the cold. unyielding stone might well have laughed at my futile. There. lay the only way by which I could reach her. Above me I could see windows. I could have sworn that I caught the faint suggestion of taunting laughter from beyond the baffling panel. The slopes of Otz and the distant Valley of Lost Souls held nothing to compel my interest then.In despair I tried to force the thing. The risk was great. puny endeavors. In fact. the tower's carved wall riveted my keenest attention. but not too great when the fate of 1243/2610 .

I stepped to the window's outer sill and began my perilous ascent. To my dismay I found that. 1244/2610 But there was no other way and with a shrug. . unlike the ornamentation upon most Heliumetic structures.a world's most wondrous woman was at stake. and if not upon the boulders. A hundred feet beneath lay jagged granite boulders at the brink of a frightful chasm upon which the tower abutted. the edges of the carvings were quite generally rounded. should a foot slip but once. or clutching fingers loose their hold for the fraction of an instant. so that at best my every hold was most precarious. lay death. I glanced below. then at the chasm's bottom. which I must admit was half shudder.

At times so slight was my hold upon the rounded surfaces of the carving's edges that a sneeze. they presented a comparatively easy mode of ascent could I but reach them. in bands six feet apart. These apparently circled the tower at six-foot intervals. or even a slight gust of wind would have dislodged me . 1245/2610 Laboriously I climbed toward them by way of some windows which lay below them. for I hoped that I might find ingress to the tower through one of these. a cough. and thence an easier avenue along which to prosecute my search. and as each stone cylinder protruded some four or five inches beyond the surface of the other ornamentation.Fifty feet above me commenced a series of projecting cylindrical stones some six inches in diameter.

" "All things seem possible to that vile calot. Later they ." The voice was Matai Shang's. "Then let us haste." replied another voice.and sent me hurtling to the depths below." said Matai Shang. 1246/2610 But finally I reached a point where my fingers could just clutch the sill of the lowest window. "But to be doubly sure. and I was on the point of breathing a sigh of relief when the sound of voices came to me from above through the open window. "Let us proceed to the hangar above that we may be far to the south before he finds another way--should that be possible. I will leave two who shall patrol this runway. which I recognized as Thurid's. "He can never solve the secret of that lock.

for I must climb so as to avoid the windows.may follow us upon another flier--overtaking us at Kaol. and once again I took up my hazardous ascent. Presently the sound of the voices became fainter. flattened against the perpendicular wall. in which to be discovered by Thurid! He had but to lean from the window to push me with his sword's point into eternity. Matai Shang's reference to the hangar and the fliers indicated that my destination lay nothing short of the roof of the . What a horrible position." 1247/2610 My upstretched fingers never reached the window's sill. indeed. At the first sound of the voices I drew back my hand and clung there to my perilous perch. now more difficult. since more circuitous. scarce daring to breathe.

It is true that these projections were too far apart to make the balance of the ascent anything of a sinecure. . and toward this seemingly distant goal I set my face. but I at least had always within my reach a point of safety to which I might cling in case of accident. 1248/2610 The most difficult and dangerous part of the journey was accomplished at last.tower. Some ten feet below the roof. so that my fingers soon clutched the eaves. and here the climbing was indeed immeasurably easier. the wall inclined slightly inward possibly a foot in the last ten feet. and it was with relief that I felt my fingers close about the lowest of the stone cylinders.

Thuvia of Ptarth. Upon her deck were Matai Shang.As I drew my eyes above the level of the tower's top I saw a flier all but ready to rise. for she screamed a . and when his eyes met mine his wicked face lighted with a malignant smile as he leaped toward me. Dejah Thoris. 1249/2610 He was not ten paces from me. while near her was Thurid in the act of clambering aboard. where I was hastening to scramble to the secure footing of the roof. But turn he did. Phaidor. and what cruel freak of fate should have caused him to turn about just as my eyes topped the roof's edge I may not even guess. facing in the opposite direction. and a few thern warriors. Dejah Thoris must have seen me at the same instant.

I reeled and tumbled backward over the tower's side. As I toppled from the tower into the horrid abyss below I counted myself already dead. for he evidently did not even trouble himself to look after me. there surely is a kind and merciful Providence which watches over me. Like a felled ox. 1250/2610 ON THE KAOLIAN ROAD If there be a fate that is sometimes cruel to me. and Thurid must have done likewise. . swinging in a mighty kick.useless warning just as Thurid's foot. landed full in my face.

and as each moment the sound grew fainter I realized that the party .but must have turned and mounted the waiting flier at once. But when at last I had worked myself back to a firm position I hesitated to ascend. leathern harness caught upon one of the cylindrical stone projections in the tower's surface--and held. 1251/2610 Ten feet only I fell. Even when I had ceased to fall I could not believe the miracle that had preserved me from instant death. however. Presently. there came to my ears the whirring of the propellers of a flier. since I could not know that Thurid was not still awaiting me above. and then a loop of my tough. and for a moment I hung there. cold sweat exuding from every pore of my body.

1252/2610 Cautiously I retraced my way to the roof. and to my . and just as the two thern warriors whom Matai Shang had left to prevent this very contingency emerged upon the roof from the tower's interior.had proceeded toward the south without assuring themselves as to my fate. but. and I must admit that it was with no pleasant sensation that I raised my eyes once more above its edge. there was no one in sight. To reach the hangar and drag forth the only other flier which it contained was the work of but an instant. Then I dived rapidly to the inner court where I had last seen Woola. I rose above them with a taunting laugh. and a moment later I stood safely upon its broad surface. to my relief.

and I thanked the fate that had made her their keeper within the Golden Cliffs. but they had not disobeyed Thuvia's injunction. and in the bearlike manifestation of his exuberant happiness all but caused me to wreck the vessel against the courtyard's rocky wall.immense relief found the faithful beast still there. eyeing him and growling ominously. Woola leaped in frantic joy when he discovered me. 1253/2610 The twelve great banths lay in the doorways of their lairs. . and as the flier touched the pavement of the court for a brief instant he bounded to the deck beside me. and endowed her with the kind and sympathetic nature that had won the loyalty and affection of these fierce beasts for her.

1254/2610 Far ahead. and then. points away toward it. . knowing that they must have sighted me and would show no lights after dark.Amid the angry shouting of thern guardsmen we rose high above the last fortress of the Holy Therns. once attuned to the object of destination. I made out another flier late in the afternoon. a tiny speck in the distance. It could be none other than that which bore my lost love and my enemies. the destination which I had heard from the lips of Matai Shang. irrespective of every change in its location. and then raced straight toward the northeast and Kaol. I had gained considerably on the craft by night. I set my destination compass upon her--that wonderful little Martian mechanism which.

All that night we raced through the Barsoomian void. above long-deserted cities and populous centers of red Martian habitation upon the ribbon-like lines of cultivated land which border the globe-encircling waterways. I feared to fire upon the craft which bore her. and not so swift. I was now near enough to my quarry to have used my bow gun. It was a larger craft than mine. which Earth men call the canals of Mars. The change in vegetation below showed me that we were rapidly nearing the equator. though I could see that Dejah Thoris was not on deck. but. passing over low hills and dead sea bottoms. 1255/2610 Dawn showed that I had gained appreciably upon the flier ahead of me. but even so. it had covered an immense distance since the flight began. .

striking my flier full upon the prow and exploding with the instant of contact. The black's next shot was more accurate. and so he trained their stern gun upon me with his own hands. and an instant later an explosive radium projectile whizzed perilously close above my deck.Thurid was deterred by no such scruples. ripping wide open the bow buoyancy tanks and disabling the engine. he could not very well doubt the witness of his own eyes. So quickly did my bow drop after the shot that I scarce had time to lash Woola to the deck and buckle my own harness to a gunwale ring before the craft was hanging stern up and making her last long drop to ground. 1256/2610 . and though it must have been difficult for him to believe that it was really I who followed them.

and then. The ruse worked. 1257/2610 Shot after shot tore past or into us. and. I let go my hold and crumpled. that I might be dashed to death in the swift fall that would instantly follow a successful shot. . This good fortune could not last indefinitely. nor were the after tanks punctured. but Thurid was firing rapidly now in an attempt to burst these also. assured that Thurid would not again leave me alive. throwing my hands above my head. I awaited the bursting of the next shell that hit. Presently I heard the diminishing sound of whirring propellers and realized that again I was safe.Her stern buoyancy tanks prevented her dropping with great rapidity. dangling in my harness like a corpse. and Thurid fired no more at us. limp and inert. but by a miracle neither Woola nor I was hit.

outside of the forest in the Valley Dor beside the Lost Sea of Korus. which lies along the equator almost halfway round the planet to the east of Helium. customs. and is inhabited by a nation of red men varying but little in manners. and appearance from the balance of the red men of Barsoom.Slowly the stricken flier sank to the ground. and when I had freed myself and Woola from the entangling wreckage I found that we were upon the verge of a natural forest--so rare a thing upon the bosom of dying Mars that. I never before had seen its like upon the planet. It comprises a sunken area of extreme tropical heat. From books and travelers I had learned something of the little-known land of Kaol. 1258/2610 .

For great distances in all directions rugged hills and arid stretches of dead sea bottom discourage intercourse with them. and that Matai Shang would find a ready welcome and safe refuge among them.I knew that they were among those of the outer world who still clung tenaciously to the discredited religion of the Holy Therns. while John Carter could look for nothing better than an ignoble death at their hands. swampy land which comprises the entire area of their domain self-waters their abundant tropical crops. The isolation of the Kaolians is rendered almost complete by the fact that no waterway connects their land with that of any other nation. nor have they any need of a waterway since the low. and since there is practically no such thing as foreign commerce upon 1259/2610 .

but the hostility of the natives has usually brought disaster upon them. but in what direction to search for Dejah Thoris. . but interesting. Occasional hunting parties have traveled to this out-of-the-way corner of the globe. really little has been known relative to the court of the Jeddak of Kaol and the numerous strange. people over whom he rules. or how far into the heart of the great forest I might have to penetrate I had not the faintest idea. 1260/2610 It was upon the verge of the land of the Kaols that I now knew myself to be. so that even the sport of hunting the strange and savage creatures which haunt the jungle fastnesses of Kaol has of later years proved insufficient lure even to the most intrepid warriors.warlike Barsoom. where each nation is sufficient to itself.

turning to see if I were following.But not so Woola. It was easy to see why the Kaolians needed no navy. nor could a landing be . As best I could. I stumbled after him down a steep declivity beginning at the forest's edge. must be entirely invisible from above. set off straight into the maze of trees in the direction we had been going before Thurid's shot had put an end to our flier. their cities. their broad fronds completely shutting off the slightest glimpse of the sky. hidden in the midst of this towering forest. Presently he halted. and. Immense trees reared their mighty heads far above us. 1261/2610 Scarcely had I disentangled him than he raised his head high in air and commenced circling about at the edge of the forest.

so that it was with the greatest difficulty that we made any headway whatever. though later I was to learn that to the level of the forest top there rises in each city of Kaol a slender watchtower which guards the Kaolians by day and by night against the secret approach of a hostile fleet. and by its means the party was safely lowered to the ground. As Woola and I approached the bottom of the declivity the ground became soft and mushy.made by any but the smallest fliers. . To one of these the hekkador of the Holy Therns had no difficulty in approaching. and then only with the greatest risk of accident. 1262/2610 How Thurid and Matai Shang were to land I could not imagine.

The repulsive calot tree was. Each branch ends in a set of strong jaws. It is a carnivorous plant of about the bigness of a large sage-brush such as dots our western plains. too. much in evidence. . which have been known to drag down and devour large and formidable beasts of prey.Slender purple grasses topped with red and yellow fern-like fronds grew rankly all about us to the height of several feet above my head." whose blooms have eyes and hands with which to see and seize the insects which form their diet. and among them were several varieties of the Martian "man-flower. 1263/2610 Myriad creepers hung festooned in graceful loops from tree to tree.

. arboreous monsters. and it was upon one of these that I finally decided to make camp for the night which my chronometer warned me would soon be upon us. I lay down with my back to that of my faithful hound. twilight swamp.Both Woola and I had several narrow escapes from these greedy. Then. too. 1264/2610 Occasional areas of firm sod gave us intervals of rest from the arduous labor of traversing this gorgeous. Woola had no difficulty in making a square meal after I had brought down the viands for him. and dropped into a deep and dreamless sleep. Many varieties of fruit grew in abundance about us. having eaten. and as Martian calots are omnivorous.

All about us I could hear the stealthy movement of great. from the hideous racket which now assailed our ears. and . but now it was too late. though. and now and then the wicked gleam of green eyes upon us.The forest was shrouded in impenetrable darkness when a low growl from Woola awakened me. horrid roar burst from some savage throat almost at my side. padded feet. Suddenly a deep-toned. There was nothing for it but to stand our ground and take our medicine. I drew my long-sword and waited. What a fool I had been not to have found safer lodgings for myself and Woola among the branches of one of the countless trees that surrounded us! 1265/2610 By daylight it would have been comparatively easy to have hoisted Woola aloft in one manner or another. Arising.

but always just beyond the edge of the sward. 1266/2610 When morning broke they were still there. walking about as in a circle. of the fierce. unless it is that none of them ever venture upon the patches of scarlet sward which dot the swamp. A more terrifying aggregation of fierce and blood-thirsty monsters it would be difficult to imagine. I judged that we must be in the midst of hundreds. nor am I sure to this day.for which that first roar had seemed to be the signal. Singly and in pairs they commenced wandering off into the jungle shortly after sunrise. perhaps thousands. All the balance of the night they kept up their infernal din. and when the last of them . man-eating denizens of the Kaolian jungle. but why they did not attack us I could not guess.

from the indications of antiquity which it bore. Just as we entered it from one side a huge monster emerged from the jungle . and I was confident. but. as well as from the very evident signs of its being still in everyday use. Everything about this highway marked it as the work of skilled engineers. Toward noon we stumbled upon a wellconstructed road running in the general direction we had been pursuing. we were never far from a sward island. 1267/2610 Occasionally we caught glimpses of horrid beasts all during the day. fortunately. and when they saw us their pursuit always ended at the verge of the solid sod.had departed Woola and I resumed our journey. that it must lead to one of the principal cities of Kaol.

and at sight of us charged madly in our direction. Nor could I hope to escape the lightning-like movements or hide from those myriad facet eyes which covered three-fourths of the hideous head.upon the other. . poisoned sting behind made my relatively puny long-sword seem a pitiful weapon of defense indeed. a bald-faced hornet of your earthly experience grown to the size of a prize Hereford bull. 1268/2610 Imagine. if you can. permitting the creature to see in all directions at one and the same time. and you will have some faint conception of the ferocious appearance and awesome formidability of the winged monster that bore down upon me. Frightful jaws in front and mighty.

my only hope to die as I had always lived--fighting. Woola snarling at my side. and glistening fangs buried themselves in the bone and cartilage and lower part of one of the . 1269/2610 The creature was upon us now. so I stood my ground. If I could but remove the terrible menace of certain death hidden in the poison sacs that fed the sting the struggle would be less unequal. even had it ever been to my liking to turn my back upon a danger. and at the instant there seemed to me a single slight chance for victory. At the thought I called to Woola to leap upon the creature's head and hang there. and as his mighty jaws closed upon that fiendish face.Even my powerful and ferocious Woola was as helpless as a kitten before that frightful thing. But to flee were useless.

but it was the only way. Fortunately. that it might bring its sting beneath and pierce the body of the thing hanging to its head. clear across the broad highway and into the underbrush of the jungle that fringes it. like a battering-ram. 1270/2610 To put myself in the path of that poisonladen lance was to court instant death. and as the thing shot lightning-like toward me I swung my long-sword in a terrific cut that severed the deadly member close to the gorgeously marked body.huge eyes. half stunned and wholly winded. I dived beneath the great body as the creature rose. dragging Woola from the ground. I passed between the boles of trees. Then. had I struck one of them I . one of the powerful hind legs caught me full in the chest and hurled me.

but evidently it knew as little concerning retreat in the face of danger as either Woola or I. 1271/2610 Dazed though I was. if not killed. so swiftly had I been catapulted by that enormous hind leg. and before I could . jabbing the winged terror repeatedly with its sharp point. beating madly at the clinging calot with all six powerful legs. for it dropped quickly toward me.should have been badly injured. The thing might easily have risen out of my reach. I stumbled to my feet and staggered back to Woola's assistance. and now I ran beneath the two battling monsters. Even during my sudden flight through the air I had not once released my grip upon my long-sword. to find his savage antagonist circling ten feet above the ground.

but the blows alone were almost as effective as the kick of a horse. From where I hung a few feet above the road I could see along the highway a few hundred yards to where it turned toward the east. I refer only to the natural function of the disabled member--eventually the thing would have hammered me to a pulp. . and just as I had about given up all hope of escaping the perilous position in which I now was I saw a red warrior come into view from around the bend. Nor was it far from accomplishing this when an interruption occurred that put an end forever to its hostilities.escape had grasped my between its powerful jaws. so that when I say futilely. shoulder 1272/2610 Time and again the now useless stub of its giant sting struck futilely against my body.

and then. 1273/2610 His mount was walking sedately when I first perceived them. . and as thoat and rider hurtled beneath. the point passed through the body of our antagonist. careening once in mid air. and in his hand was a wondrous long. but the instant that the red man's eyes fell upon us a word to the thoat brought the animal at full charge down upon us.He was mounted on a splendid thoat. dropping me to the ground. light lance. one of the smaller species used by red men. who still clung tenaciously to its gory head. The long lance of the warrior dipped toward us. With a convulsive shudder the thing stiffened. full upon Woola. the creature plunged headforemost to the road. the jaws relaxed.

By the time I had regained my feet the red man had turned and ridden back to us. released his hold at my command and wriggled from beneath the body that had covered him. Woola. but he cut me off peremptorily." he asked. "who dare enter the land of Kaol and hunt in the royal forest of the jeddak?" Then. his eyes went wide and in an altered tone he whispered: "Can it be that you are a Holy Thern?" 1274/2610 . finding his enemy inert and lifeless. "Who are you. as he noted my white skin through the coating of grime and blood that covered me. and together we faced the warrior looking down upon us. I started to thank the stranger for his timely assistance.

as I had deceived others. I said: "I am John Carter. flinging caution to the winds. but I had cast away the yellow wig and the holy diadem in the presence of Matai Shang. and then. but to my surprise they precipitated nothing of the kind." I replied. I grasped my longsword more firmly as I spoke the words which I was sure would precipitate an attack. whose name may not be entirely unknown to you. "I am not a thern.I might have deceived the fellow for a time. and I knew that it would not be long ere my new acquaintance discovered that I was no thern at all." If his eyes had gone wide when he thought that I was a Holy Thern. they fairly popped now that he knew that I was John Carter. 1275/2610 . Prince of Helium.

"John Carter. Prince of Helium. "but always in my heart of hearts have I admired your prowess and believed in your sincerity the while I have questioned and disbelieved the therns and their religion. Dwar of the Kaolian Road. but if I may serve you." he said. the mightiest warrior of Barsoom!" And then he dismounted and placed his hand upon my shoulder after the manner of most friendly greeting upon Mars. "It would mean my instant death were my heresy to be suspected in the court of Kulan Tith. as though he could not quite grasp the truth of the statement. 1276/2610 "It is my duty. Prince." . John Carter." he repeated slowly."John Carter. and it should be my pleasure. to kill you. you have but to command Torkar Bar.

so that I could not but have trusted him.Truth and honesty were writ large upon the warrior's noble countenance. 1277/2610 "Torkar Bar has already placed a great debt of gratitude upon my shoulders. The red man smiled. for every highway upon Barsoom is patrolled by doughty warriors of the noble class. nor is there any service more honorable than this lonely and dangerous duty in the less frequented sections of the domains of the red men of Barsoom. His title of Captain of the Kaolian Road explained his timely presence in the heart of the savage forest. . pointing to the carcass of the creature from whose heart he was dragging his long spear. enemy though he should have been." I replied.

though were it not for certain commercial uses to which the virus is put. "Thus we maintain our supply." he continued. "Only this poisoned spear pricking the very heart of a sith can kill it quickly enough to save its prey. . each of which held fully a gallon of the deadly liquid. from which he presently drew forth two sacs. In this section of Kaol we are all armed with a long sith spear. whose point is smeared with the poison of the creature it is intended to kill. it would scarcely be necessary to add to our present store. since the sith is almost extinct."It was fortunate that I came when I did. no other virus acts so quickly upon the beast as its own. 1278/2610 "Look." he said. drawing his dagger and making an incision in the carcass a foot above the root of the sting.

darting down from above into our cities and carrying away women. "I shall not ask your business here. "And now as to yourself. and rendered me thankful that I had not spoken too soon. however. But one thing I ask 1279/2610 . nor do I wish to hear it. children. but his next words anticipated the broaching of the subject on my part. and yesterday morning I saw the party that came to the city of Kaol from the north in a small flier." As he spoke I had been wondering just how much I might safely tell this man of the mission which brought me to his land. Kaol was overrun with the frightful monsters that often came in herds of twenty or thirty." he said. and even warriors. I have eyes and ears and ordinary intelligence. John Carter."Only occasionally do we now run upon one. Of old.

"My way leads along the Kaolian road. You understand?" "Perfectly." I replied. Torkar Bar." he said. "I wish you fortune." I replied. away from the city of Kaol. ." "You may have my word as to that." he continued. nor ever heard of him. Nor have you seen Torkar Bar. He laid his hand upon my shoulder.of you." and vaulting to the back of his thoat he trotted away without even a backward glance. "I have seen no one--John Carter least of all. and that is: the word of John Carter that he contemplates no overt act against either the nation of Kaol or its jeddak. 1280/2610 "This road leads directly into the city of Kaol.

No man enters a Martian city without giving a very detailed and satisfactory account of himself. were two very different things. But to traverse the surrounding country.It was after dark when Woola and I spied through the mighty forest the great wall which surrounds the city of Kaol. and though the few we had met had eyed the great calot wonderingly. We had traversed the entire way without mishap or adventure. and to enter the guarded city of Kulan Tith. Jeddak of Kaol. nor did I delude myself with the belief that I could for a moment impose upon the acumen of the officers of the guard to 1281/2610 . none had pierced the red pigment with which I had smoothly smeared every square inch of my body.

My only hope seemed to lie in entering the city surreptitiously under cover of the darkness. that no enemy may utilize the trees as a means of ingress. and once in. To a height of thirty feet the face of the wall slanted outward. and then for almost an . trust to my own wits to hide myself in some crowded quarter where detection would be less liable to occur. which is cut away for a short distance from the wall all about the city. Several times I attempted to scale the barrier at different points. 1282/2610 With this idea in view I circled the great wall. but not even my earthly muscles could overcome that cleverly constructed rampart. keeping within the fringe of the forest.whom I should be taken the moment I applied at any one of the gates.

equal distance it was perpendicular. 1283/2610 And smooth! Polished glass could not be more so. Finally I had to admit that at last I had discovered a Barsoomian fortification which I could not negotiate. and with Woola beside me lay down to sleep. I withdrew into the forest beside a broad highway which entered the city from the east. . above which it slanted in again for some fifteen feet to the crest. Discouraged.

each hair upon his neck stiffly erect. At first I could see nothing. but presently I caught a glimpse of a bit of smooth and glossy green moving among the scarlet and purple and yellow of the vegetation. I crept forward to investigate. too. and from behind the bole of a great tree I saw a long line of the . coming up to his haunches. As I opened my eyes Woola. stared through the intervening brush toward the road. moved and. Motioning Woola to remain quietly where he was.A HERO IN KAOL It was daylight when I was awakened by the sound of stealthy movement near by.

As far as I could see. I owed no fealty to the Jeddak of Kaol. There could be but one explanation. and I would not stand supinely by and see his warriors butchered by the cruel and heartless demons of the waste places of Barsoom. Cautiously I retraced my steps to where I had left Woola. and warning him to 1285/2610 . and they were lying there in ambush to leap upon them. but he was of the same race of noble red men as my own princess.hideous green warriors of the dead sea bottoms hiding in the dense jungle beside the road. The green men were expecting an exodus of a body of red troops from the nearest city gate. the silent line of destruction and death stretched away from the city of Kaol.

and I must admit that my caution was due more to my ardent desire to make my way into the city than to avoid a brush with the green men. I came at last to the great wall. Making a considerable detour to avoid the chance of falling into the hands of the green men. As much as I enjoy . 1286/2610 A hundred yards to my right was the gate from which the troops were evidently expected to issue. I knew that the word I brought would prove a splendid passport to Kaol. and. fearing that my plan to warn the Kaolians might thus be thwarted. signaled him to follow me.silence. but to reach it I must pass the flank of the green warriors within easy sight of them. I decided upon hastening toward the left. where another gate a mile away would give me ingress to the city.

where I was sure Matai Shang and his party would be quartered. . But scarcely had I taken a hundred steps in the direction of the farther gate when the sound of marching troops. and just now I had more weighty matters to occupy my time than spilling the blood of strange warriors. I cannot always indulge myself. and the squealing of thoats just within the city apprised me of the fact that the Kaolians were already moving toward the other gate. there might be opportunity in the confusion and excitement which were sure to follow my announcement of an invading force of green warriors to find my way within the palace of the jeddak.a fight. 1287/2610 Could I but win beyond the city's wall. the clank of metal.

a hundred feet at a bound are nothing for the muscles of an athletic Earth man upon Mars. As I passed the flank of the waiting green men they saw my eyes turned upon them.There was no time to be lost. those nearest me sprang to their feet in an effort to cut me off before I could reach the gate. taking the ground in the mighty leaps that had first made me famous upon Barsoom. . I ran rapidly along the edge of the clearing. and in an instant. Thirty. In another moment the gate would be opened and the head of the column pass out upon the death-bordered highway. knowing that all secrecy was at an end. 1288/2610 Turning back toward the fateful gate. fifty.

When several pressed me too closely. Jeddak of Thark. as together we hewed down our enemies until the pile of corpses about us rose higher than a tall man's head. A dozen green warriors had succeeded in reaching a point between me and the gate. had stood shoulder to shoulder with me through long. and . I leaped above their heads. 1289/2610 I did not slacken my speed an iota as I dashed among them. hot Martian days. mightiest of Martian green men.At the same instant the mighty portal swung wide and the head of the Kaolian column emerged. but they had but little idea who it was they had elected to detain. there before the carved gateway of Kaol. and as they fell before my blade I could not but recall the happy memory of those other battles when Tars Tarkas.

These Kaolians are most noble fighters. There were many times when either side might have withdrawn without dishonor and thus ended hostilities.fashioning my tactics after those of the hideous plant men of Dor. and from the jungle the savage horde of green men were coming to meet them. In a moment I was in the very center of as fierce and bloody a battle as I had ever passed through. but from the mad abandon with which each invariably renewed hostilities I soon came to believe that what need not have been . nor are the green men of the equator one whit less warlike than their cold. 1290/2610 From the city the red warriors were rushing toward us. struck down upon my enemies' heads as I passed above them. cruel cousins of the temperate zone.

And so I am very proud that upon two planets no greater fighter has ever lived than John Carter.more than a trifling skirmish would end only with the complete extermination of one force or the other. and you can do one or the other better than your fellows. Prince of Helium. or painting pictures. If your vocation be shoeing horses. it must be remembered that fighting is my vocation. then you are a fool if you are not proud of your ability. I took keen delight in the fray. . and that my fighting was noted by the Kaolians was often evidenced by the shouts of applause directed at me. 1291/2610 With the joy of battle once roused within me. If I sometimes seem to take too great pride in my fighting ability.

but never once was the gateway to Kaol really in danger.And I outdid myself that day to impress the fact upon the natives of Kaol. until the road was red with blood and clogged with corpses." I replied. There were breathing spells when I had a chance to converse with the red men beside whom I fought. All day we fought. Back and forth along the slippery highway the tide of battle surged. for I wished to win a way into their hearts-and their city. laid his hand upon my shoulder and asked my name. and once the jeddak. Nor was I to be disappointed in my desire. Kulan Tith himself. 1292/2610 "I am Dotar Sojat. recalling a name given me by the Tharks many years before. from the surnames of the .

"and when this day is done I shall speak with you again in the great audience chamber.first two of their warriors I had killed. It seemed that Kulan Tith was expecting a visit from a mighty jeddak of the north--a powerful and the only ally of the Kaolians. 1293/2610 "You are a mighty warrior. which is the custom among them. and it had been his wish . Dotar Sojat." And then the fight surged upon us once more and we were separated." he replied. but my heart's desire was attained. and it was with renewed vigor and a joyous soul that I laid about me with my long-sword until the last of the green men had had enough and had withdrawn toward their distant sea bottom. Not until the battle was over did I learn why the red troops had sallied forth that day.

true to the instincts and training of a Martian war dog. but he had sent an officer to find me and escort me to comfortable quarters in that part of the palace set aside for the officers of the royal meet his guest a full day's journey from Kaol. . Woola had fought with me through the battle of the previous day. I had spent a comfortable night. when the troops again set out from Kaol. with Woola. and rose much refreshed after the arduous labors of the past few days. There. 1294/2610 But now the march of the welcoming host was delayed until the following morning. great numbers of which are often to be found with the savage green hordes of the dead sea bottoms. I had not been bidden to the presence of Kulan Tith after the battle.

healing salves of Barsoom had sufficed. As I entered the royal presence the jeddak rose. but the marvelous. who are renowned for their ease of manners and excellence of breeding. 1295/2610 I breakfasted with a number of the Kaolian officers. overnight.Neither of us had come through the conflict unscathed. and stepping from the dais which supported his magnificent throne. "Kaor. to make us as good as new. whom I found as courteous and delightful hosts as even the nobles of Helium. came forward to meet me--a mark of distinction that is seldom accorded to other than a visiting ruler. "I have summoned you to receive the . The meal was scarcely concluded when a messenger arrived from Kulan Tith summoning me before him. Dotar Sojat!" he greeted me.

It was while seeking entrance to the city of Kaol that I discovered the green horde lying in wait for your troops. for in truth I small palace in that southern city lies within the far-flung dominions Heliumetic nation. "My presence in the land of Kaol is partly due to accident. my flier being wrecked upon the southern fringe of your great forest. and what errand brings you to the court of Kulan Tith.grateful thanks of the people of Kaol. for had it not been for your heroic bravery in daring fate to warn us of the ambuscade we must surely have fallen into the well-laid trap." ." I said." "I am had a which of the 1296/2610 from Hastor. Tell me more of yourself-from what country you come.

for there. listening to Kulan Tith's eulogistic words concerning me. "shower thy blessings upon Dotar Sojat." the jeddak was saying. which I should indeed have had difficulty in rendering. "Holy Hekkador of the Holy Therns. so that I did not see their faces until Kulan Tith stepped past me to greet them. Matai Shang and Thurid. During my audience with the jeddak another party entered the chamber from behind me. As I turned toward them it was with difficulty that I controlled my features.If Kulan Tith wondered what business brought me in a flier to the very edge of his domain he was good enough not to press me further for an explanation. commanding me to follow and be presented. the valorous 1297/2610 . stood my archenemies.

The thing that seemed to have impressed him most was my remarkable agility. He spoke kindly to me and then presented me to Thurid." 1298/2610 Matai Shang stepped forward and laid his hand upon my shoulder. was evidently entirely deceived. much to my amusement. too. and time and again he described the wondrous way in which I had leaped completely over an antagonist. No slightest indication that he recognized me showed upon his countenance--my disguise was evidently complete. Then Kulan Tith regaled them. cleaving . whose wondrous heroism and marvelous ferocity saved the day for Kaol yesterday. with details of my achievements upon the field of battle. The black.stranger from distant Hastor.

Was he commencing to suspect? And then Kulan Tith told of the savage calot that fought beside me.his skull wide open with my long-sword as I passed above him. 1299/2610 I thought that I saw Thurid's eyes widen a bit during the narrative. It was with a sigh of relief that I quitted . and several times I surprised him gazing intently into my face through narrowed lids. and after that I saw suspicion in the eyes of Matai Shang--or did I but imagine it? At the close of the audience Kulan Tith announced that he would have me accompany him upon the way to meet his royal guest. and as I departed with an officer who was to procure proper trappings and a suitable mount for me. both Matai Shang and Thurid seemed most sincere in professing their pleasure at having had an opportunity to know me.

the chamber. Toward noon we came in touch with the head of the column we had set out to meet. Though my eyes and ears had been wide open during my audience with the jeddak and my various passages through the palace. That they must be somewhere within the great rambling edifice I was positive. 1300/2610 A half-hour later I rode out of the city gate with the column that accompanied Kulan Tith upon the way to meet his friend and ally. I had seen or heard nothing of Dejah Thoris or Thuvia of Ptarth. and I should have given much to have found a way to remain behind during Kulan Tith's absence. . that I might search for them. convinced that nothing more than a guilty conscience had prompted my belief that either of my enemies suspected my true identity.

when I had first beheld the gorgeous spectacle of a caravan of the green horde of Tharks. 1301/2610 . commodious wagons moved two abreast. and then came a thousand gorgeous chariots drawn by huge zitidars. These low. formed the vanguard of the body. Mounted troops. and on either side of them marched solid ranks of mounted warriors.It was a gorgeous train that accompanied the visiting jeddak. now twenty-two years in the past. their trappings of jewel and metal-incrusted leather glistening in the sunlight. for in the chariots were the women and children of the royal court. white road to Kaol. and for miles it stretched along the wide. Upon the back of each monster zitidar rode a Martian youth. and the whole scene carried me back to my first days upon Barsoom.

and the countless unnamed jewels of Mars. embroidered in fanciful designs with strings of diamonds. emeralds. rubies. and pennons fluttered in the breeze. but when compared to the relatively small red man and his breed of thoats they assume Brobdingnagian proportions that are truly appalling. pearls. Just in front of the chariots the visiting jeddak rode alone upon a pure white thoat--another unusual sight upon 1302/2610 .Never before today had I seen zitidars in the service of red men. flags. while from each chariot rose a dozen standards from which streamers. These brutes are huge mastodonian animals that tower to an immense height even beside the giant green men and their giant thoats. The beasts were hung with jeweled trappings and saddlepads of gay silk.

1303/2610 Except for the clanking of accouterments and the occasional squeal of an angry thoat or the low guttural of a zitidar. which gives forth no sound. pleasure-loving people--in direct antithesis to the cold and morbid race of green men. for neither thoat nor zitidar is a hoofed animal. It was indeed a most imposing sight.Barsoom--and after them came interminable ranks of mounted spearmen. . the passage of the cavalcade was almost noiseless. riflemen. and the broad tires of the chariots are of an elastic composition. and swordsmen. for the red Martians are a social. Now and then the gay laughter of a woman or the chatter of children could be heard.

as soon as it was seemly for me to do so. . and then we turned and retraced our way toward the city of Kaol. and after the great banquet. 1304/2610 Fortunately. which the head of the column reached just before dark. I was well up toward the head of the column. I was free to seek repose. and so. which I attended with the officers of the royal guard. There was so much activity and bustle about the palace all during the night with the constant arrival of the noble officers of the visiting jeddak's retinue that I dared not attempt to prosecute a search for Dejah Thoris. though it must have been nearly morning before the rear guard passed through the gateway. I returned to my quarters.The forms and ceremonials connected with the meeting of the two jeddaks consumed an hour.

and if that were true not even the service I had rendered Kulan Tith 1305/2610 . Though I ran quickly back to the spot where the shadower had disappeared I could find no trace of him. since if I were right in the conclusion induced by the cursory glimpse I had had of the spy. turning quickly in my tracks. and. then Matai Shang and Thurid must suspect my identity. The incident gave me considerable food for speculation. I had a sudden feeling that I was under surveillance. caught a glimpse of a figure which darted into an open doorway the instant I wheeled about. yet in the brief glimpse that I had caught I could have sworn that I had seen a white face surmounted by a mass of yellow hair.As I passed along the corridors between the banquet hall and the apartments that had been allotted me.

He had comfortable.could save fanaticism. but I would have given much to have had him with me. and so I had had to relegate poor Woola to quarters in the stables where the royal thoats are kept. Calots are not permitted within the walls of the palace proper. and if he had been. and so tonight I threw myself upon my sleeping silks and furs and passed at once into dreamless slumber. me from his religious 1306/2610 But never did vague conjecture or fruitless fears for the future lie with sufficient weight upon my mind to keep me from my rest. even luxurious apartments. the thing which happened that night would not have come to pass. I could not have slept over a quarter of an hour when I was suddenly awakened .

Instantly I sprang to my feet. my foot became entangled in my sleeping silks and I fell sprawling to the floor. Careful search of the room revealed nothing to explain either the identity or business of the person who had thus secretly sought me in the dead of night. but even this 1307/2610 . the passing of some cold and clammy thing across my forehead. since thieves are practically unknown upon Barsoom. however. is rampant. That the purpose might be theft I could not believe. as I lunged headforemost through the darkness to seize my nocturnal visitor. By the time I had resumed my feet and found the button which controlled the light my caller had disappeared. For an instant my hand touched against human flesh. and then. clutching in the direction I thought the presence lay.

"Kulan Tith commands your presence before him. for he might easily have killed me had he desired." he said.could not have been the motive of my stealthy friend. 1308/2610 I had about given up fruitless conjecture and was on the point of returning to sleep when a dozen Kaolian guardsmen entered my apartment. Jeddak of Kaol. but now upon his face was no sign of friendship. to the great . "Come!" NEW ALLIES Surrounded by guardsmen I marched back along the corridors of the palace of Kulan Tith. The officer in charge was one of my genial hosts of the morning.

audience chamber in the center of the massive structure. 1309/2610 As I entered the brilliantly lighted apartment. Matai Shang. and then Thurid. upon which sat Kulan Tith and his two guests. Up the broad center aisle we marched beneath deadly silence. all eyes were turned upon me. and at the foot of the thrones we halted." said Kulan Tith. turning to one who stood among the nobles at his right. stepped forward and faced me. Upon the great dais at the end of the chamber stood three thrones. "Most noble Jeddak." he said. the black dator of the First Born. filled with the nobles of Kaol and the officers of the visiting jeddak. "Prefer thy charge. addressing Kulan Tith. "from the first I . and the visiting jeddak.

1310/2610 "But that there might be no mistake I despatched a priest of your own holy cult to make the test that should pierce his disguise and reveal the truth. Your description of his fiendish prowess tallied with that of the arch-enemy of truth upon Barsoom. The officer beside me guessed my perplexity. All eyes followed the direction of that accusing digit--I alone seemed at a loss to guess what fatal sign rested upon my brow. the noble drew a small mirror from his pocket-pouch and held it before my face.suspected this stranger within thy palace. Behold the result!" and Thurid pointed a rigid finger at my forehead. . and as the brows of Kulan Tith darkened in a menacing scowl as his eyes rested upon me.

to enhance. the dramatic effect of his disclosure. stands John Carter. I suspect. "is he who has desecrated the temples of the Gods of Mars. in your power. "Here. Beneath showed the tanned texture of my own white skin. O Kulan Tith. Defender of the Holies. Before you.One glance at the reflection it gave back to me was sufficient. For a moment Thurid ceased speaking. Jeddak of Kaol. who has violated the persons of the Holy Therns themselves and turned a world against its age-old religion. Prince of Helium!" . 1311/2610 From my forehead the hand of the sneaking thern had reached out through the concealing darkness of my bedchamber and wiped away a patch of the disguising red pigment as broad as my palm. Then he resumed." he cried.

Listen to me as well as to them.Kulan Tith looked toward Matai Shang as though for corroboration of these charges. 1312/2610 "It is indeed the arch-blasphemer. for the sole purpose of assassinating me. listen that you may know the truth." he said. "Even now he has followed me to the very heart of thy palace. "Kulan Tith." . Listen while I tell you why John Carter has followed Matai Shang to the heart of thy palace. Kulan Tith. The Holy Thern nodded his head. He--" "He lies!" I cried. and then judge if my acts be not more in accord with true Barsoomian chivalry and honor than those of these revengeful devotees of the spurious creeds from whose cruel bonds I have freed your planet.

Even the service that you rendered the arms of Kaol shall avail you naught."Silence!" roared the jeddak. It but remains to determine the manner of your death. it was but a base subterfuge whereby you might win your way into my favor and reach the side of this holy man whose life you craved. blasphemer! Kulan Tith need not permit the air of his audience chamber to be defiled by the heresies that issue from your polluted throat to judge you. addressing the officer of my guard. To the pits with him!" he concluded. indeed! What chance had I against a whole nation? What hope for me of mercy at the hands of the fanatical Kulan Tith with such . leaping to his feet and laying his hand upon the hilt of his sword. Here was a pretty pass. 1313/2610 "You stand already self-condemned. "Silence.

The fighting blood of my Virginian sires coursed hot through my veins. Earth man. spitting blood and teeth from his hurt mouth. and as the good. "You shall not escape this time. A red haze blurred my vision. With a leap I was beside Thurid. The lust of battle in all its mad fury was upon me. ." he taunted. old American blow landed. 1314/2610 The guards closed toward me. to face a nation. the black dator shot back a dozen feet. and ere the devilish smirk had faded from his handsome face I had caught him full upon the mouth with my clenched fist. The black grinned malevolently in my face. on guard. Then I drew my sword and swung round.advisers as Matai Shang and Thurid. to crumple in a heap at the foot of Kulan Tith's throne.

with drawn long-sword. and a giant figure leaped from the dais beside Kulan Tith and. Jeddak of Ptarth.In an instant the guardsmen were upon me. call off your swordsmen. Kulan Tith. "If you value my friendship. It was the visiting jeddak. and the age-old peace that has existed between our peoples. threw himself between me and my adversaries." The shouting ceased and the menacing points were lowered as a thousand eyes turned first toward Thuvan Dihn in surprise and then toward Kulan Tith in 1315/2610 . for wherever or against whomsoever fights John Carter. there beside him and to the death fights Thuvan Dihn. but before a blow had been struck a mighty voice rose above the din of shouting warriors. "Hold!" he cried. Prince of Helium.

too. but he controlled himself even as well as had his host." I could see that the Jeddak of Ptarth was of half a mind to throw his metal in Kulan Tith's face. I should prefer to remain silent until the Jeddak of Ptarth has won from me applause for his action by relating the causes which provoked it. but before he spoke he had mastered himself. "must have great provocation thus to desecrate the ancient customs which inspire the deportment of a guest within the palace of his host." he said slowly.question. Lest I. should forget myself as has my royal friend. At first the Jeddak of Kaol went white in rage. . 1316/2610 "Thuvan Dihn. so that his tone was calm and even as befitted intercourse between two great jeddaks.

long. and later you learned that. but Thuvan Dihn owes allegiance to a higher law than these--the law of gratitude. voluntary pilgrimage upon the cold bosom of the mysterious Iss. inspired by some unfathomable whim. "Some months ago I first heard of the expedition which John Carter had led . leaving me desolate. Thuvia." he continued. she had taken the last. you were greatly taken with the charms and graces of my only daughter. You saw how I adored her. "the laws which govern the acts of men in the domains of their neighbors. "upon the occasion of your last visit to me." he said. Prince of Helium. 1317/2610 "Years ago. Kulan Tith."None knows better than Thuvan Dihn. Nor to any man upon Barsoom does he owe a greater debt of gratitude than to John Carter.

"For a time I could not believe the heresies which I heard. 1318/2610 "I heard that thousands of prisoners had been released. few of whom dared to return to their own countries owing to the mandate of terrible death which rests against all who return from the Valley Dor.against Issus and the Holy Therns. and I prayed that my daughter Thuvia might have died before she ever committed the sacrilege of returning to the outer world. and I vowed that I would prefer eternal damnation to further separation from her if she could be found. Faint rumors of the atrocities reported to have been committed by the therns upon those who for countless ages have floated down the mighty Iss came to my ears. But then my father's love asserted itself. .

1319/2610 "Many there were who had seen or known my daughter. and from each and all I heard the same story of unspeakable cruelties and atrocities perpetrated upon the poor defenseless victims of their religion by the Holy Therns. They told me . and I was glad when I came here to find that Matai Shang was also your guest. and to the court of Xodar. I heard. and that of the chivalrous kindness that John Carter had accorded my daughter. too. for I should have sought him out had it taken a lifetime. Jeddak of the First Born. and from therns who had been close to Matai Shang I learned of the indignities that he personally heaped upon her. and to him who now rules those of the thern nation that have renounced their religion. "More."So I sent emissaries to Helium.

or even your friendship. and the religion which he teaches the only true . "who am I to judge my fellow-man? In my eyes the Father of Therns is still he fought for her and rescued her. I could see by the expression of his face that he was sore perplexed. 1320/2610 "Can you wonder. to champion the Prince of Helium?" For a moment Kulan Tith was silent. and how he spurned escape from the savage Warhoons of the south. and his tone was friendly though sad. Kulan Tith. sending her to safety upon his own thoat and remaining upon foot to meet the green warriors. which I prize more than aught else. "Thuvan Dihn. the peace of my nation. Then he spoke. that I am willing to jeopardize my life." he said.

I need not ask that the settlement of it be deferred until both have passed beyond the limits of my power. but between you and Matai Shang my only office can be one of conciliation. 1321/2610 "In so far as the Prince of Helium is concerned I may act. but upon pain of death must he never again enter the land of Kaol. "If there be a quarrel between you and the Father of Therns. The Prince of Helium shall be escorted in safety to the boundary of my domain ere the sun has set again. but were I faced by the same problem that has vexed you I doubt not that I should feel and act precisely as you have.religion. Are you satisfied. where he shall be free to go whither he will. Thuvan Dihn?" .

for I had no stomach for peace at the price that had been named.The Jeddak of Ptarth nodded his assent. from the goal that I have won by the prowess of my sword arm and the might of my muscles. Jeddak of Ptarth. like a decrepit thoat to the slaughter. 1322/2610 "The Prince of Helium is far from satisfied. the black . breaking rudely in upon the beginnings of peace. "I have escaped death in a dozen forms to follow Matai Shang and overtake him." I cried. "Nor will Thuvan Dihn. and I do not intend to be led. Do you know why I have followed Matai Shang and Thurid. be satisfied when he has heard me through. but the ugly scowl that he bent upon Matai Shang harbored ill for that pastyfaced godling.

would stoop to assassination? Can Kulan Tith be such a fool as to believe that lie. "Now think you that I shall permit myself to be led beyond the walls of Kaol unless the mother of my son accompanies me. and your daughter. though the God of mine own planet knows that my hands itch to be at his throat. from the forests of the Valley Dor across half a world through almost insurmountable difficulties? 1323/2610 "Think you that John Carter. because with him are two prisoners--my wife. Thuvan Dihn. Thuvia of Ptarth. Princess of Helium. Prince of Helium. I follow him. whispered in his ear by the Holy Thern or Dator Thurid? "I do not follow Matai Shang to kill him.dator. Dejah Thoris. and thy daughter be restored?" .

This much have I learned of the Prince of Helium--he does not lie.Thuvan Dihn turned upon Kulan Tith. but even as I sprang toward him Thuvan Dihn laid a heavy hand upon my shoulder." he said to me. Answer me. for it is a lie." I would have had his life for that upon the spot. Rage flamed in his keen eyes." interrupted Matai Shang. white with what I am sure was more fear than rage. Kulan Tith?" he asked. "Wait. "Knew you that my daughter lay a prisoner in your palace?" "He could not know it." 1324/2610 . "He could not know it. and then to Kulan Tith. "It is not a lie. but by the masterfulness of his self-control he kept his tones level as he spoke. "Knew you this thing. Kulan Tith--I have asked you a question.

and that it would require but little more to turn the powerful jeddak into an avowed enemy." As he spoke he looked straight at Matai Shang. It must have been plain to the Father of Therns. that the recent disclosures of his true character had done much already to weaken the faith of Kulan Tith. but so strong are the seeds of superstition that even the great Kaolian still hesitated to 1325/2610 ." replied Kulan Tith. not as a devotee should look at a high priest. then shall they be returned to you on the morrow. "Phaidor."Three women came with the Father of Therns. But if they be. If these be Thuvia of Ptarth and Dejah Thoris of Helium I did not know it--I have seen neither. but as a ruler of men looks at one to whom he issues a command. his daughter. as it was to me. and two who were reported to be her slaves.

"and I should dislike to break in upon the slumber of my daughter." he said. and demand that the Princess of Helium be brought to me forthwith. when Thuvan . and promised to bring the two slave women to the audience chamber on the morrow. "It is almost morning now.cut the final strand that bound him to his ancient religion. or I would have them fetched at once that you might see that the Prince of Helium is mistaken." and he emphasized the last word in an effort to affront me so subtlely that I could not take open offense. Matai Shang was wise enough to seem to accept the mandate of his follower. 1326/2610 I was about to object to any delay.

Dihn made unnecessary. and at Thuvan Dihn's invitation I accompanied the Jeddak of Ptarth to his own . A few moments later Kulan Tith indicated that the audience was at an end. "but if Kulan Tith will give me his assurance that none will be permitted to leave the palace this night." "None shall leave the palace tonight." he said." replied the Jeddak of Kaol. and that no harm shall befall either Dejah Thoris or Thuvia of Ptarth between now and the moment they are brought into our presence in this chamber at daylight I shall not insist. "and Matai Shang will give us assurance that no harm will come to the two women?" The thern assented with a nod. such insistence seem 1327/2610 "I should like to see my daughter at once.

. the green Jeddak of where we sat until daylight. while he listened to the account of my experiences upon his planet and to all that had befallen his daughter during the time that we had been together. I found the father of Thuvia a man after my own heart. summoning us to the audience chamber where Thuvan Dihn was to receive his daughter after years of separation. 1328/2610 The first burst of Mars's sudden dawn brought messengers from Kulan Tith. and I was to be reunited with the glorious daughter of Helium after an almost unbroken separation of twelve years. and that night saw the beginning of a friendship which has grown until it is second only to that which obtains between Tars Tarkas. and myself.

so sure was I that all within the room must hear. My arms ached to enfold once more the divine form of her whose eternal youth and undying beauty were but outward manifestations of a perfect soul. Halting before the throne he addressed his jeddak in a voice that was plainly audible to all within the chamber. I craned my neck to catch the first glimpse of those who should be following.My heart pounded within my bosom until I looked about me in embarrassment. after the fashion of the court. for when he reached the apartments of the . but the messenger was alone. "your messenger returns alone. "O Kulan Tith." he cried. Mightiest of Jeddaks. 1329/2610 At last the messenger despatched to fetch Matai Shang returned.

Jeddak of Kaol. Rising from his throne he stepped down from the dais to the side of Thuvan Dihn. not having ascended the throne which awaited him beside his host." he cried.Father of Therns he found them empty." Kulan Tith went white. 1330/2610 A low groan burst from the lips of Thuvan Dihn who stood next me. "that this should have happened in the palace of thy best friend! With my own hands would I have wrung the neck of Matai . as were those occupied by his suite. For a moment the silence of death reigned in the great audience chamber of Kulan Tith. It was he who broke the spell. "O Thuvan Dihn. Tears dimmed his eyes as he placed both his hands upon the shoulders of his friend.

and from them force an explanation of the manner of their going and the direction they have taken. too late. 1331/2610 "To wrest your daughter and the wife of this royal warrior from the clutches of these archfiends you have but to command the resources of a mighty nation. Last night my life-long faith was weakened--this morning it has been shattered." I suggested. for all Kaol is at your disposal. Seek the guilty. What may be done? Say the word!" "First.Shang had I guessed what was in his foul heart." . Without assistance on the part of the palace guard this thing could not have come to pass. "let us find those of your people who be responsible for the escape of Matai Shang and his followers. but too late.

mightier even than thou. I was on duty in other parts of the palace during the audience of the early morning. ." he said. and knew nothing of what transpired then. Last night it was I who commanded the palace guard. Mightiest of Jeddaks. "I alone be responsible for this grievous error. so that when the Father of Therns summoned me and explained that it was your wish that his party be hastened from the city because of the presence here of a deadly enemy who sought the Holy Hekkador's life I did only what a lifetime of training has taught me was the proper thing to do--I obeyed him whom I believed to be the ruler of us all. mightiest of jeddaks. 1332/2610 "O Kulan Tith.Before Kulan Tith could issue the commands that would initiate the investigation a handsome young officer stepped forward and addressed his jeddak.

for I alone am guilty. but the error was so evidently excusable that neither of us had any mind to see the young officer suffer for a mistake that any might readily have made. "and what direction did they take?" "They left as they came." 1333/2610 Kulan Tith looked first at me and then at Thuvan Dihn. "How left they. which vanished finally due north. Those others of the palace guard who assisted in the flight did so under my instructions. For some time after they had departed I watched the vessel's lights. "upon their own flier."Let the consequences and the punishment fall on me alone." ." replied the officer. as though to ask our judgment upon the man." asked Thuvan Dihn.

he said. apparently deep in thought. Then a sudden light brightened his countenance. where no 'lying heretics' might seek him out. For some moments the Jeddak of Kaol stood with bowed head. It is there that Matai Shang has gone." I cried. Among them would he find a perpetual haven of refuge. telling me of a race of people unlike ourselves who dwell far to the north. had always been known to the Holy Therns and were devout and faithful followers of the ancient cult. "Only yesterday Matai Shang let drop a hint of his destination. . They." "And in all Kaol there be no flier wherein to follow. 1334/2610 "I have it!" he cried."Where north could Matai Shang find an asylum?" asked Thuvan Dihn of Kulan Tith.

" I had been more than half suspicious of the seeming sincerity of the Kaolian jeddak's sudden apostasy."Nor nearer than Ptarth. and artificers to assist me. ready to depart. but the alacrity with which he embraced my suggestion. Two days later the flier rested upon the top of the watchtower. If you will loan me men to fetch it. Thuvan Dihn and Kulan Tith had offered . and the despatch with which a force of officers and men were placed at my disposal entirely removed the last vestige of my doubts. "beyond the southern fringe of this great forest lies the wreck of the thern flier which brought me that far upon my way. I can repair it in two days." replied Thuvan Dihn. Kulan Tith. 1335/2610 "Wait!" I exclaimed.

me the entire resources of two nations-millions of fighting men were at my disposal. He turned to the highest of his own officers who had accompanied him to Kaol. 1336/2610 As I stepped aboard her. Farewell!" . I cast a look of questioning surprise upon him." he said. Thuvan Dihn took his place beside me. "To you I entrust the return of my retinue to Ptarth. but my flier could hold but one other than myself and Woola. The Prince of Helium shall not go alone into the land of his enemies. "There my son rules ably in my absence. I have spoken.

for never had flier returned who had passed to any considerable distance beyond the mighty ice-barrier that fringes the southern hem of the frigid zone. and from the distance we had come from the equator were assured that we were rapidly approaching the north arctic region. My knowledge of the efforts that had been made by countless expeditions to explore that unknown land bade me to caution. day and night.THROUGH CAVES THE CARRION 1337/2610 Straight toward the north. our destination compass led us after the fleeing flier upon which it had remained set since I first attuned it after leaving the thern fortress. . Early in the second night we noticed the air becoming perceptibly colder.

for it was my intention to move cautiously by day over the ice-pack that I might discover. ." as it had come to be called by the Martians of the outer world. 1338/2610 The distance from the barrier to the pole was no more than a swift flier should cover in a few hours. before I had run into a trap. Thus it was that I went more slowly as we approached the barrier.What became of them none knew--only that they passed forever out of the sight of man into that grim and mysterious country of the pole. for there only could I imagine a spot where Matai Shang might feel secure from John Carter. if there really lay an inhabited country at the north pole. and so it was assumed that some frightful catastrophe awaited those who reached the "forbidden land. Prince of Helium.

and the night was black with the clouds that are to be found only at Mars's two extremities. The flier reeled half over. Fortunately none of us was injured. as one. for both moons had set. and when we had disentangled ourselves from the wreckage. and the lesser moon 1339/2610 .We were flying at a snail's pace but a few feet above the ground--literally feeling our way along through the darkness. and reversed our engine. and we plunged. headforemost. the engine stopped. and though I threw the helm hard over. I was too late to avoid collision. With a sickening crash we struck the high looming obstacle three-quarters on. the patched buoyancy tanks burst. Suddenly a towering wall of white rose directly in our path. to the ground twenty feet beneath.

With daylight my battered spirits regained something of their accustomed hopefulness. He but shook his head dejectedly.had burst again from below the horizon. from which outcropped great patches of the granite hills which hold it from encroaching farther toward the south. The balance of the night we spent shivering in our inadequate sleeping silks and furs upon the snow that lies at the foot of the ice-barrier. we found that we were at the foot of a mighty ice-barrier. What fate! With the journey all but completed to be thus wrecked upon the wrong side of that precipitous and unscalable wall of rock and ice! I looked at Thuvan Dihn. though I must admit that 1340/2610 .

defeated." I replied. Never for a moment were we safe from . frigid miles that lie before us. The sooner we start. 1341/2610 "What shall we do?" asked Thuvan Dihn. Fierce. fur-bearing creatures attacked us by daylight and by dark. the better. "Nor shall I admit that it is impassable before I have followed its entire circle and stand again upon this spot." For five days of cold and suffering and privation we traversed the rough and frozen way which lies at the foot of the ice-barrier. "How may we pass that which is impassable?" "First we must disprove its impassability. and it will take us more than a month to