I Carthoris and Thuvia . . . . . . . . 7
II Slavery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
III Treachery . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
IV A Green Man's Captive . . . . . . . 34
V The Fair Race . . . . . . . . . . . 45
VI The Jeddak of Lothar . . . . . . . . 59
VII The Phantom Bowmen . . . . . . . . . 68
VIII The Hall of Doom . . . . . . . . . . 78
IX The Battle in the Plain . . . . . . 89
X Kar Komak, the Bowman . . . . . . . 99
XI Green Men and White Apes . . . . . . 109
XII To Save Dusar . . . . . . . . . . . 121
XIII Turjun, the Panthan . . . . . . . . 130
XIV Kulan Tith's Sacrifice . . . . . . . 141
Glossary of Names and Terms . . . . 153
THUVIA, MAID OF MARS
CARTHORIS AND THUVIA
Upon a massive bench of polished ersite beneath
the gorgeous blooms of a giant pimalia a woman sat.
Her shapely, sandalled foot tapped impatiently upon the
jewel-strewn walk that wound beneath the stately sorapus
trees across the scarlet sward of the royal gardens of
Thuvan Dihn, Jeddak of Ptarth, as a dark-haired, red-
skinned warrior bent low toward her, whispering heated
words close to her ear.
"Ah, Thuvia of Ptarth," he cried, "you are cold
even before the fiery blasts of my consuming love!
No harder than your heart, nor colder is the hard,
cold ersite of this thrice happy bench which supports
your divine and fadeless form! Tell me, O Thuvia of
Ptarth, that I may still hope--that though you do not
love me now, yet some day, some day, my princess, I--"
The girl sprang to her feet with an exclamation of
surprise and displeasure. Her queenly head was poised
haughtily upon her smooth red shoulders. Her dark eyes
looked angrily into those of the man.
"You forget yourself, and the customs of Barsoom, Astok,"
she said. "I have given you no right thus to address
the daughter of Thuvan Dihn, nor have you won such a right."
The man reached suddenly forth and grasped her by the arm.
"You shall be my princess!" he cried. "By the breast of
Issus, thou shalt, nor shall any other come between Astok,
Prince of Dusar, and his heart's desire. Tell me that
there is another, and I shall cut out his foul heart and
fling it to the wild calots of the dead sea-bottoms!"
At touch of the man's hand upon her flesh the girl
went pallid beneath her coppery skin, for the persons
of the royal women of the courts of Mars are held but
little less than sacred. The act of Astok, Prince of Dusar,
was profanation. There was no terror in the eyes of
Thuvia of Ptarth--only horror for the thing the man
had done and for its possible consequences.
"Release me." Her voice was level--frigid.
The man muttered incoherently and drew her roughly toward him.
"Release me!" she repeated sharply, "or I call the guard,
and the Prince of Dusar knows what that will mean."
Quickly he threw his right arm about her shoulders and
strove to draw her face to his lips. With a little cry
she struck him full in the mouth with the massive bracelets
that circled her free arm.
"Calot!" she exclaimed, and then: "The guard! The guard!
Hasten in protection of the Princess of Ptarth!"
In answer to her call a dozen guardsmen came racing
across the scarlet sward, their gleaming long-swords
naked in the sun, the metal of their accoutrements clanking
against that of their leathern harness, and in their throats
hoarse shouts of rage at the sight which met their eyes.
But before they had passed half across the royal garden
to where Astok of Dusar still held the struggling girl
in his grasp, another figure sprang from a cluster of
dense foliage that half hid a golden fountain close at
hand. A tall, straight youth he was, with black hair and
keen grey eyes; broad of shoulder and narrow of hip;
a clean-limbed fighting man. His skin was but faintly tinged
with the copper colour that marks the red men of Mars from
the other races of the dying planet--he was like them,
and yet there was a subtle difference greater even than
that which lay in his lighter skin and his grey eyes.
There was a difference, too, in his movements. He came on
in great leaps that carried him so swiftly over the ground
that the speed of the guardsmen was as nothing by comparison.
Astok still clutched Thuvia's wrist as the young warrior
confronted him. The new-comer wasted no time and he spoke
but a single word.
"Calot!" he snapped, and then his clenched fist
landed beneath the other's chin, lifting him high into the
air and depositing him in a crumpled heap within the
centre of the pimalia bush beside the ersite bench.
Her champion turned toward the girl. "Kaor, Thuvia of Ptarth!"
he cried. "It seems that fate timed my visit well."
"Kaor, Carthoris of Helium!" the princess returned the
young man's greeting, "and what less could one expect
of the son of such a sire?"
He bowed his acknowledgment of the compliment to
his father, John Carter, Warlord of Mars. And then the
guardsmen, panting from their charge, came up just as
the Prince of Dusar, bleeding at the mouth, and with
drawn sword, crawled from the entanglement of the pimalia.
Astok would have leaped to mortal combat with the son
of Dejah Thoris, but the guardsmen pressed about him,
preventing, though it was clearly evident that naught
would have better pleased Carthoris of Helium.
"But say the word, Thuvia of Ptarth," he begged,
"and naught will give me greater pleasure than meting to
this fellow the punishment he has earned."
"It cannot be, Carthoris," she replied. "Even though
he has forfeited all claim upon my consideration, yet is
he the guest of the jeddak, my father, and to him alone
may he account for the unpardonable act he has committed."
"As you say, Thuvia," replied the Heliumite. "But
afterward he shall account to Carthoris, Prince of Helium,
for this affront to the daughter of my father's friend."
As he spoke, though, there burned in his eyes a fire
that proclaimed a nearer, dearer cause for his championship
of this glorious daughter of Barsoom.
The maid's cheek darkened beneath the satin of her
transparent skin, and the eyes of Astok, Prince of Dusar,
darkened, too, as he read that which passed unspoken
between the two in the royal gardens of the jeddak.
"And thou to me," he snapped at Carthoris, answering
the young man's challenge.
The guard still surrounded Astok. It was a difficult
position for the young officer who commanded it.
His prisoner was the son of a mighty jeddak; he was
the guest of Thuvan Dihn--until but now an honoured
guest upon whom every royal dignity had been showered.
To arrest him forcibly could mean naught else than war,
and yet he had done that which in the eyes of the Ptarth
warrior merited death.
The young man hesitated. He looked toward his princess.
She, too, guessed all that hung upon the action of
the coming moment. For many years Dusar and Ptarth
had been at peace with each other. Their great merchant
ships plied back and forth between the larger cities of
the two nations. Even now, far above the gold-shot
scarlet dome of the jeddak's palace, she could see the
huge bulk of a giant freighter taking its majestic way
through the thin Barsoomian air toward the west and Dusar.
By a word she might plunge these two mighty nations
into a bloody conflict that would drain them of their
bravest blood and their incalculable riches, leaving them
all helpless against the inroads of their envious and
less powerful neighbors, and at last a prey to the savage
green hordes of the dead sea-bottoms.
No sense of fear influenced her decision, for fear is
seldom known to the children of Mars. It was rather a
sense of the responsibility that she, the daughter of their
jeddak, felt for the welfare of her father's people.
"I called you, Padwar," she said to the lieutenant of
the guard, "to protect the person of your princess,
and to keep the peace that must not be violated within the
royal gardens of the jeddak. That is all. You will escort
me to the palace, and the Prince of Helium will accompany me."
Without another glance in the direction of Astok she
turned, and taking Carthoris' proffered hand, moved
slowly toward the massive marble pile that housed the
ruler of Ptarth and his glittering court. On either side
marched a file of guardsmen. Thus Thuvia of Ptarth found
a way out of a dilemma, escaping the necessity of placing
her father's royal guest under forcible restraint,
and at the same time separating the two princes,
who otherwise would have been at each other's throat
the moment she and the guard had departed.
Beside the pimalia stood Astok, his dark eyes narrowed
to mere slits of hate beneath his lowering brows as he
watched the retreating forms of the woman who had aroused
the fiercest passions of his nature and the man whom he
now believed to be the one who stood between his love
and its consummation.
As they disappeared within the structure Astok
shrugged his shoulders, and with a murmured oath
crossed the gardens toward another wing of the
building where he and his retinue were housed.
That night he took formal leave of Thuvan Dihn, and
though no mention was made of the happening within
the garden, it was plain to see through the cold mask
of the jeddak's courtesy that only the customs of royal
hospitality restrained him from voicing the contempt he
felt for the Prince of Dusar.
Carthoris was not present at the leave-taking, nor was Thuvia.
The ceremony was as stiff and formal as court etiquette
could make it, and when the last of the Dusarians
clambered over the rail of the battleship that had
brought them upon this fateful visit to the court of Ptarth,
and the mighty engine of destruction had risen slowly
from the ways of the landing-stage, a note of relief
was apparent in the voice of Thuvan Dihn as he turned
to one of his officers with a word of comment upon a
subject foreign to that which had been uppermost in the
minds of all for hours.
But, after all, was it so foreign?
"Inform Prince Sovan," he directed, "that it is our
wish that the fleet which departed for Kaol this morning
be recalled to cruise to the west of Ptarth."
As the warship, bearing Astok back to the court of his
father, turned toward the west, Thuvia of Ptarth, sitting
upon the same bench where the Prince of Dusar had
affronted her, watched the twinkling lights of the craft
growing smaller in the distance. Beside her, in the
brilliant light of the nearer moon, sat Carthoris.
His eyes were not upon the dim bulk of the battleship,
but on the profile of the girl's upturned face.
"Thuvia," he whispered.
The girl turned her eyes toward his. His hand stole out
to find hers, but she drew her own gently away.
"Thuvia of Ptarth, I love you!" cried the young warrior.
"Tell me that it does not offend."
She shook her head sadly. "The love of Carthoris of
Helium," she said simply, "could be naught but an honour
to any woman; but you must not speak, my friend,
of bestowing upon me that which I may not reciprocate."
The young man got slowly to his feet. His eyes were
wide in astonishment. It never had occurred to the Prince
of Helium that Thuvia of Ptarth might love another.
"But at Kadabra!" he exclaimed. "And later here at
your father's court, what did you do, Thuvia of Ptarth,
that might have warned me that you could not return my love?"
"And what did I do, Carthoris of Helium," she returned,
"that might lead you to believe that I DID return it?"
He paused in thought, and then shook his head.
"Nothing, Thuvia, that is true; yet I could have
sworn you loved me. Indeed, you well knew how
near to worship has been my love for you."
"And how might I know it, Carthoris?" she asked innocently.
"Did you ever tell me as much? Ever before have words
of love for me fallen from your lips?"
"But you MUST have known it!" he exclaimed. "I am
like my father--witless in matters of the heart, and of a
poor way with women; yet the jewels that strew these
royal garden paths--the trees, the flowers, the sward--
all must have read the love that has filled my heart since
first my eyes were made new by imaging your perfect face
and form; so how could you alone have been blind to it?"
"Do the maids of Helium pay court to their men?" asked Thuvia.
"You are playing with me!" exclaimed Carthoris. "Say that
you are but playing, and that after all you love me, Thuvia!"
"I cannot tell you that, Carthoris, for I am promised to another."
Her tone was level, but was there not within it the
hint of an infinite depth of sadness? Who may say?
"Promised to another?" Carthoris scarcely breathed
the words. His face went almost white, and then his head
came up as befitted him in whose veins flowed the blood
of the overlord of a world.
"Carthoris of Helium wishes you every happiness with
the man of your choice," he said. "With--" and then
he hesitated, waiting for her to fill in the name.
"Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol," she replied. "My father's
friend and Ptarth's most puissant ally."
The young man looked at her intently for a moment
before he spoke again.
"You love him, Thuvia of Ptarth?" he asked.
"I am promised to him," she replied simply.
He did not press her. "He is of Barsoom's noblest blood
and mightiest fighters," mused Carthoris. "My father's
friend and mine--would that it might have been another!"
he muttered almost savagely. What the girl thought was
hidden by the mask of her expression, which was tinged
only by a little shadow of sadness that might have been
for Carthoris, herself, or for them both.
Carthoris of Helium did not ask, though he noted it,
for his loyalty to Kulan Tith was the loyalty of the
blood of John Carter of Virginia for a friend,
greater than which could be no loyalty.
He raised a jewel-encrusted bit of the girl's magnificent
trappings to his lips.
"To the honour and happiness of Kulan Tith and the
priceless jewel that has been bestowed upon him,"
he said, and though his voice was husky there was the true
ring of sincerity in it. "I told you that I loved you,
Thuvia, before I knew that you were promised to another.
I may not tell you it again, but I am glad that you know it,
for there is no dishonour in it either to you or to Kulan
Tith or to myself. My love is such that it may embrace
as well Kulan Tith--if you love him." There was almost
a question in the statement.
"I am promised to him," she replied.
Carthoris backed slowly away. He laid one hand upon
his heart, the other upon the pommel of his long-sword.
"These are yours--always," he said. A moment later he had
entered the palace, and was gone from the girl's sight.
Had he returned at once he would have found her prone
upon the ersite bench, her face buried in her arms.
Was she weeping? There was none to see.
Carthoris of Helium had come all unannounced to the
court of his father's friend that day. He had come alone
in a small flier, sure of the same welcome that always
awaited him at Ptarth. As there had been no formality
in his coming there was no need of formality in his going.
To Thuvan Dihn he explained that he had been but
testing an invention of his own with which his flier was
equipped--a clever improvement of the ordinary Martian
air compass, which, when set for a certain destination,
will remain constantly fixed thereon, making it only
necessary to keep a vessel's prow always in the direction
of the compass needle to reach any given point upon Barsoom
by the shortest route.
Carthoris' improvement upon this consisted of an
auxiliary device which steered the craft mechanically in
the direction of the compass, and upon arrival directly
over the point for which the compass was set, brought
the craft to a standstill and lowered it, also automatically,
to the ground.
"You readily discern the advantages of this invention,"
he was saying to Thuvan Dihn, who had accompanied
him to the landing-stage upon the palace roof to inspect
the compass and bid his young friend farewell.
A dozen officers of the court with several body servants
were grouped behind the jeddak and his guest,
eager listeners to the conversation--so eager on the
part of one of the servants that he was twice rebuked
by a noble for his forwardness in pushing himself
ahead of his betters to view the intricate mechanism of
the wonderful "controlling destination compass," as the
thing was called.
"For example," continued Carthoris, "I have an all-
night trip before me, as to-night. I set the pointer here
upon the right-hand dial which represents the eastern
hemisphere of Barsoom, so that the point rests upon
the exact latitude and longitude of Helium. Then I
start the engine, roll up in my sleeping silks and furs,
and with lights burning, race through the air toward
Helium, confident that at the appointed hour I shall drop
gently toward the landing-stage upon my own palace,
whether I am still asleep or no."
"Provided," suggested Thuvan Dihn, "you do not chance
to collide with some other night wanderer in the meanwhile."
Carthoris smiled. "No danger of that," he replied.
"See here," and he indicated a device at the right of the
destination compass. "This is my `obstruction evader,'
as I call it. This visible device is the switch which throws
the mechanism on or off. The instrument itself is below deck,
geared both to the steering apparatus and the control levers.
"It is quite simple, being nothing more than a radium
generator diffusing radio-activity in all directions to a
distance of a hundred yards or so from the flier. Should
this enveloping force be interrupted in any direction a
delicate instrument immediately apprehends the irregularity,
at the same time imparting an impulse to a magnetic device
which in turn actuates the steering mechanism, diverting
the bow of the flier away from the obstacle until the
craft's radio-activity sphere is no longer in contact
with the obstruction, then she falls once more into her
normal course. Should the disturbance approach from
the rear, as in case of a faster-moving craft overhauling me,
the mechanism actuates the speed control as well as the
steering gear, and the flier shoots ahead and either
up or down, as the oncoming vessel is upon a lower or
higher plane than herself.
"In aggravated cases, that is when the obstructions are many,
or of such a nature as to deflect the bow more than
forty-five degrees in any direction, or when the craft
has reached its destination and dropped to within
a hundred yards of the ground, the mechanism brings her
to a full stop, at the same time sounding a loud alarm
which will instantly awaken the pilot. You see I have
anticipated almost every contingency."
Thuvan Dihn smiled his appreciation of the marvellous device.
The forward servant pushed almost to the flier's side.
His eyes were narrowed to slits.
"All but one," he said.
The nobles looked at him in astonishment, and one
of them grasped the fellow none too gently by the
shoulder to push him back to his proper place.
Carthoris raised his hand.
"Wait," he urged. "Let us hear what the man has to
say--no creation of mortal mind is perfect. Perchance he
has detected a weakness that it will be well to know at
once. Come, my good fellow, and what may be the one
contingency I have overlooked?"
As he spoke Carthoris observed the servant closely for
the first time. He saw a man of giant stature and handsome,
as are all those of the race of Martian red men; but the
fellow's lips were thin and cruel, and across one cheek
was the faint, white line of a sword-cut from the
right temple to the corner of the mouth.
"Come," urged the Prince of Helium. "Speak!"
The man hesitated. It was evident that he regretted
the temerity that had made him the centre of interested
observation. But at last, seeing no alternative, he spoke.
"It might be tampered with," he said, "by an enemy."
Carthoris drew a small key from his leathern pocket-pouch.
"Look at this," he said, handing it to the man. "If you
know aught of locks, you will know that the mechanism which
this unlooses is beyond the cunning of a picker of locks.
It guards the vitals of the instrument from crafty tampering.
Without it an enemy must half wreck the device to reach its heart,
leaving his handiwork apparent to the most casual observer."
The servant took the key, glanced at it shrewdly, and
then as he made to return it to Carthoris dropped it upon
the marble flagging. Turning to look for it he planted the
sole of his sandal full upon the glittering object. For an
instant he bore all his weight upon the foot that covered
the key, then he stepped back and with an exclamation
as of pleasure that he had found it, stooped, recovered
it, and returned it to the Heliumite. Then he dropped
back to his station behind the nobles and was forgotten.
A moment later Carthoris had made his adieux to
Thuvan Dihn and his nobles, and with lights twinkling
had risen into the star-shot void of the Martian night.
As the ruler of Ptarth, followed by his courtiers,
descended from the landing-stage above the palace,
the servants dropped into their places in the rear
of their royal or noble masters, and behind the others
one lingered to the last. Then quickly stooping
he snatched the sandal from his right foot, slipping
it into his pocket-pouch.
When the party had come to the lower levels, and the
jeddak had dispersed them by a sign, none noticed that
the forward fellow who had drawn so much attention to
himself before the Prince of Helium departed, was no
longer among the other servants.
To whose retinue he had been attached none had thought
to inquire, for the followers of a Martian noble
are many, coming and going at the whim of their master,
so that a new face is scarcely ever questioned, as the
fact that a man has passed within the palace walls is
considered proof positive that his loyalty to the jeddak
is beyond question, so rigid is the examination of each
who seeks service with the nobles of the court.
A good rule that, and only relaxed by courtesy in favour of
the retinue of visiting royalty from a friendly foreign power.
It was late in the morning of the next day that a giant
serving man in the harness of the house of a great Ptarth
noble passed out into the city from the palace gates.
Along one broad avenue and then another he strode briskly
until he had passed beyond the district of the nobles and
had come to the place of shops. Here he sought a pretentious
building that rose spire-like toward the heavens, its outer walls
elaborately wrought with delicate carvings and intricate mosaics.
It was the Palace of Peace in which were housed the
representatives of the foreign powers, or rather in
which were located their embassies; for the ministers
themselves dwelt in gorgeous palaces within the district
occupied by the nobles.
Here the man sought the embassy of Dusar. A clerk
arose questioningly as he entered, and at his request
to have a word with the minister asked his credentials.
The visitor slipped a plain metal armlet from above his elbow,
and pointing to an inscription upon its inner surface,
whispered a word or two to the clerk.
The latter's eyes went wide, and his attitude turned at
once to one of deference. He bowed the stranger to a seat,
and hastened to an inner room with the armlet in his hand.
A moment later he reappeared and conducted the caller into
the presence of the minister.
For a long time the two were closeted together, and when at
last the giant serving man emerged from the inner office his
expression was cast in a smile of sinister satisfaction.
From the Palace of Peace he hurried directly to the palace
of the Dusarian minister.
That night two swift fliers left the same palace top.
One sped its rapid course toward Helium; the other--
Thuvia of Ptarth strolled in the gardens of her father's palace,
as was her nightly custom before retiring. Her silks and furs
were drawn about her, for the air of Mars is chill after the
sun has taken his quick plunge beneath the planet's western verge.
The girl's thoughts wandered from her impending nuptials, that would
make her empress of Kaol, to the person of the trim young Heliumite
who had laid his heart at her feet the preceding day.
Whether it was pity or regret that saddened her expression
as she gazed toward the southern heavens where she had
watched the lights of his flier disappear the previous night,
it would be difficult to say.
So, too, is it impossible to conjecture just what her
emotions may have been as she discerned the lights of
a flier speeding rapidly out of the distance from that
very direction, as though impelled toward her garden
by the very intensity of the princess' thoughts.
She saw it circle lower above the palace until she was
positive that it but hovered in preparation for a landing.
Presently the powerful rays of its searchlight shot downward
from the bow. They fell upon the landing-stage for a brief
instant, revealing the figures of the Ptarthian guard,
picking into brilliant points of fire the gems upon their
Then the blazing eye swept onward across the burnished
domes and graceful minarets, down into court and park
and garden to pause at last upon the ersite bench and
the girl standing there beside it, her face upturned full
toward the flier.
For but an instant the searchlight halted upon Thuvia
of Ptarth, then it was extinguished as suddenly as it had
come to life. The flier passed on above her to disappear
beyond a grove of lofty skeel trees that grew within the
The girl stood for some time as it had left her, except
that her head was bent and her eyes downcast in thought.
Who but Carthoris could it have been? She tried to feel
anger that he should have returned thus, spying upon her;
but she found it difficult to be angry with the young
prince of Helium.
What mad caprice could have induced him so to transgress
the etiquette of nations? For lesser things great powers
had gone to war.
The princess in her was shocked and angered--but what of the girl!
And the guard--what of them? Evidently they, too,
had been so much surprised by the unprecedented action
of the stranger that they had not even challenged;
but that they had no thought to let the thing go unnoticed
was quickly evidenced by the skirring of motors upon
the landing-stage and the quick shooting airward of a
long-lined patrol boat.
Thuvia watched it dart swiftly eastward. So, too,
did other eyes watch.
Within the dense shadows of the skeel grove, in a
wide avenue beneath o'erspreading foliage, a flier hung a
dozen feet above the ground. From its deck keen eyes
watched the far-fanning searchlight of the patrol boat.
No light shone from the enshadowed craft. Upon its deck
was the silence of the tomb. Its crew of a half-dozen red
warriors watched the lights of the patrol boat diminishing
in the distance.
"The intellects of our ancestors are with us to-night,"
said one in a low tone.
"No plan ever carried better," returned another. "They
did precisely as the prince foretold."
He who had first spoken turned toward the man who
squatted before the control board.
"Now!" he whispered. There was no other order given.
Every man upon the craft had evidently been well schooled
in each detail of that night's work. Silently the dark hull
crept beneath the cathedral arches of the dark and silent grove.
Thuvia of Ptarth, gazing toward the east, saw the blacker blot
against the blackness of the trees as the craft topped the
buttressed garden wall. She saw the dim bulk incline gently
downward toward the scarlet sward of the garden.
She knew that men came not thus with honourable intent.
Yet she did not cry aloud to alarm the near-by guardsmen,
nor did she flee to the safety of the palace.
I can see her shrug her shapely shoulders in reply as she
voices the age-old, universal answer of the woman: Because!
Scarce had the flier touched the ground when four men
leaped from its deck. They ran forward toward the girl.
Still she made no sign of alarm, standing as though hypnotized.
Or could it have been as one who awaited a welcome visitor?
Not until they were quite close to her did she move.
Then the nearer moon, rising above the surrounding foliage,
touched their faces, lighting all with the brilliancy of her silver rays.
Thuvia of Ptarth saw only strangers--warriors in the
harness of Dusar. Now she took fright, but too late!
Before she could voice but a single cry, rough hands
seized her. A heavy silken scarf was wound about her
head. She was lifted in strong arms and borne to the deck
of the flier. There was the sudden whirl of propellers, the
rushing of air against her body, and, from far beneath the
shouting and the challenge from the guard.
Racing toward the south another flier sped toward Helium.
In its cabin a tall red man bent over the soft sole of an
upturned sandal. With delicate instruments he measured
the faint imprint of a small object which appeared there.
Upon a pad beside him was the outline of a key,
and here he noted the results of his measurements.
A smile played upon his lips as he completed his task and
turned to one who waited at the opposite side of the table.
"The man is a genius," he remarked.
"Only a genius could have evolved such a lock as this
is designed to spring. Here, take the sketch, Larok, and
give all thine own genius full and unfettered freedom
in reproducing it in metal."
The warrior-artificer bowed. "Man builds naught,"
he said, "that man may not destroy." Then he left the
cabin with the sketch.
As dawn broke upon the lofty towers which mark the twin cities
of Helium--the scarlet tower of one and the yellow tower of
its sister--a flier floated lazily out of the north.
Upon its bow was emblazoned the signia of a lesser noble
of a far city of the empire of Helium. Its leisurely
approach and the evident confidence with which it moved
across the city aroused no suspicion in the minds of the
sleepy guard. Their round of duty nearly done, they had little
thought beyond the coming of those who were to relieve them.
Peace reigned throughout Helium. Stagnant, emasculating
peace. Helium had no enemies. There was naught to fear.
Without haste the nearest air patrol swung sluggishly
about and approached the stranger. At easy speaking
distance the officer upon her deck hailed the incoming craft.
The cheery "Kaor!" and the plausible explanation that the
owner had come from distant parts for a few days of pleasure
in gay Helium sufficed. The air-patrol boat sheered off,
passing again upon its way. The stranger continued toward
a public landing-stage, where she dropped into the ways
and came to rest.
At about the same time a warrior entered her cabin.
"It is done, Vas Kor," he said, handing a small metal
key to the tall noble who had just risen from his sleeping
silks and furs.
"Good!" exclaimed the latter. "You must have worked
upon it all during the night, Larok."
The warrior nodded.
"Now fetch me the Heliumetic metal you wrought some
days since," commanded Vas Kor.
This done, the warrior assisted his master to replace
the handsome jewelled metal of his harness with the
plainer ornaments of an ordinary fighting man of Helium,
and with the insignia of the same house that appeared
upon the bow of the flier.
Vas Kor breakfasted on board. Then he emerged upon
the aerial dock, entered an elevator, and was borne quickly
to the street below, where he was soon engulfed by the early
morning throng of workers hastening to their daily duties.
Among them his warrior trappings were no more remarkable
than is a pair of trousers upon Broadway. All Martian men
are warriors, save those physically unable to bear arms.
The tradesman and his clerk clank with their martial
trappings as they pursue their vocations. The schoolboy,
coming into the world, as he does, almost adult from the
snowy shell that has encompassed his development for five
long years, knows so little of life without a sword at his
hip that he would feel the same discomfiture at going abroad
unarmed that an Earth boy would experience in walking the
Vas Kor's destination lay in Greater Helium, which lies
some seventy-five miles across the level plain from Lesser
Helium. He had landed at the latter city because the air
patrol is less suspicious and alert than that above the
larger metropolis where lies the palace of the jeddak.
As he moved with the throng in the parklike canyon of
the thoroughfare the life of an awakening Martian city
was in evidence about him. Houses, raised high upon their
slender metal columns for the night were dropping gently
toward the ground. Among the flowers upon the scarlet sward
which lies about the buildings children were already playing,
and comely women laughing and chatting with their neighbours as
they culled gorgeous blossoms for the vases within doors.
The pleasant "kaor" of the Barsoomian greeting fell
continually upon the ears of the stranger as friends and
neighbours took up the duties of a new day.
The district in which he had landed was residential--a
district of merchants of the more prosperous sort.
Everywhere were evidences of luxury and wealth.
Slaves appeared upon every housetop with gorgeous silks
and costly furs, laying them in the sun for airing.
Jewel-encrusted women lolled even thus early upon the carven
balconies before their sleeping apartments. Later in the day
they would repair to the roofs when the slaves had arranged
couches and pitched silken canopies to shade them from the sun.
Strains of inspiring music broke pleasantly from open windows,
for the Martians have solved the problem of attuning the
nerves pleasantly to the sudden transition from sleep to
waking that proves so difficult a thing for most Earth folk.
Above him raced the long, light passenger fliers, plying,
each in its proper plane, between the numerous landing-
stages for internal passenger traffic. Landing-stages that
tower high into the heavens are for the great international
passenger liners. Freighters have other landing-stages at
various lower levels, to within a couple of hundred feet
of the ground; nor dare any flier rise or drop from one
plane to another except in certain restricted districts where
horizontal traffic is forbidden.
Along the close-cropped sward which paves the avenue ground
fliers were moving in continuous lines in opposite directions.
For the greater part they skimmed along the surface of the sward,
soaring gracefully into the air at times to pass over a
slower-going driver ahead, or at intersections, where the
north and south traffic has the right of way and the east
and west must rise above it.
From private hangars upon many a roof top fliers were
darting into the line of traffic. Gay farewells and parting
admonitions mingled with the whirring of motors and
the subdued noises of the city.
Yet with all the swift movement and the countless
thousands rushing hither and thither, the predominant
suggestion was that of luxurious ease and soft noiselessness.
Martians dislike harsh, discordant clamour. The only
loud noises they can abide are the martial sounds of war,
the clash of arms, the collision of two mighty dreadnoughts
of the air. To them there is no sweeter music than this.
At the intersection of two broad avenues Vas Kor descended
from the street level to one of the great pneumatic
stations of the city. Here he paid before a little wicket
the fare to his destination with a couple of the dull,
oval coins of Helium.
Beyond the gatekeeper he came to a slowly moving
line of what to Earthly eyes would have appeared to be
conical-nosed, eight-foot projectiles for some giant gun.
In slow procession the things moved in single file along
a grooved track. A half dozen attendants assisted passengers
to enter, or directed these carriers to their proper destination.
Vas Kor approached one that was empty. Upon its nose was
a dial and a pointer. He set the pointer for a certain
station in Greater Helium, raised the arched lid of
the thing, stepped in and lay down upon the upholstered
bottom. An attendant closed the lid, which locked with a
little click, and the carrier continued its slow way.
Presently it switched itself automatically to another track,
to enter, a moment later, one of the series of dark- mouthed tubes.
The instant that its entire length was within the black
aperture it sprang forward with the speed of a rifle ball.
There was an instant of whizzing--a soft, though sudden,
stop, and slowly the carrier emerged upon another platform,
another attendant raised the lid and Vas Kor stepped out at
the station beneath the centre of Greater Helium,
seventy-five miles from the point at which he had embarked.
Here he sought the street level, stepping immediately
into a waiting ground flier. He spoke no word to the slave
sitting in the driver's seat. It was evident that he had
been expected, and that the fellow had received his instructions
before his coming.
Scarcely had Vas Kor taken his seat when the flier
went quickly into the fast-moving procession, turning
presently from the broad and crowded avenue into a
less congested street. Presently it left the thronged
district behind to enter a section of small shops, where it
stopped before the entrance to one which bore the sign
of a dealer in foreign silks.
Vas Kor entered the low-ceiling room. A man at the
far end motioned him toward an inner apartment, giving
no further sign of recognition until he had passed in
after the caller and closed the door.
Then he faced his visitor, saluting deferentially.
"Most noble--" he commenced, but Vas Kor silenced
him with a gesture.
"No formalities," he said. "We must forget that I
am aught other than your slave. If all has been as
carefully carried out as it has been planned, we have no
time to waste. Instead we should be upon our way to the
slave market. Are you ready?"
The merchant nodded, and, turning to a great chest,
produced the unemblazoned trappings of a slave. These
Vas Kor immediately donned. Then the two passed from
the shop through a rear door, traversed a winding alley
to an avenue beyond, where they entered a flier which
Five minutes later the merchant was leading his slave
to the public market, where a great concourse of people
filled the great open space in the centre of which stood
the slave block.
The crowds were enormous to-day, for Carthoris,
Prince of Helium, was to be the principal bidder.
One by one the masters mounted the rostrum beside
the slave block upon which stood their chattels.
Briefly and clearly each recounted the virtues of
his particular offering.
When all were done, the major-domo of the Prince of Helium
recalled to the block such as had favourably impressed him.
For such he had made a fair offer.
There was little haggling as to price, and none at all
when Vas Kor was placed upon the block. His merchant-
master accepted the first offer that was made for him, and
thus a Dusarian noble entered the household of Carthoris.
The day following the coming of Vas Kor to the
palace of the Prince of Helium great excitement reigned
throughout the twin cities, reaching its climax in the
palace of Carthoris. Word had come of the abduction of
Thuvia of Ptarth from her father's court, and with it the
veiled hint that the Prince of Helium might be suspected
of considerable knowledge of the act and the whereabouts
of the princess.
In the council chamber of John Carter, Warlord of
Mars, was Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium; Mors Kajak,
his son, Jed of Lesser Helium; Carthoris, and a score of
the great nobles of the empire.
"There must be no war between Ptarth and Helium, my son,"
said John Carter. "That you are innocent of the charge
that has been placed against you by insinuation, we well know;
but Thuvan Dihn must know it well, too.
"There is but one who may convince him, and that
one be you. You must hasten at once to the court of
Ptarth, and by your presence there as well as by your
words assure him that his suspicions are groundless.
Bear with you the authority of the Warlord of Barsoom,
and of the Jeddak of Helium to offer every resource of the
allied powers to assist Thuvan Dihn to recover his daughter
and punish her abductors, whomsoever they may be.
"Go! I know that I do not need to urge upon you the
necessity for haste."
Carthoris left the council chamber, and hastened to his palace.
Here slaves were busy in a moment setting things to
rights for the departure of their master. Several worked
about the swift flier that would bear the Prince of Helium
rapidly toward Ptarth.
At last all was done. But two armed slaves remained
on guard. The setting sun hung low above the horizon.
In a moment darkness would envelop all.
One of the guardsmen, a giant of a fellow across whose
right cheek there ran a thin scar from temple to mouth,
approached his companion. His gaze was directed beyond
and above his comrade. When he had come quite close he spoke.
"What strange craft is that?" he asked.
The other turned about quickly to gaze heavenward.
Scarce was his back turned toward the giant than the
short-sword of the latter was plunged beneath his left
shoulder blade, straight through his heart.
Voiceless, the soldier sank in his tracks--stone dead.
Quickly the murderer dragged the corpse into the black
shadows within the hangar. Then he returned to the flier.
Drawing a cunningly wrought key from his pocket-pouch,
he removed the cover of the right-hand dial of the
controlling destination compass. For a moment he
studied the construction of the mechanism beneath.
Then he returned the dial to its place, set the pointer,
and removed it again to note the resultant change in the
position of the parts affected by the act.
A smile crossed his lips. With a pair of cutters he
snipped off the projection which extended through the
dial from the external pointer--now the latter might be
moved to any point upon the dial without affecting the
mechanism below. In other words, the eastern hemisphere
dial was useless.
Now he turned his attention to the western dial.
This he set upon a certain point. Afterward he removed
the cover of this dial also, and with keen tool cut the
steel finger from the under side of the pointer.
As quickly as possible he replaced the second dial
cover, and resumed his place on guard. To all intents
and purposes the compass was as efficient as before; but,
as a matter of fact, the moving of the pointers upon
the dials resulted now in no corresponding shift of the
mechanism beneath--and the device was set, immovably,
upon a destination of the slave's own choosing.
Presently came Carthoris, accompanied by but a handful
of his gentlemen. He cast but a casual glance upon the
single slave who stood guard. The fellow's thin, cruel
lips, and the sword-cut that ran from temple to mouth
aroused the suggestion of an unpleasant memory within him.
He wondered where Saran Tal had found the man-- then the
matter faded from his thoughts, and in another moment
the Prince of Helium was laughing and chatting with
his companions, though below the surface his heart
was cold with dread, for what contingencies
confronted Thuvia of Ptarth he could not even guess.
First to his mind, naturally, had sprung the thought
that Astok of Dusar had stolen the fair Ptarthian; but
almost simultaneously with the report of the abduction had
come news of the great fetes at Dusar in honour of the
return of the jeddak's son to the court of his father.
It could not have been he, thought Carthoris, for on the
very night that Thuvia was taken Astok had been in
Dusar, and yet--
He entered the flier, exchanging casual remarks with his
companions as he unlocked the mechanism of the compass
and set the pointer upon the capital city of Ptarth.
With a word of farewell he touched the button which
controlled the repulsive rays, and as the flier rose lightly
into the air, the engine purred in answer to the touch of
his finger upon a second button, the propellers whirred
as his hand drew back the speed lever, and Carthoris,
Prince of Helium, was off into the gorgeous Martian night
beneath the hurtling moons and the million stars.
Scarce had the flier found its speed ere the man,
wrapping his sleeping silks and furs about him,
stretched at full length upon the narrow deck to sleep.
But sleep did not come at once at his bidding.
Instead, his thoughts ran riot in his brain, driving sleep away.
He recalled the words of Thuvia of Ptarth, words that had half
assured him that she loved him; for when he had asked her if she
loved Kulan Tith, she had answered only that she was promised to him.
Now he saw that her reply was open to more than a
single construction. It might, of course, mean that
she did not love Kulan Tith; and so, by inference,
be taken to mean that she loved another.
But what assurance was there that the other was Carthoris of Helium?
The more he thought upon it the more positive he
became that not only was there no assurance in her words
that she loved him, but none either in any act of hers.
No, the fact was, she did not love him. She loved another.
She had not been abducted--she had fled willingly with her lover.
With such pleasant thoughts filling him alternately with
despair and rage, Carthoris at last dropped into the
sleep of utter mental exhaustion.
The breaking of the sudden dawn found him still asleep.
His flier was rushing swiftly above a barren, ochre
plain--the world-old bottom of a long-dead Martian sea.
In the distance rose low hills. Toward these the craft
was headed. As it approached them, a great promontory
might have been seen from its deck, stretching out into
what had once been a mighty ocean, and circling back
once more to enclose the forgotten harbour of a forgotten
city, which still stretched back from its deserted quays,
an imposing pile of wondrous architecture of a long-dead past.
The countless dismal windows, vacant and forlorn,
stared, sightless, from their marble walls; the whole
sad city taking on the semblance of scattered mounds of
dead men's sun-bleached skulls--the casements having the
appearance of eyeless sockets, the portals, grinning jaws.
Closer came the flier, but now its speed was
diminishing--yet this was not Ptarth.
Above the central plaza it stopped, slowly settling Marsward.
Within a hundred yards of the ground it came to rest,
floating gently in the light air, and at the same instant
an alarm sounded at the sleeper's ear.
Carthoris sprang to his feet. Below him he looked to
see the teeming metropolis of Ptarth. Beside him,
already, there should have been an air patrol.
He gazed about in bewildered astonishment. There indeed
was a great city, but it was not Ptarth. No multitudes
surged through its broad avenues. No signs of life
broke the dead monotony of its deserted roof tops.
No gorgeous silks, no priceless furs lent life and
colour to the cold marble and the gleaming ersite.
No patrol boat lay ready with its familiar challenge.
Silent and empty lay the great city--empty and silent
the surrounding air.
What had happened?
Carthoris examined the dial of his compass. The pointer
was set upon Ptarth. Could the creature of his genius
have thus betrayed him? He would not believe it.
Quickly he unlocked the cover, turning it back upon
its hinge. A single glance showed him the truth, or at
least a part of it--the steel projection that communicated
the movement of the pointer upon the dial to the heart
of the mechanism beneath had been severed.
Who could have done the thing--and why?
Carthoris could not hazard even a faint guess. But the
thing now was to learn in what portion of the world he
was, and then take up his interrupted journey once more.
If it had been the purpose of some enemy to delay him,
he had succeeded well, thought Carthoris, as he
unlocked the cover of the second dial the first having
shown that its pointer had not been set at all.
Beneath the second dial he found the steel pin severed
as in the other, but the controlling mechanism had first
been set for a point upon the western hemisphere.
He had just time to judge his location roughly at
some place south-west of Helium, and at a considerable
distance from the twin cities, when he was startled by a
woman's scream beneath him.
Leaning over the side of the flier, he saw what appeared
to be a red woman being dragged across the plaza by a
huge green warrior--one of those fierce, cruel denizens
of the dead sea-bottoms and deserted cities of dying Mars.
Carthoris waited to see no more. Reaching for the
control board, he sent his craft racing plummet-like
toward the ground.
The green man was hurrying his captive toward a
huge thoat that browsed upon the ochre vegetation of
the once scarlet-gorgeous plaza. At the same instant a
dozen red warriors leaped from the entrance of a nearby
ersite palace, pursuing the abductor with naked swords
and shouts of rageful warning.
Once the woman turned her face upward toward the falling flier,
and in the single swift glance Carthoris saw that it was
Thuvia of Ptarth!
A GREEN MAN'S CAPTIVE
When the light of day broke upon the little craft to
whose deck the Princess of Ptarth had been snatched
from her father's garden, Thuvia saw that the night had
wrought a change in her abductors.
No longer did their trappings gleam with the metal of Dusar,
but instead there was emblazoned there the insignia of the
Prince of Helium.
The girl felt renewed hope, for she could not believe that
in the heart of Carthoris could lie intent to harm her.
She spoke to the warrior squatting before the control board.
"Last night you wore the trappings of a Dusarian,"
she said. "Now your metal is that of Helium.
What means it?"
The man looked at her with a grin.
"The Prince of Helium is no fool," he said.
Just then an officer emerged from the tiny cabin. He
reprimanded the warrior for conversing with the prisoner,
nor would he himself reply to any of her inquiries.
No harm was offered her during the journey, and so
they came at last to their destination with the girl no
wiser as to her abductors or their purpose than at first.
Here the flier settled slowly into the plaza of one of
those mute monuments of Mars' dead and forgotten past--
the deserted cities that fringe the sad ochre sea-bottoms
where once rolled the mighty floods upon whose bosoms moved
the maritime commerce of the peoples that are gone for ever.
Thuvia of Ptarth was no stranger to such places.
During her wanderings in search of the River Iss,
that time she had set out upon what, for countless ages,
had been the last, long pilgrimage of Martians, toward
the Valley Dor, where lies the Lost Sea of Korus,
she had encountered several of these sad reminders
of the greatness and the glory of ancient Barsoom.
And again, during her flight from the temples of the
Holy Therns with Tars Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark, she had
seen them, with their weird and ghostly inmates, the
great white apes of Barsoom.
She knew, too, that many of them were used now by
the nomadic tribes of green men, but that among them
all was no city that the red men did not shun, for without
exception they stood amidst vast, waterless tracts,
unsuited for the continued sustenance of the dominant
race of Martians.
Why, then, should they be bringing her to such a place?
There was but a single answer. Such was the nature
of their work that they must needs seek the seclusion
that a dead city afforded. The girl trembled at thought
of her plight.
For two days her captors kept her within a huge palace
that even in decay reflected the splendour of the age
which its youth had known.
Just before dawn on the third day she had been aroused
by the voices of two of her abductors.
"He should be here by dawn," one was saying. "Have her
in readiness upon the plaza--else he will never land.
The moment he finds that he is in a strange country
he will turn about--methinks the prince's plan is weak
in this one spot."
"There was no other way," replied the other. "It is
wondrous work to get them both here at all, and even
if we do not succeed in luring him to the ground,
we shall have accomplished much."
Just then the speaker caught the eyes of Thuvia upon him,
revealed by the quick-moving patch of light cast by Thuria
in her mad race through the heavens.
With a quick sign to the other, he ceased speaking,
and advancing toward the girl, motioned her to rise.
Then he led her out into the night toward the centre
of the great plaza.
"Stand here," he commanded, "until we come for you.
We shall be watching, and should you attempt to escape
it will go ill with you--much worse than death.
Such are the prince's orders."
Then he turned and retraced his steps toward the palace,
leaving her alone in the midst of the unseen terrors of
the haunted city, for in truth these places are haunted
in the belief of many Martians who still cling to an ancient
superstition which teaches that the spirits of Holy Therns
who die before their allotted one thousand years, pass,
on occasions, into the bodies of the great white apes.
To Thuvia, however, the real danger of attack by one
of these ferocious, manlike beasts was quite sufficient.
She no longer believed in the weird soul transmigration
that the therns had taught her before she was rescued
from their clutches by John Carter; but she well knew the
horrid fate that awaited her should one of the terrible
beasts chance to spy her during its nocturnal prowlings.
What was that?
Surely she could not be mistaken. Something had moved,
stealthily, in the shadow of one of the great monoliths
that line the avenue where it entered the plaza opposite her!
Thar Ban, jed among the hordes of Torquas, rode
swiftly across the ochre vegetation of the dead sea-
bottom toward the ruins of ancient Aaanthor.
He had ridden far that night, and fast, for he had but
come from the despoiling of the incubator of a neighbouring
green horde with which the hordes of Torquas were
His giant thoat was far from jaded, yet it would be
well, thought Thar Ban, to permit him to graze upon
the ochre moss which grows to greater height within the
protected courtyards of deserted cities, where the soil is
richer than on the sea-bottoms, and the plants partly
shaded from the sun during the cloudless Martian day.
Within the tiny stems of this dry-seeming plant is
sufficient moisture for the needs of the huge bodies of
the mighty thoats, which can exist for months without
water, and for days without even the slight moisture
which the ochre moss contains.
As Thar Ban rode noiselessly up the broad avenue
which leads from the quays of Aaanthor to the great
central plaza, he and his mount might have been mistaken
for spectres from a world of dreams, so grotesque the man
and beast, so soundless the great thoat's padded, nailless
feet upon the moss-grown flagging of the ancient pavement.
The man was a splendid specimen of his race. Fully
fifteen feet towered his great height from sole to pate.
The moonlight glistened against his glossy green hide,
sparkling the jewels of his heavy harness and the ornaments
that weighted his four muscular arms, while the
upcurving tusks that protruded from his lower jaw
gleamed white and terrible.
At the side of his thoat were slung his long radium
rifle and his great, forty-foot, metal-shod spear, while
from his own harness depended his long-sword and his
short-sword, as well as his lesser weapons.
His protruding eyes and antennae-like ears were turning
constantly hither and thither, for Thar Ban was yet
in the country of the enemy, and, too, there was always
the menace of the great white apes, which, John Carter
was wont to say, are the only creatures that can arouse
in the breasts of these fierce denizens of the dead
sea-bottoms even the remotest semblance of fear.
As the rider neared the plaza, he reined suddenly in.
His slender, tubular ears pointed rigidly forward.
An unwonted sound had reached them. Voices! And where
there were voices, outside of Torquas, there, too,
were enemies. All the world of wide Barsoom contained
naught but enemies for the fierce Torquasians.
Thar Ban dismounted. Keeping in the shadows of the
great monoliths that line the Avenue of Quays of sleeping
Aaanthor, he approached the plaza. Directly behind him,
as a hound at heel, came the slate-grey thoat, his white
belly shadowed by his barrel, his vivid yellow feet merging
into the yellow of the moss beneath them.
In the centre of the plaza Thar Ban saw the figure
of a red woman. A red warrior was conversing with
her. Now the man turned and retraced his steps toward
the palace at the opposite side of the plaza.
Thar Ban watched until he had disappeared within
the yawning portal. Here was a captive worth having!
Seldom did a female of their hereditary enemies fall to
the lot of a green man. Thar Ban licked his thin lips.
Thuvia of Ptarth watched the shadow behind the monolith at
the opening to the avenue opposite her. She hoped that it
might be but the figment of an overwrought imagination.
But no! Now, clearly and distinctly, she saw it move.
It came from behind the screening shelter of the ersite shaft.
The sudden light of the rising sun fell upon it.
The girl trembled. The THING was a huge green warrior!
Swiftly it sprang toward her. She screamed and tried
to flee; but she had scarce turned toward the palace when
a giant hand fell upon her arm, she was whirled about,
and half dragged, half carried toward a huge thoat
that was slowly grazing out of the avenue's mouth
on to the ochre moss of the plaza.
At the same instant she turned her face upward toward
the whirring sound of something above her, and there
she saw a swift flier dropping toward her, the head
and shoulders of a man leaning far over the side;
but the man's features were deeply shadowed, so that
she did not recognize them.
Now from behind her came the shouts of her red abductors.
They were racing madly after him who dared to steal what
they already had stolen.
As Thar Ban reached the side of his mount he snatched
his long radium rifle from its boot, and, wheeling,
poured three shots into the oncoming red men.
Such is the uncanny marksmanship of these Martian
savages that three red warriors dropped in their tracks
as three projectiles exploded in their vitals.
The others halted, nor did they dare return the fire
for fear of wounding the girl.
Then Thar Ban vaulted to the back of his thoat, Thuvia of Ptarth
still in his arms, and with a savage cry of triumph disappeared
down the black canyon of the Avenue of Quays between the sullen
palaces of forgotten Aaanthor.
Carthoris' flier had not touched the ground before he
had sprung from its deck to race after the swift thoat,
whose eight long legs were sending it down the avenue
at the rate of an express train; but the men of Dusar
who still remained alive had no mind to permit so valuable
a capture to escape them.
They had lost the girl. That would be a difficult thing
to explain to Astok; but some leniency might be expected
could they carry the Prince of Helium to their
So the three who remained set upon Carthoris with
their long-swords, crying to him to surrender; but they
might as successfully have cried aloud to Thuria to
cease her mad hurtling through the Barsoomian sky, for
Carthoris of Helium was a true son of the Warlord of Mars
and his incomparable Dejah Thoris.
Carthoris' long-sword had been already in his hand
as he leaped from the deck of the flier, so the instant
that he realized the menace of the three red warriors,
he wheeled to face them, meeting their onslaught as only
John Carter himself might have done.
So swift his sword, so mighty and agile his half-earthly
muscles, that one of his opponents was down, crimsoning
the ochre moss with his life-blood, when he had scarce
made a single pass at Carthoris.
Now the two remaining Dusarians rushed simultaneously
upon the Heliumite. Three long-swords clashed and
sparkled in the moonlight, until the great white apes,
roused from their slumbers, crept to the lowering windows
of the dead city to view the bloody scene beneath them.
Thrice was Carthoris touched, so that the red blood
ran down his face, blinding him and dyeing his broad
chest. With his free hand he wiped the gore from his
eyes, and with the fighting smile of his father touching
his lips, leaped upon his antagonists with renewed fury.
A single cut of his heavy sword severed the head of
one of them, and then the other, backing away clear of
that point of death, turned and fled toward the palace
at his back.
Carthoris made no step to pursue. He had other concern
than the meting of even well-deserved punishment to strange
men who masqueraded in the metal of his own house,
for he had seen that these men were tricked out in
the insignia that marked his personal followers.
Turning quickly toward his flier, he was soon rising
from the plaza in pursuit of Thar Ban.
The red warrior whom he had put to flight turned in the
entrance to the palace, and, seeing Carthoris' intent,
snatched a rifle from those that he and his fellows
had left leaning against the wall as they had rushed out
with drawn swords to prevent the theft of their prisoner.
Few red men are good shots, for the sword is their
chosen weapon; so now as the Dusarian drew bead upon
the rising flier, and touched the button upon his rifle's
stock, it was more to chance than proficiency that he
owed the partial success of his aim.
The projectile grazed the flier's side, the opaque
coating breaking sufficiently to permit daylight to
strike in upon the powder phial within the bullet's nose.
There was a sharp explosion. Carthoris felt his craft reel
drunkenly beneath him, and the engine stopped.
The momentum the air boat had gained carried her on
over the city toward the sea-bottom beyond.
The red warrior in the plaza fired several more shots,
none of which scored. Then a lofty minaret shut the
drifting quarry from his view.
In the distance before him Carthoris could see the
green warrior bearing Thuvia of Ptarth away upon his
mighty thoat. The direction of his flight was toward
the north-west of Aaanthor, where lay a mountainous
country little known to red men.
The Heliumite now gave his attention to his injured craft.
A close examination revealed the face that one of the
buoyancy tanks had been punctured, but the engine
itself was uninjured.
A splinter from the projectile had damaged one of
the control levers beyond the possibility of repair
outside a machine shop; but after considerable tinkering,
Carthoris was able to propel his wounded flier at low
speed, a rate which could not approach the rapid gait
of the thoat, whose eight long, powerful legs carried it
over the ochre vegetation of the dead sea-bottom at
The Prince of Helium chafed and fretted at the slowness
of his pursuit, yet he was thankful that the damage
was no worse, for now he could at least move more
rapidly than on foot.
But even this meagre satisfaction was soon to be denied
him, for presently the flier commenced to sag toward
the port and by the bow. The damage to the buoyancy
tanks had evidently been more grievous than he had at
All the balance of that long day Carthoris crawled
erratically through the still air, the bow of the flier
sinking lower and lower, and the list to port becoming more
and more alarming, until at last, near dark, he was floating
almost bowdown, his harness buckled to a heavy
deck ring to keep him from being precipitated to the
His forward movement was now confined to a slow drifting
with the gentle breeze that blew out of the south-east,
and when this died down with the setting of the sun,
he let the flier sink gently to the mossy carpet beneath.
Far before him loomed the mountains toward which
the green man had been fleeing when last he had seen
him, and with dogged resolution the son of John Carter,
endowed with the indomitable will of his mighty sire,
took up the pursuit on foot.
All that night he forged ahead until, with the dawning
of a new day, he entered the low foothills that guard
the approach to the fastness of the mountains of Torquas.
Rugged, granitic walls towered before him. Nowhere
could he discern an opening through the formidable
barrier; yet somewhere into this inhospitable world
of stone the green warrior had borne the woman of
the red man's heart's desire.
Across the yielding moss of the sea-bottom there had
been no spoor to follow, for the soft pads of the thoat
but pressed down in his swift passage the resilient
vegetation which sprang up again behind his fleeting
feet, leaving no sign.
But here in the hills, where loose rock occasionally
strewed the way; where black loam and wild flowers
partially replaced the sombre monotony of the waste
places of the lowlands, Carthoris hoped to find some
sign that would lead him in the right direction.
Yet, search as he would, the baffling mystery of the
trail seemed likely to remain for ever unsolved.
It was drawing toward the day's close once more when
the keen eyes of the Heliumite discerned the tawny
yellow of a sleek hide moving among the boulders
several hundred yards to his left.
Crouching quickly behind a large rock, Carthoris
watched the thing before him. It was a huge banth,
one of those savage Barsoomian lions that roam the
desolate hills of the dying planet.
The creature's nose was close to the ground. It was
evident that he was following the spoor of meat by scent.
As Carthoris watched him, a great hope leaped into
the man's heart. Here, possibly, might lie the solution
to the mystery he had been endeavouring to solve. This
hungry carnivore, keen always for the flesh of man,
might even now be trailing the two whom Carthoris sought.
Cautiously the youth crept out upon the trail of the
man-eater. Along the foot of the perpendicular cliff the
creature moved, sniffing at the invisible spoor, and now
and then emitting the low moan of the hunting banth.
Carthoris had followed the creature for but a few
minutes when it disappeared as suddenly and mysteriously
as though dissolved into thin air.
The man leaped to his feet. Not again was he to be
cheated as the man had cheated him. He sprang forward
at a reckless pace to the spot at which he last had
seen the great, skulking brute.
Before him loomed the sheer cliff, its face unbroken
by any aperture into which the huge banth might have
wormed its great carcass. Beside him was a small, flat
boulder, not larger than the deck of a ten-man flier, nor
standing to a greater height than twice his own stature.
Perhaps the banth was in hiding behind this? The brute
might have discovered the man upon his trail, and even
now be lying in wait for his easy prey.
Cautiously, with drawn long-sword, Carthoris crept
around the corner of the rock. There was no banth
there, but something which surprised him infinitely more
than would the presence of twenty banths.
Before him yawned the mouth of a dark cave leading
downward into the ground. Through this the banth must
have disappeared. Was it his lair? Within its dark and
forbidding interior might there not lurk not one but many
of the fearsome creatures?
Carthoris did not know, nor, with the thought that had
been spurring him onward upon the trail of the creature
uppermost in his mind, did he much care; for into this
gloomy cavern he was sure the banth had trailed the
green man and his captive, and into it he, too, would
follow, content to give his life in the service of the
woman he loved.
Not an instant did he hesitate, nor yet did he
advance rashly; but with ready sword and cautious steps,
for the way was dark, he stole on. As he advanced,
the obscurity became impenetrable blackness.
THE FAIR RACE
Downward along a smooth, broad floor led the strange tunnel,
for such Carthoris was now convinced was the nature of the
shaft he at first had thought but a cave.
Before him he could hear the occasional low moans of the banth,
and presently from behind came a similar uncanny note.
Another banth had entered the passageway on HIS trail!
His position was anything but pleasant. His eyes could
not penetrate the darkness even to the distinguishing of
his hand before his face, while the banths, he knew,
could see quite well, though absence of light were utter.
No other sounds came to his ears than the dismal, bloodthirsty
moanings of the beast ahead and the beast behind.
The tunnel had led straight, from where he had entered
it beneath the side of the rock furthest from the
unscaleable cliffs, toward the mighty barrier that had
baffled him so long.
Now it was running almost level, and presently he
noted a gradual ascent.
The beast behind him was gaining upon him, crowding him
perilously close upon the heels of the beast in front.
Presently he should have to do battle with one, or both.
More firmly he gripped his weapon.
Now he could hear the breathing of the banth at his heels.
Not for much longer could he delay the encounter.
Long since he had become assured that the tunnel led
beneath the cliffs to the opposite side of the barrier,
and he had hoped that he might reach the moonlit open before
being compelled to grapple with either of the monsters.
The sun had been setting as he entered the tunnel,
and the way had been sufficiently long to assure him
that darkness now reigned upon the world without.
He glanced behind him. Blazing out of the darkness,
seemingly not ten paces behind, glared two flaming points
of fire. As the savage eyes met his, the beast emitted a
frightful roar and then he charged.
To face that savage mountain of onrushing ferocity,
to stand unshaken before the hideous fangs that he knew
were bared in slavering blood-thirstiness, though he
could not see them, required nerves of steel; but of
such were the nerves of Carthoris of Helium.
He had the brute's eyes to guide his point, and, as true
as the sword hand of his mighty sire, his guided the
keen point to one of those blazing orbs, even as he leaped
lightly to one side.
With a hideous scream of pain and rage, the wounded
banth hurtled, clawing, past him. Then it turned to charge
once more; but this time Carthoris saw but a single
gleaming point of fiery hate directed upon him.
Again the needle point met its flashing target. Again
the horrid cry of the stricken beast reverberated through
the rocky tunnel, shocking in its torture-laden shrillness,
deafening in its terrific volume.
But now, as it turned to charge again,
the man had no guide whereby to direct his point.
He heard the scraping of the padded feet upon the rocky floor.
He knew the thing was charging down upon him once again,
but he could see nothing.
Yet, if he could not see his antagonist, neither could
his antagonist now see him.
Leaping, as he thought, to the exact centre of the tunnel,
he held his sword point ready on a line with the
beast's chest. It was all that he could do, hoping that
chance might send the point into the savage heart as he
went down beneath the great body.
So quickly was the thing over that Carthoris could
scarce believe his senses as the mighty body rushed
madly past him. Either he had not placed himself in the
centre of the tunnel, or else the blinded banth had
erred in its calculations.
However, the huge body missed him by a foot,
and the creature continued on down the tunnel as
though in pursuit of the prey that had eluded him.
Carthoris, too, followed the same direction, nor was it
long before his heart was gladdened by the sight of the
moonlit exit from the long, dark passage.
Before him lay a deep hollow, entirely surrounded by
gigantic cliffs. The surface of the valley was dotted with
enormous trees, a strange sight so far from a Martian waterway.
The ground itself was clothed in brilliant scarlet sward,
picked out with innumerable patches of gorgeous wild flowers.
Beneath the glorious effulgence of the two moons the
scene was one of indescribable loveliness, tinged with the
weirdness of strange enchantment.
For only an instant, however, did his gaze rest upon
the natural beauties outspread before him. Almost
immediately they were riveted upon the figure of a great
banth standing across the carcass of a new-killed thoat.
The huge beast, his tawny mane bristling around his
hideous head, kept his eyes fixed upon another banth that
charged erratically hither and thither, with shrill screams
of pain, and horrid roars of hate and rage.
Carthoris quickly guessed that the second brute was
the one he had blinded during the fight in the tunnel,
but it was the dead thoat that centred his interest more
than either of the savage carnivores.
The harness was still upon the body of the huge Martian mount,
and Carthoris could not doubt but that this was the very
animal upon which the green warrior had borne away
Thuvia of Ptarth.
But where were the rider and his prisoner? The Prince
of Helium shuddered as he thought upon the probability
of the fate that had overtaken them.
Human flesh is the food most craved by the fierce
Barsoomian lion, whose great carcass and giant thews
require enormous quantities of meat to sustain them.
Two human bodies would have but whetted the creature's appetite,
and that he had killed and eaten the green man and the red girl
seemed only too likely to Carthoris. He had left the carcass
of the mighty thoat to be devoured after having consumed the
more tooth-some portion of his banquet.
Now the sightless banth, in its savage, aimless charging
and counter-charging, had passed beyond the kill of its fellow,
and there the light breeze that was blowing wafted the scent
of new blood to its nostrils.
No longer were its movements erratic. With outstretched
tail and foaming jaws it charged straight as an arrow,
for the body of the thoat and the mighty creature of
destruction that stood with forepaws upon the slate-grey
side, waiting to defend its meat.
When the charging banth was twenty paces from the dead
thoat the killer gave vent to its hideous challenge,
and with a mighty spring leaped forward to meet it.
The battle that ensued awed even the warlike Barsoomian.
The mad rending, the hideous and deafening roaring,
the implacable savagery of the blood-stained
beasts held him in the paralysis of fascination, and when
it was over and the two creatures, their heads and shoulders
torn to ribbons, lay with their dead jaws still buried
in each other's bodies, Carthoris tore himself from the
spell only by an effort of the will.
Hurrying to the side of the dead thoat, he searched for
traces of the girl he feared had shared the thoat's fate,
but nowhere could he discover anything to confirm his fears.
With slightly lightened heart he started out to explore
the valley, but scarce a dozen steps had he taken when
the glistening of a jewelled bauble lying on the sward
caught his eye.
As he picked it up his first glance showed him that it
was a woman's hair ornament, and emblazoned upon it
was the insignia of the royal house of Ptarth.
But, sinister discovery, blood, still wet, splotched the
magnificent jewels of the setting.
Carthoris half choked as the dire possibilities which
the thing suggested presented themselves to his imagination.
Yet he could not, would not believe it.
It was impossible that that radiant creature could have
met so hideous an end. It was incredible that the glorious
Thuvia should ever cease to be.
Upon his already jewel-encrusted harness, to the strap
that crossed his great chest beneath which beat his loyal
heart, Carthoris, Prince of Helium, fastened the gleaming
thing that Thuvia of Ptarth had worn, and wearing, had made
holy to the Heliumite.
Then he proceeded upon his way into the heart of the
For the most part the giant trees shut off his view
to any but the most limited distances. Occasionally he
caught glimpses of the towering hills that bounded the
valley upon every side, and though they stood out clear
beneath the light of the two moons, he knew that they
were far off, and that the extent of the valley was immense.
For half the night he continued his search, until
presently he was brought to a sudden halt by the
distant sound of squealing thoats.
Guided by the noise of these habitually angry beasts, he
stole forward through the trees until at last he came upon
a level, treeless plain, in the centre of which a mighty city
reared its burnished domes and vividly coloured towers.
About the walled city the red man saw a huge encampment
of the green warriors of the dead sea-bottoms, and as
he let his eyes rove carefully over the city he realized
that here was no deserted metropolis of a dead past.
But what city could it be? His studies had taught him
that in this little-explored portion of Barsoom the fierce
tribe of Torquasian green men ruled supreme, and that
as yet no red man had succeeded in piercing to the heart
of their domain to return again to the world of civilization.
The men of Torquas had perfected huge guns with
which their uncanny marksmanship had permitted them
to repulse the few determined efforts that near-by red
nations had made to explore their country by means of
battle fleets of airships.
That he was within the boundary of Torquas, Carthoris
was sure, but that there existed there such a wondrous
city he never had dreamed, nor had the chronicles of the
past even hinted at such a possibility, for the Torquasians
were known to live, as did the other green men of
Mars, within the deserted cities that dotted the dying
planet, nor ever had any green horde built so much as a
single edifice, other than the low-walled incubators where
their young are hatched by the sun's heat.
The encircling camp of green warriors lay about five
hundred yards from the city's walls. Between it and the
city was no semblance of breastwork or other protection
against rifle or cannon fire; yet distinctly now in the light
of the rising sun Carthoris could see many figures moving
along the summit of the high wall, and upon the roof tops beyond.
That they were beings like himself he was sure, though
they were at too great distance from him for him to be
positive that they were red men.
Almost immediately after sunrise the green warriors
commenced firing upon the little figures upon the wall.
To Carthoris' surprise the fire was not returned,
but presently the last of the city's inhabitants had sought
shelter from the weird marksmanship of the green men,
and no further sign of life was visible beyond the wall.
Then Carthoris, keeping within the shelter of the
trees that fringed the plain, began circling the rear of the
besiegers' line, hoping against hope that somewhere he
would obtain sight of Thuvia of Ptarth, for even now he
could not believe that she was dead.
That he was not discovered was a miracle, for mounted warriors
were constantly riding back and forth from the camp into the forest;
but the long day wore on and still he continued his seemingly
fruitless quest, until, near sunset, he came opposite a mighty gate
in the city's western wall.
Here seemed to be the principal force of the attacking horde.
Here a great platform had been erected whereon Carthoris could
see squatting a huge green warrior, surrounded by others of his kind.
This, then, must be the notorious Hortan Gur, Jeddak of Torquas,
the fierce old ogre of the south-western hemisphere, as only for
a jeddak are platforms raised in temporary camps or upon the
march by the green hordes of Barsoom.
As the Heliumite watched he saw another green warrior
push his way forward toward the rostrum. Beside him
he dragged a captive, and as the surrounding warriors
parted to let the two pass, Carthoris caught a fleeting
glimpse of the prisoner.
His heart leaped in rejoicing. Thuvia of Ptarth still lived!
It was with difficulty that Carthoris restrained the
impulse to rush forward to the side of the Ptarthian
princess; but in the end his better judgment prevailed,
for in the face of such odds he knew that he should have
been but throwing away, uselessly, any future opportunity
he might have to succour her.
He saw her dragged to the foot of the rostrum.
He saw Hortan Gur address her. He could not hear
the creature's words, nor Thuvia's reply; but it must
have angered the green monster, for Carthoris saw him
leap toward the prisoner, striking her a cruel blow
across the face with his metal-banded arm.
Then the son of John Carter, Jeddak of Jeddaks,
Warlord of Barsoom, went mad. The old, blood-red haze
through which his sire had glared at countless foes,
floated before his eyes.
His half-Earthly muscles, responding quickly to his will,
sent him in enormous leaps and bounds toward the green
monster that had struck the woman he loved.
The Torquasians were not looking in the direction of
the forest. All eyes had been upon the figures of the
girl and their jeddak, and loud was the hideous laughter
that rang out in appreciation of the wit of the green
emperor's reply to his prisoner's appeal for liberty.
Carthoris had covered about half the distance between
the forest and the green warriors, when a new factor
succeeded in still further directing the attention of
the latter from him.
Upon a high tower within the beleaguered city a man appeared.
From his upturned mouth there issued a series of frightful shrieks;
uncanny shrieks that swept, shrill and terrifying, across the
city's walls, over the heads of the besiegers, and out across
the forest to the uttermost confines of the valley.
Once, twice, thrice the fearsome sound smote upon the
ears of the listening green men and then far, far off
across the broad woods came sharp and clear from the
distance an answering shriek.
It was but the first. From every point rose similar
savage cries, until the world seemed to tremble to their
The green warriors looked nervously this way and that.
They knew not fear, as Earth men may know it; but in
the face of the unusual their wonted self-assurance
And then the great gate in the city wall opposite the
platform of Hortan Gur swung suddenly wide. From it
issued as strange a sight as Carthoris ever had witnessed,
though at the moment he had time to cast but a single
fleeting glance at the tall bowmen emerging through the
portal behind their long, oval shields; to note their
flowing auburn hair; and to realize that the growling
things at their side were fierce Barsoomian lions.
Then he was in the midst of the astonished Torquasians.
With drawn long-sword he was among them, and to
Thuvia of Ptarth, whose startled eyes were the first to
fall upon him, it seemed that she was looking upon John
Carter himself, so strangely similar to the fighting of the
father was that of the son.
Even to the famous fighting smile of the Virginian
was the resemblance true. And the sword arm!
Ah, the subtleness of it, and the speed!
All about was turmoil and confusion. Green warriors were
leaping to the backs of their restive, squealing thoats.
Calots were growling out their savage gutturals,
whining to be at the throats of the oncoming foemen.
Thar Ban and another by the side of the rostrum had
been the first to note the coming of Carthoris, and it
was with them he battled for possession of the red girl,
while the others hastened to meet the host advancing
from the beleaguered city.
Carthoris sought both to defend Thuvia of Ptarth and
reach the side of the hideous Hortan Gur that he might
avenge the blow the creature had struck the girl.
He succeeded in reaching the rostrum, over the dead
bodies of two warriors who had turned to join Thar Ban
and his companion in repulsing this adventurous red man,
just as Hortan Gur was about to leap from it to the
back of his thoat.
The attention of the green warriors turned principally
upon the bowmen advancing upon them from the city,
and upon the savage banths that paced beside them--
cruel beasts of war, infinitely more terrible than their
own savage calots.
As Carthoris leaped to the rostrum he drew Thuvia
up beside him, and then he turned upon the departing
jeddak with an angry challenge and a sword thrust.
As the Heliumite's point pricked his green hide, Hortan
Gur turned upon his adversary with a snarl, but at the
same instant two of his chieftains called to him to hasten,
for the charge of the fair-skinned inhabitants of the city
was developing into a more serious matter than the
Torquasians had anticipated.
Instead of remaining to battle with the red man,
Hortan Gur promised him his attention after he had
disposed of the presumptuous citizens of the walled city,
and, leaping astride his thoat, galloped off to meet the
rapidly advancing bowmen.
The other warriors quickly followed their jeddak,
leaving Thuvia and Carthoris alone upon the platform.
Between them and the city raged a terrific battle. The
fair-skinned warriors, armed only with their long bows
and a kind of short-handled war-axe, were almost helpless
beneath the savage mounted green men at close quarters;
but at a distance their sharp arrows did fully as much
execution as the radium projectiles of the green men.
But if the warriors themselves were outclassed, not so
their savage companions, the fierce banths. Scarce had the
two lines come together when hundreds of these appalling
creatures had leaped among the Torquasians, dragging warriors
from their thoats--dragging down the huge thoats themselves,
and bringing consternation to all before them.
The numbers of the citizenry, too, was to their advantage,
for it seemed that scarce a warrior fell but his
place was taken by a score more, in such a constant
stream did they pour from the city's great gate.
And so it came, what with the ferocity of the banths
and the numbers of the bowmen, that at last the
Torquasians fell back, until presently the platform upon
which stood Carthoris and Thuvia lay directly in the
centre of the fight.
That neither was struck by a bullet or an arrow seemed
a miracle to both; but at last the tide had rolled
completely past them, so that they were alone between the
fighters and the city, except for the dying and the dead,
and a score or so of growling banths, less well trained
than their fellows, who prowled among the corpses
To Carthoris the strangest part of the battle had
been the terrific toll taken by the bowmen with their
relatively puny weapons. Nowhere that he could see
was there a single wounded green man, but the corpses
of their dead lay thick upon the field of battle.
Death seemed to follow instantly the slightest pinprick
of a bowman's arrow, nor apparently did one ever miss
its goal. There could be but one explanation: the missiles
Presently the sounds of conflict died in the distant forest.
Quiet reigned, broken only by the growling of the devouring banths.
Carthoris turned toward Thuvia of Ptarth. As yet neither had spoken.
"Where are we, Thuvia?" he asked.
The girl looked at him questioningly. His very presence
had seemed to proclaim a guilty knowledge of her abduction.
How else might he have known the destination of the flier
that brought her!
"Who should know better than the Prince of Helium?"
she asked in return. "Did he not come hither of his own
"From Aaanthor I came voluntarily upon the trail of
the green man who had stolen you, Thuvia," he replied;
"but from the time I left Helium until I awoke above
Aaanthor I thought myself bound for Ptarth.
"It had been intimated that I had guilty knowledge of
your abduction," he explained simply, "and I was hastening
to the jeddak, your father, to convince him of the falsity
of the charge, and to give my service to your recovery.
Before I left Helium some one tampered with my compass,
so that it bore me to Aaanthor instead of to Ptarth.
That is all. You believe me?"
"But the warriors who stole me from the garden!" she
exclaimed. "After we arrived at Aaanthor they wore the
metal of the Prince of Helium. When they took me they
were trapped in Dusarian harness. There seemed but a
single explanation. Whoever dared the outrage wished
to put the onus upon another, should he be detected in
the act; but once safely away from Ptarth he felt safe in
having his minions return to their own harness."
"You believe that I did this thing, Thuvia?" he asked.
"Ah, Carthoris," she replied sadly, "I did not wish to
believe it; but when everything pointed to you--even
then I would not believe it."
"I did not do it, Thuvia," he said. "But let me be
entirely honest with you. As much as I love your father,
as much as I respect Kulan Tith, to whom you are betrothed,
as well as I know the frightful consequences that must
have followed such an act of mine, hurling into war, as it
would, three of the greatest nations of Barsoom--yet,
notwithstanding all this, I should not have hesitated to
take you thus, Thuvia of Ptarth, had you even hinted
that it would not have displeased YOU.
"But you did nothing of the kind, and so I am here,
not in my own service, but in yours, and in the service
of the man to whom you are promised, to save you for him,
if it lies within the power of man to do so," he concluded,
Thuvia of Ptarth looked into his face for several moments.
Her breast was rising and falling as though to some
resistless emotion. She half took a step toward him.
Her lips parted as though to speak--swiftly and impetuously.
And then she conquered whatever had moved her.
"The future acts of the Prince of Helium," she said coldly,
"must constitute the proof of his past honesty of purpose."
Carthoris was hurt by the girl's tone, as much as by
the doubt as to his integrity which her words implied.
He had half hoped that she might hint that his love
would be acceptable--certainly there was due him at least
a little gratitude for his recent acts in her behalf;
but the best he received was cold scepticism.
The Prince of Helium shrugged his broad shoulders.
The girl noted it, and the little smile that touched
his lips, so that it became her turn to be hurt.
Of course she had not meant to hurt him. He might
have known that after what he had said she could not do
anything to encourage him! But he need not have made
his indifference quite so palpable. The men of Helium
were noted for their gallantry--not for boorishness.
Possibly it was the Earth blood that flowed in his veins.
How could she know that the shrug was but Carthoris'
way of attempting, by physical effort, to cast blighting
sorrow from his heart, or that the smile upon his lips
was the fighting smile of his father with which the son
gave outward evidence of the determination he had
reached to submerge his own great love in his efforts to
save Thuvia of Ptarth for another, because he believed
that she loved this other!
He reverted to his original question.
"Where are we?" he asked. "I do not know."
"Nor I," replied the girl. "Those who stole me from
Ptarth spoke among themselves of Aaanthor, so that I
thought it possible that the ancient city to which they
took me was that famous ruin; but where we may be now
I have no idea."
"When the bowmen return we shall doubtless learn all
that there is to know," said Carthoris. "Let us hope that
they prove friendly. What race may they be? Only in the
most ancient of our legends and in the mural paintings of
the deserted cities of the dead sea-bottoms are depicted
such a race of auburn-haired, fair-skinned people. Can it
be that we have stumbled upon a surviving city of the
past which all Barsoom believes buried beneath the ages?"
Thuvia was looking toward the forest into which the
green men and the pursuing bowmen had disappeared.
From a great distance came the hideous cries of banths,
and an occasional shot.
"It is strange that they do not return," said the girl.
"One would expect to see the wounded limping or being carried
back to the city," replied Carthoris, with a puzzled frown.
"But how about the wounded nearer the city?
Have they carried them within?"
Both turned their eyes toward the field between them and
the walled city, where the fighting had been most furious.
There were the banths, still growling about their hideous feast.
Carthoris looked at Thuvia in astonishment. Then he pointed
toward the field.
"Where are they?" he whispered. "WHAT HAS BECOME
OF THEIR DEAD AND WOUNDED?"
THE JEDDAK OF LOTHAR
The girl looked her incredulity.
"They lay in piles," she murmured. "There were thousands
of them but a minute ago."
"And now," continued Carthoris, "there remain but the
banths and the carcasses of the green men."
"They must have sent forth and carried the dead bowmen
away while we were talking," said the girl.
"It is impossible!" replied Carthoris. "Thousands of
dead lay there upon the field but a moment since. It would
have required many hours to have removed them. The
thing is uncanny."
"I had hoped," said Thuvia, "that we might find an
asylum with these fair-skinned people. Notwithstanding
their valour upon the field of battle, they did not strike
me as a ferocious or warlike people. I had been about
to suggest that we seek entrance to the city, but now I
scarce know if I care to venture among people whose
dead vanish into thin air."
"Let us chance it," replied Carthoris. "We can be no
worse off within their walls than without. Here we may
fall prey to the banths or the no less fierce Torquasians.
There, at least, we shall find beings moulded after
our own images.
"All that causes me to hesitate," he added, "is the
danger of taking you past so many banths. A single
sword would scarce prevail were even a couple of
them to charge simultaneously."
"Do not fear on that score," replied the girl, smiling.
"The banths will not harm us."
As she spoke she descended from the platform, and
with Carthoris at her side stepped fearlessly out upon the
bloody field in the direction of the walled city of mystery.
They had advanced but a short distance when a banth,
looking up from its gory feast, descried them. With an
angry roar the beast walked quickly in their direction,
and at the sound of its voice a score of others followed
Carthoris drew his long-sword. The girl stole a quick
glance at his face. She saw the smile upon his lips,
and it was as wine to sick nerves; for even upon warlike
Barsoom where all men are brave, woman reacts quickly to
quiet indifference to danger--to dare-deviltry that is
"You may return your sword," she said. "I told you
that the banths would not harm us. Look!" and as she
spoke she stepped quickly toward the nearest animal.
Carthoris would have leaped after her to protect her,
but with a gesture she motioned him back. He heard her
calling to the banths in a low, singsong voice that
was half purr.
Instantly the great heads went up and all the
wicked eyes were riveted upon the figure of the girl.
Then, stealthily, they commenced moving toward her.
She had stopped now and was standing waiting them.
One, closer to her than the others, hesitated. She spoke to
him imperiously, as a master might speak to a refractory hound.
The great carnivore let its head droop, and with tail
between its legs came slinking to the girl's feet,
and after it came the others until she was entirely
surrounded by the savage maneaters.
Turning she led them to where Carthoris stood.
They growled a little as they neared the man, but a
few sharp words of command put them in their places.
"How do you do it?" exclaimed Carthoris.
"Your father once asked me that same question in the
galleries of the Golden Cliffs within the Otz Mountains,
beneath the temples of the therns. I could not answer him,
nor can I answer you. I do not know whence comes my power
over them, but ever since the day that Sator Throg threw
me among them in the banth pit of the Holy Therns,
and the great creatures fawned upon instead of devouring me,
I ever have had the same strange power over them.
They come at my call and do my bidding, even as the
faithful Woola does the bidding of your mighty sire."
With a word the girl dispersed the fierce pack. Roaring,
they returned to their interrupted feast, while Carthoris
and Thuvia passed among them toward the walled city.
As they advanced the man looked with wonder upon
the dead bodies of those of the green men that had not
been devoured or mauled by the banths.
He called the girl's attention to them. No arrows
protruded from the great carcasses. Nowhere upon any of
them was the sign of mortal wound, nor even slightest
scratch or abrasion.
Before the bowmen's dead had disappeared the corpses
of the Torquasians had bristled with the deadly arrows
of their foes. Where had the slender messengers
of death departed? What unseen hand had plucked them
from the bodies of the slain?
Despite himself Carthoris could scarce repress a shudder
of apprehension as he glanced toward the silent city
before them. No longer was sign of life visible upon wall
or roof top. All was quiet--brooding, ominous quiet.
Yet he was sure that eyes watched them from somewhere
behind that blank wall.
He glanced at Thuvia. She was advancing with wide eyes
fixed upon the city gate. He looked in the direction
of her gaze, but saw nothing.
His gaze upon her seemed to arouse her as from a lethargy.
She glanced up at him, a quick, brave smile touching
her lips, and then, as though the act was involuntary,
she came close to his side and placed one of her hands in his.
He guessed that something within her that was beyond her
conscious control was appealing to him for protection.
He threw an arm about her, and thus they crossed the field.
She did not draw away from him. It is doubtful that
she realized that his arm was there, so engrossed
was she in the mystery of the strange city before them.
They stopped before the gate. It was a mighty thing.
From its construction Carthoris could but dimly
speculate upon its unthinkable antiquity.
It was circular, closing a circular aperture, and the
Heliumite knew from his study of ancient Barsoomian
architecture that it rolled to one side, like a huge wheel,
into an aperture in the wall.
Even such world-old cities as ancient Aaanthor were as
yet undreamed of when the races lived that built such
gates as these.
As he stood speculating upon the identity of this
forgotten city, a voice spoke to them from above.
Both looked up. There, leaning over the edge of
the high wall, was a man.
His hair was auburn, his skin fair--fairer even than
that of John Carter, the Virginian. His forehead was
high, his eyes large and intelligent.
The language that he used was intelligible to the two
below, yet there was a marked difference between it and
their Barsoomian tongue.
"Who are you?" he asked. "And what do you here
before the gate of Lothar?"
"We are friends," replied Carthoris. "This be the
princess, Thuvia of Ptarth, who was captured by the
Torquasian horde. I am Carthoris of Helium, Prince of
the house of Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium, and son of
John Carter, Warlord of Mars, and of his wife, Dejah Thoris."
"`Ptarth'?" repeated the man. "`Helium'?" He shook
his head. "I never have heard of these places, nor
did I know that there dwelt upon Barsoom a race of thy
strange colour. Where may these cities lie, of which
you speak? From our loftiest tower we have never seen
another city than Lothar."
Carthoris pointed toward the north-east.
"In that direction lie Helium and Ptarth," he said.
"Helium is over eight thousand haads from Lothar, while
Ptarth lies nine thousand five hundred haads north-east
of Helium." <1
<1 On Barsoom the AD is the basis of linear measurement.
It is the equivalent of an Earthly foot, measuring about 11.694
Earth inches. As has been my custom in the past, I have generally
translated Barsoomian symbols of time, distance, etc., into their
Earthly equivalent, as being more easily understood by Earth
readers. For those of a more studious turn of mind it may be
interesting to know the Martian table of linear measurement, and
so I give it here:
10 sofads = 1 ad
200 ads = 1 haad
100 haads = 1 karad
360 karads = 1 circumference of Mars at equator.
A haad, or Barsoomian mile, contains about 2,339 Earth feet.
A karad is one degree. A sofad about 1.17 Earth inches.
Still the man shook his head.
"I know of nothing beyond the Lotharian hills," he said.
"Naught may live there beside the hideous green hordes of Torquas.
They have conquered all Barsoom except this single valley and
the city of Lothar. Here we have defied them for countless ages,
though periodically they renew their attempts to destroy us.
From whence you come I cannot guess unless you be descended
from the slaves the Torquasians captured in early times when
they reduced the outer world to their vassalage; but we had
heard that they destroyed all other races but their own."
Carthoris tried to explain that the Torquasians ruled
but a relatively tiny part of the surface of Barsoom, and
even this only because their domain held nothing to attract
the red race; but the Lotharian could not seem to
conceive of anything beyond the valley of Lothar other
than a trackless waste peopled by the ferocious green
hordes of Torquas.
After considerably parleying he consented to admit
them to the city, and a moment later the wheel-like gate
rolled back within its niche, and Thuvia and Carthoris
entered the city of Lothar.
All about them were evidences of fabulous wealth. The
facades of the buildings fronting upon the avenue within
the wall were richly carven, and about the windows and
doors were ofttimes set foot-wide borders of precious
stones, intricate mosaics, or tablets of beaten gold bearing
bas-reliefs depicting what may have been bits of the
history of this forgotten people.
He with whom they had conversed across the wall was
in the avenue to receive them. About him were a hundred
or more men of the same race. All were clothed in
flowing robes and all were beardless.
Their attitude was more of fearful suspicion than antagonism.
They followed the new-comers with their eyes; but spoke no word to them.
Carthoris could not but notice the fact that though the
city had been but a short time before surrounded by a
horde of bloodthirsty demons yet none of the citizens
appeared to be armed, nor was there sign of soldiery about.
He wondered if all the fighting men had sallied forth in one
supreme effort to rout the foe, leaving the city all unguarded.
He asked their host.
The man smiled.
"No creature other than a score or so of our sacred
banths has left Lothar to-day," he replied.
"But the soldiers--the bowmen!" exclaimed Carthoris.
"We saw thousands emerge from this very gate,
overwhelming the hordes of Torquas and putting them
to rout with their deadly arrows and their fierce banths."
Still the man smiled his knowing smile.
"Look!" he cried, and pointed down a broad avenue before him.
Carthoris and Thuvia followed the direction indicated,
and there, marching bravely in the sunlight, they saw
advancing toward them a great army of bowmen.
"Ah!" exclaimed Thuvia. "They have returned through another gate,
or perchance these be the troops that remained to defend the city?"
Again the fellow smiled his uncanny smile.
"There are no soldiers in Lothar," he said. "Look!"
Both Carthoris and Thuvia had turned toward him while he spoke,
and now as they turned back again toward the advancing regiments
their eyes went wide in astonishment, for the broad avenue before
them was as deserted as the tomb.
"And those who marched out upon the hordes to-day?" whispered Carthoris.
"They, too, were unreal?"
The man nodded.
"But their arrows slew the green warriors," insisted Thuvia.
"Let us go before Tario," replied the Lotharian.
"He will tell you that which he deems it best you know.
I might tell you too much."
"Who is Tario?" asked Carthoris.
"Jeddak of Lothar," replied the guide, leading them
up the broad avenue down which they had but a moment
since seen the phantom army marching.
For half an hour they walked along lovely avenues between
the most gorgeous buildings that the two had ever seen.
Few people were in evidence. Carthoris could not but
note the deserted appearance of the mighty city.
At last they came to the royal palace. Carthoris saw
it from a distance, and guessing the nature of the
magnificent pile wondered that even here there should
be so little sign of activity and life.
Not even a single guard was visible before the great
entrance gate, nor in the gardens beyond, into which he
could see, was there sign of the myriad life that pulses
within the precincts of the royal estates of the red jeddaks.
"Here," said their guide, "is the palace of Tario."
As he spoke Carthoris again let his gaze rest upon the
wondrous palace. With a startled exclamation he rubbed
his eyes and looked again. No! He could not be mistaken.
Before the massive gate stood a score of sentries. Within,
the avenue leading to the main building was lined on either
side by ranks of bowmen. The gardens were dotted
with officers and soldiers moving quickly to and fro,
as though bent upon the duties of the minute.
What manner of people were these who could conjure
an army out of thin air? He glanced toward Thuvia.
She, too, evidently had witnessed the transformation.
With a little shudder she pressed more closely toward him.
"What do you make of it?" she whispered. "It is most uncanny."
"I cannot account for it," replied Carthoris, "unless we
have gone mad."
Carthoris turned quickly toward the Lotharian. The fellow
was smiling broadly.
"I thought that you just said that there were no soldiers
in Lothar," said the Heliumite, with a gesture toward
the guardsmen. "What are these?"
"Ask Tario," replied the other. "We shall soon be before him."
Nor was it long before they entered a lofty chamber
at one end of which a man reclined upon a rich couch
that stood upon a high dais.
As the trio approached, the man turned dreamy eyes
sleepily upon them. Twenty feet from the dais their
conductor halted, and, whispering to Thuvia and Carthoris
to follow his example, threw himself headlong to the floor.
Then rising to hands and knees, he commenced crawling
toward the foot of the throne, swinging his head to
and fro and wiggling his body as you have seen a hound
do when approaching its master.
Thuvia glanced quickly toward Carthoris. He was
standing erect, with high-held head and arms folded
across his broad chest. A haughty smile curved his lips.
The man upon the dais was eyeing him intently, and
Carthoris of Helium was looking straight in the other's face.
"Who be these, Jav?" asked the man of him who
crawled upon his belly along the floor.
"O Tario, most glorious Jeddak," replied Jav, "these be
strangers who came with the hordes of Torquas to our gates,
saying that they were prisoners of the green men.
They tell strange tales of cities far beyond Lothar."
"Arise, Jav," commanded Tario, "and ask these two
why they show not to Tario the respect that is his due."
Jav arose and faced the strangers. At sight of their
erect positions his face went livid. He leaped toward them.
"Creatures!" he screamed. "Down! Down upon your
bellies before the last of the jeddaks of Barsoom!"
THE PHANTOM BOWMEN
As Jav leaped toward him Carthoris laid his hand upon
the hilt of his long-sword. The Lotharian halted. The
great apartment was empty save for the four at the dais,
yet as Jav stepped back from the menace of the Heliumite's
threatening attitude the latter found himself surrounded
by a score of bowmen.
From whence had they sprung? Both Carthoris and
Thuvia looked their astonishment.
Now the former's sword leaped from its scabbard, and
at the same instant the bowmen drew back their slim shafts.
Tario had half raised himself upon one elbow. For the
first time he saw the full figure of Thuvia, who had been
concealed behind the person of Carthoris.
"Enough!" cried the jeddak, raising a protesting hand,
but at that very instant the sword of the Heliumite cut
viciously at its nearest antagonist.
As the keen edge reached its goal Carthoris let the point
fall to the floor, as with wide eyes he stepped backward
in consternation, throwing the back of his left hand across
his brow. His steel had cut but empty air--his antagonist
had vanished--there were no bowmen in the room!
"It is evident that these are strangers," said Tario to Jav.
"Let us first determine that they knowingly affronted us
before we take measures for punishment."
Then he turned to Carthoris, but ever his gaze wandered
to the perfect lines of Thuvia's glorious figure, which the
harness of a Barsoomian princess accentuated rather
"Who are you," he asked, "who knows not the etiquette
of the court of the last of jeddaks?"
"I am Carthoris, Prince of Helium," replied the Heliumite.
"And this is Thuvia, Princess of Ptarth. In the
courts of our fathers men do not prostrate themselves
before royalty. Not since the First Born tore their
immortal goddess limb from limb have men crawled upon
their bellies to any throne upon Barsoom. Now think
you that the daughter of one mighty jeddak and the son
of another would so humiliate themselves?"
Tario looked at Carthoris for a long time. At last he spoke.
"There is no other jeddak upon Barsoom than Tario," he said.
"There is no other race than that of Lothar, unless the
hordes of Torquas may be dignified by such an appellation.
Lotharians are white; your skins are red. There are no
women left upon Barsoom. Your companion is a woman."
He half rose from the couch, leaning far forward and
pointing an accusing finger at Carthoris.
"You are a lie!" he shrieked. "You are both lies, and
you dare to come before Tario, last and mightiest of the
jeddaks of Barsoom, and assert your reality. Some one
shall pay well for this, Jav, and unless I mistake it is
yourself who has dared thus flippantly to trifle with the
good nature of your jeddak.
"Remove the man. Leave the woman. We shall see if both be lies.
And later, Jav, you shall suffer for your temerity. There be few
of us left, but--Komal must be fed. Go!"
Carthoris could see that Jav trembled as he prostrated
himself once more before his ruler, and then, rising,
turned toward the Prince of Helium.
"Come!" he said.
"And leave the Princess of Ptarth here alone?" cried Carthoris.
Jav brushed closely past him, whispering:
"Follow me--he cannot harm her, except to kill; and
that he can do whether you remain or not. We had best
go now--trust me."
Carthoris did not understand, but something in the
urgency of the other's tone assured him, and so he turned
away, but not without a glance toward Thuvia in which
he attempted to make her understand that it was in her
own interest that he left her.
For answer she turned her back full upon him, but
not without first throwing him such a look of contempt
that brought the scarlet to his cheek.
Then he hesitated, but Jav seized him by the wrist.
"Come!" he whispered. "Or he will have the bowmen upon you,
and this time there will be no escape. Did you not see how
futile is your steel against thin air!"
Carthoris turned unwillingly to follow. As the two left
the room he turned to his companion.
"If I may not kill thin air," he asked, "how, then,
shall I fear that thin air may kill me?"
"You saw the Torquasians fall before the bowmen?" asked Jav.
"So would you fall before them, and without one single
chance for self-defence or revenge."
As they talked Jav led Carthoris to a small room in one
of the numerous towers of the palace. Here were
couches, and Jav bid the Heliumite be seated.
For several minutes the Lotharian eyed his prisoner,
for such Carthoris now realized himself to be.
"I am half convinced that you are real," he said at last.
"Of course I am real," he said. "What caused you
to doubt it? Can you not see me, feel me?"
"So may I see and feel the bowmen," replied Jav,
"and yet we all know that they, at least, are not real."
Carthoris showed by the expression of his face his
puzzlement at each new reference to the mysterious
bowmen--the vanishing soldiery of Lothar.
"What, then, may they be?" he asked.
"You really do not know?" asked Jav.
Carthoris shook his head negatively.
"I can almost believe that you have told us the truth
and that you are really from another part of Barsoom,
or from another world. But tell me, in your own country
have you no bowmen to strike terror to the hearts of the
green hordesmen as they slay in company with the fierce
banths of war?"
"We have soldiers," replied Carthoris. "We of the red
race are all soldiers, but we have no bowmen to defend
us, such as yours. We defend ourselves."
"You go out and get killed by your enemies!" cried
"Certainly," replied Carthoris. "How do the Lotharians?"
"You have seen," replied the other. "We send out our
deathless archers--deathless because they are lifeless,
existing only in the imaginations of our enemies. It is
really our giant minds that defend us, sending out
legions of imaginary warriors to materialize before the
mind's eye of the foe.
"They see them--they see their bows drawn back--they
see their slender arrows speed with unerring precision
toward their hearts. And they die--killed by the
power of suggestion."
"But the archers that are slain?" exclaimed Carthoris.
"You call them deathless, and yet I saw their dead bodies
piled high upon the battlefield. How may that be?"
"It is but to lend reality to the scene," replied Jav.
"We picture many of our own defenders killed that the
Torquasians may not guess that there are really no flesh
and blood creatures opposing them.
"Once that truth became implanted in their minds,
it is the theory of many of us, no longer would they fall
prey to the suggestion of the deadly arrows, for greater
would be the suggestion of the truth, and the more
powerful suggestion would prevail--it is law."
"And the banths?" questioned Carthoris. "They, too,
were but creatures of suggestion?"
"Some of them were real," replied Jav. "Those that
accompanied the archers in pursuit of the Torquasians
were unreal. Like the archers, they never returned, but,
having served their purpose, vanished with the bowmen
when the rout of the enemy was assured.
"Those that remained about the field were real. Those we
loosed as scavengers to devour the bodies of the dead of Torquas.
This thing is demanded by the realists among us. I am a realist.
Tario is an etherealist.
"The etherealists maintain that there is no such thing
as matter--that all is mind. They say that none of us exists,
except in the imagination of his fellows, other than as an
intangible, invisible mentality.
"According to Tario, it is but necessary that we all
unite in imagining that there are no dead Torquasians
beneath our walls, and there will be none, nor any need
of scavenging banths."
"You, then, do not hold Tario's beliefs?" asked Carthoris.
"In part only," replied the Lotharian. "I believe, in
fact I know, that there are some truly ethereal creatures.
Tario is one, I am convinced. He has no existence except
in the imaginations of his people.
"Of course, it is the contention of all us realists that
all etherealists are but figments of the imagination.
They contend that no food is necessary, nor do they eat;
but any one of the most rudimentary intelligence must realize
that food is a necessity to creatures having actual existence."
"Yes," agreed Carthoris, "not having eaten to-day I can
readily agree with you."
"Ah, pardon me," exclaimed Jav. "Pray be seated
and satisfy your hunger," and with a wave of his hand
he indicated a bountifully laden table that had not been
there an instant before he spoke. Of that Carthoris was
positive, for he had searched the room diligently with his
eyes several times.
"It is well," continued Jav, "that you did not fall into
the hands of an etherealist. Then, indeed, would you have
"But," exclaimed Carthoris, "this is not real food--it
was not here an instant since, and real food does not
materialize out of thin air."
Jav looked hurt.
"There is no real food or water in Lothar," he said;
"nor has there been for countless ages. Upon such as
you now see before you have we existed since the dawn
of history. Upon such, then, may you exist."
"But I thought you were a realist," exclaimed Carthoris.
"Indeed," cried Jav, "what more realistic than this
bounteous feast? It is just here that we differ most from
the etherealists. They claim that it is unnecessary to
imagine food; but we have found that for the maintenance
of life we must thrice daily sit down to hearty meals.
"The food that one eats is supposed to undergo certain
chemical changes during the process of digestion and
assimilation, the result, of course, being the rebuilding
of wasted tissue.
"Now we all know that mind is all, though we may differ
in the interpretation of its various manifestations.
Tario maintains that there is no such thing as substance,
all being created from the substanceless matter of the brain.
"We realists, however, know better. We know that
mind has the power to maintain substance even though it
may not be able to create substance--the latter is still
an open question. And so we know that in order to
maintain our physical bodies we must cause all our
organs properly to function.
"This we accomplish by materializing food-thoughts,
and by partaking of the food thus created. We chew, we
swallow, we digest. All our organs function precisely as
if we had partaken of material food. And what is the result?
What must be the result? The chemical changes take place
through both direct and indirect suggestion, and we live and thrive."
Carthoris eyed the food before him. It seemed real enough.
He lifted a morsel to his lips. There was substance indeed.
And flavour as well. Yes, even his palate was deceived.
Jav watched him, smiling, as he ate.
"Is it not entirely satisfying?" he asked.
"I must admit that it is," replied Carthoris. "But tell
me, how does Tario live, and the other etherealists who
maintain that food is unnecessary?"
Jav scratched his head.
"That is a question we often discuss," he replied.
"It is the strongest evidence we have of the non-existence
of the etherealists; but who may know other than Komal?"
"Who is Komal?" asked Carthoris. "I heard your jeddak speak of him."
Jav bent low toward the ear of the Heliumite, looking fearfully about
before he spoke.
"Komal is the essence," he whispered. "Even the
etherealists admit that mind itself must have substance
in order to transmit to imaginings the appearance of
substance. For if there really was no such thing as
substance it could not be suggested--what never has
been cannot be imagined. Do you follow me?"
"I am groping," replied Carthoris dryly.
"So the essence must be substance," continued Jav.
"Komal is the essence of the All, as it were. He is
maintained by substance. He eats. He eats the real.
To be explicit, he eats the realists. That is Tario's work.
"He says that inasmuch as we maintain that we alone
are real we should, to be consistent, admit that we
alone are proper food for Komal. Sometimes, as to-day,
we find other food for him. He is very fond of Torquasians."
"And Komal is a man?" asked Carthoris.
"He is All, I told you," replied Jav. "I know not how
to explain him in words that you will understand. He is
the beginning and the end. All life emanates from Komal,
since the substance which feeds the brain with imaginings
radiates from the body of Komal.
"Should Komal cease to eat, all life upon Barsoom would
cease to be. He cannot die, but he might cease to eat,
and, thus, to radiate."
"And he feeds upon the men and women of your belief?" cried Carthoris.
"Women!" exclaimed Jav. "There are no women in Lothar.
The last of the Lotharian females perished ages since,
upon that cruel and terrible journey across the
muddy plains that fringed the half-dried seas, when the
green hordes scourged us across the world to this our
last hiding-place--our impregnable fortress of Lothar.
"Scarce twenty thousand men of all the countless millions
of our race lived to reach Lothar. Among us were no
women and no children. All these had perished by the way.
"As time went on, we, too, were dying and the race
fast approaching extinction, when the Great Truth was
revealed to us, that mind is all. Many more died before
we perfected our powers, but at last we were able to
defy death when we fully understood that death was
merely a state of mind.
"Then came the creation of mind-people, or rather the
materialization of imaginings. We first put these to
practical use when the Torquasians discovered our retreat,
and fortunate for us it was that it required ages of search
upon their part before they found the single tiny entrance
to the valley of Lothar.
"That day we threw our first bowmen against them.
The intention was purely to frighten them away by the
vast numbers of bowmen which we could muster upon
our walls. All Lothar bristled with the bows and arrows
of our ethereal host.
"But the Torquasians did not frighten. They are lower
than the beasts--they know no fear. They rushed upon
our walls, and standing upon the shoulders of others
they built human approaches to the wall tops, and were
on the very point of surging in upon us and overwhelming us.
"Not an arrow had been discharged by our bowmen--we did
but cause them to run to and fro along the wall top,
screaming taunts and threats at the enemy.
"Presently I thought to attempt the thing--THE GREAT
THING. I centred all my mighty intellect upon the bowmen
of my own creation--each of us produces and directs as
many bowmen as his mentality and imagination is capable of.
"I caused them to fit arrows to their bows for the first time.
I made them take aim at the hearts of the green men.
I made the green men see all this, and then I made them
see the arrows fly, and I made them think that the points
pierced their hearts.
"It was all that was necessary. By hundreds they toppled
from our walls, and when my fellows saw what I had done
they were quick to follow my example, so that presently the
hordes of Torquas had retreated beyond the range of our arrows.
"We might have killed them at any distance, but one rule of
war we have maintained from the first--the rule of realism.
We do nothing, or rather we cause our bowmen to do nothing
within sight of the enemy that is beyond the understanding
of the foe. Otherwise they might guess the truth, and that
would be the end of us.
"But after the Torquasians had retreated beyond bowshot,
they turned upon us with their terrible rifles, and by
constant popping at us made life miserable within our walls.
"So then I bethought the scheme to hurl our bowmen
through the gates upon them. You have seen this day
how well it works. For ages they have come down upon us
at intervals, but always with the same results."
"And all this is due to your intellect, Jav?" asked
Carthoris. "I should think that you would be high in the
councils of your people."
"I am," replied Jav, proudly. "I am next to Tario."
"But why, then, your cringing manner of approaching the throne?"
"Tario demands it. He is jealous of me. He only awaits
the slightest excuse to feed me to Komal. He fears that I
may some day usurp his power."
Carthoris suddenly sprang from the table.
"Jav!" he exclaimed. "I am a beast! Here I have been
eating my fill, while the Princess of Ptarth may perchance
be still without food. Let us return and find some
means of furnishing her with nourishment."
The Lotharian shook his head.
"Tario would not permit it," he said. "He will, doubtless,
make an etherealist of her."
"But I must go to her," insisted Carthoris. "You
say that there are no women in Lothar. Then she must
be among men, and if this be so I intend to be near where
I may defend her if the need arises."
"Tario will have his way," insisted Jav. "He sent you
away and you may not return until he sends for you."
"Then I shall go without waiting to be sent for."
"Do not forget the bowmen," cautioned Jav.
"I do not forget them," replied Carthoris, but he did
not tell Jav that he remembered something else that the
Lotharian had let drop--something that was but a conjecture,
possibly, and yet one well worth pinning a forlorn hope to,
should necessity arise.
Carthoris started to leave the room. Jav stepped before him,
barring his way.
"I have learned to like you, red man," he said;
"but do not forget that Tario is still my jeddak,
and that Tario has commanded that you remain here."
Carthoris was about to reply, when there came faintly
to the ears of both a woman's cry for help.
With a sweep of his arm the Prince of Helium brushed
the Lotharian aside, and with drawn sword sprang into
the corridor without.
THE HALL OF DOOM
As Thuvia of Ptarth saw Carthoris depart from the presence
of Tario, leaving her alone with the man, a sudden qualm
of terror seized her.
There was an air of mystery pervading the stately chamber.
Its furnishings and appointments bespoke wealth and culture,
and carried the suggestion that the room was often the scene
of royal functions which filled it to its capacity.
And yet nowhere about her, in antechamber or corridor,
was there sign of any other being than herself
and the recumbent figure of Tario, the jeddak, who
watched her through half-closed eyes from the gorgeous
trappings of his regal couch.
For a time after the departure of Jav and Carthoris the
man eyed her intently. Then he spoke.
"Come nearer," he said, and, as she approached:
"Whose creature are you? Who has dared materialize
his imaginings of woman? It is contrary to the customs
and the royal edicts of Lothar. Tell me, woman, from
whose brain have you sprung? Jav's? No, do not deny it.
I know that it could be no other than that envious realist.
He seeks to tempt me. He would see me fall beneath
the spell of your charms, and then he, your master,
would direct my destiny and--my end. I see it all!
I see it all!"
The blood of indignation and anger had been rising to
Thuvia's face. Her chin was up, a haughty curve upon
her perfect lips.
"I know naught," she cried, "of what you are prating!
I am Thuvia, Princess of Ptarth. I am no man's
`creature.' Never before to-day did I lay eyes upon him
you call Jav, nor upon your ridiculous city, of which
even the greatest nations of Barsoom have never dreamed.
"My charms are not for you, nor such as you. They
are not for sale or barter, even though the price were a
real throne. And as for using them to win your worse
than futile power--" She ended her sentence with a shrug
of her shapely shoulders, and a little scornful laugh.
When she had finished Tario was sitting upon the edge
of his couch, his feet upon the floor. He was leaning
forward with eyes no longer half closed, but wide with
a startled expression in them.
He did not seem to note the LESE MAJESTE of her
words and manner. There was evidently something more
startling and compelling about her speech than that.
Slowly he came to his feet.
"By the fangs of Komal!" he muttered. "But you are REAL!
A REAL woman! No dream! No vain and foolish figment of the mind!"
He took a step toward her, with hands outstretched.
"Come!" he whispered. "Come, woman! For countless
ages have I dreamed that some day you would come.
And now that you are here I can scarce believe the
testimony of my eyes. Even now, knowing that you
are real, I still half dread that you may be a lie."
Thuvia shrank back. She thought the man mad.
Her hand stole to the jewelled hilt of her dagger.
The man saw the move, and stopped. A cunning
expression entered his eyes. Then they became
at once dreamy and penetrating as they fairly
bored into the girl's brain.
Thuvia suddenly felt a change coming over her. What the
cause of it she did not guess; but somehow the man before
her began to assume a new relationship within her heart.
No longer was he a strange and mysterious enemy, but an
old and trusted friend. Her hand slipped from the
dagger's hilt. Tario came closer. He spoke gentle,
friendly words, and she answered him in a voice that
seemed hers and yet another's.
He was beside her now. His hand was up her shoulder.
His eyes were down-bent toward hers. She looked up into
his face. His gaze seemed to bore straight through her
to some hidden spring of sentiment within her.
Her lips parted in sudden awe and wonder at the strange
revealment of her inner self that was being laid bare
before her consciousness. She had known Tario for ever.
He was more than friend to her. She moved a little
closer to him. In one swift flood of light she knew
the truth. She loved Tario, Jeddak of Lothar!
She had always loved him.
The man, seeing the success of his strategy, could not
restrain a faint smile of satisfaction. Whether there was
something in the expression of his face, or whether from
Carthoris of Helium in a far chamber of the palace came
a more powerful suggestion, who may say? But something
there was that suddenly dispelled the strange, hypnotic
influence of the man.
As though a mask had been torn from her eyes,
Thuvia suddenly saw Tario as she had formerly seen
him, and, accustomed as she was to the strange
manifestations of highly developed mentality which are
common upon Barsoom, she quickly guessed enough of the
truth to know that she was in grave danger.
Quickly she took a step backward, tearing herself from
his grasp. But the momentary contact had aroused within
Tario all the long-buried passions of his loveless existence.
With a muffled cry he sprang upon her, throwing his
arms about her and attempting to drag her lips to his.
"Woman!" he cried. "Lovely woman! Tario would make
you queen of Lothar. Listen to me! Listen to the love
of the last jeddaks of Barsoom."
Thuvia struggled to free herself from his embrace.
"Stop, creature!" she cried. "Stop! I do not love you.
Stop, or I shall scream for help!"
Tario laughed in her face.
"`Scream for help,'" he mimicked. "And who within the halls
of Lothar is there who might come in answer to your call?
Who would dare enter the presence of Tario, unsummoned?"
"There is one," she replied, "who would come, and, coming,
dare to cut you down upon your own throne, if he thought
that you had offered affront to Thuvia of Ptarth!"
"Who, Jav?" asked Tario.
"Not Jav, nor any other soft-skinned Lotharian," she replied;
"but a real man, a real warrior--Carthoris of Helium!"
Again the man laughed at her.
"You forget the bowmen," he reminded her. "What could
your red warrior accomplish against my fearless legions?"
Again he caught her roughly to him, dragging her
towards his couch.
"If you will not be my queen," he said, "you shall be my slave."
"Neither!" cried the girl.
As she spoke the single word there was a quick move
of her right hand; Tario, releasing her, staggered back,
both hands pressed to his side. At the same instant
the room filled with bowmen, and then the jeddak of
Lothar sank senseless to the marble floor.
At the instant that he lost consciousness the bowmen
were about to release their arrows into Thuvia's heart.
Involuntarily she gave a single cry for help, though she
knew that not even Carthoris of Helium could save her now.
Then she closed her eyes and waited for the end. No
slender shafts pierced her tender side. She raised her
lids to see what stayed the hand of her executioners.
The room was empty save for herself and the still
form of the jeddak of Lothar lying at her feet, a little
pool of crimson staining the white marble of the floor
beside him. Tario was unconscious.
Thuvia was amazed. Where were the bowmen? Why had
they not loosed their shafts? What could it all mean?
An instant before the room had been mysteriously filled
with armed men, evidently called to protect their jeddak;
yet now, with the evidence of her deed plain before them,
they had vanished as mysteriously as they had come,
leaving her alone with the body of their ruler,
into whose side she had slipped her long, keen blade.
The girl glanced apprehensively about, first for signs of
the return of the bowmen, and then for some means of escape.
The wall behind the dais was pierced by two small
doorways, hidden by heavy hangings. Thuvia was running
quickly towards one of these when she heard the clank of
a warrior's metal at the end of the apartment behind her.
Ah, if she had but an instant more of time she could
have reached that screening arras and, perchance,
have found some avenue of escape behind it; but now
it was too late--she had been discovered!
With a feeling that was akin to apathy she turned to
meet her fate, and there, before her, running swiftly
across the broad chamber to her side, was Carthoris, his
naked long-sword gleaming in his hand.
For days she had doubted his intentions of the Heliumite.
She had thought him a party to her abduction. Since Fate
had thrown them together she had scarce favoured him with
more than the most perfunctory replies to his remarks,
unless at such times as the weird and uncanny happenings
at Lothar had surprised her out of her reserve.
She knew that Carthoris of Helium would fight for her;
but whether to save her for himself or another, she was in doubt.
He knew that she was promised to Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol,
but if he had been instrumental in her abduction,
his motives could not be prompted by loyalty to his friend,
or regard for her honour.
And yet, as she saw him coming across the marble
floor of the audience chamber of Tario of Lothar,
his fine eyes filled with apprehension for her safety,
his splendid figure personifying all that is finest in the fighting
men of martial Mars, she could not believe that any faintest
trace of perfidy lurked beneath so glorious an exterior.
Never, she thought, in all her life had the sight of any
man been so welcome to her. It was with difficulty that
she refrained from rushing forward to meet him.
She knew that he loved her; but, in time, she recalled
that she was promised to Kulan Tith. Not even might she
trust herself to show too great gratitude to the Heliumite,
lest he misunderstand.
Carthoris was by her side now. His quick glance had
taken in the scene within the room--the still figure of
the jeddak sprawled upon the floor--the girl hastening
toward a shrouded exit.
"Did he harm you, Thuvia?" he asked.
She held up her crimsoned blade that he might see it.
"No," she said, "he did not harm me."
A grim smile lighted Carthoris' face.
"Praised be our first ancestor!" he murmured.
"And now let us see if we may not make good our
escape from this accursed city before the Lotharians
discover that their jeddak is no more."
With the firm authority that sat so well upon him in
whose veins flowed the blood of John Carter of Virginia
and Dejah Thoris of Helium, he grasped her hand and,
turning back across the hall, strode toward the great
doorway through which Jav had brought them into the
presence of the jeddak earlier in the day.
They had almost reached the threshold when a figure sprang
into the apartment through another entrance. It was Jav.
He, too, took in the scene within at a glance.
Carthoris turned to face him, his sword ready in his hand,
and his great body shielding the slender figure of the girl.
"Come, Jav of Lothar!" he cried. "Let us face the
issue at once, for only one of us may leave this chamber
alive with Thuvia of Ptarth." Then, seeing that the man
wore no sword, he exclaimed: "Bring on your bowmen,
then, or come with us as my prisoner until we have
safely passed the outer portals of thy ghostly city."
"You have killed Tario!" exclaimed Jav, ignoring the
other's challenge. "You have killed Tario! I see his blood
upon the floor--real blood--real death. Tario was, after
all, as real as I. Yet he was an etherealist. He would
not materialize his sustenance. Can it be that they are
right? Well, we, too, are right. And all these ages we
have been quarrelling--each saying that the other was wrong!
"However, he is dead now. Of that I am glad. Now shall Jav
come into his own. Now shall Jav be Jeddak of Lothar!"
As he finished, Tario opened his eyes and then quickly sat up.
"Traitor! Assassin!" he screamed, and then: "Kadar!
Kadar!" which is the Barsoomian for guard.
Jav went sickly white. He fell upon his belly, wriggling
"Oh, my Jeddak, my Jeddak!" he whimpered. "Jav had no
hand in this. Jav, your faithful Jav, but just this
instant entered the apartment to find you lying prone
upon the floor and these two strangers about to leave. How
it happened I know not. Believe me, most glorious Jeddak!"
"Cease, knave!" cried Tario. "I heard your words:
`However, he is dead now. Of that I am glad. Now shall
Jav come into his own. Now shall Jav be Jeddak of Lothar.'
"At last, traitor, I have found you out. Your own
words have condemned you as surely as the acts of
these red creatures have sealed their fates--unless--"
He paused. "Unless the woman--"
But he got no further. Carthoris guessed what he
would have said, and before the words could be uttered
he had sprung forward and struck the man across the
mouth with his open palm.
Tario frothed in rage and mortification.
"And should you again affront the Princess of Ptarth,"
warned the Heliumite, "I shall forget that you wear no
sword--not for ever may I control my itching sword hand."
Tario shrank back toward the little doorways behind
the dais. He was trying to speak, but so hideously were
the muscles of his face working that he could utter no
word for several minutes. At last he managed to
"Die!" he shrieked. "Die!" and then he turned toward
the exit at his back.
Jav leaped forward, screaming in terror.
"Have pity, Tario! Have pity! Remember the long ages
that I have served you faithfully. Remember all that I
have done for Lothar. Do not condemn me now to the
death hideous. Save me! Save me!"
But Tario only laughed a mocking laugh and continued
to back toward the hangings that hid the little doorway.
Jav turned toward Carthoris.
"Stop him!" he screamed. "Stop him! If you love life,
let him not leave this room," and as he spoke he leaped
in pursuit of his jeddak.
Carthoris followed Jav's example, but the "last of
the jeddaks of Barsoom" was too quick for them.
By the time they reached the arras behind which
he had disappeared, they found a heavy stone door
blocking their further progress.
Jav sank to the floor in a spasm of terror.
"Come, man!" cried Carthoris. "We are not dead yet.
Let us hasten to the avenues and make an attempt to
leave the city. We are still alive, and while we live we
may yet endeavour to direct our own destinies. Of what
avail, to sink spineless to the floor? Come, be a man!"
Jav but shook his head.
"Did you not hear him call the guards?" he moaned.
"Ah, if we could have but intercepted him! Then there
might have been hope; but, alas, he was too quick for us."
"Well, well," exclaimed Carthoris impatiently. "What
if he did call the guards? There will be time enough to
worry about that after they come--at present I see no
indication that they have any idea of over-exerting
themselves to obey their jeddak's summons."
Jav shook his head mournfully.
"You do not understand," he said. "The guards have
already come--and gone. They have done their work and
we are lost. Look to the various exits."
Carthoris and Thuvia turned their eyes in the direction
of the several doorways which pierced the walls of the
great chamber. Each was tightly closed by huge stone doors.
"Well?" asked Carthoris.
"We are to die the death," whispered Jav faintly.
Further than that he would not say. He just sat upon
the edge of the jeddak's couch and waited.
Carthoris moved to Thuvia's side, and, standing there
with naked sword, he let his brave eyes roam ceaselessly
about the great chamber, that no foe might spring upon
For what seemed hours no sound broke the silence of
their living tomb. No sign gave their executioners of
the time or manner of their death. The suspense was
terrible. Even Carthoris of Helium began to feel the
terrible strain upon his nerves. If he could but know
how and whence the hand of death was to strike, he could
meet it unafraid, but to suffer longer the hideous tension
of this blighting ignorance of the plans of their assassins
was telling upon him grievously.
Thuvia of Ptarth drew quite close to him. She felt
safer with the feel of his arm against hers, and with
the contact of her the man took a new grip upon himself.
With his old-time smile he turned toward her.
"It would seem that they are trying to frighten us to death,"
he said, laughing; "and, shame be upon me that I should
confess it, I think they were close to accomplishing
their designs upon me."
She was about to make some reply when a fearful
shriek broke from the lips of the Lotharian.
"The end is coming!" he cried. "The end is coming!
The floor! The floor! Oh, Komal, be merciful!"
Thuvia and Carthoris did not need to look at the
floor to be aware of the strange movement that was
Slowly the marble flagging was sinking in all directions
toward the centre. At first the movement, being gradual,
was scarce noticeable; but presently the angle of the
floor became such that one might stand easily only by
bending one knee considerably.
Jav was shrieking still, and clawing at the royal couch
that had already commenced to slide toward the centre
of the room, where both Thuvia and Carthoris suddenly
noted a small orifice which grew in diameter as the
floor assumed more closely a funnel-like contour.
Now it became more and more difficult to cling to
the dizzy inclination of the smooth and polished marble.
Carthoris tried to support Thuvia, but himself commenced
to slide and slip toward the ever-enlarging aperture.
Better to cling to the smooth stone he kicked off his
sandals of zitidar hide and with his bare feet braced
himself against the sickening tilt, at the same time
throwing his arms supportingly about the girl.
In her terror her own hands clasped about the man's neck.
Her cheek was close to his. Death, unseen and of unknown form,
seemed close upon them, and because unseen and unknowable
infinitely more terrifying.
"Courage, my princess," he whispered.
She looked up into his face to see smiling lips above hers
and brave eyes, untouched by terror, drinking deeply of her own.
Then the floor sagged and tilted more swiftly. There was a
sudden slipping rush as they were precipitated toward the aperture.
Jav's screams rose weird and horrible in their ears,
and then the three found themselves piled upon the
royal couch of Tario, which had stuck within the
aperture at the base of the marble funnel.
For a moment they breathed more freely, but presently
they discovered that the aperture was continuing
to enlarge. The couch slipped downward. Jav shrieked
again. There was a sickening sensation as they felt all
let go beneath them, as they fell through darkness to
an unknown death.
THE BATTLE IN THE PLAIN
The distance from the bottom of the funnel to the floor of
the chamber beneath it could not have been great, for all
three of the victims of Tario's wrath alighted unscathed.
Carthoris, still clasping Thuvia tightly to his breast,
came to the ground catlike, upon his feet, breaking the
shock for the girl. Scarce had his feet touched the rough
stone flagging of this new chamber than his sword flashed
out ready for instant use. But though the room was lighted,
there was no sign of enemy about.
Carthoris looked toward Jav. The man was pasty white with fear.
"What is to be our fate?" asked the Heliumite. "Tell
me, man! Shake off your terror long enough to tell me,
so I may be prepared to sell my life and that of the
Princess of Ptarth as dearly as possible."
"Komal!" whispered Jav. "We are to be devoured by Komal!"
"Your deity?" asked Carthoris.
The Lotharian nodded his head. Then he pointed
toward a low doorway at one end of the chamber.
"From thence will he come upon us. Lay aside your
puny sword, fool. It will but enrage him the more and
make our sufferings the worse."
Carthoris smiled, gripping his long-sword the more firmly.
Presently Jav gave a horrified moan, at the same time
pointing toward the door.
"He has come," he whimpered.
Carthoris and Thuvia looked in the direction the Lotharian
had indicated, expecting to see some strange and fearful
creature in human form; but to their astonishment they saw
the broad head and great-maned shoulders of a huge banth,
the largest that either ever had seen.
Slowly and with dignity the mighty beast advanced
into the room. Jav had fallen to the floor, and was
wriggling his body in the same servile manner that he
had adopted toward Tario. He spoke to the fierce beast
as he would have spoken to a human being, pleading with
it for mercy.
Carthoris stepped between Thuvia and the banth, his
sword ready to contest the beast's victory over them.
Thuvia turned toward Jav.
"Is this Komal, your god?" she asked.
Jav nodded affirmatively. The girl smiled, and then,
brushing past Carthoris, she stepped swiftly toward the
In low, firm tones she spoke to it as she had spoken
to the banths of the Golden Cliffs and the scavengers
before the walls of Lothar.
The beast ceased its growling. With lowered head and
catlike purr, it came slinking to the girl's feet.
Thuvia turned toward Carthoris.
"It is but a banth," she said. "We have nothing to
fear from it."
"I did not fear it," he replied, "for I, too, believed
it to be only a banth, and I have my long-sword."
Jav sat up and gazed at the spectacle before him--the
slender girl weaving her fingers in the tawny mane
of the huge creature that he had thought divine, while
Komal rubbed his hideous snout against her side.
"So this is your god!" laughed Thuvia.
Jav looked bewildered. He scarce knew whether he
dare chance offending Komal or not, for so strong is the
power of superstition that even though we know that we
have been reverencing a sham, yet still we hesitate
to admit the validity of our new-found convictions.
"Yes," he said, "this is Komal. For ages the enemies
of Tario have been hurled to this pit to fill his maw,
for Komal must be fed."
"Is there any way out of this chamber to the avenues
of the city?" asked Carthoris.
"I do not know," he replied. "Never have I been
here before, nor ever have I cared to do so."
"Come," suggested Thuvia, "let us explore.
There must be a way out."
Together the three approached the doorway through
which Komal had entered the apartment that was to have
witnessed their deaths. Beyond was a low-roofed lair,
with a small door at the far end.
This, to their delight, opened to the lifting of an
ordinary latch, letting them into a circular arena,
surrounded by tiers of seats.
"Here is where Komal is fed in public," explained
Jav. "Had Tario dared it would have been here that
our fates had been sealed; but he feared too much thy
keen blade, red man, and so he hurled us all downward
to the pit. I did not know how closely connected were
the two chambers. Now we may easily reach the avenues
and the city gates. Only the bowmen may dispute the
right of way, and, knowing their secret, I doubt that
they have power to harm us."
Another door led to a flight of steps that rose from
the arena level upward through the seats to an exit at
the back of the hall. Beyond this was a straight,
broad corridor, running directly through the palace
to the gardens at the side.
No one appeared to question them as they advanced,
mighty Komal pacing by the girl's side.
"Where are the people of the palace--the jeddak's retinue?"
asked Carthoris. "Even in the city streets as we came
through I scarce saw sign of a human being, yet all about
are evidences of a mighty population."
"Poor Lothar," he said. "It is indeed a city of ghosts.
There are scarce a thousand of us left, who once were
numbered in the millions. Our great city is peopled by
the creatures of our own imaginings. For our own needs
we do not take the trouble to materialize these peoples
of our brain, yet they are apparent to us.
"Even now I see great throngs lining the avenue,
hastening to and fro in the round of their duties.
I see women and children laughing on the balconies--these
we are forbidden to materialize; but yet I see them--they
are here. . . . But why not?" he mused. "No longer need I
fear Tario--he has done his worst, and failed. Why not indeed?
"Stay, friends," he continued. "Would you see Lothar
in all her glory?"
Carthoris and Thuvia nodded their assent, more out
of courtesy than because they fully grasped the import
of his mutterings.
Jav gazed at them penetratingly for an instant, then,
with a wave of his hand, cried: "Look!"
The sight that met them was awe-inspiring. Where
before there had been naught but deserted pavements
and scarlet swards, yawning windows and tenantless
doors, now swarmed a countless multitude of happy,
"It is the past," said Jav in a low voice. "They do
not see us--they but live the old dead past of ancient
Lothar--the dead and crumbled Lothar of antiquity,
which stood upon the shore of Throxus, mightiest of
the five oceans.
"See those fine, upstanding men swinging along the
broad avenue? See the young girls and the women smile
upon them? See the men greet them with love and respect?
Those be seafarers coming up from their ships which lie
at the quays at the city's edge.
"Brave men, they--ah, but the glory of Lothar has faded!
See their weapons. They alone bore arms, for they crossed
the five seas to strange places where dangers were.
With their passing passed the martial spirit of the
Lotharians, leaving, as the ages rolled by, a race of
"We hated war, and so we trained not our youth in
warlike ways. Thus followed our undoing, for when the
seas dried and the green hordes encroached upon us we
could do naught but flee. But we remembered the
seafaring bowmen of the days of our glory--it is the
memory of these which we hurl upon our enemies."
As Jav ceased speaking, the picture faded, and once more,
the three took up their way toward the distant gates,
along deserted avenues.
Twice they sighted Lotharians of flesh and blood. At
sight of them and the huge banth which they must have
recognized as Komal, the citizens turned and fled.
"They will carry word of our flight to Tario," cried Jav,
"and soon he will send his bowmen after us. Let us hope
that our theory is correct, and that their shafts are
powerless against minds cognizant of their unreality.
Otherwise we are doomed.
"Explain, red man, to the woman the truths that I
have explained to you, that she may meet the arrows
with a stronger counter-suggestion of immunity."
Carthoris did as Jav bid him; but they came to the great
gates without sign of pursuit developing. Here Jav set in
motion the mechanism that rolled the huge, wheel-like
gate aside, and a moment later the three, accompanied
by the banth, stepped out into the plain before Lothar.
Scarce had they covered a hundred yards when the
sound of many men shouting arose behind them. As
they turned they saw a company of bowmen debouching
upon the plain from the gate through which they had
but just passed.
Upon the wall above the gate were a number of
Lotharians, among whom Jav recognized Tario. The
jeddak stood glaring at them, evidently concentrating all
the forces of his trained mind upon them. That he was
making a supreme effort to render his imaginary creatures
deadly was apparent.
Jav turned white, and commenced to tremble. At the
crucial moment he appeared to lose the courage of his
conviction. The great banth turned back toward the
advancing bowmen and growled. Carthoris placed himself
between Thuvia and the enemy and, facing them,
awaited the outcome of their charge.
Suddenly an inspiration came to Carthoris.
"Hurl your own bowmen against Tario's!" he cried to Jav.
"Let us see a materialized battle between two mentalities."
The suggestion seemed to hearten the Lotharian, and
in another moment the three stood behind solid ranks
of huge bowmen who hurled taunts and menaces at the
advancing company emerging from the walled city.
Jav was a new man the moment his battalions stood
between him and Tario. One could almost have sworn
the man believed these creatures of his strange hypnotic
power to be real flesh and blood.
With hoarse battle cries they charged the bowmen of Tario.
Barbed shafts flew thick and fast. Men fell, and the
ground was red with gore.
Carthoris and Thuvia had difficulty in reconciling the
reality of it all with their knowledge of the truth.
They saw utan after utan march from the gate in perfect
step to reinforce the outnumbered company which Tario
had first sent forth to arrest them.
They saw Jav's forces grow correspondingly until all
about them rolled a sea of fighting, cursing warriors,
and the dead lay in heaps about the field.
Jav and Tario seemed to have forgotten all else beside
the struggling bowmen that surged to and fro, filling the
broad field between the forest and the city.
The wood loomed close behind Thuvia and Carthoris.
The latter cast a glance toward Jav.
"Come!" he whispered to the girl. "Let them fight out
their empty battle--neither, evidently, has power to harm
the other. They are like two controversialists hurling
words at one another. While they are engaged we may
as well be devoting our energies to an attempt to find
the passage through the cliffs to the plain beyond."
As he spoke, Jav, turning from the battle for an instant,
caught his words. He saw the girl move to accompany the
Heliumite. A cunning look leaped to the Lotharian's eyes.
The thing that lay beyond that look had been deep
in his heart since first he had laid eyes upon Thuvia
of Ptarth. He had not recognized it, however, until now
that she seemed about to pass out of his existence.
He centred his mind upon the Heliumite and the girl
for an instant.
Carthoris saw Thuvia of Ptarth step forward with
outstretched hand. He was surprised at this sudden softening
toward him, and it was with a full heart that he let his
fingers close upon hers, as together they turned away
from forgotten Lothar, into the woods, and bent their steps
toward the distant mountains.
As the Lotharian had turned toward them, Thuvia had been
surprised to hear Carthoris suddenly voice a new plan.
"Remain here with Jav," she had heard him say, "while
I go to search for the passage through the cliffs."
She had dropped back in surprise and disappointment,
for she knew that there was no reason why she should not
have accompanied him. Certainly she should have been
safer with him than left here alone with the Lotharian.
And Jav watched the two and smiled his cunning smile.
When Carthoris had disappeared within the wood, Thuvia
seated herself apathetically upon the scarlet sward to
watch the seemingly interminable struggles of the bowmen.
The long afternoon dragged its weary way toward darkness,
and still the imaginary legions charged and retreated.
The sun was about to set when Tario commenced to withdraw
his troops slowly toward the city.
His plan for cessation of hostilities through the night
evidently met with Jav's entire approval, for he caused
his forces to form themselves in orderly utans and march
just within the edge of the wood, where they were soon
busily engaged in preparing their evening meal, and
spreading down their sleeping silks and furs for the night.
Thuvia could scarce repress a smile as she noted the
scrupulous care with which Jav's imaginary men attended
to each tiny detail of deportment as truly as if they had
been real flesh and blood.
Sentries were posted between the camp and the city.
Officers clanked hither and thither issuing commands
and seeing to it that they were properly carried out.
Thuvia turned toward Jav.
"Why is it," she asked, "that you observe such careful
nicety in the regulation of your creatures when Tario
knows quite as well as you that they are but figments
of your brain? Why not permit them simply to dissolve
into thin air until you again require their futile service?"
"You do not understand them," replied Jav. "While they
exist they are real. I do but call them into being now,
and in a way direct their general actions. But thereafter,
until I dissolve them, they are as actual as you or I.
Their officers command them, under my guidance. I am
the general--that is all. And the psychological effect upon
the enemy is far greater than were I to treat them merely
as substanceless vagaries.
"Then, too," continued the Lotharian, "there is always
the hope, which with us is little short of belief, that some
day these materializations will merge into the real--that
they will remain, some of them, after we have dissolved
their fellows, and that thus we shall have discovered a
means for perpetuating our dying race.
"Some there are who claim already to have accomplished
the thing. It is generally supposed that the
etherealists have quite a few among their number who
are permanent materializations. It is even said that
such is Tario, but that cannot be, for he existed before
we had discovered the full possibilities of suggestion.
"There are others among us who insist that none of us is real.
That we could not have existed all these ages without material
food and water had we ourselves been material. Although I am
a realist, I rather incline toward this belief myself.
"It seems well and sensibly based upon the belief that
our ancient forbears developed before their extinction
such wondrous mentalities that some of the stronger minds
among them lived after the death of their bodies--that
we are but the deathless minds of individuals long dead.
"It would appear possible, and yet in so far as I am
concerned I have all the attributes of corporeal existence.
I eat, I sleep"--he paused, casting a meaning look upon
the girl--"I love!"
Thuvia could not mistake the palpable meaning of his
words and expression. She turned away with a little shrug
of disgust that was not lost upon the Lotharian.
He came close to her and seized her arm.
"Why not Jav?" he cried. "Who more honourable
than the second of the world's most ancient race?
Your Heliumite? He has gone. He has deserted you
to your fate to save himself. Come, be Jav's!"
Thuvia of Ptarth rose to her full height, her lifted
shoulder turned toward the man, her haughty chin upraised,
a scornful twist to her lips.
"You lie!" she said quietly, "the Heliumite knows less
of disloyalty than he knows of fear, and of fear he is as
ignorant as the unhatched young."
"Then where is he?" taunted the Lotharian. "I tell you
he has fled the valley. He has left you to your fate.
But Jav will see that it is a pleasant one. To-morrow we
shall return into Lothar at the head of my victorious army,
and I shall be jeddak and you shall be my consort. Come!"
And he attempted to crush her to his breast.
The girl struggled to free herself, striking at the man
with her metal armlets. Yet still he drew her toward him,
until both were suddenly startled by a hideous growl that
rumbled from the dark wood close behind them.
KAR KOMAK, THE BOWMAN
As Carthoris moved through the forest toward the distant
cliffs with Thuvia's hand still tight pressed in his,
he wondered a little at the girl's continued silence,
yet the contact of her cool palm against his was so
pleasant that he feared to break the spell of her
new-found reliance in him by speaking.
Onward through the dim wood they passed until the
shadows of the quick coming Martian night commenced to
close down upon them. Then it was that Carthoris turned
to speak to the girl at his side.
They must plan together for the future. It was his idea
to pass through the cliffs at once if they could locate
the passage, and he was quite positive that they were now
close to it; but he wanted her assent to the proposition.
As his eyes rested upon her, he was struck by her
strangely ethereal appearance. She seemed suddenly to
have dissolved into the tenuous substance of a dream,
and as he continued to gaze upon her, she faded slowly
from his sight.
For an instant he was dumbfounded, and then the whole
truth flashed suddenly upon him. Jav had caused him to
believe that Thuvia was accompanying him through the
wood while, as a matter of fact, he had detained the
girl for himself!
Carthoris was horrified. He cursed himself for his stupidity,
and yet he knew that the fiendish power which the Lotharian
had invoked to confuse him might have deceived any.
Scarce had he realized the truth than he had started to
retrace his steps toward Lothar, but now he moved at a
trot, the Earthly thews that he had inherited from his
father carrying him swiftly over the soft carpet of fallen
leaves and rank grass.
Thuria's brilliant light flooded the plain before the
walled city of Lothar as Carthoris broke from the wood
opposite the great gate that had given the fugitives egress
from the city earlier in the day.
At first he saw no indication that there was another
than himself anywhere about. The plain was deserted.
No myriad bowmen camped now beneath the overhanging
verdure of the giant trees. No gory heaps of tortured
dead defaced the beauty of the scarlet sward.
All was silence. All was peace.
The Heliumite, scarce pausing at the forest's verge,
pushed on across the plain toward the city, when presently
he descried a huddled form in the grass at his feet.
It was the body of a man, lying prone. Carthoris turned
the figure over upon its back. It was Jav, but torn and
mangled almost beyond recognition.
The prince bent low to note if any spark of life remained,
and as he did so the lids raised and dull, suffering
eyes looked up into his.
"The Princess of Ptarth!" cried Carthoris. "Where is she?
Answer me, man, or I complete the work that another has
so well begun."
"Komal," muttered Jav. "He sprang upon me . . . and
would have devoured me but for the girl. Then they went
away together into the wood--the girl and the great
banth . . . her fingers twined in his tawny mane."
"Which way went they?" asked Carthoris.
"There," replied Jav faintly, "toward the passage
through the cliffs."
The Prince of Helium waited to hear no more, but
springing to his feet, raced back again into the forest.
It was dawn when he reached the mouth of the dark tunnel
that would lead him to the other world beyond this valley of
ghostly memories and strange hypnotic influences and menaces.
Within the long, dark passages he met with no accident
or obstacle, coming at last into the light of day beyond
the mountains, and no great distance from the southern
verge of the domains of the Torquasians, not more
than one hundred and fifty haad at the most.
From the boundary of Torquas to the city of Aaanthor
is a distance of some two hundred haads, so that the
Heliumite had before him a journey of more than one
hundred and fifty Earth miles between him and Aaanthor.
He could at best but hazard a chance guess that toward
Aaanthor Thuvia would take her flight. There lay
the nearest water, and there might be expected some day
a rescuing party from her father's empire; for Carthoris
knew Thuvan Dihn well enough to know that he would
leave no stone unturned until he had tracked down the
truth as to his daughter's abduction, and learned all that
there might be to learn of her whereabouts.
He realized, of course, that the trick which had laid
suspicion upon him would greatly delay the discovery
of the truth, but little did he guess to what vast
proportions had the results of the villainy of Astok
of Dusar already grown.
Even as he emerged from the mouth of the passage to
look across the foothills in the direction of Aaanthor,
a Ptarth battle fleet was winging its majestic way slowly
toward the twin cities of Helium, while from far distant
Kaol raced another mighty armada to join forces with its ally.
He did not know that in the face of the circumstantial
evidence against him even his own people had commenced
to entertain suspicions that he might have stolen the
He did not know of the lengths to which the Dusarians
had gone to disrupt the friendship and alliance which
existed between the three great powers of the eastern
hemisphere--Helium, Ptarth and Kaol.
How Dusarian emissaries had found employment in important
posts in the foreign offices of the three great nations,
and how, through these men, messages from one jeddak to
another were altered and garbled until the patience and
pride of the three rulers and former friends could no
longer endure the humiliations and insults contained
in these falsified papers--not any of this he knew.
Nor did he know how even to the last John Carter,
Warlord of Mars, had refused to permit the jeddak of
Helium to declare war against either Ptarth or Kaol,
because of his implicit belief in his son, and that
eventually all would be satisfactorily explained.
And now two great fleets were moving upon Helium, while
the Dusarian spies at the court of Tardos Mors saw to it
that the twin cities remained in ignorance of their danger.
War had been declared by Thuvan Dihn, but the messenger
who had been dispatched with the proclamation had been
a Dusarian who had seen to it that no word of warning
reached the twin cities of the approach of a hostile fleet.
For several days diplomatic relations had been severed
between Helium and her two most powerful neighbors,
and with the departure of the ministers had come a
total cessation of wireless communication between the
disputants, as is usual upon Barsoom.
But of all this Carthoris was ignorant. All that interested
him at present was the finding of Thuvia of Ptarth. Her trail
beside that of the huge banth had been well marked to the tunnel,
and was once more visible leading southward into the foothills.
As he followed rapidly downward toward the dead sea-
bottom, where he knew he must lose the spoor in the
resilient ochre vegetation, he was suddenly surprised to
see a naked man approaching him from the north-east.
As the fellow drew closer, Carthoris halted to await his coming.
He knew that the man was unarmed, and that he was apparently
a Lotharian, for his skin was white and his hair auburn.
He approached the Heliumite without sign of fear,
and when quite close called out the cheery Barsoomian
"kaor" of greeting.
"Who are you?" asked Carthoris.
"I am Kar Komak, odwar of the bowmen," replied the other.
"A strange thing has happened to me. For ages Tario has
been bringing me into existence as he needed the services
of the army of his mind. Of all the bowmen it has
been Kar Komak who has been oftenest materialized.
"For a long time Tario has been concentrating his
mind upon my permanent materialization. It has been
an obsession with him that some day this thing could
be accomplished and the future of Lothar assured.
He asserted that matter was nonexistent except in the
imagination of man--that all was mental, and so he believed
that by persisting in his suggestion he could eventually make
of me a permanent suggestion in the minds of all creatures.
"Yesterday he succeeded, but at such a time! It must
have come all unknown to him, as it came to me without
my knowledge, as, with my horde of yelling bowmen, I
pursued the fleeing Torquasians back to their ochre plains.
"As darkness settled and the time came for us to
fade once more into thin air, I suddenly found myself
alone upon the edge of the great plain which lies yonder
at the foot of the low hills.
"My men were gone back to the nothingness from which
they had sprung, but I remained--naked and unarmed.
"At first I could not understand, but at last came a
realization of what had occurred. Tario's long suggestions
had at last prevailed, and Kar Komak had become a reality
in the world of men; but my harness and my weapons
had faded away with my fellows, leaving me naked and
unarmed in a hostile country far from Lothar."
"You wish to return to Lothar?" asked Carthoris.
"No!" replied Kar Komak quickly. "I have no love for Tario.
Being a creature of his mind, I know him too well.
He is cruel and tyrannical--a master I have no desire to serve.
Now that he has succeeded in accomplishing my permanent
materialization, he will be unbearable, and he will go on
until he has filled Lothar with his creatures.
I wonder if he has succeeded as well with the maid of Lothar."
"I thought there were no women there," said Carthoris.
"In a hidden apartment in the palace of Tario," replied
Kar Komak, "the jeddak has maintained the suggestion of
a beautiful girl, hoping that some day she would become
permanent. I have seen her there. She is wonderful!
But for her sake I hope that Tario succeeds not so well
with her as he has with me.
"Now, red man, I have told you of myself--what of you?"
Carthoris liked the face and manner of the bowman.
There had been no sign of doubt or fear in his expression
as he had approached the heavily-armed Heliumite,
and he had spoken directly and to the point.
So the Prince of Helium told the bowman of Lothar who he was
and what adventure had brought him to this far country.
"Good!" exclaimed the other, when he had done. "Kar
Komak will accompany you. Together we shall find the
Princess of Ptarth and with you Kar Komak will return
to the world of men--such a world as he knew in the
long-gone past when the ships of mighty Lothar ploughed
angry Throxus, and the roaring surf beat against the
barrier of these parched and dreary hills."
"What mean you?" asked Carthoris. "Had you really a
former actual existence?"
"Most assuredly," replied Kar Komak. "In my day I
commanded the fleets of Lothar--mightiest of all the
fleets that sailed the five salt seas.
"Wherever men lived upon Barsoom there was the name
of Kar Komak known and respected. Peaceful were the
land races in those distant days--only the seafarers
were warriors; but now has the glory of the past faded,
nor did I think until I met you that there remained upon
Barsoom a single person of our own mould who lived and
loved and fought as did the ancient seafarers of my time.
"Ah, but it will seem good to see men once again--real men!
Never had I much respect for the landsmen of my day.
They remained in their walled cities wasting their
time in play, depending for their protection entirely
upon the sea race. And the poor creatures who remain,
the Tarios and Javs of Lothar, are even worse than their
Carthoris was a trifle sceptical as to the wisdom
of permitting the stranger to attach himself to him.
There was always the chance that he was but the essence
of some hypnotic treachery which Tario or Jav was attempting
to exert upon the Heliumite; and yet, so sincere had been
the manner and the words of the bowman, so much the
fighting man did he seem, but Carthoris could not
find it in his heart to doubt him.
The outcome of the matter was that he gave the naked
odwar leave to accompany him, and together they set
out upon the spoor of Thuvia and Komal.
Down to the ochre sea-bottom the trail led. There it
disappeared, as Carthoris had known that it would; but where
it entered the plain its direction had been toward Aaanthor
and so toward Aaanthor the two turned their faces.
It was a long and tedious journey, fraught with many dangers.
The bowman could not travel at the pace set by Carthoris,
whose muscles carried him with great rapidity over the
face of the small planet, the force of gravity of which
exerts so much less retarding power than that of the Earth.
Fifty miles a day is a fair average for a Barsoomian,
but the son of John Carter might easily have covered
a hundred or more miles had he cared to desert his
All the way they were in constant danger of discovery
by roving bands of Torquasians, and especially was this
true before they reached the boundary of Torquas.
Good fortune was with them, however, and although
they sighted two detachments of the savage green men,
they were not themselves seen.
And so they came, upon the morning of the third day,
within sight of the glistening domes of distant Aaanthor.
Throughout the journey Carthoris had ever strained his
eyes ahead in search of Thuvia and the great banth; but
not till now had he seen aught to give him hope.
This morning, far ahead, half-way between themselves
and Aaanthor, the men saw two tiny figures moving toward
the city. For a moment they watched them intently.
Then Carthoris, convinced, leaped forward at a rapid run,
Kar Komak following as swiftly as he could.
The Heliumite shouted to attract the girl's attention,
and presently he was rewarded by seeing her turn and
stand looking toward him. At her side the great banth
stood with up-pricked ears, watching the approaching man.
Not yet could Thuvia of Ptarth have recognized Carthoris,
though that it was he she must have been convinced,
for she waited there for him without sign of fear.
Presently he saw her point toward the northwest, beyond him.
Without slackening his pace, he turned his eyes in
the direction she indicated.
Racing silently over the thick vegetation, not half a
mile behind, came a score of fierce green warriors,
charging him upon their mighty thoats.
To their right was Kar Komak, naked and unarmed,
yet running valiantly toward Carthoris and shouting warning
as though he, too, had but just discovered the silent,
menacing company that moved so swiftly forward with
couched spears and ready long-swords.
Carthoris shouted to the Lotharian, warning him back,
for he knew that he could but uselessly sacrifice his
life by placing himself, all unarmed, in the path of
the cruel and relentless savages.
But Kar Komak never hesitated. With shouts of
encouragement to his new friend, he hurried onward toward
the Prince of Helium. The red man's heart leaped in
response to this exhibition of courage and self-sacrifice.
He regretted now that he had not thought to give Kar Komak
one of his swords; but it was too late to attempt it, for
should he wait for the Lotharian to overtake him or return
to meet him, the Torquasians would reach Thuvia of
Ptarth before he could do so.
Even as it was, it would be nip and tuck as to who
came first to her side.
Again he turned his face in her direction, and now,
from Aaanthor way, he saw a new force hastening
toward them--two medium-sized war craft--and even at
the distance they still were from him he discerned the
device of Dusar upon their bows.
Now, indeed, seemed little hope for Thuvia of Ptarth.
With savage warriors of the hordes of Torquas charging
toward her from one direction, and no less implacable
enemies, in the form of the creatures of Astok,
Prince of Dusar, bearing down upon her from another,
while only a banth, a red warrior, and an unarmed bowman
were near to defend her, her plight was quite hopeless
and her cause already lost ere ever it was contested.
As Thuvia saw Carthoris approaching, she felt again
that unaccountable sensation of entire relief from
responsibility and fear that she had experienced upon a
former occasion. Nor could she account for it while her mind
still tried to convince her heart that the Prince of Helium
had been instrumental in her abduction from her father's court.
She only knew that she was glad when he was by her side,
and that with him there all things seemed possible--even
such impossible things as escape from her present predicament.
Now had he stopped, panting, before her. A brave smile of
encouragement lit his face.
"Courage, my princess," he whispered.
To the girl's memory flashed the occasion upon which
he had used those same words--in the throne-room of
Tario of Lothar as they had commenced to slip down the
sinking marble floor toward an unknown fate.
Then she had not chidden him for the use of that familiar
salutation, nor did she chide him now, though she was
promised to another. She wondered at herself--flushing
at her own turpitude; for upon Barsoom it is a shameful
thing for a woman to listen to those two words from
another than her husband or her betrothed.
Carthoris saw her flush of mortification, and in an instant
regretted his words. There was but a moment before the
green warriors would be upon them.
"Forgive me!" said the man in a low voice. "Let my
great love be my excuse--that, and the belief that I have
but a moment more of life," and with the words he turned
to meet the foremost of the green warriors.
The fellow was charging with couched spear, but Carthoris
leaped to one side, and as the great thoat and its
rider hurtled harmlessly past him he swung his long-sword
in a mighty cut that clove the green carcass in twain.
At the same moment Kar Komak leaped with bare hands
clawing at the leg of another of the huge riders; the
balance of the horde raced in to close quarters, dismounting
the better to wield their favourite long-swords; the
Dusarian fliers touched the soft carpet of the ochre-clad
sea-bottom, disgorging fifty fighting men from their bowels;
and into the swirling sea of cutting, slashing swords
sprang Komal, the great banth.
GREEN MEN AND WHITE APES
A Torquasian sword smote a glancing blow across the
forehead of Carthoris. He had a fleeting vision of soft
arms about his neck, and warm lips close to his before
he lost consciousness.
How long he lay there senseless he could not guess;
but when he opened his eyes again he was alone, except
for the bodies of the dead green men and Dusarians,
and the carcass of a great banth that lay half across his own.
Thuvia was gone, nor was the body of Kar Komak among the dead.
Weak from loss of blood, Carthoris made his way
slowly toward Aaanthor, reaching its outskirts at dark.
He wanted water more than any other thing, and so
he kept on up a broad avenue toward the great central
plaza, where he knew the precious fluid was to be found
in a half-ruined building opposite the great palace of the
ancient jeddak, who once had ruled this mighty city.
Disheartened and discouraged by the strange sequence
of events that seemed fore-ordained to thwart his every
attempt to serve the Princess of Ptarth, he paid little
or no attention to his surroundings, moving through the
deserted city as though no great white apes lurked in the
black shadows of the mystery-haunted piles that flanked
the broad avenues and the great plaza.
But if Carthoris was careless of his surroundings, not
so other eyes that watched his entrance into the plaza,
and followed his slow footsteps toward the marble pile
that housed the tiny, half-choked spring whose water one
might gain only by scratching a deep hole in the red
sand that covered it.
And as the Heliumite entered the small building a dozen mighty,
grotesque figures emerged from the doorway of the palace to
speed noiselessly across the plaza toward him.
For half an hour Carthoris remained in the building,
digging for water and gaining the few much-needed drops
which were the fruits of his labour. Then he rose and
slowly left the structure. Scarce had he stepped beyond the
threshold than twelve Torquasian warriors leaped upon him.
No time then to draw long-sword; but swift from his
harness flew his long, slim dagger, and as he went down
beneath them more than a single green heart ceased
beating at the bite of that keen point.
Then they overpowered him and took his weapons away;
but only nine of the twelve warriors who had crossed
the plaza returned with their prize.
They dragged their prisoner roughly to the palace pits,
where in utter darkness they chained him with rusty links
to the solid masonry of the wall.
"To-morrow Thar Ban will speak with you," they said.
"Now he sleeps. But great will be his pleasure when he
learns who has wandered amongst us--and great will
be the pleasure of Hortan Gur when Thar Ban drags
before him the mad fool who dared prick the great
jeddak with his sword."
Then they left him to the silence and the darkness.
For what seemed hours Carthoris squatted upon the
stone floor of his prison, his back against the wall in
which was sunk the heavy eye-bolt that secured the
chain which held him.
Then, from out of the mysterious blackness before him,
there came to his ears the sound of naked feet moving
stealthily upon stone--approaching nearer and nearer to
where he lay, unarmed and defenceless.
Minutes passed--minutes that seemed hours--during which
time periods of sepulchral silence would be followed
by a repetition of the uncanny scraping of naked
feet slinking warily upon him.
At last he heard a sudden rush of unshod soles
across the empty blackness, and at a little distance a
scuffling sound, heavy breathing, and once what he
thought the muttered imprecation of a man battling
against great odds. Then the clanging of a chain, and a
noise as of the snapping back against stone of a broken link.
Again came silence. But for a moment only.
Now he heard once more the soft feet approaching him.
He thought that he discerned wicked eyes gleaming
fearfully at him through the darkness. He knew that he
could hear the heavy breathing of powerful lungs.
Then came the rush of many feet toward him, and
the THINGS were upon him.
Hands terminating in manlike fingers clutched at his
throat and arms and legs. Hairy bodies strained and
struggled against his own smooth hide as he battled in
grim silence against these horrid foemen in the darkness
of the pits of ancient Aaanthor.
Thewed like some giant god was Carthoris of Helium,
yet in the clutches of these unseen creatures of the pit's
Stygian night he was helpless as a frail woman.
Yet he battled on, striking futile blows against great,
hispid breasts he could not see; feeling thick, squat
throats beneath his fingers; the drool of saliva upon
his cheek, and hot, foul breath in his nostrils.
Fangs, too, mighty fangs, he knew were close, and
why they did not sink into his flesh he could not guess.
At last he became aware of the mighty surging of a
number of his antagonists back and forth upon the great
chain that held him, and presently came the same sound
that he had heard at a little distance from him a short
time before he had been attacked--his chain had parted
and the broken end snapped back against the stone wall.
Now he was seized upon either side and dragged at
a rapid pace through the dark corridors--toward what
fate he could not even guess.
At first he had thought his foes might be of the tribe
of Torquas, but their hairy bodies belied that belief.
Now he was at last quite sure of their identity,
though why they had not killed and devoured him at
once he could not imagine.
After half an hour or more of rapid racing through
the underground passages that are a distinguishing
feature of all Barsoomian cities, modern as well
as ancient, his captors suddenly emerged into the
moonlight of a courtyard, far from the central plaza.
Immediately Carthoris saw that he was in the
power of a tribe of the great white apes of Barsoom.
All that had caused him doubt before as to the identity
of his attackers was the hairiness of their breasts,
for the white apes are entirely hairless except for
a great shock bristling from their heads.
Now he saw the cause of that which had deceived him--
across the chest of each of them were strips of hairy hide,
usually of banth, in imitation of the harness of the green
warriors who so often camped at their deserted city.
Carthoris had read of the existence of tribes of apes that
seemed to be progressing slowly toward higher standards
of intelligence. Into the hands of such, he realized,
he had fallen; but--what were their intentions toward him?
As he glanced about the courtyard, he saw fully fifty
of the hideous beasts, squatting on their haunches,
and at a little distance from him another human being,
As his eyes met those of his fellow-captive a smile
lit the other's face, and: "Kaor, red man!" burst from
his lips. It was Kar Komak, the bowman.
"Kaor!" cried Carthoris, in response. "How came you
here, and what befell the princess?"
"Red men like yourself descended in mighty ships that
sailed the air, even as the great ships of my distant
day sailed the five seas," replied Kar Komak. "They
fought with the green men of Torquas. They slew
Komal, god of Lothar. I thought they were your friends,
and I was glad when finally those of them who survived
the battle carried the red girl to one of the ships and
sailed away with her into the safety of the high air.
"Then the green men seized me, and carried me to a great,
empty city, where they chained me to a wall in a black pit.
Afterward came these and dragged me hither.
And what of you, red man?"
Carthoris related all that had befallen him, and as
the two men talked the great apes squatted about them
watching them intently.
"What are we to do now?" asked the bowman.
"Our case looks rather hopeless," replied Carthoris ruefully.
"These creatures are born man-eaters. Why they have not
already devoured us I cannot imagine--there!"
he whispered. "See? The end is coming."
Kar Komak looked in the direction Carthoris indicated
to see a huge ape advancing with a mighty bludgeon.
"It is thus they like best to kill their prey," said Carthoris.
"Must we die without a struggle?" asked Kar Komak.
"Not I," replied Carthoris, "though I know how futile
our best defence must be against these mighty brutes!
Oh, for a long-sword!"
"Or a good bow," added Kar Komak, "and a utan of bowmen."
At the words Carthoris half sprang to his feet, only
to be dragged roughly down by his guard.
"Kar Komak!" he cried. "Why cannot you do what Tario and
Jav did? They had no bowmen other than those of their
own creation. You must know the secret of their power.
Call forth your own utan, Kar Komak!"
The Lotharian looked at Carthoris in wide-eyed
astonishment as the full purport of the
suggestion bore in upon his understanding.
"Why not?" he murmured.
The savage ape bearing the mighty bludgeon was slinking
toward Carthoris. The Heliumite's fingers were working
as he kept his eyes upon his executioner. Kar Komak
bent his gaze penetratingly upon the apes. The effort of
his mind was evidenced in the sweat upon his contracted brows.
The creature that was to slay the red man was almost
within arm's reach of his prey when Carthoris heard
a hoarse shout from the opposite side of the courtyard.
In common with the squatting apes and the demon with
the club he turned in the direction of the sound,
to see a company of sturdy bowmen rushing from the
doorway of a near-by building.
With screams of rage the apes leaped to their feet to
meet the charge. A volley of arrows met them half-way,
sending a dozen rolling lifeless to the ground. Then the
apes closed with their adversaries. All their attention was
occupied by the attackers--even the guard had deserted
the prisoners to join in the battle.
"Come!" whispered Kar Komak. "Now may we escape
while their attention is diverted from us by my bowmen."
"And leave those brave fellows leaderless?" cried Carthoris,
whose loyal nature revolted at the merest suggestion
of such a thing.
Kar Komak laughed.
"You forget," he said, "that they are but thin air--
figments of my brain. They will vanish, unscathed, when
we have no further need for them. Praised be your
first ancestor, redman, that you thought of this chance
in time! It would never have occurred to me to imagine
that I might wield the same power that brought me into
"You are right," said Carthoris. "Still, I hate to
leave them, though there is naught else to do," and so
the two turned from the courtyard, and making their way
into one of the broad avenues, crept stealthily in the
shadows of the building toward the great central plaza
upon which were the buildings occupied by the green
warriors when they visited the deserted city.
When they had come to the plaza's edge Carthoris halted.
"Wait here," he whispered. "I go to fetch thoats,
since on foot we may never hope to escape the clutches
of these green fiends."
To reach the courtyard where the thoats were kept
it was necessary for Carthoris to pass through one of
the buildings which surrounded the square. Which were
occupied and which not he could not even guess, so he
was compelled to take considerable chances to gain the
enclosure in which he could hear the restless beasts
squealing and quarrelling among themselves.
Chance carried him through a dark doorway into a
large chamber in which lay a score or more green warriors
wrapped in their sleeping silks and furs. Scarce had
Carthoris passed through the short hallway that connected
the door of the building and the great room beyond it
than he became aware of the presence of something or some
one in the hallway through which he had but just passed.
He heard a man yawn, and then, behind him, he saw
the figure of a sentry rise from where the fellow had
been dozing, and stretching himself resume his wakeful
Carthoris realized that he must have passed within
a foot of the warrior, doubtless rousing him from his
slumber. To retreat now would be impossible. Yet to
cross through that roomful of sleeping warriors seemed
almost equally beyond the pale of possibility.
Carthoris shrugged his broad shoulders and chose the
lesser evil. Warily he entered the room. At his right,
against the wall, leaned several swords and rifles and
spears--extra weapons which the warriors had stacked
here ready to their hands should there be a night alarm
calling them suddenly from slumber. Beside each sleeper
lay his weapon--these were never far from their owners
from childhood to death.
The sight of the swords made the young man's palm itch.
He stepped quickly to them, selecting two short-swords--
one for Kar Komak, the other for himself; also some
trappings for his naked comrade.
Then he started directly across the centre of the
apartment among the sleeping Torquasians.
Not a man of them moved until Carthoris had completed
more than half of the short though dangerous journey.
Then a fellow directly in his path turned restlessly
upon his sleeping silks and furs.
The Heliumite paused above him, one of the short-swords
in readiness should the warrior awaken. For what
seemed an eternity to the young prince the green man
continued to move uneasily upon his couch, then, as
though actuated by springs, he leaped to his feet and
faced the red man.
Instantly Carthoris struck, but not before a savage
grunt escaped the other's lips. In an instant the room
was in turmoil. Warriors leaped to their feet, grasping
their weapons as they rose, and shouting to one another
for an explanation of the disturbance.
To Carthoris all within the room was plainly visible
in the dim light reflected from without, for the further
moon stood directly at zenith; but to the eyes of the
newly-awakened green men objects as yet had not taken
on familiar forms--they but saw vaguely the figures of
warriors moving about their apartment.
Now one stumbled against the corpse of him whom
Carthoris had slain. The fellow stooped and his hand
came in contact with the cleft skull. He saw about him
the giant figures of other green men, and so he jumped
to the only conclusion that was open to him.
"The Thurds!" he cried. "The Thurds are upon us!
Rise, warriors of Torquas, and drive home your swords
within the hearts of Torquas' ancient enemies!"
Instantly the green men began to fall upon one another
with naked swords. Their savage lust of battle was
aroused. To fight, to kill, to die with cold steel
buried in their vitals! Ah, that to them was Nirvana.
Carthoris was quick to guess their error and take
advantage of it. He knew that in the pleasure of killing
they might fight on long after they had discovered their
mistake, unless their attention was distracted by sight
of the real cause of the altercation, and so he lost no
time in continuing across the room to the doorway upon
the opposite side, which opened into the inner court,
where the savage thoats were squealing and fighting
Once here he had no easy task before him. To catch
and mount one of these habitually rageful and intractable
beasts was no child's play under the best of conditions;
but now, when silence and time were such important
considerations, it might well have seemed quite hopeless
to a less resourceful and optimistic man than the son
of the great warlord.
From his father he had learned much concerning the
traits of these mighty beasts, and from Tars Tarkas,
also, when he had visited that great green jeddak among
his horde at Thark. So now he centred upon the work
in hand all that he had ever learned about them from
others and from his own experience, for he, too,
had ridden and handled them many times.
The temper of the thoats of Torquas appeared even
shorter than their vicious cousins among the Tharks and
Warhoons, and for a time it seemed unlikely that he
should escape a savage charge on the part of a couple
of old bulls that circled, squealing, about him; but at
last he managed to get close enough to one of them
to touch the beast. With the feel of his hand upon
the sleek hide the creature quieted, and in answer to
the telepathic command of the red man sank to its knees.
In a moment Carthoris was upon its back, guiding
it toward the great gate that leads from the courtyard
through a large building at one end into an avenue beyond.
The other bull, still squealing and enraged, followed
after his fellow. There was no bridle upon either, for
these strange creatures are controlled entirely by
suggestion--when they are controlled at all.
Even in the hands of the giant green men bridle reins
would be hopelessly futile against the mad savagery and
mastodonic strength of the thoat, and so they are guided
by that strange telepathic power with which the men
of Mars have learned to communicate in a crude way
with the lower orders of their planet.
With difficulty Carthoris urged the two beasts to the
gate, where, leaning down, he raised the latch. Then the
thoat that he was riding placed his great shoulder to the
skeel-wood planking, pushed through, and a moment later
the man and the two beasts were swinging silently down
the avenue to the edge of the plaza, where Kar Komak hid.
Here Carthoris found considerable difficulty in subduing
the second thoat, and as Kar Komak had never before
ridden one of the beasts, it seemed a most hopeless job;
but at last the bowman managed to scramble to the
sleek back, and again the two beasts fled softly
down the moss-grown avenues toward the open sea-
bottom beyond the city.
All that night and the following day and the second
night they rode toward the north-east. No indication of
pursuit developed, and at dawn of the second day Carthoris
saw in the distance the waving ribbon of great trees
that marked one of the long Barsoomian water-ways.
Immediately they abandoned their thoats and approached
the cultivated district on foot. Carthoris also
discarded the metal from his harness, or such of it as
might serve to identify him as a Heliumite, or of royal
blood, for he did not know to what nation belonged this
waterway, and upon Mars it is always well to assume
every man and nation your enemy until you have
learned the contrary.
It was mid-forenoon when the two at last entered one
of the roads that cut through the cultivated districts
at regular intervals, joining the arid wastes on either
side with the great, white, central highway that follows
through the centre from end to end of the far-reaching,
threadlike farm lands.
The high wall surrounding the fields served as a protection
against surprise by raiding green hordes, as well
as keeping the savage banths and other carnivora from
the domestic animals and the human beings upon the farms.
Carthoris stopped before the first gate he came to,
pounding for admission. The young man who answered
his summons greeted the two hospitably, though he
looked with considerable wonder upon the white skin
and auburn hair of the bowman.
After he had listened for a moment to a partial narration
of their escape from the Torquasians, he invited them within,
took them to his house and bade the servants there prepare
food for them.
As they waited in the low-ceiled, pleasant livingroom
of the farmhouse until the meal should be ready,
Carthoris drew his host into conversation that
he might learn his nationality, and thus the nation
under whose dominion lay the waterway where circumstance
had placed him.
"I am Hal Vas," said the young man, "son of Vas Kor, of
Dusar, a noble in the retinue of Astok, Prince of Dusar.
At present I am Dwar of the Road for this district."
Carthoris was very glad that he had not disclosed his
identity, for though he had no idea of anything that
had transpired since he had left Helium, or that Astok
was at the bottom of all his misfortunes, he well knew
that the Dusarian had no love for him, and that he could
hope for no assistance within the dominions of Dusar.
"And who are you?" asked Hal Vas. "By your appearance
I take you for a fighting man, but I see no insignia
upon your harness. Can it be that you are a panthan?"
Now, these wandering soldiers of fortune are common
upon Barsoom, where most men love to fight. They sell
their services wherever war exists, and in the occasional
brief intervals when there is no organized warfare between
the red nations, they join one of the numerous expeditions
that are constantly being dispatched against the green men
in protection of the waterways that traverse the wilder
portions of the globe.
When their service is over they discard the metal of
the nation they have been serving until they shall have
found a new master. In the intervals they wear no
insignia, their war-worn harness and grim weapons being
sufficient to attest their calling.
The suggestion was a happy one, and Carthoris embraced the
chance it afforded to account satisfactorily for himself.
There was, however, a single drawback. In times of war
such panthans as happened to be within the domain of a
belligerent nation were compelled to don the insignia
of that nation and fight with her warriors.
As far as Carthoris knew Dusar was not at war with
any other nation, but there was never any telling when
one red nation would be flying at the throat of a neighbour,
even though the great and powerful alliance at the head
of which was his father, John Carter, had managed to
maintain a long peace upon the greater portion of Barsoom.
A pleasant smile lighted Hal Vas' face as Carthoris
admitted his vocation.
"It is well," exclaimed the young man, "that you
chanced to come hither, for here you will find the means
of obtaining service in short order. My father, Vas Kor,
is even now with me, having come hither to recruit
a force for the new war against Helium."
TO SAVE DUSAR
Thuvia of Ptarth, battling for more than life against
the lust of Jav, cast a quick glance over her shoulder
toward the forest from which had rumbled the fierce growl.
Jav looked, too.
What they saw filled each with apprehension. It was
Komal, the banth-god, rushing wide-jawed upon them!
Which had he chosen for his prey? Or was it to be both?
They had not long to wait, for though the Lotharian
attempted to hold the girl between himself and the
terrible fangs, the great beast found him at last.
Then, shrieking, he attempted to fly toward Lothar,
after pushing Thuvia bodily into the face of the man-eater.
But his flight was of short duration. In a moment Komal
was upon him, rending his throat and chest with demoniacal fury.
The girl reached their side a moment later, but it was
with difficulty that she tore the mad beast from its prey.
Still growling and casting hungry glances back upon Jav,
the banth at last permitted itself to be led away into the wood.
With her giant protector by her side Thuvia set forth
to find the passage through the cliffs, that she might
attempt the seemingly impossible feat of reaching far-
distant Ptarth across the more than seventeen thousand
haads of savage Barsoom.
She could not believe that Carthoris had deliberately
deserted her, and so she kept a constant watch for him;
but as she bore too far to the north in her search for
the tunnel she passed the Heliumite as he was returning
to Lothar in search of her.
Thuvia of Ptarth was having difficulty in determining
the exact status of the Prince of Helium in her heart.
She could not admit even to herself that she loved him,
and yet she had permitted him to apply to her that
term of endearment and possession to which a Barsoomian
maid should turn deaf ears when voiced by other
lips than those of her husband or fiance--"my princess."
Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol, to whom she was
affianced, commanded her respect and admiration.
Had it been that she had surrendered to her father's
wishes because of pique that the handsome Heliumite had
not taken advantage of his visits to her father's court to
push the suit for her hand that she had been quite sure
he had contemplated since that distant day the two had
sat together upon the carved seat within the gorgeous
Garden of the Jeddaks that graced the inner courtyard
of the palace of Salensus Oll at Kadabra?
Did she love Kulan Tith? Bravely she tried to believe
that she did; but all the while her eyes wandered
through the coming darkness for the figure of a clean-
limbed fighting man--black-haired and grey-eyed. Black
was the hair of Kulan Tith; but his eyes were brown.
It was almost dark when she found the entrance to the tunnel.
Safely she passed through to the hills beyond, and here,
under the bright light of Mars' two moons, she halted
to plan her future action.
Should she wait here in the hope that Carthoris
would return in search of her? Or should she continue
her way north-east toward Ptarth? Where, first, would
Carthoris have gone after leaving the valley of Lothar?
Her parched throat and dry tongue gave her the answer--
toward Aaanthor and water. Well, she, too, would go
first to Aaanthor, where she might find more than
the water she needed.
With Komal by her side she felt little fear, for he
would protect her from all other savage beasts.
Even the great white apes would flee the mighty banth
in terror. Men only need she fear, but she must take
this and many other chances before she could hope to
reach her father's court again.
When at last Carthoris found her, only to be struck
down by the long-sword of a green man, Thuvia prayed
that the same fate might overtake her.
The sight of the red warriors leaping from their fliers had,
for a moment, filled her with renewed hope--hope that Carthoris
of Helium might be only stunned and that they would rescue him;
but when she saw the Dusarian metal upon their harness,
and that they sought only to escape with her alone from
the charging Torquasians, she gave up.
Komal, too, was dead--dead across the body of the Heliumite.
She was, indeed, alone now. There was none to protect her.
The Dusarian warriors dragged her to the deck of the
nearest flier. All about them the green warriors surged
in an attempt to wrest her from the red.
At last those who had not died in the conflict gained
the decks of the two craft. The engines throbbed and
purred--the propellers whirred. Quickly the swift boats
Thuvia of Ptarth glanced about her. A man stood near,
smiling down into her face. With a gasp of recognition
she looked full into his eyes, and then with a little
moan of terror and understanding she buried her face in
her hands and sank to the polished skeel-wood deck. It
was Astok, Prince of Dusar, who bent above her.
Swift were the fliers of Astok of Dusar, and great the
need for reaching his father's court as quickly as possible,
for the fleets of war of Helium and Ptarth and Kaol were
scattered far and wide above Barsoom. Nor would it go
well with Astok or Dusar should any one of them discover
Thuvia of Ptarth a prisoner upon his own vessel.
Aaanthor lies in fifty south latitude, and forty east of
Horz, the deserted seat of ancient Barsoomian culture and
learning, while Dusar lies fifteen degrees north of the
equator and twenty degrees east from Horz.
Great though the distance is, the fliers covered it
without a stop. Long before they had reached their
destination Thuvia of Ptarth had learned several things
that cleared up the doubts that had assailed her mind for
many days. Scarce had they risen above Aaanthor than
she recognized one of the crew as a member of the crew
of that other flier that had borne her from her father's
gardens to Aaanthor. The presence of Astok upon the
craft settled the whole question. She had been stolen by
emissaries of the Dusarian prince--Carthoris of Helium
had had nothing to do with it.
Nor did Astok deny the charge when she accused him.
He only smiled and pleaded his love for her.
"I would sooner mate with a white ape!" she cried,
when he would have urged his suit.
Astok glowered sullenly upon her.
"You shall mate with me, Thuvia of Ptarth," he
growled, "or, by your first ancestor, you shall have
your preference--and mate with a white ape."
The girl made no reply, nor could he draw her into
conversation during the balance of the journey.
As a matter of fact Astok was a trifle awed by the
proportions of the conflict which his abduction of the
Ptarthian princess had induced, nor was he over
comfortable with the weight of responsibility which the
possession of such a prisoner entailed.
His one thought was to get her to Dusar, and there let his
father assume the responsibility. In the meantime he would
be as careful as possible to do nothing to affront her,
lest they all might be captured and he have to account
for his treatment of the girl to one of the great jeddaks
whose interest centred in her.
And so at last they came to Dusar, where Astok hid his
prisoner in a secret room high in the east tower of
his own palace. He had sworn his men to silence in the
matter of the identity of the girl, for until he had seen
his father, Nutus, Jeddak of Dusar, he dared not let any
one know whom he had brought with him from the south.
But when he appeared in the great audience chamber
before the cruel-lipped man who was his sire, he found
his courage oozing, and he dared not speak of the princess
hid within his palace. It occurred to him to test his
father's sentiments upon the subject, and so he told
a tale of capturing one who claimed to know the
whereabouts of Thuvia of Ptarth.
"And if you command it, Sire," he said, "I will go and
capture her--fetching her here to Dusar."
Nutus frowned and shook his head.
"You have done enough already to set Ptarth and
Kaol and Helium all three upon us at once should they
learn your part in the theft of the Ptarth princess.
That you succeeded in shifting the guilt upon the Prince of
Helium was fortunate, and a masterly move of strategy;
but were the girl to know the truth and ever return to her
father's court, all Dusar would have to pay the penalty,
and to have her here a prisoner amongst us would be an
admission of guilt from the consequences of which naught
could save us. It would cost me my throne, Astok, and that
I have no mind to lose.
"If we had her here--" the elder man suddenly
commenced to muse, repeating the phrase again and again.
"If we had her here, Astok," he exclaimed fiercely.
"Ah, if we but had her here and none knew that she was here!
Can you not guess, man? The guilt of Dusar might be for ever
buried with her bones," he concluded in a low, savage whisper.
Astok, Prince of Dusar, shuddered.
Weak he was; yes, and wicked, too; but the suggestion
that his father's words implied turned him cold with horror.
Cruel to their enemies are the men of Mars; but the
word "enemies" is commonly interpreted to mean men only.
Assassination runs riot in the great Barsoomian cities;
yet to murder a woman is a crime so unthinkable that
even the most hardened of the paid assassins would shrink
from you in horror should you suggest such a thing to him.
Nutus was apparently oblivious to his son's all-too-patent
terror at his suggestion. Presently he continued:
"You say that you know where the girl lies hid,
since she was stolen from your people at Aaanthor.
Should she be found by any one of the three powers,
her unsupported story would be sufficient to turn
them all against us.
"There is but one way, Astok," cried the older man.
"You must return at once to her hiding-place and
fetch her hither in all secrecy. And, look you here!
Return not to Dusar without her, upon pain of death!"
Astok, Prince of Dusar, well knew his royal father's temper.
He knew that in the tyrant's heart there pulsed no single
throb of love for any creature.
Astok's mother had been a slave woman. Nutus had never
loved her. He had never loved another. In youth he had
tried to find a bride at the courts of several of his
powerful neighbours, but their women would have none of him.
After a dozen daughters of his own nobility had sought
self-destruction rather than wed him he had given up.
And then it had been that he had legally wed one of his
slaves that he might have a son to stand among the jeds
when Nutus died and a new jeddak was chosen.
Slowly Astok withdrew from the presence of his father.
With white face and shaking limbs he made his way to his
own palace. As he crossed the courtyard his glance
chanced to wander to the great east tower looming high
against the azure of the sky.
At sight of it beads of sweat broke out upon his brow.
Issus! No other hand than his could be trusted to
do the horrid thing. With his own fingers he must crush
the life from that perfect throat, or plunge the silent
blade into the red, red heart.
Her heart! The heart that he had hoped would brim
with love for him!
But had it done so? He recalled the haughty contempt
with which his protestations of love had been received.
He went cold and then hot to the memory of it. His
compunctions cooled as the self-satisfaction of a near
revenge crowded out the finer instincts that had for a
moment asserted themselves--the good that he had inherited
from the slave woman was once again submerged in the
bad blood that had come down to him from his royal
sire; as, in the end, it always was.
A cold smile supplanted the terror that had dilated his
eyes. He turned his steps toward the tower. He would see
her before he set out upon the journey that was to blind
his father to the fact that the girl was already in Dusar.
Quietly he passed in through the secret way, ascending
a spiral runway to the apartment in which the Princess of
Ptarth was immured.
As he entered the room he saw the girl leaning upon
the sill of the east casement, gazing out across the roof
tops of Dusar toward distant Ptarth. He hated Ptarth.
The thought of it filled him with rage. Why not finish
her now and have it done with?
At the sound of his step she turned quickly toward him.
Ah, how beautiful she was! His sudden determination
faded beneath the glorious light of her wondrous beauty.
He would wait until he had returned from his little
journey of deception--maybe there might be some other
way then. Some other hand to strike the blow--with
that face, with those eyes before him, he could never do it.
Of that he was positive. He had always gloried in the
cruelty of his nature, but, Issus! he was not that cruel.
No, another must be found--one whom he could trust.
He was still looking at her as she stood there before
him meeting his gaze steadily and unafraid. He felt
the hot passion of his love mounting higher and higher.
Why not sue once more? If she would relent, all might
yet be well. Even if his father could not be persuaded,
they could fly to Ptarth, laying all the blame of the knavery
and intrigue that had thrown four great nations into war,
upon the shoulders of Nutus. And who was there that
would doubt the justice of the charge?
"Thuvia," he said, "I come once again, for the last
time, to lay my heart at your feet. Ptarth and Kaol
and Dusar are battling with Helium because of you.
Wed me, Thuvia, and all may yet be as it should be."
The girl shook her head.
"Wait!" he commanded, before she could speak.
"Know the truth before you speak words that may seal,
not only your own fate, but that of the thousands of
warriors who battle because of you.
"Refuse to wed me willingly, and Dusar would be laid
waste should ever the truth be known to Ptarth and Kaol
and Helium. They would raze our cities, leaving not one
stone upon another. They would scatter our peoples
across the face of Barsoom from the frozen north to the
frozen south, hunting them down and slaying them,
until this great nation remained only as a hated memory
in the minds of men.
"But while they are exterminating the Dusarians,
countless thousands of their own warriors must perish--
and all because of the stubbornness of a single woman
who would not wed the prince who loves her.
"Refuse, Thuvia of Ptarth, and there remains but a
single alternative--no man must ever know your fate.
Only a handful of loyal servitors besides my royal father
and myself know that you were stolen from the gardens of
Thuvan Dihn by Astok, Prince of Dusar, or that to-day
you be imprisoned in my palace.
"Refuse, Thuvia of Ptarth, and you must die to save Dusar--
there is no other way. Nutus, the jeddak, has so decreed.
I have spoken."
For a long moment the girl let her level gaze rest full
upon the face of Astok of Dusar. Then she spoke, and
though the words were few, the unimpassioned tone
carried unfathomable depths of cold contempt.
"Better all that you have threatened," she said, "than you."
Then she turned her back upon him and went to stand
once more before the east window, gazing with sad
eyes toward distant Ptarth.
Astok wheeled and left the room, returning after a
short interval of time with food and drink.
"Here," he said, "is sustenance until I return again.
The next to enter this apartment will be your executioner.
Commend yourself to your ancestors, Thuvia of Ptarth,
for within a few days you shall be with them."
Then he was gone.
Half an hour later he was interviewing an officer high
in the navy of Dusar.
"Whither went Vas Kor?" he asked. "He is not at his palace."
"South, to the great waterway that skirts Torquas,"
replied the other. "His son, Hal Vas, is Dwar of
the Road there, and thither has Vas Kor gone to
enlist recruits among the workers on the farms."
"Good," said Astok, and a half-hour more found him
rising above Dusar in his swiftest flier.
TURJUN, THE PANTHAN
The face of carthoris of Helium gave no token of the
emotions that convulsed him inwardly as he heard from
the lips of Hal Vas that Helium was at war with Dusar,
and that fate had thrown him into the service of the enemy.
That he might utilize this opportunity to the good of
Helium scarce sufficed to outweigh the chagrin he felt
that he was not fighting in the open at the head of his
own loyal troops.
To escape the Dusarians might prove an easy matter;
and then again it might not. Should they suspect his
loyalty (and the loyalty of an impressed panthan was always
open to suspicion), he might not find an opportunity to
elude their vigilance until after the termination of the war,
which might occur within days, or, again, only after long
and weary years of bloodshed.
He recalled that history recorded wars in which actual
military operations had been carried on without cessation
for five or six hundred years, and even now there were
nations upon Barsoom with which Helium had made no peace
within the history of man.
The outlook was not cheering. He could not guess that
within a few hours he would be blessing the fate that had
thrown him into the service of Dusar.
"Ah!" exclaimed Hal Vas. "Here is my father now.
Kaor! Vas Kor. Here is one you will be glad to meet--
a doughty panthan--" He hesitated.
"Turjun," interjected Carthoris, seizing upon the first
appellation that occurred to him.
As he spoke his eyes crossed quickly to the tall warrior
who was entering the room. Where before had he seen
that giant figure, that taciturn countenance, and the
livid sword-cut from temple to mouth?
"Vas Kor," repeated Carthoris mentally. "Vas Kor!"
Where had he seen the man before?
And then the noble spoke, and like a flash it all came
back to Carthoris--the forward servant upon the landing-
stage at Ptarth that time that he had been explaining the
intricacies of his new compass to Thuvan Dihn; the lone
slave that had guarded his own hangar that night he had
left upon his ill-fated journey for Ptarth--the journey
that had brought him so mysteriously to far Aaanthor.
"Vas Kor," he repeated aloud, "blessed be your ancestors
for this meeting," nor did the Dusarian guess the wealth
of meaning that lay beneath that hackneyed phrase with
which a Barsoomian acknowledges an introduction.
"And blessed be yours, Turjun," replied Vas Kor.
Now came the introduction of Kar Komak to Vas Kor,
and as Carthoris went through the little ceremony there
came to him the only explanation he might make to account
for the white skin and auburn hair of the bowman;
for he feared that the truth might not be believed and
thus suspicion be cast upon them both from the beginning.
"Kar Komak," he explained, "is, as you can see, a thern.
He has wandered far from his icebound southern temples
in search of adventure. I came upon him in the pits of
Aaanthor; but though I have known him so short a time,
I can vouch for his bravery and loyalty."
Since the destruction of the fabric of their false
religion by John Carter, the majority of the therns had
gladly accepted the new order of things, so that it was
now no longer uncommon to see them mingling with the
multitudes of red men in any of the great cities of the
outer world, so Vas Kor neither felt nor expressed any
All during the interview Carthoris watched, catlike,
for some indication that Vas Kor recognized in the
battered panthan the erstwhile gorgeous Prince of Helium;
but the sleepless nights, the long days of marching and
fighting, the wounds and the dried blood had evidently
sufficed to obliterate the last remnant of his likeness
to his former self; and then Vas Kor had seen him but twice
in all his life. Little wonder that he did not know him.
During the evening Vas Kor announced that on
the morrow they should depart north toward Dusar,
picking up recruits at various stations along the way.
In a great field behind the house a flier lay--a fair-
sized cruiser-transport that would accommodate many men,
yet swift and well armed also. Here Carthoris slept,
and Kar Komak, too, with the other recruits, under guard
of the regular Dusarian warriors that manned the craft.
Toward midnight Vas Kor returned to the vessel from his
son's house, repairing at once to his cabin. Carthoris,
with one of the Dusarians, was on watch. It was with
difficulty that the Heliumite repressed a cold smile as
the noble passed within a foot of him--within a foot of
the long, slim, Heliumitic blade that swung in his harness.
How easy it would have been! How easy to avenge the
cowardly trick that had been played upon him--to avenge
Helium and Ptarth and Thuvia!
But his hand moved not toward the dagger's hilt,
for first Vas Kor must serve a better purpose--
he might know where Thuvia of Ptarth lay hidden now,
if it had truly been Dusarians that had spirited her
away during the fight before Aaanthor.
And then, too, there was the instigator of the entire
foul plot. HE must pay the penalty; and who better than
Vas Kor could lead the Prince of Helium to Astok of Dusar?
Faintly out of the night there came to Carthoris's ears
the purring of a distant motor. He scanned the heavens.
Yes, there it was far in the north, dimly outlined against
the dark void of space that stretched illimitably beyond it,
the faint suggestion of a flier passing, unlighted, through
the Barsoomian night.
Carthoris, knowing not whether the craft might be
friend or foe of Dusar, gave no sign that he had seen,
but turned his eyes in another direction, leaving the matter
to the Dusarian who stood watch with him.
Presently the fellow discovered the oncoming craft, and
sounded the low alarm which brought the balance of the
watch and an officer from their sleeping silks and furs
upon the deck near by.
The cruiser-transport lay without lights, and,
resting as she was upon the ground, must have been
entirely invisible to the oncoming flier, which all
presently recognized as a small craft.
It soon became evident that the stranger intended making
a landing, for she was now spiraling slowly above them,
dropping lower and lower in each graceful curve.
"It is the Thuria," whispered one of the Dusarian warriors.
"I would know her in the blackness of the pits among ten
thousand other craft."
"Right you are!" exclaimed Vas Kor, who had come
on deck. And then he hailed:
"Kaor!" came presently from above after a brief silence.
Then: "What ship?"
"Cruiser-transport Kalksus, Vas Kor of Dusar."
"Good!" came from above. "Is there safe landing alongside?"
"Yes, close in to starboard. Wait, we will show our
lights," and a moment later the smaller craft settled
close beside the Kalksus, and the lights of the
latter were immediately extinguished once more.
Several figures could be seen slipping over the side of
the Thuria and advancing toward the Kalksus. Ever suspicious,
the Dusarians stood ready to receive the visitors as
friends or foes as closer inspection might prove them.
Carthoris stood quite near the rail, ready to take sides
with the new-comers should chance have it that they were
Heliumites playing a bold stroke of strategy upon this
lone Dusarian ship. He had led like parties himself,
and knew that such a contingency was quite possible.
But the face of the first man to cross the rail
undeceived him with a shock that was not at all
unpleasurable--it was the face of Astok, Prince of Dusar.
Scarce noticing the others upon the deck of the Kalksus,
Astok strode forward to accept Vas Kor's greeting,
then he summoned the noble below. The warriors and
officers returned to their sleeping silks and furs, and once
more the deck was deserted except for the Dusarian warrior
and Turjun, the panthan, who stood guard.
The latter walked quietly to and fro. The former leaned
across the rail, wishing for the hour that would bring
him relief. He did not see his companion approach the
lights of the cabin of Vas Kor. He did not see him
stoop with ear close pressed to a tiny ventilator.
"May the white apes take us all," cried Astok ruefully,
"if we are not in as ugly a snarl as you have ever seen!
Nutus thinks that we have her in hiding far away from Dusar.
He has bidden me bring her here."
He paused. No man should have heard from his lips the
thing he was trying to tell. It should have been for
ever the secret of Nutus and Astok, for upon it rested
the safety of a throne. With that knowledge any man
could wrest from the Jeddak of Dusar whatever he listed.
But Astok was afraid, and he wanted from this older
man the suggestion of an alternative. He went on.
"I am to kill her," he whispered, looking fearfully around.
"Nutus merely wishes to see the body that he may know
his commands have been executed. I am now supposed
to be gone to the spot where we have her hidden
that I may fetch her in secrecy to Dusar. None is to
know that she has ever been in the keeping of a Dusarian.
I do not need to tell you what would befall Dusar should
Ptarth and Helium and Kaol ever learn the truth."
The jaws of the listener at the ventilator clicked
together with a vicious snap. Before he had but guessed
at the identity of the subject of this conversation. Now
he knew. And they were to kill her! His muscular fingers
clenched until the nails bit into the palms.
"And you wish me to go with you while you fetch
her to Dusar," Vas Kor was saying. "Where is she?"
Astok bent close and whispered into the other's ear.
The suggestion of a smile crossed the cruel features of
Vas Kor. He realized the power that lay within his grasp.
He should be a jed at least.
"And how may I help you, my Prince?" asked the older man suavely.
"I cannot kill her," said Astok. "Issus! I cannot do it!
When she turns those eyes upon me my heart becomes water."
Vas Kor's eyes narrowed.
"And you wish--" He paused, the interrogation unfinished, yet complete.
"YOU do not love her," he said.
"But I love my life--though I am only a lesser noble,"
he concluded meaningly.
"You shall be a greater noble--a noble of the first rank!"
"I would be a jed," said Vas Kor bluntly.
"A jed must die before there can be another jed," he pleaded.
"Jeds have died before," snapped Vas Kor. "It would
doubtless be not difficult for you to find a jed you do
not love, Astok--there are many who do not love you."
Already Vas Kor was commencing to presume upon his
power over the young prince. Astok was quick to note
and appreciate the subtle change in his lieutenant.
A cunning scheme entered his weak and wicked brain.
"As you say, Vas Kor!" he exclaimed. "You shall be a jed
when the thing is done," and then, to himself: "Nor will
it then be difficult for me to find a jed I do not love."
"When shall we return to Dusar?" asked the noble.
"At once," replied Astok. "Let us get under way now--
there is naught to keep you here?"
"I had intended sailing on the morrow, picking up such
recruits as the various Dwars of the Roads might have
collected for me, as we returned to Dusar."
"Let the recruits wait," said Astok. "Or, better still,
come you to Dusar upon the Thuria, leaving the Kalksus
to follow and pick up the recruits."
"Yes," acquiesced Vas Kor; "that is the better plan.
Come; I am ready," and he rose to accompany Astok
to the latter's flier.
The listener at the ventilator came to his feet slowly,
like an old man. His face was drawn and pinched
and very white beneath the light copper of his skin.
She was to die! And he helpless to avert the tragedy.
He did not even know where she was imprisoned.
The two men were ascending from the cabin to the deck.
Turjun, the panthan, crept close to the companionway,
his sinuous fingers closing tightly upon the hilt of
his dagger. Could he despatch them both before he was
overpowered? He smiled. He could slay an entire utan
of her enemies in his present state of mind.
They were almost abreast of him now. Astok was speaking.
"Bring a couple of your men along, Vas Kor," he said.
"We are short-handed upon the Thuria, so quickly did we depart."
The panthan's fingers dropped from the dagger's hilt.
His quick mind had grasped here a chance for succouring
Thuvia of Ptarth. He might be chosen as one to accompany
the assassins, and once he had learned where the captive
lay he could dispatch Astok and Vas Kor as well as now.
To kill them before he knew where Thuvia was hid was
simply to leave her to death at the hands of others;
for sooner or later Nutus would learn her whereabouts,
and Nutus, Jeddak of Dusar, could not afford to let her live.
Turjun put himself in the path of Vas Kor that he
might not be overlooked. The noble aroused the men
sleeping upon the deck, but always before him the
strange panthan whom he had recruited that same day
found means for keeping himself to the fore.
Vas Kor turned to his lieutenant, giving instruction
for the bringing of the Kalksus to Dusar, and the
gathering up of the recruits; then he signed to two
warriors who stood close behind the padwar.
"You two accompany us to the Thuria," he said, "and
put yourselves at the disposal of her dwar."
It was dark upon the deck of the Kalksus, so Vas Kor
had not a good look at the faces of the two he chose;
but that was of no moment, for they were but common
warriors to assist with the ordinary duties upon a flier,
and to fight if need be.
One of the two was Kar Komak, the bowman. The other
was not Carthoris.
The Heliumite was mad with disappointment. He snatched
his dagger from his harness; but already Astok had left
the deck of the Kalksus, and he knew that before he could
overtake him, should he dispatch Vas Kor, he would be killed
by the Dusarian warriors, who now were thick upon the deck.
With either one of the two alive Thuvia was in as great
danger as though both lived--it must be both!
As Vas Kor descended to the ground Carthoris boldly
followed him, nor did any attempt to halt him, thinking,
doubtless, that he was one of the party.
After him came Kar Komak and the Dusarian warrior who
had been detailed to duty upon the Thuria. Carthoris
walked close to the left side of the latter. Now they came
to the dense shadow under the side of the Thuria. It was
very dark there, so that they had to grope for the ladder.
Kar Komak preceded the Dusarian. The latter reached
upward for the swinging rounds, and as he did so steel
fingers closed upon his windpipe and a steel blade pierced
the very centre of his heart.
Turjun, the panthan, was the last to clamber over the rail
of the Thuria, drawing the rope ladder in after him.
A moment later the flier was rising rapidly, headed for the north.
At the rail Kar Komak turned to speak to the warrior
who had been detailed to accompany him. His eyes went
wide as they rested upon the face of the young man
whom he had met beside the granite cliffs that guard
mysterious Lothar. How had he come in place of the Dusarian?
A quick sign, and Kar Komak turned once more to find
the Thuria's dwar that he might report himself for duty.
Behind him followed the panthan.
Carthoris blessed the chance that had caused Vas Kor
to choose the bowman of all others, for had it been
another Dusarian there would have been questions
to answer as to the whereabouts of the warrior who lay
so quietly in the field beyond the residence of Hal Vas,
Dwar of the Southern Road; and Carthoris had no answer to
that question other than his sword point, which alone was
scarce adequate to convince the entire crew of the Thuria.
The journey to Dusar seemed interminable to the
impatient Carthoris, though as a matter of fact it was
quickly accomplished. Some time before they reached
their destination they met and spoke with another Dusarian
war flier. From it they learned that a great battle was
soon to be fought south-east of Dusar.
The combined navies of Dusar, Ptarth and Kaol had
been intercepted in their advance toward Helium by the
mighty Heliumitic navy--the most formidable upon Barsoom,
not alone in numbers and armament, but in the training
and courage of its officers and warriors, and the
zitidaric proportions of many of its monster battleships.
Not for many a day had there been the promise
of such a battle. Four jeddaks were in direct command
of their own fleets--Kulan Tith of Kaol, Thuvan Dihn of
Ptarth, and Nutus of Dusar upon one side; while upon
the other was Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium. With the
latter was John Carter, Warlord of Mars.
From the far north another force was moving south
across the barrier cliffs--the new navy of Talu, Jeddak of
Okar, coming in response to the call from the warlord.
Upon the decks of the sullen ships of war black-bearded
yellow men looked over eagerly toward the south. Gorgeous
were they in their splendid cloaks of orluk and apt.
Fierce, formidable fighters from the hothouse cities
of the frozen north.
And from the distant south, from the sea of Omean and
the cliffs of gold, from the temples of the therns and
the garden of Issus, other thousands sailed into the
north at the call of the great man they all had learned to
respect, and, respecting, love. Pacing the flagship of this
mighty fleet, second only to the navy of Helium, was the
ebon godar, Jeddak of the First Born, his heart beating
strong in anticipation of the coming moment when he
should hurl his savage crews and the weight of his mighty
ships upon the enemies of the warlord.
But would these allies reach the theatre of war in time
to be of avail to Helium? Or, would Helium need them?
Carthoris, with the other members of the crew of the
Thuria, heard the gossip and the rumours. None knew
of the two fleets, the one from the south and the other
from the north, that were coming to support the ships of
Helium, and all of Dusar were convinced that nothing
now could save the ancient power of Helium from being
wiped for ever from the upper air of Barsoom.
Carthoris, too, loyal son of Helium that he was, felt that
even his beloved navy might not be able to cope successfully
with the combined forces of three great powers.
Now the Thuria touched the landing-stage above the
palace of Astok. Hurriedly the prince and Vas Kor
disembarked and entered the drop that would carry
them to the lower levels of the palace.
Close beside it was another drop that was utilized by
common warriors. Carthoris touched Kar Komak upon the arm.
"Come!" he whispered. "You are my only friend
among a nation of enemies. Will you stand by me?"
"To the death," replied Kar Komak.
The two approached the drop. A slave operated it.
"Where are your passes?" he asked.
Carthoris fumbled in his pocket pouch as though in
search of them, at the same time entering the cage.
Kar Komak followed him, closing the door. The slave
did not start the cage downward. Every second counted.
They must reach the lower level as soon as possible after
Astok and Vas Kor if they would know whither the two went.
Carthoris turned suddenly upon the slave,
hurling him to the opposite side of the cage.
"Bind and gag him, Kar Komak!" he cried.
Then he grasped the control lever, and as the cage
shot downward at sickening speed, the bowman grappled
with the slave. Carthoris could not leave the control to
assist his companion, for should they touch the lowest
level at the speed at which they were going, all would be
dashed to instant death.
Below him he could now see the top of Astok's cage
in the parallel shaft, and he reduced the speed of
his to that of the other. The slave commenced to scream.
"Silence him!" cried Carthoris.
A moment later a limp form crumpled to the floor of the cage.
"He is silenced," said Kar Komak.
Carthoris brought the cage to a sudden stop at one
of the higher levels of the palace. Opening the door, he
grasped the still form of the slave and pushed it out
upon the floor. Then he banged the gate and resumed the
Once more he sighted the top of the cage that held
Astok and Vas Kor. An instant later it had stopped,
and as he brought his car to a halt, he saw the two men
disappear through one of the exits of the corridor beyond.
KULAN TITH'S SACRIFICE
The morning of the second day of her incarceration
in the east tower of the palace of Astok, Prince of Dusar,
found Thuvia of Ptarth waiting in dull apathy the coming
of the assassin.
She had exhausted every possibility of escape, going
over and over again the door and the windows, the
floor and the walls.
The solid ersite slabs she could not even scratch;
the tough Barsoomian glass of the windows would have
shattered to nothing less than a heavy sledge in the hands
of a strong man. The door and the lock were impregnable.
There was no escape. And they had stripped her of her
weapons so that she could not even anticipate the hour
of her doom, thus robbing them of the satisfaction of
witnessing her last moments.
When would they come? Would Astok do the deed with
his own hands? She doubted that he had the courage
for it. At heart he was a coward--she had known it since
first she had heard him brag as, a visitor at the court of
her father, he had sought to impress her with his valour.
She could not help but compare him with another.
And with whom would an affianced bride compare an
unsuccessful suitor? With her betrothed? And did Thuvia
of Ptarth now measure Astok of Dusar by the standards
of Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol?
She was about to die; her thoughts were her own to do
with as she pleased; yet furthest from them was Kulan Tith.
Instead the figure of the tall and comely Heliumite
filled her mind, crowding therefrom all other images.
She dreamed of his noble face, the quiet dignity of his bearing,
the smile that lit his eyes as he conversed with his friends,
and the smile that touched his lips as he fought with his enemies--
the fighting smile of his Virginian sire.
And Thuvia of Ptarth, true daughter of Barsoom, found
her breath quickening and heart leaping to the memory of
this other smile--the smile that she would never see again.
With a little half-sob the girl sank to the pile of
silks and furs that were tumbled in confusion beneath
the east windows, burying her face in her arms.
In the corridor outside her prison-room two men had
paused in heated argument.
"I tell you again, Astok," one was saying, "that I shall
not do this thing unless you be present in the room."
There was little of the respect due royalty in the tone
of the speaker's voice. The other, noting it, flushed.
"Do not impose too far upon my friendship for you,
Vas Kor," he snapped. "There is a limit to my patience."
"There is no question of royal prerogative here,"
returned Vas Kor. "You ask me to become an assassin in
your stead, and against your jeddak's strict injunctions.
You are in no position, Astok, to dictate to me; but
rather should you be glad to accede to my reasonable
request that you be present, thus sharing the guilt
with me. Why should I bear it all?"
The younger man scowled, but he advanced toward
the locked door, and as it swung in upon its hinges,
he entered the room beyond at the side of Vas Kor.
Across the chamber the girl, hearing them enter, rose
to her feet and faced them. Under the soft copper of her
skin she blanched just a trifle; but her eyes were brave
and level, and the haughty tilt of her firm little chin was
eloquent of loathing and contempt.
"You still prefer death?" asked Astok.
"To YOU, yes," replied the girl coldly.
The Prince of Dusar turned to Vas Kor and nodded.
The noble drew his short-sword and crossed the room
"Kneel!" he commanded.
"I prefer to die standing," she replied.
"As you will," said Vas Kor, feeling the point of his
blade with his left thumb. "In the name of Nutus, Jeddak
of Dusar!" he cried, and ran quickly toward her.
"In the name of Carthoris, Prince of Helium!"
came in low tones from the doorway.
Vas Kor turned to see the panthan he had recruited at his
son's house leaping across the floor toward him. The fellow
brushed past Astok with an: "After him, you--calot!"
Vas Kor wheeled to meet the charging man.
"What means this treason?" he cried.
Astok, with bared sword, leaped to Vas Kor's assistance.
The panthan's sword clashed against that of the noble,
and in the first encounter Vas Kor knew that he faced a
Before he half realized the stranger's purpose he found
the man between himself and Thuvia of Ptarth, at bay
facing the two swords of the Dusarians. But he fought
not like a man at bay. Ever was he the aggressor, and
though always he kept his flashing blade between the girl
and her enemies, yet he managed to force them hither
and thither about the room, calling to the girl to follow
close behind him.
Until it was too late neither Vas Kor nor Astok dreamed
of that which lay in the panthan's mind; but at last as
the fellow stood with his back toward the door, both
understood--they were penned in their own prison, and
now the intruder could slay them at his will, for Thuvia
of Ptarth was bolting the door at the man's direction,
first taking the key from the opposite side, where
Astok had left it when they had entered.
Astok, as was his way, finding that the enemy did not
fall immediately before their swords, was leaving the
brunt of the fighting to Vas Kor, and now as his eyes
appraised the panthan carefully they presently went wider
and wider, for slowly he had come to recognize the
features of the Prince of Helium.
The Heliumite was pressing close upon Vas Kor. The noble was
bleeding from a dozen wounds. Astok saw that he could not
for long withstand the cunning craft of that terrible sword hand.
"Courage, Vas Kor!" he whispered in the other's ear.
"I have a plan. Hold him but a moment longer and all
will be well," but the balance of the sentence,
"with Astok, Prince of Dusar," he did not voice aloud.
Vas Kor, dreaming no treachery, nodded his head,
and for a moment succeeded in holding Carthoris at bay.
Then the Heliumite and the girl saw the Dusarian prince
run swiftly to the opposite side of the chamber, touch
something in the wall that sent a great panel swinging
inward, and disappear into the black vault beyond.
It was done so quickly that by no possibility could
they have intercepted him. Carthoris, fearful lest Vas Kor
might similarly elude him, or Astok return immediately
with reinforcements, sprang viciously in upon his
antagonist, and a moment later the headless body of
the Dusarian noble rolled upon the ersite floor.
"Come!" cried Carthoris. "There is no time to be lost.
Astok will be back in a moment with enough warriors to
But Astok had no such plan in mind, for such a
move would have meant the spreading of the fact among
the palace gossips that the Ptarthian princess was a
prisoner in the east tower. Quickly would the word have
come to his father, and no amount of falsifying could
have explained away the facts that the jeddak's
investigation would have brought to light.
Instead Astok was racing madly through a long corridor
to reach the door of the tower-room before Carthoris
and Thuvia left the apartment. He had seen the girl
remove the key and place it in her pocket-pouch, and
he knew that a dagger point driven into the keyhole from
the opposite side would imprison them in the secret
chamber till eight dead worlds circled a cold, dead sun.
As fast as he could run Astok entered the main corridor
that led to the tower chamber. Would he reach the
door in time? What if the Heliumite should have already
emerged and he should run upon him in the passageway?
Astok felt a cold chill run up his spine. He had
no stomach to face that uncanny blade.
He was almost at the door. Around the next turn of the
corridor it stood. No, they had not left the apartment.
Evidently Vas Kor was still holding the Heliumite!
Astok could scarce repress a grin at the clever manner
in which he had outwitted the noble and disposed of
him at the same time. And then he rounded the turn and
came face to face with an auburn-haired, white giant.
The fellow did not wait to ask the reason for his coming;
instead he leaped upon him with a long-sword, so that
Astok had to parry a dozen vicious cuts before he
could disengage himself and flee back down the runway.
A moment later Carthoris and Thuvia entered the corridor
from the secret chamber.
"Well, Kar Komak?" asked the Heliumite.
"It is fortunate that you left me here, red man,"
said the bowman. "I but just now intercepted one who
seemed over-anxious to reach this door--it was he whom
they call Astok, Prince of Dusar."
"Where is he now?" he asked.
"He escaped my blade, and ran down this corridor,"
replied Kar Komak.
"We must lose no time, then!" exclaimed Carthoris.
"He will have the guard upon us yet!"
Together the three hastened along the winding passages
through which Carthoris and Kar Komak had tracked the
Dusarians by the marks of the latter's sandals in the
thin dust that overspread the floors of these seldom-
They had come to the chamber at the entrances to the
lifts before they met with opposition. Here they found a
handful of guardsmen, and an officer, who, seeing that
they were strangers, questioned their presence in the
palace of Astok.
Once more Carthoris and Kar Komak had recourse to
their blades, and before they had won their way to one
of the lifts the noise of the conflict must have aroused
the entire palace, for they heard men shouting, and as
they passed the many levels on their quick passage to
the landing-stage they saw armed men running hither
and thither in search of the cause of the commotion.
Beside the stage lay the Thuria, with three warriors on guard.
Again the Heliumite and the Lotharian fought shoulder to shoulder,
but the battle was soon over, for the Prince of Helium alone
would have been a match for any three that Dusar could produce.
Scarce had the Thuria risen from the ways ere a hundred
or more fighting men leaped to view upon the landing-stage.
At their head was Astok of Dusar, and as he saw the two
he had thought so safely in his power slipping from his grasp,
he danced with rage and chagrin, shaking his fists and hurling
abuse and vile insults at them.
With her bow inclined upward at a dizzy angle, the Thuria
shot meteor-like into the sky. From a dozen points swift
patrol boats darted after her, for the scene upon the
landing-stage above the palace of the Prince of Dusar
had not gone unnoticed.
A dozen times shots grazed the Thuria's side, and as
Carthoris could not leave the control levers, Thuvia of
Ptarth turned the muzzles of the craft's rapid-fire guns
upon the enemy as she clung to the steep and slippery
surface of the deck.
It was a noble race and a noble fight. One against a score now,
for other Dusarian craft had joined in the pursuit; but Astok,
Prince of Dusar, had built well when he built the Thuria.
None in the navy of his sire possessed a swifter flier;
no other craft so well armoured or so well armed.
One by one the pursuers were distanced, and as the
last of them fell out of range behind, Carthoris dropped
the Thuria's nose to a horizontal plane, as with lever
drawn to the last notch, she tore through the thin air of
dying Mars toward the east and Ptarth.
Thirteen and a half thousand haads away lay Ptarth--a
stiff thirty-hour journey for the swiftest of fliers,
and between Dusar and Ptarth might lie half the navy
of Dusar, for in this direction was the reported seat of
the great naval battle that even now might be in progress.
Could Carthoris have known precisely where the great fleets
of the contending nations lay, he would have hastened
to them without delay, for in the return of Thuvia to
her sire lay the greatest hope of peace.
Half the distance they covered without sighting a
single warship, and then Kar Komak called Carthoris's
attention to a distant craft that rested upon the ochre
vegetation of the great dead sea-bottom, above which
the Thuria was speeding.
About the vessel many figures could be seen swarming.
With the aid of powerful glasses, the Heliumite saw that
they were green warriors, and that they were repeatedly
charging down upon the crew of the stranded airship.
The nationality of the latter he could not make out at
so great a distance.
It was not necessary to change the course of the Thuria
to permit of passing directly above the scene of
battle, but Carthoris dropped his craft a few hundred
feet that he might have a better and closer view.
If the ship was of a friendly power, he could do no less
than stop and direct his guns upon her enemies, though
with the precious freight he carried he scarcely felt
justified in landing, for he could offer but two swords
in reinforcement--scarce enough to warrant jeopardizing
the safety of the Princess of Ptarth.
As they came close above the stricken ship, they could
see that it would be but a question of minutes before the
green horde would swarm across the armoured bulwarks to
glut the ferocity of their bloodlust upon the defenders.
"It would be futile to descend," said Carthoris to Thuvia.
"The craft may even be of Dusar--she shows no insignia.
All that we may do is fire upon the hordesmen";
and as he spoke he stepped to one of the guns and deflected
its muzzle toward the green warriors at the ship's side.
At the first shot from the Thuria those upon the
vessel below evidently discovered her for the first time.
Immediately a device fluttered from the bow of the
warship on the ground. Thuvia of Ptarth caught her breath
quickly, glancing at Carthoris.
The device was that of Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol--
the man to whom the Princess of Ptarth was betrothed!
How easy for the Heliumite to pass on, leaving his rival
to the fate that could not for long be averted! No man
could accuse him of cowardice or treachery, for
Kulan Tith was in arms against Helium, and, further,
upon the Thuria were not enough swords to delay even
temporarily the outcome that already was a foregone
conclusion in the minds of the watchers.
What would Carthoris, Prince of Helium, do?
Scarce had the device broken to the faint breeze ere the bow
of the Thuria dropped at a sharp angle toward the ground.
"Can you navigate her?" asked Carthoris of Thuvia.
The girl nodded.
"I am going to try to take the survivors aboard," he continued.
"It will need both Kar Komak and myself to man the guns while
the Kaolians take to the boarding tackle. Keep her bow
depressed against the rifle fire. She can bear it better
in her forward armour, and at the same time the propellers
will be protected."
He hurried to the cabin as Thuvia took the control.
A moment later the boarding tackle dropped from the keel
of the Thuria, and from a dozen points along either side
stout, knotted leathern lines trailed downward.
At the same time a signal broke from her bow:
"Prepare to board us."
A shout arose from the deck of the Kaolian warship.
Carthoris, who by this time had returned from the cabin,
smiled sadly. He was about to snatch from the jaws
of death the man who stood between himself and the
woman he loved.
"Take the port bow gun, Kar Komak," he called to the bowman,
and himself stepped to the gun upon the starboard bow.
*They could now feel the sharp shock of the explosions
of the green warriors vomited their hail of death and
destruction at the sides of the staunch Thuria.*
[This paragraph needs to be verified from early editions]
It was a forlorn hope at best. At any moment the repulsive
ray tanks might be pierced. The men upon the Kaolian
ship were battling with renewed hope. In the bow stood
Kulan Tith, a brave figure fighting beside his brave warriors,
beating back the ferocious green men.
The Thuria came low above the other craft. The Kaolians
were forming under their officers in readiness to board,
and then a sudden fierce fusillade from the rifles of the
green warriors vomited their hail of death and destruction
into the side of the brave flier.
Like a wounded bird she dived suddenly Marsward
careening drunkenly. Thuvia turned the bow upward in an
effort to avert the imminent tragedy, but she succeeded
only in lessening the shock of the flier's impact as she
struck the ground beside the Kaolian ship.
When the green men saw only two warriors and a
woman upon the deck of the Thuria, a savage shout of
triumph arose from their ranks, while an answering groan
broke from the lips of the Kaolians.
The former now turned their attention upon the new arrival,
for they saw her defenders could soon be overcome and that
from her deck they could command the deck of the better-manned ship.
As they charged a shout of warning came from Kulan Tith,
upon the bridge of his own ship, and with it an
appreciation of the valour of the act that had put the
smaller vessel in these sore straits.
"Who is it," he cried, "that offers his life in the service
of Kulan Tith? Never was wrought a nobler deed of self-
sacrifice upon Barsoom!"
The green horde was scrambling over the Thuria's
side as there broke from the bow the device of Carthoris,
Prince of Helium, in reply to the query of the
jeddak of Kaol. None upon the smaller flier had
opportunity to note the effect of this announcement upon
the Kaolians, for their attention was claimed slowly now by
that which was transpiring upon their own deck.
Kar Komak stood behind the gun he had been operating,
staring with wide eyes at the onrushing hideous green warriors.
Carthoris, seeing him thus, felt a pang of regret that,
after all, this man that he had thought so valorous should prove,
in the hour of need, as spineless as Jav or Tario.
"Kar Komak--the man!" he shouted. "Grip yourself!
Remember the days of the glory of the seafarers of
Lothar. Fight! Fight, man! Fight as never man fought
before. All that remains to us is to die fighting."
Kar Komak turned toward the Heliumite, a grim smile upon his lips.
"Why should we fight," he asked. "Against such fearful odds?
There is another way--a better way. Look!" He pointed toward
the companion-way that led below deck.
The green men, a handful of them, had already reached
the Thuria's deck, as Carthoris glanced in the
direction the Lotharian had indicated. The sight that
met his eyes set his heart to thumping in joy and relief
--Thuvia of Ptarth might yet be saved? For from below
there poured a stream of giant bowmen, grim and terrible.
Not the bowmen of Tario or Jav, but the bowmen of an
odwar of bowmen--savage fighting men, eager for the fray.
The green warriors paused in momentary surprise and
consternation, but only for a moment. Then with horrid
war-cries they leaped forward to meet these strange, new foemen.
A volley of arrows stopped them in their tracks.
In a moment the only green warriors upon the deck of
the Thuria were dead warriors, and the bowmen of Kar
Komak were leaping over the vessel's sides to charge
the hordesmen upon the ground.
Utan after utan tumbled from the bowels of the Thuria
to launch themselves upon the unfortunate green men.
Kulan Tith and his Kaolians stood wide-eyed and
speechless with amazement as they saw thousands of these
strange, fierce warriors emerge from the companion-way
of the small craft that could not comfortably have
accomodated more than fifty.
At last the green men could withstand the onslaught
of overwhelming numbers no longer. Slowly, at first,
they fell back across the ochre plain. The bowmen pursued
them. Kar Komak, standing upon the deck of the Thuria,
trembled with excitement.
At the top of his lungs he voiced the savage war-cry
of his forgotten day. He roared encouragement and
commands at his battling utans, and then, as they charged
further and further from the Thuria, he could no longer
withstand the lure of battle.
Leaping over the ship's side to the ground, he joined
the last of his bowmen as they raced off over the dead
sea-bottom in pursuit of the fleeing green horde.
Beyond a low promontory of what once had been an
island the green men were disappearing toward the west.
Close upon their heels raced the fleet bowmen of a bygone day,
and forging steadily ahead among them Carthoris and Thuvia
could see the mighty figure of Kar Komak, brandishing aloft
the Torquasian short-sword with which he was armed, as he
urged his creatures after the retreating enemy.
As the last of them disappeared behind the promontory,
Carthoris turned toward Thuvia of Ptarth.
"They have taught me a lesson, these vanishing bowmen
of Lothar," he said. "When they have served their
purpose they remain not to embarrass their masters by
their presence. Kulan Tith and his warriors are here
to protect you. My acts have constituted the proof of
my honesty of purpose. Good-bye," and he knelt at her
feet, raising a bit of her harness to his lips.
The girl reached out a hand and laid it upon the thick black
hair of the head bent before her. Softly she asked:
"Where are you going, Carthoris?"
"With Kar Komak, the bowman," he replied.
"There will be fighting and forgetfulness."
The girl put her hands before her eyes, as though
to shut out some mighty temptation from her sight.
"May my ancestors have mercy upon me," she cried,
"if I say the thing I have no right to say; but I cannot
see you cast your life away, Carthoris, Prince of Helium!
Stay, my chieftain. Stay--I love you!"
A cough behind them brought both about, and there
they saw standing, not two paces from them Kulan Tith,
Jeddak of Kaol.
For a long moment none spoke. Then Kulan Tith cleared his throat.
"I could not help hearing all that passed," he said.
"I am no fool, to be blind to the love that lies between you.
Nor am I blind to the lofty honour that has caused you,
Carthoris, to risk your life and hers to save mine,
though you thought that that very act would rob you of
the chance to keep her for your own.
"Nor can I fail to appreciate the virtue that has kept
your lips sealed against words of love for this Heliumite,
Thuvia, for I know that I have but just heard the first
declaration of your passion for him. I do not condemn you.
Rather should I have condemned you had you entered a
loveless marriage with me.
"Take back your liberty, Thuvia of Ptarth," he cried,
"and bestow it where your heart already lies enchained,
and when the golden collars are clasped about your necks
you will see that Kulan Tith's is the first sword to be
raised in declaration of eternal friendship for the new
Princess of Helium and her royal mate!"
A GLOSSARY OF NAMES AND TERMS USED
IN THE MARTIAN BOOKS
Aaanthor. A dead city of ancient Mars.
Aisle of Hope. An aisle leading to the court-room in Helium.
Apt. An Arctic monster. A huge, white-furred creature with
six limbs, four of which, short and heavy, carry it over
the snow and ice; the other two, which grow forward
from its shoulders on either side of its long, powerful
neck, terminate in white, hairless hands with which it
seizes and holds its prey. Its head and mouth are
similar in appearance to those of a hippopotamus,
except that from the sides of the lower jawbone two
mighty horns curve slightly downward toward the front.
Its two huge eyes extend in two vast oval patches from
the centre of the top of the cranium down either side
of the head to below the roots of the horns, so that
these weapons really grow out from the lower part of
the eyes, which are composed of several thousand ocelli
each. Each ocellus is furnished with its own lid, and
the apt can, at will, close as many of the facets of
his huge eyes as he chooses. (See THE WARLORD OF MARS.)
Astok. Prince of Dusar.
Avenue of Ancestors. A street in Helium.
Banth. Barsoomian lion. A fierce beast of prey that roams
the low hills surrounding the dead seas of ancient Mars.
It is almost hairless, having only a great, bristly mane
about its thick neck. Its long, lithe body is supported
by ten powerful legs, its enormous jaws are equipped
with several rows of long needle-like fangs, and its
mouth reaches to a point far back of its tiny ears. It
has enormous protruding eyes of green. (See THE GODS
Bar Comas. Jeddak of Warhoon. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.)
Black pirates of Barsoom. Men six feet and over in height.
Have clear-cut and handsome features; their eyes are
well set and large, though a slight narrowness lends
them a crafty appearance. The iris is extremely black
while the eyeball itself is quite white and clear. Their
skin has the appearance of polished ebony. (See THE
GODS OF MARS.)
Calot. A dog. About the size of a Shetland pony and has
ten short legs. The head bears a slight resemblance to
that of a frog, except that the jaws are equipped with
three rows of long, sharp tusks. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.)
Carter, John. Warlord of Mars.
Carthoris of Helium. Son of John Carter and Dejah Thoris.
Dak Kova. Jed among the Warhoons (later jeddak).
Darseen. Chameleon-like reptile.
Dator. Chief or prince among the First Born.
Dejah Thoris. Princess of Helium.
Djor Kantos. Son of Kantos Kan; padwar of the Fifth Utan.
Dor. Valley of Heaven.
Dotar Sojat. John Carter's Martian name, from the
surnames of the first two warrior chieftains he killed.
Dusar. A Martian kingdom.
Ersite. A kind of stone.
Father of Therns. High Priest of religious cult.
First Born. Black race; black pirates.
Kar Komak. Odwar of Lotharian bowmen.
Gate of Jeddaks. A gate in Helium.
Gozava. Tars Tarkas' dead wife.
Gur Tus. Dwar of the Tenth Utan.
Haad. Martian mile.
Hal Vas. Son of Vas Kor the Dusarian noble.
Hastor. A city of Helium.
Hekkador. Title of Father of Therns.
Helium. The empire of the grandfather of Dejah Thoris.
Holy Therns. A Martian religious cult.
Hortan Gur. Jeddak of Torquas.
Hor Vastus. Padwar in the navy of Helium.
Horz. Deserted city; Barsoomian Greenwich.
Illall. A city of Okar.
Iss. River of Death. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.)
Issus. Goddess of Death, whose abode is upon the banks
of the Lost Sea of Korus. (See THE GODS OF MARS.)
Jav. A Lotharian.
Kab Kadja. Jeddak of the Warhoons of the south.
Kadabra. Capital of Okar.
Kalksus. Cruiser; transport under Vas Kor.
Kantos Kan. Padwar in the Helium navy.
Kaol. A Martian kingdom in the eastern hemisphere.
Karad. Martian degree.
Komal. The Lotharian god; a huge banth.
Korad. A dead city of ancient Mars. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.)
Korus. The Lost Sea of Dor.
Kulan Tith. Jeddak of Kaol. (See THE WARLORD OF MARS.)
Lakor. A thern.
Larok. A Dusarian warrior; artificer.
Lorquas Ptomel. Jed among the Tharks. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.)
Lothar. The forgotten city.
Marentina. A principality of Okar.
Matai Shang. Father of Therns. (See THE GODS OF MARS.)
Mors Kajak. A jed of lesser Helium.
Notan. Royal Psychologist of Zodanga.
Nutus. Jeddak of Dusar.
Od. Martian foot.
Odwar. A commander, or general.
Okar. Land of the yellow men.
Old Ben (or Uncle Ben). The writer's body-servant (coloured).
Omad. Man with one name.
Omean. The buried sea.
Orluk. A black and yellow striped Arctic monster.
Otz Mountains. Surrounding the Valley Dor and the Lost
Sea of Korus.
Panthan. A soldier of fortune.
Parthak. The Zodangan who brought food to John Carter
in the pits of Zat Arras. (See THE GODS OF MARS.)
Pedestal of Truth. Within the courtroom of Helium.
Phaidor. Daughter of Matai Shang. (See THE GODS OF MARS.)
Pimalia. Gorgeous flowering plant.
Plant men of Barsoom. A race inhabiting the Valley Dor.
They are ten or twelve feet in height when standing
erect; their arms are very short and fashioned after the
manner of an elephant's trunk, being sinuous; the body
is hairless and ghoulish blue except for a broad band
of white which encircles the protruding, single eye, the
pupil, iris and ball of which are dead white. The nose
is a ragged, inflamed, circular hole in the centre of
the blank face, resembling a fresh bullet wound which
has not yet commenced to bleed. There is no mouth in
the head. With the exception of the face, the head is
covered by a tangled mass of jet-black hair some eight
or ten inches in length. Each hair is about the thickness
of a large angleworm. The body, legs and feet are
of human shape but of monstrous proportions, the
feet being fully three feet long and very flat and broad.
The method of feeding consists in running their odd
hands over the surface of the turf, cropping off the
tender vegetation with razor-like talons and sucking it
up from two mouths, which lie one in the palm of each
hand. They are equipped with a massive tail about six
feet long, quite round where it joins the body, but
tapering to a flat, thin blade toward the end, which
trails at right angles to the ground. (See THE GODS OF MARS.)
Prince Soran. Overlord of the navy of Ptarth.
Ptarth. A Martian kingdom.
Ptor. Family name of three Zodangan brothers.
Sab Than. Prince of Zodanga. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.)
Safad. A Martian inch.
Salensus Oll. Jeddak of Okar. (See THE WARLORD OF MARS.)
Saran Tal. Carthoris' major-domo.
Sarkoja. A green Martian woman. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.)
Sator Throg. A Holy Thern of the Tenth Cycle.
Shador. Island in Omean used as a prison.
Silian. Slimy reptiles inhabiting the Sea of Korus.
Sith. Hornet-like monster. Bald-faced and about the size of
a Hereford bull. Has frightful jaws in front and mighty
poisoned sting behind. The eyes, of myriad facets, cover
three-fourths of the head, permitting the creature to see
in all directions at one and the same time. (See THE
WARLORD OF MARS.)
Skeel. A Martian hardwood.
Sola. A young green Martian woman.
Solan. An official of the palace.
Sompus. A kind of tree.
Sorak. A little pet animal among the red Martian women,
about the size of a cat.
Sorapus. A Martian hardwood.
Sorav. An officer of Salensus Oll.
Tal. A Martian second.
Tal Hajus. Jeddak of Thark.
Talu. Rebel Prince of Marentina.
Tan Gama. Warhoon warrior.
Tardos Mors. Grandfather of Dejah Thoris and Jeddak of
Tario. Jeddak of Lothar.
Tars Tarkas. A green man, chieftain of the Tharks.
Temple of Reward. In Helium.
Tenth Cycle. A sphere, or plane of eminence, among the
Thabis. Issus' chief.
Than Kosis. Jeddak of Zodanga. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.)
Thark. City and name of a green Martian horde.
Thoat. A green Martian horse. Ten feet high at the shoulder,
with four legs on either side; a broad, flat tail,
larger at the tip than at the root which it holds straight
out behind while running; a mouth splitting its head
from snout to the long, massive neck. It is entirely
devoid of hair and is of a dark slate colour and
exceedingly smooth and glossy. It has a white belly and
the legs are shaded from slate at the shoulders and
hips to a vivid yellow at the feet. The feet are heavily
padded and nailless. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.)
Thor Ban. Jed among the green men of Torquas.
Thorian. Chief of the lesser Therns.
Throne of Righteousness. In the court-room of Helium.
Throxus. Mightiest of the five oceans.
Thurds. A green horde inimical to Torquas.
Thuria. The nearer moon.
Thurid. A black dator.
Thuvan Dihn. Jeddak of Ptarth.
Thuvia. Princess of Ptarth.
Torith. Officer of the guards at submarine pool.
Torkar Bar. Kaolian noble; dwar of the Kaolian Road.
Torquas. A green horde.
Turjun. Carthoris' alias.
Utan. A company of one hundred men (military).
Vas Kor. A Dusarian noble.
Warhoon. A community of green men; enemy of Thark.
Woola. A Barsoomian calot.
Xat. A Martian minute.
Xavarian. A Helium warship.
Xodar. Dator among the First Born.
Yersted. Commander of the submarine.
Zad. Tharkian warrior.
Zat Arras. Jed of Zodanga.
Zithad. Dator of the guards of Issus. (See THE GODS OF MARS.)
Zitidars. Mastodonian draught animals.
Zodanga. Martian city of red men at war with Helium.
Zode. A Martian hour.
End of the Project Gutenberg Etext of Thuvia, Maid of Mars