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Frontispiece (Page 298) 












Made in the United States of America 


A. C McClurg & Co. 

Published October, 1917 

Copyrighted in Great Britain 




To the Reader of this Work: 

In submitting Captain Carter's strange manu 
script to you in book form, I believe that a few 
words relative to this remarkable personality will 
be of interest. 

My first recollection of Captain Carter is of 
the few months he spent at my father's home in 
Virginia, just prior to the opening of the civil 
war. I was then a child of but five years, yet I 
well remember the tall, dark, smooth-faced, 
athletic man whom I called Uncle Jack. 

He seemed always to be laughing; and he en 
tered into the sports of the children with the same 
hearty good fellowship he displayed toward those 
pastimes in which the men and women of his own 
age indulged; or he would sit for an hour at a time 
entertaining my old grandmother with stories of 
his strange, wild life in all parts of the world. We 
all loved him, and our slaves fairly worshipped 
the ground he trod. 

He was a splendid specimen of manhood, stand- 


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

His horsemanship, especially after hounds, was 
a marvel and delight even in that country of mag 
nificent horsemen. I have often heard my father 
caution him against his wild recklessness, but he 
would only laugh, and say that the tumble that 
killed him would be from the back of a horse yet 

When the war broke out he left us, nor did I 
see him again for some fifteen or sixteen years. 
When he returned it was without warning, and I 
was much surprised to note that he had not aged 
apparently a moment, nor had he changed in any 
other outward way. He was, when others were 
with him, the same genial, happy fellow we had 
known of old, but when he thought himself alone 
I have seen him sit for hours gazing off into space, 

his face set in a look of wistful longing and hope- 

[ i 


less misery; and at night he would sit thus looking 
up into the heavens, at what I did not know until 
I read his manuscript years afterward. 

He told us that he had been prospecting and 
mining in Arizona part of the time since the war; 
and that he had been very successful was evidenced 
by the unlimited amount of money with which he 
was supplied. As to the details of his life during 
these years he was very reticent, in fact he would 
not talk of them at all. 

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

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



tions which he had me pledge myself to carry out 
with absolute fidelity. 

After I had retired for the night I have seen 
him from my window standing in the moonlight 
on the brink of the bluff overlooking the Hudson 
with his arms stretched out to the heavens as 
though in appeal. I thought at the time that he 
was praying, although I never had understood that 
he was in the strict sense of the term a religious 

Several months after I had returned home from 
my last visit, the first of March, 1886, I think, 
I received 9 telegram from him asking me to come 
to him at once. I had always been his favorite 
fcmong the younger generation of Carters and so I 
hastened to comply with his demand. 

I arrived at the little station, about a mile from 
his grounds, on the morning of March 4, 1886, 
and when I asked the livery man to drive me out 
to Captain Carter's he replied that if I was a 
friend of the Captain's he had some very bad news 
for me ; the Captain had been found dead shortly 
ifter daylight that very morning by the watchman 
attached to an adjoining property. 

For some reason this news did not surprise 
me, but I hurried out to his place as quickly as 


possible, so that I could take charge of the body 
and of his affairs. 

I found the watchman who had discovered him, 
together with the local police chief and several 
townspeople, assembled in his little study. The 
watchman related the few details connected with 
the finding of the body, which he said had been 
still warm when he came upon it. It lay, he said, 
stretched full length in the snow with the arms 
outstretched above the head toward the edge of 
the bluff, and when he showed me the spot it 
flashed upon me that it was the identical one where 
I had seen him on those other night*, with his 
arms raised in supplication to the skies. 

There were no marks of violence on the body, 
and wrth the aid of a local physician the coroner's 
jury quickly reached a decision of death from 
heart failure. Left alone in the study, I opened 
the safe and withdrew the contents of the drawer 
in which he had told me I would find my instruc 
tions. They were in part peculiar indeed, but I 
have followed them to each last detail as faith 
fully as I was able. 

He directed that I remove his body to Virginia 
without embalming, and that he be laid in an 
open coffin within a tomb which he previously had 


had constructed and which, as I later learned, was 
well ventilated. The instructions impressed upon 
me that I must personally see that this was car 
ried out just as he directed, even in secrecy if 

His property was left in such a way that I was 
to receive the entire income for twenty-five years, 
when the principal was to become mine. His 
further instructions related to this manuscript 
which I was to retain sealed and unread, just as I 
found it, for eleven years; nor was I to divulge 
its contents until twenty-one years after his death. 

A strange feature about the tomb, where his 
body still lies, is that the massive door is equipped 
with a single, huge gold-plated spring lock which 
can be opened only from the inside. 

Yours very sincerely, 



I On the Arizona Hills 1 

II The Escape of the Dead 14 

III My Advent on Mars 22 

IV A Prisoner 35 

V I Elude My Watch Dog 46 

VI A Fight That Won Friends .... 54 

VII Child-Raising on Mars 62 

VIII A Fair Captive from the Sky .... 72 

IX I Learn the Language 82 

X Champion and Chief 89 

XI With Dejah Thoris 106 

XII A Prisoner with Power 118 

XIII Love-Making on Mars . . . . .128 

XIV A Duel to the Death 139 

XV Sola Tells Me Her Story 155 

XVI We Plan Escape 170 

XVII A Costly Recapture 188 

XVIII Chained in Warhoon 202 

XIX Battling in the Arena 210 

XX In the Atmosphere Factory , . . .219 

XXI An Air Scout for Zodanga .... 235 

XXTI I Find Dejah 252 

XXIII Lost in the Sky ........ 270 

XXIV Tars Tarkas Finds a Friend .... 281 
XXV The Looting of Zodanga 294 

XXVI Through Carnage to Joy 303 

XXVII From Joy to Death 314 

XXVIII At the Arizona Cave 32^ 




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


of an ordinary soldier of fortune a chronicle of the 
strange events that befell me during the ten years 
that my dead body lay undiscovered in an Arizona 

I have never told this story, nor shall mortal 
man see this manuscript until after I have passed 
over for eternity. I know that the average human 
mind will not believe what it cannot grasp, and so 
I do not purpose being pilloried by the public, the 
pulpit, and the press, and held up as a colossal 
liar when I am but telling the simple truths which 
some day science will substantiate. Possibly the 
suggestions which I gained upon Mars, and th" 
knowledge which I can set down in this chronicle 
will aid in an earlier understanding of the mysteries 
of our sister planet; mysteries to you, but no 
longer mysteries to me. 

My name is John Carter; I am better known 
as Captain Jack Carter of Virginia. At the close 
of the Civil War I found myself \ assessed of 
several hundred thousand dollars (Confederate) 
and a captain's commission in the cavalry arm of 
an army which no longer existed ; the servant of a 
state which had vanished with the hopes of the 
South. Masterless, penniless, and with my only 
of livelihood, fighting, gone, I determined 


to work my way to the southwest and attempt to 
retrieve my fallen fortunes in a search for gold. 

I spent nearly a year prospecting in company 
with another Confederate officer, Captain James 
K. Powell of Richmond. We were extremely 
fortunate, for late in the winter of 1865, after 
many hardships and privations, we located the 
most remarkable gold-bearing quartz vein that 
our wildest dreams had ever pictured. Powell, 
who was a mining engineer by education, stated 
that we had uncovered over a million dollars worth 

of ore in a trifle over three months. 

As our equipment was crude in the extreme we 


decided that one of us must return to civilization, 
purchase the necessary machinery and return with 
a sufficient force of men properly to work the 

As Powell was familiar with the country, as well 
as with the mechanical requirements of mining we 
determined that it would be best for him to make 
the trip. It was agreed that I was to hold down 
our claim against the remote possibility of its being 
jumped by some wandering prospector. 

On March 3, 1866, Powell and I packed his 
provisions on two of our burros, and bidding me 
good-bye he mounted his horse, and started down 



the mountainside toward the valley, across which 
led the first stage of his journey. 

The morning of Powell's departure was, like 
nearly all Arizona mornings, clear and beautiful; 
I could see him and his little pack animals picking 
their way down the mountainside toward the 
valley, and all during the morning I would catch 
occasional glimpses of them as they topped a hog 
back or came out upon a level plateau. My last 
sight of Powell was about three in the afternoon 
as he entered the shadows of the range on the 
opposite side of the valley. 

Some half hour later I happened to glance 
casually across the valley and was much surprised 
to note three little dots in about the same place I 
had last seen my friend and his two pack animals. 
I am not given to needless worrying, but the more 
I tried to convince myself that all was well with 
Powell, and that the dots I had seen on his trail 
were antelope or wild horses, the less I was able 
to assure myself. 

Since we had entered the territory we had not 
seen a hostile Indian, and we had, therefore, 
become careless in the extreme, and were wont to 
ridicule the stories we had heard of the great 
numbers of these vicious marauders that were sup- 



posed to haunt the trails, taking their toll in lives 
and torture of every white party which fell into 
their merciless clutches. 

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

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

I followed rapidly until, darkness shutting down, 
I was forced to await the rising of the moon, and 
given an opportunity to speculate on the question 
of the wisdom of my chase. Possibly I had con 
jured up impossible dangers, like some nervous 
old housewife, and when I should catch up with 



Powell would get a good laugh for my pains. 
However, I am not prone to sensitiveness, and 
the following of a sense of duty, wherever it may 
lead, has always been a kind of fetich with me 
throughout my life; which may account for the 
honors bestowed upon me by three republics and 
the decorations and friendships of an old and 
powerful emperor and several lesser kings, in 
whose service my sword has been red many a 

About nine o'clock the moon was sufficiently 
bright for me to proceed on my way and I had 
no difficulty in following the trail at a fast walk, 
and in some places at a brisk trot until, about mid 
night, I reached the water hole where Powell had 
expected to camp. I came upon the spot unex 
pectedly, finding it entirely deserted, with no signs 
of having been recently occupied as a camp. 

I was interested to note that the tracks of the 
pursuing horsemen, for such I was now convinced 
they must be, continued after Powell with only a 
brief stop at the hole for water; and always at the 
same rate of speed as his. 

I was positive now that the trailers were 
Apaches and that they wished to capture Powell 
alive for the fiendish pleasure of the torture, so I 



urged my horse onward at a most dangerous pace, 
hoping against hope that I would catch up with 
the red rascals before they attacked him. 

Further speculation was suddenly cut short by 
the faint report of two shots far ahead of me. I 
knew that Powell would need me now if ever, 
and I instantly urged my horse to his topmost 
speed up the narrow and difficult mountain trail. 

I had forged ahead for perhaps a mile or more 
without hearing further sounds, when the trail 
suddenly debouched onto a small, open plateau 
near the summit of the pass. I had passed through 
a narrow, overhanging gorge just before entering 
suddenly upon this table land, and the sight which 
met my eyes filled me with consternation and 

The little stretch of level land was white with 
Indian tepees, and there were probably half a 
thousand red warriors clustered around some 
object near the center of the camp. Their atten 
tion was so wholly riveted to this point of interest 
that they did not notice me, and I easily could have 
turned back into the dark recesses of the gorge and 
made my escape with perfect safety. The fact, 
however, that this thought did not occur to me 
until the following day removes any possible right 


to a claim to heroism to which the narration of 
this episode might possibly otherwise entitle me. 

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

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

The view which their hurried routing disclosed 


filled me with apprehension and with rage. Under 
the clear rays of the Arizona moon lay Powell, 
his body fairly bristling with the hostile arrows of 
the braves. That he was already dead I could not 
but be convinced, and yet I would have saved his 
body from mutilation at the hands of the Apaches 
as quickly as I would have saved the man himself 
from death. 

Riding close to him I reached down from the 
saddle, and grasping his cartridge belt drew him 
up across the withers of my mount. A backward 
glance convinced me that to return by the way I 
had come would be more hazardous than to con 
tinue across the plateau, so, putting spurs to my 
poor beast, I made a dash for the opening to the 
pass which I could distinguish on the far side of 
the table land. 

The Indians had by this time discovered that I 
was alone and I was pursued with imprecations, 
arrows, and rifle balls. The fact that it is difficult 
to aim anything but imprecations accurately by 
moonlight, that they were upset by the sudden and 
unexpected manner of my advent, and that I was a 
rather rapidly moving target saved me from the 
various deadly projectiles of the enemy and per 
mitted me to reach the shadows of the surround- 



ing peaks before an orderly pursuit could be 

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

My first knowledge that I was on the wrong 
trail came when I heard the yells of the pursuing 
savages suddenly grow fainter and fainter far off 
to my left. 

I knew then that they had passed to the left of 
the jagged rock formation at the edge of the 
plateau, to the right of which my horse had borne 
me and the body of Powell. 

I drew rein on a little level promontory over 
looking the trail below and to my left, and saw 
the party of pursuing savages disappearing around 
the point of a neighboring peak. 

I knew the Indians would soon discover that 
they were on the wrong trail and that the search 


foi me would be renewed in the right direction as 
soon as they located my tracks. 

I had gone but a short distance further when 
what seemed to be an excellent trail opened up 
around the face of a high cliff. The trail was 
level and quite broad and led upward and in the 
general direction I wished to go. The cliff arose 
for several hundred feet on my right, and on my 
left was an equal and nearly perpendicular drop 
te the bottom of a rocky ravine. 

I had followed this trail for perhaps a hundred 
yards when a sharp turn to the right brought me 
to the mouth of a large cave. The opening was 
about four feet in height and three to four feet 
wide, and at this opening the trail ended. 

It was now morning, and, with the customary 
lack of dawn which is a startling characteristic of 
Arizona, it had become daylight almost without 

Dismounting, I laid Powell upon the ground, 
but the most painstaking examination failed to 
reveal the faintest spark of life. I forced water 
from my canteen between his dead lips, bathed his 
face and rubbed his hands, working aver him con 
tinuously for the better part of an hour in the face 
of the fact that I knew him to be dead, 


I was very fond of Powell; he was thoroughly 
a man in every respect ; a polished southern gentle 
man ; a staunch and true friend ; and it was with a 
feeling of the deepest grief that I finally gave up 
my crude endeavors at resuscitation. 

Leaving Powell's body where it lay on the ledge 
I crept into the cave to reconnoiter. I found a 
large chamber, possibly a hundred feet in diam 
eter and thirty or forty feet in height; a smooth 
and well-worn floor, and many other evidences that 
the cave had, at some remote period, been in 
habited. The back of the cave was so lost in dense 
shadow that I could not distinguish whether there 
were openings into other apartments or not. 

As I was continuing my examination I com 
menced to feel a pleasant drowsiness creeping over 
me which I attributed to the fatigue of my long 
and strenuous ride, and the reaction from the 
excitement of the fight and the pursuit. I felt 
comparatively safe in my present location as I 
knew that one man could defend the trail to the ( 
cave against an army. 

I soon became so drowsy that I could scarcely 

resist the strong desire to throw myself on the 

floor of the cave for a few moments' rest, but I 

knew that this would never do, as it would mean 



certain death at the hands of my red friends, who 
might be upon me at any moment. With an effort 
I started toward the opening of the cave only to 
reel drunkenly against a side wall, and from there 
slip prone upon the floor. 


A SENSE of delicious dreaminess overcame 
me, my muscles relaxed, and I was on the 
point of giving away to my desire to sleep when 
the sound of approaching horses reached my ears. 
I attempted to spring to my feet but was horrified 
to discover that my muscles refused to respond 
to my will. I was now thoroughly awake, but as 
unable to move a muscle as though turned to stone. 
It was then, for the first time, that I noticed a 
slight vapor filling the cave. It was extremely 
tenuous and only noticeable against the opening 
which led to daylight. There also came to my 
nostrils a faintly pungent odor, and I could 
only assume that I had been overcome by some 
poisonous gas, but why I should retain my mental 
faculties and yet be unable to move I could not 

I lay facing the opening of the cave and where 
I could see the short stretch of trail which lay 
between the cave and the turn of the cliff around 


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

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

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



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

Suddenly a low but distinct moaning sound 
issued from the recesses of the cave behind me, 
and, as it reached the ears of the Indians, they 
turned and fled in terror, panic stricken. So frantic 
were their efforts to escape from the unseen thing 
behind me that one of the braves was hurled head 
long from the cliff to the rocks below. Their wild 
cries echoed in the canyon for a short time, and 
then all was still once more. 

The sound which had frightened them was not 
repeated, but it had been sufficient as it was to 
start me speculating on the possible horror which 
lurked in the shadows at my back. Fear is a rela 
tive term and so I can only measure my feelings 
at that time by what I had experienced in previous 
positions of danger and by those I have passed 
through since; but I can say without shame that if 
the sensations I endured during the next few 
minutes were fear, then may God help the coward, 
for cowardice is of a surety its own punishment. 

To be held paralyzed, with one's back toward 
some horrible and unknown danger from the very 
sound of which the ferocious Apache warriors 
turn in wild stampede, as a flock of sheep would 


madly flee from a pack of wolves, seems to me the 
last word in fearsome predicaments for a man who 
had ever been used to fighting for his life with all 
the energy of a powerful physique. 

Several times I thought I heard faint sounds 
behind me as of some body moving cautiously, but 
eventually even these ceased, and I was left to the 
contemplation of my position without interruption. 
I could but vaguely conjecture the cause of my 
paralysis, and my only hope lay in that it might 
pass off as suddenly as it had fallen upon me. 

Late in the afternoon my horse, which had been 
standing with dragging rein before the cave, 
started slowly down the trail, evidently in search 
of food and water, and I was left alone with my 
mysterious unknown companion and the dead body 
of my friend, which lay just within my range of 
vision upon the ledge where I had placed it in the 
early morning. 

From then until possibly midnight all was 
silence, the silence of the dead; then, suddenly, 
the awful moan of the morning broke upon my 
startled ears, and there came again from the black 
shadows the sound of a moving thing, and a faint 
rustling as of dead leaves. The shock to my 
already overstrained nervous system was terrible 



in the extreme, and with a superhuman effort I 
strove to break my awful bonds. It was an effort 
of the mind, of the will, of the nerves; not mus 
cular, for I could not move even so much as my 
little finger, but none the less mighty for all that. 
And then something gave, there was a momentary 
feeling of nausea, a sharp click as of the snapping 
of a steel wire, and I stood with my back against 
the wall of the cave facing my unknown foe. 

And then the moonlight flooded the cave, and 
there before me lay my own body as it had been 
lying all these hours, with the eyes staring toward 
the open ledge and the hands resting limply upon 
the ground. I looked first at my lifeless clay 
there upon the floor of the cave and then down 
at myself in utter bewilderment; for there I lay 
clothed, and yet here I stood but naked as at the 
minute of my birth. 

The transition had been so sudden and so unex 
pected that it left me for a moment forgetful of 
aught else than my strange metamorphosis. My 
first thought was, is this then death! Have I 
indeed passed over forever into that other life! 
But I could not well believe this, as I could 'feel 
my heart pounding against my ribs from the exer 
tion of my efforts to release myself from the 


anaesthesis which had held me. My breath was 
coming in quick, short gasps, cold sweat stood out 
from every pore of my body, and the ancient 
experiment of pinching revealed the fact that I 
was anything other than a wraith. 

Again was I suddenly recalled to my imme 
diate surroundings by a repetition of the weird 
moan from the depths of the cave. Naked and 
unarmed as I was, I had no desire to face the 
unseen thing which menaced me. 

My revolvers were strapped to my lifeless body 
which, for some unfathomable reason, I could not 
bring myself to touch. My carbine was in its boot, 
strapped to my saddle, and as my horse had wan 
dered off I was left without means of defense. 
My only alternative seemed to lie in flight and my 
decision was crystallized by a recurrence of the 
rustling sound from the thing which now seemed, 
in the darkness of the cave and to my distorted 
imagination, to be creeping stealthily upon me. 

Unable longer to resist the temptation to escape 
this horrible place I leaped quickly through the 
opening into the starlight of a clear Arizona night. 
The crisp, fresh mountain air outside the cave 
acted as an immediate tonic and I felt new life and 
new courage coursing through me. Pausing upon 



the brink of the ledge I upbraided myself for what 
now seemed to me wholly unwarranted apprehen 
sion. I reasoned with myself that I had lain 
helpless for many hours within the cave, yet noth 
ing had molested me, and my better judgment, 
when permitted the direction of clear and logical 
reasoning, convinced me that the noises I had 
heard must have resulted from purely natural and 
harmless causes; probably the conformation of 
the cave was such that a slight breeze had caused 
the sounds I heard. 

I decided to investigate, but first I lifted my 
head to fill my lungs with the pure, invigorating 
night air of the mountains. As I did so I saw 
stretching far below me the beautiful vista of rocky 
gorge, and level, cacti-studded flat, wrought by the 
moonlight into a miracle of soft splendor and 
wondrous enchantment. 

Few western wonders are more inspiring 
than the beauties of an Arizona moonlit land 
scape; the silvered mountains in the distance, the 
strange lights and shadows upon hog back and 
arroyo, and the grotesque details of the stiff, yet 
beautiful cacti form a picture at once enchanting 
and inspiring; as though one were catching for the 
first time a glimpse of some dead and forgotten 



world, so different is it from the aspect of any 
other spot upon our earth. 

As I stood thus meditating, I turned my gaze 
from the landscape to the heavens where the 
myriad stars formed a gorgeous and fitting 
canopy for the wonders of the earthly scene. My 
attention was quickly riveted by a large red star 
close to the distant horizon. As I gazed upon it 
I felt a spell of overpowering fascination it was 
Mars, the god of war, and for me, the fighting 
man, it had always held the power of irresistible 
enchantment. As I gazed at it on that far-gone 
night it seemed to call across the unthinkable void, 
to lure me to it, to draw me as the lodestone 
attracts a particle of iron. 

My longing was beyond the power of opposi 
tion; I closed my eyes, stretched out my arms 
toward the god of my vocation and felt myself 
drawn with the suddenness of thought through the 
trackless immensity of space. There was an 
instant of extreme cold and utter darkness. 




I OPENED my eyes upon a strange and weird 
landscape. I knew that I was on Mars; not 
once did I question either my sanity or my wake- 
fulness. I was not asleep, no need for pinching 
here; my inner consciousness told me as plainly 
that I was upon Mars as your conscious mind tells 
you that you are upon Earth. You do not question 
the fact; neither did I. 

I found myself lying prone upon a bed of yel 
lowish, moss-like vegetation which stretched 
around me in all directions for interminable miles. 
I seemed to be lying in a deep, circular basin, 
along the outer verge of which I could distinguish 
the irregularities of low hills. 

It was midday, the sun was shining full upon 
me and the heat of it was rather intense upon my 
naked body, yet no greater than would have been 
true under similar conditions on an Arizona desert. 
Here and there were slight outcroppings of quartz- 
bearing rock which glistened in the sunlight; and 


a little to my left, perhaps a hundred yards, 
appeared a low, walled enclosure about four feet 
in height. No water, and no other vegetation than 
the moss was in evidence, and as I was somewhat 
thirsty I determined to do a little exploring. 

Springing to my feet I received my first Martian 
surprise, for the effort, which on Earth would have 
brought me standing upright, carried me into the 
Martian air to the height of about three yards. 
I alighted softly upon the ground, however, with 
out appreciable shock or jar. Now commenced a 
series of evolutions which even then seemed 
ludicrous in the extreme. I found that I must 
learn to walk all over again, as the muscular exer 
tion which carried me easily and safely upon Earth 
played strange antics with me upon Mars. 

Instead of progressing in a sane and dignified 
manner, my attempts to walk resulted in a variety 
of hops whkh took me clear of the ground a 
couple of feet at each step and landed me sprawling 
upon my face or back at the end of each second 
or third hop. My muscles, perfectly attuned and 
accustomed to the force of gravity on Earth, 
played the mischief with me in attempting for the 
first time to cope with the lesser gravitation and 
lower air pressure on Mars. 


I was determined, however, to explore the low 
structure which was the only evidence of habitation 
in sight, and so I hit upon the unique plan of 
reverting to first principles in locomotion, creep 
ing. I did fairly well at this and in a few moments 
had reached the low, encircling wall of the en 

There appeared to be no doors or windows upon 
the side nearest me, but as the wall was but about 
four feet high I cautiously gained my feet and 
peered over the top upon the strangest sight it had 
ever been given me to see. 

The roof of the enclosure was of solid glass 
about four or five inches in thickness, and beneath 
this were several hundred large eggs, perfectly 
round and snowy white. The eggs were nearly 
uniform in size being about two and one-half feet 
in diameter. 

Five or six had already hatched and the gro 
tesque caricatures which sat blinking in the sun 
light were enough to cause me to doubt my sanity. 
They seemed mostly head, with little scrawny 
bodies, long necks and six legs, or, as I afterward 
learned, two legs and two arms, with an inter 
mediary pair of limbs which could be used at will 
either as arms or legs. Their eyes were set at the 



extreme sides of their heads a trifle above the 
center and protruded in such a manner that they 
could be directed either forward or back and also 
independently of each other, thus permitting this 
queer animal to look in any direction, or in two 
directions at once, without the necessity of turning 
the head. 

The ears, which were slightly above the eyes 
and closer together, were small, cup-shaped 
antennae, protruding not more than an inch on 
these young specimens. Their noses were but 
longitudinal slits in the center of their faces, mid 
way between their mouths and ears. 

There was no hair on their bodies, which were 
of a very light yellowish-green color. In the 
adults, as I was to learn quite soon, this color 
deepens to an olive green and is darker in the 
male than in the female. Further, the heads of 
the adults are not so out of proportion to their 
bodies as in the case of the young. 

The iris of the eyes is blood red, as in Albinos, 
while the pupil is dark. The eyeball itself is very 
white, as are the teeth. These latter add a most 
ferocious appearance to an otherwise fearsome 
and terrible countenance, as the lower tusks curve 
upward to sharp points which end about where 


the eyes of earthly human beings are located. The 
whiteness of the teeth is not that of ivory, but 
of the snowiest and most gleaming of china. 
Against the dark background of their olive skins 
their tusks stand out in a most striking manner, 
making these weapons present a singularly for 
midable appearance. 

Most of these details I noted later, for I was 
given but little time to speculate on the wonders 
of my new discovery. I had seen that the eggs 
were in the process of hatching, and as I stood 
watching the hideous little monsters break from 
their shells I failed to note the approach of a score 
of full-grown Martians from behind me. 

Coming, as they did, over the soft and soundless 
moss, which covers practically the entire surface 
of Mars with the exception of the frozen areas 
at the poles and the scattered cultivated districts, 
they might have captured me easily, but their 
intentions were far more sinister. It was the rat 
tling of the accoutermcnts of the foremost warrior 
which warned me. 

On such a little thing my life hung that I often 
marvel that I escaped so easily. Had not the 
rifle of the leader of the party swung from its 
fastenings beside his saddle in such a way as to 



strike against the butt of his great metal shod 
spear I should have snuffed out without ever know 
ing that death was near me. But the little sound 
caused me to turn, and there upon me, not ten 
feet from my breast, was the point of that huge 
spear, a spear forty feet long, tipped v/ith gleam 
ing metal, and held low at the side of a mounted 
replica of the little devils I had been watching. 

But how puny and harmless they now looked 
beside this huge and terrific incarnation of hate of 
vengeance and of death. The man himself, for 
such I may call him, was fully fifteen feet in height 
and, on earth, would have weighed some four- 
hundred pounds. He sat his mount as we sit a 
horse, grasping the animal's barrel with his lower 
limbs, while the hands of his two right arms held 
his immense spear low at the side of his mount; 
his two left arms were outstretched laterally to 
help preserve his balance, the thing he rode having 
neither bridle or reins of any description for 

And his mount! How can earthly words de 
scribe it! It towered ten feet at the shoulder; 
had four legs on either side; a broad flat tail, 
larger at the tip than at the root, and which it 
held straight out behind while running; a gaping 



mouth which split its head from its snout to its 
long, massive neck'. 

Like its master, it was entirely devoid of hair, 
but was of a dark slate color and exceeding smooth 
and glossy. Its belly was white, and its legs shaded 
from the slate of its shoulders and hips to a vivid 
yellow at the feet. The feet themselves were 
heavily padded and nailless, which fact had also 
contributed to the noiselessness of their approach, 
and, in common with a multiplicity of legs, is a 
characteristic feature of the fauna of Mars. The 
highest type of man and one other animal, the 
only mammal existing on Mars, alone have well- 
formed nails, and there are absolutely no hoofed 
animals in existence there. 

Behind this first charging demon trailed nine 
teen others, similar in all respects, but, as I learned 
later, bearing individual characteristics peculiar to 
themselves; precisely as no two of us are identical 
although we are all cast in a similar mold. This 
picture, or rather materialized nightmare, which 
I have described at length, made but one terrible 
and swift impression on me as I turned to meet it. 

Unarmed and naked as I was, the first law of 
nature manifested itself in the only possible solu 
tion of my immediate problem, and that was to 



get out of the vicinity of the point of the charging 
spear. Consequently I gave a very earthly and at 
the same time superhuman leap to reach the top 
of the Martian incubator, for such I had deter 
mined it must be. 

My effort was crowned with a success which 
appalled me no less than it seemed to surprise the 
Martian warriors, for it carried me fully thirty 
feet into the air and landed me a hundred feet 
from my pursuers and on the opposite side of the 

I alighted upon the soft moss easily and with 
out mishap, and turning saw my enemies lined up 
along the further wall. Some were surveying me 
with expressions which I afterward discovered 
marked extreme astonishment, and the others were 
evidently satisfying themselves that I had not 
molested their young. 

They were conversing together in low tones, 
and gesticulating and pointing toward me. Their 
discovery that I had not harmed the little Mar 
tians, and that I was unarmed, must have caused 
them to look upon me with less ferocity; but, as 
I was to learn later, the thing which weighed most 
in my favor was my exhibition of hurdling. 

While the Martians are immense, their bones 



are very large and they are muscled only in pro 
portion to the gravitation which they must over 
come. The result is that they are infinitely less 
agile and less powerful, in proportion to their 
weight, than an Earth man, and I doubt that were 
one of them suddenly to be transported to Earth 
he could lift his own weight from the ground; in 
fact, I am convinced that he could not do so. 

My feat then was as marvelous upon Mars as 
it would have been upon Earth, and from desiring 
to annihilate me they suddenly looked upon me as 
a wonderful discovery to be captured and exhibited 
among their fellows. 

The respite my unexpected agility had given me 
permitted me to formulate plans for the immediate 
future and to note more closely the appearance 
of the warriors, for I could not disassociate these 
people in my mind from those other warriors who, 
only the day before, had been pursuing me. 

I noted that each was armed with several other 
weapons in addition to the huge spear which I 
have described. The weapon which caused me to 
decide against an attempt at escape by flight was 
what was evidently a rifle of some description, 
and which I felt, for some reason, they were pe 
culiarly efficient in handling. 



These rifles were of a white metal stocked with 
wood, which I learned later was a very light and 
intensely hard growth much prized on Mars, and 
entirely unknown to us denizens of Earth. The 
metal of the barrel is an alloy composed principally 
of aluminum and steel which they have learned to 
temper to a hardness far exceeding that of the 
steel with which we are familiar. The weight of 
these rifles is comparatively little, and with the 
small caliber, explosive, radium projectiles which 
they use, and the great length of the barrel, they 
are deadly in the extreme and at ranges which 
would be unthinkable on Earth. The theoretic 
effective radius of this rifle is three hundred miles, 
but the best they can do in actual service when 
equipped with their wireless finders and sighters 
is but a trifle over two hundred miles. 

This is quite far enough to imbue me with great 
respect for the Martian firearm, and some tele 
pathic force must have warned me against an 
attempt to escape in broad daylight from under 
the muzzles of twenty of these death-dealing 

The Martians, after conversing for a short 
time, turned and rode away in the direction from 
which they had come, leaving one of their number 


alone by the enclosure. When they had covered 
perhaps two hundred yards they halted, and turn 
ing their mounts toward us sat watching the war 
rior by the enclosure. 

He was tke one whose spear had so nearly 
transfixed me, and was evidently the leader of 
the band, as I had noted that they seemed to 
have moved to their present position at his direc 
tion. When his force had come to a halt he dis 
mounted, threw down his spear and small arms, 
and came around the end of the incubator toward 
me, entirely unarmed and as naked as I, except 
for the ornaments strapped upon his head, limbs, 
and breast. 

When he was within about fifty feet of me he 
unclasped an enormous metal armlet, and holding 
it toward me in the open palm of his hand, 
addressed me in a clear, resonant voice, but in a 
language, it is needless to say, I could not under 
stand. He then stopped as though waiting for 
my reply, pricking up his antennae-like ears and 
cocking his strange looking eyes still further 
toward me. 

As the silence became painful I concluded to 
hazard a little conversation on my own part, as I 
had guessed that he was making overtures of peace. 



The throwing down of his weapons and the with 
drawing of his troop before his advance toward 
me would have signified a peaceful mission any 
where on Earth, so why not, then, on Mars ! 

Placing my hand over my heart I bowed low 
to the Martian and explained to him that while 
I did not understand his language, his actions 
spoke for the peace and friendship that at the 
present moment were most dear to my heart. 
Of course I might have been a babbling brook 
for all the intelligence my speech carried to him, 
but he understood the action with which I imme 
diately followed my words. 

Stretching my hand toward him, I advanced 
and took the armlet from his open palm, clasping 
it about my arm above the elbow; smiled at him 
and stood waiting. His wide mouth spread into 
an answering smile, and locking one of his inter 
mediary arms in mine we turned and walked back 
toward his mount. At the same time he motioned 
his followers to advance. They started toward us 
on a wild run, but were checked by a signal from 
him. Evidently he feared that were I to be really 
frightened again I might jump entirely out of 
the landscape. 

He exchanged a few words with his men, 


motioned to me that I would ride behind one of 
them, and then mounted his own animal. The 
fellow designated reached down two or three 
hands and lifted me up behind him on the glossy 
back of his mount, where I hung on as best I 
could by the belts and straps which held the 
Martian's weapons and ornaments. 

The entire cavalcade then turned and galloped 
away toward the range of hills in the distance. 




WE had gone perhaps ten miles when the 
ground began to rise very rapidly. We 
were, as I was later to learn, nearing the edge 
of one of Mars' long dead seas, in the bottom 
of which my encounter with the Martians had 
taken place. 

In a short time we gained the foot of the moun 
tains, and after traversing a narrow gorge came 
to an open valley, at the far extremity of which 
was a low tableland upon which I beheld an enor 
mous city. Toward this we galloped, entering it 
by what appeared to be a ruined roadway leading 
out from the city, but only to the edge of the table 
land, where it ended abruptly in a flight of broad 

Upon closer observation I saw as we passed 
them that the buildings were deserted, and while 
not greatly decayed had the appearance of not 
having been tenanted for years, possibly for ages. 
Toward the center of the city was a large plaza, 

[35] ' 


and upon this and in the buildings immediately 
surrounding it were camped some nine or ten 
hundred creatures of the same breed as my cap 
tors, for such I now considered them despite the 
suave manner in which I had been trapped. 

With the exception of their ornaments all were 
naked. The women varied in appearance but 
little from the men, except that their tusks were 
much larger in proportion to their height, in some 
instances curving nearly to their high-set ears. 
Their bodies were smaller and lighter in color, 
and their fingers and toes bore the rudiments of 
nails, which were entirely lacking among the 
males. The adult females ranged in height from 
ten to twelve feet. 

The children were light in color, even lighter 
than the women, and all looked precisely alike to 
me, except that some were taller than others ; older, 
I presumed. 

I saw no signs of extreme age among them, 
nor is there any appreciable difference in their 
appearance from the age of maturity, about 
forty, until, at about the age of one thousand 
years, they go voluntarily upon their last strange 
pilgrimage down the river Iss, which leads no 
living Martian knows whither and from whose 



bosom no Martian has ever returned, or would 
be allowed to live did he return after once embark 
ing upon its cold, dark waters. 

Only about one Martian in a thousand dies of 
sickness or disease, and possibly about twenty take 
the voluntary pilgrimage. The other nine hun 
dred and seventy-nine die violent deaths in duels 
in hunting in aviation and in war; but perhaps 
by far the greatest death loss .comes during the 
age of childhood, when vast numbers of the little 
Martians fall victims to the great white apes of 

The average life expectancy of a Martian after 
the age of maturity is about three hundred years, 
but would be nearer the one-thousand mark were 
it not for the various means leading to violent 
death. Owing to the waning resources of the 
planet it evidently became necessary to counteract 
the increasing longevity which their remarkable 
skill in therapeutics and surgery produced, and so 
human life has come to be considered but lightly 
on Mars, as is evidenced by their dangerous sports 
and the almost continual warfare between^ the 
various communities. 

There are other and natural causes tending 
toward a diminution of population, but nothing 



contributes so greatly to this end as the fact that 
no male or female Martian is ever voluntarily 
without a weapon of destruction. 

As we neared the plaza and my presence was 
discovered we were immediately surrounded by 
hundreds of the creatures who seemed anxious to 
pluck me from my seat behind my guard. A word 
from the leader of the party stilled their clamor, 
and we proceeded at a trot across the plaza to 
the entrance of as magnificent an edifice as mortal 
eye has rested upon. 

The building was low, but covered an enormous 
area. It was constructed of gleaming white 
marble inlaid with gold and brilliant stones which 
sparkled and scintillated in the sunlight. The 
main entrance was some hundred feet in width 
and projected from the building proper to form 
a huge canopy above the entrance hall. There, 
was no stairway, but a gentle incline to the first 
floor of the building opened into an enormous 
chamber encircled by galleries. 

On the floor of this chamber, which was dotted 
with highly carved wooden desks and chairs, were 
assembled about forty or fifty mjle Martians 
around the steps of a rostrum. On the platform 
proper squatted an enormous warrior heavily 



loaded with metal ornaments, gay-colored feathers 
and beautifully wrought leather trappings ingen 
iously set with precious stones. From his shoul 
ders depended a short cape of white fur lined 
with brilliant scarlet silk. 

What struck me as most remarkable about this 
assemblage and the hall in which they were con 
gregated was the fact that the creatures were 
entirely out of proportion to the desks, chairs, 
and other furnishings; these being of a size 
adapted to human beings such as I, whereas the 
great bulks of the Martians could scarcely have 
squeezed into the chairs, nor was there room 
beneath the desks for their long legs. Evidently, 
then, there were other denizens on Mars than 
the wild and grotesque creatures into whose hands 
I had fallen, but the evidences of extreme antiquity 
which showed all around me indicated that these 
buildings might have belonged to some long extinct 
and forgotten race in the dim antiquity of Mars. 

Our party had halted at the entrance to the 
building, and at a sign from the leader I had 
been lowered to the ground. Again locking his 
arm in mine, we had proceeded into the audience 
chamber. There were few formalities observed 
in approaching the Martian chieftain. My captor 


merely strode up to the rostrum, the others mak 
ing way for him as he advanced. The chieftain 
rose to his feet and uttered the name of my escort 
who, in turn, halted and repeated the name of 
the ruler followed by his title. 

At the time, this ceremony and the words they 
uttered meant nothing to me, but later I came to 
know that this was the customary greeting between 
green Martians. Had the men been strangers, 
and therefore unable to exchange names, they 
would have silently exchanged ornaments, had 
their missions been peaceful otherwise they 
would have exchanged shots, or have fought out 
their introduction with some other of their various 

My captor, whose name was Tars Tarkas, was 
virtually the vice-chieftain of the community, and 
a man of great ability as a statesman and warrior. 
He evidently explained briefly the incidents con- 
f nected with his expedition, including my capture, 
and when he had concluded the chieftain addressed 
me at some length. 

I replied in our good old English tongue merely 
to convince him that neither of us could understand 
the other; but I noticed that when I smiled slightly 
on concluding, he did likewise. This fact, and 


the similar occurrence during my first talk with 
Tars Tarkas, convinced me that we had at least 
something in common; the ability to smile, there 
fore to laugh; denoting a sense of humor. But I 
was to learn that the Martian smile is merely 
perfunctory, and that the Martian laugh is a 
thing to cause strong men to blanch in horror. 

The ideas of humor among the green men of 
Mars are widely at variance with our conceptions 
of incitants to merriment. The death agonies of 
& fellow being are, to these strange creatures, pro 
vocative of the wildest hilarity, while their chief 
form of commonest amusement is to inflict death 
on their prisoners of war in various ingenious and 
horrible ways. 

The assembled warriors and chieftains exam 
ined me closely, feeling my muscles and the tex 
ture of my skin. The principal chieftain then 
evidently signified a desire to see me perform, and, 
motioning me to follow, he started with Tars 
Tarkas for the open plaza. 

Now, I had made no attempt to walk, since 
my first signal failure, except while tightly grasp 
ing Tars Tarkas' arm, and so now I went skip 
ping and flitting about among the desks and chairs 
like some monstrous grasshopper. After bruis- 


ing myself severely, much to the amusement of 
the Martians, I again had recourse to creeping, 
but this did not suit them and I was roughly jerked 
to my feet by a towering fellow who had laughed 
most heartily at my misfortunes. 

As he banged me down upon my feet his face 
was bent close to mine and I did the only thing 
a gentleman might do under the circumstances of 
brutality, boorishness, and lack of consideration 
for a stranger's rights; I swung my fist squarely 
to his jaw and he went down like a felled ox. As 
he sunk to the floor I wheeled around with my 
back toward the nearest desk, expecting to be 
overwhelmed by the vengeance of his fellows, but 
determined to give them as good a battle as the 
unequal odds would permit before I gave up my 

My fears were groundless, however, as the 
other Martians, at first struck dumb with wonder 
ment, finally broke into wild peals of laughter and 
applause. I did not recognize the applause as 
such, but later, when I had become acquainted 
with their customs, I learned that I had won what 
they seldom accord, a manifestation of approba 

The fellow whom I had struck lay where he had 



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

My exhibition had been witnessed by several 
hundred lesser Martians, and they immediately 
broke into demands for a repetition, which the 
chieftain then ordered me to make; but I was 
both hungry and thirsty, and determined on the 
spot that my only method of salvation was tct 
demand the consideration from these creature? 
which they evidently would not voluntarily accord, 
I therefore ignored the repeated commands W 



"sak," and each time they were made I motioned 
to my mouth and rubbed my stomach. 

Tars Tarkas and the chief exchanged a few 
words, and the former, calling to a young female 
among the throng, gave her some instructions 
and motioned me to accompany her. I grasped 
her proffered arm and together we crossed the 
plaza toward a large building on the far side. 

My fair companion was about eight feet tall, 
having just arrived at maturity, but not yet to her 
full height. She was of a light olive-green color, 
with a smooth, glossy hide. Her name, as I after 
ward learned, was Sola, and she belonged to the 
retinue of Tars Tarkas. Sh conducted me to a 
spacious chamber in one of the buildings fronting 
on the plaza, and which, from the litter of silks 
and furs upon the floor, I took to be the sleeping 
quarters of several of the natives. 

The room was well lighted by a number of 
large windows and was beautifully decorated with 
mural paintings and mosaics, but upon all there 
seemed to rest that indefinable touch of the finger 
of antiquity which convinced me that the archi 
tects and builders of these wondrous creations 
had nothing In common with the crude half-brutes 
which now occupied them. 


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




SOLA stared into the brute's wicked-looking 
eyes, muttered a word or two of command, 
pointed to me, and left the chamber. I could not 
but wonder what this ferocious-looking monstros 
ity might do when left alone in such close prox 
imity to such a relatively tender morsel of meat; 
but my fears were groundless, as the beast, after 
surveying me intently for a moment, crossed the 
room to the only exit whrch led to the street, and 
lay down full length across the threshold. 

This was my first experience with a Martian 
watch dog, but it was destined not to be my last, 
for this fellow guarded me carefully during the 
time I remained a captive among these green men ; 
twice saving my life, and never voluntarily being 
away from me a moment. 

While Sola was away I took occasion to examine 
more minutely the room in which I found myself 
captive. The mural painting depicted scenes of 
rare and wonderful beauty: mountains, rivers, 


__-______ ^_ __________ sx ^. 

lake, ocean, meadow, trees and flowers, winding 
roadways, sun-kissed gardens scenes which 
might have portrayed earthly views but for the 
different colorings of the vegetation. The work 
had evidently been wrought by a master hand, so 
subtle the atmosphere, so perfect the technique; 
yet nowhere was there a representation of a living 
animal, either human or brute, by which I could 
guess at the likeness of these other and perhaps 
extinct denizens of Mars. 

While I was allowing my fancy to run riot in 
wild conjecture on the possible explanation of the 
strange anomalies which I had so far met with on 
Mars, Sola returned bearing both food and drink. 
These she placed on the floor beside me, and seat 
ing herself a short ways off regarded me intently. 
The food consisted of about a pound of some solid 
substance of the consistency of cheese and almost 
tasteless, while the liquid was apparently milk 
from some animal. It was not unpleasant to the 
taste, though slightly acid, and I learned in a short 
time to prize it very highly. It came, as I later 
discovered, not from an animal, as there is only 
one mammal on Mars and that one very rare 
indeed, but from a large pknt which grows prac 
tically without water, but seems to distill its 


ful supply of milk from the products of the soil, 
the moisture of the air, and the rays of the sun. 
A single plant of this species will give eight or 
ten quarts of milk per day. 

After I had eaten I was greatly invigorated, but 
feeling the need of rest I stretched out upon the 
silks and was soon asleep. I must have slept sev 
eral hours, as it was dark when I awoke, and I 
was very cold. I noticed that someone had thrown 
a fur over me, but it had become partially dis 
lodged and in the darkness I could not see to 
replace it. Suddenly a hand reached out and 
pulled the fur over me, shortly afterwards adding 
another to my covering. 

I presumed that my watchful guardian was Sola, 
nor was I wrong. This girl alone, among all the 
green Martians with whom I came in contact, 
disclosed characteristics of sympathy, kindliness, 
and affection ; her ministrations to my bodily wants 
were unfailing, and her solicitous care saved me 
from much suffering and many hardships. 

As I was to learn, the Martian nights are 
extremely cold, and as there is practically no 
twilight or dawn, the changes in temperature are 
sudden and most uncomfortable, as are the tran 
sitions from brilliant daylight to darkness. The 



nights are either brilliantly illumined or very dark, 
for if neither of the two moons of Mars happen 
to be in the sky almost total darkness results, since 
the lack of atmosphere, or, rather, the very thin 
atmosphere, fails to diffuse the starlight to any 
great extent; on the other hand, if both of the 
moons are in the heavens at night the surface of 
the ground is brightly illuminated. 

Both of Mars' moons are vastly nearer her than 
is our moon to Earth; the nearer moon being but 
about five thousand miles distant, while the fur 
ther is but little more than fourteen thousand 
miles away, against the nearly one-quarter million 
miles which separate us from our moon. The 
nearer moon of Mars makes a complete revolu 
tion around the planet in a little over seven and 
one-half hours, so that she may be seen hurtling 
through the sky like some huge meteor two or 
three times each night, revealing all her phases 
during each transit of the heavens. 
- The further moon revolves about Mars in some 
thing over thirty and one-quarter hours, and with 
her sister satellite makes a nocturnal Martian scene 
one of splendid and weird grandeur. And it is 
well that nature has so graciously and abundantly 
lighted the Martian night, for the green men of 



Mars, being a nomadic race without high intel 
lectual development, have but crude means for 
artificial lighting; depending principally upon 
torches, a kind of candle, and a peculiar oil lamp 
which generates a gas and burns without a wick. 

This last device produces an intensely brilliant 
far-reaching white light, but as the natural oil 
which it requires can only be obtained by mining 
in one of several widely separated and remote 
localities it is seldom used by these creatures 
whose only thought is for today, and whose hatred 
for manual labor has kept them in a semi-barbaric 
state for countless ages. 

After Sola had replenished my coverings I 
again slept, nor did I awaken until daylight. The 
other occupants of the room, five in number, were 
all females, and they were still sleeping, piled 
high with a motley array of silks and furs. Across 
the threshold lay stretched the sleepless guardian 
brute, just as I had last seen him on the preceding 
day; apparently he had not moved a muscle; his, 
eyes were fairly glued upon me, and I fell to won 
dering just what might befall me should I endeavor 
to escape. 

I have ever been prone to seek adventure and 
to investigate and experiment where wiser men 

would have left well enough alone. It therefore 
now occurred to me that the surest way of learn 
ing the exact attitude of this beast toward me 
would be to attempt to leave the room. I felt 
fairly secure in my belief that I could escape him 
should he pursue me once I was outside the build 
ing, for I had begun to take great pride in my 
ability as a jumper. Furthermore, I could see 
from the shortness of his legs that the brute him 
self was no jumper and probably no runner. 

Slowly and carefully, therefore, I gained my 
feet, only to see that my watcher did the same; 
cautiously I advanced toward him, finding that 
by moving with a shuffling gait I could retain my 
balance as well as make reasonably rapid prog 
ress. As I neared the brute he backed cautiously 
away from me, and when I had reached the open 
he moved to one side to let me pass. He then 
fell in behind me and followed about ten paces 
in my rear as I made my way along the deserted 

Evidently his mission was to protect me only, 
I thought, but when we reached the edge of the 
city he suddenly sprang before me, uttering strange 
sounds and baring his ugly and ferocious tusks. 
Thinking to have some amusement at his expense, 


I rushed toward him, and when almost upon him 
sprang into the air, alighting far beyond him 
and away from the city. He wheeled instantly 
and charged me with the most appalling speed 
I had ever beheld. I had thought his short legs 
a bar to swiftness, but had he been coursing with 
greyhounds the latter wou!4 have appeared as 
though asleep on a door mat. As I was to learn, 
this is the fleetest animal on Mars, and owing 
to its intelligence, loyalty, and ferocity is used in 
hunting, in war, and as the protector of the Mar 
tian man. 

I quickly saw that I would have difficulty in 
escaping the fangs of the beast on a straightaway 
course, and so I met his charge by doubling in my 
tracks and leaping over him as he was almost 
upon me. This maneuver gave me a considerable 
advantage, and I was able to reach the city quite 
a bit ahead of him, and as he came tearing after 
me I jumped for a window about thirty feet from 
'he ground in the face of one of the buildings over- 
1 looking the valley. 

Grasping the sill I pulled myself up to a sitting 
posture without looking into the building, and 
gazed down at the baffled animal beneath me. My 
exultation was short lived, however, for scarcely 


had I gained a secure seat upon the sill than a 
huge hand grasped me by the neck from behind 
and dragged me violently into the room. Here 
I was thrown upon my back, and beheld standing 
over me a colossal ape-like creature, white and 
hairless except for an enormous shock of bristly 
hair upon its head. 


THE thing, which more nearly resembled our 
earthly men than it did the Martians I had 
seen, held me pinioned to the ground with one 
huge foot, while it jabbered and gesticulated at 
some answering creature behind me. This other, 
which was evidently its mate, soon came toward 
us, bearing a mighty stone cudgel with which it 
evidently intended to brain me. 

The creatures were about ten or fifteen feet tall, 
standing erect, and had, like the green Martians, 
an intermediary set of arms or legs, midway 
between their upper and lower limbs. Their eyes 
were close together and non-protruding; their ears 
were high set, but more laterally located than those 
of the Martians, while their snouts and teeth were 
strikingly like those of our African gorilla. Alto 
gether they were not unlovely when viewed in 
comparison with the green Martians. 

The cudgel was swinging in the arc which ended 
upon my upturned face when a bolt of myriad* 


legged horror hurled itself through the doorway 
full upon the breast of my executioner. With a 
shriek of fear the ape which held me leaped 
through the open window, but its mate closed in a 
terrific death struggle with my preserver, which 
was nothing less than my faithful watch-thing; I 
cannot bring myself to call so hideous a creature 
a dog. 

As quickly as possible I gained my feet and 
backing against the wall I witnessed such a battle 
as it is vouchsafed few beings to see. The strength, 
agility, and blind ferocity of these two creatures 
is approached by nothing known to earthly man. 
My beast had an advantage in his first hold, hav 
ing sunk his mighty fangs far into the breast of 
his adversary; but the great arms and paws of 
the ape, backed by muscles far transcending those 
of the Martian men I had seen, had locked the 
throat of my guardian and slowly were choking 
out his life, and bending back his head and neck 
upon his body, where I momentarily expected the 
former to fall limp at the end of a broken neck. 

In accomplishing this the ape was tearing away 
the entire front of its breast, which was held in 
the vise-like grip of the powerful jaws. Back and 
forth upon the floor they rolled, neither one emit- 



ting a sound of fear or pain. Presently I saw the 
great eyes of my beast bulging completely from 
their sockets and blood flowing from its nostrils. 
That he was weakening perceptibly was evident, 
but so also was the ape, whose struggles were 
growing momentarily less. 

Suddenly I came to myself and, with that strange 
instinct which seems ever to prompt me to my duty, 
I seized the cudgel, which had fallen to the floor 
at the commencement of the battle, and swinging 
it with all the power of my earthly arms I crashed 
it full upon the head of the ape, crushing his skull 
as though it had been an egg shell. 

Scarcely had the blow descended when I was 
confronted with a new danger. The ape's mate, 
recovered from its first shock of terror, had 
returned to the scene of the encounter by way of 
,the interior of the building. I glimpsed him just 
before he reached the doorway and the sight of 
him, now roaring as he perceived his lifeless fellow 
stretched upon the floor, and frothing at the 
mouth, in the extremity of his rage, filled me, I 
must confess, with dire forebodings. 

I am ever willing to stand and fight when the 
odds are not too overwhelmingly against me, but 
in this instance I perceived neither glory nor profit 



in pitting my relatively puny strength against the 
iron muscles and brutal ferocity of this enraged 
denizen of an unknown world; in fact, the only 
outcome of such an encounter, so far as I might 
be concerned, seemed sudden death. 

I was standing near the window and I knew 
that once in the street I might gain the plaza and 
safety before the creature could overtake me; at 
least there was a chance for safety in flight, against 
almost certain death should I remain and fight 
however desperately. 

It is true I held the cudgel, but what could I do 
with it against his four great arms ? Even should 
I break one of them with my first blow, for I 
figured that he would attempt to ward off the 
cudgel, he could reach out and annihilate me with 
the others before I could recover for a second 

In the instant that these thoughts passed 
through my mind I had turned to make for the 
window, but my eyes alighting on the form of my 
erstwhile guardian threw all thoughts of flight to 
the four winds. He lay gasping upon the floor 
of the chamber, his great eyes fastened upon me 
in what seemed a pitiful appeal for protection. 
I could not withstand that look, nor could I, on 



second thought, have deserted my rescuer without 
giving as good an account of myself in his behalf 
as he had in mine. 

Without more ado, therefore, I turned to meet 
the charge of the infuriated bull ape. He was now 
too close upon me for the cudgel to prove of any 
effective assistance, so I merely threw it as heavily 
as I could at his advancing bulk. It struck him 
just below the knees, eliciting a howl of pain and 
rage, and so throwing him off his balance that he 
lunged full upon me with arms wide stretched to 
ease his fall. 

Again, as on the preceding day, I had recourse 
to earthly tactics, and swinging my right fist full 
upon the point of his chin I followed it with a 
smashing left to the pit of his stomach. The effect 
was marvelous, for, as I lightly side-stepped, after 
delivering the second blow, he reeled and fell upon 
the floor doubled up with pain and gasping for 
wind. Leaping over his prostrate body, I seized 
the cudgel and finished the monster before he 
could regain his feet. 

As I delivered the blow a low laugh rang out 
behind me, and, turning, I beheld Tars Tarkas, 
Sola, and three or four warriors standing in the 
doorway of the chamber. As my eyes met theirs 


I was, for the second time, the recipient of their 
zealously guarded applause. 

My absence had been noted by Sola on her 
awakening, and she had quickly informed Tars 
Tarkas, who had set out immediately with a hand 
ful of warriors to search for me. As they had 
approached the limits of the city they had wit 
nessed the actions of the bull ape as he bolted 
into the building, frothing with rage. 

They had followed immediately behind him, 
thinking it barely possible that his actions might 
prove a clew to my whereabouts, and had wit 
nessed my short but decisive battle with him. This 
encounter, together with my set-to with the Mar 
tian warrior on the previous day and my feats of 
jumping placed me upon a high pinnacle in their 
regard. Evidently devoid of all the finer senti 
ments of friendship, love, or affection, these people 
fairly worship physical prowess and bravery, and 
nothing is too good for the object of their adora 
tion as long as he maintains his position by 
repeated examples of his skill, strength, and cour 
age. t 

Sola, who had accompanied the searching party 
of her own volition, was the only one of the Mar 
tians whose face had not been twisted in laughter 



as I batded for my life. She, on the contrary, 
was sober with apparent solicitude and, as soon 
as I had finished the monster, rushed to me and 
carefully examined my body for possible wounds 
or injuries. Satisfying herself that I had come off 
unscathed she smiled quietly, and, taking my hand, 
started toward the door of the chamber. 

Tars Tarkas and the other warriors had entered 
and were standing over the now rapidly reviving 
brute which had saved my life, and whose life I, 
in turn, had rescued. They seemed to be deep in 
argument, and finally one of them addressed me, 
but remembering my ignorance of his language 
turned back to Tars Tarkas, who, with a word 
and gesture, gave some command to the fellow 
and turned to follow us from the room. 

There seemed something menacing in their atti 
tude toward my beast, and I hesitated to leave 
until I had learned the outcome. It was well I 
did so, for the warrior drew an evil-looking pistol 
from its holster and was on the point of putting 
an end to the creature when I sprang forward and 
struck up his arm. The bullet striking the wooden 
casing of the window exploded, blowing a hole 
completely through the wood and masonry. 

I then knelt down beside the fearsome looking 



thing, and raising it to its feet motioned for it to 
follow me. The looks of surprise which my actions 
elicited from the Martians were ludicrous; they 
could not understand, except in a feeble and child 
ish way, such attributes as gratitude and compas 
sion. The warrior whose gun I had struck up 
looked inquiringly at Tars Tarkas, but the latter 
signed that I be left to my own devices, and so 
we returned to the plaza with my great beast fol 
lowing close at heel, and Sola grasping me tightly 
by the arm. 

I had at least two friends on Mars; a young 
woman who watched over me with motherly solic 
itude, and a dumb brute which, as I later came to 
know, held in its poor ugly carcass more love, 
more loyalty, more gratitude than could have been 
found in the entire five million green Martians 
who rove the deserted cities and dead sea bottoms 
of Mars. 




AFTER a breakfast, .which was an exact 
replica of the meal of the preceding day 
and an index of practically every meal which fol 
lowed while I was with the green men of Mars, 
Sola escorted me to the plaza, where I found the 
entire community engaged in watching or helping 
at the harnessing of huge mastodonian animals to 
great three-wheeled chariots 1 . There were about 
two hundred and fifty of these vehicles, each 
drawn by a single animal, any one of which, from 
their appearance, might easily have drawn the 
entire wagon train when fully loaded. 

The chariots themselves were large, commo 
dious, and gorgeously decorated. In each was 
seated a female Martian loaded with ornaments 
of metal, with jewels and silks and furs, and upon 
the back of each of the beasts which drew the 
chariots was perched a young Martian driver. Like 
the animals upon which the warriors were 
mounted, the heavier draft animals wore neither 


bit nor bridle, but were guided entirely by tel 
epathic means. 

This power is wonderfully developed in all 
Martians, and accounts largely for the simplicity 
of their language and the relatively few spoken 
words exchanged even in long conversations. It 
is the universal language of Mars, through the 
medium of which the higher and lower animals of 
this world of paradoxes are able to communicate 
to a greater or less extent, depending upon the 
intellectual sphere of the species and the develop 
ment of the individual. 

As the cavalcade took up the line of march in 
single file, Sola dragged me into an empty chariot 
and we proceeded with the procession toward the 
point by which I had entered the city the day 
before. At the head of the caravan rode some two 
hundred warriors, five abreast, and a like number 
brought up the rear, while twenty-five or thirty 
outriders flanked us on either side. 

Every one but myself men, women, and chil 
dren were heavily armed, and at the tail of 
each chariot trotted a Martian hound, my own 
beast following closely behind ours; in fact, the 
faithful creature never left me voluntarily during 
the entire ten years I spent on Mars. Our way 


led out across the little valley before the city, 
through the hills, and down into the dead sea bot 
tom which I had traversed on my journey from 
the incubator to the plaza. The incubator, as it 
proved, was the terminal point of our journey this 
day, and, as the entire cavalcade broke into a mad 
gallop as soon as we reached the level expanse of 
sea bottom, we were soon within sight of our 

On reaching it the chariots were parked with 
military precision on the four sides of the enclos 
ure, and half a score of warriors, headed by the 
enormous chieftain, and including Tars Tarkas 
and several other lesser chiefs, dismounted and 
advanced toward it. I could see Tars Tarkas 
explaining something to the principal chieftain, 
whose name, by the way, was, as nearly as I can 
translate it into English, Lorquas Ptomel, Jed; 
jed being his title. 

I was soon appraised of the subject of their con 
versation, as, calling to Sola, Tars Tarkas signed 
for her to send me to him. I had by this time 
mastered the intricacies of walking under Mar 
tian conditions, and quickly responding to his com 
mand I advanced to the side of the incubator 
where the warriors stood. 



As I reached their side a glance showed me 
that all but a very few eggs had hatched, the incu 
bator being fairly alive with the hideous little 
devils. They ranged in height from three to 
four feet, and were moving restlessly about the 
enclosure as though searching for food. 

As I came to a halt before him, Tars Tarkas 
pointed over the incubator and said, "sak." I 
saw that he wanted me to repeat my performance 
of yesterday for the edification of Lorquas Ptomel, 
and, as I must confess that my prowess gave me 
no little satisfaction, I responded quickly, leaping 
entirely over the parked chariots on the far side of 
the incubator. As I returned, Lorquas Ptomel 
grunted something at me, and turning to his war 
riors gave a few words of command relative to 
the incubator. They paid no further attention to 
me and I was thus permitted to remain close and 
watch their operations, which consisted in break 
ing an opening in the wall of the incubator large 
enough to permit of the exit of the young 

On either side of this opening the women and 
the younger Martians, both male and female, 
formed two solid walls leading out through the 
chariots and quite away into the plain beyond, 



Between these walls the little Martians scampered, 
wild as deer; being permitted to run the full length 
of the aisle, where they were captured one at a 
time by the women and older children ; the last in 
the line capturing the first little one to reach the 
end of the gauntlet, her opposite in the line cap 
turing the second, and so on until all the little 
fellows had left the enclosure and been appro 
priated by some youth or female. As the women 
caught the young they fell out of line and returned 
to their respective chariots, while those who fell 
into the hands of the young men were later turned 
over to some of the women. 

I saw that the ceremony, if it could be dignified 
by such a name, was over, and seeking out Sola 
I found her in our chariot with a hideous little 
creature held tightly in her arms. 

The work of rearing young, green Martians 
consists solely in teaching them to talk, and to 
use the weapons of warfare with which they are 
loaded down from the very first year of their lives. 
Coming from eggs in which they have lain for 
five years, the period of incubation, they step forth 
into the world perfectly developed except in size. 
Entirely unknown to their own mothers, who, in 
turn, would have difficulty in pointing out the 


fathers with any degree of accuracy, they are the 
common children of the community, and their edu 
cation devolves upon the females who chance to 
capture them as they leave the incubator. 

Their foster mothers may not even have had 
an egg in the incubator, as was the case with Sola, 
who had not commenced to lay, until less than a 
year before she became the mother of another 
woman's offspring. But this counts for little 
among the green Martians, as parental and filial 
love is as unknown to them as it is common among 
us. I believe this horrible system which has been 
carried on for ages is the direct cause of the loss 
of all the finer feelings and higher humanitarian 
instincts among these poor creatures. From birth 
they know no father or mother love, they know 
not the meaning of the word home ; they are taught 
that they are only suffered to live until they can 
demonstrate by their physique and ferocity that 
they are fit to live. Should they prove deformed 
or defective in any way they are promptly shot; 
nor do they see a tear shed for a single one of the 
many cruel hardships they pass through from 
earliest infancy. 

I do not mean that the adult Martians are 
unnecessarily or intentionally cruel to the young, 



but theirs is a hard and pitiless struggle for exist 
ence upon a dying planet, the natural resources of 
which have dwindled to a point where the support 
of each additional life means an added tax upon 
the community into which it is thrown. 

By careful selection they rear only the hardiest 
specimens of each species, and with almost super 
natural foresight they regulate the birth rate to 
merely offset the loss by death. Each adult Mar 
tian female brings forth about thirteen eggs each 
year, and those which meet the size, weight, and 
specific gravity tests are hidden in the recesses of 
some subterranean vault where the temperature is 
too low for incubation. Every year these eggs 
are carefully examined by a council of twenty 
chieftains, and all but about one hundred of the 
most perfect are destroyed out of each yearly 
supply. At the end of five years about five hun 
dred almost perfect eggs have been chosen from 
the thousands brought forth. These are then 
placed in the almost air-tight incubators to be 
hatched by the sun's rays after a period of another 
five years. The hatching which we had witnessed 
today was a fairly representative event of its kind, 
all but about one per cent of the eggs hatching in 
two days. If the remaining eggs ever batched we 


knew nothing of the fate of the little Martians. 
They were not wanted, as their offspring might 
inherit and transmit the tendency to prolonged 
incubation, and thus upset the system which has 
maintained for ages and which permits the adult 
Martians to figure the proper time for return to 
the incubators, almost to an hour. 

The incubators are built in remote fastnesses, 
where there is little or no likelihood of their being 
discovered by other tribes. The result of such a 
catastrophe would mean no children in the commu 
nity for another five years. I was later to wit 
ness the results of the discovery of an alien incu 

The community of which the green Martians 
with whom my lot was cast formed a part was 
composed of some thirty thousand souls. They 
roamed an enormous tract of arid and semi-arid 
land between forty and eighty degrees south lati 
tude, and bounded on the east and west by two 
large fertile tracts. Their headquarters lay in 
the southwest corner of this district, near the cross 
ing of two of the so-called Martian canals. 

As the incubator had been placed far north of 
their own territory in a supposedly uninhabited 
and unfrequented area, we had before us a tre- 



mendous journey, concerning which I, of course, 
knew nothing. 

After our return to the dead city I passed sev 
eral days in comparative idleness. On the day fol 
lowing our return all the warriors had ridden forth 
early in the morning and had not returned until 
just before darkness fell. As I later learned, they 
had been to the subterranean vaults in which the 
eggs were kept and had transported them to the 
incubator, which they had then walled up for 
another five years, and which, in all probability, 
would not be visited again during that period. 

The vaults which hid the eggs until they were 
ready for the incubator were located many miles 
south of the incubator, and would be visited yearly 
by the council of twenty chieftains. Why they did 
not arrange to build % their vaults and incubators 
nearer home has always been a mystery to me, and, 
like many other Martian mysteries, unsolved and 
unsolvable by earthly reasoning and customs. 

Sola's duties were now doubled, as she was com 
pelled to care for the young Martian as well as 
for me, but neither one of us required much atten 
tion, and as we were both about equally advanced 
in Martian education, Sola took it upon herself to 
train us together. 



Her prize consisted in a male about four feet 
tall, very strong and physically perfect; also, he 
learned quickly, and we had considerable amuse 
ment, at least I did, over the keen rivalry we dis 
played. The Martian language, as I have said, 
is extremely simple, and in a week I could make 
all my wants known and understand nearly every 
thing that was said to me. Likewise, under Sola's 
tutelage, I developed my telepathic powers so that 
I shortly could sense practically everything that 
went on around me. 

What surprised Sola most in me was that while 
I could catch telepathic messages easily from 
others, and often when they were not intended for 
me, no one could read a jot from my mind under 
any circumstances. At first this vexed me, but 
later I was very glad of it, as it gave me an 
undoubted advantage over the Martians. 



third day after the incubator ceremony 
JL we set forth toward home, bat scarcely had 
the Head of the procession debouched into the 
open ground before the city than orders were 
given for an immediate and hasty return. As 
though trained for years in this particular evolu 
tion, the green Martians melted like mist into 
the spacious doorways of the near-by buildings, 
until, in less than three minutes, the entire caval 
cade of chariots, mastodons and mounted warriors 
was nowhere to be seen. 

Sola and I had entered a building upon the 
front of the <nty, in fact, the same one in which 
I had had my encounter with the apes, and, wish 
ing to see what had caused the sudden retreat, I 
mounted to an upper floor and peered from the 
window out over the valley and the hills beyond ; 
and there I saw the cause of their sudden scurry 
ing to cover. A huge craft, long, low, and gray 
painted, swung slowly over the crest of the nearest 


hill. Following it came another, and another, and 
another, until twenty of them, swinging low above 
the ground, sailed slowly and majestically toward 

Each carried a strange banner swung from stem 
to stern above the upper works, and upon the prow 
of each was painted some odd device that gleamed 
in the sunlight and showed plainly even at the 
distance at whicfi we were from the vessels. I 
could see figures crowding the forward decks and 
upper works of the air craft. Whether they had 
discovered us or simply were looking at the 
deserted city I could not say, but in any event 
they received a rude reception, for suddenly and 
without warning the green Martian warriors fired 
a terrific volley from the windows of the buildings 
facing the little valley across which the great ships 
were so peacefully advancing. 

Instantly the scene changed as by magic; the 
foremost vessel swung broadside toward us, and 
bringing her guns into play returned our fire, at 
the same time moving parallel to our front for a 
short distance and then turning back with the evi 
dent intention of completing a great circle which 
would bring her up to position once more opposite 
our firing line ; the other vessels followed in her 



wake, each one opening upon us as she swung into 
position. Our own fire never diminished, and I 
doubt if twenty-five per cent of our shots went 
wild. It had never been given me to see such 
deadly accuracy of aim, and it seamed as though 
a little figure on one of the craft dropped at the 
explosion of each bullet, while the banners and 
upper works dissolved in spurts of flame as the 
irresistible projectiles of our warriors mowed 
thrpugh them. 

The fire from the vessels was most ineffectual, 
owing, as I afterward learned, to the unexpected 
suddenness of the first volley, which caught the 
ship's crews entirely unprepared and the sighting 
apparatus of the guns unprotected from the deadly 
aim of our warriors. 

It seems that each green warrior has certain 
objective points for his fire under relatively iden 
tical circumstances of warfare. For example, a 
proportion of them, always the best marksmen, 
direct their fire entirely upon the wireless finding 
and sighting apparatus of the big guns of an 
attacking naval force; another detail attends to 
the smaller guns in the same way; others pick off 
the gunners ; still others the officers ; while certain 
other quotas concentrate their attention upon the 



other members of the crew, upon the upper works, 
and upon the steering gear and propellers. 

Twenty minutes after the first volley the great 
fleet swung trailing off in the direction from which 
it had first appeared. Several of the craft were 
limping perceptibly, and seemed but barely under 
the control of their depleted crews. Their fire 
had ceased entirely and all their energies seemed 
focused upon escape. Our warriors then rushed 
up to the roofs of the buildings whkh we occupied 
and followed the retreating armada with a con 
tinuous fusillade of deadly fire. 

One by one, however, the ships managed to dip 
below the crests of the outlying hills until only one 
barely moving craft was in sight This had 
received the brunt of our fire and seemed to be 
entirely unmanned, as not a moving figure was 
visible upon her decks. Slowly she swung from 
her course, circling back toward us in an erratic 
and pitiful manner. Instantly the warriors ceased 
firing, for it was quite apparent that the vessel 
was entirely helpless, and, far from being in a 
position to inflict harm upon us, she could not even 
control herself sufficiently to escape. 

As she neared the city the warriors rushed out 
upon the plain to meet her, but it was evident that 


she still was too high for them to hope to reach 
Eer decks. From my vantage point in the window 
I could see the bodies of her crew strewn about, 
although I could not make out what manner of 
creatures they might be. Not a sign of life was 
manifest upon her as she drifted slowly with the 
light breeze in a southeasterly direction. 

She was drifting some fifty feet above the 
ground, followed by all but some hundred of the 
warriors who had been ordered back to the roofs 
to cover the possibility of a return of the fleet, or 
of reinforcements. It soon became evident that 
she would strike the face of the buildings about 
a mile south of our position, and as I watched 
the progress of the chase I saw a number of war 
riors gallop ahead, dismount and enter the build 
ing she seemed destined to touch. 

As the craft neared the building, and just before 
she struck, the Martian warriors swarmed upon 
her from the windows, and with their great spears 
eased the shock of the collision, and in a few 
moments they had thrown out grappling hooks and 
the big boat was being hauled to ground by their 
fellows below. 

After making her fast, they swarmed the sides 
and searched the vessel from stem to stern. I 


could see them examining the dead sailors, e>i- 
dently for signs of life, and presently a party of 
them appeared from below dragging a little figure 
among them. The creature was considerably less 
than half as tall as the green Martian warriors, 
and from my balcony I could see that it walked 
erect upon two legs and surmised that it was some 
new and strange Martian monstrosity with which 
I had not as yet become acquainted. 

They removed their prisoner to the ground and 
then commenced a systematic rifling of the vessel. 
This operation required several hours, during 
which time a number of the chariots were requisi 
tioned to transport the loot, which consisted in 
arms, ammunition, silks, furs, jewels, strangely 
carved stone vessels, and a quantity of solid foods 
and liquids, including many casks of water, the 
first I had seen since my advent upon Mars. 

After the last load had been removed the war 
riors made lines fast to the craft and towed her 
far out into the valley in a southwesterly direction. 
A few of them then boarded her and were busily 
engaged in what appeared, from my distant posi 
tion, as the emptying of the contents of various 
carboys upon the dead bodies of the sailors and 
over the decks and works of the vessel. 



This operation concluded, they hastily clam 
bered over her sides, sliding down the guy ropes to 
the ground. The last warrior to leave the deck 
turned and threw something back upon the vessel, 
waiting an instant to note the outcome of his act. 
As a faint spurt of flame rose from the point 
where the missile struck he swung over the side 
and was quickly upon the ground. Scarcely had 
he alighted than the guy ropes were simultaneously 
released, and the great warship, lightened by the 
removal of the loot, soared majestically into the 
air, her decks and upper works a mass of roaring 

Slowly she drifted to the southeast, rising higher 
and higher as the flames ate away her wooden 
parts and diminished the weight upon her. Ascend 
ing to the roof of the building I watched her for 
hours, until finally she was lost in the dim vistas 
of the distance. The sight was awe-inspiring in 
the extreme as one contemplated this mighty float 
ing funeral pyre, drifting unguided and unmanned 
through the lonely wastes of the Martian heavens; 
a derelict of death and destruction, typifying the 
life story of these strange and ferocious creatures 
into whose unfriendly hands fate had carried it. 

Much depressed, and, to me, unaccountably so, 



I slowly descended to the street. The scene I had 
witnessed seemed to mark the defeat and annihi 
lation of the forces of a kindred people, rather 
than the routing by our green warriors of a horde 
of similar, though unfriendly, creatures. I could 
not fathom the seeming hallucination, nor could 
I free myself from it; but somewhere in the inner 
most recesses of my soul I felt a strange yearning 
toward these unknown foemen, and a mighty hope 
surged through me that the fleet would return and 
demand a reckoning from the green warriors who 
had so ruthlessly and wantonly attacked it. 

Close at my heel, in his now accustomed place, 
followed Woola, the hound, and as I emerged 
upon the street Sola rushed up to me as though 
I had been the object of some search on her part. 
The cavalcade was returning to the plaza, the 
homeward march having been ghrea up for that 
day; nor, in fact, was it recommenced for more 
than a week, owing to the fear of a return attack 
by the air craft 

Lorquas Ptomel was too astute an old warrior 
to be caught upon the open plains with a caravan 
of chariots and children, and so we remained at 
the deserted city until the danger seemed passed. 

As Sola and I entered the plaza a sight met my 



eyes which filled my whole being with a great surge 
of mingled hope, fear, exultation, and depression, 
and yet most dominant was a subtle sense of relief 
and happiness; for just as we neared the throng 
of Martians I caught a glimpse of the prisoner 
from the battle craft who was being roughly 
dragged into a near-by building by a couple of 
green Martian females. 

And the sight which met my eyes was that of a 
slender, girlish figure, similar in every detail to 
the earthly women of my past life. She did not 
see me at first, but just as she was disappearing 
through the portal of the building which was to be 
her prison she turned, and her eyes met mine. Her 
face was oval and beautiful in the extreme, her 
every feature was finely chiseled and exquisite, her 
eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted 
by a mass of coal black, waving hair, caught 
loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Her 
skin was of a light reddish copper color, against 
which the crimson glow of her cheeks and the ruby 
of her beautifully molded lips shone with a 
strangely enhancing effect. 

She was as destitute of clothes as the green 
Martians who accompanied her; indeed, save for 
her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely 


naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the 
beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure. 

As her gaze rested on me her eyes opened wide 
in astonishment, and she made a little sign with 
her free hand; a sign which I did not, of course, 
understand. Just a moment we gazed upon each 
other, and then the look of hope and renewed 
courage which had glorified her face as she dis 
covered me, faded into one of utter dejection, 
mingled with loathing and contempt. I realized 
I had not answered her signal, and ignorant as I 
was of Martian customs, I intuitively felt that she 
had made an appeal for succor and protection 
which my unfortunate ignorance had prevented 
me from answering. 'And then she was dragged 
out of my sight into the depths of the deserted 



AS I came back to myself I glanced at Sola, 
./A. who had witnessed this encounter and I was 
surprised to note a strange expression upon her 
usually expressionless countenance. What her 
thoughts were I did not know, for as yet I had 
learned but little of the Martian tongue; enough 
only to suffice for my daily needs. 

As I reached the doorway of our building a 
strange surprise awaited me. A warrior ap 
proached bearing the arms, ornaments, and full 
accouterments of his kind. These he presented 
to me with a few unintelligible words, and a bear 
ing at once respectful and menacing. 

Later, Sola, with the aid of several of the other 
women, remodeled the trappings to fit my lesser 
proportions, and after they completed the work 
I went about garbed in all the panoply of war. 

From then on Sola instructed me in the mys 
teries of the various weapons, and with the Mar 
tian young I spent several hours each day prac- 


ticing upon the plaza. I was not yet proficient 
with all the weapons, but my great familiarity 
with similar earthly weapons made me an unusually 
apt pupil, and I progressed in a very satisfactory 

The training of myself and the young Martians 
was conducted solely by the women, who not only 
attend to the education of the young in the arts 
of individual defense and offense, but are also the 
artisans who produce every manufactured article 
wrought by the green Martians. They make the 
powder, the cartridges, the fire arms ; in fact every 
thing of value is produced by the females. In 
time of actual warfare they form a part of the 
reserves, and when the necessity arises fight with 
even greater intelligence and ferocity than the 

The men are trained in the higher branches of 
the art of war; in strategy and the maneuvering 
of large bodies of troops. They make the laws 
as they are needed; a new law for each emergency,, 
They are unfettered by precedent in the admin 
istration of justice. Customs have been handed 
down by ages of repetition, but the punishment 
for ignoring a custom rs a matter for individual 
treatment by a jury of the culprit's peers, and I 

.* r^r 


may say that justice seldom misses fire, but seems 
rather to rule in inverse ratio to the ascendency 
of law. In one respect at least the Martians are 
a happy people ; they have no lawyers. 

I did not see the prisoner again for several days 
subsequent to our first encounter, and then only 
to catch a fleeting glimpse of her as she was being 
conducted to the great audience chamber where 
I had had my first meeting with Lorquas Ptomel. 
I could not but note the unnecessary harshness and 
brutality with which her guards treated her; so 
different from the almost maternal kindliness 
which Sola manifested toward me, and the respect 
ful attitude of the few green Martians who took 
the trouble to notice me at all. 

I had observed on the two occasions when I had 
seen her that the prisoner exchanged words with 
her guards, and this convinced me that they spoke, 
or at least could make themselves understood by 
a common language. With this added incentive 
I nearly drove Sola distracted by my importunities 
to hasten on my education, and within a few more 
days I had mastered the Martian tongue suffi 
ciently well to enable me to carry on a passable 
conversation and to fully understand practically 
all that I heard. 



At this time our sleeping quarters were occupied 
by three or four females and a couple of the 
recently hatched young, beside Sola and her youth 
ful ward, myself, and Woola the hound. After 
they had retired for the night it was customary 
for the adults to carry on a desultory conversation 
for a short time before lapsing into sleep, and 
now that I could understand their language I was 
always a keen listener, although I never proffered 
any remarks myself. 

On the night following the prisoner's visit to 
the audience chamber the conversation finally fell 
upon this subject, and I was all ears on the instant. 
I had feared to question Sola relative to the beau 
tiful captive, as I could not but recall the strange 
expression I had noted upon her face after my first 
encounter with the prisoner. That it denoted 
jealousy I could not say, and yet, judging all things 
by mundane standards as I still did, I felt it safer 
to affect indifference in the matter until I learned 
more surely Sola's attitude toward the object of 
my solicitude. 

Sarkoja, one of the older women who shared 
our domicile, had been present at the audience as 
one of the captive's guards, and it was toward her 
the questioners turned. 



"When," asked one of the women, "will wr 
enjoy the death throes of the red one? or does 
Lorquas Ptomel, Jed, intend holding her for 

" They have decided to carry her with us back 
to Thark, and exhibit her last agonies at the great 
games before Tal Hajus," replied Sarkoja. 

"What will be the manner of her going out?" 
inquired Sola. " She is very small and very beau 
tiful; I had hoped that they would hold her for 


Sarkoja and the other women grunted angrily 
at this evidence of weakness on the part of Sola. 

" It is sad, Sola, that you were not born a mil 
lion years ago," snapped Sarkoja, "when all the 
hollows of the land were filled with water, and the 
peoples were as soft as the stuff they sailed upon. 
In our day we have progressed to a point where 
such sentiments mark weakness and atavism. It 
will not be well for you to permit Tars Tarkas to 
learn that you hold such degenerate sentiments, as 
I doubt that he would care to entrust such as you 
with the grave responsibilities of maternity." 

"I see nothing wrong with my expression of 
interest in this red woman," retorted Sola. " She 
has never harmed us, nor would she should we 


have fallen into her hands. It is only the men 
of her kind who war upon us, and I have ever 
thought that their attitude toward us is but the 
reflection of ours toward them. They live at peace 
with all their fellows, except when duty calls upon 
them to make war, while we are at peace with 
none; forever warring among our own kind as well 
as upon the red men, and even in our own com 
munities the individuals fight amongst themselves. 
Oh, it is one continual, awful period of blood 
shed from the time we break the shell until we 
gladly embrace the bosom of the river of mystery, 
the dark and ancient Iss which carries us to an 
unknown, but at least no more frightful and ter 
rible existence ! Fortunate indeed is he who meets 
his end in an early death. Say what you please to 
^Tars Tarkas, he can mete out no worse fate to 
me than a continuation of the horrible existence 
we are forced to lead in this life." 

This wild outbreak on the part of Sola so greatly 
surprised and shocked the other women, that, 
after a few words of general reprimand, they all 
lapsed into silence and were soon asleep. One 
thing the episode had accomplished was to assure 
me of Sola's friendliness toward the poor girl, and 
also to convince me that I had been extremely 



fortunate in falling into her hands rather than 
those of some of the other females. I knew that 
she was fond of me, and now that I had discovered 
that she hated cruelty and barbarity I was confi 
dent that I could depend upon her to aid me and 
the girl captive to escape, provided of course that 
such a thing was within the range of possibilities. 

I did not even know that there were any better 
conditions to escape to, but I was more than willing 
to take my chances among people fashioned after 
my own mold rather than to remain longer among 
the hideous and bloodthirsty green men of Mars. 
But where to go, and how, was as much of a puzzle 
to me as the age old search for the spring of 
eternal life has been to earthly men since the begin 
ning of time. 

I decided that at the first opportunity I would 
take Sola into my confidence and openly ask her 
to aid me, and with this resolution strong upon 
me I turned among my silks and furs and slept 
the dreamless and refreshing sleep of Mars. 





ARLY the next morning I was astir. Con 
siderable freedom was allowed me, as Sola 
had informed me that so long as I did not attempt 
to leave the city I was free to go and come as I 
pleased. She had warned me, however, against 
venturing forth unarmed, as this city, like all other 
deserted metropolises of an ancient Martian 
civilization, was peopled by the great white apes 
of my second day's adventure. 

In advising me that I must not leave the boun 
daries of the city Sola had explained that Woola 
would prevent this anyway should I attempt it, and 
she warned me most urgently not to arouse his 
fierce nature by ignoring his warnings should I 
venture too close to the forbidden territory. His 
nature was such, she said, that he would bring me 
back into the city dead or alive should I persist 
in opposing him; "preferably dead," she added. 

On this morning I had chosen a new street to 
explore when suddenly I found myself at the 



limits of the city. Before me were low hills pierceA 
by narrow and inviting ravines. I longed to 
explore the country before me, and, like the pioneer 
stock from which I sprang, to view what the land 
scape beyond the encircling hills might disclose 
from the summits which shut out my view. 

It also occurred to me that this would prove 
an excellent opportunity to test the qualities of 
Woola, I was convinced that the brute loved 
me; I had seen more evidences of affection in him 
than in any other Martian animal, man or beast, 
and I was sure that gratitude for the acts that had 
twice saved his life would more than outweigh 
his loyalty to the duty imposed upon him by cruel 
and loveless masters. 

As I approached the boundary line Woola ran 
anxiously before me, and thrust his body against 
my legs. His expression was pleading rather than 
ferocious, nor did he bare his great tusks or utter 
his fearful guttural warnings. Denied the friend 
ship and companionship of my kind, I had devel 
oped considerable affection for Woola and Sola, 
for the normal earthly man must have some outlet 
for his natural affections, and so I decided upon 
an appeal to a like instinct in this great brute, sure 
that I would not be disappointed. 



I had never petted nor fondled him, but now I 
sat upon the ground and putting my arms around 
his heavy neck I stroked and coaxed him, talking 
in my newly acquired Martian tongue as I would 
have to my hound at home, as I would have talked 
to any other friend among the lower animals. His 
response to my manifestation of affection was 
remarkable to a degree; he stretched his great 
mouth to its full width, baring the entire expanse 
of his upper rows of tusks and wrinkling his snout 
until his great eyes were almost hidden by the folds 
of flesh. If you have ever seen a collie smile you 
may have some idea of Woola's facial distortion. 

He threw himself upon his back and fairly wal 
lowed at my feet; jumped up and sprang upon 
me, rolling me upon the ground by his great 
weight; then wriggling and squirming around me 
like a playful puppy presenting its back for the 
petting it craves. I could not resist the ludicrous- 
ness of the spectacle, and holding my sides I rocked 
back and forth in the first laughter which had 
passed my lips in many days; the first, in fact, 
since the morning Powell had left camp when his 
horse, long unused, had precipitately and unex 
pectedly bucked him off headforemost into a pot of 


My laughter frightened Woola, his antics 
ceased and he crawled pitifully toward me, poking 
his ugly head far into my lap; and then I remem 
bered what laughter signified on Mars torture, 
suffering, death. Quieting myself, I rubbed the 
poor old fellow's head and back, talked to him 
for a few minutes, and then in an authoritative 
tone commanded him to follow me, and arising 
started for the hills. 

There was no further question of authority 
between us; Woola was my devoted slave from 
that moment hence, and I his only and undisputed 
master. My walk to the hills occupied but a few 
minutes, and I found nothing of particular interest 
to reward me. Numerous brilliantly colored and 
strangely formed wild flowers dotted the ravines 
and from the summit of the first hill I saw still 
other hills stretching off toward the north, and 
rising, one range above another, until lost in moun 
tains of quite respectable dimensions; though I 
afterward found that only a few peaks on all Mars 
exceed four thousand feet in height; the suggestion 
of magnitude was merely relative. 

My morning's walk had been large with impor 
tance to me for it had resulted in a perfect under 
standing with Woola, upon whom Tars Tarkas 



relied for my safe keeping. I now knew that while 
theoretically a prisoner I was virtually free, and 
I hastened to regain the city limits before the 
defection of Woola could be discovered by his 
erstwhile masters. The adventure decided me 
never again to leave the limits of my prescribed 
stamping grounds until I was ready to venture 
forth for good and all, as it would certainly result 
in a curtailment of my liberties^ as well as the 
probable death of Woola, were we to be dis 

On regaining the plaza I had my third glimpse 
of the captive girl. She was standing with her 
guards before the entrance to the audience 
chamber, and as I approached she gave me one 
haughty glance and turned her back full upon me. 
The act was so womanly, so earthly womanly, 
that though it stung my pride it also warmed my 
heart with a feeling of companionship ; it was good 
to know that some one else on Mars beside myself 
had human instincts of a civilized order, even 
though the manifestation of them was so painful 
and mortifying. 

Had a green Martian woman desired to show 
dislike or contempt she would, in all likelihood, 
have done it with a sword thrust or a movement 



of her trigger finger; but as their sentiments are 
mostly atrophied it would have required a serious 
injury to have aroused such passions in them. 
Sola, let me add, was an exception; I never saw 
her perform a cruel or uncouth act, or fail in uni 
form kindliness and good nature. She was indeed, 
a.s her fellow Martian had said of her, an atavism ; 
a dear and precious reversion to a former type 
of loved and loving ancestor. 

Seeing that the prisoner seemed the center of 
attraction I halted to view the proceedings. I 
had not long to wait for presently Lorquas Ptomel 
and his retinue of chieftains approached the build 
ing and, signing the guards to follow with the 
prisoner, entered the audience chamber. Realiz 
ing that I was a somewhat favored character, and 
also convinced that the warriors did not know of 
my proficiency in their language, as I had plead 
with Sola to keep this a secret on the grounds that 
I did not wish to be forced to talk with the men 
until I had perfectly mastered the Martian tongue, 
I chanced an attempt to enter the audience 
chamber and listen to the proceedings. 

The council squatted upon the steps of the ros 
trum, while below them stood the prisoner and 
her two guards. I saw that one of the women 



was Sarkoja, and thus understood how she had 
been present at the hearing of the preceding day, 
the results of which she had reported to the occu 
pants of our dormitory last night. Her attitude 
toward the captive was most harsh and brutal. 
When she held her, she sunk her rudimentary nails 
into the poor girl's flesh, or twisted her arm in 
a most painful manner. When it was necessary 
to move from one spot to another she either jerked 
her roughly, or pushed her headlong b'efore her. 
She seemed to be venting upon this poor defense 
less creature all the hatred, cruelty, ferocity, and 
spite of her nine hundred years, backed by unguess- 
able ages of fierce and brutal ancestors. 

The other woman was less cruel because she 
was entirely indifferent; if the prisoner "had been 
left to her alone* and fortunately she was at night, 
she would have received no harsh treatment, nor, 
by the same token would she have received any 
attention at all. 

As Lorquas Ptomel raised his eyes to address 
the prisoner they fell on me and he turned to Tars 
Tarkas with a word, and gesture of rmpatience. 
Tars Tarkas made some reply which I could not 
catch, but which caused Lorquas Ptomel to smile : 
after which they paid no further attention to me 



" What is your name? " asked Lorquas Ptomel, 
addressing the prisoner. 

"Dejah Thoris, daughter of Mors Kajak of 

"And the nature of your expedition?" He con 

"It was a purely scientific research party sent 
out by my father's father, the Jeddak of Helium, 
to rechart the air currents, and to take atmospheric 
density tests," replied the fair prisoner, in a low, 
well modulated voice. 

"We were unprepared for battle," she con 
tinued, " as we were on a peaceful mission, as our 
banners and the colors of our craft denoted. The 
work we were doing was as much in your interests 
as in ours, for you know full well that were it not 
for our labors and the fruits of our scientific 
operations there would not be enough air or water 
on Mars to support a single human life. For ages 
we have maintained the air and water supply at 
practically the same point without an appreciable 
loss, and we have done this in the face of the 
brutal and ignorant interference of you green men. 

"Why, oh, why will you not learn to live in 
amity with your fellows, must you ever go on 
down the ages to your final extinction but little 



above the plane of the dumb brutes that serve you ! 
A people without written language, without art, 
without homes, without love ; the victims of eons 
of the horrible community idea. Owning every 
thing in common, even to your women and chil 
dren, has resulted in your owning nothing in 
common. You hate each other as you hate all else 
except yourselves. Come back to the ways of our 
common ancestors, come back to the light of kind 
liness and fellowship. The way is open to you, 
you will find the hands of the red men stretched 
out to aid you. Together we may do still more 
to regenerate our dying planet. The grand 
daughter of the greatest and mightiest of the red 
jeddaks has asked you. Will you come?" 

Lorquas Ptomel and the warriors sat looking 
silently and intently at the young woman for sev 
eral moments after she had ceased speaking. 
What was passing in their minds no man may 
know, but that they were moved I truly believe, 
and if one man high among them had been strong 
enough to rise above custom, that moment would 
have marked a new and mighty era for Mars. 

I saw Tars Tarkas rise to speak, and on his 
face was such an expression as I had never seen 
upon the countenance of a green Martian warrior. 


1$ bespoke an inward and mighty battle with self, 
with heredity, with age-old custom, and as he 
opened his mouth to speak, a look almost of 
benignity, of kindliness, momentarily lighted up 
his fierce and terrible countenance. 

What words of moment were to have fallen 
from his lips were never spoken, as just then a 
young warrior, evidently sensing the trend of 
thought among the older men, leaped down from 
the steps of the rostrum, and striking the frail 
captive a powerful blow across the face, which 
felled her to the floor, placed his foot upon her 
prostrate form and turning toward the assembled 
council broke into peals of horrid, mirthless 

For an instant I thought Tars Tarkas would 
strike him dead, nor did the aspect of Lorquas 
Ptomel augur any too favorably for the brute, 
but the mood passed, their old selves reasserted 
their ascendency, and they smiled. It was por 
tentous however that they did not laugh aloud, for 
the brute's act constituted a side-splitting witticism 
according to the ethics which rule green Martian 

That I have taken moments to write down a 
part of what occurred as that blow fell does not 



signify that I ^remained inactive for any such 
length of time. I think I must have sensed some 
thing of what was coming, for I realize now that 
I was crouched as for a spring as I saw the blow 
aimed at her beautiful, upturned, pleading face, 
and ere the hand descended I was halfway across 
the hall. 

Scarcely had his hideous laugh rang out but 
once, when I was upon him. The brute was twelve 
feet in height and armed to the teeth, but I believe 
that I could have accounted for the whole room 
ful in the terrific intensity of my rage. Springing 
upward, I struck him full in the face as he turned 
at my warning cry and then as he drew his short- 
sword I drew mine and sprang up again, upon his 
breast, hooking one leg over the butt of his pistol 
and grasping one of his huge tusks with my left 
hand while I delivered blow after blow upon his 
enormous chest. 

He could not use his short-sword to advantage 
because I was too close to him, nor could he draw 
his pistol, which he attempted to do in direct oppo 
sition to Martian custom which says that you may 
not fight a fellow warrior in private combat with 
any other than the weapon with which you are 
attacked. In fact he could do nothing but make a 



wild and futile attempt to dislodge me. With all 
his immense bulk he was little if any stronger than 
I, and it was but the matter of a moment or two 
before he sank, bleeding and lifeless, to the floor. 

Dejah Thoris had raised herself upon one elbow 
and was watching the battle with wide, staring 
eyes. IWhen I had regained my feet I raised her 
in my arms and bore her to one of the benches at 
the side of the room. 

'Again no Martian interfered with me, and tear 
ing a piece of silk from my cape I endeavored to 
staunch the flow of blood from her nostrils. I 
was soon successful as her injuries amounted to 
little more than an ordinary nosebleed, and when 
she could speak she placed her hand upon my arm 
and looking up into my eyes, said : 

"Why did you it? You who refused me even 
friendly recognition in the first hour of my peril ! 
And now you risk your life and kill one of your 
companions for my sake. I cannot understand. 
What strange manner of man are you, that you 
consort with the green men, though your form 
is that of my race, while your color is little darker 
than that of the white ape? Tell me, are you 
human, or are you more than human?" 

" It is a strange tale," I replied, M too long to 


attempt to tell you now, and one which I so much 
doubt the credibility of myself that I fear to hope 
that others will believe it. Suffice it, for the 
present, that I am your friend, and, so far as our 
captors will permit, your protector and your 

"Then you too are a prisoner? But why, then, 
those arms and the regalia of a Tharkian 
chieftain? What is your name? Where your 

"Yes, Dejah Thoris, I too am a prisoner; my 
name is John Carter, and I claim Virginia, one of 
the United States of America Earth, as my home ; 
but why I am permitted to wear arms I do not 
know, nor was I aware that my regalia was that 
of a chieftain." 

We were interrupted at this juncture by the 
approach of one of the warriors, bearing arms, 
accouterments and ornaments, and in a flash one ' 
of her questions was answered and a puzzle cleared 
up for me. I saw that the body of my dead antag 
onist had been stripped, and I read in the menacing 
yet respectful attitude of the warrior who had 
brought me these trophies of the kill the same 
demeanor as that evinced by the other who had 
brought me my original equipment, and now for 


the first time I realized that my blow, on the occa 
sion of my first battle in the audience chamber had 
resulted in the death of my adversary. 

The reason for the whole attitude displayed 
toward me was now apparent; I had won my spurs, 
so to speak, and in the crude justice, which always 
marks Martian dealings, and which, among other 
things, has caused me to call her the planet of 
paradoxes, I was accorded the honors due a con 
queror; the trappings and the position of the man 
I killed. In truth, I was a Martian chieftain, and 
this I learned later was the cause of my great free 
dom and my toleration in the audience chamber. 

As I had turned to receive the dead warrior's 
chattels I had noticed that Tars Tarkas and sev 
eral others had pushed forward toward us, and 
the eyes of the former rested upon me in a most 
quizzical manner. Finally he addressed me : 

"You speak the tongue of Barsoom quite 
readily for one who was deaf and dumb to us a 
few short days ago. Where did you learn it, John 

"You, yourself, are responsible, Tars Tarkas," 
I replied, "in that you furnished me with an 
instructress of remarkable ability; I have to thanK 
Sola for my learning." 

f 102] 


"She has done well," he answered, "but your 
education in other respects needs considerable 
polish. Do you know what your unprecedented 
temerity would have cost you had you failed to 
kill either of the two chieftains whose metal you 
now wear?" 

"I presume that that one whom I had failed 
to kill, would have killed me," I answered, smiling. 

11 No, you are wrong. Only in the last extremity 
of self-defense would a Martian warrior kill a 
prisoner ; we like to save them for other purposes," 
and his face bespoke possibilities that were not 
pleasant to dwell upon. 

"But one thing can save you now," he con 
tinued. "Should you, in recognition of your 
remarkable valor, ferocity, and prowess, be con 
sidered by Tal Hajus as worthy of his service you 
may be taken into the community and become a 
full-fledged Tharkian. Until we reach the head 
quarters of Tal Hajus it is the will of Lorquas 
Ptomel that you be accorded the respect your 
acts have earned you. You will be treated by us 
as a Tharkian chieftain, but you must not forget 
that every chief who ranks you is responsible for 
your safe delivery to our mighty and most fero 
cious ruler. I am done." 


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

Ordinarily I am not given to long speeches, 
nor ever before had I descended to bombast, but 
I had guessed at the keynote which would strike 
an answering chord in the breasts of the green 
Martians, nor was I wrong, for my harangue evi 
dently deeply impressed them, and their attitude 
toward me thereafter was still further respectful. 


Tars Tarkas himself seemed pleased with my 
reply, but his only comment was more or less 
enigmatical "And I think I know Tal Hajus, 
Jeddak of Thark." 

I now turned my attention to Dejah Thoris., 
and assisting her to her feet I turned with her 
toward the exit, ignoring her hovering guardian 
harpies as well as the inquiring glances of the 
chieftains. Was I not now a chieftain also ! Well, 
then, I would assume the responsibilities of one. 
They did not molest us, and so Dejah Thoris, 
Princess of Helium, and John Carter, gentleman 
of Virginia, followed by the faithful Woola, 
passed through utter silence from the audience 
chamber of Lorquas Ptomel, Jed among the 
Tharks of Barsoom. 



AS we reached the open the two female guards 
-/JLwho had been detailed to watch over Dejah 
Thoris hurried up and made as though to assume 
custody of her once more. The poor child shrank 
against me and I felt her two little hands fold 
tightly over my arm. Waving the women away, 
I informed them that Sola would attend the cap 
tive hereafter, and I further warned Sarkoja that 
any more of her cruel attentions bestowed upon 
Dejah Thoris would result in Sarkoja's sudden 
and painful demise. 

My threat was unfortunate and resulted in more 
harm than good to Dejah Thoris, for, as I learned 
later, men do not kill women upon Mars, nor 
women, men. So Sarkoja merely gave us an ugly 
look and departed to hatch up deviltries against us. 

I soon found Sola and explained to her that 

I wished her to guard Dejah Thoris as she had 

guarded me; that I wished her to find other 

quarters where they would not be molested hi" 



Sarkoja, and I finally informed her that I myself 
would take up my quarters among the men. 

Sola glanced at the accouterments which were 
carried in my hand and slung across my shoulder. 

" You are a great chieftain now, John Carter," 
she said, "and I must do your bidding, though 
indeed I am glad to do it under any circumstances. 
The man whose metal you carry was young, but 
he was a great warrior, and had by his promotions 
and kills won his way close to the rank of Tars 
Tarkas, who, as you know, is second to Lorquas 
Ptomel only. You are eleventh, there are but ten 
chieftains in this community who rank you in 

"And if I should kill Lorquas Ptomel?" I 

" You would be first, John Carter; but you may 
only win that honor by the will of the entire coun 
cil that Lorquas Ptomel meet you in combat, or 
should he attack you, you may kill him in self- 
defense, and thus win first place." 

I laughed, and changed the subject. I had no 
particular desire to kill Lorquas Ptomel, and less 
to be a jed among the Tharks. 

I accompanied Sola and Dejah Thoris in a 
search for new quarters, which we found in a build- 


ing nearer the audience chamber and of far more 
pretentious architecture than our former habita 
tion. We also found in this building real sleeping 
apartments with ancient beds of highly wrought 
metal swinging from enormous gold chains depend 
ing from the marble ceilings. The decoration of 
the walls was most elaborate, and, unlike the 
frescoes in the other buildings I had examined, 
portrayed many human figures in the compositions. 
These were of people like myself, and of a much 
lighter color than Dejah Thoris. They were clad 
in graceful, flowing robes, highly ornamented with! 
metal and jewels, and their luxuriant hair was of 
a beautiful golden and reddish bronze. The men 
were beardless and only a few wore arms. The 
scenes depicted for the most part, a fair-skinned, 
fair-haired people at play. 

Dejah Thoris clasped her hands with an 
exclamation of rapture as she gazed upon these 
magnificent works of art, wrought by a people 
long extinct; while Sola, on the other hand, appar 
ently did not see them. 

We decided to use this room, on the second 

floor and overlooking the plaza, for Dejah Thoris 

and Sola, and another room adjoining and in the 

rear for the cooking and supplies. I then dis- 



patched Sola to bring the bedding and such food 
and utensils as she might need, telling her that 
I would guard Dejah Thoris until her return. 

As Sola departed Dejah Thoris turned to me 
with a faint smile. 

" And whereto, then, would your prisoner escape 
should you leave her, unless it was to follow you 
and crave your protection, and ask your pardon 
for the cruel thoughts she has harbored against 
you these past few days?" 

"You are right," I answered, "there is no 
escape for either of us unless we go together." 

" I heard your challenge to the creature you call 
Tars Tarkas, and I think I understand your posi 
tion among these people, but what I cannot fathom 
is your statement that you are not of Barsoom. 

" In the name of my first ancestor, then," she 
continued, "where may you be from? You are 
like unto my people, and yet so unlike. You speak 
my language, and yet I heard you tell Tars Tarkas 
that you had but learned it recently. All Bar- 
soomians speak the same tongue from the ice-clad 
south to the ice-clad north, though their written 
languages differ. Only in the valley Dor, where 
the river Iss empties into the lost sea of Korus, 
is there supposed to be a different language spokeni 


and, except in the legends of our ancestors, there 
is no record of a Barsoomian returning up the 
river Iss, from the shores of Korus in the valley 
of Dor. Do not tell me that you have thus 
returned ! They would kill you horribly anywhere 
upon the surface of Barsoom if that were true; 
tell me it is not I " 

Her eyes were filled with a strange, weird light; 
her voice was pleading, and her little hands, 
reached up upon my breast, were pressed against 
me as though to wring a denial from my very 

"I do not know your customs, Dejah Thoris, 
but in my own Virginia a gentleman does not lie 
to save himself; I am not of Dor; I have never 
seen the mysterious Iss; the lost sea of Korus is 
still lost, so far as I am concerned. Do you 
believe me?" 

And then it struck me suddenly that I was very 
anxious that she should believe me. It was not 
that I feared the results which would follow a 
general belief that I had returned from the Bar 
soomian heaven or hell, or whatever it was. Why 
was it, then I Why should I care what she 
thought? I looked down at her; her beautiful 
face upturned, and her wonderful eyes opening up 


the very depth of her soul; and as my eyes met 
hers I knew why, and I shuddered. 

A similar wave of feeling seemed to stir her; 
she drew away from me with a sigh, and with her 
earnest, beautiful face turned up to mine, she whis 
pered: "I believe you, John Garter; I do not 
know what a * gentleman' is, nor have I ever 
heard before of Virginia ; but on Barsoom no man 
lies; if he does not wish to speak the truth he is 
silent. Where is this Virginia, your country, John 
Carter?" she asked, and it seemed that this fair 
name of my fair land had never sounded more 
beautiful than as it fell from those perfect lips on 
that far gone day. 

"I am of another world," I answered, "the 
great planet Earth, which revolves about our com 
mon sun and next within the orbit of your Barsoom, 
which we know as Mars. How I came here I 
cannot tell you, for I do not know; hut here I am, 
and since my presence has permitted me to serve 
Dejah Thoris I am glad that I am here." 

She gazed at me with troubled eyes, long and 
questioningly. That it was difficult to believe my 
statement I well knew, nor could I hope that she 
would do so however much I craved her confidence 
and respect. I would much rather not have fld 


her anything of my antecedents, but no man could 
look into the depth of those eyes and refuse her 
slightest behest. 

Finally she smiled, and, rising, said: "I shall 
have to believe even though I cannot understand. 
I can readily perceive that you are not of the 
Barsoom of today; you are like us, yet different 
but why should I trouble my poor head with such a 
problem, when my heart tells me that I believe 
because I wish to believe ! " 

It was good logic, good, earthly, feminine logic, 
and if it satisfied her I certainly could pick no 
flaws in it. As a matter of fact it was about the 
only kind of logic that could be brought to bear 
upon my problem. We fell into a general con 
versation then, asking and answering many ques 
tions on each side. She was curious to learn of 
the customs of my people and displayed a remark 
able knowledge of events on earth. When I 
questioned her closely on this seeming familiarity 
with earthly things she laughed, and cried out : 

"Why every school boy on Barsoom knows 
the geography, and much concerning the fauna 
and flora, as well as the history of your planet 
fully as well as of his own. Can we not see every 
thing which takes place upon Earth, as you call 


it; is it not hanging there in the heavens in plain 

This baffled me, I must confess, fully as much 
as my statements had confounded her; and I told 
her so. She then explained in general the instru 
ments her people had used and been perfecting 
for ages, .which permit them to throw upon a 
screen a perfect image of what is transpiring upon 
any planet and upon many of the stars. These 
pictures are so perfect in detail that, when photo 
graphed and enlarged, objects no greater than a 
blade of grass may be distinctly recognized. I 
afterward, in Helium, saw many of these pic 
tures, as well as the instruments which produced 

"If, then, you are so familiar with earthly 
things," I asked, " why is it that you do not recog 
nize me as identical with the inhabitants of that 

She smiled again as one might in bored indul 
gence of a questioning child. 

"Because, John Carter," she replied, "nearly 
every planet and star having atmospheric condi 
tions at all approaching those of Bapsoom, shows 
forms of animal life almost identical with yo& and 
me; and, further, Earth men, almost without 



exception, cover their bodies with strange, un 
sightly pieces of cloth, and their heads with 
hideous contraptions the purpose of which we have 
been unable to conceive; while you, when found 
by the Tharkian warriors, were entirely undis- 
figured and unadorned. 

"The fact that you wore no ornaments is a 
strong proof of your un-Barsoomian origin, while 
the absence of grotesque coverings might cause 
a doubt as to your earthliness." 

I then narrated the details of my departure from 
the Earth, explaining that my body there lay 
fully clothed in all the, to her, strange garments 
of mundane dwellers. At this point Sola returned 
with our meager belongings and her young Martian 
protege, who, of course, would have to share the 
quarters with them. 

Sola asked us if we had had a visitor during^ 
her absence, and seemed much surprised when we 
answered in the negative. It seemed that as she 
had mounted the approach to the upper floors 
where our quarters were located, she had met 
Sarkoja descending. We decided that she must 
have been eavesdropping, but as we could recall 
nothing of importance that had passed between 
us we dismissed the matter as of little consequence , 


merely promising ourselves to be warned to the 
utmost caution in the future. 

Dejah Thoris and I then fell to examining the 
architecture and decorations of the beautiful 
chambers of the building we were occupying. She 
told me that these people had presumably 
flourished over a hundred thousand years before. 
They were the early progenitors of her race, but 
had mixed with the other great race of early Mar 
tians, who were very dark, almost black, and also 
with the reddish yellow race which had flourished 
at the same time. 

These three great divisions of the higher Mar 
tians had been forced into a mighty alliance as 
the drying up of the Martian seas had compelled 
them to seek the comparatively few and always 
diminishing fertile areas, and to defend them 
selves, under new conditions of life, against the 
wild hordes of green men. 

Ages of close relationship and intermarrying 
had resulted in the race of red men, of which 
Dejah Thoris was a fair and beautiful daughter. 
During the ages of hardships and incessant war 
ring between their own various races, as well as 
with the green men, and before they had fitted 
themselves to the changed conditions,, much of the 


high civilization and many of the arts of the fair- 
haired Martians had become lost; but the red race 
of today has reached a point where it feels that 
it has made up in new discoveries and in a more 
practical civilization for all that lies irretrievably 
buried with the ancient Barsoomians, beneath the 
countless intervening ages. 

These ancient Martians had been a highly cul 
tivated and literary race, but during the vicissi 
tudes of those trying centuries of readjustment to 
new conditions, not only did their advancement 
and production cease entirely, but practically all 
their archives, records, and literature were lost. 

Dejah Thoris related many interesting facts and 
legends concerning this lost race of noble and 
kindly people. She said that the city in which we 
were camping was supposed to have been a center 
of commerce and culture known as Korad. It had 
been built upon a beautiful, natural harbor, land 
locked by magnificent hills. The little valley on 
the west front of the city, she explained, was all 
that remained of the harbor, while the pass 
through the hHls to the old sea bottom had been 
the channel through which the shipping passed up 
to the city's gates. 

The shores of the ancient seas were dotted with 


just such cities, and lesser ones, in diminishing num 
bers, were to be found converging toward the 
center of the oceans, as the people had found it 
necessary to follow the receding waters until neces 
sity had forced upon them their ultimate salvation, 
the so-called Martian canals. 

We had been so engrossed in exploration of the 
building and in our conversation that it was late 
in the afternoon before we realized it. We were 
brought back to a realization of our present con 
ditions by a messenger bearing a summons from 
Lorquas Ptomel directing me to appear before 
him forthwith. Bidding Dejah Thoris and Sola 
farewell, and commanding Woola to remain on 
guard, I hastened to the audience chamber, where 
I found Lorquas Ptomel and Tars Tarkas seated 
upon the rostrum. 



S I entered and saluted, Lorquas Ptomel sig- 

naled me to advance, and, fixing his great, 
hideous eyes upon me, addressed me thus : 

" You have been with us a few days, yet during 
that time you have by your prowess won a high 
position among us. Be that as it may, you are not 
one of us ; you owe us no allegiance. 

"Your position is a peculiar one," he con 
tinued ; " you are a prisoner and yet you give com 
mands which must be obeyed; you are an alien 
and yet you are a Tharkian chieftain; you are a 
midget and yet you can kill a mighty warrior with 
one blow of your fist. And now you are reported 
to have been plotting to escape with another 
prisoner of another race; a prisoner who, from 
her own admission, half believes you are returned 
from the valley of Dor. Either one of these accu 
sations, if proved, would be sufficient grounds for 
your execution, but we are a just people and you 
shall have a trial on our return to Thark, if Tal 
Hajus so commands. 



" But," he continued, In his fierce guttural tones, 
" if you run off with the red girl it is I who shall 
have to account to Tal Hajus; it is I who shall 
have to face Tars Tarkas, and either demonstrate 
my right to command, or the metal from my dead 
carcass will go to a better man, for such is the 
custom of the Tharks. 

" I have no quarrel with Tars Tarkas ; together 
we rule supreme the greatest of the lesser com 
munities among the green men; we do not wish 
to fight between ourselves; and so if you were 
dead, John Carter, I should be glad. Under two 
conditions only, however, may you be killed by 
us without orders from Tal Hajus; in personal 
combat in self-defense, should you attack one of 
us, or were you apprehended in an attempt to 

" As a matter of justice I must warn you that 
we only await one of these two excuses for ridding 
ourselves of so great a responsibility. The safe 
delivery of the red girl to Tal Hajus is of the 
greatest importance. Not in a thousand years 
have the Tharks made such a capture; she is the 
granddaughter of the greatest of the red jeddaks, 
who is also our bitterest enemy. I have spoken. 
The red girl told us that we were without the 


softer sentiments of humanity, but we are a just 
and truthful race. You may go." 

Turning, I left the audience chamber. So this 
was the beginning of Sarkoja's persecution I I 
knew that none other could be responsible for this 
report which had reached the ears of Lorquas 
Ptomel so quickly, and now I recalled those por 
tions of our conversation which had touched upon 
escape and upon my origin. 

Sarkoja was at this time Tars Tarkas' oldest 
and most trusted female. As such she was a 
mighty power behind the throne, for no warrior 
had the confidence of Lorquas Ptomel to such an 
extent as did his ablest lieutenant, Tars Tarkas. 

However, instead of putting thoughts of pos 
sible escape from my mind, my audience with 
Lorquas Ptomel only served to center my every 
faculty on this subject. Now, more than before, 
the absolute necessity for escape, in so far as Dejah 
Thoris was concerned, was impressed upon me, 
for I was convinced that some horrible fate 
awaited her at the headquarters of Tal Hajus. 

As described by Sola, this monster was the 

exaggerated personification of all the ages of 

cruelty, ferocity, and brutality from which he had 

descended. Cold, cunning, calculating; he was, 



also, in marked contrast to most of his fellows,- 
a slave to that brute passion which the waning 
demands for procreation upon their dying planet 
has almost stilled in the Martian breast. 

The thought that the divine Dejah Thoris might 
fall into the clutches of such an abysmal atavism 
started the cold sweat upon me. Far better that 
we save friendly bullets for ourselves at the last 
moment, as did those brave frontier women of my 
lost land, who took their own lives rather than fall 
into the hands of the Indian braves. 

As I wandered about the plaza lost in my 
gloomy forebodings Tars Tarkas approached me 
on his way from the audience chamber. His 
demeanor toward me was unchanged, and he 
greeted me as though we had not just parted a few 
moments before. 

"Where are your quarters, John Carter?" he 

" I have selected none," I replied. " It seemed 
best that I quartered either by myself or among 
the other warriors, and I was awaiting an oppor 
tunity to ask your advice. As you know," and I 
smiled, " I am not yet familiar with all the customs 
of the Tharks." 

" Come with me," he directed, and together 


we moved off across the plaza to a building which 
I was glad to see adjoined that occupied by Sola 
and her charges. 

" My quarters are on the first floor of this build 
ing," he said, "and the second floor also is fully 
occupied by warriors, but the third floor and the 
floors above are vacant; you may take your choice 
of these. 

"I understand," he continued, "that you have 
given up your woman to the red prisoner. Well, 
as you have said, your ways are not our ways, 
but you can fight well enough to do about as you 
please, and so, if you wish to give your woman to 
a captive, it is your own affair; but as a chieftain 
you should have those to serve you, and in 
.accordance with our customs you may select any 
or all the females from the retinues of the chief 
tains whose metal you now wear." 

I thanked him, but assured him that I could get 
along very nicely without assistance except in the 
matter of preparing food, and so he promised to 
send women to me for this purpose and also for 
the care of my arms and the manufacture of my 
ammunition, which he said would be necessary. I 
suggested that they might also bring some of the 
sleeping silks and furs which belonged to me as 


spoils of combat, for the nights were cold and I 
had none of my own. 

He promised to do so, and departed. Left 
alone, I ascended the winding corridor to the upper 
floors in search of suitable quarters. The beauties 
of the other buildings were repeated in this, and, 
as usual, I was soon lost in a tour of investigation 
and discovery. 

I finally chose a front room on the third floor, 
because this brought me nearer to Dejah Thoris, 
whose apartment was on the second floor of the 
adjoining building, and it flashed upon me that 
I could rig up some means of communication 
whereby she might signal me in case she needed 
either my services or my protection. 

Adjoining my sleeping apartment were baths, 
dressing rooms, and other sleeping and living 
apartments, in all some ten rooms on this floor. 
The windows of the back rooms overlooked an 
enormous court, which formed the center of the 
square made by the buildings which faced the four 
contiguous streets, and which was now given over 
to the quartering of the various animals belonging 
to the warriors occupying the adjoining buildings. 

While the court was entirely overgrown with 
the yellow, moss-like vegetation which blankets 


practically the entire surface of Mars, yet numer 
ous fountains, statuary, benches, and pergola-like 
contraptions bore witness to the beauty which the 
court must have presented in bygone times, when 
graced by the fair-haired, laughing people whom 
stern and unalterable cosmic laws had driven not 
only from their homes, but from all except the 
vague legends of their descendants. 

One could easily picture the gorgeous foliage 
of the luxuriant Martian vegetation which once 
filled this scene with life and color; the graceful 
figures of the beautiful women, the straight and 
handsome men ; the happy frolicking children all 
sunlight, happiness and peace. It was difficult to 
realize that they had gone; down through ages 
of darkness, cruelty, and ignorance, until their 
hereditary instincts of culture and humanitarianism 
had risen ascendant once more in the final com 
posite race which now is dominant upon Mars. 

My thoughts were cut short by the advent of 
several young females bearing loads of weapons, 
silks, furs, jewels, cooking utensils, and casks of 
food and drink, including considerable loot from 
the air craft. All this, it seemed, had been the 
property of the two chieftains I had slain, and 
now, by the customs of the Tharks, it had become 


mine. At my direction they placed the stuff in 
one of the back rooms, and then departed, only 
to return with a second load, which they advised 
me constituted the balance of my goods. On the 
second trip they were accompanied by ten or fifteen 
other women and youths, who, it seemed, formed 
the retinues of the two chieftains. 

They were not their families, nor their wives, 
nor their servants; the relationship was peculiar, 
and so unlike anything known to us that it is most 
difficult to describe. All property among the green 
Martians is owned in common by the community, 
except the personal weapons, ornaments and sleep 
ing silks and furs of the individuals. These alone 
can one claim undisputed right to, nor may he 
accumulate more of these than are required for his 
actual needs. The surplus he holds merely as cus 
todian, and it is passed on to the younger members 
of the community as necessity demands. 

The women and children of a man's retinue 
may be likened to a military unit for which he is 
responsible in various ways, as in matters of 
instruction, discipline, sustenance, and the exigen 
cies of their continual roamings and their unending 
strife with other communities and with the red 
Martians. His women are in no sense wives. 


The green Martians use no word corresponding 
in meaning with this earthly word. Their mating 
i a matter of community interest solely, and is 
directed without reference to natural selection. 
The council of chieftains of each community 
control the matter as surely as the owner of a 
Kentucky racing stud directs the scientific breed 
ing of his stock for the improvement of the whole. 

In theory it may sound well, as is often the case 
with theories, but the results of ages of this 
unnatural practice, coupled with the community 
interest in the offspring being held paramount to 
that of the mother, is shown in the cold, cruel 
creatures, and their gloomy, loveless, mirthless 

It is true that the green Martians are absolutely 
virtuous, both men and women, with the exception 
of such degenerates as Tal Hajus; but better far 
a finer balance of human characteristics even at 
the expense of a slight and occasional loss of 

Finding that I must assume responsibility for 
these creatures, whether I would or not, I made 
the best of it and directed them to find quarters 
on the upper floors, leaving the third floor to me. 
.One of the girls I charged with the duties of my 


simple cuisine, and directed the others to take up 
the various activities which had formerly con 
stituted their vocations. Thereafter I saw little 
of them, nor did I care to. 






OLLOWING the battle with the air ships, 
the community remained within the city for 
several days, abandoning the homeward march 
until they could feel reasonably assured that the 
ships would not return; for to be caught on the 
open plains with a cavalcade of chariots and chil 
dren was far from the desire of even so warlike a 
people as the green Martians. 

During our period of inactivity, Tars Tarkas 
had instructed me in many of the customs and arts 
of war familiar to the Tharks, including lessons in 
riding and guiding the great beasts which bore the 
warriors. These creatures, which are known as 
thoats, are as dangerous and vicious as their 
masters, but when once subdued are sufficiently 
tractable for the purposes of the green Martians. 

Two of these animals had fallen to me from 
the warriors whose metal I wore, and in a short 
time I could handle them quite as well as the native 
warriors. The method was not at all complicated. 


If the thoats did not respond with sufficient celerity 
to the telepathic instructions of their riders they 
were dealt a terrific blow between the ears with 
the butt of a pistol, and if they showed fight this 
treatment was continued until the brutes either 
were subdued, or had unseated their riders. 

In the latter case it became a life and death 
struggle between the man and the beast. If the 
former were quick enough with his pistol he might 
live to ride again, though upon some other beast; 
if not, his torn and mangled body was gathered up 
by his women and burned in accordance with Thar- 
kian custom. 

My experience with Woola determined me to 
attempt the experiment of kindness in my treat 
ment of my tho-ats. First I taught them that they 
could not unseat me, and even rapped them sharply 
between the ears to impress upon them my author, 
jty and mastery. Then, by degrees, I won their 
confidence in much the same manner as I had 
adopted countless times with my many mundane 
mounts. I was ever a good hand with animals, 
and by inclination, as well as because it brought 
more lasting and satisfactory results, I was always 
kind and humane in my dealings with the lower 
Orders, I could take a human life, if necessary, 


with far less compunction than that of a poor, 
unreasoning, irresponsible brute. 

In the course of a few days my thoats were the 
wonder of the entire community. They would 
follow me like dogs, rubbing their great snouts 
against my body in awkward evidence of affection, 
and respond to my every command with an alacrity 
and docility which caused the Martian warriors 
to ascribe to me the possession of some earthly 
power unknown on Mars. 

" How have you bewitched them? " asked Tars 
Tarkas one afternoon, when he had seen me run 
my arm far between the great jaws of one of 
my thoats which had wedged a piece of stone 
between two of his teeth while feeding upon the 
moss-like vegetation within our court yard. 

"By kindness," I replied. "You see, Tars 
Tarkas, the softer sentiments have their value, 
even to a warrior. In the height of battle as well 
as upon the march I know that my thoats will 
obey my every command, and therefore my fight-, 
ing efficiency is enhanced, and I am a better war 
rior for the reason that I am a kind master. Your 
other warriors would find it to the advantage of 
themselves as well as of the community to adopt 
my methods in this respect. Only a few days since 


you, yourself, told me that these great brutes, by 
the uncertainty of their tempers, often were the 
means of turning victory into defeat, since, at a 
crucial moment, they might elect to unseat and rend 
their riders." 

" Show me how you accomplish these results," 
was Tars Tarkas' only rejoinder. 

And so I explained as carefully as I could the 
entire method of training I had adopted with my 
beasts, and later he had me repeat it before Lor- 
quas Ptomel and the assembled warriors. That 
moment marked the beginning of a new existence 
for the poor thoats, and before I left the com 
munity of Lorquas Ptomel I had the satisfaction 
of observing a regiment of as tractable and docile 
mounts as one might care to see. The effect on 
the precision and celerity of the military move 
ments was so remarkable that Lorquas Ptomel 
presented me with a massive anklet of gold from 
his own leg, as a sign of his appreciation of my 
service to the horde. 

On the seventh day following the battle with 
the air craft we again took up the march toward 
Thark, all probability of another attack being 
deemed remote by Lorquas Ptomel. 

During the days just preceding our departure 


I had seen but little of Dejah Thoris, as I had 
been kept very busy by Tars Tarkas with my les 
sons in the art of Martian warfare, as well as in 
the training of my thoats. The few times I had 
visited her quarters she had been absent, walking 
upon the streets with Sola, or investigating the 
buildings in the near vicinity of the Plaza. I had 
warned them against venturing far from the plaza 
for fear of the great white apes, whose ferocity 
I was only too well acquainted with. However, 
since Woola accompanied them on all their excur 
sions, and as Sola was well armed, there was com 
paratively little cause for fear. 

On the evening before our departure I saw them 
approaching along one of the great avenues which 
lead into the plaza from the east. I advanced to 
meet them, and telling Sola that I would take the 
responsibility for Dejah Thoris' safe keeping, I 
directed her to return to her quarters on some 
trivial errand. I liked and trusted Sola, but for 
some reason I desired to be alone with Dejah 
Thoris, who represented to me all that I had left 
behind upon Earth in agreeable and congenial 
companionship. There seemed bonds of mutual 
interest between us as powerful as though we had 
been born under the same roof rather than upon 


different planets, hurtling through space some 
forty-eight million miles apart. 

That she shared my sentiments in this respect 
I was positive, for on my approach the look of 
pitiful hopelessness left her sweet countenance to 
be replaced by a smile of joyful welcome, as she 
placed her little right hand upon my left shoulder 
in true red Martian salute. 

" Sarkoja told Sola that you had become a true 
Thark," she said, "and that I would now see no 
more of you than of any of the other warriors." 

"Sarkoja is a liar of the first magnitude," I 
replied, "notwithstanding the proud claim of the 
Tharks to absolute verity." 

Dejah Thoris laughed. 

" I knew that even though you became a member 
of the community you would not cease to be my 
friend ; * A warrior may change his metal, but not 
his heart, 7 as the saying is upon Barsoom. 

"I think they have been trying to keep us 
apart," she continued, "for whenever you have 
been off duty one of the older women of Tars 
Tarkas' retinue has always arranged to trump up 
some excuse to get Sola and me out of sight. They 
have had me down in the pits below the buildings 
helping them mix their awful radium powder, and 


make their terrible projectiles. You know that 
these have to be manufactured by artificial light, 
as exposure to sunlight always results in an explo 
sion. You have noticed that their bullets explode 
when they strike an object? Well, the opaque, 
outer coating is broken by the impact, exposing a 
glass cylinder, almost solid, in the forward end of 
which is a minute particle of radium powder. The 
moment the sunlight, even though diffused, strikes 
this powder it explodes with a violence which 
nothing can withstand. If you ever witness a 
night battle you will note the absence of these 
explosions, while the morning following the battle 
will be filled at sunrise with the sharp detonations 
of exploding missiles fired the preceding night. 
As a rule, however, non-exploding projectiles are 
used at night." l 

While I was much interested in Dejah Thoris' 
explanation of this wonderful adjunct to Martian 
warfare, I was more concerned by the immediate 
problem of their treatment of her. That they 
were keeping her away from me was not a matter 

1 1 have used (he word radium in describing this powder 
because in the light of recent discoveries on Earth I believe it 
to be a mixture of which radium is the base. In Captain Carter's 
manuscript it is mentioned always by the name used in the written 
language of Helium and is spelled in hieroglyphics which it 
would be difficult and useless to reproduce. 



for surprise, but that they should subject her to 
dangerous and arduous labor filled me with rage. 

"Have they ever subjected you to cruelty and 
ignominy, Dejah Thoris?" I asked, feeling the 
hot blood of my fighting ancestors leap in my veins 
as I awaited her reply. 

"Only in little ways, John Carter," she 
answered. "Nothing that can harm me outside 
my pride. They know that I am the daughter of 
ten thousand jeddaks, that I trace my ancestry 
straight back without a break to the builder of 
the first great waterway, and they, who do not even 
know their own mothers, are jealous of me. At 
heart they hate their horrid fates, and so wreak 
their poor spite on me who stand for everything 
they have not, and for all they most crave and 
never can attain. Let us pity them, my chieftain, 
for even though we die at their hands we can 
afford them pity, since we are greater than they 
and they know it." 

Had I known the significance of those words 
"my chieftain," as applied by a red Martian 
woman to a man, I should have had the surprise 
of my life, but I did not know at that time, nor 
for many months thereafter. Yes, I still had 
much to learn upon Barsoom. 



" I presume it is the better part of wisdom that 
we bow to our fate with as good grace as pos 
sible, Dejah Thoris; but I hope, nevertheless, that 
I may be present the next time that any Martian, 
green, red, pink, or violet, has the temerity to 
even so much as frown on you, my princess." 

Dejah Thoris caught her breath at my last 
words, and gazed upon me with dilated eyes and 
quickening breath, and then, with an odd little 
laugh, which brought roguish dimples to the cor 
ners of her mouth, she shook her head and cried: 

"What a child! A great warrior and yet a 
stumbling little child." 

"What have I done now?" I asked, in sore 

"Some day you shall know, John Carter, if we 
live ; but I may not tell you. And I, the daughter 
of Mors Kajak, son of Tardos Mors, have listened 
without anger," she soliloquized in conclusion. 

Then she broke out again into one of her gay, 
happy, laughing moods; joking with me on my 
prowess as a Thark warrior as co-ntrasted with 
my soft heart and natural kindliness. 

" I presume that should you accidentally wound 
an enemy you would take him home and nurse him 
back to health," she laughed. 


"That is precisely what we do on Earth," I 
answered. "At least among civilized men." 

This made her laugh again. She could not 
understand it, for, with all her tenderness and 
womanly sweetness, she was still a Martian, and 
to a Martian the only good enemy is a dead enemy; 
for every dead foeman means so much more to 
divide between those who live. 

I was very curious to know what I had said or 
done to cause her so much perturbation a moment 
before and so I continued to importune her to 
enlighten me. 

"No," she exclaimed, "it is enough that you 
have said it and that I have listened. And when 
you learn, John Carter, and if I be dead, as likely 
enough I shall be ere the further moon has circled 
Barsoom another twelve times, remember that I 
listened and that I smiled." 

It was all Greek to me, but the more I begged 
her to explain the more positive became her 
denials of my request, and, so, in very hopeless 
ness, I desisted. 

Day had now given away to night and as we 

wandered along the great avenue lighted by the 

two moons of Barsoom, and with Earth looking 

down upon us out of her luminous green eye, it 



seemed that we were alone in the universe, and I, 
at least, was content that it should be so. 

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

I loved Dejah Thoris. The touch of my arm 
upon her naked shoulder had spoken to me in 
words I could not mistake, and I knew that I had 
loved her since the first moment that my eyes had 

met hers that first time in the plaza of the dead 

city of Korad. 



Page 142 




Y first impulse was to tell her of my love, 
and then I thought of the helplessness of 
her position wherein I alone could lighten the 
burdens of her captivity, and protect her in my 
poor way against the thousands of hereditary ene 
mies she must face upon our arrival at Thark. I 
could not chance causing her additional pain or 
sorrow by declaring a love which, in all probability 
she oHd not return. Should I be so indiscreet, her 
position would be even more unbearable than now, 
and the thought that she might feel that I was 
taking advantage of her helplessness, to influence 
her decision was the final argument which sealed 
my lips. 

"Why are you so quiet, Dejah Thoris?" I 
asked. " Possibly you would rather return to Sola 
and your quarters." 

"No," she murmured, "I am happy here. I 
do not know why it is that I should always be 
happy and contented when you, John Carter, a 


stranger, are with me; yet at such times it seems 
that I am safe and that, with you, I shall soon 
return to my father's court and feel his strong 
arms about me and my mother's tears and kisses 
on my cheek." 

"Do people kiss, then, upon Barsoom?" I 
asked, when she had explained the word she used, 
in answer to my inquiry as to its meaning. 

"Parents, brothers, and sisters, yes; and," she 
added in a low, thoughtful tone, " lovers." 

"And you, Dejah Thoris, have parents and 
brothers and sisters?" 


"And a lover?" 

She was silent, nor could I venture to repeat 
the question. 

"The man of Barsoom," she finally ventured, 
" does not ask personal questions of women, except 
his mother, and the woman he has fought for and 

"But I have fought " I started, and then I 
wished my tongue had been cut from my mouth; 
for she turned even as I caught myself and ceased, 
and drawing my silks from her shoulder she held 
them out to me, and without a word, and with head 
held high, she moved with the carriage of the 


queen she was toward the plaza and the doorway 
of her quarters. 

I did not attempt to follow her, other than to 
y see that she reached the building in safety, but, 
directing Woola to accompany her, I turned dis 
consolately and entered my own house. I sat for 
hours cross-legged, and cross-tempered, upon my 
silks meditating upon the queer freaks chance plays 
upon us poor devils of mortals. 

So this was love ! I had escaped it for all the 
years I had roamed the five continents and their 
encircling seas; in spite of beautfful women and 
urging opportunity; in spite of a half-desire for 
love and a constant search for my ideal, it had 
remained for me to fall furiously and hopelessly 
in love with a creature from another world, of a 
species similar possibly, yet not identical with mine. 
[A. woman who was hatched from an egg, and 
whose span of life might cover a thousand years; 
whose people had strange customs and ideas; a 
woman whose hopes, whose pleasures, whose 
standards of virtue and of right and wrong might 
vary as greatly from mine as did those of the 
green Martians. 

Yes, I was a fool, but I was in love, and though 
I was suffering the greatest misery I had ever 


known I would not have had it otherwise for all 
the riches of Barsoom, Such is love, and such 
are lovers wherever love is known. 

To me, Dejah Thoris was all that was perfect; 
all that was virtuous and beautiful and noble 
and good. I believed that from the bottom of 
my heart, from the depth of my soul on that night 
in Korad as I sat cross-legged upon my silks while 
the nearer moon of Barsoom raced through the 
western sky toward the horizon, and lighted up 
the gold and marble, and jeweled mosaics of my 
world-old chamber, and I believe it today as I sit 
at my desk in the little study overlooking the Hud 
son. Twenty years have intervened; for ten of 
them I lived and fought for Dejah Thoris and 
her people, and for ten I have lived upon her mem 

The morning of our departure for Thark 
dawned clear and hot, as do all Martian morn- 1 
ings except for the six weeks when the snow melts 
at the poles. 

I sought out Dejah Thoris in the throng of 
departing chariots, but she turned her shoulder to 
me, and I could see the red blood mount to her 
cheek. With the foolish inconsistency of love I 
held my peace when I might have plead ignorance 


of the nature of my offense, or at least the gravity 
oT it, and so have effected, at worst, a half con 

My duty dictated that I must see that she was 
comfortable, and so I glanced into her chariot and 
rearranged her silks and furs. In doing so I noted 
with horror that she was heavily chained by one 
ankle to the side of the vehicle. 

"What does this mean?" I cried, turning to 

"Sarkoja thought it best," she answered, her 
face betokening her disapproval of the procedure. 

Examining the manacles I saw that they fastened 
with a massive spring lock. 

" Where is the key, Sola ? Let me have it." 

"Sarkoja wears it, John Carter," she answered. 

I turned without further word and sought out 
Tars Tarkas, to whom I vehemently objected to 
the unnecessary humiliations and cruelties, as they 
seemed to my lover's eyes, that were being heaped 
upon Dejah Thoris. 

I "John Carter," he answered, "if ever you and 
Dejah Thoris escape the Tharks it will be upon 
this journey. We know that you will not go with 
out her. You _have shown yourself a mighty 
fighter, and we do not wish to manacle you, so we 



hold you both in the easiest way that will yet 
ensure security. I have spoken." 

I saw the strength of his reasoning at a flash, 
and knew that it were futile to appeal from his 
decision, but I asked that the key be taken from 
Sarkoja and that she be directed to leave the 
prisoner alone in future. 

"This much, Tars Tarkas, you may do for me 
in return for the friendship that, I must confess, 
I feel for you." 

"Friendship?" he replied. "There is no such 
thing, John Carter; but have your will. I shall 
direct that Sarkoja cease to annoy the girl, and I 
myself will take the custody of the key." 

"Unless you wish me to assume the respon 
sibility," I said, smiling. 

He looked at me long and earnestly before he 

u Were you to give me your word that neither 
you nor Dejah Thoris would attempt to escape 
until after we have safely reached the court of 
Tal Hajus you might have the key and throw the 
chains into the river Iss." 

"It were better that you held the key, Tars 
Tarkas," I replied. 

He smiled, and said no more, buf that night 


as we were making camp I saw him unfasten 
Dejah Thoris' fetters himself. 

With all his cruel ferocity and coldness there 
was an undercurrent of something in Tars Tarkas 
which he seemed ever battling to subdue. Could 
it be a vestige of some human instinct come back 
from an ancient forbear to haunt him with the 
horror of his people's ways ! 

As I was approaching Dejah Thoris' chariot I 
passed Sarkoja, and the black, venomous look she 
accorded me was the sweetest balm I had felt for 
many hours. Lord, how she hated me ! It bristled 
from her so palpably that one might almost have 
cut it with a sword. 

A few moments later I saw her deep in conver 
sation with a warrior named Zad; a big, hulking, 
powerful brute, but one who had never made a 
kill among his own chieftains, and so was still 
an o mad, or man with one name; he could win 
a second name only with the metal of some chief 
tain. It was this custom which entitled me to the 
names of either of the chieftains I had killed; in 
fact, some of the warriors addressed me as Dotar 
Sojat, a combination of the surnames of the two 
warrior chieftains whose metal I had taken, or, 
in other wo'rds, whom I had slain in fair fight 


As Sarkoja talked with Zad he cast occasional 
glances in my direction, while she seemed to be 
urging him very strongly to some action. I paid 
little attention to it at the time, but the next day 
I had good reason to recall the circumstances, and 
at the same time gain a slight insight into the 
depths of Sarkoja's hatred and the lengths to 
which she was capable of going to wreak her horrid 
vengeance on me. 

Dejah Thoris would have none of me again 
on this evening, and though I spoke her name she 
neither replied, nor conceded by so much as the 
flutter of an eyelid that she realized my existence. 
In my extremity I did what most other lovers would 
have done ; I sought word from her through an inti 
mate. In this instance it was Sola whom I inter 
cepted in another part of camp. 

"What is the matter with Dejah Thoris?" I 
blurted out at her. "Why will she not speak 

Sola stemed puzzled herself, as though such 
strange actions on the part of two humans were 
quite beyond her, as indeed they were, poor child. 

"She says you have angered her, and that is 
all she will say, except that she is the daughter of 
a jed and the granddaughter of a jeddak and she 


has been humiliated by a creature who could not 
polish the teeth of her grandmother's sorak." 

I pondered over this report for some time, finally 

" What might a sorak be, Sola ? " 

" A little animal about as big as my hand, which 
the red Martian women keep to play with," ex 
plained Sola. 

Not fit to polish the teeth of her grandmother's 
cat I I must rank pretty low in the consideration 
of Dejah Thoris, I thought; but I could not help 
laughing at the strange figure of speech, so homely 
and in this respect so earthly. It made me home 
sick, for it sounded very much like "not fit to 
polish her shoes." And then commenced a train 
of thought quite new to me. I began to wonder 
what my people at home were doing. I had not 
seen them for years. There was a family of Car 
ters in Virginia who claimed close relationship 
with me; I was supposed to be a great uncle, or 
something of the kind equally foolish. I could 
pass anywhere for twenty-five to thirty years of 
age, and to be a great uncle always seemed the 
height of incongruity, for my thoughts and feel 
ings were those of a boy. There were two little 
kiddies in the Carter family whom I had loved and 


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

We broke camp the next day at an early hour 
and marched with only a single halt until just 
before dark. Two incidents broke the tedious- 
ness of the march. About noon we espied far to 
our right what was evidently an incubator, and 
Lorquas Ptomel directed Tars Tarkas to investi 
gate it. The latter took a dozen warriors, includ 
ing myself, and we raced across the vdvety car 
peting of moss to the little enclosure. 


It was indeed an incubator, but the eggs were 
very small in comparison with those I had seen 
hatching in ours at the time of my arrival on Mars. 

Tars Tarkas dismounted and examined the 
inclosure minutely, finally announcing that it 
belonged to the green men of Warhoon and that 
the cement was scarcely dry where it had been 
walled up. 

" They cannot be a day's march ahead of us," 
he exclaimed, the light of battle leaping to his 
fierce face. 

The work at the incubator was short indeed. 
The warriors tore open the entrance and a couple 
of them, crawling in, soon demolished all the eggs 
with their short-swords. Then remounting we 
dashed back to join the cavalcade. During the 
ride I took occasion to ask Tars Tarkas if these 
Warhoons whose eggs we had destroyed were a 
smaller people than his Tharks. 

" I noticed that their eggs were so much smaller 
than those I saw hatching in your incubator," I 

He explained that the eggs had just been placed 
there ; but, like all green Martian eggs, they would 
grow during the five-year period of incubation 
until they obtained the size of those I had seen 



hatching on the day of my arrival on Barsoom. 
This was indeed an interesting piece of informa 
tion, for it had always seemed remarkable to me 
that the green Martian women, large as they were, 
could bring forth such enormous eggs as I had 
seen the four-foot infants emerging from. As a 
matter of fact, the new-laid egg is but little larger 
than an ordinary goose egg, and as it does not 
commence to grow until subjected to the light of 
the sun the chieftains have little difficulty in trans 
porting several hundreds of them at one time from 
the storage vaults to the incubators. 

Shortly after the incident of the Warhoon eggs 
we halted to rest the animals, and it was during 
this halt that the second of the day's interesting 
episodes occurred. I was engaged in changing 
my riding cloths from one of my thoats to the 
other, for I divided the day's work between them, 
when Zad approached me, and without a word 
struck my animal a terrific blow with his long- 

I did not need a manual of green Martian eti 
quette to know what reply to make, for, in fact, 
I was so wild with anger that I could scarcely 
refrain from drawing my pistol and shooting him 
down for the brute he was ; but he stood waiting 


with drawn long-sword, and my only choice was 
to draw my own and meet him in fair fight with 
his choice of weapons or a lesser one. 

This latter alternative is always permissible, 
therefore I could have used my short-sword, my 
dagger, my hatchet, or my fists had I wished, and 
been entirely within my rights, but I could not use 
fire arms or a .ipear while he held only his long- 

I chose the same weapon he had drawn because 
I knew he prided himself upon his ability with it, 
and I wished, if I worsted him at all, to do it with 
his own weapon. The fight that followed was a 
long one and delayed the resumption of the march 
for an hour. The entire community surrounded 
us, leaving a clear space about one hundred feet 
in diameter for our battle. 

Zad first attempted to rush me down as a bull 
might a wolf, but I was much too quick for him, 
and each time I side-stepped his rushes he would 
go lunging past me, only to receive a nick from 
my sword upon his arm or back. He was soon 
streaming blood from a half dozen minor wounds, 
but I could not obtain an opening to deliver an 
effective thrust. Then he changed his tactics, and 
fighting warily and with extreme dexterity, he 


tried to do by science what he was unable to do 
by brute strength. I must admit that he was a 
magnificent swordsman, and had it not been for 
my greater endurance and the remarkable agility 
the lesser gravitation of Mars lent me I might not 
have been able to put up the creditable fight I did 
against him. 

We circled for some time without doing much 
damage on either side; the long, straight, needle- 
like swords flashing in the sunlight, and ringing out 
upon the stillness as they crashed together with 
each effective parry. Finally Zad, realizing that 
he was tiring more than I, evidently decided to 
close in and end the battle in a final blaze of glory 
for himself; just as he rushed me a blinding flash 
of light struck full in my eyes, so that I could 
not see his approach and could only leap blindly 
to one side in an effort to escape the mighty blade 
that it seemed I could already feel in my vitals. 
I was only partially successful, as a sharp pain in 
my left shoulder attested, but in the sweep of my 
glance as I sought to again locate my adversary, 
a sight met my astonished gaze which paid me well 
for the wound the temporary blindness had caused 
me. There, upon Dejah Thoris' chariot stood 
three figures, for the purpose evidently of wit- 

nessing the encounter above the heads of the 
intervening Tharks. There were Dejah Thoris, 
Sola, and Sarkoja, and as my fleeting glance swept 
over them a little tableau was presented which 
will stand graven in my memory to the day of my 

As I looked, Dejah Thoris turned upon Sarkoja 
with the fury of a young tigress and struck some 
thing from her upraised hand; something which 
flashed in the sunlight as it spun to the 
ground. Then I knew what had blinded me 
at that crucial moment of the fight, and how 
Sarkoja had found a way to kill me with* 
out herself delivering the final thrust. Another 
thing I saw, too, which almost lost my life for 
me then and there, for it took my mind for the 
fraction of an instant entirely from my antagonist; 
for, as Dejah Thoris struck the tiny mirror from 
her hand, Sarkoja, her face livid with hatred and 
baffled rage, whipped out her dagger and aimed a 
terrific blow at Dejah Thoris; and then Sola, our 
dear and faithful Sola, sprang between them ; the 
last I saw was the great knife descending upon 
her shielding breast. 

My enemy had recovered from his thrust and 
was making it extremely interesting for me, so I 



reluctantly gave my attention to the work in hand, 
but my mind was not upon the battle. 

We rushed each other furiously time after time, 
'til suddenly, feeling the sharp point of his sword 
at my breast in a thrust I could neither parry nor 
escape, I threw myself upon him with outstretched 
sword and with all the weight of my body, deter 
mined that I would not die alone if I could pre 
vent it. I felt the steel tear into my chest, all 
went black before me, my head whirled in di*.* i- 
ness, and I felt my knees giving beneath me. 




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

Removing the blade from my body I also 
regained my own, and turning my back upon his 
ugly carcass, I moved, sick, sore, and disgusted, 
toward the chariots which bore my retinue and my 
belongings. A murmur of Martian applause 
greeted me, but I cared not for it. 

Bleeding and weak I reached my women, who, 



accustomed to such happenings, dressed my 
wounds, applying the wonderful healing and 
remedial agents which make only the most instan 
taneous of death blows fatal. Give a Martian 
woman a chance and death must take a back seat. 
They soon had me patched up so that, except for 
weakness from loss of blood and a little sore 
ness around the wound, I suffered no great dis 
tress from this thrust which, under earthly treat 
ment, undoubtedly would have put me flat on my 
back for days. 

As soon as they were through with me 
I hastened to the chariot of Dejah Thoris, where 
I found my poor Sola with her chest swathed in 
bandages, but apparently little the worse for her 
encounter with Sarkoja, whose dagger it seemed 
had struck the edge of one of Sola's metal breast 
ornaments and, thus deflected, had inflicted but i 
slight flesh wound. 

As I approached I found Dejah Thoris lying 
prone upon her silks and furs, her lithe form 
wracked with sobs. She did not notice my pres 
ence, nor did she hear me speaking with Sola, who 
was standing a short distance from the vehicle. 

"Is she injured?" I asked of Sola, indicating 
Dejah Thoris by an inclination of my head. 


"No," she answered, "she thinks that you are 

"And that her grandmother's cat may now 
have no one to polish its teeth?" I queried, smil 

"I think you wrong her, John Carter," said 
Sola. "I do not understand either her ways or 
yours, but I am sure the granddaughter of ten thou 
sand jeddaks would never grieve like this over the 
death of one she considered beneath her, or indeed 
over any who held but the highest claim upon her 
affections. They are a proud race, but they are 
just, as are all Barsoomians, and you must have 
hurt or wronged her grievously that she will not 
admit your existence living, though she mourns 
you dead. 

"Tears are a strange sight upon Barsoom," 

ishe continued, "and so it is difficult for me to 

^interpret them. I have seen but two people weep 

in all my life, other than Dejah Thoris; one wept 

' from sorrow, the other from baffled rage. The 

first was my mother, years ago before they killed 

her; the other was Sarkoja, when they dragged 

her from me today." 

"Your mother! " I exclaimed, "but, Sola, you 
could not have known your mother, child." 



" But I did. And my father also," she added. 
"If you would like to hear the strange and un- 
Barsoomian story come to the chariot tonight, 
John Carter, and I will tell you that of which I 
have never spoken in all my life before. And now ; 
the signal has been given to resume the march,, 
you must go." 

" I will come tonight, Sola," I promised. " Be 
sure to tell Dejah Thoris I am alive and well. I 
shall not force myself upon her, and be sure that 
you do not let her know I saw her tears. If she 
would speak with me I but await her command." 

Sola mounted the chariot, which was swinging 
into its place in line, and I hastened to my waiting 
thoat and galloped to my station beside Tars Tar- 
kas at the rear of the column. 

We made a most imposing and awe-inspiring 
spectacle as we strung out across the yellow land 
scape; the two hundred and fifty ornate and 
brightly colored chariots, preceded by an advance 
guard of some two hundred mounted warriors and 
chieftains riding five abreast and one hundred 
yards apart, and followed by a like number in the 
same formation, with a score or more of flankers 
on either side; the fifty extra mastodons, or heavy 
draught animals, known as zitidars, and the five 



or six hundred extra thoats of the warriors running 
loose within the hollow square formed by the sur 
rounding warriors. The gleaming metal and 
jewels of the gorgeous ornaments of the men and 
women, duplicated in the trappings of the zitidars 
and thoats, and interspersed with the flashing 
colors of magnificent silks and furs and feathers, 
lent a barbaric splendor to the caravan which would 
have turned an East Indian potentate green with 

The enormous broad tires of the chariots and 
the padded feet of the animals brought forth no 
sound from the moss-covered sea bottom; and so 
we moved in utter silence, like some huge phan 
tasmagoria, except when the stillness was broken 
by the guttural growling of a goaded zitidar, or 
the squealing of fighting thoats. The green Mar 
tians converse but little, and then usually in 
monosyllables, low and like the faint rumbling of 
distant thunder. 

We traversed a trackless waste of moss which, 
bending to the pressure of broad tire or padded 
foot, rose up again behind us, leaving no sign 
that we had passed. We might indeed have been 
the wraiths of the departed dead upon the dead 
sea of that dying planet for all the sound or sign 



we made in passing. It was the first march of a 
large body of men and animals I had ever wit 
nessed which raised no dust and left no spoor; for 
there is no dust upon Mars except in the cultivated 
districts during the winter months, and even then 
the absence of high winds renders it almost un- 

We camped that night at the foot of the hills 
we had been approaching for two days and which 
marked the southern boundary of this particular 
sea. Our animals had been two days without 
drink, nor had they had water for nearly two 
months, not since shortly after leaving Thark; 
but, as Tars Tarkas explained to me, they require 
but little and can live almost indefinitely upon the 
moss which covers Barsoom, and which, he told 
me, holds in its tiny stems sufficient moisture to 
meet the limited demands of the animals. 

After partaking of my evening meal of cheese- 
like food and vegetable milk I sought out Sola, 
whom I found working by the light of a torch 
upon some of Tars Tarkas' trappings. She looked 
up at my approach, her face lighting with pleasure 
and with welcome. 

" I am glad you came," she said ; " Dejah Thoris 
sleeps and I am lonely. Mine own people do not 


care for me, John Carter; I am too unlike them. 
It is a sad fate, since I must live my life amongst 
them, and I often wish that I were a true green 
Martian woman, without love and without hope; 
but I have known love and so I am lost. 

"I promised to tell you my story, or rather 
the story of my parents. From what I have learned 
of you and the ways of your people I am sure 
that the tale will not seem strange to you, but 
among green Martians it has no parallel within 
the memory of the oldest living Thark, nor do our 
legends hold many similar tales. 

" My mother was rather small, in fact too small 
to be allowed the responsibilities of maternity, as 
our chieftains breed principally for size. She was 
also less cold and cruel than most green Martian 
women, and caring little for their society, she 
often roamed the deserted avenues of Thark alone, 
or went and sat among the wild flowers that deck 
the near-by hills, thinking thoughts and wishing 
wishes which I believe I alone among Tharkian 
women today may understand, for am I not the 
child of my mother? 

"And there among the hills she met a young 
warrior, whose duty it was to guard the feeding 
zitidars and thoats and see that they roamed not 


beyond the hills. They spoke at first only of such 
things as interest a community of Tharks, but 
gradually, as they came to meet more often, and, 
as was now quite evident to both, no longer by 
chance, they talked about themselves, their likes, 
their ambitions and their hopes. She trusted him 
and told him of the awful repugnance she felt for 
the cruelties of their kind, for the hideous, love 
less lives they must ever lead, and then she waited 
for the storm of denunciation to break from his 
cold, hard lips; but instead he took her in his arms 
and kissed her. 

"They kept their love a secret for six long 
years. She, my mother, was of the retinue of the 
great Tal Hajus, while her lover was a simple war 
rior, wearing only his own metal. Had their 
defection from the traditions of the Tharks been 
discovered both would have paid the penalty in 
the great arena before Tal Hajus and the 
assembled hordes. 

"The egg from which I came was hidden 
beneath a great glass vessel upon the highest and 
most inaccessible of the partially ruined towers of 
ancient Thark. Once each year my mother visited 
it for the five long years it lay there in the process 
of incubation. She dared not come oftener, for 


in the mighty guilt of her conscience she feared 
that her every move was watched. During this 
period my father gained great distinction as a 
warrior and had taken the metal from several 
chieftains. His love for my mother had never 
diminished, and his one ambition in life was to 
reach a point where he might wrest the metal from 
Tal Hajus himself, and thus, as ruler of the 
Tharks, be free to claim her as his own, as well 
as, by the might of his power, protect the child 
which otherwise would be quickly dispatched 
should the truth become known. 

"It was a wild dream, that of wresting the 
metal from Tal Hajus in five short years, but his 
advance was rapid, and he soon stood high in the 
councils of Thark. But one day the chance was 
lost forever, in so far as it could come in time to 
save his loved ones, for he was ordered away upon 
a long expedition to the ice-clad south, to make 
war upon the natives there and despoil them of 
their furs, for such is the manner of the green 
Barsoomian; he does not labor for what he can 
wrest in battle from others. 

"He was gone for four years, and when he 
returned all had been over for three ; for about a 
year after his departure, and shortly before the 


time for the return of an expedition which had 
gone forth to fetch the fruits of a community incu 
bator, the egg had hatched. Thereafter my mother 
continued to keep me in the old tower, visiting me 
nightly and lavishing upon me the love the com 
munity life would have robbed us both of. She 
hoped, upon the return of the expedition from the 
incubator, to mix me with the other young assigned 
to the quarters of Tal Hajus, and thus escape the 
fate which would surely follow discovery of her 
sin against the ancient traditions of the green men. 

" She taught me rapidly the language and cus 
toms of my kind, and one night she told me the 
story I have told to you up to this point, impress 
ing upon me the necessity for absolute secrecy and 
the great caution I must exercise after she had 
placed me with the other young Tharks to permit 
no one to guess that I was further advanced in 
education than they, nor by any sign to divulge 
in the presence of others my affection for her, or 
my knowledge of my parentage ; and then drawing 
me close to her she whispered in my ear the name 
of my father. 

"And then a light flashed out upon the dark 
ness of the tower chamber, and there stood Sar- 
koja, her gleaming, baleful eyes fixed in a frenzy 


of loathing and contempt upon my mother. The 
torrent of hatred and abuse she poured out upon 
her turned my young heart cold in terror. That 
she had heard the entire story was apparent, and 
that she had suspected something wrong from my 
; mother's long nightly absences from her quarters 
accounted for her presence there on that fateful 

"One thing she had not heard, nor did she 
know, the whispered name of my father. This 
was apparent from her repeated demands upon 
my mother to disclose the name of her partner in 
sin, but no amount of abuse or threats could wring 
this from her, and to save me from needless tor 
ture she lied, for she told Sarkoja that she alone 
knew nor would she even tell her child. 

"With final imprecations, Sarkoja hastened 
away to Tal Hajus to report her discovery, and 
while she was gone my mother, wrapping me in 
the silks and furs of her night coverings, so that I< 
was scarcely noticeable, descended to the streets? 
and ran wildly away toward the outskirts of the 
city, in the direction which led to the far south, 
out toward the man whose protection she might 
not claim, but on whose face she wished to look 
once more before she died. 


"As we neared the city's southern extremity a 
sound came to us from across the mossy flat, from 
the direction of the only pass through the hills 
which led to the gates, the pass by which caravans 
from either north or south or east or west would 
enter the city. The sounds we heard were the 
squealing of thoats and the grumbling of zitidars, 
with the occasional clank of arms which announced 
the approach of a body of warriors. The thought 
uppermost in her mind was that it was my father 
returned from his expedition, but the cunning of 
the Thark held her from headlong and precipitate 
flight to greet him. 

" Retreating into the shadows of a doorway she 
awaited the coming of the cavalcade which shortly 
entered the avenue, breaking its formation and 
thronging the thoroughfare from wall to wall. 
As the head of the procession passed us the lesser 
moon swung dear of the overhanging roofs and 
lit up the scene with all the brilliancy of her won 
drous light. My mother shrank further back 
into the friendly shadows, and from her hiding 
place saw that the expedition was not that of my 
father, but the returning caravan bearing the young 
Tharks. Instantly her plan was formed, and as 
a great chariot swung close to our hiding place 


she slipped stealthily in upon the trailing tail board, 
crouching low in the shadow of the high side, 
straining me to her bosom in a frenzy of love. 

" She knew, what I did not, that never again 
after that night would she hold me to her breast, 
nor was it likely we would ever look upon each 
other's face again. In the confusion of the plaza 
she mixed me with the other children, whose guar 
dians during the journey were now free to relin 
quish their responsibility. We were herded 
together into a great room, fed by women who 
had not accompanied the expedition, and the next 
day we were parceled out among the retinues of 
the chieftains. 

*' I never saw my mother after that night. She 
was imprisoned by Tal Hajus, and every effort, 
including the most horrible and shameful torture, 
was brought to bear upon her to wring from her 
lips the name of my father; but she remained 
steadfast and loyal, dying at last amidst the laugh 
ter of Tal Hajus and his chieftains during some 
awful torture she was undergoing. 

" I learned afterwards that she told them that 

she had killed me to save me from a like fate at 

their hands, and that she had thrown my body to 

the white apes. Sarkoja alone disbelieved her, and 



I feel to this day that she suspects my true origin, 
but does not date expose me, at the present, at 
all events, because she also guesses, I am sure, 
the identity of my father. 

"When he returned from his expedition and 
learned the story of my mother's fate I was pres 
ent as Tal Hajus told him ; but never by the quiver 
of a muscle did he betray the slightest emotion; 
only he did not laugh as Tal Hajus gleefully 
described her death struggles. From that moment 
on he was the crudest of the cruel, and I am 
awaiting the day when he shall win the goal of 
his ambition, and feel the carcass of Tal Hajus 
beneath his foot, for I am as sure that he but 
waits the opportunity to wreak a terrible ven 
geance, and that his great love is as strong in his 
breast as when it first transfigured him nearly 
forty years ago, as I am that we sit here upon the 
edge of a world-old ocean while sensible people 
sleep, John Carter." 

"And your father, Sola, is he with us now?'* 
I asked. 

'Yes," she replied, "but he does not know me 

for what I am, nor does he know who betrayed 

my mother to Tal Hajus. I alone know my father's 

name, and only I and Tal Hajus and Sarkoja know 



that it was she who carried the tale that brought 
death and torture upon her he loved." 

We sat silent for a few moments, she wrapped 
in the gloomy thoughts of her terrible past, and I 
in pity for the poor creatures whom the heartless, 
senseless customs of their race had doomed to 
loveless lives of cruelty and of hate. Presently 
she spoke. 

"John Carter, if ever a real man walked the 
cold, dead bosom of Barsoom you are one. I know 
that I can trust you, and because the knowledge 
may some day help you or him or Dejah Thoris 
or myself, I am going to tell you the name of my 
father, nor place any restrictions or conditions upon 
your tongue. When the time comes, speak the 
truth if it seems best to you. I trust you because 
I know that you are not cursed with the terrible 
trait of absolute and unswerving truthfulness, 
that you could lie like one of your own Virginia 
gentlemen if a lie would save others from sorrow 
or suffering. My father's name is Tars Tarkas. n 





remainder of our journey to Thark was 
J_ uneventful. We were twenty days upon the 
road, crossing two sea bottoms and passing 
through or around a number of ruined cities, 
mostly smaller than Korad. Twice we crossed 
the famous Martian waterways, or canals, so- 
called by our earthly astronomers. When we 
approached these points a warrior would be sent 
far ahead with a powerful field glass, and if no 
great body of red Martian troops was in sight 
we would advance as close as possible without 
chance of being seen and then camp until dark, 
when we would slowly approach the cultivated 
tract, and, locating one of the numerous, broad 
highways which cross these areas at regular inter 
vals, creep silently and stealthily across to the arid 
/lands upon the other side. It required five hours 
to make one of these crossings without a single 
halt, and the other consumed the entire night, so 
that we were just leaving the confines of the 
high-walled fields when the sun broke out upon us. 


Crossing in the darkness, as we did, I was unable 
to see but little, except as the nearer moon, in her 
wild and ceaseless hurtling through the Barsoomian 
heavens, lit up little patches of the landscape from 
time to time, disclosing walled fields and low, 
rambling buildings, presenting much the appear 
ance of earthly farms. There were many trees, 
methodically arranged, and some of them were 
of enormous height; there were animals in some 
of the enclosures, and they announced their pres 
ence by terrified squealings and snortings as they 
scented our queer, wild beasts and wilder human 

Only once did I perceive a human being, and 
that was at the intersection of our crossroad with 
the wide, white turnpike which cuts each cultivated 
district longitudinally at its exact center. The 
feliow must have been sleeping beside the road, 
for, as I came abreast of him, he raised upon one 
elbow and after a single glance at the approach 
ing caravan leaped shrieking to his feet and fled 
> madly dcsv/n the road, scaling a near-by wall with 
the agility of a scared cat. The Tharks paid him 
not the slightest attention ; they were not out upon 
the warpath, and the only sign that I had that they 
had seen him was a quickening of the pace of the 



caravan as we hastened toward the bordering des 
ert which marked our entrance into the realm of 
Tal Hajus. 

Not once did I have speech with Dejah Thoris, 
as she sent no word to me that I would be welcome 
at her chariot, and my foolish pride kept me from 
making any advances. I verily believe that a : 
man's way with women is in inverse ratio to his 
prowess among men. The weakling and the sap- 
head have often great ability to charm the fair 
sex, while the fighting man who can face a thou 
sand real dangers unafraid, sits hiding in the 
shadows like some frightened child. 

Just thirty days after my advent upon Barsoom 
we entered the ancient city of Thark, from whose 
long forgotten people this horde of green men 
have stolen even their name. The hordes of Thark 
number some thirty thousand souls, and are divided 
into twenty-five communities. Each community 
has its own jed and lesser chieftains, but all are 
under the rule of Tal Hajus, Jeddak of Thark. 
Five communities make their headquarters at the 
city of Thark, and the balance are scattered among 
other deserted cities of ancient Mars throughout 
the district claimed by Tal Hajus. 

We made our entry into the great central plaza 


early in the afternoon. There were no enthusiastic 
friendly greetings for the returned expedition. 
Those who chanced to be in sight spoke the names 
of warriors or women with whom they came in 
direct contact, in the formal greeting of their kind, 
but when it was discovered that they brought two 
captives a greater interest was aroused, and Dejah 
Thoris and I were the centers of inquiring groups. 
We were soon assigned to new quarters, and the 
balance of the day was devoted to settling our 
selves to the changed conditions. My home now 
was upon an avenue leading into the plaza from 
the south, the main artery down which we had 
marched from the gates of the city. I was at the 
far end of the square and had an entire building 
to myself. The same grandeur of architecture 
which was so noticeable a characteristic of Korad 
^as in evidence here, only, if that were possible, 
on a larger and richer scale. My quarters would 
have been suitable for housing the greatest of 
earthly emperors, but to these queer creatures 
nothing about a building appealed to them but its 
size and the enormity of its chambers; the larger 

the building, the more desirable ; and so Tal Hajus 


occupied what must have been an enormous public 

building, the largest in the city, but entirely unfitted 



residence purposes; the next largest was 
reserved for Lorquas Ptomel, the next for the jed 
of a lesser rank, and so on to the bottom of the 
list of five jeds. The warriors occupied the build 
ing* with the chieftains to whose retinues they 
belonged; or, if they preferred, sought shelter 
among any of the thousands of untenanted build 
ings in their own quarter of town ; each community 
being assigned a certain section of the city. The 
selection of building had to be made in accordance 
with these divisions, except in so far as the jeds 
were concerned, they all occupying edifices which 
fronted upon the plaza. 

When I had finally put my house in order, or 
rather- seen that it had been done, it was nearlng 
sunset, and I hastened out with the intention of 
locating Sola and her chafes, as I had determined 
upon having speech with Dejah Thoris and trying 
to impress on her the necessity of our at least 
patching up a truce until I could find some way of 
aiding her to escape. I searched in vain until the 
upper rim of the great red sun was just disappear 
ing behind the horizon and then I spied the ugly 
head of Woola peering from a second-story win 
dow on the opposite side of the very street where 
I was quarttoVtvi but nearer the plaza. 



Without waiting for a further invitation I bolted 
up the winding runway which led to the second 
floor, and entering a great chamber at the front 
of the building was greeted by the frenzied Woola, 
who threw his great carcass upon me, nearly hurl 
ing me to the floor; the poor old fellow was so 
glad to see me that I thought he would devour 
me, his head split from ear to ear, showing his 
three rows of tusks in his hobgoblin smile. 

Quieting him with a word of command and a 
caress, I looked hurriedly through the approach 
ing gloom for a sign of Dejah Thoris, and then, 
not seeing her, I called her name. There was an 
answering murmur from the far corner of the 
apartment, and with a couple of quick strides I 
was standing beside her where she crouched among 
the furs and silks upon an ancient carved wooden 
seat. As I waited she rose to her full height and 
looking me straight in the eye said : 

"What would Dotar Sojat, Thark, of Dejah 
Thoris his captive ? " 

"Dejah Thoris, I do not know how I have 
angered you. It was furtherest from my desire 
to hurt or offend you, whom I had hoped to pro 
tect and comfort. Have none of me if it is your 
will, but that you must aid me in effecting you* 


escape, if such a thing be possible, is not my 
request, but my command. When you are safe 
once more at your father's court you may do with 
me as you please, but from now on until that day 
I am your master, and you must obey and aid me." 

She looked at me long and earnestly and I 
thought that she was softening toward me. 

"I understand your words, Dotar Sojat," she 
replied, "but you I do not understand. You are a 
queer mixture of child and man, of brute and 
noble. I only wish that I might read your heart." 

"Look down at your feet, Dejah Thoris; it lies 
there now where it has lain since that other night 
at Korad, and where it will ever lie beating alone 
for you until death stills it forever." 

She took a little step toward me, her beautiful 
hands outstretched in a strange, groping gesture. 

"What do you mean, John Carter?" she whis 
pered. "What are you saying to me? " 

" I am saying what I had promised myself that 
I would not say to you, at least until you were no 
longer a captive among the green men ; what from 
your attitude toward me for the past twenty days 
I had thought never to say to you; I am saying, 
Dejah Thoris, that I am yours, body and soul, 
to serve you, to fight far you, and to die for you. 


Only one thing I ask of you in return, and that is 
that you make no sign, either of condemnation or 
of approbation of my words until you are safe 
among your own people, and that whatever senti 
ments you harbor toward me they be not influenced 
or colored by gratitude; whatever I may do to 
serve you will be prompted solely from selfish 
motives, since it gives me more pleasure to serve 
you than not." 

" I will respect your wishes, John Carter, 
because I understand the motives which prompt 
them, and I accept your service no more willingly 
than I bow to your authority; your word shall be 
my law. I have twice wronged you in my thoughts 
and again I ask your forgiveness." 

Further conversation of a personal nature was 
prevented by the entrance of Sola, who was much 
agitated and wholly unlike her usual calm and 
possessed self. 

"That horrible Sarkoja has been before Tal 
Hajus," she cried, " and from what I heard upon 
the plaza there is little hope for either of you." 

"What do they say?" inquired DejahThoris. 

"That you will be thrown to the wild calots 
[dogs] in the great arena as soon as the hordes 
have assembled for the yearly games." 


' Sola," I said, "you are a Thark, but you hate 
and loathe the customs of your people as much as 
we do. Will you not accompany us in one supreme 
effort to escape? I am sure that Dejah Thoris 
can offer you a home and protection among her 
people, and your fate can be no worse among them 
than it must ever be here." 

"Yes," cried Dejah Thoris, "come with us, 
Sola, you will be better off among the red men of 
Helium than you are here, and I can promise you 
not only a home with us, but the love and affection 
your nature craves and which must always be 
denied you by the customs of your own race. Come 
with us, Sola ; we might go without you, but your 
fate would be terrible if they thought you had 
connived to aid us. I know that even that fear 
would not tempt you to interfere in our escape, 
but we want you with us, we want you to come to 
a land of sunshine and happiness, amongst a peo 
ple who know the meaning of love, of sympathy, 
and of gratitude. Say that you will, Sola; tell 
me that you will." 

" The great waterway which leads to Helium is 

but fifty miles to the south," murmured Sola, half 

to herself; "a swift thoat might make it in three 

hours; and then to Helium it is five hundred miles, 





most of the way through thinly settled districts. 
They would know and they would follow us. We 
might hide among the great trees for a time, but 
the chances are small indeed for escape. They 
would follow us to the very gates of Helium, and 
they would take toll of life at every step ; you do 
not know them." 

"Is there no other way we might reach 
Helium?" I asked. "Can you not draw me a 
rough map of the country we must traverse, Dejah 

" Yes," she replied, and taking a great diamond 
from her hair she drew upon the marble floor the 
first map of Barsoomian territory I had ever seen. 
It was crisscrossed in every direction with long 
straight lines, sometimes running parallel and 
sometimes converging toward some great circle. 
The lines, she said, were waterways; the circles, 
cities; and one far to the northwest of us she 
pointed out as Helium. There were other cities 
closer, but she said she feared to enter many of 
them, as they were not all friendly toward Helium. 

Finally, after studying the map carefully in the 
moonlight which now flooded the room, I pointed 
out a waterway far to the north of us which also 
seemed to lead to Helium. 


" Does not this pierce your grandfather's terri 
tory?" I asked. 

"Yes," she answered, "but it is two hundred 
miles north of us; it is one of the waterways we 
crossed on the trip to Thark." 

"They would never suspect that we would try 
for that distant waterway," I answered, " and that 
is why I think that it is the best route for our 

Sola agreed with me, and it was decided that we 
should leave Thark this same night ; just as quickly, 
in fact, as I could find and saddle my thoats. 
Sola was to ride one and Dejah Thoris and I 
the other; each of us carrying sufficient food and 
drink to last us for two days, since the animals 
could not be urged too rapidly for so long a dis 

I directed Sola to proceed with Dejah Thoris 
along one of the less frequented avenues to the 
southern boundary of the city, where I would over 
take them with the thoats as quickly as possible; 
then, leaving them to gather what food, silks, and 
furs we were to need, I slipped quietly to the rear 
of the first floor, and entered the courtyard, where 
our animals were moving restlessly about, as was 
their habit, before settling down for the night. 

In the shadows of the buildings and out beneath 
the radiance of the Martian moons moved the 
great herd of thoats and zitidars, the latter grunt 
ing their low gutturals and the former occasionally 
emitting the sharp squeal which denotes the almost 
habitual state of rage in which these creatures 
passed their existence. They were quieter now, 
owing to the absence of man, but as they scented 
me they became more restless and their hideous 
noise increased. It was risky business, this enter 
ing a paddock of thoats alone and at night; first, 
because their increasing noisiness might warn the 
near-by warriors that something was amiss, and 
also because for the slightest cause, or for no cause 
at all some great bull thoat might take it upon 
himself to lead a charge upon me. 

Having no desire to awaken their nasty tem 
pers upon such a night as this, where so much 
depended upon secrecy and dispatch, I hugged the 
shadows of the buildings, ready at an instant's 
warning to leap into the safety of a near-by door 
or window. Thus I moved silently to the great 
gates which opened upon the street at the back 
of the court, and as I neared the exit I called 
softly to my two animals. How I thanked the 
kind providence which had given me the fore- 


sight to win the love and confidence of these wild 
dumb brutes, for presently from the far side of 
the court I saw two huge bulks forcing their way 
toward me through the surging mountains of flesh. 

They came quite close to me, rubbing their 
muzzles against my body and nosing for the bits 
of food it was always my practice to reward them 
with. Opening the gates I ordered the two great 
beasts to pass out, and then slipping quietly after 
them I closed the portals behind me. 

I did not saddle or mount the animals there, 
but instead walked quietly in the shadows of the 
buildings toward an unfrequented avenue which 
lead toward the point I had arranged to meet 
Dejah Thoris and Sola. With the noiselessness 
of disembodied spirits we moved stealthily along 
the deserted streets, but not until we were within 
sight of the plain beyond the city did I commence 
to breathe freely. I was sure that Sola and Dejah 
Thoris would find no difficulty in reaching our 
rendezvous undetected, but with my great thoats 
I was not so sure for myself, as it was quite 
unusual for warriors to leave the city after dark; 
in fact there was no place for them to go within 
any but a long ride. 

I reached the appointed meeting place safely, 


but as Dejah Thoris and Sola were not there I 
led my animals into the entrance hall of one of 
the large buildings. Presuming that one of the 
other women of the same household may have 
come in to speak to Sola, and so delayed their 
departure, I did not feel any undue apprehension 
until nearly an hour had passed without a sign of 
them, and by the time another half hour had 
crawled away I was becoming filled with grave 
anxiety. Then there broke upon the stillness of 
the night the sound of an approaching party, 
which, from the noise, I know could be no fugi 
tives creeping stealthily toward liberty. Soon the 
party was near me, and from the black shadows 
of my entrance way I perceived a score of mounted 
warriors, who, in passing, dropped a dozen words 
that fetched my heart clean into the top of my 

" He would likely have arranged to meet them 
just without the city, and so " I heard no more, 
they had passed on; but it was enough. Our plan 
had been discovered, and the chances for escape 
from now on to the fearful end would be small 
indeed. My one hope now was to return unde 
tected to the quarters of Dejah Thoris and learn 
what fate had overtaken her, but how: to do it 


with these great monstrous thoats upon my hands, 
now that the city probably was aroused by the 
knowledge of my escape was a problem of no 
mean proportions. 

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



Removing the saddle trappings, I hid them just 
within the rear doorway of the building through 
which we had entered the court, and, turning the 
beasts loose, quickly made my way across the 
court to the rear of the buildings upon the fur 
ther side, and thence to the avenue beyond. Wait 
ing in the doorway of the building until I was 
assured 'that no one was approaching, I hurried 
across to the opposite side and through the first 
doorway to the court beyond; thus, crossing 
through court after court with only the slight 
chance of detection which the necessary crossing of 
the avenues entailed, I made my way in safety to 
the courtyard in the rear of Dejah Thoris' quarters. 

Here, of course, I found the beasts of the war 
riors who quartered in the adjacent buildings, and 
the warriors themselves I might expect to meet 
within if I entered; but, fortunately for me, I had 
another and safer method of reaching the upper 
story where Dejah Thoris should be found, and, 
after first determining as nearly as possible which 
of the buildings she occupied, for I had never 
observed them before from the court side, I took 
advantage of my relatively great strength and 
agility and sprang upward until I grasped the sill 
of a second-story window which I thought to be 


in the rear of her apartment. Drawing myself 
inside the room I moved stealthily toward the 
front of the building, and not until I had quite 
reached the doorway of her room was I made 
aware by voices that it was occupied. 

I did not rush headlong in, but listened without 
to assure myself that it was Dejah Thoris and that 
it was safe to venture within. It was well indeed 
that I took this precaution, for the conversation 
I heard was in the low gutturals of men, and the 
words which finally came to me proved a most 
timely warning. The speaker was a chieftain and 
he was giving orders to four of his warriors. 

"And when he returns to this chamber," he was 
saying, " as he surely will when he finds she does 
not meet him at the city's edge, you four are to 
spring upon him and disarm him. It will require 
the combined strength of all of you to do it if the 
reports they bring back from Korad are correct. 
When you have him fast bound bear him to the 
vaults beneath the jeddak's quarters and chain 
him securely where he may be found when Tal 
Hajus wishes him. Allow him to speak with none, 
nor permit any other to enter this apartment before 
he comes. There will be no danger of the girl 
returning, for by this time she is safe in the arms 


ef Tal Hajus, and may all her ancestors have pity 
upon her, for Tal Hajus will have none ; the great 
Sarkoja has done a noble night's work. I go, and 
if you fail to capture him when he comes, I com 
mend your carcasses to the cold bosom of Iss." 



AS the speaker ceased he turned to leave the 
* ^-apartment by the door where I was stand 
ing, but I needed to wait no longer; I had heard 
enough to fill my soul with dread, and stealing 
quietly away I returned to the courtyard by the 
way I had come. My plan of action was formed 
upon the instant, and crossing the square and the 
bordering avenue upon the opposite side I soon 
stood within the courtyard of Tal Hajus. 

The brilliantly lighted apartments of the first 
floor told me where first to seek, and advancing 
to the windows I peered within. I soon discovered 
that my approach was not to be the easy thing I 
had hoped, for the rear rooms bordering the court 
were filled with warriors and women. I then 
glanced up at the stories above, discovering that 
the third was apparently unlighted, and so decided 
to make my entrance to the building from that 
point. It was the work of but a moment for me 
to reach the windows above, and soon I had drawn 


myself within the sheltering shadows of the un- 
lighted third floor. 

Fortunately the room I had selected was unten- 
anted, and creeping noiselessly to the corridor 
beyond I discovered a light in the apartments 
ahead of me. Reaching what appeared to be a 
doorway I discovered that it was but an opening 
upon an immense inner chamber which towered 
from the first floor, two stories below me, to the 
dome-like roof of the building, high above my 
head. The floor of this great circular hall was 
thronged with chieftains, warriors and women, 
and at one end was a great raised platform upon 
which squatted the most hideous beast I had ever 
put my eyes upon. He had all the cold, hard, 
cruel, terrible features of the green warriors, but 
accentuated and debased by the animal passions 
to which he had given himself over for many years. 
There was not a mark of dignity or pride upon 
his bestial countenance, while his enormous bulk 
spread itself out upon the platform where he 
squatted like some huge devil fish, his six limbs 
accentuating the similarity in a horrible and star 
tling manner. 

But the sight that froze me with apprehension 
was that of Dejah Thoris and Sola standing there 


before him, and the fiendish leer of him as he let 
his great protruding eyes gloat upon the lines of 
her beautiful figure. She was speaking, but I 
could not hear what she said, nor could I make 
out the low grumbling of his reply. She stood 
there erect before him, her head high held, and 
even at the distance I was from them I could read 
the scorn and disgust upon her face as she let her 
haughty glance rest without sign of fear upon him. 
She was indeed the proud daughter of a thousand 
jeddaks, every inch of her dear, precious little 
body; so small, so frail beside the towering war 
riors around her, but in her majesty dwarfing 
them into insignificance; she was the mightiest 
figure among them and I verily believe that they 
felt it. 

Presently Tal Hajus made a sign that the 
chamber be cleared, and that the prisoners be left 
alone before him. Slowly the chieftains, the war 
riors and the women melted away into the shadows 
of the surrounding chambers, and Dejah Thoris 
and Sola stood alone before the jeddak of the 

One chieftain alone had hesitated before depart 
ing; I saw him standing in the shadows of a mighty 
column, his fingers nervously toying with the hilt 


of his great-sword and his cruel eyes bent in implac 
able hatred upon Tal Hajus. It was Tars Tarkas, 
and I could read his thoughts as they were an open 
book for the undisguised loathing upon his face. 
He was thinking of that other woman who, forty 
years ago, had stood before this beast, and could 
I have spoken a word into his ear at that moment 
the reign of Tal Hajus would have been over; 
but finally he also strode from the room, not know 
ing that he left his own daughter at the mercy of 
the creature he most loathed. 

Tal Hajus arose, and I, half fearing, half antici 
pating his intentions, hurried to the winding run 
way which led to the floors below. No one was 
near to intercept me, and I reached the main floor 
of the chamber unobserved, taking my station in 
the shadow of the same column that Tars Tarkas 
had but just deserted. As I reached the floor 
Tal Hajus was speaking. 

" Princess of Helium, I might wring a mighty 
ransom from your people would I but return you 
to them unharmed, but a thousand times rather 
would I watch that beautiful face writhe in the 
agony of torture ; it shall be long drawn out, that 
I promise you: ten days of pleasure were all too 
short to show the love I harbor for your race. The 


terrors of your death shall haunt the slumbers of 
the red men through all the ages to come; they 
will shudder in the shadows of the night as their 
fathers tell them of the awful vengeance of the 
green men ; of the power and might and hate and 
cruelty of Tal Hajus. But before the torture you 
shall be mine for one short hour, and word of that 
too shall go forth to Tardos Mors, Jeddak of 
Helium, your grandfather, that he may grovel 
upon the ground in the agony of his sorrow. 
Tomorrow the torture will commence; tonight 
thou art Tal Hajus' ; come ! " 

He sprang down from the platform and grasped 
her roughly by the arm, but scarcely had he touched 
her than I leaped between them. My short-sword, 
sharp and gleaming was in my right hand ; I could 
have plunged it into his putrid heart before he 
realized that I was upon him ; but as I raised my 
arm to strike I thought of Tars Tarkas, and, with 
all my rage, with all my hatred, I could not rob 
him of that sweet moment for which he had lived 
and hoped all these long, weary years, and so, 
instead, I swung my good right fist full upon the 
point of his jaw. Without a sound he slipped to 
the floor as one dead. 

In the same deathly silence I grasped Dejah 


Thoris by the hand, and motioning to Sola to fol 
low we sped noiselessly from the chamber and to 
the floor above. Unseen we reached a rear win 
dow and with the straps and leather of my trap 
pings I lowered, first Sola and then Dejah Thoris 
to the ground below. Dropping lightly after them 
I drew them rapidly around the court in the 
shadows of the buildings, and thus we returned 
over the same course I had so recently followed 
from the distant boundary of the city. 

We finally came upon my thoats in the court 
yard where I had left them, and placing the trap 
pings upon them we hastened through the build 
ing to the avenue beyond. Mounting, Sola upon 
one beast, and Dejah Thoris behind me upon the 
other, we rode from the city of Thark through the 
hills to the south. 

Instead of circling back around the city to the 
northwest and toward the nearest waterway which 
lay so short a distance from us, we turned to the 
northeast and struck out upon the mossy waste 
across which, for two hundred dangerous and 
weary miles, lay another main artery leading to 

No word was spoken until we had left the city 
for behind, but I could hear the quiet sobbing of 


Dejah Thoris as she clung to me with her dear 
head resting against my shoulder. 

" If we make it, my chieftain, the debt of 
Helium will be a mighty one; greater than she 
can every pay you; and should we not make it," 
she continued, " the debt is no less, though Helium 
will never know, for you have saved the last of 
our line from worse than death." 

I did not answer, but instead reached to my side 
and pressed the little fingers of her I loved where 
they clung to me for support, and then, in un 
broken silence, we sped over the yellow, moonlit 
moss; each of us occupied with his own thoughts. 
For my part I could not be other than joyful had I 
tried, with Dejah Thoris' warm body pressed close 
to mine, and with all our unpassed danger my 
heart was singing as gaily as though we were 
already entering the gates of Helium. 

Our earlier plans had been so sadly upset that 
we now found ourselves without food or drink, 
and I alone was armed. We therefore urged our 
beasts to a speed that must tell on them sorely 
before we could hope to sight the ending of the 
first stage of our journey. 

We rode all night and all the following day 
with only a few short rests. On the second night 


both we and our animals were completely fagged, 
and so we lay down upon the moss and slept for 
some five or six hours, taking up the journey once 
more before daylight. All the following day we 
rode, and when, late in the afternoon we had 
sighted no distant trees, the mark of the great 
waterways throughout all Barsoom, the terrible 
truth flashed upon us we were lost. 

Evidently we had circled, but which way it was 
difficult to say, nor did it seem possible with the 
sun to guide us by day and the moons and stars 
by night. At any rate no waterway was in sight, 
and the entire party was almost ready to drop 
from hunger, thirst and fatigue. Far ahead of 
us and a trifle to the right we could distinguish 
the outlines of low mountains. These we decided 
to attempt to reach in the hope that from some 
ridge we might discern the missing waterway. 
Night fell upon us before we reached our goal, 
and, almost fainting from weariness and weakness, 
we lay down and slept. 

I was awakened early in the morning by some 
huge body pressing close to mine, and opening my 
eyes with a start I beheld my blessed old Woola 
snuggling close to me; the faithful brute had fol 
lowed us across that trackless waste to share our 


fate, whatever it might be. Putting my arms about 
his neck I pressed my cheek close to his, nor am I 
ashamed that I did it, nor of the tears that came 
to my eyes as I thought of his love for me. Shortly 
after this Dejah Thoris and Sola awakened, and 
it was decided that we push on at once in an effort 
to gain the hills. 

We had gone scarcely a mile when I noticed 
that my thoat was commencing to stumble and 
stagger in a most pitiful manner, although we had 
not attempted to force them out of a walk since 
about noon of the preceding day. Suddenly he 
lurched wildly to one side and pitched violently to 
the ground. Dejah Thoris and I were thrown 
clear of him and fell upon the soft moss with 
scarcely a jar; but the poor beast was in a pitiable 
condition, not even being able to rise, although 
relieved of our weight. Sola told me that the 
coolness of the night, when it fell, together with 
the rest would doubtless revive him, and so I 
decided not to kill him, as was my first intention, 
as I had thought it cruel to leave him alone there 
to die of hunger and thirst. Relieving him of his 
trappings, which I flung down beside him, we left 
the poor fellow to his fate, and pushed on with 
the one thoat as best we could. Sola and I walked, 


making Dejah Thoris ride, much against her will. 
In this way we had progressed to within about a 
mile of the hills we were endeavoring to reach 
when Dejah Thoris, from her point of vantage 
upon the thoat, cried out that she saw a great 
party of mounted men filing down from a pass in 
the hills several miles away. Sola and I both 
looked in the direction she indicated, and there, 
plainly discernible, were several hundred mounted 
warriors. They seemed to be headed in a south 
westerly direction, which would take them away 
from us. 

They doubtless were Thark warriors who had 
been sent out to capture us, and we breathed a 
great sigh of relief that they were traveling in the 
opposite direction. Quickly lifting Dejah Thoris 
from the thoat, I commanded the animal to lie 
down and we three then did the same, presenting 
as small an object as possible for fear of attract 
ing the attention of the warriors toward us. 

We could see them as they filed out of the pass, 
just for an instant, before they were lost to view 
behind a friendly ridge; to us a most providential 
ridge; since, had they been in view for any great 
length of time, they scarcely could have failed to 
discover us. As what proved to be the last war- 



rior came into view from the pass, he halted and, 
to our consternation, threw his small but powerful 
fieldglass to his eye and scanned the sea bottom in 
all directions. Evidently he was a chieftain, for in 
certain marching formations among the green men 
a chieftain brings up at the extreme rear of the 
column. As his glass swung toward us our hearts 
stopped in our breasts, and I could feel the cold 
sweat start from every pore in my body. 

Presently it swung full upon us and stopped. 
The tension on our nerves was near the breaking 
point, and I doubt if any of us breathed for the 
few moments he held us covered by his glass ; and 
then he lowered it and we could see him shout a 
command to the warriors who had passed from 
our sight behind the ridge. He did not wait for 
them to join him, however, instead he wheeled 
his thoat and came tearing madly in our direction. 

There was but one slight chance and that we 
must take quickly. Raising my strange Martian 
rifle to my shoulder I sighted and touched the 
button which controlled the trigger; there was a 
sharp explosion as the missile reached its goal, 
and the charging chieftain pitched backward from 
his flying mount. 

Springing to my feet I urged the thoat to rise, 


and directed Sola to take Dejah Thorls with her 
upon him and make a mighty effort to reach the 
hills before the green warriors were upon us. I 
knew that in the ravines and gullies they might 
find a temporary hiding place, and even though 
they died there of hunger and thirst it would be 
better so than that they fell into the hands of 
the Tharks. Forcing my two revolvers upon them 
as a slight means of protection, and, as a last 
resort, as an escape for themselves from the horrid 
death which recapture would surely mean, I lifted 
Dejah Thoris in my arms and placed her upon 
the thoat behind Sola, who had already mounted 
at my command. 

"Good-bye, my princess," I whispered, "we 
may meet in Helium yet. I have escaped from 
worse plights than this," and I tried to smile as 
I lied. 

"What," she cried, "are you not coming with 

"How may I, Dejah Thoris? Some one must 
hold these fellows off for a while, and I can better 
escape them alone than could the three of us 

She sprang quickly from the thoat and, throw 
ing her dear arms about my neck, turned to Sola, 


saying with quiet dignity: "Fly, Sola! Dejah 
Thoris remains to die with the man she loves." 

Those words are engraved upon my heart. Ah, 
gladly would I give up my life a thousand times 
could I only hear them once again; but I could 
not then give even a second to the rapture of her 
sweet embrace, and pressing my lips to hers for 
the first time, I picked her up bodily and tossed 
her to her seat behind Sola again, commanding the 
latter in peremptory tones to hold her there by 
force, and then, slapping the thoat upon the flank, 
I saw them borne away; Dejah Thoris struggling 
to the last to free herself from Sola's grasp. 

Turning, I beheld the green warriors mounting 
the ridge and looking for their chieftain. In a 
moment they saw him, and then me; but scarcely 
had they discovered me than I commenced firing, 
lying flat upon my belly in the moss. I had an 
even hundred rounds in the magazine of my rifle, 
and another hundred in the belt at my back, and I 
kept up a continuous stream of fire until I saw all 
of the warriors who had been first to return from 
behind the ridge either dead or scurrying to cover. 

My respite was short lived however, for soon 
the entire party, numbering some thousand men, 
came charging into view, racing madly toward me. 


I fired until my rifle was empty and they were 
almost upon me, and then a glance showing me 
that Dejah Thoris and Sola had disappeared 
among the hills, I sprang up, throwing down my 
useless gun, and started away in the direction 
opposite to that taken by Sola and her charge. 

If ever Martians had an exhibition of jumping, 
it was granted those astonished warriors on that 
day long years ago, but while it led them away 
from Dejah Thoris it did not distract their atten 
tion from endeavoring to capture me. 

They raced wildly after me until, finally, my 
foot struck a projecting piece of quartz, and down, 
I went sprawling upon the moss. As I looked up 
they were upon me, and although I drew my long- 
sword in an attempt to sell my life as dearly as 
possible, it was soon over. I reeled beneath their 
blows which fell upon me in perfect torrents ; my 
head swam; all was black, and I went down 
beneath them to oblivion. 




IT must have been several hours before I re 
gained consciousness and I well remember the 
feeling of surprise which cwept over me as I 
realized that I was not dead. 

I was lying among a pile of sleeping silks and 
furs in the corner of a small room in which were 
several green warriors, and bending over me was 
an ancient and ugly female. 

As I opened my eyes she turned to one of the 
warriors, saying, 

"He will live, O, Jed." 

" 'Tis well," replied the one so addressed, ris 
ing and approaching my couch, " he should render 
rare sport for the great games." 

And now as my eyes fell upon him, I saw that 
he was no Thark, for his ornaments and metal 
were not of that horde. He was a huge fellow, 
terribly scarred about the face and chest, and with 
one broken tusk and a missing ear. Strapped on 
either breast were human skulls and depending 
from these a number of dried human hands. 


His reference to the great games of which I 
had heard so much while among the Tharks con 
vinced me that I had but jumped from purgatory 
into gehenna. 

After a few more words with the female, during 
which she assured him that I was now fully fit 
to travel, the jed ordered that we mount and ride 
after the main column. 

I was strapped securely to as wild and unman 
ageable a thoat as I had ever seen, and, with a 
mounted warrior on either side to prevent the 
beast from bolting, we rode forth at a furious pace 
in pursuit of the column. My wounds gave me 
but little pain, so wonderfully and rapidly had the 
applications and injections of the female exer 
cised their therapeutic powers, and so deftly had 
she bound and plastered the injuries. 

Just before dark we reached the main body of 
troops shortly after they had made camp for the 
night. I was immediately taken before the leader, 
who proved to be the jeddak of the hordes of 

Like the jed who had brought me, he was fright 
fully scarred, and also decorated with the breast 
plate of human skulls and dried dead hands which 
seemed to mark all the greater warriors among 


the Warhoons, as well as to indicate their awful 
ferocity, which greatly transcends even that of the 

The jeddak, Bar Comas, who was compara 
tively young, was the object of the fierce and 
jealous hatred of his old lieutenant, Dak Kova, 
the jed who had captured me, and I could not but 
note the almost studied efforts which the latter 
made to affront his superior. 

He entirely omitted the usual formal saluta 
tion as we entered the presence of the jeddak, and 
as he pushed me roughly before the ruler he 
exclaimed in a loud and menacing voice, 

u I have brought a strange creature wearing the 
metal of a Thark whom it is my pleasure to have 
battle with a wild thoat at the great games." 

"He will die as Bar Comas, your jeddak, sees 
fit, if at all," replied the young ruler, with em 
phasis and dignity. 

" If at all ? " roared Dak Kova. " By the dead 
hands at my throat but he shall die, Bar Comas. 
No maudlin weakness on your part shall save 
him. O, would that Warhoon were ruled by a 
real jeddak rather than by a water-hearted weak 
ling from whom even old Dak Kova could tear 
the metal with his bare hands 1 " 


Bar Comas eyed the defiant and insubordinate 
chieftain for an instant, his expression one of 
haughty, fearless contempt and hate, and then 
without drawing a weapon and without uttering a 
word he hurled himself at the throat of his 

I never before had seen two green Martian 
warriors battle with nature's weapons and the 
exhibition of animal ferocity which ensued was 
as fearful a thing as the most disordered imagina 
tion could picture. They tore at each others' eyes 
and ears with their hands and with their gleaming 
tusks repeatedly slashed and gored until both were 
cut fairly to ribbons from head to foot. 

Bar Comas had much the better of the battle 
as he was stronger, quicker and more intelligent. 
It soon seemed that the encounter was done sav 
ing only the final death thrust when Bar Comas 
slipped in breaking away from a clinch. It was 
the one little opening that Dak Kova needed, and 
hurling himself at the body of his adversary he 
buried his single mighty tusk in Bar Comas' groin 
and with a last powerful effort ripped the young 
jeddak wide open the full length of his body, the 
great tusk finally wedging in the bones of Bar 
Comas' jaw. Victor and vanquished rolled limp 


and lifeless upon the moss, a huge mass of torn 
and bloody flesh. 

Bar Comas was stone dead, and only the most 
herculean efforts on the part of Dak Kova's 
females saved him from the fate he deserved. 
Three days later he walked without assistance to 
the body of Bar Comas which, by custom, had not 
been moved from where it fell, and placing his 
foot upon the neck of his erstwhile ruler he 
assumed the title of Jeddak of Warhoon. 

The dead jeddak's hands and head were 
removed to be added to the ornaments of his 
conqueror, and then his women cremated what 
remained, amid wild and terrible laughter. 

The injuries to Dak Kova had delayed the 
march so greatly that it was decided to give up 
the expedition, which was a raid upon a small 
Thark community in retaliation for the destruc 
tion of the incubator, until after the great games, 
and the entire body of warriors, ten thousand in 
number, turned back toward Warhoon. 

My introduction to these cruel and blood 
thirsty people was but an index to the scenes I 
witnessed almost daily while with them. They 
are a smaller horde than the Tharks but much 
more ferocious. Not a day passed but that some 


members of the various Warhoon communities 
met in deadly combat. I have seen as high as 
eight mortal duels within a single day. 

We reached the city of Warhoon after some 
three days march and I was immediately cast 
into a dungeon and heavily chained to the floor 
arid walls. Food was brought me at intervals but 
owing to the utter darkness of the place I do not 
know whether I lay there days, or weeks, or 
months. It was the most horrible experience of 
all my life and that my mind did not give way to 
the terrors of that inky blackness has been a 
wonder to me ever since. The place was filled 
with creeping, crawling things; cold, sinuous 
bodies passed over me when I lay down, and in 
the darkness I occasionally caught glimpses of 
gleaming, fiery eyes, fixed in horrible intentness 
upon me. No sound reached me from the world 
'above and no word would my jailer vouchsafe 
when my food was brought to me, although I at 
first bombarded him with questions. 

Finally all the hatred and maniacal loathing for 
these awful creatures who had placed me in this 
horrible place was centered by my tottering reason 
upon this single emissary who represented to me 
the entire horde of Warhoons. 


I had noticed that he always advanced with 
his dim torch to where he could place the food 
within my reach and as he stooped to place it upon 
the floor his head was about on a level with my 
breast. So, with the cunning of a madman, I 
backed into the far corner of my cell when next 
I heard him approaching and gathering a little 
slack of the great chain which held me in my hand 
I waited his coming, crouching like some beast of 
prey. As he stooped to place my food upon the 
ground I swung the chain above my head and 
crashed the links with all my strength upon his 
skull. Without a sound he slipped to the floor, 
stone dead. 

Laughing and chattering like the idiot I was 
fast becoming I fell upon his prostrate form my 
fingers feeling for his dead throat. Presently they 
came in contact with a small chain at the end of 
which dangled a number of keys. The touch of 
my fingers on these keys brought back my reason 
with the suddenness of thought. No longer was I 
a jibbering idiot, but a sane, reasoning man with 
the means of escape within my very hands. 

As I was groping to remove the chain from 
about my victim's neck I glanced up into the dark 
ness to see six pairs of gleaming eyes fixed, unwink- 


ing, upon me. Slowly they approached and slowly 
I shrank back from the awful horror of them. 
Back into my corner I crouched holding my hands, 
palms out, before me, and stealthily on came the 
awful eyes until they reached the dead body at my 
feet. Then slowly they retreated but this time 
with a strange grating sound and finally they 
disappeared in some black and distant recess of 
my dungeon. 




SLOWLY I regained my composure and finally 
essayed again to attempt to remove the keys 
from the dead body of my former jailer. But as 
I reached out into the darkness to locate it I 
found to my horror that it was gone. Then the 
truth flashed on me; the owners of those gleaming 
eyes had dragged my prize away from me to be 
devoured in their neighboring lair; as they had 
been waiting for days, for weeks, for months, 
through all this awful eternity of my imprison 
ment to drag my dead carcass to their feast. 

For two days no food was brought me, but 
then a new messenger appeared and my incarcera 
tion went on as before, but not again did I allow 
my reason to be submerged by the horror of my 

Shortly after this episode another prisoner was 

brought in and chained near me. By the dim 

torch light I saw that he was a red Martian and 

I could scarcely await the departure of his guards 



to address him. As their retreating footsteps died 
away in the distance, I called out softly the Mar 
tian word of greeting, kaor. 

"Who are you who speaks out of the dark 
ness ? " he answered. 

"John Carter, a friend of the red men of 

" I am of Helium," he said, " but I do not regall 
your name." 

And then I told him my story as I have written 
it here, omitting only any reference to my love for 
Dejah Thoris. He was much excited by the news 
of Helium's princess and seemed quite positive 
that she and Sola could easily have reached a point 
of safety from where they left me. He said that 
he knew the place well because the defile through 
which the Warhoon warriors had passed when 
they discovered us was the only one ever used by 
them when marching to the south. 

"Dejah Thoris and Sola entered the hills not 
five miles from a great waterway and are now 
probably quite safe," he assured me. 

My fellow prisoner was Kantos Kan, a padwar 

(lieutenant) in the navy of Helium. He had 

been a member of the ill-fated expedition which. 

had fallen into the hands of the Tharks at the 



time of Dejah Thoris' capture, and he briefly 
related the events which followed the defeat of the 

Badly injured and only partially manned they 
had limped slowly toward Helium, but while 
passing near the city of Zodanga, the capital of 
Helium's hereditary enemies among the red men 
of Barsoom, they had been attacked by a great 
body of war vessels and all but the craft to which 
Kantos Kan belonged were either destroyed or 
captured. His vessel was chased for days by 
three of the Zodangan war ships but finally escaped 
during the darkness of a moonless night. 

Thirty days after the capture of Dejah Thoris, 
or about the time of our coming to Thark, his 
vessel had reached Helium with about ten sur 
vivors of the original crew of seven hundred 
officers and men. Immediately seven great fleets, 
each of one hundred mighty war ships, had been 
dispatched to search for Dejah Thoris, and from 
these vessels two thousand smaller craft had been 
kept out continuously in futile search for the 
missing princess. 

Two green Martian communities had been 
wiped off the face of Barsoom by the avenging 
fleets, but no trace of Dejah Thoris had been 


found. They had been searching among the 
northern hordes, and only within the past few 
days had they extended their quest to the south. 

Kantos Kan had been detailed to one of the 
small one man fliers and had had the misfortune 
to be discovered by the Warhoons while exploring 
their city. The bravery and daring of the man 
won my greatest respect and admiration. Alone 
he had landed at the city's boundary and on foot 
had penetrated to the buildings surrounding the 
plaza. For two days and nights he had explored 
their quarters and their dungeons in search of his 
beloved princess only to fall into the hands of 
a party of Warhoons as he was about to leave, 
after assuring himself that Dejah Thoris was not 
a captive there. 

During the period of our incarceration Kantos 
Kan and I became well acquainted, and formed a 
\wrrn personal friendship. A few days only 
elapsed, however, before we were dragged forth 
from our dungeon for the great games. We were 
conducted early one morning to an enormous 
amphitheater, which instead of having been built 
upon the surface of the ground was excavated 
below the surface. It had partially filled with 
debris so that how large it had originally been 


was difficult to say. In its present condition it 
held the entire twenty thousand Warhoons of the 
assembled hordes. 

The arena was immense but 1 extremely uneven 
and unkempt. Around it the Warhoons had piled 
building stone from -some of the ruined edifices 
of the ancient city to prevent the animals and the 
captives from escaping into the audience, and at 
each end had been constructed cages to hold them 
until their turns came to meet some horrible death 
upon the arena. 

Kantos Kan and I were confined together in 
one of the cages. In the others were wild calots, 
thoats, mad zitidars, green warriors, and women 
of other hordes, and many strange and ferocious 
wild beasts of Barsoom which I had never before 
seen. The din of their roaring, growling and 
squealing was deafening and the formidable 
appearance of any one of them was enough to 
make the stoutest heart feel grave forebodings. 

Kantos Kan explained to me that at the end of 
the day one of these prisoners would gain freedom 
and the others would lie dead about the arena. 
The winners in the various contests of the day 
would be pitted against each other until only two 
remained alive; the victor in the last encounter 


being set free, whether animal or man. The fol 
lowing morning the cages would be filled with a 
new consignment of victims, and so on throughout 
the ten days of the games. 

Shortly after we had been caged the amphi 
theater began to fill and within an hour every 
available part of the seating space was occupied. 
Dak Kova, with his jeds and chieftains, sat at the 
center of one side of the arena upon a large raised 

At a signal from Dak Kova the doors of two 
cages were thrown open and a dozen green Mar 
tian females were driven to the center of the arena. 
Each was given a dagger and then, at the far end, 
a pack of twelve calots, or wild dogs were loosed 
upon them. 

As the brutes, growling and foaming, rushed 
upon the almost defenseless women I turned my 
head that I might not see the horrid sight. The 
yells and laughter of the green horde bore witness 
to the excellent quality of the sport and when I 
turned back to the arena, as Kantos Kan told me 
it was over, I saw three victorious calots, snarling 
and growling over the bodies of their prey. The 
women had given a good account of themselves. 

Next a mad zitidar was loosed among the 


remaining dogs, and so it went throughout the 
long, hot, horrible day. 

During the day I was pitted against first men 
and then beasts, but as I was armed with a long- 
sword and always outclassed my adversary in 
agility and generally in strength as well, it proved 
but child's play to me. Time and time again I 
won the applause of the bloodthirsty multitude, 
and toward the end there were cries that I be 
taken from the arena and be made a member of 
the hordes of Warhoon. 

Finally there were but three of us left, a great 
green warrior of some far northern horde, Kantos 
Kan, and myself. The other two were to battle 
and then I to fight the conqueror for the liberty 
which was accorded the final winner. 

Kantos Kan had fought several times during 
the day and like myself had always proven vic 
torious, but occasionally by the smallest of margins, 
especially when pitted against the green warriors, 
I had little hope that he could best his giant adver 
sary who had mowed down all before him during 
the day. The fellow towered nearly sixteen feet 
in height, while Kantos Kan was some inches under 
six feet As they advanced to meet one another 
I saw for the first time a trick of Martian swords- 


manship which centered Kantos Kan's every hope 
of victory and life on one cast of the dice, for, as 
he came to within about twenty feet of the huge 
fellow he threw his sword arm far behind him 
over his shoulder and with a mighty sweep hurled 
his weapon point foremost at the green warrior. 
It flew true as an arrow and piercing the poor 
devil's heart laid him dead upon the arena. 

Kantos Kan and I were now pitted against each 
other but as we approached to the encounter I 
whispered to him to prolong the battle until nearly 
dark in the hope that we might find some means 
of escape. The horde evidently guessed that we 
had no hearts to fight each other and so they 
howled in rage as neither of us placed a fatal 
thrust. Just as I saw the sudden coming of dark 
I whispered to Kantos Kan to thrust his sword 
between my left arm and my body. As he did 
so I staggered back clasping the sword tightly with 
my arm and thus fell to the ground with his 
weapon apparently protruding from my chest. 
Kantos Kan perceived my coup and stepping 
quickly to my side he placed his foot upon my 
neck and withdrawing his sword from my body 
gave me the final death blow through the neck 
wmch is supposed to sever the jugular vein, but 

in this instance the cold blade slipped harmlessly 
into the sand of the arena. In the darkness which 
had now fallen none could tell but that he had 
really finished me. I whispered to him to go and 
claim his freedom and then look for me in the hills 
east of the city, and so he left me. 

When the amphitheater had cleared I crept 
stealthily to the top and as the great excavation 
lay far from the plaza and in an untenanted por 
tion of the great dead city I had little trouble in 
reaching the hills beyond. 



FOR two days I waited there for Kantos Kan, 
but as he did not come I started off on foot 
in a northwesterly direction toward a point 
where he had told me lay the nearest waterway. 
My only food consisted of vegetable milk from 
the plants which gave so bounteously of this price 
less fluid. 

Through two long weeks I wandered, stumbling 
through the nights guided only by the stars and 
hiding during the days behind some protruding 
rock or among the occasional hills I traversed. 
Several times I was attacked by wild beasts; 
strange, uncouth monstrosities that leaped upon 
me in the dark, so that I had ever to grasp my 
long-sword in my hand that I might be ready for 
them. Usually my strange, -newly acquired tele 
pathic power warned me in ample time, but once 
I was down with vicious fangs at my jugular and a 
hairy face pressed close to mine before I knew 
that I was even threatened. 


What manner of thing was upon me I did not 
know, but that it was large and heavy and many- 
legged I could feel. My hands were at its throat 
before the fangs had a chance to bury themselves 
in my neck, and slowly I forced the hairy face 
from me and closed my fingers, vise-like, upon its 

Without sound we lay there, the beast exerting 
every effort to reach me with those awful fangs, 
and I straining to maintain my grip and choke the 
life from it as I kept it from my throat. Slowly 
my arms gave to the unequal struggle, and inch by 
inch the burning eyes and gleaming tusks of my 
antagonist crept toward me, until, as the hairy face 
touched mine again, I realized that all was over. 
And then a living mass of destruction sprang from 
the surrounding darkness full upon the creature 
that held me pinioned to the ground. The two 
rolled growling upon the moss, tearing and rend 
ing one another in a frightful manner, but it was 
soon over and my preserver: stood with lowered 
head above the throat of the dead thing which 
would have killed me. 

The nearer moon, hurtling suddenly above 
the horizon and lighting up the Barsoomian 
scene, showed me that my preserver was Woola, 
[ 220] 


but from whence he had come, or how found me, 
I was at a loss to know. That I was glad of his 
companionship it is needless to say, but my pleasure 
at seeing him was tempered by anxiety as to the 
reason of his leaving Dejah Thoris. Only her 
death I felt sure, could account for his absence 
from her, so faithful I knew him to be to my 

By the light of the now brilliant moons I saw 
that he was but a shadow of his former self, and 
as he turned from my caress and commenced 
greedily to devour the dead carcass at my feet I 
realized that the poor fellow was more than half 
starved. I, myself, was in but little better plight 
but I could not bring myself to eat the uncooked 
flesh and I had no means of making a fire. When 
Woola had finished his meal I again took up my 
weary and seemingly endless wandering in quest 
of the elusive waterway. 

At daybreak of the fifteenth day of my search 
I was overjoyed to see the high trees that denoted 
the object of my search. About noon I dragged 
myself wearily to the portals of a huge building 
which covered perhaps four square miles and 
towered two hundred feet in the air. It showed 
no aperture in the mighty walls other than the 


tiny door at which I sank exhausted, nor was there 
any sign of life about it. 

I could find no bell or other method of making 
my presence known to the inmates of the place, 
unless a small round hole in the wall near the door 
was for that purpose. It was of about the bigness 
of a lead pencil and thinking that it might be in 
the nature of a speaking tube I put my mouth to 
it and was about to call into it when a voice issued 
from it asking me whom I might be, where from, 
and the nature of my errand. 

I explained that I had escaped from the War- 
hoons and was dying of starvation and exhaustion. 

"You wear the metal of a green warrior and 
are followed by a calot, yet you are of the figure 
of a red man. In color you are neither green nor 
red. In the name of the ninth day, what manner 
of creature are you?" 

"I am a friend of the red men of Barsoom 
and I am starving. In the name of humanity open 
to us," I replied. 

Presently the door commenced to recede before 
me until it had sunk into the wall fifty feet, then it 
stopped and slid easily to the left, exposing a short, 
narrow corridor of concrete, at the further end of 
which was another door, similar in every respect 


to the one I had just passed. No one was in sight, 
yet immediately we passed the first door it slid 
gently into place behind us and receded rapidly to 
its original position in the front wall of the build 
ing. As the door had slipped aside I had noted its 
great thickness, fully twenty feet, and as it reached 
its place once more after closing behind us, great 
cylinders of steel had dropped from the ceiling 
behind it and fitted their lower ends into apertures 
countersunk in the floor. 

A second and a third door receded before me 
and slipped to one side as the first, before I reached 
a large inner chamber where I found food and 
drink set out upon a great stone table. A voice 
directed me to satisfy my hunger and to feed my 
calot, and while I was thus engaged my invisible 
host put me through a severe and searching cross- 

"Your statements are most remarkable," said 
the voice, on concluding its questioning, "bat you 
are evidently speaking the truth, and it is equally 
evident that you are not of Barsoom. I can tell 
that by the conformation of your brain and the 
strange location of your internal organs and the 
shape and size of your heart." 

" Can you see through me ? " I exclaimed. 


" Yes, I can see all but your thoughts, and were 
you a Barsoomian I could read those." 

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

The old man sat and talked with me for hours, 
and the strangest part of our intercourse was that 
I could read his every thought while he could not 
fathom an iota from my mind unless I spoke. 

I did not apprise him of my ability to sense his 
mental operations, and thus I learned a great deal 
which proved of immense value to me later and 
which I would never have known had he suspected 
my strange power, for the Martians have such 
perfect control of their mental machinery that they 


are able to direct their thoughts with absolute 

The building in which I found myself contained 
the machinery which produces that artificial atmos 
phere which sustains life on Mars. The secret of 
the entire process hinges on the use of the ninth 
ray, one of the beautiful scintillations which I had 
noted emanating from the great stone in my host's 

This ray is separated from the other rays of 
the sun by means of finely adjusted instruments 
placed upon the roof of the huge building, three- 
quarters of which is used for reservoirs in which 
the ninth ray b stored. This product is then 
treated electrically, or rather certain proportions 
of refined electric vibrations are incorporated with 
it, and the result is then pumped to the five pitn- 
'cipal air centers of the planet where, as it is re 
leased, contact with the ether of space transforms 
it into atmosphere. 

There is always sufficient reserve of the ninth 
ray stored in the great building to maintain the 
present Martian atmosphere for a thousand years, 
and the only fear, as my new friend told me, was 
that some accident might befall the pumping 



He led me to an inner chamber where I beheld 
a battery of twenty radium pumps any one of 
which was equal to the task of furnishing all Mars 
with the atmosphere compound. For eight 
hundred years, he told me, he had watched these 
pumps which are used alternately a day each at a 
stretch, or a little over twenty-four and one-half 
Earth hours. He has one assistant who divides 
the watch with him. Half a Martian year, about 
three hundred and forty-four of our days, each 
of these men spend alone in this huge, isolated 

Erery red Martian is taught during earliest 
childhood the principles of the manufacture of 
atmosphere, but only two at one time ever hold 
the secret of ingress to the great building, which, 
built as it is with walls a hundred and fifty feet 
thick, is absolutely unassailable, even the roof 
being guarded from assault by air craft by a glass 
covering five feet thick. 

The only fear they entertain of attack is from 
the green Martians or some demented red man, 
as all Barsoomians realize that the very existence 
of every form of life on Mars is dependent upon 
the uninterrupted working of this plant. 

One curious fact I discovered as I watched his 


Page 224 


thoughts was that the outer doors are manipulated 
by telepathic means. The locks are so finely 
adjusted that the doors are released by the action 
of a certain combination of thought waves. To 
experiment with my new-found toy I thought to 
surprise him into revealing this combination and 
so I asked him in a casual manner how he had 
managed to unlock the massive doors for me from 
the inner chambers of the building. As quick as 
a flash there leaped to his mind nine Martian 
sounds, but as quickly faded as he answered that 
this was a secret he must not divulge. 

From then on his manner toward me changed 
as though he feared that he had been surprised 
into divulging his great secret, and I read sus 
picion and fear in his looks and thoughts, though 
his words were still fair. 

Before I retired for the night he promised to 
give me a letter to a near-by agricultural officer 
who would help me on my way to Zodanga, which 
he said, was the nearest Martian city. 

" But be sure that you do not let them know 
you are bound for Helium as they are at war with 
that country. My assistant and I are of no 
country, we belong to all Barsoom and this talis 
man which we wear protects us in all lands, even 


among the green men though we do not trust 
ourselves to their hands if we can avoid it," he 

" And so good-night, my friend," he continued, 
"may you have a long and restful sleep yes, a 
long sleep." 

And though he smiled pleasantly I saw in his 
thoughts the wish that he had never admitted me, 
and then a picture of him standing over me in the 
night, and the swift thrust of a long dagger and 
the half formed words, " I am sorry, but it is for 
the best good of Barsoom." 

As he closed the door of my chamber behind 
him his thoughts were cut off from me as was the 
sight of him, which seemed strange to me in my 
little knowledge of thought transference. 

What was I to do? How could I escape 
through these mighty walls? Easily could I kill 
him now that I was warned, but once he was dead 
I could no more escape, and with the stopping of 
the machinery of the great plant I should die with 
all the other inhabitants of the planet all, even 
Dejah Thoris were she not already dead. For 
the others I did not give the snap of my Snger, 
but the thought of Dejah Thoris drove from my 
mind all desire to kill my mistaken host. 


Cautiously I openecl the door of my apartment 
and, followed by Woola, sought the inner of the 
great doors. A wild scheme had come to me; I 
would attempt to force the great locks by the nine 
thought waves I had read in my host's mind. 

Creeping stealthily through corridor after cor 
ridor and down winding runways which turned 
hither and thither I finally reached the great hall 
in which I had broken my long fast that morning. 
Nowhere had I seen my host, nor did I know 
where he kept himself by night. 

I was on the point of stepping boldly out into 
the room when a slight noise behind me warned 
me back into the shadows of a recess in the cor 
ridor. Dragging Woola after me I crouched low 
in the darkness. 

Presently the old man passed close by me, and 
as he entered the dimly lighted chamber which 
I had been about to pass through I saw that he 
held a long thin dagger in his hand and that he 
was sharpening it upon a stone. In his mind was 
the decision to inspect the radium pumps, which 
would take about thirty minutes, and then return 
to my bed chamber and finish me. 

As he passed through the great hall and disap 
peared down the runway which led to the pump- 


room, I stole stealthily from my hiding place and 
crossed to the great door, the inner of the three 
which stood between me and liberty. 

Concentrating my mind upon the massive lock 
I hurled the nine thought waves against it. In 
breathless expectancy I waited, when finally the 
great door moved softly toward me and slid quietly 
to one side. One after the other the remaining 
mighty portals opened at my command and Woola 
and I stepped forth into the darkness, free, but 
little better off than we had been before, other 
than that we had full stomachs. 

Hastening away from the shadows of the for 
midable pile I made for the first crossroad, intend 
ing to strike the central turnpike as quickly as 
possible. This I reached about morning and 
entering the first enclosure I came to I searched 
for some evidences of a habitation. 

There were low rambling buildings of concrete 
barred with heavy impassable doors, and no 
amount of hammering and hallooing brought any 
response. Weary and exhausted from sleepless 
ness I threw myself upon the ground commanding 
Woola to stand guard. 

Some time later I was awakened by his frightful 
growlings and opened my eyes to see three red 



Martians standing a short distance from us and 
covering me with their rifles. 

**I am unarmed and no enemy," I hastened to 
explain. " I have been a prisoner among the green 
men and am on my way to Zodanga. All I ask 
is food and rest for myself and my calot and the 
proper directions for reaching my destination." 

They lowered their rifles and advanced pleas 
antly toward me placing their right hands upon 
my left shoulder, after the manner of their custom 
of salute, and asking me many questions about 
myself and my wanderings. They then took me 
to the house of one of them which was only a 
short distance away. 

The buildings I had been hammering at in the 
early morning were occupied only by stock and 
farm produce, the house proper standing among a 
grove of enormous trees, and, like all red-Mar 
tian homes, had been raised at night some forty 
or fifty feet from the ground on a large round 
metal shaft which slid up or down within a sleeve 
sunk in the ground, and was operated by a tiny 
radium engine in the entrance hall of the buflding. 
Instead of bothering with bolts and bars for their 
dwellings, the red Martians simply run them up 
out of harm's way during the night. They also 


have private means for lowering or raising them 
from the ground without if they wish to go away 
and leave them. 

These brothers, with their wives and children, ( 
occupied three similar houses on this farm. They 
did no work themselves, being government officers 
in charge. The labor was performed by convicts, 
prisoners of war, delinquent debtors and confirmed 
bachelors who were too poor to pay the high 
celibate tax which all red-Martian governments 

They were the personification of cordiality and 
hospitality and I spent several days with them, 
resting and recuperating from my long and arduous 

When they had heard my story I omitted all 
reference to Dejah Thoris and the old man of the 
atmosphere plant they advised me to color my 
body to more nearly resemble their own race and 
then attempt to find employment in Zodanga, 
either in the army or the navy. 

"The chances are small that your tale will be 
believed until after you have proven your trust 
worthiness and won friends among the higher 
nobles of the court. This you can most easily do 
through military service, as we are a warlike 


people on Barsoom," explained one of them, " and 
save our richest favors for the fighting man." 

When I was ready to depart they furnished nie 
with a small domestic bull thoat, such as is used 
for saddle purposes by all red Martians. The 
animal is about the size of a horse and quite gentle, 
but in color and shape an exact replica of his huge 
and fierce cousin of the wilds. 

The brothers had supplied me with a reddish 
oil with which I anointed my entire body and one 
of them cut my hair, which had grown quite long, 
in the prevailing fashion of the time, square at the 
back and banged in front, so that I could have 
passed anywhere upon Barsoom as a full-fledged 
red Martian. My metal and ornaments were also 
renewed in the style of a Zodangan gentleman, 
attached to the house of Ptor, which was the 
family name of my benefactors. 

They filled a little sack at my side with Zodangan 
money. The medium of exchange upon Mars is 
not dissimilar from our own except that the coins 
are oval. Paper money is issued by individuals 
as they require it and redeemed twice yearly. If 
a man issues more than he can redeem, the govern 
ment pays his creditors in full and the debtor 
works out the amount upon the farms or in mines, 


which are all owned by the government. ' This 
suits everybody except the debtor as it has been 
a difficult thing to obtain sufficient voluntary labor 
to work the great isolated farm lands of Mars, 
stretching as they do like narrow ribbons from 
pole to pole, through wild stretches peopled by 
wild animals and wilder men. 

When I mentioned my inability to repay them 
for their kindness to me they assured me that I 
would have ample opportunity if I lived long upon 
Barsoom, and bidding me farewell they watched 
me until I was out of sight upon the broad white 


A s 



S I proceeded on my journey toward Zodanga 

many strange and interesting sights arrested 
my attention, and at the several farm houses where 
I stopped I learned a number of new and instruc 
tive things concerning the methods and manners 
of Barsoom. 

The water which supplies the farms of Mars 
is collected in immense underground reservoirs at 
either pole from the melting ice caps, and pumped 
through long conduits to the various populated 
centers. Along either side of these conduits, and 
extending their entire length, lie the cultivated dis 
tricts. These are divided into tracts of about the 
same size, each tract being under the supervision 
of one or more government officers. 

Instead of flooding the surface of the fields, and 
thus wasting immense quantities of water by evap 
oration, the precious liquid is carried underground 
through a vast network of small pipes directly to 
the roots of the vegetation. The crops upon Marf 



are always uniform, for there are no droughts, no 
rains, no high winds, and no insects, or destroying 

On this trip I tasted the first meat I had eaten 
since leaving Earth large, juicy steaks and chops 
from the well fed domestic animals of the farms. 
Also I enjoyed luscious fruits and vegetables, but 

not a single article of food which was exactly sim- 

ilar to anything on Earth. Every plant and flower 
and vegetable and animal has been so re6ned by 
ages of careful, scientific cultivation and breeding 
that the like of them on Earth dwindled into pale, 
gray, characterless nothingness by comparison. 

At a second stop I met some highly cultivated 
people of the noble class and while in conversation 
we chanced to speak of Helium. One of the older 
men had been there on a diplomatic mission several 
years before and spoke with regret of the condi 
tions which seemed destined ever to keep these two 
countries at war. 

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

"Why," he added, "the people really worship 
the ground she walks upon and since her loss on 


that ill-starred expedition all Helium has been 
draped in mourning. 

" That our ruler should have attacked the dis 
abled fleet as it was returning to Helium was but 
another of his awful blunders which I fear will 
sooner or later compel Zodanga to elevate a 
wiser man to his place. 

"Even now, though our victorious armies are 
surrounding Helium, the people of Zodanga are 
voicing their displeasure, for the war is not a 
popular one, since it is not based on right or jus 
tice. Our forces took advantage of the absence 
of the principal fleet of Hefium on their search 
for the princess, and so we have been able easily 
to reduce the city to a sorry plight. It is said she 
will fall within the next few passages of the 
further moon." 

"And what, think you, may have been the fate 
of the princess, Dejah Thoris?" I asked as 
casually as possible. 

" She is dead," he answered. "This much was 
learned from a green warrior recently captured 
by our forces in the south. She escaped from the 
hordes of Thark with a strange creature of another 
world, only to fall into the hands of the Warhoons. 
Their thoats were found wandering upon the 



bottom and evidences of a bloody conflict were 
discovered near-by." 

While this information was in no way reassur 
ing, neither was it at all conclusive proof of the 
death of Dejah Thoris, and so I determined to 
make every effort possible to reach Helium as 
quickly as I could and carry to Tardos Mors such 
news of his granddaughter's possible whereabouts 
as lay in my power. 

Ten days after leaving the three Ptor brothers 
I arrived at Zodanga. From the moment that I 
had come in contact with the red inhabitants of 
Mars I had noticed that Woola drew a great 
amount of unwelcome attention to me, since the 
huge brute belonged to a species which is never 
domesticated by the red men. Were one to stroll 
down Broadway with a Numidian lion at his heels 
the effect would be somewhat similar to that which 
I should have produced had I entered Zodanga 
with Woola. 

The very thought of parting with the faithful 
fellow caused me so great regret and genuine sor 
row that I put it off until just before we arrived at 
the city's gates ; but then, finally, it became impera 
tive that we separate. Had nothing further than 
my own safety or pleasure been at stake no argu- 

ment could have prevailed upon me to turn 
the one creature upon Barsoom that had never 
failed in a demonstration of affection and loyalty; 
but as I would willingly have offered my life in 
the service of her in search of whom I was about 
to challenge the unknown dangers of this, to me, 
mysterious city, I could not permit even Woola's 
life to threaten the success of my venture, much 
less his momentary happiness, for I doubted not 
he soon would forget me. And so I bade the poor 
beast an affectionate farewell, promising him, 
however, that if I came through my adventure in 
safety that in some way I should find the means to 
search him out. 

He seemed to understand me fully, and when I 
pointed back in the direction of Thark he turned 
sorrowfully away, nor could I bear to watch him 
go; but resolutely set my face toward Zodanga 
and with a touch of heartsickness approached her. 
frowning walls. 

The letter I bore from them gained me imme 
diate entrance to the vast, walled city. It was 
still very early in the morning and the streets 
were practically deserted. The residences, raised 
high upon their metal columns, resembled huge 
rookeries, while the uprights themselves presented 



the appearance of steel tree trunks. The shops 
as a rule were not raised from the ground nor 
were their doors bolted or barred, since thievery 
is practically unknown upon Barsoom. Assassina 
tion is the ever present fear of all Barsoomians, 
and for this reason alone their homes are raised 
high above the ground at night, or in times of 

The Ptor brothers had given me explicit direc 
tions for reaching the point of the city where I 
could find living accommodations and be near the 
offices of the government agents to whom they 
had given me letters. My way led to the central 
square or plaza, which is a characteristic of all 
Martian cities. 

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

As I was crossing the great square lost in wonder 
and admiration of the magnificent architecture 
and the gorgeous scarlet vegetation which carpeted 
the broad lawns I discovered a red Martian walk 
ing briskly toward me from one of the avenues. 
He paid not the slightest attention to me, but as 


he came abreast I recognized him, and turning I 
placed my hand upon his shoulder, calling out : 

"Kaor, KantosKan!" 

Like lightning he wheeled and before I could 
so much as lower my hand the point of his long- 
sword was at my breast. 

"Who are you?" he growled, and then as- a 
backward leap carried me fifty feet from his sword 
he dropped the point to the ground and exclaimed, 

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

" You gave me a bad half minute my friend," 
he continued, after I had briefly outlined my adven 
tures since parting with him in the arena at War- 
hoorv. "Were my name and city known to the 
Zodangans I would shortly be sitting on the banks 

of the lost sea of Korus with my revered 
departed ancestors. I am here in the interests of 
Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium, to discover the 
whereabouts of Dejah Thoris, oair princess. Sab 
Than, prince of Zodanga, has her hidden in the 


rity and has fallen madly in love with her. His 
father, Than Kosis, Jeddak of Zodanga, has made 
her voluntary marriage to his son the price of 
peace between our countries, but Tardos Mors 
will not accede to the demands and has sent word 
that he and his people would rather look upon the 
dead face of their princess than see her wed to 
any than her own choice, and that personally he 
would prefer being engulfed in the ashes of a lost 
and burning Helium to joining the metal of his 
house with that of Than Kosis. His reply was 
the deadliest affront he could have put upon Than 
Kosis and the Zodangans, but his people love him 
the more for it and his strength in Helium is 
greater today than ever. 

" I have been here three days," continued Kan- 
tos Kan, "but I have not yet found where Dejah 
Thoris is imprisoned. Today I join the Zodangan 
navy as an air scout and I hope in this way to win 
the confidence of Sab Than, the prince, who is 
commander of this division of the navy, and thus 
learn the whereabouts of Dejah Thoris. I am 
glad that you are here, John Carter, for I know 
your loyalty to my princess and two of us working 
together should be able to accomplish much." 

The plaza was now commencing to fill with 


.--11 H ' 'I " II. .1 Illl .Mil I ^Q 

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

After our meal, Kantos Kan took me with him 
to the headquarters of the air-scout squadron and 
introducing me to his superior asked that I be 
enrolled as a member of the corps. In accord 
ance with custom an examination was necessary, 
but Kantos Kan had told me to have no fear on 
this score as he would attend to that part of the 
matter. He accomplished this by taking my order 
for examination to the examining officer and repre 
senting himself as John Carter. 

"This ruse will be discovered later," he cheer 
fully explained, " when they check up my weights, 
measurements, and other personal identification 
data, but it will be several months before this is 
done and our mission should be accomplished or 
have failed long before that time." 


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

This ray, like the ninth ray, is unknown on 
Earth, but the Martians have discovered that it is 
an inherent property of all light no matter from 
what source it emanates. They have learned that 
it is the solar eighth ray which propels the light 
of the sun to the various planets, and that it is 
the individual eighth ray of each planet which 
" reflects," or propels the light thus obtained out 
into space once more. The solar eighth ray would 
be absorbed by the surface of Barsoom, but the 
Barsoomian eighth ray, which tends to propel light 
from Mars into space, is constantly streaming out 
from the planet constituting a force of repulsion 


of gravity which when confined is able to lift enor 
mous weights from the surface of the ground. 

It is this ray which has enabled them to so per 
fect aviation that battle ships far outweighing any 
thing known upon Earth sail as gracefully and 
lightly through the thin air of Barsoom as a toy 
balloon in the heavy atmosphere of Earth. 

During the early years of the discovery of this 
ray many strange accidents occurred before the 
Martians learned to measure and control the won 
derful power they had found. In one instance, 
some nine hundred years before, the first great 
battle ship to be built with eighth ray reservoirs 
was stored with too great a quantity of the rays 
and she had sailed up from Helium with five 
hundred officers and men, never to return. 

Her power of repulsion for the planet was so 
great that it had carried her far into space, where 
she can be seen today, by the aid of powerful tele 
scopes, hurtling through the heavens ten thousand 
miles from Mars; a tiny satellite that will thus 
encircle Barsoom to the end of time. 

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



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

I had traversed perhaps two hundred miles 
in a little less than an hour when I descried far 
below me a party of three green warriors racing 
madly toward a small figure on foot which seemed 
to be trying to reach the confines of one of the 
walled fields. 

Dropping my machine rapidly toward them, 
and circling to the rear of the warriors, I soon 
saw that the object of their pursuit was a red 
Martian wearing the metal of the scout squadron 
to which I was attached. A short distance away 
lay his tiny flier, surrounded by the tools with 
which he had evidently been occupied in repairing 
some damage when surprised by the green 

They were now almost upon him; their flying 
mounts charging down on the relatively puny figure 
at terrific speed, while the warriors leaned low 
to the right, with their great metal-shod spears. 
Each seemed striving to be the first to impale the 
poor Zodangan and in another moment his fate 


would have been sealed had it not been for my 
timely arrival. 

Driving my fleet air craft at high speed directly 
behind the warriors I soon overtook them and 
without diminishing my speed I rammed the prow 
of my little Hier between the shoulders of the 
nearest. The impact sufficient to have torn through 
inches of solid steel, hurled the fellow's headless 
body into the air over the head of his thoat, where 
it fell sprawling upon the moss. The mounts of 
the other two warriors turned squealing in terror, 
and bolted in opposite directions. 

Reducing my speed I circled and came to the 
ground at the feet of the astonished Zodangan. 
He was warm in his thanks for my timely aid and 
promised that my day's work would bring the 
reward it merited, for it was none other than a 
cousin of the jeddak of Zodanga whose life I had 

We wasted no time in talk as we knew that the 
warriors would surely return as soon as they had 
gained control of their mounts. Hastening to his 
damaged machine we were bending every effort to 
finish the needed repairs and had almost completed 
them when we saw the two green monsters return 
ing at top speed from opposite sides of us. When 



they had approached within a hundred yards their 
thoats again became unmanageable and absolutely 
refused to advance further toward the air craft 
which had frightened them. 

The warriors finally dismounted and hobbling 
their animals advanced toward us on foot with 
drawn long-swords. I advanced to meet the 
larger, telling the Zodangan to do the best he could 
with the other. Finishing my man with almost 
no effort, as had now from much practice become 
habitual with me, I hastened to return to my new 
acquaintance whom I found indeed in desperate 

He was wounded and down with the huge foot 
of his antagonist upon his throat and the great 
long-sword raised to deal the final thrust. With 
a bound I cleared the fifty feet intervening between 
us, and with out-stretched point drove my sword 
completely through the body of the green warrior. 
His sword fell, harmless, to the ground and he 
sank limply upon the prostrate form of the 

A cursory examination of the latter revealed no 

mortal injuries and after a brief rest he asserted 

that he felt fit to attempt the return voyage. He 

would have to pilot his own craft, however, as 



these frail vessels are not intended to convey but 
a single person. 

Quickly completing the repairs we rose together 
into the still, cloudless Martian sky, and at great 
speed and without further mishap returned to 

As we neared the city we discovered a mighty 
concourse of civilians and troops assembled upon 
the plain before the city. The sky was black with 
naval vessels and private and public pleasure craft, 
flying long streamers of gay-colored silks, and ban 
ners and flags of odd and picturesque design. 

My companion signaled that I slow down, and 
running his machine close beside mine suggested 
that we approach and watch the ceremony, which, 
he said, was for the. purpose of conferring honors 
on individual officers and men for bravery and 
other distinguished service. He then unfurled a 
little ensign which denoted that his craft bore a 
member of the royal family of Zodanga, and 
together we made our way through the maze of 
low-lying air vessels until we hung directly over 
the jeddak of Zodanga and his staff. All were 
mounted upon the small domestic bull thoats of the 
red Martians, and their trappings and ornamenta 
tion bore such a quantity of gorgeously colored 


feathers that I could not but be struck with the 
startling resemblance the concourse bore to a band 
of the red Indians of my own Earth. 

One of the staff called the attention of Than 
Kosis to the presence of my companion above 
them and the ruler motioned for him to descend. 
As they waited for the troops to move into posi 
tion facing the jeddak the two talked earnestly 
together, the jeddak and his staff occasionally 
glancing up at me. I could not hear their conver 
sation and presently it ceased and all dismounted, 
as the last body of troops had wheeled into posi 
tion before their emperor. A member of the staff 
advanced toward the troops, and calling the name 
of a soldier commanded him to advance. The 
officer then recited the nature of the heroic act 
which had won the approval of the jeddak, and 
the latter advanced and placed a metal ornament 
upon the left arm of the lucky man. 

Ten men had been so decorated when the aid 
called out, 

"John Carter, air scout!" 

Never in my life had I been so surprised, but 

the habit of military discipline is strong within me, 

and I dropped my little machine lightly to the 

ground and advanced on foot as I had seen the 


others do. As I halted before the officer, he 
addressed me in a voice audible to the entire 
assemblage of troops and spectators. 

"In recognition, John Carter," he said, "of 
your remarkable courage and skill in defending 
the person of the cousin of the jeddak Than Kosis 
and, single-handed, vanquishing three green war 
riors, it is the pleasure of our jeddak to confer 
on you the mark of his esteem." 

Than Kosis then advanced toward me and plac 
ing an ornament upon me, said: 

" My cousin has narrated the details of your 
wonderful achievement, which seems little short 
of miraculous, and if you can so well defend a 
cousin of the jeddak how much better could you 
defend the person of the jeddak himself. You are 
therefore appointed a padwar of The Guards and 
will be quartered in my palace hereafter." 

I thanked him, and at his direction joined the 
members of his staff. After the ceremony I 
returned my machine to its quarters on the roof 
of the barracks of the air-scout squadron, and 
with an orderly from the palace to guide me I 
reported to the officer in charge of the palace. 



THE major-domo to whom I reported had 
been given instructions to station me near 
the person of the jeddak, who, in time of war, is 
always in great danger of assassination, as the 
rule that all is fair in war seems to constitute the 
entire ethics of Martian conflict. 

He therefore escorted me immediately to the 
apartment in which Than Kosis then was. The 
ruler was engaged in conversation with his son, 
Sab Than, and several courtiers of his household, 
and did not perceive my entrance. 

The walls of the apartment were completely 
hung with splendid tapestries which hid any win 
dows or doors which may have pierced them. The 
room was lighted by imprisoned rays of sunshine 
held between the ceiling proper and what appeared 
to be a ground glass false ceiling a few inches 

My guide drew aside one of the tapestries, dis 
closing a passage which encircled the room, 



between the hangings and the walls of the cham 
ber. Within this passage I was to remain, he 
said, so long as Than Kosis was in the apartment. 
When he left I was to follow. My only duty 
was to guard the ruler and keep out of sight as 
much as possible. I would be relieved after a 
period of four hours. The major-domo then 
left me. 

The tapestries were of a strange weaving which 
gave the appearance of heavy solidity from one 
side, but from my hiding place I could perceive 
all that took place within the room as readily as 
though there had been no curtain intervening. 

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

Sab Than, Prince of Zodanga, advanced to meet 
her, and hand in hand they approached close to 
the jeddak. Than Kosis looked up in surprise, 
and, rising, saluted her. 

"To what strange freak do I owe this visit 


from the Princess of Helium, who, two days ago, 
with rare consideration for my pride, assured me 
that she would prefer Tal Hajus, the green Thark, 
to my son ? " 

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

" From the beginning of time upon Barsoom it 
has been the prerogative of woman to change her 
mind as she listed and to dissemble in matters con 
cerning her heart. That you will forgive, Than 
Kosis, as has your son. Two days ago I was not 
sure of his love for me, but now I am, and I have 
come to beg of you to forget my rash words and 
to accept the assurance of the Princess of Helium 
that when the time comes she will wed Sab Than, 
Prince of Zodanga." 

" I am glad that you have so decided," replied 
Than Kosis. "It is far from my desire to push 
war further against the people of Helium, and, 
iyour promise shall be recorded and a proclamation 
to my people issued forthwith." 

" It were better, Than Kosis," interrupted 
Dejah Thoris, "that the proclamation wait the 
ending of this war. It would look strange indeed 
to my people and to yours were the Princess of 



Helium to give herself to her country's enemy in 
the midst of hostilities." 

"Cannot the war be ended at once?" spoke 
Sab Than. "It requires but the word of Than 
Kosis to bring peace. Say it my father, say the 
word that will hasten my happiness, and end this 
unpopular strife." 

"We shall see," replied Than Kosis, "how the 
people of Helium take to peace. I shall at least 
offer it to them." 

Dejah Thoris, after a few words, turned and 
left the apartment, still followed by her guards. 

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

Although I had heard it with my own ears I 
could not believe it. I must search out her apart 
ments and force her to repeat the cruel truth to 
me alone before I would be convinced, and so I 
deserted my post and hastened through the pas 
sage behind the tapestries toward the door by 
which she had left the chamber. Slipping quietly 



through this opening I discovered a maze of wind 
ing corridors, branching and turning in every 

Running rapidly down first one and then another 
of them I soon became hopelessly lost and was 
standing panting against a side wall when I heard 
voices near me. Apparently they were coming 
from the opposite side of the partition against 
which I leaned and presently I made out the tones 
of Dejah Thoris. I could not hear the words but 
I knew that I could not possibly be mistaken in 
the voice. 

Moving on a few steps I discovered another 
passage-way at the end of which lay a door. 
Walking boldly forward I pushed into the room 
only to find myself in a small ante chamber in 
which were the four guards who had accompanied 
her. One of them instantly arose and accosted 
me, asking the nature of my business. 

" I am from Than Kosis," I replied, " and wish 
to speak privately with Dejah Thoris, Princess of 

"And your order?" asked the fellow. 

I did not know what he meant, but replied that 
I was a member of The Guard, and without wait 
ing for a reply from him I strode toward the 



opposite door of the ante chamber, behind which 
I could hear Dejah Thoris conversing. 

But my entrance was not to be so easily accom 
plished. The guardsman stepped before me, 

" No one comes from Than Kosis without carry 
ing an order or the pass word. You must give 
me one or the other before you may pass." 

"The only order I require, my friend, to enter 
where I will, hangs at my side," I answered, tap 
ping my long-sword ; " will you let me pass in peace 
or no?" 

For reply he whipped out his own sword, call 
ing to the others to join him, and thus the four 
stood, with drawn weapons, barring my further 

" You are not here by the order of Than Kosis," 
cried the one who had first addressed me, " and 
not only s'hall you not enter the apartments of the 
Princess of Helium but you shall go back to Than 
Kosis under guard to explain this unwarranted 
temerity. Throw down your sword; you cannot 
hope to overcome four of us," he added with a 
grim smile. 

My reply was a quick thrust which left me but 
three antagonists and I can assure you that they 


were worthy of my metal. They had me backed 
against the wall in no time, fighting for my life. 
Slowly I worked my way to a corner of the room 
where I could force them to come at me only one 
( at a time, and thus we fought upward of twenty 
minutes; the clanging of steel on steel producing 
a veritable bedlam in the little room. 

The noise had brought Dejah Thoris to the 
door of her apartment, and there she stood 
throughout the conflict with Sola at her back peer 
ing over her shoulder. Her face was set and 
emotionless and I knew that she did not recognize 
me, nor did Sola. 

Finally a lucky cut brought down a second 
guardsman and then, with only two opposing me, 
I changed my tactics and rushed them down after 
the fashion of my fighting that had won me many 
a victory. The third fell within ten seconds after 
the second, and the last lay dead upon the bloody 
floor a few moments later. They were brave men 
and noble fighters, and it grieved me that I had 
been forced to kill them, but I would have will 
ingly depopulated all Barsoom could I have 
reached the side of my Dejah Thoris in no other 

Sheathing my bloody blade I advanced toward 



my Martian Princess, who still stood mutely 
gazing at me without sign of recognition. 

"Who are you, Zodangan?" she whispered. 
"Another enemy to harass me in my misery?" 

" I am a friend," I answered, " a once cherished 

"No friend of Helium's princess wears that 
metal," she replied, " and yet the voice ! I have 
heard it before; it is not it cannot be no, 
for he is dead." 

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

As I came close to her she swayed toward me 
with outstretched hands, but as I reached to take 
her in my arms she drew back with a shudder and 
a little moan of misery. 

"Too late, too late," she grieved. "O my 
chieftain that was, and whom I thought dead, had 
you but returned one little hour before but now 
it is too late, too late." 

s "What do you mean, Dejah Thoris?" I cried. 
"That you would not have promised yourself to 
tfce Zodangan prince had you known that I 



"Think you, John Carter, that I would give my 
heart to you yesterday and today to another? I 
thought that it lay buried with your ashes in the 
pits of Warhoon, and so today I have promised 
my body to another to save my people from the 
curse of a victorious Zodangan army." 

" But I am not dead, my princess. I have come 
to claim you, and all Zodanga cannot prevent it." 

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

" I know but little of your customs here upon 
Barsoom, Dejah Thoris, but I do know that I 
love you, and if you meant the last words you 
spoke to me that day as the hordes of Warhooi\ 
were charging down upon us, no other man shall 
ever claim you as his bride. You meant them then, 
my princess, and you mean them still! Say that 
it is true." 

"I meant them, John Carter," she whispered 


"I cannot repeat them now for I have given 
myself to another. Ah, if you had only known 
our ways, my friend," she continued, half to her- 
self, "the promise would have been yours long 
months ago, and you could have claimed me before 
all others. It might have meant the fall of 
Helium, but I would have given my empire for 
my Tharkian chief." 

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


it doably worse by taunting me with having won 
me through combat." 

" I do not need ask your forgiveness now, Dejah 
Thoris," I cried. " You must know that my fault 
was of ignorance of your Barsoomian customs. 
What I failed to do, through implicit belief that 
my petition would be presumptious and unwel 
come, I do now, Dejah Thoris; I ask you to be 
my wife, and by all the Virginian fighting blood 
that flows in my veins you shall be." 

"No, John Carter, it is useless," she cried, 
hopelessly, " I may never be yours while Sab Than 

"You have sealed his death warrant, my prin 
cess Sab Than dies." 

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

Disheartened and dejected, I withdrew from the 
room, but I was not entirely discouraged, nor 


would I admit that Dejah Thoris was lost to me 
until the ceremony had actually been performed. 

As I wandered along the corridors, I was as 
absolutely lost in the mazes of winding passage 
ways as I had been before I discovered Dejah 
Thoris' apartments. 

I knew that my only hope lay in escape from 
the city of Zodanga, for the matter of the four 
dead guardsmen would have to be explained, and 
as I could never reach my original post without 
a guide, suspicion would surely rest on me so soon 
as I was discovered wandering aimlessly through 
the palace. 

Presently I came upon a spiral runway leading 
to a lower floor, and this I followed downward 
for several stories until I reached the doorway 
of a large apartment in which were a number of 
guardsmen. The walls of this room were hung 
with transparent tapestries behind which I 
secreted myself without being apprehended. 

The conversation of the guardsmen was general, 
and awakened no interest in me until an officer 
entered the room and ordered four of the men to 
relieve the detail who were guarding the Princess 
of Helium. Now, I knew, my troubles would 
commence in earnest and indeed they were upon 


me all too soon, for it seemed that the squad 
had scarcely left the guardroom before one of 
their number burst in again breathlessly, crying 
that they had found their four comrades butchered 
in the ante-chamber. 

In a moment the entire palace was alive with 
people. Guardsmen, officers, courtiers, servants, 
and slaves ran helter skelter through the corridors 
and apartments carrying messages and orders, and 
searching for signs of the assassin. 

This was my opportunity and slim as it appeared 
I grasped it, for as a number of soldiers came 
hurrying past my hiding place I fell in behind them 
and followed through the mazes of the palace 
until, in passing through a great hall, I saw the 
blessed light of day coming in through a series qf 
larger windows. 

Here I left my guides, and, slipping to the near 
est window, sought for an avenue of escape. The 
windows opened upon a great balcony which over 
looked one of the broad avenues of Zodanga. 
The ground was about thirty feet below, and at a 
like distance from the building was a wall fully 
twenty feet high, constructed of polished glass 
about a foot in thickness. To a red Martian 
escape by this path would have appeared impos- 



sible, but to me, with my earthly strength and 
agility, it seemed already accomplished. My only 
fear was in being detected before darkness fell, 
for I could not make the leap in broad daylight 
while the court below and the avenue beyond were 
crowded with Zodangans. 

Accordingly I searched for a hiding place and 
finally found one by accident, inside a huge hang 
ing ornament which swung from the ceiling of the 
hall, and about ten feet from the floor. Into the 
capacious bowl-like vase I sprang with ease, and 
scarcely had I settled down within it than I heard 
a number of people enter the apartment. The 
group stopped beneath my hiding place and I 
could plainly overhear their every word. 

" It is the work of Heliumites," said one of the 

"Yes, O Jeddak, but how had they access to 
the palace? I could believe that even with the dil 
igent care of your guardsmen a single enemy might 
reach the inner chambers, but how a force of six 
or eight fighting men could have done so unob 
served is beyond me. We shall soon know, how 
ever, for here comes the royal psychologist." 

Another man now joined the group, and, after 
making his formal greetings to his ruler, said: 


"O mighty Jeddak, it is a strange tale I read 
in the dead minds of your faithful guardsmen. 
They were felled not by a number of fighting men, 
but by a single opponent." 

He paused to let the full weight of this announce 
ment impress his hearers, and that his statement 
was scarcely credited was evidenced by the impa 
tient exclamation of incredulity which escaped the 
lips of Than Kosis. 

" What manner of weird tale are you bringing 
me, Notan?" he cried. 

" It is the truth, my Jeddak," replied the psy 
chologist. " In fact the impressions were strongly 
marked on the brain of each of the four guards 
men. Their antagonist was a very tall man, wear 
ing the metal of one of your own guardsmen, and 
his fighting ability was little short of marvelous 
for he fought fair against the entire four and van 
quished them by his surpassing skill and super 
human strength and endurance. Though he wore 
the metal of Zodanga, my Jeddak, such a man 
was never seen before in this or any other country 
upon Barsoom. 

"The mind of the Princess of Helium whom 
I have examined and questioned was a blank to 
me, she has perfect control, and I could not read 


one iota of it. She said that she witnessed a por 
tion of the encounter, and that when she looked 
there was but one man engaged with the guards 
men; a man whom she did not recognize as ever 
having seen." 

"Where is my erstwhile savior?" spoke 
another of the party, and I recognized the voice 
of the cousin of Than Kosis, whom I had rescued 
from the green warriors. "By the metal of my 
first ancestor," he went on, "but the description 
fits him to perfection, especially as to his fighting 

"Where is this man?" cried Than Kosis. 
" Have him brought to me at once. What know 
you of him, cousin? It seemed strange to me now 
that I think upon it that there should have been 
such a fighting man in Zodanga, of whose name, 
even, we were ignorant before today. And his 
name too, John Carter, who ever heard of such 
a name upon Barsoom ! " 

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


had but recently met me during our captivity among 
the Warhoons. 

" Keep your eyes on this other one," commanded 
Than Kosis. "He also is a stranger and likely 
as not they both hail from Helium, and where 
one is we shall sooner or later find the other. 
Quadruple the air patrol, and let every man who 
leaves the city by air or ground be subjected to 
the closest scrutiny." 

Another messenger now entered with word that 
I was still within the palace walls. 

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

"Then we will have him shortly," commented 
Than Kosis contentedly, "and in the meanwhile 
we will repair to the apartments of the Princess 
of Helium and question her in regard to the affair. 
She may know more than she cared to divulge 
to you, Notan. Come." 

They left the hall, and, as darkness had fallen 
without, I slipped lightly from my hiding place 
and hastened to the balcony. Few were in sight, 


and choosing a moment when none seemed near 
I sprang quickly to the top of the glass wall and 
from there to the avenue beyond the palace 

1 269 T 



WITHOUT effort at concealment I hastened 
to the vicinity of our quarters, where I 
felt sure I should find Kantos Kan. As I neared 
the building I became more careful, as I judged, 
and rightly, that the place would be guarded. Sev 
eral men in civilian metal loitered near the front 
entrance and in the rear were others. My only 
means of reaching, unseen, the upper story where 
our apartments were situated was through an 
adjoining building, and after considerable maneu 
vering I managed to attain the roof of a shop sev 
eral doors away. 

Leaping from roof to roof, I soon reached an 
open windpw in the building where I hoped to find 
the Heliumite, and in another moment I stood in 
the room before him. He was alone and showed 
no surprise at my coming, saying he had expected 
me much earlier, as my tour of duty must have 
ended some time since. 

I saw that he knew nothing of the events of 


the day at the palace, and when I had enlightened 
him he was all excitement. The news that Dejah 
Thoris had promised her hand to Sab Than filled 
him with dismay. 

"It cannot be," he exclaimed. "It is impos 
sible I Why no man in all Helium but would pre 
fer death to the selling of our loved princess to 
the ruling house of Zodanga. She must have lost 
her mind to have assented to such an atrocious 
bargain. .You, who do not know how we of 
Helium love the members of our ruling house, 
cannot appreciate the horror with which I contem 
plate such an unholy alliance." 

"What can be done, John Carter?" he con 
tinued. "You are a resourceful man. Can you 
not think of some way to save Helium from this 

"If I can come within sword's reach of Sab 

[Than," I answered, " I can solve the difficulty in 

so far as Helium is concerned, but for personal 

reasons I would prefer that another struck the 

blow that frees Dejah Thoris." 

Kantos Kan eyed me narrowly before he spoke. 

" You love her ! " he said. " Does she know it ? " 

"She knows it, Kantos Kan, and repulses me 
only because she is promised to Sab Than." 


The splendid fellow sprang to his feet, and 
grasping me by the shoulder raised his sword on 
high, exclaiming: 

"And had the choice been left to me I could 
not have chosen a more fitting mate for the first 
princess of Barsoom. Here is my hand upon 
your shoulder, John Carter, and my word that 
Sab Than shall go out at the point of my sword 
for the sake of my love for Helium, for Dejah 
Thoris, and for you. This very night I shall try 
to reach his quarters in the palace." 

"How?" I asked. "You are strongly guarded 
and a quadruple force patrols the sky." 

He bent his head in thought a moment, then 
raised it with an air of confidence. 

"I only need to pass these guards and I can 
do it," he said at last. " I know a secret entrance 
to the palace through the pinnacle of the highest 
tower. I fell upon it by chance one day as I wasi 
passing above the palace on patrol duty. In this 
,,vork it is required that we investigate any unusual 
occurrence we may witness, and a face peering 
from the pinnacle of the high tower of the palace 
was, to me, most unusual. I therefore drew near 
and discovered that the possessor of the peering 
face was none other than Sab Than. He was 


slightly put out at being detected and commanded 
me to keep the matter to myself, explaining that 
the passage from the tower led directly to his 
apartments, and was known only to him. If I 
can reach the roof of the barracks and get my 
machine I can be in Sab Than's quarters in five 
minutes; but how am I to escape from this build 
ing, guarded as you say it is?" 

" How well are the machine sheds at the bar 
racks guarded?" I asked. 

"There is usually but one man on duty there at 
night upon the roof." 

" Go to the roof of this building, Kantos Kan, 
and wait me there." 

Without stopping to explain my plans I retraced 
my way to the street and hastened to the barracks. 
I did not dare to enter the building, filled as it 
was with members of the air-scout squadron, who, 
in common with all Zodanga, were on the lookout 
for me. 

The building was an enormous one, rearing its 
lofty head fully a thousand feet into the air. But 
few buildings in Zodanga were higher than these 
barracks, though several topped it by a few hun 
dred feet ; the docks of the great battleships of the 
line standing some fifteen hundred feet from the 


ground, while the freight and passenger stations 
of the merchant squadrons rose nearly as high. 

It was a long climb up the face of the building, 
and one fraught with much danger, but there was 
no other way, and so I essayed the task. The 
fact that Barsoomian architecture is extremely 
ornate made the feat much simpler than I had 
anticipated, since I found ornamental ledges and 
projections which fairly formed a perfect ladder 
for me all the way to the eaves of the building. 
Here I met my first real obstacle. The eaves 
projected nearly twenty feet from the wall to which 
I clung, and though I encircled the great building 
I could find no opening through them. 

The top floor was alight, and filled with soldiers 
engaged in the pastimes of their kind; I could not, 
therefore, reach the roof through the building. 

There was one slight, desperate chance, and 
that I decided I must take it was for Dejah 
Thoris, and no man has lived who would not risk 
a thousand deaths for such as she. 

Clinging to the wall with my feet and one hand, 
I unloosened one of the long leather straps of my 
trappings at the end of which dangled a great 
hook by which air sailors are hung to the sides and 
bottoms of their craft for various purposes of 


repair, and by means of which landing parties are 
lowered to the ground from the battleships. 

I swung this hook cautiously to the roof several 
times before it finally found lodgment; gently I 
pulled on it to strengthen its hold, but whether it 
would bear the weight of my body I did not know. 
it might be barely caught upon the very outer 
verge of the roof, so that as my body swung out 
at the end of the strap it would slip off and launch 
me to the pavement a thousand feet below. 

An instant I hesitated, and then, releasing my 
grasp upon the supporting ornament, I swung out 
into space at the end of the strap. Far below me 
lay the brilliantly lighted streets, the hard pave 
ments, and death. There was a little jerk at the 
top of the supporting eaves, and a nasty slipping, 
grating sound which turned me cold with appre 
hension; then the hook caught and I was safe. 

Clambering quickly aloft I grasped the edge of 
the eaves and drew myself to the surface .of the 
roof above. As I gained my feet I was confronted 
by the sentry on duty, into the muzzle of whose 
revolver I found myself looking. 

"Who are you and whence came you?" he 

"I am an air scout, friend, and very near a 


dead one, for just by the merest chance I escaped 
falling to the avenue below," I replied. 

"But how came you upon the roof, man? No 
one has landed or come up from the building for 
the past hour. Quick, explain yourself, or I call 
the guard." 

" Look you here, sentry, and you shall see how 
I came and how close a shave I had to not coming 
at all," I answered, turning toward the edge of 
the roof, where, twenty feet below, at the end of 
my strap, hung all my weapons. 

The fellow, acting on impulse of curiosity, 
stepped to my side and to his undoing, for as he 
leaned to peer over the eaves I grasped him by his 
throat and his pistol arm and threw him heavily 
to the roof. The weapon dropped from his grasp, 
and my fingers choked off his attempted cry for 
assistance. I gagged and bound him and then 
hung him over the edge of the roof as I myself 
had hung a few moments before. I knew it would 
be morning before he would be discovered, and I 
needed all the time that I could gain. 

Donning my trappings and weapons I hastened 
to the sheds, and soon had out both my machine 
and Kantos Kan's. Making his fast behind mine 
I started my engine, and skimming over the edge 



of the roof I dove down into the streets of the 
city far below the plane usually occupied by the 
air patrol. In less than a minute I was settling 
safely upon the roof of our apartment beside the 
astonished Kantos Kan. 

I lost no time in explanations, but plunged imme 
diately into a discussion of our plans for the imme 
diate future. It was decided that I was to try to 
make Helium while Kantos Kan was to enter the 
palace and dispatch Sab Than. If successful he 
was then to follow me. He set my compass for 
me, a clever little device which will remain stead 
fastly fixed upon any given point on the surface 
of Barsoom, and bidding each other farewell we 
rose together and sped in the direction of the pal 
ace which lay in the route which I must take to 
reach Helium. 

As we neared the high tower a patrol shot down 
from above, throwing its piercing searchlight full 
upon my craft, and a voice roared out a command 
to halt, following with a shot as I paid no atten 
tion to his hail. Kantos Kan dropped quickly into 
the darkness, while I rose steadily and at terrific 
speed raced through the Martian sky followed 
by a dozen of the air-scout craft which had joined 
the pursuit, and later by a swift cruiser carrying a 


hundred men and a battery of rapid-fire guns. By 
twisting and turning my little machine, now rising 
and now falling, I managed to elude their search 
lights most of the time, but I was also losing 
ground by these tactics, and so I decided to hazard 
everything on a straight-away course and leave the 
result to fate and the speed of my machine. 

Kantos Kan had shown me a trick of gearing, 
which is known only to the navy of Helium, that 
greatly increased the speed of our machines, so 
that I felt sure I could distance my pursuers if I 
could dodge their projectiles for a few moments. 

As I sped through the air the screeching of the 
bullets around me convinced me that only by a 
miracle could I escape, but the die was cast, and 
throwing on full speed I raced a straight course 
toward Helium. Gradually I left my pursuers 
further and further behind, and I was just con 
gratulating myself on my lucky escape, when a 
well-directed shot from the cruiser exploded at 
the prow of my little craft. The concussion nearly 
capsized her, and with a sickening plunge she 
hurtled downward through" the dark night. 

How far I fell before I regained control of 
the plane I do not know, but I must have been 
very close to the ground when I started to rise 


again, as I plainly heard the squealing of animals 
below me. Rising again I scanned the heavens 
for my pursuers, and finally making out their 
lights far behind me, saw that they were land 
ing, evidently in search of me. 

Not until their lights were no longer discern 
ible did I venture to flach my little lamp upon my 
compass, and then I found to my consternation 
that a fragment of the projectile had utterly 
destroyed my only guide, as well as my speed 
ometer. It was true I could follow the stars in 
the general direction of Helium, but without know 
ing the exact location of the city or the speed at 
which I was traveling my chances for finding it 
were slim. 

Helium lies a thousand miles southwest of 
Zodanga, and with my compass intact I should 
have made the trip, barring accidents, in between 
four and five hours. As it turned out, however, 
morning found me speeding over a vast expanse 
of dead sea bottom after nearly six hours of con 
tinuous flight at high speed. Presently a great 
city showed below me, but it was not Helium, as 
that alone of all Barsoomian metropolises consists 
in two immense circular walled cities about seventy- 
five miles apart and would have been easily dis- 


tinguishable from the altitude at which I was flying. 
Believing that I had come too far to the north 
and west, I turned back in a southeasterly direc 
tion, passing during the forenoon several other 
large cities, but none resembling the description 
which Kantos Kan had given me of Helium. In 
addition to the twin-city formation of Helium, 
another distinguishing feature is the two immense 
towers, one of vivid scarlet rising nearly a mile 
into the air from the center of one of the cities, 
while the other, of bright yellow a-nd of the same 
height, marks her sister. 




ABOUT noon I passed low over a great dead 
city of ancient Mars, and as Iskimmed out 
across the plain beyond I came full upon several 
thousand green warriors engaged in a terrific bat 
tle. Scarcely had I seen them than a volley of 
shots was directed at me, and with the almost 
unfailing accuracy of their aim my little craft was 
instantly a ruined wreck, sinking erratically to the 

I fell almost directly in the center of the fierce 
combat, among warriors who had not seen my 
approach so busily were they engaged in life and 
death struggles. The men were fighting on foot 
with long-swords, while an occasional shot from 
a sharpshooter on the outskirts of the conflict 
would bring down a warrior who might for an 
instant separate himself from the entangled mass. 

As my machine sank among them I realized 
that it was fight or die, with good chances of dying 
in any event, and so I struck the ground with drawn 
long-sword ready to defend myself as I could. 


I fell beside a huge monster who was engaged 
with three antagonists, and as I glanced at his 
fierce face, filled with the light of battle, I rec 
ognized Tars Tarkas the Thark. He did not 
see me, as I was a trifle behind him, and just then 
the three warrriors opposing him, md whom I rec 
ognized as Warhoons, charged simultaneously. 
The mighty fellow made quick work of one of 
them, but in stepping back for another thrust he 
fell over a dead body behind him and was down 
and at the mercy of his foes in an instant. Quick 
as lightning they were upon him, and Tars Tarkas 
would have been gathered to his fathers in short 
order had I not sprung before his prostrate form 
and engaged his adversaries. I had accounted for 
one of them when the mighty Thark regained hU 
feet and quickly settled the other. 

He gave me one look, and a slight smile touched 
his grim lips as, touching my shoulder, he said, 

"I would scarcely recognize you, John Carter, 
but there is no other mortal upon Barsoom who 
would have done what you have for me. I think 
I have learned that there is such a thing as friend 
ship, my friend." 

He said no more, nor was there opportunity, 
for the Warhoons were closing in about us, and 


together we fought, shoulder to shoulder, during 
all that long, hot afternoon, until the tide of bat 
tle turned and the remnant of the fierce Warhoon 
horde fell back upon their thoats, and fled into 
the gathering darkness. 

Ten thousand men had been engaged in that 
titanic struggle, and upon the field of battle lay 
three thousand dead. Neither side asked or gave 
quarter, nor did they attempt to take prisoners. 

On our return to the city after the battle we 
had gone directly to Tars Tarkas' quarters, where 
I was left alone while the chieftain attended the 
customary council which immediately follows an 

As I sat awaiting the return of the green war 
rior I heard something move in an adjoining apart 
ment, and as I glanced up there rushed suddenly 
upon me a huge and hideous creature which bore 
me backward upon the pile of silks and furs upon 
which I had been reclining. It was Woola 
faithful, loving Woola. He had found his way 
back to Thark and, as Tars Tarkas later told me, 
had gone immediately to my former quarters 
where he had taken up his pathetic and seemingly 
hopeless watch for my return. 

"Tal Hajus knows that you are here, John 


Carter," said Tars Tarkas, on his return from the 
jeddak's quarters; "Sarkoja saw and recognized 
you as we were returning. Tal Hajus has ordered 
me to bring you before him tonight. I have ten 
thoats, John Carter; you may take your choice 
from among them, and I will accompany you to 
ithe nearest waterway that leads to Helium. Tars 
fTarkas may be a cruel green warrior, but he can 
, be a friend as well. Come, we must start." 

" And when you return, Tars Tarkas ? " I asked. 

"The wild calots, possibly, or worse," he 
replied. "Unless I should chance to have the 
opportunity I have so long waited of battling with 
[Tal Hajus." 

"We will stay, Tars Tarkas, and see Tal Hajus 
(tonight. You shall not sacrifice yourself, and it 
may be that tonight you can have the chance you 


He objected strenuously, saying that Tal Hajus 
often flew into wild fits of passion at the mere 
thought of the blow I had dealt him, and that if 
ever he laid his hands upon me I would be sub 
jected to the most horrible tortures. 

While we were eating I repeated to Tars Tarkas 
the story which Sola had told me that night upon 
the sea bottom during the march to Thark. 


He said but little, but the great muscles of his 
face worked in passion and in agony at recollec 
tion of the horrors which had been heaped upon 
the only thing he had ever loved in all his cold, 
cruel, terrible existence. 

He no longer demurred when I suggested that 
we go before Tal Hajus, only saying that he would 
like to speak to Sarkoja first. At his request I 
accompanied him to her quarters, and the look of 
venomous hatred she cast upon me was almost 
adequate recompense for any future misfortunes 
this accidental return to Thark might bring me. 

" Sarkoja," said Tars Tarkas, " forty years ago 
you were instrumental in bringing about the tor 
ture and death of a woman named Gozava. I 
have just discovered that the warrior who loved 
that woman has learned of your part in the trans 
action. He may not kill you, Sarkoja, it is not 
>ur custom, but there is nothing to prevent him 
tying one end of a strap about your neck and the 
other end to a wild thoat, merely to test your 
fitness to survive and help perpetuate our race. 
Having heard that he would do this on the mor 
row, I thought it only right to warn you, for I 
am a just man. The river Iss is but a short pil 
grimage, Sarkoja. Come, John Carter.'* 



The next morning Sarkoja was gone, nor was 
she ever seen after. 

In silence we hastened to the jeddak's palace, 
where we were immediately admitted to his pres 
ence; in fact, he could scarcely wait to see me and 
was standing erect upon his platform glowering 
at the entrance as I came in. 

"Strap him to that pillar," he shrieked. "We 
shall see who it is dares strike the mighty Tal 
Hajus. Heat the irons ; with my own hands I shall 
burn the eyes from his head that he may not 
pollute my person with his vile gaze." 

" Chieftains of Thark," I cried, turning to the 
assembled council and ignoring Tal Hajus, "I 
have been a chief among you, and today I have 
fought for Thark shouMer to shoulder with her 
greatest warrior. You owe me, at least, a hear 
ing. I have won that much today. You claim 
to be just people " 

" Silence," roared Tal Hajus. " Gag the crea 
ture and bind him as I command." 

"Justice, Tal Hajus," exclaimed Lorquas 
Ptomel. " Who are you to set aside the customs 
of ages among the Tharks." 

"Yes, justice! " echoed a dozen voices, and so, 
while Tal Hajus fumed and frothed, I continued. 


" You are a brave people and you love bravery, 
but where was your mighty jeddak during the fight 
ing today ? I did not see him in the thick of bat 
tle ; he was not there. He rends defenseless women 
and little children in his lair, but how recently has 
one of you seen him fight with men? Why, even 
I, a midget beside him, felled him with a single 
blow of my fist. Is it of such that the Tharks 
fashion their jeddaks? There stands beside me 
now a great Thark, a mighty warrior and a noble 
man. Chieftains, how sounds, Tars Tarkas, Jed- 
dak of Thark?" 

A roar of deep-toned applause greeted this sug 

" It but remains for this council to command, 
and Tal Hajus must prove his fitness to rule. Were 
he a brave man he would invite Tars Tarkas to 
combat, for he does not love him, but Tal Hajus 
is afraid; Tal Hajus, your jeddak, is a coward. 
With my bare hands I could kill him, and he 
knows it." 

After I ceased there was tense silence, as all 
eyes were riveted upon Tal Hajus. He did not 
speak or move, but the blotchy green of his coun 
tenance turned livid, and the froth froze upon his 



"Tal Hajus," said Lorquas Ptomel in a cold, 
hard voice, "nev^ in my long life have I seen a 
jeddak of the Tharks so humiliated. There could 
be but one answer to this arraignment. We wait 
it." And still Tal Hajus stood as though pet 

" Chieftains," continued Lorquas Ptomel, " shall 
the jeddak, Tal Hajus, prove his fitness to rule 
over Tars Tarkas ? " 

There were twenty chieftains about the rostrum, 
and twenty swords flashed high in assent. 

There was no alternative. That decree was 
final, and so Tal Hajus drew his long-sword and 
advanced to meet Tars Tarkas. 

The combat was soon over, and, with his foot 
upon the neck of the dead monster, Tars Tarkas 
became jeddak among the Tharks. 

His first act was to make me a full-fledged chief 
tain with the rank I had won by my combats the 
first few weeks of my captivity among them. 

Seeing the favorable disposition of the warriors 
toward Tars Tarkas, as well as toward me, I 
grasped the opportunity to enlist them in my cause 
against Zodanga. I told Tars Tarkas the story of 
my adventures, and in a few words had explained 
to him the thought I had in mind. 


"John Carter has made a proposal," he said, 
addressing the council, "which meets with my 
sanction. I shall put it to you briefly. Dejah 
Thoris, the Princess of Helium, who was our 
prisoner, is now held by the jeddak of Zodanga, 
whose son she must wed to save her country from 
devastation at the hands of the Zodangan forces. 

"John Carter suggests that we rescue her and 
return her to Helium. The loot of Zodanga would 
be magnificent, and I have often thought that had 
we an alliance with the people of Helium we could 
obtain sufficient assurance of sustenance to permit 
us to increase the size and frequency of our hatch 
ings, and thus become unquestionably supreme 
among the green men of all Barsoom. What 
say you?" 

It was a chance to fight, an opportunity to loot, 
and they rose to the bait as a speckled trout to a 

For Tharks they were wildly enthusiastic, and 
before another half hour had passed twenty 
mounted messengers were speeding across dead 
sea bottoms to call the hordes together for the 

In three days we were on the march toward 
Zodanga, one hundred thousand strong, as Tars 


to climb upon the shoulders of the upper two. The 
head of the topmost warrior towered over forty 
feet from the ground. 

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

I had learned from Kantos Kan the secret of 
opening these gates, and in another moment my 
twenty great fighting men stood within the doomed 
city of Zodanga. 

I found to my delight that I had entered at the 
lower boundary of the enormous palace grounds. 
The building itself showed in the distance a blaze 


of glorious light, and on the instant I determined 
to lead a detachment of warriors directly within 
the palace itself, while the balance of the great 
horde was attacking the barracks of the soldiery. 
Dispatching one of my men to Tars Tarkas for 
a detail of fifty Tharks, with word of my inten 
tions, I ordered ten warriors to capture and open 
one of the great gates while with the nine remain 
ing I took the other. We were to do our work 
quietly, no shots were to be fired and no general ad 
vance made until I had reached the palace with my 
fifty Tharks. Our plans worked to perfection. The 
two sentries we met were dispatched to their 
fathers upon the banks of the lost sea of Korus, 
and the guards at both gates followed them in 



AS the great gate where I stood swung open 
my fifty Tharks, headed by Tars Tarkas 
himself, rode in upon their mighty thoats. I led 
them to the palace walls, which I negotiated easily 
without assistance. Once inside, however, the 
gate gave me considerable trouble, but I finally 
was rewarded by seeing it swing upon its huge 
hinges, and soon my fierce escort was riding across 
the gardens of the jeddak of Zodanga. 

As we approached the palace I could see through 
the great windows of the first floor into the bril 
liantly illuminated audience chamber of Than 
Kosis. The immense hall was crowded with nobles 
and their women, as though some important func 
tion was in progress. There was not a guard in 
sight without the palace, due, I presume, to the 
fact that the city and palace walls were considered 
impregnable, and so I came close and peered 

At one end of the chamber, upon massive golden 


thrones encrusted with diamonds, sat Than Kosis 
and his consort, surrounded by officers and dig 
nitaries of state. Before them stretched a broad 
aisle lined on either side with soldiery, and as I 
looked there entered this aisle at the far end of 
the hall, the head of a procession which advanced 
to the foot of the throne. 

First there marched four officers of the jed- 
dak's Guard bearing a huge salver on which 
reposed, upon a cushion of scarlet silk, a great 
golden chain with a collar and padlock at each 
end. Directly behind these officers came four 
others carrying a similar salver which supported 
the magnificent ornaments of a prince and prin 
cess of the reigning house of Zodanga. 

At the foot of the throne these two parties sep 
arated and halted, facing each other at opposite 
sides of the aisle. Then came more dignitaries, 
and the officers of the palace and of the army, 
and finally two figures entirely muffled in scarlet 
silk, so that not a feature of either was discern 
ible. These two stopped at the foot of the throne, 
facing Than Kosis. When the balance of the pro 
cession had entered and assumed their stations 
Than Kosis addressed the couple standing before 
him. I could not hear his words, but presently 



AS the great gate where I stood swung open 
my fifty Tharks, headed by Tars Tarkas 
himself, rode in upon their mighty thoats. I led 
them to the palace walls, which I negotiated easily 
without assistance. Once inside, however, the 
gate gave me considerable trouble, but I finally 
was rewarded by seeing it swing upon its huge 
hinges, and soon my fierce escort was riding across 
the gardens of the jeddak of Zodanga. 

As we approached the palace I could see through 
the great windows of the first floor into the bril 
liantly illuminated audience chamber of Than 
Kosis. The immense hall was crowded with nobles 
and their women, as though some important func 
tion was in progress. There was not a guard in 
sight without the palace, due, I presume, to the 
fact that the city and palace walls were considered 
impregnable, and so I came close and peered 

At one end of the chamber, upon massive golden 


thrones encrusted with diamonds, sat Than Kosis 
and his consort, surrounded by officers and dig 
nitaries of state. Before them stretched a broad 
aisle lined on either side with soldiery, and as I 
looked there entered this aisle at the far end of 
the hall, the head of a procession which advanced 
to the foot of the throne. 

First there marched four officers of the jed- 
dak's Guard bearing a huge salver on which 
reposed, upon a cushion of scarlet silk, a great 
golden chain with a collar and padlock at each 
end. Directly behind these officers came four 
others carrying a similar salver which supported 
the magnificent ornaments of a prince and prin 
cess of the reigning house of Zodanga. 

At the foot of the throne these two parties sep 
arated and halted, facing each other at opposite 
sides of the aisle. Then came more dignitaries, 
and the officers of the palace and of the army, 
and finally two figures entirely muffled in scarlet 
silk, so that not a feature of either was discern 
ible. These two stopped at the foot of the throne, 
facing Than Kosis. When the balance of the pro 
cession had entered and assumed their stations 
Than Kosis addressed the couple standing before 
him. I could not hear his words, but presently 


two officers advanced and removed the scarlet 
robe from one of the figures, and I saw that Kantos 
Kan had failed in his mission, for it was Sab Than, 
Prince of Zodanga, who stood revealed before me. 

Than Kosis now took a set of the ornaments 
from one of the salvers and placed one of the col 
lars of gold about his son's neck, springing the 
padlock fast. After a few more words addressed 
to Sab Than he turned to the other figure, from 
which the officers now removed the enshrouding 
silks, disclosing to my now comprehending view 
Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium. 

The object of the ceremony was clear to me; 
in another moment Dejah Thoris would be joined 
forever to the Prince of Zodanga. It was an 
impressive and beautiful ceremony, I presume, but 
to me it seemed the most fiendish sight I had ever 
witnessed, and as the ornaments were adjusted 
upon her beautiful figure and her collar of gold 
swung open in the hands of Than Kosis I raised 
my long-sword above my head, and, with the heavy 
hilt, I shattered the glass of the great window 
and sprang into the midst of the astonished assem 
blage. With a bound I was on the steps of the 
platform beside Than Kosis, and as he stood 
riveted with surprise I brought my long-sword 



down upon the golden chain that would have bound 
Dejah Thoris to another. 

In an instant all was confusion; a thousana 
drawn swords menaced me from every quarter, 
and Sab Than sprang upon me with a jeweled 
dagger he had drawn from his nuptial ornaments. 
I could have killed him as easily as I might a fly, 
but the age-old custom of Barsoom stayed my hand, 
and grasping his wrist as the dagger flew toward 
my heart I held him as though in a vise and with 
my long-sword pointed to the far end of the hall. 

"Zodanga has fallen," I cried. "Look!" 

All eyes turned in the direction I had indicated, 
and there, forging through the portals of the 
entrance-way rode Tars Tarkas and his fifty war 
riors on their great thoats. 

A cry of alarm and amazement broke from 
the assemblage, but no word of fear, and in a 
moment the soldiers and nobles of Zodanga were 
hurling themselves upon the advancing Tharks. 

Thrusting Sab Than headlong from the plat 
form, I drew Dejah Thoris to my side. Behind 
the throne was a narrow doorway and in this 
Than Kosis now stood facing me, with drawn 
long-sword. In an instant we were engaged,, and 
I found no mean antagonist. 



As we circled upon the broad platform I saw 
Sab Than rushing up the steps to aid his father, 
but, as he raised his hand to strike, Dejah Thoris 
sprang before him and then my sword found the 
spot that made Sab Than jeddak of Zodanga. As 
his father rolled dead upon the floor the new jed 
dak tore himself free from Dejah Thoris' grasp, 
and again we faced each other. He was soon 
joined by a quartet of officers, and, with my back 
against a golden throne, I fought once again for 
Dejah Thoris. I was hard pressed to defend 
myself and yet not strike down Sab Than and, 
with him, my last chance to win the woman I 
loved. My blade was swinging with the rapidity 
of lightning as I sought to parry the thrusts and 
cuts of my opponents. Two I had disarmed, and 
one was down, when several more rushed to the 
aid of their new ruler, and to avenge the death of 
the old. 

As they advanced there were cries of "The 
woman! The woman! Strike her down; it is her 
plot. Kill her I Kill her I" 

Calling to Dejah Thoris to get behind me I 

worked my way toward the little doorway back of 

the throne, but the officers realized my intentions, 

and three of them sprang in behind me and blocked 



my chances for gaming a position where I could 
have defended Dejah Thoris against an army of 

The Tharks were having their hands full in the 
center of the room, and I began to realize that 
nothing short of a miracle could save Dejah Thoris 
and myself, when I saw Tars Tarkas surging 
through the crowd of pigmies that swarmed about 
him. With one swing of his mighty long-sword he 
laid a dozen corpses at his feet, and so he hewed a 
pathway before him until in another moment he 
stood upon the platform beside me, dealing death 
and destruction right and left. 

The bravery of the Zodangans was awe-inspir 
ing, not one attempted to escape, and when the 
fighting ceased it was because only Tharks 
remained alive in the great hall, other than Dejah 
Thoris and myself. 

Sab Than lay dead beside his father, and the 
corpses of the flower of Zodangan nobility and 
chivalry covered the floor of the bloody shambles. 

My first thought when the battle was over was 
for Kantos Kan, and leaving Dejah Thoris in 
charge of Tars Tarkas I took a dozen warriors 
and hastened to the dungeons beneath the palce. 
The jailers had all left to join the fighters in tfcrt 


throne room, so we searched the labyrinthine 
prison without opposition. 

I called Kantos Kan's name aloud in each new 
corridor and compartment, and finally I was 
rewarded by hearing a faint response. Guided 
by the sound, we soon found him helpless in a 
daYk recess. 

He was overjoyed at seeing me, and to know 
the meaning of the fight, faint echoes of which 
had reached his prison cell. He told me that the 
air patrol had captured him before he reached 
the high tower of the palace, so that he had not 
even seen Sab Than. 

We discovered that it would be futile to attempt 
to cut away the bars and chains which held him 
prisoner, so, at his suggestion I returned to search 
the bodies on the floor above for keys to open the 
padlocks of his cell and of his chains. 

Fortunately among the first I examined I found 
his jailer, and soon we had Kantos Kan with u 
in the throne room. 

The sounds of heavy firing, mingled with shouts 
and cries, came to us from the city's streets, and 
Tars Tarkas hastened away to direct the fighting 
without. Kantos Kan accompanied him to act as 
guide, the green warriors commencing a thorough 


search of the palace for other Zodangans and for 
loot, and Dejah Thoris and I were left alone. 

She had sunk into one of the golden thrones, 
and as I turned to her she greeted me with a wan 

" Was there ever such a man I " she exclaimed. 
" I know that Barsoom has never before seen yeur 
like. Ca-n it be that all Earth men are as you? 
Alone, a stranger, hunted, threatened, persecuted, 
you have done in a few short months what in all 
the past ages of Barsoom no man has ever done : 
joined together the wild hordes of the sea bottoms 
and brought them to fight as allies of a red Mar 
tian people." 

"The answer is easy, Dejah Thoris," I replied 
smiling. "It was not I who did it, it was love, 
love for Dejah Thoris, a power that would work 
greater miracles than this you have seen." 

A pretty flush overspread her face and she 

"You may say that now, John Carter, and I 
may listen, for I am free." 

"And more still I have to say, ere it is again 
too late," I returned. " I have done many strange 
things in my life, many things that wiser men 
would not have dared, but never in my wildest 


fancies have I dreamed of winning a Dejah Thoris 
for myself for never had I dreamed that in all 
the universe dwelt such a woman as the Princess 
of Helium. That you are a princess does not 
abash me, but that you are you is enough to make 
me doubt my sanity as I ask you, my princess, to 
be mine." 

" He does not need to be abashed who so well 
knew the answer to his plea before the plea were 
irade," she replied, rising and placing her dear 
hands upon my shoulders, and so I took her in my 
arms and kissed her. 

And thus in the midst of a city of wild conflict, 
filled with the alarms of war; with death and 
destruction reaping their terrible harvest around 
her, did Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, true 
daughter of Mars, the God of War, promise her 
self in marriage to John Carter, Gentleman of 




SOMETIME later Tars Tarkas and Kantos 
Kan returned to report that Zodanga had 
been completely reduced. Her forces were entirely 
destroyed or captured, and no further resistance 
was to be expected from within. Several battle 
ships had escaped, but there were thousands of 
war and merchant vessels under guard of Thark 

The lesser hordes had commenced looting and 
quarreling among themselves, so it was decided 
that we collect what warriors we could, man as 
many vessels as possible with Zodangan prisoners 
and make for Helium without further loss of time. 

Five hours later we sailed from the roofs of 
the dock buildings with a fleet of two hundred and 
fifty battleships, carrying nearly one hundred 
thousand green warrjors, followed by a fleet of 
transports with our thoats. 

Behind us we left the stricken city in the fierce 
and brutal clutches of some forty thousand gretf x 


warriors of the lesser hordes. They were looting, 
murdering, and fighting amongst themselves. In 
a hundred places they had applied the torch, and 
columns of dense smoke were rising above the 
city as though to blot out from the eye of heaven 
the horrid sights beneath. 

In the middle of the afternoon we sighted the 
scarlet and yellow towers of Helium, and a short 
time later a great fleet of Zodangan battleships 
rose from the camps of the besiegers without the 
city, and advanced to meet us. 

The banners of Helium had been strung from 
stem to stern of each of our mighty craft, but the 
Zodangans did not need this sign to realize that 
we were enemies, for our green Martian warriors 
had opened fire upon them almost as they left the 
ground. With their uncanny marksmanship they 
raked the on-coming fleet with volley after volley. 

The twin cities of Helium, perceiving that we 
were friends, sent out hundreds of vessels to aid 
us, and then began the first real air battle I had 
ever witnessed. 

The vessels carrying our green warriors were 

kept circling above the contending fleets of Helium 

and Zodanga, since their batteries were useless in 

the hands of the Tharks who, having no navy, 



* i 

have no skill in naval gunnery. Their smallarm 
fire, however, was most effective, and the final 
outcome of the engagement was strongly influ 
enced, if not wholly determined, by their presence. 

At first the two forces circled at the same alti 
tude, pouring broadside after broadside into each 
other. Presently a great hole was torn in the hull 
of one of the immense battle craft from the Zodan- 
gan camp ; with a lurch she turned completely over, 
the little figures of her crew plunging, turning and 
twisting toward the ground a thousand feet below; 
then with sickening velocity she tore after them, 
almost completely burying herself in the soft loam 
of the ancient sea bottom. 

A wild cry of exultation arose from the Hel- 
iumite squadron, and with redoubled ferocity they 
fell upon the Zodangan fleet. By a pretty maneu 
ver two of the vessels of Helium gained a posi 
tion above their adversaries, from which they 
poured upon them from their keel bomb batteries 
a perfect torrent of exploding bombs. 

Then, one by one, the battleships of Helium 
succeeded in rising above the Zodangans, and in a 
short time a number of the beleaguering battleships 
were drifting hopeless wrecks toward the high 
scarlet tower of greater Helium. Several others 


attempted to escape, but they were soon surrounded 
by thousands of tiny individual fliers, and above 
each hung a monster battleship of Helium ready 
to drop boarding parties upon their decks. 

Within but little more than an hour from the 
moment the victorious Zodangan squadron had 
risen to meet us from the camp of the besiegers 
the battle was over, and the remaining vessels of 
the conquered Zodangans were headed toward the 
cities of Helium under prize crews. 

There was an extremely pathetic side to the sur 
render of these mighty fliers, the result of an age- 
old custom which demanded that surrender should 
be signalized by the voluntary plunging to earth 
of the commander of the vanquished vessel. One 
after another the brave fellows, holding their 
colors high above their heads, leaped from the 
towering bows of their mighty craft to an awful 

Not until the commander of the entire fleet 
took the fearful plunge, thus indicating the sur 
render of the remaining vessels, did the fighting 
cease, and the useless sacrifice of brave men come 
to an end. 

We now signaled the flagship of Helium's navy 
to approach, and when she was within hailing dis* 


tance I called out that we had the Princess Dejah 
Thoris on board, and that we wished to transfer 
her to the flagship that she might be taken imme 
diately to the city. 

As the full import of my announcement bore 
in upon them a great cry arose from the decks of 
the flagship, and a moment later the colors of the 
Princess of Helium broke from a hundred points 
upon her upper works. When the other vessels 
of the squadron caught the meaning of the signals 
flashed them they took up the wild acclaim and 
unfurled her colors in the gleaming sunlight. 

The flagship bore down upon us, and as she 
swung gracefully to and touched our side a dozen 
officers sprang upon our decks. As their aston 
ished gaze fell upon the hundreds of green 
warriors, who now came forth from the fighting 
shelters, they stopped aghast, but at sight of Kan- 
tos Kan, who advanced to meet them, they came 
forward, crowding about him. 

Dejah Thoris and I then advanced, and they 
had no eyes for other than her. She received them 
gracefully, calling each by name, for they were 
men high in the esteem and service of her grand 
father, and she knew them well. 

"Lay your hands upon the shoulder of John 



Carter," she said to them, turning toward me, 
"the man to whom Helium owes her princess as 
well as her victory today." 

They were very courteous to me and said many 
kind and complimentary things, but what seemed 
to impress them most was that I had won the aid 
of the fierce Tharks in my campaign for the liber 
ation of Dejah Thoris, and the relief of Helium. 

"You owe your thanks more to another man 
than to me," I said, "and here he is; meet one of 
Barsoom's greatest soldiers and statesmen, Tars 
Tsrkas, Jeddak of Thark." 

With the same polished courtesy that had 
marked their manner toward me they extended 
their greetings to the great Thark, nor, to my sur 
prise, was he much behind them in ease of bearing 
or in courtly speech. Though not a garrulous race, 
the Tharks are extremely formal, and their ways 
lend themselves amazingly to dignified and courtly 

Dejah Thoris went aboard the flagship, and 
was much put out that I would not follow, but, as 
I explained to her, the battle was but partly won ; 
we still had the land forces of the besieging Zodan- 
gans to account for, and I would not leave Tars 
Tarkas until that had been accomplished. 


The commander of the naval forces of Helium 
promised to arrange to have the armies of Helium 
attack from the city in conjunction with our land 
attack, and so the vessels separated and Dejah 
Thoris was borne in triumph back to the court of 
her grandfather, Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium. 

In the distance lay our fleet of transports, with 
the thoats of the green warriors, where they had 
remained during the battle. Without landing 
stages it was to be a difficult matter to unload these 
beasts upon the open plain, but there was noth 
ing else for it, and so we put out for a point about 
ten miles from the city and began the task. 

It was necessary to lower the animals to the 
ground in slings and this work occupied the re 
mainder of the day and half the night. Twice 
we were attacked by parties of Zodangan cavalry J 
but with little loss, however, and after darkness 
shut down they withdrew. 

As soon as the last thoat was unloaded Tars 
Tarkas gave the command to advance, and in 
three parties we crept upon the Zodangan camp 
from the north, the south and the east. 

About a mile from the main camp we encoun 
tered their outposts and, as had been prearranged, 
accepted this as the signal to charge. With wild, 



ferocious cries and amidst the nasty squealing of 
battle-enraged thoats we bore down upon the 

We did not catch them napping, but found a 
well-entrenched battle line confronting us. Time 
after time we were repulsed until, toward noon, I 
began to fear for the result of the battle. 

The Zodangans numbered nearly a million 
fighting men, gathered from pole to pole, where- 
ever stretched their ribbon-like waterways, while 
pitted against them were less than a hundred thou 
sand green warriors. The forces from Helium 
had not arrived, nor could we receive any word 
from them. 

Just at noon we heard heavy firing all along the 
line between the Zodangans and the cities, and we 
knew then that our much-needed reinforcements 
had come. 

Again Tars Tarkas ordered the charge, and 
once more the mighty thoats bore their terrible 
riders against the ramparts of the enemy. At the 
same moment the battle line of Helium surged 
over the opposite breastworks of the Zodangans 
and in another moment they were being crushed 
as between two millstones. Nobly they fought, 
but in vain. 


The plain before the city became a veritable 
shambles ere the last Zodangan surrendered, but 
finally the carnage ceased, the prisoners were 
marched back to Helium, and we entered the 
greater city's gates, a huge triumphal procession 
of conquering heroes. 

The broad avenues were lined with women and 
children, among which were the few men whose 
duties necessitated that they remain within the city 
during the battle. We were greeted with an end 
less round of applause and showered with orna 
ments of gold, platinum, silver, and precious 
jewels. The city had gone mad with joy. 

My fierce Tharks caused the wildest excitement 
and enthusiasm. Never before had an armed body 
of green warriors entered the gates of Helium, 
and that they came now as friends and allies filled 
the red men with rejoicing. 

That my poor services to Dejah Thoris had 
become known to the Heliumites was evidenced 
by the loud crying of my name, and by the loads 
of ornaments that were fastened upon me and my 
huge thoat as we passed up the avenues to the 
palace, for even in the face of the ferocious ap 
pearance of Woola the populace pressed close 
about me. 


As we approached this magnificent pile we were 
met by a party of officers who greeted us warmly 
and requested that Tars Tarkas and his jeds with 
the jeddaks and jeds of his wild allies, together 
with myself, dismount and accompany them to 
receive from Tardos Mors an expression of his 
gratitude for our services. 

At the top of the great steps leading up to the 
main portals of the palace stood the royal party, 
and as we reached the lower steps one of their 
number descended to meet us. He was an almost 
perfect specimen of manhood; tall, straight as an 
arrow, superbly muscled and with the carriage and 
bearing of a ruler of men. I did not need to be 
told that he was Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium. 

The first member of our party he met was Tars 
Tarkas and his first words sealed forever the new 
friendship between the races. 

"That Tardos Mors," he said, earnestly, "may 
meet the greatest living warrior of Barsoom is a 
priceless honor, but that he may lay his hand on 
the shoulder of a friend and ally is a far greater 

"Jeddak of Helium," returned Tars Tarkas, 
" it has remained for a man of another world to 
teach the green warriors of Barsoom the meaning 


of friendship; to him we owe the fact that the 
hordes of Thark can understand you; that they 
can appreciate and reciprocate the sentiments so 
graciously expressed." 

Tardos Mors then greeted eaich of the green 
yeddaks and jeds, and to each spoke words of' 
friendship and appreciation. 

As he approached me he laid both hands upon 
my shoulders. 

"Welcome, my son," he said; "that you are 
granted, gladly, and without one word of oppo- 
sition, the most precious jewel in all Helium, yes, 
on all Barsoom, is sufficient earnest of my esteem." 

We were then presented to Mors Kajak, Jed of 
lesser Helium, and father of Dejah Thoris. He 
had followed close behind Tardos Mors and 
seemed even more affected by the meeting than had 
his father. 

He tried a dozen times to express his gratitude 
to me, but his voice choked with emotion and he 
could not speak, and yet he had, as I was to later 
learn, a reputation for ferocity and fearlessness 
as a fighter that was remarkable even upon war 
like Barsoom. In common with all Helium he 
worshiped his daughter, nor could he think of 
what she had escaped without deep emotion. 




OR ten days the hordes of Thark and their 
wild allies were feasted and entertained, and, 
then, loaded with costly presents and escorted by 
ten thousand soldiers of Helium commanded by 
Mors Kajak, they started on the return journey to 
their own lands. The jed of lesser Helium with 
a small party of nobles accompanied them all the 
way to Thark to cement more closely the new 
bonds of peace and friendship. 

Sola also accompanied Tars Tarkas, her father, 
who before all his chieftains had acknowledged 
her as his daughter. 

Three weeks later, Mors Kajak and his officers, 
accompanied by Tars Tarkas and Sola, returned 
upon a battleship that had been dispatched to 
Thark to fetch them in time for the ceremony 
which made Dejah Thoris and John Carter one. 

For nine years I served in the councils and 
fought in the armies of Helium as a prince of the 
house of Tardos Mors. The people seemed never 



to tire of heaping honors upon me, and no day 
passed that did not bring some new proof of their 
love for my princess, the incomparable Dejah 

In a golden incubator upon the roof of our 
palace lay a snow-white egg. For nearly five 
years ten soldiers of the jeddak's Guard had con 
stantly stood over it, and not a day passed when 
I was in the city that Dejah Thoris and I did not 
5tand hand in hand before our little shrine plan 
ning for the future, when the delicate shell should 

Vivid in my memory is the picture of the last 
night as we sat there talking in low tones of the 
strange romance which had woven our lives 
together and of this wonder which was coming to 
augment our happiness and fulfill our hopes. 

In the distance we saw the bright-white light of 
an approaching airship, but we attached no special 
significance to so common a sight. Like a bolt of 
iightning it raced toward Helium until its very 
speed bespoke the unusual. 

Flashing the signals which proclaimed it a dis 
patch bearer for the jeddak, it circled impatiently 
awaiting the tardy patrol boat which must convoy 
it to the palace docks. 


Ten minutes after it touched at the palace a 
message called me to the council chamber, which 
I found filling with the members of that body. 

On the raised platform of the throne was Tar- 
dos Mors, pacing back and forth with tense-drawn 
face. When all were in their seats he turned 
toward us. 

"This morning," he said, "word reached the 
several governments of Barsoom that the keeper 
of the atmosphere plant had made no wireless 
report for two days, nor had almost ceaseless calls 
upon him from a score of capitals elicited a sign 
of response. 

"The ambassadors of the other nations asked 
us to take the matter in hand and hasten the assist 
ant keeper to the plant. All day a thousand cruis 
ers have been searching for him until, just now 
one of them returns bearing his dead body, which 
was found in the pits beneath his house horribly 
mutilated by some assassin. 

" I do not need to tell you what this means to 
Barsoom. It would take months to- penetrate 
those mighty walls, in fact the work has already 
commenced, and there would be little to fear were 
the engine of the pumping plant to run as it should 
and as they all have for hundreds of years; but 


the worst, we fear, has happened. The instru 
ments show a rapidly decreasing air pressure on 
all parts of Barsoom the engine has stopped." 

"My gentlemen," he concluded, "we have at 
best three days to live." 

There was absolute silence for several minutes, 
and then a young noble arose, and with his drawn 
sword held high above his head addressed Tardos 

"The men of Helium have prided themselves 
that they have ever shown Barsoom how a nation 
of red men should live, now is our opportunity to 
show them how they should die. Let us go about 
our duties as though a thousand useful years still 
lay before us." 

The chamber rang with applause and as there 
was nothing better to do than to allay the fears 
of the people by our example we went our ways 
with smiles upon our faces and sorrow gnawing at 
our hearts. 

When I returned to my palace I found that the 
rumor already had reached Dejah Thoris, so I 
told her all that I had heard. 

"We have been very happy, John Carter," she 
said, " and I thank whatever fate overtakes us chat 
it permits us to die together." 


The next two days brought no noticeable change 
in the supply of air, but on the morning of the 
third day breathing became difficult at the higher 
altitudes of the roof tops. The avenues and plazas 
of Helium were filled with people. All business 
had ceased. For the most part the people looked 
bravely into the face of their unalterable doom. 
Here and there, however, men and women gave 
way to quiet grief. 

Toward the middle of the day many of the 
weaker commenced to succumb and within an hour 
the people of Barsoom were sinking by thousands 
into the unconsciousness which precedes death by 

Dejah Thoris and I with the other members of 
the royal family ha3 collected in a sunken garden 
within an inner court-yard of the palace. We con 
versed in low tones, when we conversed at all, 
as the awe of the grim shadow of death crept 
over us. Even Woola seemed to feel the weight 
of the impending calamity, for he pressed close 
to Dejah Thoris and to me, whining pitifully. 

The little incubator had been brought from the 
roof of our palace at request of Dejah Thoris 
and she sat gazing longingly upon the unknown 
little life that now she would never know. 

As it was becoming perceptibly difficult to 
breathe Tardos Mors arose, saying, 

" Let us bid each other farewell. The days of 
the greatness of Barsoom are over. Tomorrow's 
sun will look down upon a dead world whicK 
through all eternity must go swinging through the 
heavens peopled not even by memories. It is the 

He stooped and kissed the women of his family, 
and laid his strong hand upon the shoulders of 
the men. 

As I turned sadly from him my eyes fell upon 
Dejah Thoris. Her head was drooping upon her 
breast, to all appearances she was lifeless. With 
a cry I sprang to her and raised her in my arms. 

Her eyes opened and looked into mine. 

"Kiss me, John Carter," she murmured. "I 
love you ! I love you ! It is cruel that we must 
be torn apart who were just starting upon a life of 
love and happiness." 

As I pressed her dear lips to mine the old feel 
ing of unconquerable power and authority rose in 
me. The fighting blood of Virginia sprang to life 
in my veins. 

" It shall not be, my princess," I cried. " There 
is, there must be some way, and John Carter, who 


has fought his way through a strange world for 
love of you, will find it." 

And with my words there crept above the thresh- 
.old of my conscious mind a series of nine long 
forgotten sounds. Like a flash of lightning in the 
darkness their full purport dawned upon me 
the key to the three great doors of the atmosphere 
plant 1 

Turning suddenly toward Tardos Mors as I 
still clasped my dying love to my breast I cried, 

"A flier, Jeddak! Quick! Order your swiftest 
flier to the palace top. I can save Barsoom yet." 

He did not wait to question, but in an instant 
a guard was racing to the nearest dock and though 
the air was thin and almost gone at the roof top 
they managed to launch the fastest one-man, air- 
scout machine that the skill of Barsoom had ever 

Kissing Dejah Thoris a dozen times and com 
manding Woola, who would have followed me, 
to remain and guard her, I bounded with my old 
agility and strength to the high ramparts of the 
palace, and in another moment I was headed 
toward the goal of the hopes of all Barsoom. 

I had to fly low to get sufficient air to breathe, 
but I took a straight course across an old sea 


bottom and so had to rise only a few feet above 
the ground. 

I traveled with awful velocity for my errand 
fwas a race against time with death. The face of 
Dejah Thoris hung always before me. As I 
turned for a last look as I left the palace garden 
I had seen her stagger and sink upon the ground 
beside the little incubator. That she had dropped 
into the last coma which would end in death, if 
the air supply remained unreplenished, I well 
knew, and so, throwing caution to the winds, I 
flung overboard everything but the engine and 
compass, even to my ornaments, and lying on my 
belly along the deck with one hand on the steering 
wheel and the other pushing the speed lever to its 
last notch I split the thin air of dying Mars with 
the speed of a meteor. 

An hour before dark the great walls of the 
atmosphere plant loomed suddenly before me, and 
with a sickening thud I plunged to the ground 
before the small door which was withholding the 
spark of life from the inhabitants of an entire 

Beside the door a great crew of men had been 
laboring to pierce the wall, but they had scarcely 
scratched the flint-like surface, and now most of 


them lay in the last sleep from which not even air 
would awaken them. 

Conditions seemed much worse here than at 
Helium, and it was with difficulty that I breathed 
at all. There were a few men still conscious, 
and to one of these I spoke. 

" If I can open these doors is there a man who 
can start the engines ? " I asked. 

"I can," he replied, "if you open quickly. I 
can last but a few moments more. But it is use 
less, they are both dead and no one else upon Bar- 
soom knew the secret of these awful locks. For 
three days men crazed with fear have surged 
about this portal in vain attempts to solve its 

I had no time to talk, I was becoming very 
weak and it was with difficulty that I controlled 
my mind at all. 

But, with a final effort, as I sank weakly to my 
knees I hurled the nine thought waves at that 
awful thing before me. The Martian had crawled 
to my side and with staring eyes fixed on the single 
panel before us we waited in the silence of death. 

Slowly the mighty door receded before us. I 
attempted to rise and follow it but I was too 



"After it," I cried to my companion, "and if 
you reach the pump room turn loose all the pumps. 
It is the only chance Barsoom has to exist to 
morrow! " 

From where I lay I opened the second door, 
and then the third, and as I saw the hope of Bar 
soom crawling weakly on hands and knees through 
the last doorway I sank unconscious upon the 




IT was dark when I opened my eyes again. 
Strange, stiff garments were upon my body; 
garments that cracked and powdered away from 
me as I rose to a sitting posture. 

I felt myself over from head to foot and from 
head to foot I was clothed, though when I fell 
unconscious at the little doorway I had been 
naked. Before me was a small patch of moonlit 
sky which showed through a ragged aperture. 

As my hands passed over my body they came 
in contact with pockets and in one of these a small 
parcel of matches wrapped in oiled paper. One of 
these matches I struck, and its dim flame lighted 
up what appeared to be a huge cave, toward the 
back of which I discovered a strange, still figure 
huddled over a tiny bench. As I approached it 
I saw that it was the dead and mummified remains 
of a little old woman with long black hair, and 
the thing it leaned over was a small charcoal burner 
upon which rested a round copper vessel contain 
ing a small quantity of greenish powder. 


Behind her, depending from the roof upon raw 
hide thongs, and stretching entirely across the 
cave, was a row of human skeletons. From the 
thong which held them stretched another to the 
dead hand of the little old woman; as I touched 
the cord the skeletons swung to the motion with, 
a noise as of the rustling of dry leaves. 

It was a most grotesque and horrid tableau 
and I hastened out into the fresh air; glad to 
escape from so gruesome a place. 

The sight that met my eyes as I stepped out 
upon a small ledge which ran before the entrance 
of the cave filled me with consternation. 

A new heaven and a new landscape met my 
gaze. The silvered mountains in the distance, 
the almost stationary moon hanging in the sky, 
the cacti-studded valley below me were not of 
Mars. I could scarce believe my eyes, but the 
truth slowly forced itself upon me I was look 
ing upon Arizona from the same ledge from which 
ten years before I had gazed with longing upon 

Burying my head in my arms I turned, broken, 
and sorrowful, down the trail from the cave. 

Above me shone the red eye of Mars holding 
her awful secret, forty-eight million miles away. 


Did the Martian reach the pump room? Did 
the vitalizing air reach the people of that dis 
tant planet in time to save them? Was my Dejah 
Thoris alive, or did her beautiful body lie cold in 
death beside the tiny golden incubator in the 
sunken garden of the inner courtyard of the palace 
of Tardos Mors, the jeddak of Helium? 

For ten years I have waited and prayed for an 
answer to my questions. For ten years I have 
waited and prayed to be taken back to the world 
of my lost love. I would rather lie dead beside 
her there than live on Earth all those millions of 
terrible miles from her. 

The old mine, which I found untouched, has 
made me fabulously wealthy; but what care I for 
wealth ! 

As I sit here tonight in my little study over 
looking the Hudson, just twenty years have elapsed 
since I first opened my eyes upon Mars. 

I can see her shining in the sky through the little 
window by my desk, and tonight she seems calling 
to me again as she has not called before since 
that long dead night, and I think I can see, across 
that awful abyss of space, a beautiful black-haired 
woman standing in the garden of a palace, and at 
her side is a little boy who puts his arm around 


her as she points into the sky toward the planet 
Earth, while at their feet is a huge and hideous 
creature with a heart of gold. 

I believe that they are waiting there for me, 
and something tells me that I shall soon know. 


"The Books You Like to Read 
at the Price You Like to Pay" 

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to Everything 

including the wrapper which covers 
every Grosset & Dunlap book. When 
you feel in the mood for a good ro 
mance, refer to the carefully selected list 
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There is a Grosset df Dunlap Book 
for every mood and for every taste 



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" Although my ancestry is all of New England, I was born 
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The eternal conflict between wealth and love. Jerry, the idealist who 
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The romance of little Jane Barnes who is loved by two men. 


Unusual short stories where Miss Bailey shows her keen knowledge 
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A girl in Maryland teaches school, and believes that work is worthy 
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An old-fashioned love story that is nevertheless modern. 


A novel that deals with a question, old and yet ever new how far 
should an engagement of marriage bind two persons who discover they no 
longer love. 



May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list 


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Nan Davenant's problem is one that many a girl has faced 
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How a man and a woman fulfilled a gypsy's strange prophecy, 


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The story of a woman who tried to take all and give nothing. 


Do you believe that husbands and wives should have no se 
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An absorbing romance written with all that sense of feminine 
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May b had wtierever books ars sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's list 



















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The life story of "Buffalo Bill" by his sister Helen Cody Wet- 
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A gorgeous story with a thrilling mystery and a beautiful girl. 


A romance of California and the South Seas. 

Cappy retires, but the romance of the sea and business, keep 
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When two strong men clash and the under-dog has Irish blood 
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Donald McKay, son of Hector McKay, millionaire lumber king, 
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The fight of the Cardigans, father and son, to hold the Valley 
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Cappy Ricks gave Man Peasley the acid test because he knew 
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A man and a woman hailing from the " States," met up with a 
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This sea yarn recounts the adventures of three rapscallion sea 
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Harley P. Hennage is the best gambler, the best and worst 
man of San Pasqual and of lovely Donna. 



May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset and Dunlap's list. 


A tale of Aztec treasure of American adventurers, who seek it of 

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This is a story of action end of the wide open, dominated always by 
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The story of a strong man's struggle against savage nature and humanity, 
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A college professor sets out with his daughter to find gold. They meet 
a rancher who loses his heart, and becomes involved in a feud. 


How Steve won his game and the girl he loved, is a *tory filled with 
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Dr. Virginia Page is forced to go with the sheriff on a night journey 
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Judith Sanford part owner of a cattle ranch realizes she is being robbed 
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Wayne is suspected of killing his brother after a quarrel. Financial com 
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A reporter sets up housekeeping close to Beatrice's Ranch much to her 
chagrin. There is " another man " who complicates matters. 


Beatrice Waverly is robbed of $5,000 and suspicion fastens upon Buck ' 
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No Luck Drennan, a woman hater and sharp of tongue, finds a match 
in Ygerae whose clever fencing wins the admiration and love of the " Lone 
Wolf." ' 





May ba had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grostat and Dunlap's list 




















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May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset & Dunlap's ilst 

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The Elk Mountain Cattle Co. had not paid a dividend in years ; 
so Edgar Barrett, fresh from the navy, was sent West to see what 
was wrong at the ranch. The tale of this tenderfoot outwitting the 
buckaroos at their own play will sweep you into the action of this 
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Joe Newbolt, bound out by force of femily conditions to work for* 
a number of years, is accused of murder and circumstances are 
against him. His mouth is sealed; he cannot, as a gentleman, utter 
the words that would clear him. A dramatic, romantic tale of intense 



Dr. .Warren Slavens drew claim number one, which entitled him 
to first choice of rich lands on an Indian reservation in Wyoming. It 
meant a fortune ; but before he established his ownership he had a 
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When Jerry Lambert, "the Duke," attempts to safeguard the 
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John Mackenzie trod the trail from Jasper to the great sheep 
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Shepherding was not a peaceful pursuit in those bygone days. Ad- 
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Jim TimBerlake and Capt. David Scott waited with restless 
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good men and bad played politics, makes a strong story of growth 
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Ascalon was the end of the trail for thirsty cowboys who gave 
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until he had obliterated every vestige of lawlessness, and assured 
himself of the safety of a certain dark-eyed g-irl. 

A*k for Complete free list of G. & D. Popular Copyrighted Fiction 



May be had wherever books are sold. Ask for Grosset I Dunlap's list 















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