A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 100

of the jeddak, and as he pushed me roughly before the ruler he
exclaimed in a loud and menacing voice.

"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 emphasis 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 weakling from whom even old Dak Kova could tear the metal
with his bare hands!"

Bar Comas eyed the defiant and insubordinate chieftain for an instant,
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 defamer.

I never before had seen two green Martian warriors battle with nature's
weapons and the exhibition of animal ferocity which ensued was as
fearful a thing as the most disordered imagination could picture. 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
saving 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

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