A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 103

Helium," he said, "but I do not recall 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 battleships.

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 survivors
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

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