A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 106

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 which 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
portion 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
priceless 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 telepathic 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

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