A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 107

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 windpipe.

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 rending 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, 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 commands.

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

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