A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 108

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 Warhoons 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 ray, 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 building. 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 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-examination.

"Your statements are most remarkable," said the voice, on concluding
its questioning, "but you are evidently speaking the truth, and it is
equally evident that you

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