A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 109

are not of Barsoom. I can tell that by the
conformation of your brain and the strange location of your internal
organs and the shape and size of your heart."

"Can you see through me?" I exclaimed.

"Yes, I can see all but your thoughts, and were you a Barsoomian I
could read those."

Then a door opened at the far side of the chamber and a strange, dried
up, little mummy of a man came toward me. He wore but a single article
of clothing or adornment, a small collar of gold from which depended
upon his chest a great ornament as large as a dinner plate set solid
with huge diamonds, except for the exact center which was occupied by a
strange stone, an inch in diameter, that scintillated nine different
and distinct rays; the seven colors of our earthly prism and two
beautiful rays which, to me, were new and nameless. I cannot describe
them any more than you could describe red to a blind man. I only know
that they were beautiful in the extreme.

The old man sat and talked with me for hours, and the strangest part of
our intercourse was that I could read his every thought while he could
not fathom an iota from my mind unless I spoke.

[Illustration: The old man sat and talked with me for hours.]

I did not apprise him of my ability to sense his mental operations, and
thus I learned a great deal which proved of immense value to me later
and which I would never have known had he suspected my strange power,
for the Martians have such perfect control of their mental machinery
that they are able to direct their thoughts with absolute precision.

The building in which I found myself contained the machinery which
produces that artificial atmosphere which sustains life on Mars. The
secret of the entire process hinges on the use of the ninth ray, one of
the beautiful scintillations which I had noted emanating from the great
stone in my host's diadem.

This ray is separated from the other rays of the sun by means of finely
adjusted instruments placed upon the roof of the huge building,
three-quarters of which is used for reservoirs in which the ninth ray
is stored. This product is then treated electrically, or rather
certain proportions of refined electric vibrations are incorporated
with it, and the result is then pumped to the five principal air
centers of the planet where, as it is released, contact with the ether
of space transforms it into atmosphere.

There is

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