A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 115

regret of the conditions which seemed destined ever to
keep these two countries at war.

"Helium," he said, "rightly boasts the most beautiful women of Barsoom,
and of all her treasures the wondrous daughter of Mors Kajak, Dejah
Thoris, is the most exquisite flower.

"Why," he added, "the people really worship the ground she walks upon
and since her loss on that ill-starred expedition all Helium has been
draped in mourning.

"That our ruler should have attacked the disabled fleet as it was
returning to Helium was but another of his awful blunders which I fear
will sooner or later compel Zodanga to elevate a wiser man to his
place."

"Even now, though our victorious armies are surrounding Helium, the
people of Zodanga are voicing their displeasure, for the war is not a
popular one, since it is not based on right or justice. Our forces
took advantage of the absence of the principal fleet of Helium on their
search for the princess, and so we have been able easily to reduce the
city to a sorry plight. It is said she will fall within the next few
passages of the further moon."

"And what, think you, may have been the fate of the princess, Dejah
Thoris?" I asked as casually as possible.

"She is dead," he answered. "This much was learned from a green
warrior recently captured by our forces in the south. She escaped from
the hordes of Thark with a strange creature of another world, only to
fall into the hands of the Warhoons. Their thoats were found wandering
upon the sea bottom and evidences of a bloody conflict were discovered
nearby."

While this information was in no way reassuring, neither was it at all
conclusive proof of the death of Dejah Thoris, and so I determined to
make every effort possible to reach Helium as quickly as I could and
carry to Tardos Mors such news of his granddaughter's possible
whereabouts as lay in my power.

Ten days after leaving the three Ptor brothers I arrived at Zodanga.
From the moment that I had come in contact with the red inhabitants of
Mars I had noticed that Woola drew a great amount of unwelcome
attention to me, since the huge brute belonged to a species which is
never domesticated by the red men. Were one to stroll down Broadway
with a Numidian lion at his heels the effect would be somewhat similar
to that which I should have produced had I entered Zodanga with Woola.

The very thought of parting with the faithful fellow caused me so great
regret and

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