A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 117

walking briskly
toward me from one of the avenues. He paid not the slightest attention
to me, but as he came abreast I recognized him, and turning I placed my
hand upon his shoulder, calling out:

"Kaor, Kantos Kan!"

Like lightning he wheeled and before I could so much as lower my hand
the point of his long-sword was at my breast.

"Who are you?" he growled, and then as a backward leap carried me fifty
feet from his sword he dropped the point to the ground and exclaimed,

"I do not need a better reply, there is but one man upon all Barsoom
who can bounce about like a rubber ball. By the mother of the further
moon, John Carter, how came you here, and have you become a Darseen
that you can change your color at will?"

"You gave me a bad half minute my friend," he continued, after I had
briefly outlined my adventures since parting with him in the arena at
Warhoon. "Were my name and city known to the Zodangans I would shortly
be sitting on the banks of the lost sea of Korus with my revered and
departed ancestors. I am here in the interest of Tardos Mors, Jeddak
of Helium, to discover the whereabouts of Dejah Thoris, our princess.
Sab Than, prince of Zodanga, has her hidden in the city and has fallen
madly in love with her. His father, Than Kosis, Jeddak of Zodanga, has
made her voluntary marriage to his son the price of peace between our
countries, but Tardos Mors will not accede to the demands and has sent
word that he and his people would rather look upon the dead face of
their princess than see her wed to any than her own choice, and that
personally he would prefer being engulfed in the ashes of a lost and
burning Helium to joining the metal of his house with that of Than
Kosis. His reply was the deadliest affront he could have put upon Than
Kosis and the Zodangans, but his people love him the more for it and
his strength in Helium is greater today than ever.

"I have been here three days," continued Kantos Kan, "but I have not
yet found where Dejah Thoris is imprisoned. Today I join the Zodangan
navy as an air scout and I hope in this way to win the confidence of
Sab Than, the prince, who is commander of this division of the navy,
and thus learn the whereabouts of Dejah Thoris. I am glad that you

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