A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 119

The solar eighth ray would be absorbed by the surface of
Barsoom, but the Barsoomian eighth ray, which tends to propel light
from Mars into space, is constantly streaming out from the planet
constituting a force of repulsion of gravity which when confined is
able to lift enormous weights from the surface of the ground.

It is this ray which has enabled them to so perfect aviation that
battle ships far outweighing anything known upon Earth sail as
gracefully and lightly through the thin air of Barsoom as a toy balloon
in the heavy atmosphere of Earth.

During the early years of the discovery of this ray many strange
accidents occurred before the Martians learned to measure and control
the wonderful power they had found. In one instance, some nine hundred
years before, the first great battle ship to be built with eighth ray
reservoirs was stored with too great a quantity of the rays and she had
sailed up from Helium with five hundred officers and men, never to
return.

Her power of repulsion for the planet was so great that it had carried
her far into space, where she can be seen today, by the aid of powerful
telescopes, hurtling through the heavens ten thousand miles from Mars;
a tiny satellite that will thus encircle Barsoom to the end of time.

The fourth day after my arrival at Zodanga I made my first flight, and
as a result of it I won a promotion which included quarters in the
palace of Than Kosis.

As I rose above the city I circled several times, as I had seen Kantos
Kan do, and then throwing my engine into top speed I raced at terrific
velocity toward the south, following one of the great waterways which
enter Zodanga from that direction.

I had traversed perhaps two hundred miles in a little less than an hour
when I descried far below me a party of three green warriors racing
madly toward a small figure on foot which seemed to be trying to reach
the confines of one of the walled fields.

Dropping my machine rapidly toward them, and circling to the rear of
the warriors, I soon saw that the object of their pursuit was a red
Martian wearing the metal of the scout squadron to which I was
attached. A short distance away lay his tiny flier, surrounded by the
tools with which he had evidently been occupied in repairing some
damage when surprised by the green warriors.

They were now almost upon him; their flying mounts charging down on the
relatively puny figure at terrific

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