A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 145

me, and to know the meaning of the fight,
faint echoes of which had reached his prison cell. He told me that the
air patrol had captured him before he reached the high tower of the
palace, so that he had not even seen Sab Than.

We discovered that it would be futile to attempt to cut away the bars
and chains which held him prisoner, so, at his suggestion I returned to
search the bodies on the floor above for keys to open the padlocks of
his cell and of his chains.

Fortunately among the first I examined I found his jailer, and soon we
had Kantos Kan with us in the throne room.

The sounds of heavy firing, mingled with shouts and cries, came to us
from the city's streets, and Tars Tarkas hastened away to direct the
fighting without. Kantos Kan accompanied him to act as guide, the
green warriors commencing a thorough search of the palace for other
Zodangans and for loot, and Dejah Thoris and I were left alone.

She had sunk into one of the golden thrones, and as I turned to her she
greeted me with a wan smile.

"Was there ever such a man!" she exclaimed. "I know that Barsoom has
never before seen your like. Can it be that all Earth men are as you?
Alone, a stranger, hunted, threatened, persecuted, you have done in a
few short months what in all the past ages of Barsoom no man has ever
done: joined together the wild hordes of the sea bottoms and brought
them to fight as allies of a red Martian people."

"The answer is easy, Dejah Thoris," I replied smiling. "It was not I
who did it, it was love, love for Dejah Thoris, a power that would work
greater miracles than this you have seen."

A pretty flush overspread her face and she answered,

"You may say that now, John Carter, and I may listen, for I am free."

"And more still I have to say, ere it is again too late," I returned.
"I have done many strange things in my life, many things that wiser men
would not have dared, but never in my wildest fancies have I dreamed of
winning a Dejah Thoris for myself--for never had I dreamed that in all
the universe dwelt such a woman as the Princess of Helium. That you
are a princess does not abash me, but that you are you is enough to
make me doubt my sanity as I ask you, my princess, to be

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