A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 149

Thoris was borne in
triumph back to the court of her grandfather, Tardos Mors, Jeddak of
Helium.

In the distance lay our fleet of transports, with the thoats of the
green warriors, where they had remained during the battle. Without
landing stages it was to be a difficult matter to unload these beasts
upon the open plain, but there was nothing else for it, and so we put
out for a point about ten miles from the city and began the task.

It was necessary to lower the animals to the ground in slings and this
work occupied the remainder of the day and half the night. Twice we
were attacked by parties of Zodangan cavalry, but with little loss,
however, and after darkness shut down they withdrew.

As soon as the last thoat was unloaded Tars Tarkas gave the command to
advance, and in three parties we crept upon the Zodangan camp from the
north, the south and the east.

About a mile from the main camp we encountered their outposts and, as
had been prearranged, accepted this as the signal to charge. With
wild, ferocious cries and amidst the nasty squealing of battle-enraged
thoats we bore down upon the Zodangans.

We did not catch them napping, but found a well-entrenched battle line
confronting us. Time after time we were repulsed until, toward noon, I
began to fear for the result of the battle.

The Zodangans numbered nearly a million fighting men, gathered from
pole to pole, wherever stretched their ribbon-like waterways, while
pitted against them were less than a hundred thousand green warriors.
The forces from Helium had not arrived, nor could we receive any word
from them.

Just at noon we heard heavy firing all along the line between the
Zodangans and the cities, and we knew then that our much-needed
reinforcements had come.

Again Tars Tarkas ordered the charge, and once more the mighty thoats
bore their terrible riders against the ramparts of the enemy. At the
same moment the battle line of Helium surged over the opposite
breastworks of the Zodangans and in another moment they were being
crushed as between two millstones. Nobly they fought, but in vain.

The plain before the city became a veritable shambles ere the last
Zodangan surrendered, but finally the carnage ceased, the prisoners
were marched back to Helium, and we entered the greater city's gates, a
huge triumphal procession of conquering heroes.

The broad avenues were lined with women and children, among which were
the few men whose duties necessitated that they remain within the city
during the battle. We were greeted

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