A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 15

at will either as arms
or legs. Their eyes were set at the extreme sides of their heads a
trifle above the center and protruded in such a manner that they could
be directed either forward or back and also independently of each
other, thus permitting this queer animal to look in any direction, or
in two directions at once, without the necessity of turning the head.

The ears, which were slightly above the eyes and closer together, were
small, cup-shaped antennae, protruding not more than an inch on these
young specimens. Their noses were but longitudinal slits in the center
of their faces, midway between their mouths and ears.

There was no hair on their bodies, which were of a very light
yellowish-green color. In the adults, as I was to learn quite soon,
this color deepens to an olive green and is darker in the male than in
the female. Further, the heads of the adults are not so out of
proportion to their bodies as in the case of the young.

The iris of the eyes is blood red, as in Albinos, while the pupil is
dark. The eyeball itself is very white, as are the teeth. These
latter add a most ferocious appearance to an otherwise fearsome and
terrible countenance, as the lower tusks curve upward to sharp points
which end about where the eyes of earthly human beings are located.
The whiteness of the teeth is not that of ivory, but of the snowiest
and most gleaming of china. Against the dark background of their olive
skins their tusks stand out in a most striking manner, making these
weapons present a singularly formidable appearance.

Most of these details I noted later, for I was given but little time to
speculate on the wonders of my new discovery. I had seen that the eggs
were in the process of hatching, and as I stood watching the hideous
little monsters break from their shells I failed to note the approach
of a score of full-grown Martians from behind me.

Coming, as they did, over the soft and soundless moss, which covers
practically the entire surface of Mars with the exception of the frozen
areas at the poles and the scattered cultivated districts, they might
have captured me easily, but their intentions were far more sinister.
It was the rattling of the accouterments of the foremost warrior which
warned me.

On such a little thing my life hung that I often marvel that I escaped
so easily. Had not the rifle of the leader of

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