A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 17

to meet it.

Unarmed and naked as I was, the first law of nature manifested itself
in the only possible solution of my immediate problem, and that was to
get out of the vicinity of the point of the charging spear.
Consequently I gave a very earthly and at the same time superhuman leap
to reach the top of the Martian incubator, for such I had determined it
must be.

My effort was crowned with a success which appalled me no less than it
seemed to surprise the Martian warriors, for it carried me fully thirty
feet into the air and landed me a hundred feet from my pursuers and on
the opposite side of the enclosure.

I alighted upon the soft moss easily and without mishap, and turning
saw my enemies lined up along the further wall. Some were surveying me
with expressions which I afterward discovered marked extreme
astonishment, and the others were evidently satisfying themselves that
I had not molested their young.

They were conversing together in low tones, and gesticulating and
pointing toward me. Their discovery that I had not harmed the little
Martians, and that I was unarmed, must have caused them to look upon me
with less ferocity; but, as I was to learn later, the thing which
weighed most in my favor was my exhibition of hurdling.

While the Martians are immense, their bones are very large and they are
muscled only in proportion to the gravitation which they must overcome.
The result is that they are infinitely less agile and less powerful, in
proportion to their weight, than an Earth man, and I doubt that were
one of them suddenly to be transported to Earth he could lift his own
weight from the ground; in fact, I am convinced that he could not do so.

My feat then was as marvelous upon Mars as it would have been upon
Earth, and from desiring to annihilate me they suddenly looked upon me
as a wonderful discovery to be captured and exhibited among their
fellows.

The respite my unexpected agility had given me permitted me to
formulate plans for the immediate future and to note more closely the
appearance of the warriors, for I could not disassociate these people
in my mind from those other warriors who, only the day before, had been
pursuing me.

I noted that each was armed with several other weapons in addition to
the huge spear which I have described. The weapon which caused me to
decide against an attempt at escape by flight was what was evidently a
rifle of some description, and which

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