A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 28

hand grasped me by the neck
from behind and dragged me violently into the room. Here I was thrown
upon my back, and beheld standing over me a colossal ape-like creature,
white and hairless except for an enormous shock of bristly hair upon
its head.




CHAPTER VI

A FIGHT THAT WON FRIENDS


The thing, which more nearly resembled our earthly men than it did the
Martians I had seen, held me pinioned to the ground with one huge foot,
while it jabbered and gesticulated at some answering creature behind
me. This other, which was evidently its mate, soon came toward us,
bearing a mighty stone cudgel with which it evidently intended to brain
me.

The creatures were about ten or fifteen feet tall, standing erect, and
had, like the green Martians, an intermediary set of arms or legs,
midway between their upper and lower limbs. Their eyes were close
together and non-protruding; their ears were high set, but more
laterally located than those of the Martians, while their snouts and
teeth were strikingly like those of our African gorilla. Altogether
they were not unlovely when viewed in comparison with the green
Martians.

The cudgel was swinging in the arc which ended upon my upturned face
when a bolt of myriad-legged horror hurled itself through the doorway
full upon the breast of my executioner. With a shriek of fear the ape
which held me leaped through the open window, but its mate closed in a
terrific death struggle with my preserver, which was nothing less than
my faithful watch-thing; I cannot bring myself to call so hideous a
creature a dog.

As quickly as possible I gained my feet and backing against the wall I
witnessed such a battle as it is vouchsafed few beings to see. The
strength, agility, and blind ferocity of these two creatures is
approached by nothing known to earthly man. My beast had an advantage
in his first hold, having sunk his mighty fangs far into the breast of
his adversary; but the great arms and paws of the ape, backed by
muscles far transcending those of the Martian men I had seen, had
locked the throat of my guardian and slowly were choking out his life,
and bending back his head and neck upon his body, where I momentarily
expected the former to fall limp at the end of a broken neck.

In accomplishing this the ape was tearing away the entire front of its
breast, which was held in the vise-like grip of the powerful jaws.
Back and forth upon the floor they rolled, neither one emitting

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