A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 30

I could not
withstand that look, nor could I, on second thought, have deserted my
rescuer without giving as good an account of myself in his behalf as he
had in mine.

Without more ado, therefore, I turned to meet the charge of the
infuriated bull ape. He was now too close upon me for the cudgel to
prove of any effective assistance, so I merely threw it as heavily as I
could at his advancing bulk. It struck him just below the knees,
eliciting a howl of pain and rage, and so throwing him off his balance
that he lunged full upon me with arms wide stretched to ease his fall.

Again, as on the preceding day, I had recourse to earthly tactics, and
swinging my right fist full upon the point of his chin I followed it
with a smashing left to the pit of his stomach. The effect was
marvelous, for, as I lightly sidestepped, after delivering the second
blow, he reeled and fell upon the floor doubled up with pain and
gasping for wind. Leaping over his prostrate body, I seized the cudgel
and finished the monster before he could regain his feet.

As I delivered the blow a low laugh rang out behind me, and, turning, I
beheld Tars Tarkas, Sola, and three or four warriors standing in the
doorway of the chamber. As my eyes met theirs I was, for the second
time, the recipient of their zealously guarded applause.

My absence had been noted by Sola on her awakening, and she had quickly
informed Tars Tarkas, who had set out immediately with a handful of
warriors to search for me. As they had approached the limits of the
city they had witnessed the actions of the bull ape as he bolted into
the building, frothing with rage.

They had followed immediately behind him, thinking it barely possible
that his actions might prove a clew to my whereabouts and had witnessed
my short but decisive battle with him. This encounter, together with
my set-to with the Martian warrior on the previous day and my feats of
jumping placed me upon a high pinnacle in their regard. Evidently
devoid of all the finer sentiments of friendship, love, or affection,
these people fairly worship physical prowess and bravery, and nothing
is too good for the object of their adoration as long as he maintains
his position by repeated examples of his skill, strength, and courage.

Sola, who had accompanied the searching party of her own volition, was
the only one of the Martians

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