A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 31

whose face had not been twisted in
laughter as I battled for my life. She, on the contrary, was sober
with apparent solicitude and, as soon as I had finished the monster,
rushed to me and carefully examined my body for possible wounds or
injuries. Satisfying herself that I had come off unscathed she smiled
quietly, and, taking my hand, started toward the door of the chamber.

Tars Tarkas and the other warriors had entered and were standing over
the now rapidly reviving brute which had saved my life, and whose life
I, in turn, had rescued. They seemed to be deep in argument, and
finally one of them addressed me, but remembering my ignorance of his
language turned back to Tars Tarkas, who, with a word and gesture, gave
some command to the fellow and turned to follow us from the room.

There seemed something menacing in their attitude toward my beast, and
I hesitated to leave until I had learned the outcome. It was well I
did so, for the warrior drew an evil looking pistol from its holster
and was on the point of putting an end to the creature when I sprang
forward and struck up his arm. The bullet striking the wooden casing
of the window exploded, blowing a hole completely through the wood and
masonry.

I then knelt down beside the fearsome-looking thing, and raising it to
its feet motioned for it to follow me. The looks of surprise which my
actions elicited from the Martians were ludicrous; they could not
understand, except in a feeble and childish way, such attributes as
gratitude and compassion. The warrior whose gun I had struck up looked
enquiringly at Tars Tarkas, but the latter signed that I be left to my
own devices, and so we returned to the plaza with my great beast
following close at heel, and Sola grasping me tightly by the arm.

I had at least two friends on Mars; a young woman who watched over me
with motherly solicitude, and a dumb brute which, as I later came to
know, held in its poor ugly carcass more love, more loyalty, more
gratitude than could have been found in the entire five million green
Martians who rove the deserted cities and dead sea bottoms of Mars.




CHAPTER VII

CHILD-RAISING ON MARS


After a breakfast, which was an exact replica of the meal of the
preceding day and an index of practically every meal which followed
while I was with the green men of Mars, Sola escorted me to the plaza,
where I found

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