A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 36

and would be visited
yearly by the council of twenty chieftains. Why they did not arrange
to build their vaults and incubators nearer home has always been a
mystery to me, and, like many other Martian mysteries, unsolved and
unsolvable by earthly reasoning and customs.

Sola's duties were now doubled, as she was compelled to care for the
young Martian as well as for me, but neither one of us required much
attention, and as we were both about equally advanced in Martian
education, Sola took it upon herself to train us together.

Her prize consisted in a male about four feet tall, very strong and
physically perfect; also, he learned quickly, and we had considerable
amusement, at least I did, over the keen rivalry we displayed. The
Martian language, as I have said, is extremely simple, and in a week I
could make all my wants known and understand nearly everything that was
said to me. Likewise, under Sola's tutelage, I developed my telepathic
powers so that I shortly could sense practically everything that went
on around me.

What surprised Sola most in me was that while I could catch telepathic
messages easily from others, and often when they were not intended for
me, no one could read a jot from my mind under any circumstances. At
first this vexed me, but later I was very glad of it, as it gave me an
undoubted advantage over the Martians.



The third day after the incubator ceremony we set forth toward home,
but scarcely had the head of the procession debouched into the open
ground before the city than orders were given for an immediate and
hasty return. As though trained for years in this particular
evolution, the green Martians melted like mist into the spacious
doorways of the nearby buildings, until, in less than three minutes,
the entire cavalcade of chariots, mastodons and mounted warriors was
nowhere to be seen.

Sola and I had entered a building upon the front of the city, in fact,
the same one in which I had had my encounter with the apes, and,
wishing to see what had caused the sudden retreat, I mounted to an
upper floor and peered from the window out over the valley and the
hills beyond; and there I saw the cause of their sudden scurrying to
cover. A huge craft, long, low, and gray-painted, swung slowly over
the crest of the nearest hill. Following it came another, and another,
and another, until twenty of them, swinging low above the ground,
sailed slowly

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