A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 40

similar, though unfriendly,
creatures. I could not fathom the seeming hallucination, nor could I
free myself from it; but somewhere in the innermost recesses of my soul
I felt a strange yearning toward these unknown foemen, and a mighty
hope surged through me that the fleet would return and demand a
reckoning from the green warriors who had so ruthlessly and wantonly
attacked it.

Close at my heel, in his now accustomed place, followed Woola, the
hound, and as I emerged upon the street Sola rushed up to me as though
I had been the object of some search on her part. The cavalcade was
returning to the plaza, the homeward march having been given up for
that day; nor, in fact, was it recommenced for more than a week, owing
to the fear of a return attack by the air craft.

Lorquas Ptomel was too astute an old warrior to be caught upon the open
plains with a caravan of chariots and children, and so we remained at
the deserted city until the danger seemed passed.

As Sola and I entered the plaza a sight met my eyes which filled my
whole being with a great surge of mingled hope, fear, exultation, and
depression, and yet most dominant was a subtle sense of relief and
happiness; for just as we neared the throng of Martians I caught a
glimpse of the prisoner from the battle craft who was being roughly
dragged into a nearby building by a couple of green Martian females.

And the sight which met my eyes was that of a slender, girlish figure,
similar in every detail to the earthly women of my past life. She did
not see me at first, but just as she was disappearing through the
portal of the building which was to be her prison she turned, and her
eyes met mine. Her face was oval and beautiful in the extreme, her
every feature was finely chiseled and exquisite, her eyes large and
lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black, waving hair,
caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Her skin was of a
light reddish copper color, against which the crimson glow of her
cheeks and the ruby of her beautifully molded lips shone with a
strangely enhancing effect.

She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied
her; indeed, save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely
naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect
and symmetrical figure.

As her gaze rested on me her eyes opened wide

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