A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 48

further attention to
me.

"What is your name?" asked Lorquas Ptomel, addressing the prisoner.

"Dejah Thoris, daughter of Mors Kajak of Helium."

"And the nature of your expedition?" he continued.

"It was a purely scientific research party sent out by my father's
father, the Jeddak of Helium, to rechart the air currents, and to take
atmospheric density tests," replied the fair prisoner, in a low,
well-modulated voice.

"We were unprepared for battle," she continued, "as we were on a
peaceful mission, as our banners and the colors of our craft denoted.
The work we were doing was as much in your interests as in ours, for
you know full well that were it not for our labors and the fruits of
our scientific operations there would not be enough air or water on
Mars to support a single human life. For ages we have maintained the
air and water supply at practically the same point without an
appreciable loss, and we have done this in the face of the brutal and
ignorant interference of you green men.

"Why, oh, why will you not learn to live in amity with your fellows?
Must you ever go on down the ages to your final extinction but little
above the plane of the dumb brutes that serve you! A people without
written language, without art, without homes, without love; the victims
of eons of the horrible community idea. Owning everything in common,
even to your women and children, has resulted in your owning nothing in
common. You hate each other as you hate all else except yourselves.
Come back to the ways of our common ancestors, come back to the light
of kindliness and fellowship. The way is open to you, you will find
the hands of the red men stretched out to aid you. Together we may do
still more to regenerate our dying planet. The granddaughter of the
greatest and mightiest of the red jeddaks has asked you. Will you
come?"

Lorquas Ptomel and the warriors sat looking silently and intently at
the young woman for several moments after she had ceased speaking.
What was passing in their minds no man may know, but that they were
moved I truly believe, and if one man high among them had been strong
enough to rise above custom, that moment would have marked a new and
mighty era for Mars.

I saw Tars Tarkas rise to speak, and on his face was such an expression
as I had never seen upon the countenance of a green Martian warrior.
It bespoke an inward and mighty

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