A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 50

he was
little if any stronger than I, and it was but the matter of a moment or
two before he sank, bleeding and lifeless, to the floor.

Dejah Thoris had raised herself upon one elbow and was watching the
battle with wide, staring eyes. When I had regained my feet I raised
her in my arms and bore her to one of the benches at the side of the
room.

Again no Martian interfered with me, and tearing a piece of silk from
my cape I endeavored to staunch the flow of blood from her nostrils. I
was soon successful as her injuries amounted to little more than an
ordinary nosebleed, and when she could speak she placed her hand upon
my arm and looking up into my eyes, said:

"Why did you do it? You who refused me even friendly recognition in
the first hour of my peril! And now you risk your life and kill one of
your companions for my sake. I cannot understand. What strange manner
of man are you, that you consort with the green men, though your form
is that of my race, while your color is little darker than that of the
white ape? Tell me, are you human, or are you more than human?"

"It is a strange tale," I replied, "too long to attempt to tell you
now, and one which I so much doubt the credibility of myself that I
fear to hope that others will believe it. Suffice it, for the present,
that I am your friend, and, so far as our captors will permit, your
protector and your servant."

"Then you too are a prisoner? But why, then, those arms and the
regalia of a Tharkian chieftain? What is your name? Where your
country?"

"Yes, Dejah Thoris, I too am a prisoner; my name is John Carter, and I
claim Virginia, one of the United States of America, Earth, as my home;
but why I am permitted to wear arms I do not know, nor was I aware that
my regalia was that of a chieftain."

We were interrupted at this juncture by the approach of one of the
warriors, bearing arms, accoutrements and ornaments, and in a flash one
of her questions was answered and a puzzle cleared up for me. I saw
that the body of my dead antagonist had been stripped, and I read in
the menacing yet respectful attitude of the warrior who had brought me
these trophies of the kill the same demeanor as that

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