A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 52

hear you, Tars Tarkas," I answered. "As you know I am not of
Barsoom; your ways are not my ways, and I can only act in the future as
I have in the past, in accordance with the dictates of my conscience
and guided by the standards of mine own people. If you will leave me
alone I will go in peace, but if not, let the individual Barsoomians
with whom I must deal either respect my rights as a stranger among you,
or take whatever consequences may befall. Of one thing let us be sure,
whatever may be your ultimate intentions toward this unfortunate young
woman, whoever would offer her injury or insult in the future must
figure on making a full accounting to me. I understand that you
belittle all sentiments of generosity and kindliness, but I do not, and
I can convince your most doughty warrior that these characteristics are
not incompatible with an ability to fight."

Ordinarily I am not given to long speeches, nor ever before had I
descended to bombast, but I had guessed at the keynote which would
strike an answering chord in the breasts of the green Martians, nor was
I wrong, for my harangue evidently deeply impressed them, and their
attitude toward me thereafter was still further respectful.

Tars Tarkas himself seemed pleased with my reply, but his only comment
was more or less enigmatical--"And I think I know Tal Hajus, Jeddak of
Thark."

I now turned my attention to Dejah Thoris, and assisting her to her
feet I turned with her toward the exit, ignoring her hovering guardian
harpies as well as the inquiring glances of the chieftains. Was I not
now a chieftain also! Well, then, I would assume the responsibilities
of one. They did not molest us, and so Dejah Thoris, Princess of
Helium, and John Carter, gentleman of Virginia, followed by the
faithful Woola, passed through utter silence from the audience chamber
of Lorquas Ptomel, Jed among the Tharks of Barsoom.




CHAPTER XI

WITH DEJAH THORIS


As we reached the open the two female guards who had been detailed to
watch over Dejah Thoris hurried up and made as though to assume custody
of her once more. The poor child shrank against me and I felt her two
little hands fold tightly over my arm. Waving the women away, I
informed them that Sola would attend the captive hereafter, and I
further warned Sarkoja that any more of her cruel attentions bestowed
upon Dejah Thoris would result in Sarkoja's sudden and painful demise.

My threat was

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