A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 53

unfortunate and resulted in more harm than good to Dejah
Thoris, for, as I learned later, men do not kill women upon Mars, nor
women, men. So Sarkoja merely gave us an ugly look and departed to
hatch up deviltries against us.

I soon found Sola and explained to her that I wished her to guard Dejah
Thoris as she had guarded me; that I wished her to find other quarters
where they would not be molested by Sarkoja, and I finally informed her
that I myself would take up my quarters among the men.

Sola glanced at the accouterments which were carried in my hand and
slung across my shoulder.

"You are a great chieftain now, John Carter," she said, "and I must do
your bidding, though indeed I am glad to do it under any circumstances.
The man whose metal you carry was young, but he was a great warrior,
and had by his promotions and kills won his way close to the rank of
Tars Tarkas, who, as you know, is second to Lorquas Ptomel only. You
are eleventh, there are but ten chieftains in this community who rank
you in prowess."

"And if I should kill Lorquas Ptomel?" I asked.

"You would be first, John Carter; but you may only win that honor by
the will of the entire council that Lorquas Ptomel meet you in combat,
or should he attack you, you may kill him in self-defense, and thus win
first place."

I laughed, and changed the subject. I had no particular desire to kill
Lorquas Ptomel, and less to be a jed among the Tharks.

I accompanied Sola and Dejah Thoris in a search for new quarters, which
we found in a building nearer the audience chamber and of far more
pretentious architecture than our former habitation. We also found in
this building real sleeping apartments with ancient beds of highly
wrought metal swinging from enormous gold chains depending from the
marble ceilings. The decoration of the walls was most elaborate, and,
unlike the frescoes in the other buildings I had examined, portrayed
many human figures in the compositions. These were of people like
myself, and of a much lighter color than Dejah Thoris. They were clad
in graceful, flowing robes, highly ornamented with metal and jewels,
and their luxuriant hair was of a beautiful golden and reddish bronze.
The men were beardless and only a few wore arms. The scenes depicted
for the most part, a fair-skinned, fair-haired people at play.

Dejah Thoris clasped her hands with an exclamation of rapture as

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