A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 55

very anxious that she should
believe me. It was not that I feared the results which would follow a
general belief that I had returned from the Barsoomian heaven or hell,
or whatever it was. Why was it, then! Why should I care what she
thought? I looked down at her; her beautiful face upturned, and her
wonderful eyes opening up the very depth of her soul; and as my eyes
met hers I knew why, and--I shuddered.

A similar wave of feeling seemed to stir her; she drew away from me
with a sigh, and with her earnest, beautiful face turned up to mine,
she whispered: "I believe you, John Carter; I do not know what a
'gentleman' is, nor have I ever heard before of Virginia; but on
Barsoom no man lies; if he does not wish to speak the truth he is
silent. Where is this Virginia, your country, John Carter?" she asked,
and it seemed that this fair name of my fair land had never sounded
more beautiful than as it fell from those perfect lips on that far-gone
day.

"I am of another world," I answered, "the great planet Earth, which
revolves about our common sun and next within the orbit of your
Barsoom, which we know as Mars. How I came here I cannot tell you, for
I do not know; but here I am, and since my presence has permitted me to
serve Dejah Thoris I am glad that I am here."

She gazed at me with troubled eyes, long and questioningly. That it
was difficult to believe my statement I well knew, nor could I hope
that she would do so however much I craved her confidence and respect.
I would much rather not have told her anything of my antecedents, but
no man could look into the depth of those eyes and refuse her slightest
behest.

Finally she smiled, and, rising, said: "I shall have to believe even
though I cannot understand. I can readily perceive that you are not of
the Barsoom of today; you are like us, yet different--but why should I
trouble my poor head with such a problem, when my heart tells me that I
believe because I wish to believe!"

It was good logic, good, earthly, feminine logic, and if it satisfied
her I certainly could pick no flaws in it. As a matter of fact it was
about the only kind of logic that could be brought to bear upon my
problem. We fell into a general conversation then, asking

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