A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 57

floors where our quarters were
located, she had met Sarkoja descending. We decided that she must have
been eavesdropping, but as we could recall nothing of importance that
had passed between us we dismissed the matter as of little consequence,
merely promising ourselves to be warned to the utmost caution in the

Dejah Thoris and I then fell to examining the architecture and
decorations of the beautiful chambers of the building we were
occupying. She told me that these people had presumably flourished
over a hundred thousand years before. They were the early progenitors
of her race, but had mixed with the other great race of early Martians,
who were very dark, almost black, and also with the reddish yellow race
which had flourished at the same time.

These three great divisions of the higher Martians had been forced into
a mighty alliance as the drying up of the Martian seas had compelled
them to seek the comparatively few and always diminishing fertile
areas, and to defend themselves, under new conditions of life, against
the wild hordes of green men.

Ages of close relationship and intermarrying had resulted in the race
of red men, of which Dejah Thoris was a fair and beautiful daughter.
During the ages of hardships and incessant warring between their own
various races, as well as with the green men, and before they had
fitted themselves to the changed conditions, much of the high
civilization and many of the arts of the fair-haired Martians had
become lost; but the red race of today has reached a point where it
feels that it has made up in new discoveries and in a more practical
civilization for all that lies irretrievably buried with the ancient
Barsoomians, beneath the countless intervening ages.

These ancient Martians had been a highly cultivated and literary race,
but during the vicissitudes of those trying centuries of readjustment
to new conditions, not only did their advancement and production cease
entirely, but practically all their archives, records, and literature
were lost.

Dejah Thoris related many interesting facts and legends concerning this
lost race of noble and kindly people. She said that the city in which
we were camping was supposed to have been a center of commerce and
culture known as Korad. It had been built upon a beautiful, natural
harbor, landlocked by magnificent hills. The little valley on the west
front of the city, she explained, was all that remained of the harbor,
while the pass through the hills to the old sea bottom had been the
channel through which the shipping passed up to the city's

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been seven feet tall, and proportioned accordingly.
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It varied but little from the former one which had brought us from the outer to the inner world.