A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 58

gates.

The shores of the ancient seas were dotted with just such cities, and
lesser ones, in diminishing numbers, were to be found converging toward
the center of the oceans, as the people had found it necessary to
follow the receding waters until necessity had forced upon them their
ultimate salvation, the so-called Martian canals.

We had been so engrossed in exploration of the building and in our
conversation that it was late in the afternoon before we realized it.
We were brought back to a realization of our present conditions by a
messenger bearing a summons from Lorquas Ptomel directing me to appear
before him forthwith. Bidding Dejah Thoris and Sola farewell, and
commanding Woola to remain on guard, I hastened to the audience
chamber, where I found Lorquas Ptomel and Tars Tarkas seated upon the
rostrum.




CHAPTER XII

A PRISONER WITH POWER


As I entered and saluted, Lorquas Ptomel signaled me to advance, and,
fixing his great, hideous eyes upon me, addressed me thus:

"You have been with us a few days, yet during that time you have by
your prowess won a high position among us. Be that as it may, you are
not one of us; you owe us no allegiance.

"Your position is a peculiar one," he continued; "you are a prisoner
and yet you give commands which must be obeyed; you are an alien and
yet you are a Tharkian chieftain; you are a midget and yet you can kill
a mighty warrior with one blow of your fist. And now you are reported
to have been plotting to escape with another prisoner of another race;
a prisoner who, from her own admission, half believes you are returned
from the valley of Dor. Either one of these accusations, if proved,
would be sufficient grounds for your execution, but we are a just
people and you shall have a trial on our return to Thark, if Tal Hajus
so commands.

"But," he continued, in his fierce guttural tones, "if you run off with
the red girl it is I who shall have to account to Tal Hajus; it is I
who shall have to face Tars Tarkas, and either demonstrate my right to
command, or the metal from my dead carcass will go to a better man, for
such is the custom of the Tharks.

"I have no quarrel with Tars Tarkas; together we rule supreme the
greatest of the lesser communities among the green men; we do not wish
to fight between ourselves; and so if you were dead, John Carter, I
should be glad. Under two conditions

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the following changes to the text: PAGE LINE ORIGINAL CHANGED TO 10 12 of or 14 19 of animals life of animals 31 26 is arms his arms 37 14 above this above his 37 23 Bradley, Bradley 54 18 man man 57 14 and of Oo-oh of Oo-oh 62 18 spend spent 63 31 and mumbled the mumbled 64 9 things thing 80 30 east cast 104 16 proaching proached 106 30 cos-at-lu cos-ata-lu 126 17 not artistic not an artistic 126 25 close below hands close below 130 1 internals intervals 132 9 than .