A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 71

I passed Sarkoja, and the
black, venomous look she accorded me was the sweetest balm I had felt
for many hours. Lord, how she hated me! It bristled from her so
palpably that one might almost have cut it with a sword.

A few moments later I saw her deep in conversation with a warrior named
Zad; a big, hulking, powerful brute, but one who had never made a kill
among his own chieftains, and so was still an _o mad_, or man with
one name; he could win a second name only with the metal of some
chieftain. It was this custom which entitled me to the names of either
of the chieftains I had killed; in fact, some of the warriors addressed
me as Dotar Sojat, a combination of the surnames of the two warrior
chieftains whose metal I had taken, or, in other words, whom I had
slain in fair fight.

As Sarkoja talked with Zad he cast occasional glances in my direction,
while she seemed to be urging him very strongly to some action. I paid
little attention to it at the time, but the next day I had good reason
to recall the circumstances, and at the same time gain a slight insight
into the depths of Sarkoja's hatred and the lengths to which she was
capable of going to wreak her horrid vengeance on me.

Dejah Thoris would have none of me again on this evening, and though I
spoke her name she neither replied, nor conceded by so much as the
flutter of an eyelid that she realized my existence. In my extremity I
did what most other lovers would have done; I sought word from her
through an intimate. In this instance it was Sola whom I intercepted
in another part of camp.

"What is the matter with Dejah Thoris?" I blurted out at her. "Why
will she not speak to me?"

Sola seemed puzzled herself, as though such strange actions on the part
of two humans were quite beyond her, as indeed they were, poor child.

"She says you have angered her, and that is all she will say, except
that she is the daughter of a jed and the granddaughter of a jeddak and
she has been humiliated by a creature who could not polish the teeth of
her grandmother's sorak."

I pondered over this report for some time, finally asking, "What might
a sorak be, Sola?"

"A little animal about as big as my hand, which the red Martian women
keep to play with," explained Sola.

Not fit to

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