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
Evidently I was to be attacked in force by a pair of hunting beasts or men.Page 13
abandoned its impetuous rush and was now sneaking slowly toward us; while the girl, a long knife in her hand, took her stand bravely at my left and a little to my rear.Page 20
She bubbled over with interrogations which were never to be satisfied unless I learned to speak her tongue.Page 22
Very gently the paw toyed with the great rock that partly closed the entrance, pushed and pulled upon it and then very deliberately drew it outward and to one side.Page 32
The whole cliff must be honeycombed with apartments and passages of which this community occupied but a comparatively small part, so that the possibility of the more remote passages being the lair of savage beasts that have other means of ingress and egress than that used by the Band-lu filled me with dire forebodings.Page 39
"Where are we?" "We are at the end of the corridor," I replied, "and daylight is coming in from the outside world just ahead.Page 45
"And your weapon!" he continued.Page 49
The alternative was flight until Du-seen should have been overcome and punished.Page 51
Sometimes we rose to great heights, where the air was chill and the world below but a blur of dim outlines; but always the jo-oos stuck behind us.Page 52
It was most discomforting, because it reminded me of love; and I knew that I never could love this half-baked little barbarian.Page 59
His bow was the longest and the heaviest among them all.Page 65
At one end of this plaza was a long hut, much the largest that I had yet seen, before the door of which were many warriors.Page 68
There was no response.Page 72
He told the others to look after the wounded man, who was really already dead, and to seize you upon your return, and that he, To-mar, would bear Ajor to Al-tan; but instead of bearing her to Al-tan, he took her to his own hut, where she now is with So-al, To-mar's she.Page 74
Upon my back were slung my bow, arrows, shield, and short spear; from the center of my girdle depended my knife; at my right hip was my stone hatchet; and at my left hung the coils of my long rope.Page 75
Twice before noon we were stalked and charged by man-eaters; but even though I was without firearms, I still had ample protection in Nobs, who evidently had learned something of Caspakian hunt rules under the tutelage of Du-seen or some other Galu, and of course a great deal more by experience.Page 77
I went warily as I approached it, for fear the party might have halted to rest.Page 79
It didn't take me long to have a fire going and a steak broiling, and while I was preparing for my own feast, Nobs was filling himself with raw venison.Page 81
How I wished for the collies from the ranch! At a word they would have circled this little bunch and driven it straight down to me; and then it flashed into my mind that Nobs had run with those collies all one summer, that he had gone down to the pasture with them after the cows every evening and done his part in driving them back to the milking-barn, and had done it intelligently; but Nobs had never done the thing alone, and it had been a year since he had done it at all.Page 86
The renegade Galus and their Kro-lu allies stood waiting for the word from Du-seen that would launch that barbed avalanche of death.