A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 76

my
back upon his ugly carcass, I moved, sick, sore, and disgusted, toward
the chariots which bore my retinue and my belongings. A murmur of
Martian applause greeted me, but I cared not for it.

Bleeding and weak I reached my women, who, accustomed to such
happenings, dressed my wounds, applying the wonderful healing and
remedial agents which make only the most instantaneous of death blows
fatal. Give a Martian woman a chance and death must take a back seat.
They soon had me patched up so that, except for weakness from loss of
blood and a little soreness around the wound, I suffered no great
distress from this thrust which, under earthly treatment, undoubtedly
would have put me flat on my back for days.

As soon as they were through with me I hastened to the chariot of Dejah
Thoris, where I found my poor Sola with her chest swathed in bandages,
but apparently little the worse for her encounter with Sarkoja, whose
dagger it seemed had struck the edge of one of Sola's metal breast
ornaments and, thus deflected, had inflicted but a slight flesh wound.

As I approached I found Dejah Thoris lying prone upon her silks and
furs, her lithe form wracked with sobs. She did not notice my
presence, nor did she hear me speaking with Sola, who was standing a
short distance from the vehicle.

"Is she injured?" I asked of Sola, indicating Dejah Thoris by an
inclination of my head.

"No," she answered, "she thinks that you are dead."

"And that her grandmother's cat may now have no one to polish its
teeth?" I queried, smiling.

"I think you wrong her, John Carter," said Sola. "I do not understand
either her ways or yours, but I am sure the granddaughter of ten
thousand jeddaks would never grieve like this over any who held but the
highest claim upon her affections. They are a proud race, but they are
just, as are all Barsoomians, and you must have hurt or wronged her
grievously that she will not admit your existence living, though she
mourns you dead.

"Tears are a strange sight upon Barsoom," she continued, "and so it is
difficult for me to interpret them. I have seen but two people weep in
all my life, other than Dejah Thoris; one wept from sorrow, the other
from baffled rage. The first was my mother, years ago before they
killed her; the other was Sarkoja, when they dragged her from me today."

"Your mother!" I exclaimed, "but, Sola, you could not have known your
mother, child."

"But I

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