A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 77

did. And my father also," she added. "If you would like to
hear the strange and un-Barsoomian story come to the chariot tonight,
John Carter, and I will tell you that of which I have never spoken in
all my life before. And now the signal has been given to resume the
march, you must go."

"I will come tonight, Sola," I promised. "Be sure to tell Dejah Thoris
I am alive and well. I shall not force myself upon her, and be sure
that you do not let her know I saw her tears. If she would speak with
me I but await her command."

Sola mounted the chariot, which was swinging into its place in line,
and I hastened to my waiting thoat and galloped to my station beside
Tars Tarkas at the rear of the column.

We made a most imposing and awe-inspiring spectacle as we strung out
across the yellow landscape; the two hundred and fifty ornate and
brightly colored chariots, preceded by an advance guard of some two
hundred mounted warriors and chieftains riding five abreast and one
hundred yards apart, and followed by a like number in the same
formation, with a score or more of flankers on either side; the fifty
extra mastodons, or heavy draught animals, known as zitidars, and the
five or six hundred extra thoats of the warriors running loose within
the hollow square formed by the surrounding warriors. The gleaming
metal and jewels of the gorgeous ornaments of the men and women,
duplicated in the trappings of the zitidars and thoats, and
interspersed with the flashing colors of magnificent silks and furs and
feathers, lent a barbaric splendor to the caravan which would have
turned an East Indian potentate green with envy.

The enormous broad tires of the chariots and the padded feet of the
animals brought forth no sound from the moss-covered sea bottom; and so
we moved in utter silence, like some huge phantasmagoria, except when
the stillness was broken by the guttural growling of a goaded zitidar,
or the squealing of fighting thoats. The green Martians converse but
little, and then usually in monosyllables, low and like the faint
rumbling of distant thunder.

We traversed a trackless waste of moss which, bending to the pressure
of broad tire or padded foot, rose up again behind us, leaving no sign
that we had passed. We might indeed have been the wraiths of the
departed dead upon the dead sea of that dying planet for all the sound
or sign we made in passing. It

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Text Comparison with Pellucidar

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I am content here.