A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 86

Have none of me if it is your will, but that you must aid me
in effecting your escape, if such a thing be possible, is not my
request, but my command. When you are safe once more at your father's
court you may do with me as you please, but from now on until that day
I am your master, and you must obey and aid me."

She looked at me long and earnestly and I thought that she was
softening toward me.

"I understand your words, Dotar Sojat," she replied, "but you I do not
understand. You are a queer mixture of child and man, of brute and
noble. I only wish that I might read your heart."

"Look down at your feet, Dejah Thoris; it lies there now where it has
lain since that other night at Korad, and where it will ever lie
beating alone for you until death stills it forever."

She took a little step toward me, her beautiful hands outstretched in a
strange, groping gesture.

"What do you mean, John Carter?" she whispered. "What are you saying
to me?"

"I am saying what I had promised myself that I would not say to you, at
least until you were no longer a captive among the green men; what from
your attitude toward me for the past twenty days I had thought never to
say to you; I am saying, Dejah Thoris, that I am yours, body and soul,
to serve you, to fight for you, and to die for you. Only one thing I
ask of you in return, and that is that you make no sign, either of
condemnation or of approbation of my words until you are safe among
your own people, and that whatever sentiments you harbor toward me they
be not influenced or colored by gratitude; whatever I may do to serve
you will be prompted solely from selfish motives, since it gives me
more pleasure to serve you than not."

"I will respect your wishes, John Carter, because I understand the
motives which prompt them, and I accept your service no more willingly
than I bow to your authority; your word shall be my law. I have twice
wronged you in my thoughts and again I ask your forgiveness."

Further conversation of a personal nature was prevented by the entrance
of Sola, who was much agitated and wholly unlike her usual calm and
possessed self.

"That horrible Sarkoja has been before Tal Hajus," she cried, "and from
what I heard upon the plaza there is little hope for

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