A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 87

either of you."

"What do they say?" inquired Dejah Thoris.

"That you will be thrown to the wild calots [dogs] in the great arena
as soon as the hordes have assembled for the yearly games."

"Sola," I said, "you are a Thark, but you hate and loathe the customs
of your people as much as we do. Will you not accompany us in one
supreme effort to escape? I am sure that Dejah Thoris can offer you a
home and protection among her people, and your fate can be no worse
among them than it must ever be here."

"Yes," cried Dejah Thoris, "come with us, Sola, you will be better off
among the red men of Helium than you are here, and I can promise you
not only a home with us, but the love and affection your nature craves
and which must always be denied you by the customs of your own race.
Come with us, Sola; we might go without you, but your fate would be
terrible if they thought you had connived to aid us. I know that even
that fear would not tempt you to interfere in our escape, but we want
you with us, we want you to come to a land of sunshine and happiness,
amongst a people who know the meaning of love, of sympathy, and of
gratitude. Say that you will, Sola; tell me that you will."

"The great waterway which leads to Helium is but fifty miles to the
south," murmured Sola, half to herself; "a swift thoat might make it in
three hours; and then to Helium it is five hundred miles, most of the
way through thinly settled districts. They would know and they would
follow us. We might hide among the great trees for a time, but the
chances are small indeed for escape. They would follow us to the very
gates of Helium, and they would take toll of life at every step; you do
not know them."

"Is there no other way we might reach Helium?" I asked. "Can you not
draw me a rough map of the country we must traverse, Dejah Thoris?"

"Yes," she replied, and taking a great diamond from her hair she drew
upon the marble floor the first map of Barsoomian territory I had ever
seen. It was crisscrossed in every direction with long straight lines,
sometimes running parallel and sometimes converging toward some great
circle. The lines, she said, were waterways; the circles, cities; and
one far to the northwest of us she

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