A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 90

of mounted
warriors, who, in passing, dropped a dozen words that fetched my heart
clean into the top of my head.

"He would likely have arranged to meet them just without the city, and
so--" I heard no more, they had passed on; but it was enough. Our
plan had been discovered, and the chances for escape from now on to the
fearful end would be small indeed. My one hope now was to return
undetected to the quarters of Dejah Thoris and learn what fate had
overtaken her, but how to do it with these great monstrous thoats upon
my hands, now that the city probably was aroused by the knowledge of my
escape was a problem of no mean proportions.

Suddenly an idea occurred to me, and acting on my knowledge of the
construction of the buildings of these ancient Martian cities with a
hollow court within the center of each square, I groped my way blindly
through the dark chambers, calling the great thoats after me. They had
difficulty in negotiating some of the doorways, but as the buildings
fronting the city's principal exposures were all designed upon a
magnificent scale, they were able to wriggle through without sticking
fast; and thus we finally made the inner court where I found, as I had
expected, the usual carpet of moss-like vegetation which would provide
their food and drink until I could return them to their own enclosure.
That they would be as quiet and contented here as elsewhere I was
confident, nor was there but the remotest possibility that they would
be discovered, as the green men had no great desire to enter these
outlying buildings, which were frequented by the only thing, I believe,
which caused them the sensation of fear--the great white apes of
Barsoom.

Removing the saddle trappings, I hid them just within the rear doorway
of the building through which we had entered the court, and, turning
the beasts loose, quickly made my way across the court to the rear of
the buildings upon the further side, and thence to the avenue beyond.
Waiting in the doorway of the building until I was assured that no one
was approaching, I hurried across to the opposite side and through the
first doorway to the court beyond; thus, crossing through court after
court with only the slight chance of detection which the necessary
crossing of the avenues entailed, I made my way in safety to the
courtyard in the rear of Dejah Thoris' quarters.

Here, of course, I found the beasts of the warriors who quartered in
the adjacent

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