A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 96

came to my eyes as I thought of
his love for me. Shortly after this Dejah Thoris and Sola awakened,
and it was decided that we push on at once in an effort to gain the
hills.

We had gone scarcely a mile when I noticed that my thoat was commencing
to stumble and stagger in a most pitiful manner, although we had not
attempted to force them out of a walk since about noon of the preceding
day. Suddenly he lurched wildly to one side and pitched violently to
the ground. Dejah Thoris and I were thrown clear of him and fell upon
the soft moss with scarcely a jar; but the poor beast was in a pitiable
condition, not even being able to rise, although relieved of our
weight. Sola told me that the coolness of the night, when it fell,
together with the rest would doubtless revive him, and so I decided not
to kill him, as was my first intention, as I had thought it cruel to
leave him alone there to die of hunger and thirst. Relieving him of
his trappings, which I flung down beside him, we left the poor fellow
to his fate, and pushed on with the one thoat as best we could. Sola
and I walked, making Dejah Thoris ride, much against her will. In this
way we had progressed to within about a mile of the hills we were
endeavoring to reach when Dejah Thoris, from her point of vantage upon
the thoat, cried out that she saw a great party of mounted men filing
down from a pass in the hills several miles away. Sola and I both
looked in the direction she indicated, and there, plainly discernible,
were several hundred mounted warriors. They seemed to be headed in a
southwesterly direction, which would take them away from us.

They doubtless were Thark warriors who had been sent out to capture us,
and we breathed a great sigh of relief that they were traveling in the
opposite direction. Quickly lifting Dejah Thoris from the thoat, I
commanded the animal to lie down and we three did the same, presenting
as small an object as possible for fear of attracting the attention of
the warriors toward us.

We could see them as they filed out of the pass, just for an instant,
before they were lost to view behind a friendly ridge; to us a most
providential ridge; since, had they been in view for any great length
of time, they scarcely could have

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