A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 97

failed to discover us. As what
proved to be the last warrior came into view from the pass, he halted
and, to our consternation, threw his small but powerful fieldglass to
his eye and scanned the sea bottom in all directions. Evidently he was
a chieftain, for in certain marching formations among the green men a
chieftain brings up the extreme rear of the column. As his glass swung
toward us our hearts stopped in our breasts, and I could feel the cold
sweat start from every pore in my body.

Presently it swung full upon us and--stopped. The tension on our
nerves was near the breaking point, and I doubt if any of us breathed
for the few moments he held us covered by his glass; and then he
lowered it and we could see him shout a command to the warriors who had
passed from our sight behind the ridge. He did not wait for them to
join him, however, instead he wheeled his thoat and came tearing madly
in our direction.

There was but one slight chance and that we must take quickly. Raising
my strange Martian rifle to my shoulder I sighted and touched the
button which controlled the trigger; there was a sharp explosion as the
missile reached its goal, and the charging chieftain pitched backward
from his flying mount.

Springing to my feet I urged the thoat to rise, and directed Sola to
take Dejah Thoris with her upon him and make a mighty effort to reach
the hills before the green warriors were upon us. I knew that in the
ravines and gullies they might find a temporary hiding place, and even
though they died there of hunger and thirst it would be better so than
that they fell into the hands of the Tharks. Forcing my two revolvers
upon them as a slight means of protection, and, as a last resort, as an
escape for themselves from the horrid death which recapture would
surely mean, I lifted Dejah Thoris in my arms and placed her upon the
thoat behind Sola, who had already mounted at my command.

"Good-bye, my princess," I whispered, "we may meet in Helium yet. I
have escaped from worse plights than this," and I tried to smile as I
lied.

"What," she cried, "are you not coming with us?"

"How may I, Dejah Thoris? Someone must hold these fellows off for a
while, and I can better escape them alone than could the three of us
together."

She sprang quickly from the thoat and, throwing

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