A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 99

remember the feeling of surprise which swept over me as I realized
that I was not dead.

I was lying among a pile of sleeping silks and furs in the corner of a
small room in which were several green warriors, and bending over me
was an ancient and ugly female.

As I opened my eyes she turned to one of the warriors, saying,

"He will live, O Jed."

"'Tis well," replied the one so addressed, rising and approaching my
couch, "he should render rare sport for the great games."

And now as my eyes fell upon him, I saw that he was no Thark, for his
ornaments and metal were not of that horde. He was a huge fellow,
terribly scarred about the face and chest, and with one broken tusk and
a missing ear. Strapped on either breast were human skulls and
depending from these a number of dried human hands.

His reference to the great games of which I had heard so much while
among the Tharks convinced me that I had but jumped from purgatory into
gehenna.

After a few more words with the female, during which she assured him
that I was now fully fit to travel, the jed ordered that we mount and
ride after the main column.

I was strapped securely to as wild and unmanageable a thoat as I had
ever seen, and, with a mounted warrior on either side to prevent the
beast from bolting, we rode forth at a furious pace in pursuit of the
column. My wounds gave me but little pain, so wonderfully and rapidly
had the applications and injections of the female exercised their
therapeutic powers, and so deftly had she bound and plastered the
injuries.

Just before dark we reached the main body of troops shortly after they
had made camp for the night. I was immediately taken before the
leader, who proved to be the jeddak of the hordes of Warhoon.

Like the jed who had brought me, he was frightfully scarred, and also
decorated with the breastplate of human skulls and dried dead hands
which seemed to mark all the greater warriors among the Warhoons, as
well as to indicate their awful ferocity, which greatly transcends even
that of the Tharks.

The jeddak, Bar Comas, who was comparatively young, was the object of
the fierce and jealous hatred of his old lieutenant, Dak Kova, the jed
who had captured me, and I could not but note the almost studied
efforts which the latter made to affront his superior.

He entirely omitted the usual formal salutation as we entered the
presence

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