the noble features--I recognized them at once,
and leaping to my feet I advanced with outstretched hand.
"John Carter!" I cried. "You?"
"None other, my son," he replied, taking my hand in one of his and
placing the other upon my shoulder.
"And what are you doing here?" I asked. "It has been long years since
you revisited Earth, and never before in the trappings of Mars. Lord!
but it is good to see you--and not a day older in appearance than when
you trotted me on your knee in my babyhood. How do you explain it, John
Carter, Warlord of Mars, or do you try to explain it?"
"Why attempt to explain the inexplicable?" he replied. "As I have told
you before, I am a very old man. I do not know how old I am. I recall
no childhood; but recollect only having been always as you see me now
and as you saw me first when you were five years old. You, yourself,
have aged, though not as much as most men in a corresponding number of
years, which may be accounted for by the fact that the same blood runs
in our veins; but I have not aged at all. I have discussed the question
with a noted Martian scientist, a friend of mine; but his theories are
still only theories. However, I am content with the fact--I never age,
and I love life and the vigor of youth.
"And now as to your natural question as to what brings me to Earth
again and in this, to earthly eyes, strange habiliment. We may thank
Kar Komak, the bowman of Lothar. It was he who gave me the idea upon
which I have been experimenting until at last I have achieved success.
As you know I have long possessed the power to cross the void in
spirit, but never before have I been able to impart to inanimate things
a similar power. Now, however, you see me for the first time precisely
as my Martian fellows see me--you see the very short-sword that has
tasted the blood of many a savage foeman; the harness with the devices
of Helium and the insignia of my rank; the pistol that was presented to
me by Tars Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark.
"Aside from seeing you, which is my principal reason for being here,
and satisfying myself that I can transport inanimate things from Mars
to Earth, and therefore animate things if I so desire, I have no
purpose. Earth is not for me. My every interest is upon Barsoom--my
wife, my children, my work;
it," I answered; "but what difference will it make when our air supply is exhausted whether the temperature is 153 degrees or 153,000? We'll be just as dead, and no one will know the difference, anyhow.Page 23
Their only redeeming feature lay in the development of the head above and back of the ears.Page 34
Next came shields; but these I found it easier to steal from the walls of the outer guardroom of the building.Page 35
Perry and I sought him out and put the question straight to him.Page 44
Forgetful of us, our guards joined in the general rush for the exits, many of which pierced the wall of the amphitheater behind us.Page 45
I had come to the surface, then, beyond the city, and my chances for escape seemed much enhanced.Page 48
A cry of rage rose from the owner of the primitive craft, and an instant later his heavy, stone-tipped spear grazed my shoulder and buried itself in the bow of the boat beyond.Page 49
Unconsciously I had ceased paddling as the serpent rose to engage my pursuer, so now the skiff still drifted close beside the two.Page 51
" As Ja talked I had an excellent opportunity to inspect him more closely.Page 53
The entrances to the house were through small apertures in the bases of the trees and thence upward by rude ladders through the hollow trunks to the rooms above.Page 55
They are a noble-looking race, these cave men of Pellucidar, and if our progenitors were as they, the human race of the outer crust has deteriorated rather than improved with the march of the ages.Page 56
The queen's head slowly disappeared beneath the surface and after it went the eyes of her victim--only a slow ripple widened toward the.Page 69
What else may I do under the circumstances?" He thought for a moment in silence.Page 79
Together we repaired to the first tier of corridors beneath the main floor of the buildings, and here Perry and Ghak halted to await me.Page 83
We managed to keep the heads erect by passing our swords up through the necks, and by the same means were enabled to move them about in a life-like manner.Page 88
It is one of the many methods in which they employ this weapon, and the accuracy of aim which they achieve, even under the most unfavorable circumstances, is little short of miraculous.Page 98
He still was too far off to distinguish his features.Page 99
He was a most unlovely spectacle, but he was far from dead.Page 103
" I looked at her in utter amazement.Page 108
Their heads must have been quite forty feet from the ground.