his thin laughter
jarred upon the silence of the subterranean vaults. "A strange place to
woo! A strange place to woo, indeed! When I was a young man we roamed
in the gardens beneath giant pimalias and stole our kisses in the brief
shadows of hurtling Thuria. We came not to the gloomy pits to speak of
love; but times have changed and ways have changed, though I had never
thought to live to see the time when the way of a man with a maid, or a
maid with a man would change. Ah, but we kissed them then! And what if
they objected, eh? What if they objected? Why, we kissed them more. Ey,
ey, those were the days!" and he cackled again. "Ey, well do I recall
the first of them I ever kissed, and I've kissed an army of them since;
she was a fine girl, but she tried to slip a dagger into me while I was
kissing her. Ey, ey, those were the days! But I kissed her. She's been
dead over a thousand years now, but she was never kissed again like
that while she lived, I'll swear, not since she's been dead, either.
And then there was that other--" but Turan, seeing a thousand or more
years of osculatory memoirs portending, interrupted.
"Tell me, ancient one," he said, "not of thy loves but of thyself. Who
are you? What do you here in the pits of O-Tar?"
"I might ask you the same, young man," replied the other. "Few there
are who visit the pits other than the dead, except my pupils--ey! That
is it--you are new pupils! Good! But never before have they sent a
woman to learn the great art from the greatest artist. But times have
changed. Now, in my day the women did no work--they were just for
kissing and loving. Ey, those were the women. I mind the one we
captured in the south--ey! she was a devil, but how she could love. She
had breasts of marble and a heart of fire. Why, she--"
"Yes, yes," interrupted Turan; "we are pupils, and we are anxious to
get to work. Lead on and we will follow."
"Ey, yes! Ey, yes! Come! All is rush and hurry as though there were not
another countless myriad of ages ahead. Ey, yes! as many as lie behind.
Two thousand years have passed since I broke my shell and always rush,
rush, rush, yet I cannot see that aught has been accomplished. Manator
is the same today as it was then--except the girls. We
They liked to be together, for they liked the same things and the same people and the same books and their dancing was a joy, not only to themselves but to those who watched them.Page 14
"He has gone?" asked the girl.Page 24
Their beautiful bodies seemed identical with those of the headless creatures among which they moved, but the newcomers were not headless.Page 32
She saw that for a moment it would hide her from those within and in that moment she turned and ran, keeping close to the wall, until, passing out of sight beyond the curve of the structure, she came to the opposite side of the enclosure.Page 39
" At his request she sang again as they continued their way along the winding tunnel, which was now lighted by occasional bulbs which appeared to be similar to the radium bulbs with which she was familiar and which were common to all the nations of Barsoom, insofar as she knew, having been perfected at so remote a period that their very origin was lost in antiquity.Page 53
"Come!" said Ghek.Page 55
When it came would be sufficiently the time to meet it.Page 56
It has no value.Page 72
Quickly he transferred himself to the shoulders of the great, inert hulk.Page 76
Three times the panthan's blade changed its position--once to fend a savage cut; once to feint; and once to thrust.Page 77
" Slowly the small craft rose from the ground as Gahan leaped the inert bodies of the rykors lying in his path.Page 79
In absolute and general perfection lies stifling monotony and death.Page 80
He turned away and looked down upon the valley of his ancestors across which he was slowly drifting, into what unknown world? He should be a veritable god among the underlings, he knew; but somehow a doubt assailed him.Page 90
A locked door barred his way at its end, but a door upon his right opened and he stepped into a dimly-lighted chamber, about the walls of which were three other doors, each of which he tried in turn.Page 120
"Tara of Helium was safe, but a short time since," said the prisoner chained at Turan's side.Page 133
" "Ey, yes! Ey, yes! Come! All is rush and hurry as though there were not another countless myriad of ages ahead.Page 154
Every trick, every subterfuge, known to the art of fence these men employed.Page 158
If he had passed then, so could Gahan pass, for did he not wear the trappings of a Manatorian? The Gatholian thought quickly, and stopping his thoat called to the guardsmen to let him pass, "In the name of O-Tar!" They hesitated a moment.Page 183
"He has lain thus for five thousand years.Page 199
" He stopped and looked at her with eyes that might have said: "Now, strike me dead!" "Oh, foolish man!" cried Tara.