The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 17

her life-time had such a tempest raged upon Barsoom.

She must turn back! She must reach Helium before her mad lust for
thrills had cost the sacrifice of a single courageous life! She
determined that greater safety and likelihood of success lay above the
clouds, and once again she rose through the chilling, wind-tossed
vapor. Her speed again was terrific, for the wind seemed to have
increased rather than to have lessened. She sought gradually to check
the swift flight of her craft, but though she finally succeeded in
reversing her motor the wind but carried her on as it would. Then it
was that Tara of Helium lost her temper. Had her world not always bowed
in acquiescence to her every wish? What were these elements that they
dared to thwart her? She would demonstrate to them that the daughter of
The Warlord was not to be denied! They would learn that Tara of Helium
might not be ruled even by the forces of nature!

And so she drove her motor forward again and then with her firm, white
teeth set in grim determination she drove the steering lever far down
to port with the intention of forcing the nose of her craft straight
into the teeth of the wind, and the wind seized the frail thing and
toppled it over upon its back, and twisted and turned it and hurled it
over and over; the propellor raced for an instant in an air pocket and
then the tempest seized it again and twisted it from its shaft, leaving
the girl helpless upon an unmanageable atom that rose and fell, and
rolled and tumbled--the sport of the elements she had defied. Tara of
Helium's first sensation was one of surprise--that she had failed to
have her own way. Then she commenced to feel concern--not for her own
safety but for the anxiety of her parents and the dangers that the
inevitable searchers must face. She reproached herself for the
thoughtless selfishness that had jeopardized the peace and safety of
others. She realized her own grave danger, too; but she was still
unterrified, as befitted the daughter of Dejah Thoris and John Carter.
She knew that her buoyancy tanks might keep her afloat indefinitely,
but she had neither food nor water, and she was being borne toward the
least-known area of Barsoom. Perhaps it would be better to land
immediately and await the coming of the searchers, rather than to allow
herself to be carried still further from Helium, thus greatly reducing
the chances of early discovery; but when she dropped toward the ground
she discovered

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