The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 49

"if it might not be pleasant to be of
your race. Do you all sing?"

"Nearly all, a little," she said; "but we do many other interesting and
enjoyable things. We dance and play and work and love and sometimes we
fight, for we are a race of warriors."

"Love!" said the kaldane. "I think I know what you mean; but we,
fortunately, are above sentiment--when we are detached. But when we
dominate the rykor--ah, that is different, and when I hear you sing and
look at your beautiful body I know what you mean by love. I could love
you."

The girl shrank from him. "You promised to tell me the origin of the
rykor," she reminded him.

"Ages ago," he commenced, "our bodies were larger and our heads
smaller. Our legs were very weak and we could not travel fast or far.
There was a stupid creature that went upon four legs. It lived in a
hole in the ground, to which it brought its food, so we ran our burrows
into this hole and ate the food it brought; but it did not bring enough
for all--for itself and all the kaldanes that lived upon it, so we had
also to go abroad and get food. This was hard work for our weak legs.
Then it was that we commenced to ride upon the backs of these primitive
rykors. It took many ages, undoubtedly, but at last came the time when
the kaldane had found means to guide the rykor, until presently the
latter depended entirely upon the superior brain of his master to guide
him to food. The brain of the rykor grew smaller as time went on. His
ears went and his eyes, for he no longer had use for them--the kaldane
saw and heard for him. By similar steps the rykor came to go upon its
hind feet that the kaldane might be able to see farther. As the brain
shrank, so did the head. The mouth was the only feature of the head
that was used and so the mouth alone remains. Members of the red race
fell into the hands of our ancestors from time to time. They saw the
beauties and the advantages of the form that nature had given the red
race over that which the rykor was developing into. By intelligent
crossing the present rykor was achieved. He is really solely the
product of the super-intelligence of the kaldane--he is our body, to do
with as we see fit, just as you do what you see fit with your body,
only we have the

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