It was merely surprise, then, that
she felt--surprise that Djor Kantos could be more interested in another
than in herself. She was about to cross the garden and join them when
she heard her father's voice directly behind her.
"Tara of Helium!" he called, and she turned to see him approaching with
a strange warrior whose harness and metal bore devices with which she
was unfamiliar. Even among the gorgeous trappings of the men of Helium
and the visitors from distant empires those of the stranger were
remarkable for their barbaric splendor. The leather of his harness was
completely hidden beneath ornaments of platinum thickly set with
brilliant diamonds, as were the scabbards of his swords and the ornate
holster that held his long, Martian pistol. Moving through the sunlit
garden at the side of the great Warlord, the scintillant rays of his
countless gems enveloping him as in an aureole of light imparted to his
noble figure a suggestion of godliness.
"Tara of Helium, I bring you Gahan, Jed of Gathol," said John Carter,
after the simple Barsoomian custom of presentation.
"Kaor! Gahan, Jed of Gathol," returned Tara of Helium.
"My sword is at your feet, Tara of Helium," said the young chieftain.
The Warlord left them and the two seated themselves upon an ersite
bench beneath a spreading sorapus tree.
"Far Gathol," mused the girl. "Ever in my mind has it been connected
with mystery and romance and the half-forgotten lore of the ancients. I
cannot think of Gathol as existing today, possibly because I have never
before seen a Gatholian."
"And perhaps too because of the great distance that separates Helium
and Gathol, as well as the comparative insignificance of my little free
city, which might easily be lost in one corner of mighty Helium," added
Gahan. "But what we lack in power we make up in pride," he continued,
laughing. "We believe ours the oldest inhabited city upon Barsoom. It
is one of the few that has retained its freedom, and this despite the
fact that its ancient diamond mines are the richest known and, unlike
practically all the other fields, are today apparently as inexhaustible
"Tell me of Gathol," urged the girl. "The very thought fills me with
interest," nor was it likely that the handsome face of the young jed
detracted anything from the glamour of far Gathol.
Nor did Gahan seem displeased with the excuse for further monopolizing
the society of his fair companion. His eyes seemed chained to her
exquisite features, from which they moved no further than to a rounded
breast, part hid beneath its jeweled covering, a naked
but I hurried out to his place as quickly as possible, so that I could take charge of the body and of his affairs.Page 8
It was now morning, and, with the customary lack of dawn which is a startling characteristic of Arizona, it had become daylight almost without warning.Page 9
I was very fond of Powell; he was thoroughly a man in every respect; a polished southern gentleman; a staunch and true friend; and it was with a feeling of the deepest grief that I finally gave up my crude endeavors at resuscitation.Page 10
The noise of the approaching horses had ceased, and I judged the Indians were creeping stealthily upon me along the little ledge which led to my living tomb.Page 19
Upon closer observation I saw as we passed them that the buildings were deserted, and while not greatly decayed had the appearance.Page 20
The other nine hundred and seventy-nine die violent deaths in duels, in hunting, in aviation and in war; but perhaps by far the greatest death loss comes during the age of childhood, when vast numbers of the little Martians fall victims to the great white apes of Mars.Page 29
Presently I saw the great eyes of my beast bulging completely from their sockets and blood flowing from its nostrils.Page 31
I then knelt down beside the fearsome-looking thing, and raising it to its feet motioned for it to follow me.Page 37
Several of the craft.Page 43
Sarkoja, one of the older women who shared our domicile, had been present at the audience as one of the captive's guards, and it was toward her the question turned.Page 46
My laughter frightened Woola, his antics ceased and he crawled pitifully toward me, poking his ugly head far into my lap; and then I remembered what laughter signified on Mars--torture, suffering, death.Page 49
For an instant I thought Tars Tarkas would strike him dead, nor did the aspect of Lorquas Ptomel augur any too favorably for the brute, but the mood passed, their old selves reasserted their ascendency, and they smiled.Page 58
"Your position is a peculiar one," he continued; "you are a prisoner and yet you give commands which must be obeyed; you are an alien and yet you are a Tharkian chieftain; you are a midget and yet you can kill a mighty warrior with one blow of your fist.Page 74
He was soon streaming blood from a half dozen minor wounds, but I could not obtain an opening to deliver an effective thrust.Page 93
He was thinking of that other woman who, forty years ago, had stood before this beast, and could I have spoken a word into his ear at that moment the reign of Tal Hajus would have been over; but finally he also strode from the room, not knowing that he left his own daughter at the mercy of the creature he most loathed.Page 105
It flew true as an arrow and piercing the poor devil's heart laid him dead upon the arena.Page 141
CHAPTER XXV THE LOOTING OF ZODANGA As the great gate.Page 146
The lesser hordes had commenced looting and quarreling among themselves, so it was decided that we collect what warriors we could, man as many vessels as possible with Zodangan prisoners and make for Helium without further loss of time.Page 153
Toward the middle of the day many of the weaker commenced to succumb and within an hour the people of Barsoom were sinking by thousands into the unconsciousness which precedes death by asphyxiation.Page 156
A new heaven and a new landscape met my gaze.