The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 68

nothing for it but to risk all on a bold bid for
fortune, or drift helplessly past without hope of returning through the
banth-infested valley, from many points of which he could now hear the
roars and growls of these fierce Barsoomian lions.

Slipping over the side Gahan descended by the trailing anchor-rope
until his feet touched the top of the wall, where he had no difficulty
in arresting the slow drifting of the ship. Then he drew up the anchor
and lowered it inside the enclosure. Still there was no movement upon
the part of the sleepers beneath--they lay as dead men. Dull lights
shone from openings in the tower; but there was no sign of guard or
waking inmate. Clinging to the rope Gahan lowered himself within the
enclosure, where he had his first close view of the creatures lying
there in what he had thought sleep. With a half smothered exclamation
of horror the man drew back from the headless bodies of the rykors. At
first he thought them the corpses of decapitated humans like himself,
which was quite bad enough; but when he saw them move and realized that
they were endowed with life, his horror and disgust became even greater.

Here then was the explanation of the thing he had witnessed that
afternoon, when Tara of Helium had struck the head from her captor and
Gahan had seen the head crawl back to its body. And to think that the
pearl of Helium was in the power of such hideous things as these. Again
the man shuddered, but he hastened to make fast the flier, clamber
again to its deck and lower it to the floor of the enclosure. Then
he strode toward a door in the base of the tower, stepping lightly
over the recumbent forms of the unconscious rykors, and crossing
the threshold disappeared within.



CHAPTER VIII

CLOSE WORK

Ghek, in his happier days third foreman of the fields of Luud, sat
nursing his anger and his humiliation. Recently something had awakened
within him the existence of which he had never before even dreamed. Had
the influence of the strange captive woman aught to do with this unrest
and dissatisfaction? He did not know. He missed the soothing influence
of the noise she called singing. Could it be that there were other
things more desirable than cold logic and undefiled brain power? Was
well balanced imperfection more to be sought after then, than the high
development of a single characteristic? He thought of the great,
ultimate brain toward which all kaldanes were striving. It would be
deaf, and dumb, and blind.

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The People That Time Forgot

Page 9
reptiles even in this part of Caspak.
Page 11
Once I could have sworn that among the many creatures dimly perceived amidst the shadows of the wood I saw a human figure dart from one cover to another, but I could not be sure.
Page 13
She had called something to me in a strange tongue as she raced toward me, and now she spoke again; but what she said I could not then, of course, know--only that her tones were sweet, well modulated and free from any suggestion of panic.
Page 19
After we had eaten, I added to the pile of firewood so that I could replenish the fire before the entrance to our barricade, believing this as good a protection against the carnivora as we could have; and then Ajor and I sat down before it, and the lesson proceeded, while from all about us came the weird and awesome noises of the Caspakian night--the moaning and the coughing and roaring of the tigers, the panthers and the lions, the barking and the dismal howling of a wolf, jackal and hyaenadon, the shrill shrieks of stricken prey and the hissing of the great reptiles; the voice of man alone was silent.
Page 21
the fierce and snarling countenance of a gigantic bear.
Page 27
I tried to get her to tell me more; but.
Page 31
others who were positively handsome and whose bodies were quite hairless.
Page 38
She begged me to leave her, saying that after I found an exit, I could come back and get her; but she knew, and she knew that I knew, that if ever I did leave her, I could never find her again.
Page 50
As it was, he reached forth and seized me, and though I struggled, he overpowered me.
Page 52
Later he was joined by others of his kind.
Page 53
By now I was obtaining some idea of the Caspakian scheme of evolution, which partly accounted for the lack of young among the races I had so far seen.
Page 58
Already I knew that the warm pools which always lie close to every tribal abiding-place were closely linked with the Caspakian scheme of evolution, and that the daily immersion of the females in the greenish slimy water was in response to some natural law, since neither pleasure nor cleanliness could be derived from what seemed almost a religious rite.
Page 60
Whereas he might have condescended to tolerate me as a harmless and interesting curiosity, he now, by the change in his expression, appeared to consider me in a new and unfavorable light.
Page 67
As he spoke, he turned quickly away as though loath to have others see that he knew me, and at the same instant I wheeled to discover Du-seen striding rapidly after me.
Page 68
As we passed out into the village plaza, I saw Chal-az--we were so close to one another that I could have reached out and touched him--and our eyes met; but though I greeted him pleasantly and paused to speak to him, he brushed past me without a sign of recognition.
Page 70
What was this hold she had upon me? Was I bewitched, that my mind refused to function sanely, and that judgment and reason were dethroned by some mad sentiment which I steadfastly refused to believe was love? I had never been in love.
Page 72
He had been dead asleep when.
Page 77
As we were topping a rise in the middle of the afternoon, I saw something that brought me to a sudden stop.
Page 79
Never in my life had I shot an arrow, but I knew how it was done, and fitting the shaft to my string, I aimed carefully and let drive.
Page 81
I had plenty of rope, this Galu weapon being fully sixty feet long.