The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 109

meantime I was to fetch the red youth to
our cell so that we would be in readiness to make our rash break for
freedom together.

I sprang to the top of our partition wall and pulled myself up on to
it. There I found a flat surface about a foot in width and along this
I walked until I came to the cell in which I saw the boy sitting upon
his bench. He had been leaning back against the wall looking up at the
glowing dome above Omean, and when he spied me balancing upon the
partition wall above him his eyes opened wide in astonishment. Then a
wide grin of appreciative understanding spread across his countenance.

As I stooped to drop to the floor beside him he motioned me to wait,
and coming close below me whispered: "Catch my hand; I can almost leap
to the top of that wall myself. I have tried it many times, and each
day I come a little closer. Some day I should have been able to make
it."

I lay upon my belly across the wall and reached my hand far down toward
him. With a little run from the centre of the cell he sprang up until
I grasped his outstretched hand, and thus I pulled him to the wall's
top beside me.

"You are the first jumper I ever saw among the red men of Barsoom," I
said.

He smiled. "It is not strange. I will tell you why when we have more
time."

Together we returned to the cell in which Xodar sat; descending to talk
with him until the hour had passed.

There we made our plans for the immediate future, binding ourselves by
a solemn oath to fight to the death for one another against whatsoever
enemies should confront us, for we knew that even should we succeed in
escaping the First Born we might still have a whole world against
us--the power of religious superstition is mighty.

It was agreed that I should navigate the craft after we had reached
her, and that if we made the outer world in safety we should attempt to
reach Helium without a stop.

"Why Helium?" asked the red youth.

"I am a prince of Helium," I replied.

He gave me a peculiar look, but said nothing further on the subject. I
wondered at the time what the significance of his expression might be,
but in the press of other matters it soon left my mind, nor did I have
occasion to think of it again until

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