The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 11

soundless approach, so
that I was upon them with my great long-sword and four of them lay dead
ere they knew that I was among them.

For an instant they recoiled before my terrific onslaught, and in that
instant the green warrior rose to the occasion and, springing to my
side, laid to the right and left of him as I had never seen but one
other warrior do, with great circling strokes that formed a figure
eight about him and that never stopped until none stood living to
oppose him, his keen blade passing through flesh and bone and metal as
though each had been alike thin air.

As we bent to the slaughter, far above us rose that shrill, weird cry
which I had heard once before, and which had called the herd to the
attack upon their victims. Again and again it rose, but we were too
much engaged with the fierce and powerful creatures about us to attempt
to search out even with our eyes the author of the horrid notes.

Great tails lashed in frenzied anger about us, razor-like talons cut
our limbs and bodies, and a green and sticky syrup, such as oozes from
a crushed caterpillar, smeared us from head to foot, for every cut and
thrust of our longswords brought spurts of this stuff upon us from the
severed arteries of the plant men, through which it courses in its
sluggish viscidity in lieu of blood.

Once I felt the great weight of one of the monsters upon my back and as
keen talons sank into my flesh I experienced the frightful sensation of
moist lips sucking the lifeblood from the wounds to which the claws
still clung.

I was very much engaged with a ferocious fellow who was endeavouring to
reach my throat from in front, while two more, one on either side, were
lashing viciously at me with their tails.

The green warrior was much put to it to hold his own, and I felt that
the unequal struggle could last but a moment longer when the huge
fellow discovered my plight, and tearing himself from those that
surrounded him, he raked the assailant from my back with a single sweep
of his blade, and thus relieved I had little difficulty with the others.

Once together, we stood almost back to back against the great boulder,
and thus the creatures were prevented from soaring above us to deliver
their deadly blows, and as we were easily their match while they
remained upon the ground, we were making great headway in dispatching
what remained of them when

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Page 9
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Page 50
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