The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 12

our attention was again attracted by the
shrill wail of the caller above our heads.

This time I glanced up, and far above us upon a little natural balcony
on the face of the cliff stood a strange figure of a man shrieking out
his shrill signal, the while he waved one hand in the direction of the
river's mouth as though beckoning to some one there, and with the other
pointed and gesticulated toward us.

A glance in the direction toward which he was looking was sufficient to
apprise me of his aims and at the same time to fill me with the dread
of dire apprehension, for, streaming in from all directions across the
meadow, from out of the forest, and from the far distance of the flat
land across the river, I could see converging upon us a hundred
different lines of wildly leaping creatures such as we were now engaged
with, and with them some strange new monsters which ran with great
swiftness, now erect and now upon all fours.

"It will be a great death," I said to my companion. "Look!"

As he shot a quick glance in the direction I indicated he smiled.

"We may at least die fighting and as great warriors should, John
Carter," he replied.

We had just finished the last of our immediate antagonists as he spoke,
and I turned in surprised wonderment at the sound of my name.

And there before my astonished eyes I beheld the greatest of the green
men of Barsoom; their shrewdest statesman, their mightiest general, my
great and good friend, Tars Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark.




CHAPTER II

A FOREST BATTLE


Tars Tarkas and I found no time for an exchange of experiences as we
stood there before the great boulder surrounded by the corpses of our
grotesque assailants, for from all directions down the broad valley was
streaming a perfect torrent of terrifying creatures in response to the
weird call of the strange figure far above us.

"Come," cried Tars Tarkas, "we must make for the cliffs. There lies
our only hope of even temporary escape; there we may find a cave or a
narrow ledge which two may defend for ever against this motley, unarmed
horde."

Together we raced across the scarlet sward, I timing my speed that I
might not outdistance my slower companion. We had, perhaps, three
hundred yards to cover between our boulder and the cliffs, and then to
search out a suitable shelter for our stand against the terrifying
things that were pursuing us.

They were rapidly overhauling us when Tars Tarkas cried to me to hasten
ahead

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