the floors above, and in a moment
were lost to view beyond a turn in the corridor.
The torch had been stuck in a socket beside the door, so that its rays
illuminated both the corridor and the cell at the same time. As I saw
the two warriors disappear I approached the entrance to the cell, with
a well-defined plan already formulated.
While I disliked the thought of carrying out the thing that I had
decided upon, there seemed no alternative if Tars Tarkas and I were to
go back together to my little camp in the hills.
Keeping near the wall, I came quite close to the door to Tars Tarkas'
cell, and there I stood with my longsword above my head, grasped with
both hands, that I might bring it down in one quick cut upon the skull
of the jailer as he emerged.
I dislike to dwell upon what followed after I heard the footsteps of
the man as he approached the doorway. It is enough that within another
minute or two, Tars Tarkas, wearing the metal of a Warhoon chief, was
hurrying down the corridor toward the spiral runway, bearing the
Warhoon's torch to light his way. A dozen paces behind him followed
John Carter, Prince of Helium.
The two companions of the man who lay now beside the door of the cell
that had been Tars Tarkas' had just started to ascend the runway as the
Thark came in view.
"Why so long, Tan Gama?" cried one of the men.
"I had trouble with a lock," replied Tars Tarkas. "And now I find that
I have left my short-sword in the Thark's cell. Go you on, I'll return
and fetch it."
"As you will, Tan Gama," replied he who had before spoken. "We shall
see you above directly."
"Yes," replied Tars Tarkas, and turned as though to retrace his steps
to the cell, but he only waited until the two had disappeared at the
floor above. Then I joined him, we extinguished the torch, and
together we crept toward the spiral incline that led to the upper
floors of the building.
At the first floor we found that the hallway ran but halfway through,
necessitating the crossing of a rear room full of green folk, ere we
could reach the inner courtyard, so there was but one thing left for us
to do, and that was to gain the second floor and the hallway through
which I had traversed the length of the building.
Cautiously we ascended. We could hear the sounds of conversation
At the close of the Civil War I found myself possessed of several hundred thousand dollars (Confederate) and a captain's commission in the cavalry arm of an army which no longer existed; the servant of a state which had vanished with the hopes of the South.Page 6
I had forged ahead for perhaps a mile or more without hearing further sounds, when the trail suddenly debouched onto a small, open plateau near the summit of the pass.Page 14
The roof of the enclosure was of solid glass about four or five inches in thickness, and beneath this were several hundred large eggs, perfectly round and snowy white.Page 25
While I was allowing my fancy to run riot in wild conjecture on the possible explanation of the strange anomalies which I had so far met with on Mars, Sola returned bearing both food and drink.Page 26
And it is well that nature has so graciously and abundantly lighted the Martian night, for the green men of Mars, being a nomadic race without high intellectual development, have but crude means for artificial lighting; depending principally upon torches, a kind of candle, and a peculiar oil lamp which generates a gas and burns without a wick.Page 54
"And whereto, then, would your prisoner escape should you leave her, unless it was to follow you and crave your protection, and ask your pardon for the cruel thoughts she has harbored against you these past few days?" "You are right," I answered, "there is no escape for either of us unless we go together.Page 60
Well, as you have said, your ways are not our ways, but you can fight well enough to do about as you please, and so, if you wish to give your woman to a captive, it is your own affair; but as a chieftain you should have those to serve you, and in accordance with our customs you may select any or all the females from the retinues of the chieftains whose metal you now wear.Page 63
I could take a human life, if necessary, with far less compunction than that of a poor, unreasoning, irresponsible brute.Page 65
You know that these have to be manufactured by artificial light, as exposure to sunlight always results in an explosion.Page 67
I was very curious to know what I had said or done to cause her so much perturbation a moment before and so I continued to importune her to enlighten me.Page 70
Examining the manacles I saw that they fastened with a massive spring lock.Page 83
There were many trees, methodically arranged, and some of them were of enormous height; there were animals in some of the enclosures, and they announced their presence by terrified squealings and snortings as they scented our queer, wild beasts and wilder human beings.Page 92
My plan of action was formed upon the instant, and crossing the square and the bordering avenue upon the opposite side I soon stood within the courtyard of Tal Hajus.Page 108
No one was in sight, yet immediately we passed the first door it slid gently into place behind us and receded rapidly to its original position in the front wall of the building.Page 121
In a moment the entire palace was alive with people.Page 130
" They left the hall, and, as darkness had fallen without, I slipped lightly from my hiding place and hastened to the balcony.Page 132
There was one slight, desperate chance, and that I decided I must take--it was for Dejah Thoris, and no man has lived who would not risk a thousand deaths for such as she.Page 138
" "Chieftains of Thark," I cried, turning to the assembled council and ignoring Tal Hajus, "I have been a chief among you, and today I have fought for Thark shoulder to shoulder with her greatest warrior.Page 150
with an endless round of applause and showered with ornaments of gold, platinum, silver, and precious jewels.