The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 151

due south until the morning of the fifth day we sighted a great
fleet of battleships sailing north. They saw us before we could seek
shelter, and soon we were surrounded by a horde of black men. The
Princess's guard fought nobly to the end, but they were soon overcome
and slain. Only Dejah Thoris and I were spared.

"When she realized that she was in the clutches of the black pirates,
she attempted to take her own life, but one of the blacks tore her
dagger from her, and then they bound us both so that we could not use
our hands.

"The fleet continued north after capturing us. There were about twenty
large battleships in all, besides a number of small swift cruisers.
That evening one of the smaller cruisers that had been far in advance
of the fleet returned with a prisoner--a young red woman whom they had
picked up in a range of hills under the very noses, they said, of a
fleet of three red Martian battleships.

"From scraps of conversation which we overheard it was evident that the
black pirates were searching for a party of fugitives that had escaped
them several days prior. That they considered the capture of the young
woman important was evident from the long and earnest interview the
commander of the fleet held with her when she was brought to him.
Later she was bound and placed in the compartment with Dejah Thoris and
myself.

"The new captive was a very beautiful girl. She told Dejah Thoris that
many years ago she had taken the voluntary pilgrimage from the court of
her father, the Jeddak of Ptarth. She was Thuvia, the Princess of
Ptarth. And then she asked Dejah Thoris who she might be, and when she
heard she fell upon her knees and kissed Dejah Thoris' fettered hands,
and told her that that very morning she had been with John Carter,
Prince of Helium, and Carthoris, her son.

"Dejah Thoris could not believe her at first, but finally when the girl
had narrated all the strange adventures that had befallen her since she
had met John Carter, and told her of the things John Carter, and
Carthoris, and Xodar had narrated of their adventures in the Land of
the First Born, Dejah Thoris knew that it could be none other than the
Prince of Helium; 'For who,' she said, 'upon all Barsoom other than
John Carter could have done the deeds you tell of.' And when Thuvia
told Dejah Thoris of her love for John Carter,

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