which he had reached with such infinite labour, and
as I flung the last of my immediate antagonists from me the great Thark
leaped to my side, and again we fought, back to back, as we had done a
hundred times before.
Time and again the ferocious apes sprang in to close with us, and time
and again we beat them back with our swords. The great tails of the
plant men lashed with tremendous power about us as they charged from
various directions or sprang with the agility of greyhounds above our
heads; but every attack met a gleaming blade in sword hands that had
been reputed for twenty years the best that Mars ever had known; for
Tars Tarkas and John Carter were names that the fighting men of the
world of warriors loved best to speak.
But even the two best swords in a world of fighters can avail not for
ever against overwhelming numbers of fierce and savage brutes that know
not what defeat means until cold steel teaches their hearts no longer
to beat, and so, step by step, we were forced back. At length we stood
against the giant tree that we had chosen for our ascent, and then, as
charge after charge hurled its weight upon us, we gave back again and
again, until we had been forced half-way around the huge base of the
Tars Tarkas was in the lead, and suddenly I heard a little cry of
exultation from him.
"Here is shelter for one at least, John Carter," he said, and, glancing
down, I saw an opening in the base of the tree about three feet in
"In with you, Tars Tarkas," I cried, but he would not go; saying that
his bulk was too great for the little aperture, while I might slip in
"We shall both die if we remain without, John Carter; here is a slight
chance for one of us. Take it and you may live to avenge me, it is
useless for me to attempt to worm my way into so small an opening with
this horde of demons besetting us on all sides."
"Then we shall die together, Tars Tarkas," I replied, "for I shall not
go first. Let me defend the opening while you get in, then my smaller
stature will permit me to slip in with you before they can prevent."
We still were fighting furiously as we talked in broken sentences,
punctured with vicious cuts and thrusts at our swarming enemy.
At length he yielded, for it seemed the only
"All is ready.Page 53
"Come!" said Ghek.Page 61
But he was intact.Page 62
First he must know more of them and whether they might be assumed to be friends or enemies.Page 66
He could not be delayed now by any hungry beast of prey, for what might that very instant be befalling Tara of Helium he could not guess; and so he hastened his steps.Page 68
With a half smothered exclamation of horror the man drew back from the headless bodies of the rykors.Page 82
Tara of Helium smiled faintly.Page 92
She missed him, and in missing him realized suddenly that he had meant more to her than a mere hired warrior.Page 100
The girl was led through long avenues toward the center of the city and finally into a low building, topped by lofty towers of massive construction.Page 108
Quickly entering the room he crawled to the table top and affixed himself to the shoulders of his rykor, and there he waited; and who may say that Ghek, though he could not smile, possessed not a sense of humor? For a half-hour he sat there, and then there came to him the sound of men approaching along corridors of stone.Page 122
" "Could you convince them that you are the son of the Princess Haja your welcome would be assured," said Turan; "while on the other hand you could purchase your freedom and citizenship with a brief period of labor in the diamond mines.Page 129
Presently Ghek took his eyes from the eyes of O-Tar and the jeddak shook himself as one who would be rid of a bad dream and straightened up, half dazed still.Page 132
"Tara of Helium," said the warrior, dropping to one knee, "your words are as food to my hungry heart," and he took her fingers in his and pressed them to his lips.Page 151
He dared not speak, the ethics of the game forbade it, but what his lips might not voice his eyes expressed in martial fire, and eloquently: "The honor of the Black and the safety of our Princess are secure with me!" Gahan hesitated no longer.Page 157
Gahan was engaged with a fellow who appeared to have been selected to account for him only, since he rode straight for him and sought to cut him down without giving the slightest heed to several who slashed at him.Page 161
"No," replied Tasor, "nor is it a Manatorian name.Page 178
You are not loved for this, E-Thas, and should another jeddak ascend the throne of Manator what would become of you, whose enemies are among the most.Page 186
"Your point is well taken; but what shall we do with him?" "Leave him where he lies," counseled I-Gos.Page 188
These, like several of the others he had passed at lower levels, were heavily barred, so that there was no possibility of his gaining ingress to the apartment where Tara was confined.