The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 2

while it is there in the keeping of my
Martian Princess, I doubt that I shall ever again leave the dying world
that is my life.

'I have come now because my affection for you prompted me to see you
once more before you pass over for ever into that other life that I
shall never know, and which though I have died thrice and shall die
again to-night, as you know death, I am as unable to fathom as are you.

'Even the wise and mysterious therns of Barsoom, that ancient cult
which for countless ages has been credited with holding the secret of
life and death in their impregnable fastnesses upon the hither slopes
of the Mountains of Otz, are as ignorant as we. I have proved it,
though I near lost my life in the doing of it; but you shall read it
all in the notes I have been making during the last three months that I
have been back upon Earth.'

He patted a swelling portfolio that lay on the table at his elbow.

'I know that you are interested and that you believe, and I know that
the world, too, is interested, though they will not believe for many
years; yes, for many ages, since they cannot understand. Earth men
have not yet progressed to a point where they can comprehend the things
that I have written in those notes.

'Give them what you wish of it, what you think will not harm them, but
do not feel aggrieved if they laugh at you.'

That night I walked down to the cemetery with him. At the door of his
vault he turned and pressed my hand.

'Good-bye, nephew,' he said. 'I may never see you again, for I doubt
that I can ever bring myself to leave my wife and boy while they live,
and the span of life upon Barsoom is often more than a thousand years.'

He entered the vault. The great door swung slowly to. The ponderous
bolts grated into place. The lock clicked. I have never seen Captain
John Carter, of Virginia, since.

But here is the story of his return to Mars on that other occasion, as
I have gleaned it from the great mass of notes which he left for me
upon the table of his room in the hotel at Richmond.

There is much which I have left out; much which I have not dared to
tell; but you will find the story of his second search for Dejah
Thoris, Princess of Helium, even

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