The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 23

"Do you tell me, John Carter, that you
know not where you be?"

"That I am upon Barsoom is all that I can guess, and but for you and
the great white apes I should not even guess that, for the sights I
have seen this day are as unlike the things of my beloved Barsoom as I
knew it ten long years ago as they are unlike the world of my birth.

"No, Tars Tarkas, I know not where we be."

"Where have you been since you opened the mighty portals of the
atmosphere plant years ago, after the keeper had died and the engines
stopped and all Barsoom was dying, that had not already died, of
asphyxiation? Your body even was never found, though the men of a
whole world sought after it for years, though the Jeddak of Helium and
his granddaughter, your princess, offered such fabulous rewards that
even princes of royal blood joined in the search.

"There was but one conclusion to reach when all efforts to locate you
had failed, and that, that you had taken the long, last pilgrimage down
the mysterious River Iss, to await in the Valley Dor upon the shores of
the Lost Sea of Korus the beautiful Dejah Thoris, your princess.

"Why you had gone none could guess, for your princess still lived--"

"Thank God," I interrupted him. "I did not dare to ask you, for I
feared I might have been too late to save her--she was very low when I
left her in the royal gardens of Tardos Mors that long-gone night; so
very low that I scarcely hoped even then to reach the atmosphere plant
ere her dear spirit had fled from me for ever. And she lives yet?"

"She lives, John Carter."

"You have not told me where we are," I reminded him.

"We are where I expected to find you, John Carter--and another. Many
years ago you heard the story of the woman who taught me the thing that
green Martians are reared to hate, the woman who taught me to love.
You know the cruel tortures and the awful death her love won for her at
the hands of the beast, Tal Hajus.

"She, I thought, awaited me by the Lost Sea of Korus.

"You know that it was left for a man from another world, for yourself,
John Carter, to teach this cruel Thark what friendship is; and you, I
thought, also roamed the care-free Valley Dor.

"Thus were the two I most longed for at the end of the long pilgrimage
I must

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