more remarkable than was his first
manuscript which I gave to an unbelieving world a short time since and
through which we followed the fighting Virginian across dead sea
bottoms under the moons of Mars.
E. R. B.
THE GODS OF MARS
THE PLANT MEN
As I stood upon the bluff before my cottage on that clear cold night in
the early part of March, 1886, the noble Hudson flowing like the grey
and silent spectre of a dead river below me, I felt again the strange,
compelling influence of the mighty god of war, my beloved Mars, which
for ten long and lonesome years I had implored with outstretched arms
to carry me back to my lost love.
Not since that other March night in 1866, when I had stood without that
Arizona cave in which my still and lifeless body lay wrapped in the
similitude of earthly death had I felt the irresistible attraction of
the god of my profession.
With arms outstretched toward the red eye of the great star I stood
praying for a return of that strange power which twice had drawn me
through the immensity of space, praying as I had prayed on a thousand
nights before during the long ten years that I had waited and hoped.
Suddenly a qualm of nausea swept over me, my senses swam, my knees gave
beneath me and I pitched headlong to the ground upon the very verge of
the dizzy bluff.
Instantly my brain cleared and there swept back across the threshold of
my memory the vivid picture of the horrors of that ghostly Arizona
cave; again, as on that far-gone night, my muscles refused to respond
to my will and again, as though even here upon the banks of the placid
Hudson, I could hear the awful moans and rustling of the fearsome thing
which had lurked and threatened me from the dark recesses of the cave,
I made the same mighty and superhuman effort to break the bonds of the
strange anaesthesia which held me, and again came the sharp click as of
the sudden parting of a taut wire, and I stood naked and free beside
the staring, lifeless thing that had so recently pulsed with the warm,
red life-blood of John Carter.
With scarcely a parting glance I turned my eyes again toward Mars,
lifted my hands toward his lurid rays, and waited.
Nor did I have long to wait; for scarce had I turned ere I shot with
the rapidity of thought into the awful void before me. There was the
same instant of unthinkable cold and utter
"Ten years, and I thought that at the most it could be scarce more than one!" That night he told me his story--the story that I give you here as nearly in his own words as I can recall them.Page 2
I remember that he used to claim that that invention alone would make us fabulously wealthy--we were going to make the whole thing public after the successful issue of our first secret trial--but Perry never returned from that trial trip, and I only after ten years.Page 10
Behind us rose a dark and forbidding wood of giant arborescent ferns intermingled with the commoner types of a primeval tropical forest.Page 12
I saw that he was headed toward a little point of the forest which ran out toward the sea not far from where we had been standing, and as the mighty creature, the sight of which had galvanized him into such remarkable action, was forging steadily toward me, I set off after Perry, though at a somewhat more decorous pace.Page 13
had evidently attracted him to them.Page 15
They were to all appearances strikingly similar in aspect to the Negro of Africa.Page 27
They resembled a whale with the head of an alligator.Page 28
A roar of approval went up from those of the other prisoners and the Sagoths who had witnessed the brief drama; not, as I later learned, because I had championed the girl, but for the neat and, to them, astounding method by which I had bested Hooja.Page 34
It so happened that Hooja was confined in the same building with us.Page 41
Their technic consisted in waving their tails and moving their heads in a regular succession of measured movements resulting in a cadence which evidently pleased the eye of the Mahar as the cadence of our own instrumental music pleases our ears.Page 42
With the advent of the Bos--they call the thing a thag within Pellucidar--two spears were tossed into the arena at the feet of the prisoners.Page 53
At sight of Ja they saluted deferentially, but to me they paid not the slightest attention.Page 60
When I awoke I was very hungry, and after busying myself searching for fruit for a while, I set off through the jungle to find the beach.Page 67
"You saved my life," he replied; "from that moment it became my duty to protect and befriend you.Page 81
There was no exit from the room other than the doorway in which I now stood facing the two frightful reptiles.Page 82
Some time later we had removed the skins from the four Mahars, and so succeeded in crawling inside of them ourselves that there seemed an excellent chance for us to pass unnoticed from Phutra.Page 101
I was mad all the way through, as I had certainly felt that at least a word of thanks should have rewarded me, for I knew that even by her own standards, I must have done a very wonderful thing to have killed the redoubtable Jubal in a hand-to-hand encounter.Page 105
Motherless and unprotected; hunted across a savage, primeval world by that hideous brute of a man; exposed to the attacks of the countless fearsome denizens of its mountains, its plains, and its jungles--it was a miracle that she had survived it all.Page 108
We had barely entered the great plain when we discovered two enormous animals approaching us from a great distance.Page 116
any member of my former party who could lead me to the same spot.