of Barsoom, as one might speak of the gods
"The therns are mortal," she replied. "They die from the same causes
as you or I might: those who do not live their allotted span of life,
one thousand years, when by the authority of custom they may take their
way in happiness through the long tunnel that leads to Issus.
"Those who die before are supposed to spend the balance of their
allotted time in the image of a plant man, and it is for this reason
that the plant men are held sacred by the therns, since they believe
that each of these hideous creatures was formerly a thern."
"And should a plant man die?" I asked.
"Should he die before the expiration of the thousand years from the
birth of the thern whose immortality abides within him then the soul
passes into a great white ape, but should the ape die short of the
exact hour that terminates the thousand years the soul is for ever lost
and passes for all eternity into the carcass of the slimy and fearsome
silians whose wriggling thousands seethe the silent sea beneath the
hurtling moons when the sun has gone and strange shapes walk through
the Valley Dor."
"We sent several Holy Therns to the silians to-day, then," said Tars
"And so will your death be the more terrible when it comes," said the
maiden. "And come it will--you cannot escape."
"One has escaped, centuries ago," I reminded her, "and what has been
done may be done again."
"It is useless even to try," she answered hopelessly.
"But try we shall," I cried, "and you shall go with us, if you wish."
"To be put to death by mine own people, and render my memory a disgrace
to my family and my nation? A Prince of the House of Tardos Mors
should know better than to suggest such a thing."
Tars Tarkas listened in silence, but I could feel his eyes riveted upon
me and I knew that he awaited my answer as one might listen to the
reading of his sentence by the foreman of a jury.
What I advised the girl to do would seal our fate as well, since if I
bowed to the inevitable decree of age-old superstition we must all
remain and meet our fate in some horrible form within this awful abode
of horror and cruelty.
"We have the right to escape if we can," I answered. "Our own moral
senses will not be offended if we succeed, for we know that the fabled
life of love
When the war broke out he left us, nor did I see him again for some fifteen or sixteen years.Page 22
Now, I had made no attempt to walk, since my first signal failure, except while tightly grasping Tars Tarkas' arm, and so now I went skipping and flitting about among the desks and chairs like some monstrous grasshopper.Page 25
I noticed that someone had thrown a fur over me, but it had become partially dislodged and in the darkness I could not see to replace it.Page 30
This encounter, together with my set-to with the Martian warrior on the previous day and my feats of jumping placed me upon a high pinnacle in their regard.Page 33
I was soon appraised of the subject of their conversation, as, calling to Sola, Tars Tarkas signed for her to send me to him.Page 35
They roamed an enormous tract of arid and semi-arid land between forty and eighty degrees south latitude, and bounded on the east and west by two large fertile tracts.Page 41
These he presented to me with a few unintelligible words, and a bearing at once respectful and menacing.Page 55
" She gazed at me with troubled eyes, long and questioningly.Page 58
CHAPTER XII A PRISONER WITH POWER As I entered and saluted, Lorquas Ptomel signaled me to advance, and, fixing his great, hideous eyes upon me, addressed me thus: "You have been with us a few days, yet during that time you have by your prowess won a high position among us.Page 61
The surplus he holds merely as custodian, and it is.Page 71
Not fit to.Page 78
After partaking of my evening meal of cheese-like food and vegetable milk I sought out Sola, whom I found working by the light of a torch upon some of Tars Tarkas' trappings.Page 85
The selection of building had to be made in accordance with these divisions, except in so far as the jeds were concerned, they all occupying edifices which fronted upon the plaza.Page 88
I directed Sola to proceed with Dejah Thoris along one of the less frequented avenues to the southern boundary of the city, where I would overtake them with the thoats as quickly as possible; then, leaving them to gather what food, silks, and furs we were to need, I slipped quietly to the rear of the first floor, and entered the courtyard, where our animals were moving restlessly about, as was their habit, before settling down for the night.Page 89
I did not saddle or mount the animals there, but instead walked quietly in the shadows of the buildings toward an unfrequented avenue which led toward the point I had arranged to meet Dejah Thoris and Sola.Page 103
Badly injured and only partially manned they had limped slowly toward Helium, but while passing near the city of Zodanga, the capital of Helium's hereditary enemies among the red men of Barsoom, they had been attacked by a great body of war vessels and all but the craft to which Kantos Kan belonged were either destroyed or captured.Page 104
Kantos Kan explained to me that at the end of the day one of these prisoners would gain freedom and the others would lie dead about the arena.Page 111
For the others I did not give the snap of my finger, but the thought of Dejah Thoris drove from my mind all desire to kill my mistaken host.Page 121
Ten men had been so decorated when the aide called out, "John Carter, air scout!" Never in my life had I been so surprised, but the habit of military discipline is strong within me, and I dropped my little machine lightly to the ground and advanced on foot as I had seen the others do.Page 146
" "He does not need to be abashed who so well knew the answer to his plea before the plea were made," she replied, rising and placing her dear hands upon my shoulders, and so I took her in my arms and kissed her.