when we had
briefly explained our plan they decided to join forces with us, though
it was evident that it was with some considerable misgivings that they
thus tempted fate by opposing an ancient superstition, even though each
knew through cruel experience the fallacy of its entire fabric.
Thuvia, the girl whom I had first freed, soon had the others at
liberty. Tars Tarkas and I stripped the bodies of the two therns of
their weapons, which included swords, daggers, and two revolvers of the
curious and deadly type manufactured by the red Martians.
We distributed the weapons as far as they would go among our followers,
giving the firearms to two of the women; Thuvia being one so armed.
With the latter as our guide we set off rapidly but cautiously through
a maze of passages, crossing great chambers hewn from the solid metal
of the cliff, following winding corridors, ascending steep inclines,
and now and again concealing ourselves in dark recesses at the sound of
Our destination, Thuvia said, was a distant storeroom where arms and
ammunition in plenty might be found. From there she was to lead us to
the summit of the cliffs, from where it would require both wondrous wit
and mighty fighting to win our way through the very heart of the
stronghold of the Holy Therns to the world without.
"And even then, O Prince," she cried, "the arm of the Holy Thern is
long. It reaches to every nation of Barsoom. His secret temples are
hidden in the heart of every community. Wherever we go should we
escape we shall find that word of our coming has preceded us, and death
awaits us before we may pollute the air with our blasphemies."
We had proceeded for possibly an hour without serious interruption, and
Thuvia had just whispered to me that we were approaching our first
destination, when on entering a great chamber we came upon a man,
evidently a thern.
He wore in addition to his leathern trappings and jewelled ornaments a
great circlet of gold about his brow in the exact centre of which was
set an immense stone, the exact counterpart of that which I had seen
upon the breast of the little old man at the atmosphere plant nearly
twenty years before.
It is the one priceless jewel of Barsoom. Only two are known to exist,
and these were worn as the insignia of their rank and position by the
two old men in whose charge was placed the operation of the great
engines which pump the artificial atmosphere
It'll help you remember that you ain't nothin' but a dirty damn landlubber, an' when your betters come around you'll--" But what Billy would have done in the presence of his betters remained stillborn in the mate's imagination in the face of what Billy really did do to his better as that worthy swung a sudden, vicious blow at the mucker's face.Page 20
The new course of the brigantine was held as long as it seemed reasonably safe without danger of being sighted under full sail by the oncoming vessel, then her head was brought into the wind, and one by one her sails were lowered and furled, as the keen eyes of Second Officer Theriere announced that there was no question but that the white hull in the distance was that of the steam pleasure yacht Lotus.Page 29
When the ransom is paid over to these agents they will return for us and land us upon some other island where our friends can find us, or leaving us where we can divulge the location of our whereabouts to those who pay the ransom.Page 60
It also was evident to him that to the other party the girl would naturally gravitate since Divine, an old acquaintance, had cast his lot with it; nor had the growing intimacy between Miss Harding and Theriere been lost upon him.Page 64
The Frenchman knew that the search would not end upon the opposite side of the salvage--in a moment Ward would be upon them.Page 66
It had all been accomplished so quickly and so easily that the girl did not comprehend what had befallen her for several minutes.Page 71
A hurried breakfast was made on water-soaked ship's biscuit.Page 96
" Barbara Harding brought him a drink, holding his head against her knee while he drank.Page 98
His eyes wandered about the tiny clearing.Page 112
"Why--why--O Mr.Page 132
"You might make more by laying that I'd make him take the count in the first minute of the round--you can place a hundred of mine on that, if you will, please.Page 133
Mallory refused to discuss the matter, but would not deny the rumor.Page 139
He had been nowhere near the old fellow's saloon at the time of the holdup; but Sheehan, who had been arrested and charged with the crime, was an old enemy of Billy's, and Sheehan had seen a chance to divert some of the suspicion from himself and square accounts with Byrne at the same time.Page 159
They had passed no uniformed police--that would be the crucial test, thought he--unless Bridge intended tipping off headquarters on the quiet and having the pinch made at night after Billy had gone to bed.Page 165
When the door swung in and the three were escorted into his presence Sergeant Flannagan gave a snort of disgust, indicative probably not only of despair; but in a manner registering his private opinion of the mental horse power and efficiency of the Kansas City sleuths, for of the three one was a pasty-faced, chestless youth, even then under the influence of cocaine, another was an old, bewhiskered hobo, while the third was unquestionably a Chinaman.Page 177
He saw the revolver gleam in the policeman's hand and then it became evident why Billy had clung so tenaciously to his schooner of beer.Page 225
He looked up as Barbara's figure darkened the doorway.Page 232
Billy was busily engaged in peering through the little window into the interior of the old Indian's hovel.Page 262
The night was dark.Page 272
They had reached a point on the river not far from Jose's when a band of horsemen appeared approaching from the west.