event the outcome of
our plight must end in death. I was refreshed from my sleep, but still
weak from loss of blood. My wounds were painful. No medicinal aid
seemed possible. How I longed for the almost miraculous healing power
of the strange salves and lotions of the green Martian women. In an
hour they would have had me as new.
I was discouraged. Never had a feeling of such utter hopelessness come
over me in the face of danger. Then the long flowing, yellow locks of
the Holy Thern, caught by some vagrant draught, blew about my face.
Might they not still open the way of freedom? If we acted in time,
might we not even yet escape before the general alarm was sounded? We
could at least try.
"What will the fellow do first, Thuvia?" I asked. "How long will it be
before they may return for us?"
"He will go directly to the Father of Therns, old Matai Shang. He may
have to wait for an audience, but since he is very high among the
lesser therns, in fact as a thorian among them, it will not be long
that Matai Shang will keep him waiting.
"Then if the Father of Therns puts credence in his story, another hour
will see the galleries and chambers, the courts and gardens, filled
"What we do then must be done within an hour. What is the best way,
Thuvia, the shortest way out of this celestial Hades?"
"Straight to the top of the cliffs, Prince," she replied, "and then
through the gardens to the inner courts. From there our way will lie
within the temples of the therns and across them to the outer court.
Then the ramparts--O Prince, it is hopeless. Ten thousand warriors
could not hew a way to liberty from out this awful place.
"Since the beginning of time, little by little, stone by stone, have
the therns been ever adding to the defences of their stronghold. A
continuous line of impregnable fortifications circles the outer slopes
of the Mountains of Otz.
"Within the temples that lie behind the ramparts a million fighting-men
are ever ready. The courts and gardens are filled with slaves, with
women and with children.
"None could go a stone's throw without detection."
"If there is no other way, Thuvia, why dwell upon the difficulties of
this. We must face them."
"Can we not better make the attempt after dark?" asked Tars Tarkas.
"There would seem to be no chance by day."
The trees of the forest attracted my deep admiration as I proceeded toward the sea.Page 22
We know that the valley is not sacred; we know that the Holy Therns are not holy; that they are a race of cruel and heartless mortals, knowing no more of the real life to come than we do.Page 44
How I longed for the almost miraculous healing power of the strange salves and lotions of the green Martian women.Page 46
"How do you do it?" She laughed, and then shuddered.Page 51
Now and again a black warrior would rush from a nearby temple bearing a young woman in his arms.Page 61
" "Are you of Helium?" he asked.Page 69
" "You have much to learn, thern," replied Xodar, with an ugly smile, "nor do I envy you the manner in which you will learn it.Page 71
"Oh it cannot be true, it cannot be true.Page 88
"Test this flint-like surface," he cried, smiting the solid rock that confined us.Page 106
One of us therefore will have to support him through the sea to the craft we select.Page 140
Before a hand could be raised to stop me, I was at his side and one hand grasped his throat.Page 145
" A great cry arose from the audience then: "Justice! Justice! Justice!" and Zat Arrras dared not deny them.Page 149
Hor Vastus sat in the seat of honour upon Carthoris' side of the table.Page 150
I vaulted to the ground below and ran swiftly toward the advancing party.Page 153
Kantos Kan was confident now that the man's ambitions were fully aroused and that nothing short of the title of Jeddak of Helium would satisfy him.Page 164
Some half-hour later we came to the pits beneath our own palace, and soon thereafter emerged into the audience chamber itself, where.Page 168
In so far as I knew she might be already dead, for I did not know the exact date on which she first viewed Issus.Page 190
"Go back! Go back!" I cried to those who had accompanied me.