and superstition that
not a soul upon Barsoom would have dared to approach it even had they
known its exact location. I questioned Thuvia, asking her what enemies
the therns could fear in their impregnable fortress.
We had reached the doorway now and Thuvia was opening it.
"They fear the black pirates of Barsoom, O Prince," she said, "from
whom may our first ancestors preserve us."
The door swung open; the smell of growing things greeted my nostrils;
the cool night air blew against my cheek. The great banths sniffed the
unfamiliar odours, and then with a rush they broke past us with low
growls, swarming across the gardens beneath the lurid light of the
Suddenly a great cry arose from the roofs of the temples; a cry of
alarm and warning that, taken up from point to point, ran off to the
east and to the west, from temple, court, and rampart, until it sounded
as a dim echo in the distance.
The great Thark's long-sword leaped from its scabbard; Thuvia shrank
shuddering to my side.
THE BLACK PIRATES OF BARSOOM
"What is it?" I asked of the girl.
For answer she pointed to the sky.
I looked, and there, above us, I saw shadowy bodies flitting hither and
thither high over temple, court, and garden.
Almost immediately flashes of light broke from these strange objects.
There was a roar of musketry, and then answering flashes and roars from
temple and rampart.
"The black pirates of Barsoom, O Prince," said Thuvia.
In great circles the air craft of the marauders swept lower and lower
toward the defending forces of the therns.
Volley after volley they vomited upon the temple guards; volley on
volley crashed through the thin air toward the fleeting and illusive
As the pirates swooped closer toward the ground, thern soldiery poured
from the temples into the gardens and courts. The sight of them in the
open brought a score of fliers darting toward us from all directions.
The therns fired upon them through shields affixed to their rifles, but
on, steadily on, came the grim, black craft. They were small fliers
for the most part, built for two to three men. A few larger ones there
were, but these kept high aloft dropping bombs upon the temples from
their keel batteries.
At length, with a concerted rush, evidently in response to a signal of
command, the pirates in our immediate vicinity dashed recklessly to the
ground in the very midst of the thern soldiery.
Scarcely waiting for their craft to touch, the creatures manning them
leaped among the therns with the
It is one of the few that has retained its freedom, and this despite the fact that its ancient diamond mines are the richest known and, unlike practically all the other fields, are today apparently as inexhaustible as ever.Page 18
The air was filled with dust and flying bits of vegetation and when the storm carried her across an irrigated area of farm land she saw great trees and stone walls and buildings lifted high in air and scattered broadcast over the devastated country; and then she was carried swiftly on to other sights that forced in upon her consciousness a rapidly growing conviction that after all Tara of Helium was a very small and insignificant and helpless person.Page 21
The Vanator, her propellors whirling, shot forward with the storm.Page 24
She would have to wait until dark before she dare venture into the valley, and in the meantime she thought it well to search out a place of safety nearby where she might be reasonably safe from savage beasts.Page 36
It raised its hands and adjusted the collar more comfortably, it took the head between its palms and settled it in place and when it moved around it did not wander aimlessly, but instead its steps were firm and to some purpose.Page 44
All during the ordeal, for such.Page 52
She could easily have eluded Ghek, but there were too many of the others.Page 59
To the jed's hand lay the means for succor.Page 68
Here then was the explanation of the thing he had witnessed that afternoon, when Tara of Helium had struck the head from her captor and Gahan had seen the head crawl back to its body.Page 73
Turan sought always ahead for signs of water.Page 84
It must be old indeed.Page 89
He heard no sound.Page 94
Such had been the cities of the founders of her race before Throxeus, mightiest of oceans, had disappeared from the face of a world.Page 111
I would test the lips of her who is to be my slave after the next games; nor is it well, woman, to drive me too far to anger.Page 116
"It is strange," he said.Page 148
"Of this, the second game of the first day of the Jeddak's Games in the four hundred and thirty-third year of O-Tar, Jeddak of Manator, the Princesses of each side shall be the sole stakes and to the survivors of the winning side shall belong both the Princesses, to do with as they shall see fit.Page 158
And while they jockeyed for position a rider swept swiftly past them.Page 177
Thrice have I been in the chamber where O-Mai lies, though I knew nothing of his identity or the story of his death until Tasor told it to us in the camp of U-Thor.Page 182
" CHAPTER XXI A RISK FOR LOVE "Ey, ey, he is a craven and he called me 'doddering fool'!" The speaker was I-Gos and he addressed a knot of chieftains in one of the chambers of the palace of O-Tar, Jeddak of Manator: "If A-Kor was alive there were a jeddak for us!" "Who says that A-Kor is dead?" demanded one of the chiefs.