The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 55

to meet this new enemy an object passed over my shoulder,
striking one of my assailants squarely in the face and knocking him
senseless to the sward. At the same instant I saw that the thing that
had struck us was the trailing anchor of a rather fair-sized air
vessel; possibly a ten man cruiser.

The ship was floating slowly above us, not more than fifty feet over
our heads. Instantly the one chance for escape that it offered
presented itself to me. The vessel was slowly rising and now the
anchor was beyond the blacks who faced me and several feet above their

With a bound that left them gaping in wide-eyed astonishment I sprang
completely over them. A second leap carried me just high enough to
grasp the now rapidly receding anchor.

But I was successful, and there I hung by one hand, dragging through
the branches of the higher vegetation of the gardens, while my late
foemen shrieked and howled beneath me.

Presently the vessel veered toward the west and then swung gracefully
to the south. In another instant I was carried beyond the crest of the
Golden Cliffs, out over the Valley Dor, where, six thousand feet below
me, the Lost Sea of Korus lay shimmering in the moonlight.

Carefully I climbed to a sitting posture across the anchor's arms. I
wondered if by chance the vessel might be deserted. I hoped so. Or
possibly it might belong to a friendly people, and have wandered by
accident almost within the clutches of the pirates and the therns. The
fact that it was retreating from the scene of battle lent colour to
this hypothesis.

But I decided to know positively, and at once, so, with the greatest
caution, I commenced to climb slowly up the anchor chain toward the
deck above me.

One hand had just reached for the vessel's rail and found it when a
fierce black face was thrust over the side and eyes filled with
triumphant hate looked into mine.



For an instant the black pirate and I remained motionless, glaring into
each other's eyes. Then a grim smile curled the handsome lips above
me, as an ebony hand came slowly in sight from above the edge of the
deck and the cold, hollow eye of a revolver sought the centre of my

Simultaneously my free hand shot out for the black throat, just within
reach, and the ebony finger tightened on the trigger. The pirate's
hissing, "Die, cursed thern," was half choked in his windpipe by

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