that you eat human flesh?" I asked in horror.
She looked at me in pitying commiseration for my ignorance.
"Truly we eat the flesh of the lower orders. Do not you also?"
"The flesh of beasts, yes," I replied, "but not the flesh of man."
"As man may eat of the flesh of beasts, so may gods eat of the flesh of
man. The Holy Therns are the gods of Barsoom."
I was disgusted and I imagine that I showed it.
"You are an unbeliever now," she continued gently, "but should we be
fortunate enough to escape the clutches of the black pirates and come
again to the court of Matai Shang I think that we shall find an
argument to convince you of the error of your ways. And--," she
hesitated, "perhaps we shall find a way to keep you as--as--one of us."
Again her eyes dropped to the floor, and a faint colour suffused her
cheek. I could not understand her meaning; nor did I for a long time.
Dejah Thoris was wont to say that in some things I was a veritable
simpleton, and I guess that she was right.
"I fear that I would ill requite your father's hospitality," I
answered, "since the first thing that I should do were I a thern would
be to set an armed guard at the mouth of the River Iss to escort the
poor deluded voyagers back to the outer world. Also should I devote my
life to the extermination of the hideous plant men and their horrible
companions, the great white apes."
She looked at me really horror struck.
"No, no," she cried, "you must not say such terribly sacrilegious
things--you must not even think them. Should they ever guess that you
entertained such frightful thoughts, should we chance to regain the
temples of the therns, they would mete out a frightful death to you.
Not even my--my--" Again she flushed, and started over. "Not even I
could save you."
I said no more. Evidently it was useless. She was even more steeped
in superstition than the Martians of the outer world. They only
worshipped a beautiful hope for a life of love and peace and happiness
in the hereafter. The therns worshipped the hideous plant men and the
apes, or at least they reverenced them as the abodes of the departed
spirits of their own dead.
At this point the door of our prison opened to admit Xodar.
He smiled pleasantly at me, and when he smiled his expression was
The lad was all excitement; palpitant with eagerness to be off in pursuit.Page 63
however, that Akut kept the boy from rushing into the midst of the dancing anthropoids--an act that would have meant the instant extermination of them both, since the hysterical frenzy into which the great apes work themselves during the performance of their strange rites is of such a nature that even the most ferocious of the carnivora give them a wide berth at such times.Page 64
" The king ceased his rocking.Page 65
Bristling and growling, he dropped to the sward just as the king ape charged.Page 75
Akut's eyes were busy drinking in the humor of the situation--he did not see the narrowing eyes of the boy upon him, nor the shortening neck as the broad shoulders rose in a characteristic attitude of preparation for attack.Page 81
Was Korak planning a joke upon his own account? Well, she would fool him.Page 89
" Akut raised objections to this plan.Page 96
It was not a good time for a lone enemy to prosecute a search through the village.Page 107
His face was red with mortification.Page 110
Meriem was still fighting off her attacker.Page 114
"Where are we?" she asked, pointing.Page 131
Then would come again visions of Korak, and, tired at last of leaping and swinging through the trees, she would stretch herself comfortably upon a branch and dream.Page 138
For, in truth, all these had been outweighed by the happiness of the sunny days, the freedom of it all, and, most, the companionship of Korak.Page 151
Numa tore and struck at the missile in his shoulder but could not dislodge it.Page 172
Baynes, following his black guide, battled his.Page 182
Quickly the two slid down the drooping branches into the boat.Page 206
With an oath he leaped upon the man before him, the momentum of his body hurling the black to the ground.Page 218
His heart seemed to have stopped its beating.Page 221
" "I want to be quite sure that you can stand hearing the best news that ever came to either of us," he said.Page 224
Lord Greystoke and General Jacot rose and faced her.