what appeared to be a
black mountain rising from the desolate waste of ice. It was not high
and seemed to have a flat top.
Xodar had left us to attend to some duty on the vessel, and Phaidor and
I stood alone beside the rail. The girl had not once spoken since we
had been brought to the deck.
"Is what he has been telling me true?" I asked her.
"In part, yes," she answered. "That about the outer valley is true,
but what he says of the location of the Temple of Issus in the centre
of his country is false. If it is not false--" she hesitated. "Oh it
cannot be true, it cannot be true. For if it were true then for
countless ages have my people gone to torture and ignominious death at
the hands of their cruel enemies, instead of to the beautiful Life
Eternal that we have been taught to believe Issus holds for us."
"As the lesser Barsoomians of the outer world have been lured by you to
the terrible Valley Dor, so may it be that the therns themselves have
been lured by the First Born to an equally horrid fate," I suggested.
"It would be a stern and awful retribution, Phaidor; but a just one."
"I cannot believe it," she said.
"We shall see," I answered, and then we fell silent again for we were
rapidly approaching the black mountains, which in some indefinable way
seemed linked with the answer to our problem.
As we neared the dark, truncated cone the vessel's speed was diminished
until we barely moved. Then we topped the crest of the mountain and
below us I saw yawning the mouth of a huge circular well, the bottom of
which was lost in inky blackness.
The diameter of this enormous pit was fully a thousand feet. The walls
were smooth and appeared to be composed of a black, basaltic rock.
For a moment the vessel hovered motionless directly above the centre of
the gaping void, then slowly she began to settle into the black chasm.
Lower and lower she sank until as darkness enveloped us her lights were
thrown on and in the dim halo of her own radiance the monster
battleship dropped on and on down into what seemed to me must be the
very bowels of Barsoom.
For quite half an hour we descended and then the shaft terminated
abruptly in the dome of a mighty subterranean world. Below us rose and
fell the billows of a buried sea. A
I had been fortunate enough to make my entry into Mars on this second occasion through the domain of a civilized people and that when I should find them I would be accorded the courtesy and protection that my rank as a Prince of the house of Tardos Mors entitled me to.Page 11
Again and again it rose, but we were too much engaged with the fierce and powerful creatures about us to attempt to search out even with our eyes the author of the horrid notes.Page 12
"It will be a great death," I said to my companion.Page 16
now were fairly upon me.Page 17
The great tails of the plant men lashed with tremendous power about us as they charged from various directions or sprang with the agility of greyhounds above our heads; but every attack met a gleaming blade in sword hands that had been reputed for twenty years the best that Mars ever had known; for Tars Tarkas and John Carter were names that the fighting men of the world of warriors loved best to speak.Page 52
It came from a source equally unlooked for by either thern or pirate.Page 57
Then I turned toward the distasteful work that lay before me.Page 63
There is but one race of true and immortal humans on Barsoom.Page 85
" "Rot, Xodar," I ejaculated impatiently.Page 90
" "We will get out all right," I replied, laughing.Page 98
She seemed too paralysed with fear to move.Page 107
"We are a non-productive race, priding ourselves upon our non-productiveness.Page 121
The sun already was low, so that I did not have long to wait before the sudden darkness of Barsoom engulfed us.Page 145
"There be no man here, or elsewhere upon Barsoom to-day who does not owe his life directly to a single act of mine, in which I sacrificed myself and the happiness of my Princess that you might live.Page 151
There were about twenty large battleships in all, besides a number of small swift cruisers.Page 163
Then I commenced to question him, but he would give me no information as to your whereabouts.Page 164
At the point where we left the pits of Zat Arras we found the body of the guard Carthoris had slain.Page 172
Now I know that it must have been because she had learned that John Carter, Prince of Helium, was approaching to demand an accounting of her for the imprisonment of his Princess.Page 186
It was a battle between the old and the new, but not for once did I question the outcome of it.