The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 74

and the vessel commenced to
vibrate to the rhythmic purr of its machinery.

"Where can we be going in such a tiny pool of water?" asked Phaidor.

"Not up," I replied, "for I noticed particularly that while the
building is roofless it is covered with a strong metal grating."

"Then where?" she asked again.

"From the appearance of the craft I judge we are going down," I replied.

Phaidor shuddered. For such long ages have the waters of Barsoom's
seas been a thing of tradition only that even this daughter of the
therns, born as she had been within sight of Mars' only remaining sea,
had the same terror of deep water as is a common attribute of all
Martians.

Presently the sensation of sinking became very apparent. We were going
down swiftly. Now we could hear the water rushing past the port-holes,
and in the dim light that filtered through them to the water beyond the
swirling eddies were plainly visible.

Phaidor grasped my arm.

"Save me!" she whispered. "Save me and your every wish shall be
granted. Anything within the power of the Holy Therns to give will be
yours. Phaidor--" she stumbled a little here, and then in a very low
voice, "Phaidor already is yours."

I felt very sorry for the poor child, and placed my hand over hers
where it rested on my arm. I presume my motive was misunderstood, for
with a swift glance about the apartment to assure herself that we were
alone, she threw both her arms about my neck and dragged my face down
to hers.




CHAPTER IX

ISSUS, GODDESS OF LIFE ETERNAL


The confession of love which the girl's fright had wrung from her
touched me deeply; but it humiliated me as well, since I felt that in
some thoughtless word or act I had given her reason to believe that I
reciprocated her affection.

Never have I been much of a ladies' man, being more concerned with
fighting and kindred arts which have ever seemed to me more befitting a
man than mooning over a scented glove four sizes too small for him, or
kissing a dead flower that has begun to smell like a cabbage. So I was
quite at a loss as to what to do or say. A thousand times rather face
the wild hordes of the dead sea bottoms than meet the eyes of this
beautiful young girl and tell her the thing that I must tell her.

But there was nothing else to be done, and so I did it. Very clumsily
too, I

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