in the direction from which the sound seemed to come,
and at the same instant every particular snake-like hair upon their
heads rose stiffly perpendicular as if each had been a sentient
organism looking or listening for the source or meaning of the wail.
And indeed the latter proved to be the truth, for this strange growth
upon the craniums of the plant men of Barsoom represents the thousand
ears of these hideous creatures, the last remnant of the strange race
which sprang from the original Tree of Life.
Instantly every eye turned toward one member of the herd, a large
fellow who evidently was the leader. A strange purring sound issued
from the mouth in the palm of one of his hands, and at the same time he
started rapidly toward the bluff, followed by the entire herd.
Their speed and method of locomotion were both remarkable, springing as
they did in great leaps of twenty or thirty feet, much after the manner
of a kangaroo.
They were rapidly disappearing when it occurred to me to follow them,
and so, hurling caution to the winds, I sprang across the meadow in
their wake with leaps and bounds even more prodigious than their own,
for the muscles of an athletic Earth man produce remarkable results
when pitted against the lesser gravity and air pressure of Mars.
Their way led directly towards the apparent source of the river at the
base of the cliffs, and as I neared this point I found the meadow
dotted with huge boulders that the ravages of time had evidently
dislodged from the towering crags above.
For this reason I came quite close to the cause of the disturbance
before the scene broke upon my horrified gaze. As I topped a great
boulder I saw the herd of plant men surrounding a little group of
perhaps five or six green men and women of Barsoom.
That I was indeed upon Mars I now had no doubt, for here were members
of the wild hordes that people the dead sea bottoms and deserted cities
of that dying planet.
Here were the great males towering in all the majesty of their imposing
height; here were the gleaming white tusks protruding from their
massive lower jaws to a point near the centre of their foreheads, the
laterally placed, protruding eyes with which they could look forward or
backward, or to either side without turning their heads, here the
strange antennae-like ears rising from the tops of their foreheads; and
the additional pair of arms extending from midway between the shoulders
and the hips.
Even without the
With their help I managed to get the unwieldy tons of its great bulk into a vertical position--the nose deep in a hole we had dug in the sand and the rest of it supported by the trunks of date-palms cut for the purpose.Page 8
Then she slid sinuously into the surf.Page 10
I saw no men nor signs of men.Page 18
When this was done to our satisfaction we made heavy boots, trousers, and coats of the shaggy skin, turning the fur in.Page 21
I was alone.Page 25
It extinguished the ember.Page 36
I was to proceed to Sari, and while prosecuting my search for Dian attempt at the same time the rehabilitation of the federation.Page 37
In utter silence they conversed, for they have no oral speech since they are without auditory nerves.Page 58
We were bottled up at the head of the fiord as completely as if we had been behind prison bars.Page 62
In it were four paddles.Page 64
Presently I distinguished two eyes peering at us from the vegetation.Page 68
I grasped my cudgel more firmly and unslung my javelin, carrying it in my left.Page 70
They clustered about, jabbering at my guards and attempting to get their hands upon me, whether from curiosity or a desire to do me bodily harm I did not know, since my escort with bared fangs and heavy blows kept them off.Page 73
Well, as I was about to say, I had this little shelter at the edge of my melon-patch.Page 78
Soon after came several others from the same cave, and after them, at a short interval, a score of women and children, who came into the wood to gather fruit.Page 79
As I sat gazing at it a figure appeared at the very edge.Page 101
The other thing was that if they did not pull it down for a few minutes it would have completed its circle and returned close to where I stood.Page 102
When finally the female ceased to struggle and rolled over on her back, her forepaws limply folded, I was sure that she was dead.Page 103
With the two beasts trotting after us, we returned to where we had left Juag.Page 116
In this formation we commenced slowly to circle the position of the enemy.