The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 83

he lunged past me planted a terrific right on the side of his
jaw.

The big fellow spun around like a top, his knees gave beneath him and
he crumpled to the ground at my feet.

The blacks gazed in astonishment, first at the still form of the proud
Dator lying there in the ruby dust of the pathway, then at me as though
they could not believe that such a thing could be.

"You asked me to bind Thurid," I cried; "behold!" And then I stooped
beside the prostrate form, tore the harness from it, and bound the
fellow's arms and legs securely.

"As you have done to Xodar, now do you likewise to Thurid. Take him
before Issus, bound in his own harness, that she may see with her own
eyes that there be one among you now who is greater than the First
Born."

"Who are you?" whispered the woman who had first suggested that I
attempt to bind Thurid.

"I am a citizen of two worlds; Captain John Carter of Virginia, Prince
of the House of Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium. Take this man to your
goddess, as I have said, and tell her, too, that as I have done to
Xodar and Thurid, so also can I do to the mightiest of her Dators.
With naked hands, with long-sword or with short-sword, I challenge the
flower of her fighting-men to combat."

"Come," said the officer who was guarding me back to Shador; "my orders
are imperative; there is to be no delay. Xodar, come you also."

There was little of disrespect in the tone that the man used in
addressing either Xodar or myself. It was evident that he felt less
contempt for the former Dator since he had witnessed the ease with
which I disposed of the powerful Thurid.

That his respect for me was greater than it should have been for a
slave was quite apparent from the fact that during the balance of the
return journey he walked or stood always behind me, a drawn short-sword
in his hand.

The return to the Sea of Omean was uneventful. We dropped down the
awful shaft in the same car that had brought us to the surface. There
we entered the submarine, taking the long dive to the tunnel far
beneath the upper world. Then through the tunnel and up again to the
pool from which we had had our first introduction to the wonderful
passageway from Omean to the Temple of Issus.

From the island of the submarine we were transported on a

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Page 10
As I had watched the noble fight which the great warrior had put up against such enormous odds my heart had swelled in admiration for him, and acting as I am wont to do, more upon impulse than after mature deliberation, I instantly sprang from my sheltering rock and bounded quickly toward the bodies of the dead green Martians, a well-defined plan of action already formed.
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