or later we die in the arena."
"And you have fought often?" I asked.
"Very often," he replied. "It is my only pleasure. Some hundred black
devils have I accounted for during nearly a year of the rites of Issus.
My mother would be very proud could she only know how well I have
maintained the traditions of my father's prowess."
"Your father must have been a mighty warrior!" I said. "I have known
most of the warriors of Barsoom in my time; doubtless I knew him. Who
"My father was--"
"Come, calots!" cried the rough voice of a guard. "To the slaughter
with you," and roughly we were hustled to the steep incline that led to
the chambers far below which let out upon the arena.
The amphitheatre, like all I had ever seen upon Barsoom, was built in a
large excavation. Only the highest seats, which formed the low wall
surrounding the pit, were above the level of the ground. The arena
itself was far below the surface.
Just beneath the lowest tier of seats was a series of barred cages on a
level with the surface of the arena. Into these we were herded. But,
unfortunately, my youthful friend was not of those who occupied a cage
Directly opposite my cage was the throne of Issus. Here the horrid
creature squatted, surrounded by a hundred slave maidens sparkling in
jewelled trappings. Brilliant cloths of many hues and strange patterns
formed the soft cushion covering of the dais upon which they reclined
On four sides of the throne and several feet below it stood three solid
ranks of heavily armed soldiery, elbow to elbow. In front of these
were the high dignitaries of this mock heaven--gleaming blacks bedecked
with precious stones, upon their foreheads the insignia of their rank
set in circles of gold.
On both sides of the throne stretched a solid mass of humanity from top
to bottom of the amphitheatre. There were as many women as men, and
each was clothed in the wondrously wrought harness of his station and
his house. With each black was from one to three slaves, drawn from
the domains of the therns and from the outer world. The blacks are all
"noble." There is no peasantry among the First Born. Even the lowest
soldier is a god, and has his slaves to wait upon him.
The First Born do no work. The men fight--that is a sacred privilege
and duty; to fight and die
As we drifted about upon that vast expanse of loneliness it is not strange that we should quickly become well acquainted.Page 16
" "Let's try it again when this fellow has lost the scent," I urged.Page 17
By this time the craft was going down by the head with a most unpleasant list to port, and I didn't wait to transmit orders to some one else but ran as fast as I could for the valve that let the sea into the forward port diving-tank.Page 18
It was daylight when I awoke.Page 19
She nodded a sweet acceptance of my invitation, and together we sat down at the little table of the officers' mess.Page 31
"You see the result, sir," he said.Page 34
But metaphor, however poetic, never slaked a dry throat.Page 36
There was no wood of any description in sight.Page 38
" "Yes," agreed Bradley, "I should say higher; but where does it come from?" "That is easily discovered now that we have found it," I answered.Page 40
I expected momentarily the inrush of waters that would seal our doom; but presently from below came the welcome word that all was well.Page 43
There were all sorts and conditions of horrible things--huge, hideous, grotesque, monstrous--a veritable Mesozoic nightmare.Page 51
The creature appeared to be a great lizard at least ten feet high, with a huge, powerful tail as long as its torso, mighty hind legs and short forelegs.Page 55
his cudgel above his head.Page 56
I having sat up half the night discussing the matter and drawing plans.Page 70
" And I kept on in the direction of the cliff's base.Page 73
Neither men nor women wore any sort of clothing or ornaments, and they all seemed to be about of an age; nor were there any babies or children among them.Page 76
Here again was a new type of man--a higher type than the primitive tribe I had just quitted.Page 81
She brought me all my belongings that had been filched from me--rifle, ammunition, knife, and thermos bottle, and then hand in hand we descended the cliff and set off toward the north.Page 83
I am about done.Page 87
Fate was kind to us, Bowen.