The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 10

clean cut that clove
one of the plant men from chin to groin.

The other, however, dealt a single blow with his cruel tail that laid
both of the females crushed corpses upon the ground.

As the green warrior saw the last of his companions go down and at the
same time perceived that the entire herd was charging him in a body, he
rushed boldly to meet them, swinging his long-sword in the terrific
manner that I had so often seen the men of his kind wield it in their
ferocious and almost continual warfare among their own race.

Cutting and hewing to right and left, he laid an open path straight
through the advancing plant men, and then commenced a mad race for the
forest, in the shelter of which he evidently hoped that he might find a
haven of refuge.

He had turned for that portion of the forest which abutted on the
cliffs, and thus the mad race was taking the entire party farther and
farther from the boulder where I lay concealed.

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.

Half a dozen great leaps brought me to the spot, and another instant
saw me again in my stride in quick pursuit of the hideous monsters that
were rapidly gaining on the fleeing warrior, but this time I grasped a
mighty long-sword in my hand and in my heart was the old blood lust of
the fighting man, and a red mist swam before my eyes and I felt my lips
respond to my heart in the old smile that has ever marked me in the
midst of the joy of battle.

Swift as I was I was none too soon, for the green warrior had been
overtaken ere he had made half the distance to the forest, and now he
stood with his back to a boulder, while the herd, temporarily balked,
hissed and screeched about him.

With their single eyes in the centre of their heads and every eye
turned upon their prey, they did not note my soundless approach, so
that I was upon them with my great long-sword and four of them lay dead
ere they knew that I was among them.

For an instant they recoiled before my terrific

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