The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 16

now were fairly upon me.

Now, at last, I saw the nature of the other monsters who had come with
the plant men in response to the weird calling of the man upon the
cliff's face. They were that most dreaded of Martian creatures--great
white apes of Barsoom.

My former experiences upon Mars had familiarized me thoroughly with
them and their methods, and I may say that of all the fearsome and
terrible, weird and grotesque inhabitants of that strange world, it is
the white apes that come nearest to familiarizing me with the sensation
of fear.

I think that the cause of this feeling which these apes engender within
me is due to their remarkable resemblance in form to our Earth men,
which gives them a human appearance that is most uncanny when coupled
with their enormous size.

They stand fifteen feet in height and walk erect upon their hind feet.
Like the green Martians, they have an intermediary set of arms midway
between their upper and lower limbs. Their eyes are very close set,
but do not protrude as do those of the green men of Mars; their ears
are high set, but more laterally located than are the green men's,
while their snouts and teeth are much like those of our African
gorilla. Upon their heads grows an enormous shock of bristly hair.

It was into the eyes of such as these and the terrible plant men that I
gazed above the shoulder of my foe, and then, in a mighty wave of
snarling, snapping, screaming, purring rage, they swept over me--and of
all the sounds that assailed my ears as I went down beneath them, to me
the most hideous was the horrid purring of the plant men.

Instantly a score of cruel fangs and keen talons were sunk into my
flesh; cold, sucking lips fastened themselves upon my arteries. I
struggled to free myself, and even though weighed down by these immense
bodies, I succeeded in struggling to my feet, where, still grasping my
long-sword, and shortening my grip upon it until I could use it as a
dagger, I wrought such havoc among them that at one time I stood for an
instant free.

What it has taken minutes to write occurred in but a few seconds, but
during that time Tars Tarkas had seen my plight and had dropped from
the lower branches, which he had reached with such infinite labour, and
as I flung the last of my immediate antagonists from me the great Thark
leaped to my side, and again we fought, back to

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Yours, David Innes.