The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 169

a new instrument for wireless
purposes its neighbours bend every effort until they are able to
intercept and translate the messages. For so long a time has this gone
on that practically every possibility of wireless communication has
been exhausted and no nation dares transmit dispatches of importance in
this way.

Tars Tarkas reported all well with the transports. The battleships
passed through to take an advanced position, and the combined fleets
moved slowly over the ice cap, hugging the surface closely to prevent
detection by the therns whose land we were approaching.

Far in advance of all a thin line of one-man air scouts protected us
from surprise, and on either side they flanked us, while a smaller
number brought up the rear some twenty miles behind the transports. In
this formation we had progressed toward the entrance to Omean for
several hours when one of our scouts returned from the front to report
that the cone-like summit of the entrance was in sight. At almost the
same instant another scout from the left flank came racing toward the

His very speed bespoke the importance of his information. Kantos Kan
and I awaited him upon the little forward deck which corresponds with
the bridge of earthly battleships. Scarcely had his tiny flier come to
rest upon the broad landing-deck of the flagship ere he was bounding up
the stairway to the deck where we stood.

"A great fleet of battleships south-south-east, my Prince," he cried.
"There must be several thousands and they are bearing down directly
upon us."

"The thern spies were not in the palace of John Carter for nothing,"
said Kantos Kan to me. "Your orders, Prince."

"Dispatch ten battleships to guard the entrance to Omean, with orders
to let no hostile enter or leave the shaft. That will bottle up the
great fleet of the First Born.

"Form the balance of the battleships into a great V with the apex
pointing directly south-south-east. Order the transports, surrounded
by their convoys, to follow closely in the wake of the battleships
until the point of the V has entered the enemies' line, then the V must
open outward at the apex, the battleships of each leg engage the enemy
fiercely and drive him back to form a lane through his line into which
the transports with their convoys must race at top speed that they may
gain a position above the temples and gardens of the therns.

"Here let them land and teach the Holy Therns such a lesson in
ferocious warfare as they will not forget for

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