but temporarily returned to your own
planet, I at last gave way to my great yearning and a month since I
started upon the journey, the end of which you have this day witnessed.
Do you understand now where you be, John Carter?"
"And that was the River Iss, emptying into the Lost Sea of Korus in the
Valley Dor?" I asked.
"This is the valley of love and peace and rest to which every
Barsoomian since time immemorial has longed to pilgrimage at the end of
a life of hate and strife and bloodshed," he replied. "This, John
Carter, is Heaven."
His tone was cold and ironical; its bitterness but reflecting the
terrible disappointment he had suffered. Such a fearful
disillusionment, such a blasting of life-long hopes and aspirations,
such an uprooting of age-old tradition might have excused a vastly
greater demonstration on the part of the Thark.
I laid my hand upon his shoulder.
"I am sorry," I said, nor did there seem aught else to say.
"Think, John Carter, of the countless billions of Barsoomians who have
taken the voluntary pilgrimage down this cruel river since the
beginning of time, only to fall into the ferocious clutches of the
terrible creatures that to-day assailed us.
"There is an ancient legend that once a red man returned from the banks
of the Lost Sea of Korus, returned from the Valley Dor, back through
the mysterious River Iss, and the legend has it that he narrated a
fearful blasphemy of horrid brutes that inhabited a valley of wondrous
loveliness, brutes that pounced upon each Barsoomian as he terminated
his pilgrimage and devoured him upon the banks of the Lost Sea where he
had looked to find love and peace and happiness; but the ancients
killed the blasphemer, as tradition has ordained that any shall be
killed who return from the bosom of the River of Mystery.
"But now we know that it was no blasphemy, that the legend is a true
one, and that the man told only of what he saw; but what does it profit
us, John Carter, since even should we escape, we also would be treated
as blasphemers? We are between the wild thoat of certainty and the mad
zitidar of fact--we can escape neither."
"As Earth men say, we are between the devil and the deep sea, Tars
Tarkas," I replied, nor could I help but smile at our dilemma.
"There is naught that we can do but take things as they come, and at
least have the satisfaction of knowing that whoever slays us eventually
will have far greater
Apparently this was a youth steeling himself against a natural repugnance to the dangerous profession he had espoused; and when, a moment later, he stepped out into the moonlight and crossed the lawn toward the house, the slender, graceful lines which the ill-fitting clothes could not entirely conceal carried the conviction of youth if not of innocence.Page 3
" The burglar did not hear Mr.Page 10
Dey can't hang a guy any higher fer two 'an they can fer one an' dat's no pipe; so wots de use.Page 21
" The youth was on the point of unburdening his soul to this stranger with the kindly voice and the honest eyes; but a sudden fear stayed his tongue.Page 29
The light of the match had revealed an oval face surrounded by dark, dishevelled tresses, red, full lips, and large, dark eyes.Page 35
" "Well, this one said he was The Oskaloosa Kid," persisted The General.Page 39
They didn't dare go down and they begged him not to leave them up there alone.Page 41
At one side tottered the remains of a series of wooden racks upon.Page 48
"Yew gotta return them pails!" shouted Mrs.Page 57
"Wot do you suppose he give me this fer, if it wasn't to keep me from talkin'," and the boy drew a crumpled one dollar bill from his pocket.Page 64
"Well," said Bridge, "I guess, Giova, that you and we are.Page 65
I wouldn't trust that vanishing chin of yours as far as I could throw Beppo by the tail.Page 73
The watcher saw his quarry set down his burden, seat himself beside it and proceed to roll a cigaret; then he faded away in the darkness and Bridge was alone.Page 76
Nor did he pause until in the reassuring seclusion of a dark side street.Page 77
behind the bear.Page 83
"Tell the truth," he said.Page 84
"Well," said the guard, with a shrug of his shoulders, "it's up to you guys.Page 89
Bridge shrugged his shoulders and turned toward the youth who stood very white but very straight in a far corner of the cell.Page 90
" "Good!" exclaimed Mr.