who conceived both Life and Death, avert their eyes from its
fiendishness and close their ears against the hideous shrieks of its
"Go back, O fools, the way thou camest."
And then the awful laugh broke out from another part of the chamber.
"Most uncanny," I remarked, turning to Tars Tarkas.
"What shall we do?" he asked. "We cannot fight empty air; I would
almost sooner return and face foes into whose flesh I may feel my blade
bite and know that I am selling my carcass dearly before I go down to
that eternal oblivion which is evidently the fairest and most desirable
eternity that mortal man has the right to hope for."
"If, as you say, we cannot fight empty air, Tars Tarkas," I replied,
"neither, on the other hand, can empty air fight us. I, who have faced
and conquered in my time thousands of sinewy warriors and tempered
blades, shall not be turned back by wind; nor no more shall you, Thark."
"But unseen voices may emanate from unseen and unseeable creatures who
wield invisible blades," answered the green warrior.
"Rot, Tars Tarkas," I cried, "those voices come from beings as real as
you or as I. In their veins flows lifeblood that may be let as easily
as ours, and the fact that they remain invisible to us is the best
proof to my mind that they are mortal; nor overly courageous mortals at
that. Think you, Tars Tarkas, that John Carter will fly at the first
shriek of a cowardly foe who dare not come out into the open and face a
I had spoken in a loud voice that there might be no question that our
would-be terrorizers should hear me, for I was tiring of this
nerve-racking fiasco. It had occurred to me, too, that the whole
business was but a plan to frighten us back into the valley of death
from which we had escaped, that we might be quickly disposed of by the
savage creatures there.
For a long period there was silence, then of a sudden a soft, stealthy
sound behind me caused me to turn suddenly to behold a great
many-legged banth creeping sinuously upon me.
The banth is a fierce beast of prey that roams the low hills
surrounding the dead seas of ancient Mars. Like nearly all Martian
animals it is almost hairless, having only a great bristly mane about
its thick neck.
Its long, lithe body is supported by ten powerful legs, its enormous
jaws are equipped, like those of the calot, or Martian
"The regulations are explicit, and if the Coldwater crosses thirty it devolves upon you to place Lieutenant Turck under arrest and immediately exert every endeavor to bring the ship back into Pan-American waters.Page 13
The day wore on, until at last, about mid-afternoon, I gave the order to return to the ship.Page 22
A moment later, he was followed by another and another, and it is needless to state that we beat a hasty retreat to the launch.Page 23
Upon neither shore was sign of human habitation.Page 24
I explained my meaning as best I could by stating that by city I referred to.Page 26
We spent several hours in the village, where we were objects of the greatest curiosity.Page 37
It appears that the line of descent is through the women.Page 41
I wriggled and twisted until I managed to turn myself partially upon my side, where I lay half facing the entrance to the dugout.Page 45
It was Victory, and in her arms she clutched my rifle and revolver.Page 47
5 As we entered deeper into what had once been the city, the evidences of man's past occupancy became more frequent.Page 49
hand in hand, while Victory asked many questions and for the first time I began to realize something of the magnificence and power of the race from whose loins she had sprung.Page 57
Now they were north somewhere, and we should have little to fear from them, though we might meet with a few.Page 62
the type of man he was.Page 63
He, on the contrary, emboldened by her former friendliness, sought every opportunity to be near her.Page 67
while I, although fully conscious of the gravity of his offense, could not bring myself to give the death penalty.Page 79
To stand there, inactive, while a negro struck down that brave girl of my own race! Instinctively I took a forward step to place myself in the man's path.Page 83
Smoke and powder fumes filled the room.Page 84
The doors of the opposite side, leading to the street, were open, and we could see great.Page 86
We marched for many days--so many that I lost count of them--and at last we came to another city--a Chinese city this time--which stands upon the site of ancient Moscow.Page 87
"It has not ended yet.