XXII. Victory and Defeat
THE PLANT MEN
As I stood upon the bluff before my cottage on that clear cold night in
the early part of March, 1886, the noble Hudson flowing like the grey
and silent spectre of a dead river below me, I felt again the strange,
compelling influence of the mighty god of war, my beloved Mars, which
for ten long and lonesome years I had implored with outstretched arms
to carry me back to my lost love.
Not since that other March night in 1866, when I had stood without that
Arizona cave in which my still and lifeless body lay wrapped in the
similitude of earthly death had I felt the irresistible attraction of
the god of my profession.
With arms outstretched toward the red eye of the great star I stood
praying for a return of that strange power which twice had drawn me
through the immensity of space, praying as I had prayed on a thousand
nights before during the long ten years that I had waited and hoped.
Suddenly a qualm of nausea swept over me, my senses swam, my knees gave
beneath me and I pitched headlong to the ground upon the very verge of
the dizzy bluff.
Instantly my brain cleared and there swept back across the threshold of
my memory the vivid picture of the horrors of that ghostly Arizona
cave; again, as on that far-gone night, my muscles refused to respond
to my will and again, as though even here upon the banks of the placid
Hudson, I could hear the awful moans and rustling of the fearsome thing
which had lurked and threatened me from the dark recesses of the cave,
I made the same mighty and superhuman effort to break the bonds of the
strange anaesthesia which held me, and again came the sharp click as of
the sudden parting of a taut wire, and I stood naked and free beside
the staring, lifeless thing that had so recently pulsed with the warm,
red life-blood of John Carter.
With scarcely a parting glance I turned my eyes again toward Mars,
lifted my hands toward his lurid rays, and waited.
Nor did I have long to wait; for scarce had I turned ere I shot with
the rapidity of thought into the awful void before me. There was the
same instant of unthinkable cold and utter darkness that I had
experienced twenty years before, and then I opened my eyes in another
world, beneath the burning rays of a hot sun, which beat through a tiny
opening in the dome
The mad king had escaped.Page 1
Stein was destined to play in this matter," concluded Prince Peter pointedly.Page 26
"They will not return again tonight to see your majesty," said Joseph, "and so we had best make haste to leave at once.Page 62
In the act that she was witnessing she saw the eventual ruin of her father's house.Page 63
"How may we know that you are.Page 65
"That must have been Stein," said Butzow.Page 88
He has fled.Page 93
Leopold flushed.Page 99
As he drew it back its hinges gave forth no sound.Page 133
"Is there no way either to win or force Von der Tann to acquiescence?" "I think we can accomplish it," said Prince Peter, after a moment of thought.Page 143
It had been working perfectly before and since.Page 144
In either event Barney would be given ample time to find his way to Tann.Page 156
The face of the Princess Emma was haggard.Page 167
" The man reined in his mount and turned toward the American.Page 169
Serbia has demanded that all Austrian troops.Page 176
And then the enemy succeeded in bringing up their heavy artillery to the ridge that lies.Page 182
Custer is to be shot tomorrow.Page 192
Soldier and king--would-be assassin and his victim--fell simultaneously.Page 204
Maenck grabbed his cap and dashed from the house before his astonished friend could ask a single question.