superstition, even though each
knew through cruel experience the fallacy of its entire fabric.
Thuvia, the girl whom I had first freed, soon had the others at
liberty. Tars Tarkas and I stripped the bodies of the two therns of
their weapons, which included swords, daggers, and two revolvers of the
curious and deadly type manufactured by the red Martians.
We distributed the weapons as far as they would go among our followers,
giving the firearms to two of the women; Thuvia being one so armed.
With the latter as our guide we set off rapidly but cautiously through
a maze of passages, crossing great chambers hewn from the solid metal
of the cliff, following winding corridors, ascending steep inclines,
and now and again concealing ourselves in dark recesses at the sound of
Our destination, Thuvia said, was a distant storeroom where arms and
ammunition in plenty might be found. From there she was to lead us to
the summit of the cliffs, from where it would require both wondrous wit
and mighty fighting to win our way through the very heart of the
stronghold of the Holy Therns to the world without.
"And even then, O Prince," she cried, "the arm of the Holy Thern is
long. It reaches to every nation of Barsoom. His secret temples are
hidden in the heart of every community. Wherever we go should we
escape we shall find that word of our coming has preceded us, and death
awaits us before we may pollute the air with our blasphemies."
We had proceeded for possibly an hour without serious interruption, and
Thuvia had just whispered to me that we were approaching our first
destination, when on entering a great chamber we came upon a man,
evidently a thern.
He wore in addition to his leathern trappings and jewelled ornaments a
great circlet of gold about his brow in the exact centre of which was
set an immense stone, the exact counterpart of that which I had seen
upon the breast of the little old man at the atmosphere plant nearly
twenty years before.
It is the one priceless jewel of Barsoom. Only two are known to exist,
and these were worn as the insignia of their rank and position by the
two old men in whose charge was placed the operation of the great
engines which pump the artificial atmosphere to all parts of Mars from
the huge atmosphere plant, the secret to whose mighty portals placed in
my possession the ability to save from immediate extinction the life of
a whole world.
At my heels tonight the faithful beast moved softly in my tracks.Page 12
That they could be none other than Thurid and his party I was convinced by the size and build of the boat I had found.Page 19
Before I could call him off he had crushed Lakor into a jelly with a single blow of one mighty paw, and had literally torn the other thern to ribbons; yet when I spoke to him sharply he cowed sheepishly as though he had done a thing to deserve censure and chastisement.Page 23
Such a tiny keyhole as now defied me had opened the way to the intricate lock in that other door.Page 27
Where may he be found?" "Follow me," said one of the guard, and, turning, led me across the outer courtyard toward a second buttressed wall.Page 47
From the city the red warriors were rushing toward us, and from the jungle the savage horde of green men were coming to meet them.Page 48
Not until the battle was over did I learn why the red troops had sallied forth that day.Page 63
They extend in two vast, oval patches from the center of the top of the cranium down either side of the head to below the roots of the horns, so that these weapons really grow out from the lower part of the eyes, which are composed of several thousand ocelli each.Page 65
"Not for long, I imagine," I replied; "so let us make haste.Page 72
For three days we remained the guests of Prince Talu, and during that time he showered upon us every attention and courtesy within his power.Page 74
At regular intervals great gates give entrance to the city; but even at the distance from which we looked upon the massive pile we could see that all were closed, and, in accordance with Talu's suggestion, we deferred attempting to enter the city until the following morning.Page 87
"I am no child to be thus played with.Page 90
The moment before the plunge, while two or three of the men had been assisting in adjusting the rope about me, one of them had brought his mouth close to my cheek, and in the brief interval before I was cast into the forbidding hole he breathed a single word into my ear: "Courage!" The pit, which my imagination had pictured as bottomless, proved to be not more than a hundred feet in depth; but as its walls were smoothly polished it might as well have been a thousand feet, for I could never hope to escape without outside assistance.Page 92
Well, what of it? Why not end my misery now rather than drag out a few more wretched days in this dark pit? Slowly I raised one of the little pellets to my lips.Page 118
In the darkness I could not see what held it, but by groping with my hands I discovered that it was wedged beneath the bottom of a closed door.Page 119
Through a snow-covered canyon the way led up toward the summit of low hills.Page 120
Back by the city of Kadabra lay a great fleet of mighty fliers--the ships of Helium and Ptarth that I had saved from destruction earlier in the day; but before ever I could reach them Thurid could easily make good his escape.Page 126
Looking down upon that crowded chamber stood the silent and empty throne of Okar.Page 127
first seen a Jeddak of Jeddaks take his seat upon it, none might compare with that upon which it now looked down, and as I pondered the past and future of that long-buried race of black-bearded yellow men I thought that I saw a brighter and more useful existence for them among the great family of friendly nations that now stretched from the south pole almost to their very doors.Page 129
That night a messenger came to me as I sat with Dejah Thoris and Carthoris upon the roof of my city palace, where we had long since caused a lovely garden to be made that we three might find seclusion and quiet happiness among ourselves, far from the pomp and ceremony of court, to summon us to the Temple of Reward--"where one is to be judged this night," the summons concluded.