the black pirates threw themselves upon their foes transcended
everything I ever before had seen.
Beneath the brilliant light of Mars' two glorious moons the whole scene
presented itself in vivid distinctness. The golden-haired,
white-skinned therns battling with desperate courage in hand-to-hand
conflict with their ebony-skinned foemen.
Here a little knot of struggling warriors trampled a bed of gorgeous
pimalia; there the curved sword of a black man found the heart of a
thern and left its dead foeman at the foot of a wondrous statue carved
from a living ruby; yonder a dozen therns pressed a single pirate back
upon a bench of emerald, upon whose iridescent surface a strangely
beautiful Barsoomian design was traced out in inlaid diamonds.
A little to one side stood Thuvia, the Thark, and I. The tide of
battle had not reached us, but the fighters from time to time swung
close enough that we might distinctly note them.
The black pirates interested me immensely. I had heard vague rumours,
little more than legends they were, during my former life on Mars; but
never had I seen them, nor talked with one who had.
They were popularly supposed to inhabit the lesser moon, from which
they descended upon Barsoom at long intervals. Where they visited they
wrought the most horrible atrocities, and when they left carried away
with them firearms and ammunition, and young girls as prisoners. These
latter, the rumour had it, they sacrificed to some terrible god in an
orgy which ended in the eating of their victims.
I had an excellent opportunity to examine them, as the strife
occasionally brought now one and now another close to where I stood.
They were large men, possibly six feet and over in height. Their
features were clear cut and handsome in the extreme; their eyes were
well set and large, though a slight narrowness lent them a crafty
appearance; the iris, as well as I could determine by moonlight, was of
extreme blackness, while the eyeball itself was quite white and clear.
The physical structure of their bodies seemed identical with those of
the therns, the red men, and my own. Only in the colour of their skin
did they differ materially from us; that is of the appearance of
polished ebony, and odd as it may seem for a Southerner to say it, adds
to rather than detracts from their marvellous beauty.
But if their bodies are divine, their hearts, apparently, are quite the
reverse. Never did I witness such a malign lust for blood as these
demons of the outer air
That he was old was quite evident, but if his age had impaired his physical or mental powers in the slightest it was not apparent.Page 19
He had a double purpose in accepting Clayton's offer.Page 31
It was a great mystery to Herr Skopf--and, doubtless, still is.Page 41
he said.Page 52
He thinks, therefore he reasons.Page 66
Do you not know that even Numa slinks from the path of the great apes when there are many of them and they are mad?" Chapter 9 It was an unhappy Korak who wandered aimlessly through the jungle the day following his inhospitable reception by the great apes.Page 87
Meriem was just behind them.Page 101
Chapter 13 Meriem, again bound and under heavy guard in Kovudoo's own hut, saw the night pass and the new day come without bringing the momentarily looked for return of Korak.Page 137
She was thinking of Korak.Page 139
For several days the Hon.Page 143
" "Certainly," replied Bwana.Page 153
I couldn't hear what they said, but presently Baynes brings two ponies and they ride off.Page 163
An antelope was entering the clearing.Page 164
Korak saw that he was nervous and afraid, and his lip curled in a sneer of contempt.Page 173
And as he staggered on there burned within him beside his newborn love another great passion--the passion of hate urging him on to the consummation of revenge.Page 205
He recalled the young Englishman he had left on the river trail and who had disappeared before he returned.Page 206
Meriem shrank back, horrified.Page 211
"Come!" And she led the way back toward the tent in which they last had seen Korak.Page 216
He could see nothing of her.Page 223
We did all that love and money and even government resources could do to discover her; but all to no avail.