"With the skin of a thern, the black hair of a First Born and
the muscles of a dozen Dators it was no disgrace even for Xodar to
acknowledge your supremacy. A thing he could never do were you a
Barsoomian," he added.
"You are travelling several laps ahead of me, my friend," I
interrupted. "I glean that your name is Xodar, but whom, pray, are the
First Born, and what a Dator, and why, if you were conquered by a
Barsoomian, could you not acknowledge it?"
"The First Born of Barsoom," he explained, "are the race of black men
of which I am a Dator, or, as the lesser Barsoomians would say, Prince.
My race is the oldest on the planet. We trace our lineage, unbroken,
direct to the Tree of Life which flourished in the centre of the Valley
Dor twenty-three million years ago.
"For countless ages the fruit of this tree underwent the gradual
changes of evolution, passing by degrees from true plant life to a
combination of plant and animal. In the first stages the fruit of the
tree possessed only the power of independent muscular action, while the
stem remained attached to the parent plant; later a brain developed in
the fruit, so that hanging there by their long stems they thought and
moved as individuals.
"Then, with the development of perceptions came a comparison of them;
judgments were reached and compared, and thus reason and the power to
reason were born upon Barsoom.
"Ages passed. Many forms of life came and went upon the Tree of Life,
but still all were attached to the parent plant by stems of varying
lengths. At length the fruit tree consisted in tiny plant men, such as
we now see reproduced in such huge dimensions in the Valley Dor, but
still hanging to the limbs and branches of the tree by the stems which
grew from the tops of their heads.
"The buds from which the plant men blossomed resembled large nuts about
a foot in diameter, divided by double partition walls into four
sections. In one section grew the plant man, in another a
sixteen-legged worm, in the third the progenitor of the white ape and
in the fourth the primaeval black man of Barsoom.
"When the bud burst the plant man remained dangling at the end of his
stem, but the three other sections fell to the ground, where the
efforts of their imprisoned occupants to escape sent them hopping about
in all directions.
"Thus as time went on, all Barsoom was covered with these imprisoned
"Forgive me! I love you and there is nothing that I would not do for you and nothing would I do to harm you.Page 15
This is but a general outline of the game, briefly stated.Page 17
Then it was that Tara of Helium lost her temper.Page 28
But he was not so close as this other thing, hiding there in the shadows just a little way off.Page 51
The rykors could not stop her, for they had no brains to tell them that she was escaping.Page 64
Gahan stopped and strained his eyes in the direction of the thing that had arrested his attention.Page 84
"But he says he likes peace.Page 85
"It is yours to command, Princess," he said.Page 87
They sat leaning upon the rail of the balcony looking, apparently, directly at him; but if they saw him they gave no sign.Page 91
He had observed this much when suddenly the dim light was extinguished, leaving him in darkness utter and complete.Page 94
fought them.Page 108
"There sits the creature! Didst thou dare lie, then, to thy dwar?" "I swear," cried the warrior, "that I spoke the truth.Page 115
in an open game by slaves and criminals, and you will belong to the side that wins--not to a single warrior, but to all who survive the game.Page 117
"And you know so much of Corphals, then," he cried, "you know that while no common man dare harm them they may be slain by the hand of a jeddak with impunity!" The girl did not reply, nor would she speak again, for all his threats and rage, for she knew now that none in all Manator dared harm her save O-Tar, the jeddak, and after a while the padwar left, taking his men with him.Page 121
"And where lies Gathol?" asked Turan.Page 122
" "How know you all these things?" asked A-Kor.Page 148
We shall not have to fight against a single fellow-countryman and every life we take will be the life of an enemy.Page 156
Seldom have we looked upon more noble swordplay.Page 181
I have been very kind and indulgent with them.Page 197
I have no wish to interfere.