detected in the act of staring at a lesser creature, I
"Do you find the study of the lower orders interesting?" I asked,
She looked up again with a nervous but relieved little laugh.
"Oh very," she said, "especially when they have such excellent
It was my turn to flush, but I did not. I felt that she was poking fun
at me, and I admired a brave heart that could look for humour on the
road to death, and so I laughed with her.
"Do you know where we are going?" she said.
"To solve the mystery of the eternal hereafter, I imagine," I replied.
"I am going to a worse fate than that," she said, with a little shudder.
"What do you mean?"
"I can only guess," she replied, "since no thern damsel of all the
millions that have been stolen away by black pirates during the ages
they have raided our domains has ever returned to narrate her
experiences among them. That they never take a man prisoner lends
strength to the belief that the fate of the girls they steal is worse
"Is it not a just retribution?" I could not help but ask.
"What do you mean?"
"Do not the therns themselves do likewise with the poor creatures who
take the voluntary pilgrimage down the River of Mystery? Was not
Thuvia for fifteen years a plaything and a slave? Is it less than just
that you should suffer as you have caused others to suffer?"
"You do not understand," she replied. "We therns are a holy race. It
is an honour to a lesser creature to be a slave among us. Did we not
occasionally save a few of the lower orders that stupidly float down an
unknown river to an unknown end all would become the prey of the plant
men and the apes."
"But do you not by every means encourage the superstition among those
of the outside world?" I argued. "That is the wickedest of your deeds.
Can you tell me why you foster the cruel deception?"
"All life on Barsoom," she said, "is created solely for the support of
the race of therns. How else could we live did the outer world not
furnish our labour and our food? Think you that a thern would demean
himself by labour?"
"It is true then that you eat human flesh?" I asked in horror.
She looked at me in pitying commiseration for my ignorance.
"Truly we eat the flesh of the lower orders. Do not you also?"
175d is ours--from 30d to 175d is peace, prosperity and happiness.Page 11
Every officer and man aboard was tense with nervous excitement as we awaited the result of the reading.Page 15
None of us ever will see home again.Page 18
Each of us uncovered a great number of these bricks, until we commenced to weary of the monotony of it, when Snider suddenly gave an exclamation of excitement, and, as I turned to look, he held up a human skull for my inspection.Page 20
As we ran toward Delcarte, both Taylor and I were struck by the fact that the beast upon him appeared not to be mauling him, but lay quiet and motionless upon its prey, and when we were quite close, and the muzzles of our guns were at the animal's head, I saw the explanation of this sudden cessation of hostilities--Felis tigris was dead.Page 23
Evidently emboldened by the scarcity of our numbers, they commenced to advance upon us, brandishing their spears and shouting horribly.Page 37
A man is merely head of his wife's family--that is all.Page 38
The hair of both men and women was confined by a rawhide thong passing about the forehead and tied behind.Page 40
There they left me, lying upon my stomach--a most uncomfortable and strained position, to which was added the pain where the cords cut into my flesh.Page 43
One of the fellows stopped and severed the bonds that held my ankles.Page 46
I pointed out that phase of it to her, but she only shrugged her shapely shoulders and pointed to her knife.Page 56
6 Victory was nowhere in sight.Page 59
Now that we were reunited, we held a council to.Page 68
" We called her name aloud every few minutes as we motored up the river, but, though we returned all the way to.Page 72
to learn.Page 74
The arms and ammunition of the Abyssinians are greatly inferior to ours, yet they are tremendously effective against the ill-armed barbarians of Europe.Page 75
On the eleventh day we reached our destination--a walled frontier city of about twenty thousand.Page 84
We could not escape the way that we had entered the apartment, for not only was the corridor now choked with debris, but beyond the corridor there were doubtless many members of the emperor's household who would stop us.Page 85
It was evident that the city would fall at any moment--a fact which was amply proclaimed by the terror-stricken haste of the fear-mad mob.Page 86
He immediately set aside a comfortable house for us, furnished us with servants and with money, and in other ways showed us every attention and kindness.