the arrow still clung straight and
sure toward the distant cliffs.
"What do you make of it?" I asked him.
"Did you ever hear of Caproni?" he asked.
"An early Italian navigator?" I returned.
"Yes; he followed Cook about 1721. He is scarcely mentioned even by
contemporaneous historians--probably because he got into political
difficulties on his return to Italy. It was the fashion to scoff at
his claims, but I recall reading one of his works--his only one, I
believe--in which he described a new continent in the south seas, a
continent made up of 'some strange metal' which attracted the compass;
a rockbound, inhospitable coast, without beach or harbor, which
extended for hundreds of miles. He could make no landing; nor in the
several days he cruised about it did he see sign of life. He called it
Caprona and sailed away. I believe, sir, that we are looking upon the
coast of Caprona, uncharted and forgotten for two hundred years."
"If you are right, it might account for much of the deviation of the
compass during the past two days," I suggested. "Caprona has been
luring us upon her deadly rocks. Well, we'll accept her challenge.
We'll land upon Caprona. Along that long front there must be a
vulnerable spot. We will find it, Bradley, for we must find it. We
must find water on Caprona, or we must die."
And so we approached the coast upon which no living eyes had ever
rested. Straight from the ocean's depths rose towering cliffs, shot
with brown and blues and greens--withered moss and lichen and the
verdigris of copper, and everywhere the rusty ocher of iron pyrites.
The cliff-tops, though ragged, were of such uniform height as to
suggest the boundaries of a great plateau, and now and again we caught
glimpses of verdure topping the rocky escarpment, as though bush or
jungle-land had pushed outward from a lush vegetation farther inland to
signal to an unseeing world that Caprona lived and joyed in life beyond
her austere and repellent coast.
But metaphor, however poetic, never slaked a dry throat. To enjoy
Caprona's romantic suggestions we must have water, and so we came in
close, always sounding, and skirted the shore. As close in as we dared
cruise, we found fathomless depths, and always the same undented
coastline of bald cliffs. As darkness threatened, we drew away and lay
well off the coast all night. We had not as yet really commenced to
suffer for lack of water; but I knew that it would not be long before
Tara of Helium's first sensation was one of surprise--that she had failed to have her own way.Page 30
Tara of Helium looked out across the fair valley that spread upon all sides of her.Page 33
Her act was greeted by strange whistling sounds from the things behind her, and casting a glance over her shoulder she saw them all in rapid pursuit.Page 56
Should we put food at his feet and leave him alone he would starve to death.Page 59
The act in itself was a direct violation of orders and, in the eyes of the other members of the crew, the effect, which came with startling suddenness, took the form of a swift and terrible retribution.Page 67
The craft was rising and Gahan placed a foot upon the control and stopped the ascent.Page 71
faces suddenly endowed him with the strength of ten warriors and the ferocity of a wounded banth.Page 80
"You speak as one who has thought much upon many subjects.Page 87
The skyline was broken by spire and dome and minaret and tall, slender towers, while the walls supported many a balcony and in the soft light of Cluros, the farther moon, now low in the west, he saw, to his surprise and consternation, the figures of people upon the balconies.Page 95
or comment to their guard; but the watchers upon the balconies spoke not, nor did one so much as turn a head to note their passing.Page 97
"And you," he asked, "what manner of thing are you? From what country? Why are you in Manator?" "I am a kaldane," replied Ghek; "the highest type of created creature upon the face of Barsoom; I am mind, you are matter.Page 108
He moved swiftly upon his spider legs and covered remarkable distances in short periods of time.Page 122
It was later in the evening that warriors came and unlocked the fetter from Turan's ankle and led him away to appear before O-Tar, the jeddak.Page 125
And then the head disappeared down the hole of the ulsio with the key, and when it returned, it resumed its body and stood guard over me at the doorway until the padwar came to fetch it hither.Page 140
"Heard you any word of the other?" called the warrior to him.Page 145
"How could I know aught of Helium?" asked Turan; "but if you be such a fighter as you say no position could suit you better than that of Flier.Page 148
" "It is well," replied Gahan; "but where is their Chief, and where the two Princesses?" "They are coming now, see?" and he pointed across the field to where two women could be seen approaching under guard.Page 159
The slave pointed toward a nearby runway that led to the third level and Gahan dashed rapidly on in pursuit.Page 194
"Men of Manator," he cackled in his thin, shrill voice, "wouldst be ruled by a coward and a liar?" "Down with him!" shouted O-Tar.Page 198
What is your answer?" "Let A-Kor rule! A-Kor, Jeddak of Manator!" The cries filled the room and there was no dissenting voice.