Up the bay and into the River Tamar we
motored through a solitude as unbroken as that which rested upon the
waters of the Channel. For all we could see, there was no indication
that man had ever set his foot upon this silent coast.
I was nonplused, and then, for the first time, there crept over me an
intuition of the truth.
Here was no sign of war. As far as this portion of the Devon coast was
concerned, that seemed to have been over for many years, but neither
were there any people. Yet I could not find it within myself to
believe that I should find no inhabitants in England. Reasoning thus,
I discovered that it was improbable that a state of war still existed,
and that the people all had been drawn from this portion of England to
some other, where they might better defend themselves against an
But what of their ancient coast defenses? What was there here in
Plymouth Bay to prevent an enemy landing in force and marching where
they wished? Nothing. I could not believe that any enlightened
military nation, such as the ancient English are reputed to have been,
would have voluntarily so deserted an exposed coast and an excellent
harbor to the mercies of an enemy.
I found myself becoming more and more deeply involved in quandary. The
puzzle which confronted me I could not unravel. We had landed, and I
now stood upon the spot where, according to my map, a large city should
rear its spires and chimneys. There was nothing but rough, broken
ground covered densely with weeds and brambles, and tall, rank, grass.
Had a city ever stood there, no sign of it remained. The roughness and
unevenness of the ground suggested something of a great mass of debris
hidden by the accumulation of centuries of undergrowth.
I drew the short cutlass with which both officers and men of the navy
are, as you know, armed out of courtesy to the traditions and memories
of the past, and with its point dug into the loam about the roots of
the vegetation growing at my feet.
The blade entered the soil for a matter of seven inches, when it struck
upon something stonelike. Digging about the obstacle, I presently
loosened it, and when I had withdrawn it from its sepulcher I found the
thing to be an ancient brick of clay, baked in an oven.
Delcarte we had left in charge of the boat; but Snider and Taylor were
As we advanced, the way led from beneath the overhanging cliffs out into a dim light, and then it was that I saw that the trail had been cut from the living rock, and that it ran up along the river's side beyond the rapids.Page 15
To be quite candid I did not attempt to delude myself with any such sophistry, since I knew well that upon war-like Mars there are few cowards, and that every man, whether prince, priest, or peasant, glories in deadly.Page 21
It would be futile to attempt to describe them to Earth men, since substance is the only thing which they possess in common with any creature of the past or present with which you are familiar--even their venom is of an unearthly virulence that, by comparison, would make the cobra de capello seem quite as harmless as an angleworm.Page 22
Carefully I recalled every circumstance of.Page 25
where the light shone was a sharp turn, and a little distance beyond this a brilliantly lighted chamber.Page 30
At the first note of that soothing sound the banths halted in their tracks, and every fierce head went high as the beasts sought the origin of the familiar call.Page 47
With the joy of battle once roused within me, I took keen delight in the fray, and that my fighting was noted by the Kaolians was often evidenced by the shouts of applause directed at me.Page 50
Was he commencing to suspect? And then Kulan Tith told of the savage calot that fought beside me, and after that I saw suspicion in the eyes of Matai Shang--or did I but imagine it? At the close of the audience Kulan Tith announced that he would have me accompany him upon the way to meet his royal guest, and as I departed with an officer who was to procure proper trappings and a suitable mount for me, both Matai Shang and Thurid seemed most sincere in professing their pleasure at having had an opportunity to know me.Page 53
Before you, in your power, Jeddak of Kaol, Defender of the Holies, stands John Carter, Prince of Helium!" Kulan Tith looked toward Matai Shang as though for corroboration of these charges.Page 79
Having learned to drive them while in Marentina, we spent a delightful and profitable day exploring the city, and late in the afternoon at the hour Talu told us we would find government officials in their offices, we stopped.Page 81
This unwelcome information put a sudden check to all our well-laid plans, for it meant that we should virtually be prisoners in the palace of Salensus Oll until the time that he should see fit to give us the final examination for efficiency.Page 87
A statement which none may truthfully deny.Page 97
"Now," he said, "are you quite sure that you know the way to your destination? You must travel quickly to cover the ground to the cave and from thence beyond the Great Power, all within a brief hour, for no more dare I spare you.Page 103
The yellow men were battering at the door with javelins and axes.Page 111
As I watched the procession that moved slowly toward the throne--a procession which consisted of but a handful of priests, who followed Dejah Thoris and the two guardsmen--I caught a fleeting glimpse of a black face peering from behind the draperies that covered the wall back of the dais upon which stood Salensus Oll awaiting his bride.Page 113
She must be contemplating some cunning strategy, I thought, and so I fought on secure in the belief that my divine princess stood close behind me.Page 120
A long, claw-like hand was reaching up to grasp the metal rail.Page 122
I should at least die as I had lived--fighting.Page 129
Gold and jewels were scattered over roof and street and plaza, so that the two cities seemed ablaze with the fires of the hearts of the magnificent stones and burnished metal that reflected the brilliant sunlight, changing it into countless glorious hues.Page 130
A right royal tribunal indeed, and such a one, I warrant, as never before sat together during all the history of ancient Mars.