Delcarte, of Taylor I could not know;
nor did it seem likely that I should ever learn. I was most depressed.
But I whiled away my time in performing the duties given me to the best
of my ability and attempting to learn the language of my captors.
Who they were or where they came from was a mystery to me. That they
were the outpost of some powerful black nation seemed likely, yet where
the seat of that nation lay I could not guess.
They looked upon the whites as their inferiors, and treated us
accordingly. They had a literature of their own, and many of the men,
even the common soldiers, were omnivorous readers. Every two weeks a
dust-covered trooper would trot his jaded mount into the post and
deliver a bulging sack of mail at headquarters. The next day he would
be away again upon a fresh horse toward the south, carrying the
soldiers' letters to friends in the far off land of mystery from whence
they all had come.
Troops, sometimes mounted and sometimes afoot, left the post daily for
what I assumed to be patrol duty. I judged the little force of a
thousand men were detailed here to maintain the authority of a distant
government in a conquered country. Later, I learned that my surmise
was correct, and this was but one of a great chain of similar posts
that dotted the new frontier of the black nation into whose hands I had
Slowly I learned their tongue, so that I could understand what was said
before me, and make myself understood. I had seen from the first that
I was being treated as a slave--that all whites that fell into the
hands of the blacks were thus treated.
Almost daily new prisoners were brought in, and about three weeks after
I was brought in to the post a troop of cavalry came from the south to
relieve one of the troops stationed there. There was great jubilation
in the encampment after the arrival of the newcomers, old friendships
were renewed and new ones made. But the happiest men were those of the
troop that was to be relieved.
The next morning they started away, and as they were forced upon the
parade ground we prisoners were marched from our quarters and lined up
before them. A couple of long chains were brought, with rings in the
links every few feet. At first I could not guess the purpose of these
chains. But I was soon
Ten thousand swords sprang on high from as many scabbards, and the glorious fighting men of ancient Helium hailed Carthoris Jeddak of Helium.Page 10
Far ahead I presently heard a deep and sullen roar which increased in volume as I advanced, and then broke upon my ears with all the intensity of its mad fury as I swung round a sharp curve into a dimly lighted stretch of water.Page 14
What say you?" "Never in a long life," answered Lakor, "have I disobeyed a single command of the Father of Therns.Page 40
When morning broke they were still there, walking about as in a circle, but always just beyond the edge of the sward.Page 46
Making a considerable detour to avoid the chance of falling into the hands of the green men, I came at last to the great wall.Page 47
And so I am very proud that upon two planets no greater fighter has ever lived than John Carter, Prince of Helium.Page 56
"In so far as the Prince of Helium is concerned I may act, but between you and Matai Shang my only office can be one of conciliation.Page 57
be deferred until both have passed beyond the limits of my power.Page 58
"It is almost morning now," he said, "and I should dislike to break in upon the slumber of my daughter, or I would have them fetched at once that you might see that the Prince of Helium is mistaken," and he emphasized the last word in an effort to affront me so subtlely that I could not take open offense.Page 59
The first burst of Mars's sudden dawn brought messengers from Kulan Tith, summoning us to the audience chamber where Thuvan Dihn was to receive his daughter after years of separation, and I was to be reunited with the glorious daughter of Helium after an almost unbroken separation of twelve years.Page 69
One of them was peering round the edge of the granite mass as though watching one who approached from the opposite side.Page 73
These three are worn by nobles high in my confidence, all of whom have been.Page 86
A great number of nobles crowded the room, and among them I saw Thurid, but Matai Shang was not there.Page 87
"Is this the surprise you held in store for me?" he cried.Page 93
Upon examination I found that the cord, though small, was amply able to sustain the weight of several men.Page 97
Now he raised his voice, and his words came distinctly.Page 113
Without another glance toward me, who had stood a spectator of the tragic scene, the nobles wheeled and fled from the apartment through another exit.Page 120
A long, claw-like hand was reaching up to grasp the metal rail.Page 130
There was Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol, whom we had but just left within his own palace a few days since; there was Thuvan Dihn, Jeddak of Ptarth--how came he to Helium as soon as we? There was Tars Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark, and Xodar, Jeddak of the First Born; there was Talu, Jeddak of Jeddaks of the North, whom I could have sworn was still in his ice-bound hothouse city beyond the northern barrier, and among them sat Tardos Mors and Mors Kajak, with enough lesser jeds and jeddaks to make up the thirty-one who must sit in judgment upon their fellow-man.Page 131
Straight to the Throne of Righteousness they bore her, and there Tardos Mors assisted her from the car, leading her forward to my side.