a second. There was a rending
crash above us, then a deafening explosion within the chamber. Smoke
and powder fumes filled the room. Half stunned, I rose from the
lifeless body of my antagonist just in time to see Victory stagger to
her feet and turn toward me. Slowly the smoke cleared to reveal the
shattered remnants of the guard. A shell had fallen through the palace
roof and exploded just in the rear of the detachment of guardsmen who
were coming to the rescue of their emperor. Why neither Victory nor I
were struck is a miracle. The room was a wreck. A great, jagged hole
was torn in the ceiling, and the wall toward the corridor had been
blown entirely out.
As I rose, Victory had risen, too, and started toward me. But when she
saw that I was uninjured she stopped, and stood there in the center of
the demolished apartment looking at me. Her expression was
inscrutable--I could not guess whether she was glad to see me, or not.
"Victory!" I cried. "Thank God that you are safe!" And I approached
her, a greater gladness in my heart than I had felt since the moment
that I knew the Coldwater must be swept beyond thirty.
There was no answering gladness in her eyes. Instead, she stamped her
little foot in anger.
"Why did it have to be you who saved me!" she exclaimed. "I hate you!"
"Hate me?" I asked. "Why should you hate me, Victory? I do not hate
you. I--I--" What was I about to say? I was very close to her as a
great light broke over me. Why had I never realized it before? The
truth accounted for a great many hitherto inexplicable moods that had
claimed me from time to time since first I had seen Victory.
"Why should I hate you?" she repeated. "Because Snider told me--he
told me that you had promised me to him, but he did not get me. I
killed him, as I should like to kill you!"
"Snider lied!" I cried. And then I seized her and held her in my arms,
and made her listen to me, though she struggled and fought like a young
lioness. "I love you, Victory. You must know that I love you--that I
have always loved you, and that I never could have made so base a
She ceased her struggles, just a trifle, but still tried
Ten thousand swords sprang on high from as many scabbards, and the glorious fighting men of ancient Helium hailed Carthoris Jeddak of Helium.Page 17
smooth words.Page 21
The simple fact that we had found no reptiles in the corridor through which we had just come was sufficient assurance that they did not venture there.Page 22
Carefully I recalled every circumstance of.Page 23
Hastily I dumped the contents of my pocket-pouch upon the ground before me.Page 30
For an instant I thought of relying on my earthly muscles and agility to escape the banths and reach the balcony, which I could easily have done, but I could not bring myself to desert the faithful Woola and leave him to die alone beneath the cruel fangs of the hungry banths; that is not the way upon Barsoom, nor was it ever the way of John Carter.Page 34
dismay I found that, unlike the ornamentation upon most Heliumetic structures, the edges of the carvings were quite generally rounded, so that at best my every hold was most precarious.Page 39
The forest was shrouded in impenetrable darkness when a low growl from Woola awakened me.Page 41
But to flee were useless, even had it ever been to my liking to turn my back upon a danger; so I stood my ground, Woola snarling at my side, my only hope to die as I had always lived--fighting.Page 53
Then he resumed.Page 60
"Only yesterday Matai Shang let drop a hint of his destination, telling me of a race of people unlike ourselves who dwell far to the north.Page 70
Now my sympathies have ever been with the weaker side of an argument, and though I knew nothing of the cause of the trouble I could not stand idly by and see a brave man butchered by superior numbers.Page 72
He showed us all that was of interest in his great city.Page 80
Then he led us through the palace grounds to the main guardroom of the palace, there turning us over to the officer in charge.Page 81
When we asked our guide why we were quartered so far from the guardroom he replied that the custom of the older members of the guard of picking quarrels with aspirants to try their metal had resulted in so many deaths that it was found difficult to maintain the guard at its full strength while this custom prevailed.Page 91
Once more darkness and silence enveloped me, a silence that was broken only by a single mocking laugh.Page 95
See how easy," and with the words the black dator rose from his seat and, crossing the room, laid his hand.Page 102
At first I had a time of it dodging their villainous hook-swords, but after a minute or two I had succeeded in wresting a second straight sword from one of the racks along the wall, and thereafter, using it to parry the hooks of my antagonists, I felt more evenly equipped.Page 105
But at last I could doubt no longer, and with a shout of joy that rose strangely in the midst of the cursing and groaning of the battling men at the entrance to the chamber, I called to Tardos Mors.Page 118
To be thus blocked by nature, who had had all the arts and wiles of cunning man pitted against him, seemed a cruel fate, and as I staggered back into the warmth of the tunnel's end I was as near hopelessness as I ever have been.