breath, every atom of which Barney had knocked out of
The officers sitting on Barney alternately beat him and questioned
him, interspersing their interrogations with lurid profanity.
"If you will get off of me," at last shouted the American, "I shall
be glad to explain--and apologize."
They let him up, scowling ferociously. He had promised to explain,
but now that he was confronted by the immediate necessity of an
explanation that would prove at all satisfactory as to how he
happened to be wandering around the rooftops of Burgova, he
discovered that his powers of invention were entirely inadequate.
The need for explaining, however, was suddenly removed. A shadow
fell upon them from above, and as they glanced up Barney saw the
figure of an officer surrounded by several soldiers looking down
"Ah, you have him!" cried the newcomer in evident satisfaction.
"It is well. Hold him until we descend."
A moment later he and his escort had dropped through the broken
skylight to the floor beside them.
"Who is the mad man?" cried the captain who had broken Barney's
fall. "The assassin! He tried to murder me."
"I cannot doubt it," replied the officer who had just descended,
"for the fellow is no other than Stefan Drontoff, the famous Serbian
"Himmel!" ejaculated the officers in chorus. "You have done a good
day's work, lieutenant."
"The firing squad will do a better work in a few minutes," replied
the lieutenant, with a grim pointedness that took Barney's breath
BEFORE THE FIRING SQUAD
They marched Barney before the staff where he urged his American
nationality, pointing to his credentials and passes in support of
The general before whom he had been brought shrugged his shoulders.
"They are all Americans as soon as they are caught," he said; "but
why did you not claim to be Prince Peter of Blentz? You have his
passes as well. How can you expect us to believe your story when you
have in your possession passes for different men?
"We have every respect for our friends the Americans. I would even
stretch a point rather than chance harming an American; but you will
admit that the evidence is all against you. You were found in the
very building where Drontoff was known to stay while in Burgova. The
young woman whose mother keeps the place directed our officer to
your room, and you tried to escape, which I do not think that an
innocent American would have done.
"However, as I have said, I will go to almost any length rather than
chance a mistake in the case of one who from
Captain Carter had a small but beautiful cottage, situated on a bluff overlooking the river, and during one of my last visits, in the winter of 1885, I observed he was much occupied in writing, I presume now, upon this manuscript.Page 4
Powell of Richmond.Page 20
The adult females ranged in height from ten to twelve feet.Page 33
I could see Tars Tarkas explaining something to the principal chieftain, whose name, by the way, was, as nearly as I can translate it into English, Lorquas Ptomel, Jed; jed being his title.Page 39
Ascending to the roof of the building I watched her for hours, until finally she was lost in the dim vistas of the distance.Page 45
Before me were low hills pierced by narrow and inviting ravines.Page 55
We fell into a general conversation then, asking.Page 58
Be that as it may, you are not one of us; you owe us no allegiance.Page 74
"And then a light flashed out upon the darkness of the tower chamber, and there stood Sarkoja, her gleaming, baleful eyes fixed in a frenzy of loathing and contempt upon my mother.Page 82
" We sat silent for a few moments, she wrapped in the gloomy thoughts of her terrible past, and I in pity for the poor creatures whom the heartless, senseless customs of their race had doomed to loveless lives of cruelty and of hate.Page 84
I verily believe that a man's way with women is in inverse ratio to his prowess among men.Page 86
"What do you mean, John Carter?" she whispered.Page 103
Helium," he said, "but I do not recall your name.Page 109
are not of Barsoom.Page 119
They were now almost upon him; their flying mounts charging down on the relatively puny figure at terrific.Page 143
As his father rolled dead upon the floor the new jeddak tore himself.Page 145
Can it be that all Earth men are as you? Alone, a stranger, hunted, threatened, persecuted, you have done in a few short months what in all the past ages of Barsoom no man has ever done: joined together the wild hordes of the sea bottoms and brought them to fight as allies of a red Martian people.Page 151
He tried a dozen times to express his gratitude to me, but his voice choked with emotion and he could not speak, and yet he had, as I was to later learn, a reputation for ferocity and fearlessness as a fighter that was remarkable even upon warlike Barsoom.Page 157