I rustled grub, he rustled rhyme--
Blind-baggage, hoof it, ride or climb--we always put it through.
"You're a good sort," he broke off, suddenly. "There ain't many boes
that would have done as much for a fellow."
"It was two against one," replied Billy, "an' I don't like them odds.
Besides I like your poetry. Where d'ye get it--make it up?"
"Lord, no," laughed the other. "If I could do that I wouldn't be
pan-handling. A guy by the name of Henry Herbert Knibbs did them. Great,
"They sure is. They get me right where I live," and then, after a pause;
"sure you got enough fer two, bo?"
"I have enough for you, old top," replied the host, "even if I only had
half as much as I have. Here, take first crack at the ambrosia. Sorry
I have but a single cup; but James has broken the others. James is very
careless. Sometimes I almost feel that I shall have to let him go."
"Who's James?" asked Billy.
"James? Oh, James is my man," replied the other.
Billy looked up at his companion quizzically, then he tasted the dark,
thick concoction in the tin can.
"This is coffee," he announced. "I thought you said it was ambrose."
"I only wished to see if you would recognize it, my friend," replied the
poetical one politely. "I am highly complimented that you can guess what
it is from its taste."
For several minutes the two ate in silence, passing the tin can back and
forth, and slicing--hacking would be more nearly correct--pieces of meat
from the half-roasted fowl. It was Billy who broke the silence.
"I think," said he, "that you been stringin' me--'bout James and
The other laughed good-naturedly.
"You are not offended, I hope," said he. "This is a sad old world, you
know, and we're all looking for amusement. If a guy has no money to buy
it with, he has to manufacture it."
"Sure, I ain't sore," Billy assured him. "Say, spiel that part again
'bout Penelope with the kisses on her mouth, an' you can kid me till the
cows come home."
The camper by the creek did as Billy asked him, while the latter sat
with his eyes upon the fire seeing in the sputtering little flames the
oval face of her who was Penelope to him.
When the verse was completed he reached forth his hand and took the tin
can in his strong fingers, raising it before his face.
"Here's to--to his Knibbs!" he said, and drank, passing the battered
thing over to his new friend.
CHAPTER I TARA IN A TANTRUM Tara of Helium rose from the pile of silks and soft furs upon which she had been reclining, stretched her lithe body languidly, and crossed toward the center of the room, where, above a large table, a bronze disc depended from the low ceiling.Page 4
As she left her apartments to make her way to the gardens where the guests were congregating, two warriors, the insignia of the House of the Prince of Helium upon their harness, followed a few paces behind her, grim reminders that the assassin's blade may never be ignored upon Barsoom, where, in a measure, it counterbalances the great natural span of human life, which is estimated at not less than a thousand years.Page 8
substitute to perform this labor, and as our own people will not hire out for labor in the mines it has been necessary to obtain slaves, and I do not need to tell you that slaves are not won without fighting.Page 34
In one hand was his sword, but a voice arose, crying in tones of authority.Page 44
You have no right to keep me and I demand that you liberate me at once.Page 51
It must be very far.Page 63
Their heads seemed out of proportion to their bodies--too large.Page 72
"Be thou Tara of Helium or another," he replied, "is immaterial, to serve thus a red woman.Page 75
Panthans were rough and ready men.Page 81
"Where are we?" she asked.Page 93
"Manator and the hills which guard it alone know the age of Manator," he said; "yet in all the ages that have rolled by since Manator first was, there be no record in the annals of Manator of a stranger departing from Manator.Page 98
O-Tar shrugged.Page 100
"The Great Jed.Page 123
" "Yet you do not deny the accusation," said O-Tar.Page 131
In a dimly-lighted chamber beneath the palace of O-Tar the jeddak, Turan the panthan lowered Tara of Helium from his arms and faced her.Page 149
Know Princess," he whispered, "that upon this side is no man of Manator, but each and every is an enemy of Manator.Page 169
Beyond the door were but four warriors who might be readily surprised.Page 176
I accompanied them.Page 191
"Come! Let us drink!" cried O-Tar and reached for the dagger, the pommel of which he was accustomed to use to strike the gong which summoned slaves, but the dagger was not in its scabbard.