Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 1

women of
the courts of Mars are held but little less than sacred. The act
of Astok, Prince of Dusar, was profanation. There was no terror
in the eyes of Thuvia of Ptarth--only horror for the thing the man
had done and for its possible consequences.

"Release me." Her voice was level--frigid.

The man muttered incoherently and drew her roughly toward him.

"Release me!" she repeated sharply, "or I call the guard, and the
Prince of Dusar knows what that will mean."

Quickly he threw his right arm about her shoulders and strove to
draw her face to his lips. With a little cry she struck him full
in the mouth with the massive bracelets that circled her free arm.

"Calot!" she exclaimed, and then: "The guard! The guard! Hasten
in protection of the Princess of Ptarth!"

In answer to her call a dozen guardsmen came racing across the
scarlet sward, their gleaming long-swords naked in the sun, the
metal of their accoutrements clanking against that of their leathern
harness, and in their throats hoarse shouts of rage at the sight
which met their eyes.

But before they had passed half across the royal garden to where
Astok of Dusar still held the struggling girl in his grasp, another
figure sprang from a cluster of dense foliage that half hid a golden
fountain close at hand. A tall, straight youth he was, with black
hair and keen grey eyes; broad of shoulder and narrow of hip; a
clean-limbed fighting man. His skin was but faintly tinged with
the copper colour that marks the red men of Mars from the other
races of the dying planet--he was like them, and yet there was a
subtle difference greater even than that which lay in his lighter
skin and his grey eyes.

There was a difference, too, in his movements. He came on in great
leaps that carried him so swiftly over the ground that the speed
of the guardsmen was as nothing by comparison.

Astok still clutched Thuvia's wrist as the young warrior confronted
him. The new-comer wasted no time and he spoke but a single word.

"Calot!" he snapped, and then his clenched fist landed beneath the
other's chin, lifting him high into the air and depositing him in
a crumpled heap within the centre of the pimalia bush beside the
ersite bench.

Her champion turned toward the girl. "Kaor, Thuvia of Ptarth!" he
cried. "It seems that fate timed my visit well."

"Kaor, Carthoris of Helium!" the princess returned the young man's
greeting, "and what less could one

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