Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 102

Thuvia of
Ptarth caught her breath quickly, glancing at Carthoris.

The device was that of Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol--the man to whom
the Princess of Ptarth was betrothed!

How easy for the Heliumite to pass on, leaving his rival to the fate
that could not for long be averted! No man could accuse him of
cowardice or treachery, for Kulan Tith was in arms against Helium,
and, further, upon the Thuria were not enough swords to delay even
temporarily the outcome that already was a foregone conclusion in
the minds of the watchers.

What would Carthoris, Prince of Helium, do?

Scarce had the device broken to the faint breeze ere the bow of
the Thuria dropped at a sharp angle toward the ground.

"Can you navigate her?" asked Carthoris of Thuvia.

The girl nodded.

"I am going to try to take the survivors aboard," he continued.
"It will need both Kar Komak and myself to man the guns while
the Kaolians take to the boarding tackle. Keep her bow depressed
against the rifle fire. She can bear it better in her forward
armour, and at the same time the propellers will be protected."

He hurried to the cabin as Thuvia took the control. A moment later
the boarding tackle dropped from the keel of the Thuria, and from
a dozen points along either side stout, knotted leathern lines
trailed downward. At the same time a signal broke from her bow:

"Prepare to board us."

A shout arose from the deck of the Kaolian warship. Carthoris,
who by this time had returned from the cabin, smiled sadly. He was
about to snatch from the jaws of death the man who stood between
himself and the woman he loved.

"Take the port bow gun, Kar Komak," he called to the bowman, and
himself stepped to the gun upon the starboard bow.

They could now feel the sharp shock of the explosions of the green
warriors' projectiles against the armoured sides of the staunch
_Thuria_.

It was a forlorn hope at best. At any moment the repulsive ray
tanks might be pierced. The men upon the Kaolian ship were battling
with renewed hope. In the bow stood Kulan Tith, a brave figure
fighting beside his brave warriors, beating back the ferocious
green men.

The Thuria came low above the other craft. The Kaolians were forming
under their officers in readiness to board, and then a sudden fierce
fusillade from the rifles of the green warriors vomited their hail
of death and destruction into the side of the brave flier.

Like a wounded bird

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