Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 104

Tario or Jav, but the bowmen of an odwar of
bowmen--savage fighting men, eager for the fray.

The green warriors paused in momentary surprise and consternation,
but only for a moment. Then with horrid war-cries they leaped
forward to meet these strange, new foemen.

A volley of arrows stopped them in their tracks. In a moment the
only green warriors upon the deck of the Thuria were dead warriors,
and the bowmen of Kar Komak were leaping over the vessel's sides
to charge the hordesmen upon the ground.

Utan after utan tumbled from the bowels of the Thuria to launch
themselves upon the unfortunate green men. Kulan Tith and his
Kaolians stood wide-eyed and speechless with amazement as they
saw thousands of these strange, fierce warriors emerge from the
companion-way of the small craft that could not comfortably have
accommodated more than fifty.

At last the green men could withstand the onslaught of overwhelming
numbers no longer. Slowly, at first, they fell back across the
ochre plain. The bowmen pursued them. Kar Komak, standing upon
the deck of the Thuria, trembled with excitement.

At the top of his lungs he voiced the savage war-cry of his forgotten
day. He roared encouragement and commands at his battling utans,
and then, as they charged further and further from the Thuria, he
could no longer withstand the lure of battle.

Leaping over the ship's side to the ground, he joined the last of
his bowmen as they raced off over the dead sea-bottom in pursuit
of the fleeing green horde.

Beyond a low promontory of what once had been an island the green
men were disappearing toward the west. Close upon their heels
raced the fleet bowmen of a bygone day, and forging steadily ahead
among them Carthoris and Thuvia could see the mighty figure of Kar
Komak, brandishing aloft the Torquasian short-sword with which he
was armed, as he urged his creatures after the retreating enemy.

As the last of them disappeared behind the promontory, Carthoris
turned toward Thuvia of Ptarth.

"They have taught me a lesson, these vanishing bowmen of Lothar,"
he said. "When they have served their purpose they remain not
to embarrass their masters by their presence. Kulan Tith and his
warriors are here to protect you. My acts have constituted the
proof of my honesty of purpose. Good-bye," and he knelt at her
feet, raising a bit of her harness to his lips.

The girl reached out a hand and laid it upon the thick black hair
of the head bent before her. Softly she asked:


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