Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 13

bear arms. The tradesman and
his clerk clank with their martial trappings as they pursue their
vocations. The schoolboy, coming into the world, as he does, almost
adult from the snowy shell that has encompassed his development
for five long years, knows so little of life without a sword at
his hip that he would feel the same discomfiture at going abroad
unarmed that an Earth boy would experience in walking the streets

Vas Kor's destination lay in Greater Helium, which lies some
seventy-five miles across the level plain from Lesser Helium. He
had landed at the latter city because the air patrol is less
suspicious and alert than that above the larger metropolis where
lies the palace of the jeddak.

As he moved with the throng in the parklike canyon of the thoroughfare
the life of an awakening Martian city was in evidence about him.
Houses, raised high upon their slender metal columns for the night
were dropping gently toward the ground. Among the flowers upon the
scarlet sward which lies about the buildings children were already
playing, and comely women laughing and chatting with their neighbours
as they culled gorgeous blossoms for the vases within doors.

The pleasant "kaor" of the Barsoomian greeting fell continually
upon the ears of the stranger as friends and neighbours took up
the duties of a new day.

The district in which he had landed was residential--a district of
merchants of the more prosperous sort. Everywhere were evidences
of luxury and wealth. Slaves appeared upon every housetop with
gorgeous silks and costly furs, laying them in the sun for airing.
Jewel-encrusted women lolled even thus early upon the carven
balconies before their sleeping apartments. Later in the day they
would repair to the roofs when the slaves had arranged couches and
pitched silken canopies to shade them from the sun.

Strains of inspiring music broke pleasantly from open windows,
for the Martians have solved the problem of attuning the nerves
pleasantly to the sudden transition from sleep to waking that proves
so difficult a thing for most Earth folk.

Above him raced the long, light passenger fliers, plying, each in
its proper plane, between the numerous landing-stages for internal
passenger traffic. Landing-stages that tower high into the heavens
are for the great international passenger liners. Freighters have
other landing-stages at various lower levels, to within a couple
of hundred feet of the ground; nor dare any flier rise or drop from
one plane to another except in certain restricted districts where
horizontal traffic is forbidden.

Along the close-cropped sward which paves the avenue ground fliers
were moving

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