Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 20

the little craft to whose deck
the Princess of Ptarth had been snatched from her father's garden,
Thuvia saw that the night had wrought a change in her abductors.

No longer did their trappings gleam with the metal of Dusar, but
instead there was emblazoned there the insignia of the Prince of
Helium.

The girl felt renewed hope, for she could not believe that in the
heart of Carthoris could lie intent to harm her.

She spoke to the warrior squatting before the control board.

"Last night you wore the trappings of a Dusarian," she said. "Now
your metal is that of Helium. What means it?"

The man looked at her with a grin.

"The Prince of Helium is no fool," he said.

Just then an officer emerged from the tiny cabin. He reprimanded
the warrior for conversing with the prisoner, nor would he himself
reply to any of her inquiries.

No harm was offered her during the journey, and so they came at last
to their destination with the girl no wiser as to her abductors or
their purpose than at first.

Here the flier settled slowly into the plaza of one of those mute
monuments of Mars' dead and forgotten past--the deserted cities
that fringe the sad ochre sea-bottoms where once rolled the mighty
floods upon whose bosoms moved the maritime commerce of the peoples
that are gone for ever.

Thuvia of Ptarth was no stranger to such places. During her
wanderings in search of the River Iss, that time she had set out
upon what, for countless ages, had been the last, long pilgrimage
of Martians, toward the Valley Dor, where lies the Lost Sea of
Korus, she had encountered several of these sad reminders of the
greatness and the glory of ancient Barsoom.

And again, during her flight from the temples of the Holy Therns
with Tars Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark, she had seen them, with their
weird and ghostly inmates, the great white apes of Barsoom.

She knew, too, that many of them were used now by the nomadic tribes
of green men, but that among them all was no city that the red
men did not shun, for without exception they stood amidst vast,
waterless tracts, unsuited for the continued sustenance of the
dominant race of Martians.

Why, then, should they be bringing her to such a place? There was
but a single answer. Such was the nature of their work that they
must needs seek the seclusion that a dead city afforded. The girl
trembled at thought of her plight.

For two days her captors kept her within

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