Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 24

men of Dusar who still remained alive had no mind to permit
so valuable a capture to escape them.

They had lost the girl. That would be a difficult thing to explain
to Astok; but some leniency might be expected could they carry the
Prince of Helium to their master instead.

So the three who remained set upon Carthoris with their long-swords,
crying to him to surrender; but they might as successfully have cried
aloud to Thuria to cease her mad hurtling through the Barsoomian
sky, for Carthoris of Helium was a true son of the Warlord of Mars
and his incomparable Dejah Thoris.

Carthoris' long-sword had been already in his hand as he leaped from
the deck of the flier, so the instant that he realized the menace
of the three red warriors, he wheeled to face them, meeting their
onslaught as only John Carter himself might have done.

So swift his sword, so mighty and agile his half-earthly muscles,
that one of his opponents was down, crimsoning the ochre moss with
his life-blood, when he had scarce made a single pass at Carthoris.

Now the two remaining Dusarians rushed simultaneously upon the
Heliumite. Three long-swords clashed and sparkled in the moonlight,
until the great white apes, roused from their slumbers, crept
to the lowering windows of the dead city to view the bloody scene
beneath them.

Thrice was Carthoris touched, so that the red blood ran down his
face, blinding him and dyeing his broad chest. With his free hand
he wiped the gore from his eyes, and with the fighting smile of his
father touching his lips, leaped upon his antagonists with renewed
fury.

A single cut of his heavy sword severed the head of one of them, and
then the other, backing away clear of that point of death, turned
and fled toward the palace at his back.

Carthoris made no step to pursue. He had other concern than the
meting of even well-deserved punishment to strange men who masqueraded
in the metal of his own house, for he had seen that these men were
tricked out in the insignia that marked his personal followers.

Turning quickly toward his flier, he was soon rising from the plaza
in pursuit of Thar Ban.

The red warrior whom he had put to flight turned in the entrance
to the palace, and, seeing Carthoris' intent, snatched a rifle from
those that he and his fellows had left leaning against the wall
as they had rushed out with drawn swords to prevent the theft of
their prisoner.

Few red men are good shots, for the sword is

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