Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 26

mossy carpet beneath.

Far before him loomed the mountains toward which the green man had
been fleeing when last he had seen him, and with dogged resolution
the son of John Carter, endowed with the indomitable will of his
mighty sire, took up the pursuit on foot.

All that night he forged ahead until, with the dawning of a new
day, he entered the low foothills that guard the approach to the
fastness of the mountains of Torquas.

Rugged, granitic walls towered before him. Nowhere could he discern
an opening through the formidable barrier; yet somewhere into this
inhospitable world of stone the green warrior had borne the woman
of the red man's heart's desire.

Across the yielding moss of the sea-bottom there had been no spoor
to follow, for the soft pads of the thoat but pressed down in his
swift passage the resilient vegetation which sprang up again behind
his fleeting feet, leaving no sign.

But here in the hills, where loose rock occasionally strewed the
way; where black loam and wild flowers partially replaced the sombre
monotony of the waste places of the lowlands, Carthoris hoped to
find some sign that would lead him in the right direction.

Yet, search as he would, the baffling mystery of the trail seemed
likely to remain for ever unsolved.

It was drawing toward the day's close once more when the keen eyes
of the Heliumite discerned the tawny yellow of a sleek hide moving
among the boulders several hundred yards to his left.

Crouching quickly behind a large rock, Carthoris watched the thing
before him. It was a huge banth, one of those savage Barsoomian
lions that roam the desolate hills of the dying planet.

The creature's nose was close to the ground. It was evident that
he was following the spoor of meat by scent.

As Carthoris watched him, a great hope leaped into the man's heart.
Here, possibly, might lie the solution to the mystery he had been
endeavouring to solve. This hungry carnivore, keen always for the
flesh of man, might even now be trailing the two whom Carthoris
sought.

Cautiously the youth crept out upon the trail of the man-eater.
Along the foot of the perpendicular cliff the creature moved,
sniffing at the invisible spoor, and now and then emitting the low
moan of the hunting banth.

Carthoris had followed the creature for but a few minutes when it
disappeared as suddenly and mysteriously as though dissolved into
thin air.

The man leaped to his feet. Not again was he to be cheated as the
man had cheated him. He sprang forward at

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Text Comparison with The Gods of Mars

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