Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 34

in
repulsing this adventurous red man, just as Hortan Gur was about
to leap from it to the back of his thoat.

The attention of the green warriors turned principally upon
the bowmen advancing upon them from the city, and upon the savage
banths that paced beside them--cruel beasts of war, infinitely more
terrible than their own savage calots.

As Carthoris leaped to the rostrum he drew Thuvia up beside him,
and then he turned upon the departing jeddak with an angry challenge
and a sword thrust.

As the Heliumite's point pricked his green hide, Hortan Gur turned
upon his adversary with a snarl, but at the same instant two
of his chieftains called to him to hasten, for the charge of the
fair-skinned inhabitants of the city was developing into a more
serious matter than the Torquasians had anticipated.

Instead of remaining to battle with the red man, Hortan Gur promised
him his attention after he had disposed of the presumptuous citizens
of the walled city, and, leaping astride his thoat, galloped off
to meet the rapidly advancing bowmen.

The other warriors quickly followed their jeddak, leaving Thuvia
and Carthoris alone upon the platform.

Between them and the city raged a terrific battle. The fair-skinned
warriors, armed only with their long bows and a kind of short-handled
war-axe, were almost helpless beneath the savage mounted green men
at close quarters; but at a distance their sharp arrows did fully
as much execution as the radium projectiles of the green men.

But if the warriors themselves were outclassed, not so their savage
companions, the fierce banths. Scarce had the two lines come
together when hundreds of these appalling creatures had leaped
among the Torquasians, dragging warriors from their thoats--dragging
down the huge thoats themselves, and bringing consternation to all
before them.

The numbers of the citizenry, too, was to their advantage, for
it seemed that scarce a warrior fell but his place was taken by a
score more, in such a constant stream did they pour from the city's
great gate.

And so it came, what with the ferocity of the banths and the
numbers of the bowmen, that at last the Torquasians fell back,
until presently the platform upon which stood Carthoris and Thuvia
lay directly in the centre of the fight.

That neither was struck by a bullet or an arrow seemed a miracle
to both; but at last the tide had rolled completely past them, so
that they were alone between the fighters and the city, except for
the dying and the dead, and a score or so of growling banths, less
well trained than their fellows, who prowled

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