Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 37

city to which they took me was that famous ruin; but
where we may be now I have no idea."

"When the bowmen return we shall doubtless learn all that there is
to know," said Carthoris. "Let us hope that they prove friendly.
What race may they be? Only in the most ancient of our legends
and in the mural paintings of the deserted cities of the dead
sea-bottoms are depicted such a race of auburn-haired, fair-skinned
people. Can it be that we have stumbled upon a surviving city of
the past which all Barsoom believes buried beneath the ages?"

Thuvia was looking toward the forest into which the green men and
the pursuing bowmen had disappeared. From a great distance came
the hideous cries of banths, and an occasional shot.

"It is strange that they do not return," said the girl.

"One would expect to see the wounded limping or being carried back
to the city," replied Carthoris, with a puzzled frown. "But how
about the wounded nearer the city? Have they carried them within?"

Both turned their eyes toward the field between them and the walled
city, where the fighting had been most furious.

There were the banths, still growling about their hideous feast.

Carthoris looked at Thuvia in astonishment. Then he pointed toward
the field.

"Where are they?" he whispered. "WHAT HAS BECOME OF THEIR DEAD



The girl looked her incredulity.

"They lay in piles," she murmured. "There were thousands of them
but a minute ago."

"And now," continued Carthoris, "there remain but the banths and
the carcasses of the green men."

"They must have sent forth and carried the dead bowmen away while
we were talking," said the girl.

"It is impossible!" replied Carthoris. "Thousands of dead lay
there upon the field but a moment since. It would have required
many hours to have removed them. The thing is uncanny."

"I had hoped," said Thuvia, "that we might find an asylum with
these fair-skinned people. Notwithstanding their valour upon the
field of battle, they did not strike me as a ferocious or warlike
people. I had been about to suggest that we seek entrance to the
city, but now I scarce know if I care to venture among people whose
dead vanish into thin air."

"Let us chance it," replied Carthoris. "We can be no worse off within
their walls than without. Here we may fall prey to the banths or
the no less fierce Torquasians. There, at least, we shall find
beings moulded after

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