Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 46

lifeless, existing only in the
imaginations of our enemies. It is really our giant minds that
defend us, sending out legions of imaginary warriors to materialize
before the mind's eye of the foe.

"They see them--they see their bows drawn back--they see their
slender arrows speed with unerring precision toward their hearts.
And they die--killed by the power of suggestion."

"But the archers that are slain?" exclaimed Carthoris. "You call
them deathless, and yet I saw their dead bodies piled high upon
the battlefield. How may that be?"

"It is but to lend reality to the scene," replied Jav. "We picture
many of our own defenders killed that the Torquasians may not guess
that there are really no flesh and blood creatures opposing them.

"Once that truth became implanted in their minds, it is the theory
of many of us, no longer would they fall prey to the suggestion
of the deadly arrows, for greater would be the suggestion of the
truth, and the more powerful suggestion would prevail--it is law."

"And the banths?" questioned Carthoris. "They, too, were but
creatures of suggestion?"

"Some of them were real," replied Jav. "Those that accompanied
the archers in pursuit of the Torquasians were unreal. Like the
archers, they never returned, but, having served their purpose,
vanished with the bowmen when the rout of the enemy was assured.

"Those that remained about the field were real. Those we loosed
as scavengers to devour the bodies of the dead of Torquas. This
thing is demanded by the realists among us. I am a realist. Tario
is an etherealist.

"The etherealists maintain that there is no such thing as
matter--that all is mind. They say that none of us exists, except
in the imagination of his fellows, other than as an intangible,
invisible mentality.

"According to Tario, it is but necessary that we all unite in
imagining that there are no dead Torquasians beneath our walls,
and there will be none, nor any need of scavenging banths."

"You, then, do not hold Tario's beliefs?" asked Carthoris.

"In part only," replied the Lotharian. "I believe, in fact I know,
that there are some truly ethereal creatures. Tario is one, I am
convinced. He has no existence except in the imaginations of his
people.

"Of course, it is the contention of all us realists that all
etherealists are but figments of the imagination. They contend
that no food is necessary, nor do they eat; but any one of the most
rudimentary intelligence must realize that food is a necessity to
creatures having actual existence."

"Yes,"

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