Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 61

instant, then, with a wave
of his hand, cried: "Look!"

The sight that met them was awe-inspiring. Where before there
had been naught but deserted pavements and scarlet swards, yawning
windows and tenantless doors, now swarmed a countless multitude of
happy, laughing people.

"It is the past," said Jav in a low voice. "They do not see us--they
but live the old dead past of ancient Lothar--the dead and crumbled
Lothar of antiquity, which stood upon the shore of Throxus, mightiest
of the five oceans.

"See those fine, upstanding men swinging along the broad avenue?
See the young girls and the women smile upon them? See the men
greet them with love and respect? Those be seafarers coming up
from their ships which lie at the quays at the city's edge.

"Brave men, they--ah, but the glory of Lothar has faded! See their
weapons. They alone bore arms, for they crossed the five seas to
strange places where dangers were. With their passing passed the
martial spirit of the Lotharians, leaving, as the ages rolled by,
a race of spineless cowards.

"We hated war, and so we trained not our youth in warlike ways.
Thus followed our undoing, for when the seas dried and the green
hordes encroached upon us we could do naught but flee. But we
remembered the seafaring bowmen of the days of our glory--it is
the memory of these which we hurl upon our enemies."

As Jav ceased speaking, the picture faded, and once more, the three
took up their way toward the distant gates, along deserted avenues.

Twice they sighted Lotharians of flesh and blood. At sight of
them and the huge banth which they must have recognized as Komal,
the citizens turned and fled.

"They will carry word of our flight to Tario," cried Jav, "and soon
he will send his bowmen after us. Let us hope that our theory is
correct, and that their shafts are powerless against minds cognizant
of their unreality. Otherwise we are doomed.

"Explain, red man, to the woman the truths that I have explained to
you, that she may meet the arrows with a stronger counter-suggestion
of immunity."

Carthoris did as Jav bid him; but they came to the great gates
without sign of pursuit developing. Here Jav set in motion the
mechanism that rolled the huge, wheel-like gate aside, and a moment
later the three, accompanied by the banth, stepped out into the
plain before Lothar.

Scarce had they covered a hundred yards when the sound of many men
shouting arose behind them. As they

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