Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 66

earlier in the
day.

At first he saw no indication that there was another than himself
anywhere about. The plain was deserted. No myriad bowmen camped
now beneath the overhanging verdure of the giant trees. No gory
heaps of tortured dead defaced the beauty of the scarlet sward.
All was silence. All was peace.

The Heliumite, scarce pausing at the forest's verge, pushed
on across the plain toward the city, when presently he descried a
huddled form in the grass at his feet.

It was the body of a man, lying prone. Carthoris turned the figure
over upon its back. It was Jav, but torn and mangled almost beyond
recognition.

The prince bent low to note if any spark of life remained, and as
he did so the lids raised and dull, suffering eyes looked up into
his.

"The Princess of Ptarth!" cried Carthoris. "Where is she? Answer
me, man, or I complete the work that another has so well begun."

"Komal," muttered Jav. "He sprang upon me . . . and would have
devoured me but for the girl. Then they went away together into
the wood--the girl and the great banth . . . her fingers twined in
his tawny mane."

"Which way went they?" asked Carthoris.

"There," replied Jav faintly, "toward the passage through the
cliffs."

The Prince of Helium waited to hear no more, but springing to his
feet, raced back again into the forest.

It was dawn when he reached the mouth of the dark tunnel that would
lead him to the other world beyond this valley of ghostly memories
and strange hypnotic influences and menaces.

Within the long, dark passages he met with no accident or obstacle,
coming at last into the light of day beyond the mountains, and
no great distance from the southern verge of the domains of the
Torquasians, not more than one hundred and fifty haad at the most.

From the boundary of Torquas to the city of Aaanthor is a distance
of some two hundred haads, so that the Heliumite had before him a
journey of more than one hundred and fifty Earth miles between him
and Aaanthor.

He could at best but hazard a chance guess that toward Aaanthor
Thuvia would take her flight. There lay the nearest water, and
there might be expected some day a rescuing party from her father's
empire; for Carthoris knew Thuvan Dihn well enough to know that he
would leave no stone unturned until he had tracked down the truth
as to his daughter's abduction, and learned all that there might
be to learn of her

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