Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 69

with
his creatures. I wonder if he has succeeded as well with the maid
of Lothar."

"I thought there were no women there," said Carthoris.

"In a hidden apartment in the palace of Tario," replied Kar Komak,
"the jeddak has maintained the suggestion of a beautiful girl, hoping
that some day she would become permanent. I have seen her there.
She is wonderful! But for her sake I hope that Tario succeeds not
so well with her as he has with me.

"Now, red man, I have told you of myself--what of you?"

Carthoris liked the face and manner of the bowman. There had been
no sign of doubt or fear in his expression as he had approached
the heavily-armed Heliumite, and he had spoken directly and to the
point.

So the Prince of Helium told the bowman of Lothar who he was and
what adventure had brought him to this far country.

"Good!" exclaimed the other, when he had done. "Kar Komak will
accompany you. Together we shall find the Princess of Ptarth and
with you Kar Komak will return to the world of men--such a world
as he knew in the long-gone past when the ships of mighty Lothar
ploughed angry Throxus, and the roaring surf beat against the
barrier of these parched and dreary hills."

"What mean you?" asked Carthoris. "Had you really a former actual
existence?"

"Most assuredly," replied Kar Komak. "In my day I commanded the
fleets of Lothar--mightiest of all the fleets that sailed the five
salt seas.

"Wherever men lived upon Barsoom there was the name of Kar Komak
known and respected. Peaceful were the land races in those distant
days--only the seafarers were warriors; but now has the glory of
the past faded, nor did I think until I met you that there remained
upon Barsoom a single person of our own mould who lived and loved
and fought as did the ancient seafarers of my time.

"Ah, but it will seem good to see men once again--real men! Never
had I much respect for the landsmen of my day. They remained in
their walled cities wasting their time in play, depending for their
protection entirely upon the sea race. And the poor creatures who
remain, the Tarios and Javs of Lothar, are even worse than their
ancient forbears."

Carthoris was a trifle skeptical as to the wisdom of permitting
the stranger to attach himself to him. There was always the chance
that he was but the essence of some hypnotic treachery which Tario
or Jav was attempting to exert upon

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