Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 71

warriors, charging him upon their
mighty thoats.

To their right was Kar Komak, naked and unarmed, yet running
valiantly toward Carthoris and shouting warning as though he, too,
had but just discovered the silent, menacing company that moved so
swiftly forward with couched spears and ready long-swords.

Carthoris shouted to the Lotharian, warning him back, for he knew
that he could but uselessly sacrifice his life by placing himself,
all unarmed, in the path of the cruel and relentless savages.

But Kar Komak never hesitated. With shouts of encouragement to
his new friend, he hurried onward toward the Prince of Helium. The
red man's heart leaped in response to this exhibition of courage
and self-sacrifice. He regretted now that he had not thought to
give Kar Komak one of his swords; but it was too late to attempt
it, for should he wait for the Lotharian to overtake him or return
to meet him, the Torquasians would reach Thuvia of Ptarth before
he could do so.

Even as it was, it would be nip and tuck as to who came first to
her side.

Again he turned his face in her direction, and now, from Aaanthor
way, he saw a new force hastening toward them--two medium-sized
war craft--and even at the distance they still were from him he
discerned the device of Dusar upon their bows.

Now, indeed, seemed little hope for Thuvia of Ptarth. With
savage warriors of the hordes of Torquas charging toward her from
one direction, and no less implacable enemies, in the form of the
creatures of Astok, Prince of Dusar, bearing down upon her from
another, while only a banth, a red warrior, and an unarmed bowman
were near to defend her, her plight was quite hopeless and her
cause already lost ere ever it was contested.

As Thuvia saw Carthoris approaching, she felt again that unaccountable
sensation of entire relief from responsibility and fear that she
had experienced upon a former occasion. Nor could she account for
it while her mind still tried to convince her heart that the Prince
of Helium had been instrumental in her abduction from her father's
court. She only knew that she was glad when he was by her side,
and that with him there all things seemed possible--even such
impossible things as escape from her present predicament.

Now had he stopped, panting, before her. A brave smile of
encouragement lit his face.

"Courage, my princess," he whispered.

To the girl's memory flashed the occasion upon which he had used
those same words--in the throne-room of Tario of Lothar as they had
commenced to slip

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