Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 76

cannot you do what Tario and Jav did?
They had no bowmen other than those of their own creation. You
must know the secret of their power. Call forth your own utan,
Kar Komak!"

The Lotharian looked at Carthoris in wide-eyed astonishment as the
full purport of the suggestion bore in upon his understanding.

"Why not?" he murmured.

The savage ape bearing the mighty bludgeon was slinking toward
Carthoris. The Heliumite's fingers were working as he kept his
eyes upon his executioner. Kar Komak bent his gaze penetratingly
upon the apes. The effort of his mind was evidenced in the sweat
upon his contracted brows.

The creature that was to slay the red man was almost within arm's
reach of his prey when Carthoris heard a hoarse shout from the opposite
side of the courtyard. In common with the squatting apes and the
demon with the club he turned in the direction of the sound, to see
a company of sturdy bowmen rushing from the doorway of a near-by
building.

With screams of rage the apes leaped to their feet to meet the
charge. A volley of arrows met them half-way, sending a dozen
rolling lifeless to the ground. Then the apes closed with their
adversaries. All their attention was occupied by the attackers--even
the guard had deserted the prisoners to join in the battle.

"Come!" whispered Kar Komak. "Now may we escape while their
attention is diverted from us by my bowmen."

"And leave those brave fellows leaderless?" cried Carthoris, whose
loyal nature revolted at the merest suggestion of such a thing.

Kar Komak laughed.

"You forget," he said, "that they are but thin air--figments of my
brain. They will vanish, unscathed, when we have no further need
for them. Praised be your first ancestor, redman, that you thought
of this chance in time! It would never have occurred to me to imagine
that I might wield the same power that brought me into existence."

"You are right," said Carthoris. "Still, I hate to leave them,
though there is naught else to do," and so the two turned from
the courtyard, and making their way into one of the broad avenues,
crept stealthily in the shadows of the building toward the great
central plaza upon which were the buildings occupied by the green
warriors when they visited the deserted city.

When they had come to the plaza's edge Carthoris halted.

"Wait here," he whispered. "I go to fetch thoats, since on foot
we may never hope to escape the clutches of these green fiends."

To reach

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