Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 79

but
at last he managed to get close enough to one of them to touch the
beast. With the feel of his hand upon the sleek hide the creature
quieted, and in answer to the telepathic command of the red man
sank to its knees.

In a moment Carthoris was upon its back, guiding it toward the
great gate that leads from the courtyard through a large building
at one end into an avenue beyond.

The other bull, still squealing and enraged, followed after his
fellow. There was no bridle upon either, for these strange creatures
are controlled entirely by suggestion--when they are controlled at
all.

Even in the hands of the giant green men bridle reins would be
hopelessly futile against the mad savagery and mastodonic strength
of the thoat, and so they are guided by that strange telepathic
power with which the men of Mars have learned to communicate in a
crude way with the lower orders of their planet.

With difficulty Carthoris urged the two beasts to the gate, where,
leaning down, he raised the latch. Then the thoat that he was
riding placed his great shoulder to the skeel-wood planking, pushed
through, and a moment later the man and the two beasts were swinging
silently down the avenue to the edge of the plaza, where Kar Komak
hid.

Here Carthoris found considerable difficulty in subduing the second
thoat, and as Kar Komak had never before ridden one of the beasts,
it seemed a most hopeless job; but at last the bowman managed to
scramble to the sleek back, and again the two beasts fled softly
down the moss-grown avenues toward the open sea-bottom beyond the
city.

All that night and the following day and the second night they
rode toward the north-east. No indication of pursuit developed,
and at dawn of the second day Carthoris saw in the distance the
waving ribbon of great trees that marked one of the long Barsoomian
water-ways.

Immediately they abandoned their thoats and approached the cultivated
district on foot. Carthoris also discarded the metal from his
harness, or such of it as might serve to identify him as a Heliumite,
or of royal blood, for he did not know to what nation belonged this
waterway, and upon Mars it is always well to assume every man and
nation your enemy until you have learned the contrary.

It was mid-forenoon when the two at last entered one of the roads
that cut through the cultivated districts at regular intervals,
joining the arid wastes on either side with the great, white,
central highway that follows through the centre from end

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