Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 81

as happened to
be within the domain of a belligerent nation were compelled to don
the insignia of that nation and fight with her warriors.

As far as Carthoris knew Dusar was not at war with any other
nation, but there was never any telling when one red nation would
be flying at the throat of a neighbour, even though the great and
powerful alliance at the head of which was his father, John Carter,
had managed to maintain a long peace upon the greater portion of
Barsoom.

A pleasant smile lighted Hal Vas' face as Carthoris admitted his
vocation.

"It is well," exclaimed the young man, "that you chanced to come
hither, for here you will find the means of obtaining service in
short order. My father, Vas Kor, is even now with me, having come
hither to recruit a force for the new war against Helium."




CHAPTER XII

TO SAVE DUSAR


Thuvia of Ptarth, battling for more than life against the lust of
Jav, cast a quick glance over her shoulder toward the forest from
which had rumbled the fierce growl. Jav looked, too.

What they saw filled each with apprehension. It was Komal, the
banth-god, rushing wide-jawed upon them!

Which had he chosen for his prey? Or was it to be both?

They had not long to wait, for though the Lotharian attempted to
hold the girl between himself and the terrible fangs, the great
beast found him at last.

Then, shrieking, he attempted to fly toward Lothar, after pushing
Thuvia bodily into the face of the man-eater. But his flight was
of short duration. In a moment Komal was upon him, rending his
throat and chest with demoniacal fury.

The girl reached their side a moment later, but it was with difficulty
that she tore the mad beast from its prey. Still growling and
casting hungry glances back upon Jav, the banth at last permitted
itself to be led away into the wood.

With her giant protector by her side Thuvia set forth to find the
passage through the cliffs, that she might attempt the seemingly
impossible feat of reaching far-distant Ptarth across the more than
seventeen thousand haads of savage Barsoom.

She could not believe that Carthoris had deliberately deserted her,
and so she kept a constant watch for him; but as she bore too far
to the north in her search for the tunnel she passed the Heliumite
as he was returning to Lothar in search of her.

Thuvia of Ptarth was having difficulty in determining the exact
status of the Prince of Helium in her heart. She could

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