Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 82

not admit
even to herself that she loved him, and yet she had permitted him
to apply to her that term of endearment and possession to which
a Barsoomian maid should turn deaf ears when voiced by other lips
than those of her husband or fiance--"my princess."

Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol, to whom she was affianced, commanded
her respect and admiration. Had it been that she had surrendered
to her father's wishes because of pique that the handsome Heliumite
had not taken advantage of his visits to her father's court
to push the suit for her hand that she had been quite sure he had
contemplated since that distant day the two had sat together upon
the carved seat within the gorgeous Garden of the Jeddaks that
graced the inner courtyard of the palace of Salensus Oll at Kadabra?

Did she love Kulan Tith? Bravely she tried to believe that she
did; but all the while her eyes wandered through the coming darkness
for the figure of a clean-limbed fighting man--black-haired and
grey-eyed. Black was the hair of Kulan Tith; but his eyes were

It was almost dark when she found the entrance to the tunnel. Safely
she passed through to the hills beyond, and here, under the bright
light of Mars' two moons, she halted to plan her future action.

Should she wait here in the hope that Carthoris would return in
search of her? Or should she continue her way north-east toward
Ptarth? Where, first, would Carthoris have gone after leaving the
valley of Lothar?

Her parched throat and dry tongue gave her the answer--toward
Aaanthor and water. Well, she, too, would go first to Aaanthor,
where she might find more than the water she needed.

With Komal by her side she felt little fear, for he would protect
her from all other savage beasts. Even the great white apes would
flee the mighty banth in terror. Men only need she fear, but she
must take this and many other chances before she could hope to
reach her father's court again.

When at last Carthoris found her, only to be struck down by the
long-sword of a green man, Thuvia prayed that the same fate might
overtake her.

The sight of the red warriors leaping from their fliers had, for a
moment, filled her with renewed hope--hope that Carthoris of Helium
might be only stunned and that they would rescue him; but when she
saw the Dusarian metal upon their harness, and that they sought
only to escape with her alone from the charging Torquasians, she
gave up.


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