would forge upward to taste the cup of death.
I had been taking my turn with the others in defending the approach
to our lofty retreat when Mors Kajak, who had been watching the
battle in the street below, called aloud in sudden excitement.
There was a note of apprehension in his voice that brought me to
his side the instant that I could turn my place over to another,
and as I reached him he pointed far out across the waste of snow
and ice toward the southern horizon.
"Alas!" he cried, "that I should be forced to witness cruel fate
betray them without power to warn or aid; but they be past either
As I looked in the direction he indicated I saw the cause of his
perturbation. A mighty fleet of fliers was approaching majestically
toward Kadabra from the direction of the ice-barrier. On and on
they came with ever increasing velocity.
"The grim shaft that they call the Guardian of the North is beckoning
to them," said Mors Kajak sadly, "just as it beckoned to Tardos
Mors and his great fleet; see where they lie, crumpled and broken,
a grim and terrible monument to the mighty force of destruction
which naught can resist."
I, too, saw; but something else I saw that Mors Kajak did not; in
my mind's eye I saw a buried chamber whose walls were lined with
strange instruments and devices.
In the center of the chamber was a long table, and before it sat a
little, pop-eyed old man counting his money; but, plainest of all,
I saw upon the wall a great switch with a small magnet inlaid within
the surface of its black handle.
Then I glanced out at the fast-approaching fleet. In five minutes
that mighty armada of the skies would be bent and worthless scrap,
lying at the base of the shaft beyond the city's wall, and yellow
hordes would be loosed from another gate to rush out upon the few
survivors stumbling blindly down through the mass of wreckage;
then the apts would come. I shuddered at the thought, for I could
vividly picture the whole horrible scene.
Quick have I always been to decide and act. The impulse that moves
me and the doing of the thing seem simultaneous; for if my mind
goes through the tedious formality of reasoning, it must be a
subconscious act of which I am not objectively aware. Psychologists
tell me that, as the subconscious does not reason, too close a
scrutiny of my mental activities might prove anything but flattering;
but be that
At the stamping of the little foot, a great beast rose from the corner of the room and crossed to Tara of Helium where it stood looking up into her face.Page 18
Carried along a few hundred feet above the ground she was better able to appreciate the Titanic proportions of the storm than when she had flown in the comparative serenity of the zone above the clouds, for now she could distinctly see the effect of the wind upon the surface of Barsoom.Page 26
She groped her way through the darkness, giving the tower and its enclosure as wide a berth as possible.Page 34
Straight for that beautiful body she sprang and in the instant that the arms closed to seize her her sharp.Page 56
Here," and he raised one of his chelae to his head, "is the perfect brain.Page 64
Gahan shook his head and walked quickly toward the mystery, determined now to solve it.Page 65
A hasty examination of the deserted craft unfolded to the young jed the whole tragic story.Page 67
of following their leader to the ship's deck.Page 68
Slipping over the side Gahan descended by the trailing anchor-rope until his feet touched the top of the wall, where he had no difficulty in arresting the slow drifting of the ship.Page 82
Ghek had temporarily abandoned his rykor after enlisting Turan's assistance in lashing it safely to the deck.Page 85
Ghek, tiring of the sunlight, had deserted his rykor and crawled down a hole he had discovered close by.Page 95
The length of the room ran an arched ceiling ablaze with countless radium bulbs.Page 96
"Send one to O-Tar announcing that U-Dor brings two prisoners worthy of the observation of the great jeddak," said U-Dor; "one because of her extreme beauty, the other because of his extreme ugliness.Page 100
" The black haired U-Dor scowled.Page 101
When it returned she found herself in a large, circular chamber, the stone walls of which were pierced by windows at regular intervals about the entire circumference of the room.Page 104
But its most ferocious and repulsive feature is its jaws, the entire bony structure of which protrudes several inches beyond the flesh, revealing five sharp, spadelike teeth in the upper jaw and the same number of similar teeth in the lower, the whole suggesting the appearance of a rotting face from which much of the flesh has sloughed away.Page 112
She stood in silence now facing the burly warrior who approached her.Page 187
The two quit the chamber of O-Mai and took their way toward the spiral runway.Page 188
These, like several of the others he had passed at lower levels, were heavily barred, so that there was no possibility of his gaining ingress to the apartment where Tara was confined.Page 199
" "Just one question before you go," I begged.