as it may, I have often won success while the thinker
would have been still at the endless task of comparing various
And now celerity of action was the prime essential to the success
of the thing that I had decided upon.
Grasping my sword more firmly in my hand, I called to the red man
at the opening to the runway to stand aside.
"Way for the Prince of Helium!" I shouted; and before the astonished
yellow man whose misfortune it was to be at the fighting end of
the line at that particular moment could gather his wits together
my sword had decapitated him, and I was rushing like a mad bull
down upon those behind him.
"Way for the Prince of Helium!" I shouted as I cut a path through
the astonished guardsmen of Salensus Oll.
Hewing to right and left, I beat my way down that warrior-choked
spiral until, near the bottom, those below, thinking that an army
was descending upon them, turned and fled.
The armory at the first floor was vacant when I entered it, the
last of the Okarians having fled into the courtyard, so none saw
me continue down the spiral toward the corridor beneath.
Here I ran as rapidly as my legs would carry me toward the five
corners, and there plunged into the passageway that led to the
station of the old miser.
Without the formality of a knock, I burst into the room. There sat
the old man at his table; but as he saw me he sprang to his feet,
drawing his sword.
With scarce more than a glance toward him I leaped for the great
switch; but, quick as I was, that wiry old fellow was there before
How he did it I shall never know, nor does it seem credible that
any Martian-born creature could approximate the marvelous speed of
my earthly muscles.
Like a tiger he turned upon me, and I was quick to see why Solan
had been chosen for this important duty.
Never in all my life have I seen such wondrous swordsmanship and
such uncanny agility as that ancient bag of bones displayed. He was
in forty places at the same time, and before I had half a chance
to awaken to my danger he was like to have made a monkey of me,
and a dead monkey at that.
It is strange how new and unexpected conditions bring out unguessed
ability to meet them.
That day in the buried chamber beneath the palace of Salensus Oll
I learned what swordsmanship meant, and to what heights of sword
mastery I could
I decided that at first I would travel directly south in the hope that I might in that direction find some familiar landmark.Page 11
Instead, what I saw was an old man--a terrified old man! Staggering feebly and hopelessly from what must have been some very terrible fate, if one could judge from the horrified expressions he continually cast behind him toward the wood, he came stumbling on in my direction.Page 18
I shivered at the thought of how close I, too, must have been to going over with him.Page 31
I think that they must have been commencing to have some doubts--those wild, naked, red warriors--for when the first man fell in the second boat, the others stopped paddling and commenced to jabber among themselves.Page 39
I could not see her features.Page 49
I think there must have been tears in my eyes then--I know I felt too full for words.Page 55
I could see its mountains and valleys, oceans, lakes, and rivers, its broad, grassy plains and dense forests.Page 56
The momentum of his flying body, added to that of my own, carried the two of us over the cliff.Page 64
One of us could be master, and logically I was the one.Page 77
We made our way steadily down the rim of the beautiful river.Page 83
"She returned to the cave where she had been imprisoned," he replied, "and is awaiting me there.Page 91
From the direction of the village I saw a single warrior coming to join them.Page 104
long strips for drying when we should be out in the sunlight once more.Page 105
The best that we could do was to hold the scud-ding craft before the wind and race along in a smother of white spume.Page 115
In them were fully two hundred men, while but fifty lined the gunwale of the felucca to repel them.Page 119
It was a great occasion.Page 120
Each captain of the forty-nine other feluccas I made a duke.Page 123
I'm not finding fault; but I don't wish to lose sight myself, or let you lose sight, of the greater work which must grow out of this preliminary and necessary carnage.Page 130
The Luana group lies just beyond the range of vision from the mainland.Page 131
When I sailed away from Luana she was included among the kingdoms of the empire, whose boundaries were thus pushed eastward several hundred miles.