strife. And so I gripped my long-sword the
tighter as I replied to Lakor.
"I believe that you will see the wisdom of permitting me to pass
unmolested," I said, "for it would avail you nothing to die uselessly
in the rocky bowels of Barsoom merely to protect a hereditary enemy,
such as Thurid, Dator of the First Born.
"That you shall die should you elect to oppose me is evidenced by
the moldering corpses of all the many great Barsoomian warriors
who have gone down beneath this blade--I am John Carter, Prince of
For a moment that name seemed to paralyze the two men; but only
for a moment, and then the younger of them, with a vile name upon
his lips, rushed toward me with ready sword.
He had been standing a little behind his companion, Lakor, during
our parley, and now, ere he could engage me, the older man grasped
his harness and drew him back.
"Hold!" commanded Lakor. "There will be plenty of time to fight if
we find it wise to fight at all. There be good reasons why every
thern upon Barsoom should yearn to spill the blood of the blasphemer,
the sacrilegist; but let us mix wisdom with our righteous hate.
The Prince of Helium is bound upon an errand which we ourselves,
but a moment since, were wishing that we might undertake.
"Let him go then and slay the black. When he returns we shall still
be here to bar his way to the outer world, and thus we shall have
rid ourselves of two enemies, nor have incurred the displeasure of
the Father of Therns."
As he spoke I could not but note the crafty glint in his evil
eyes, and while I saw the apparent logic of his reasoning I felt,
subconsciously perhaps, that his words did but veil some sinister
intent. The other thern turned toward him in evident surprise, but
when Lakor had whispered a few brief words into his ear he, too,
drew back and nodded acquiescence to his superior's suggestion.
"Proceed, John Carter," said Lakor; "but know that if Thurid does
not lay you low there will be those awaiting your return who will
see that you never pass again into the sunlight of the upper world.
During our conversation Woola had been growling and bristling
close to my side. Occasionally he would look up into my face with
a low, pleading whine, as though begging for the word that would
send him headlong at the bare throats before him. He, too, sensed
the villainy behind the
All about me, in every direction, was life.Page 15
Turning, I saw a hairy figure of a manlike thing standing watching us, and presently another and another emerged from the jungle and joined the leader until there must have been at least twenty of them.Page 17
I had managed to progress a little in the acquisition of a knowledge of her tongue, so that I knew many of the animals and reptiles by their Caspakian names, and trees and ferns and grasses.Page 27
From her I learned much of Caspak, but there still remained the mystery that had proved so baffling to Bowen Tyler--the total absence of young among the ape, the semihuman and the human races with which both he and I had come in contact upon opposite shores of the inland sea.Page 31
Often they were super-imposed upon each other until it required careful examination to trace out the various outlines.Page 34
I believe that never before in all my life, even amidst the terrors of childhood nights, have I suffered such a sensation of extreme horror as I did that moment in which I realized that I must lie bound and helpless while some horrid beast of prey crept upon me to devour me in that utter darkness of the Band-lu pits of Caspak.Page 36
After considerable difficulty we gained what we thought was our cave, only to find that it was not, and then we realized that we were lost in the labyrinthine mazes of the great cavern.Page 38
" She.Page 41
There were two or three more bad places, but for the most part it was an easy descent, and we came to the highest of the Band-lu caves without further trouble.Page 43
Ajor stood at my shoulder, her knife ready in her hand and a sneer on her lips at his suggestion that he would take.Page 45
I looked inquiringly toward Ajor, who explained as best she could that this was the form of the Caspakian oath of allegiance.Page 47
Thus we became well acquainted--to such an extent that we looked forward with regret to the day when they took their places among their new comrades and we should be forced to continue upon our way alone.Page 49
Beyond the confines of the Galu country is little danger from the Wieroo, who seek ordinarily only Galus of the highest orders.Page 58
Already I knew that the warm pools which always lie close to every tribal abiding-place were closely linked with the Caspakian scheme of evolution, and that the daily immersion of the females in the greenish slimy water was in response to some natural law, since neither pleasure nor cleanliness could be derived from what seemed almost a religious rite.Page 59
"Whose she is this?" repeated Al-tan.Page 62
The shield was held by tight loops to his left arm, while in his right hand he grasped his heavy knife.Page 69
Like a demon of hate he sprang among those Kro-lu fighting-men, tearing, rending, ripping with his long tusks and his mighty jaws.Page 71
"You saved my life; and I am no ingrate as is the batu Al-tan.Page 81
It was a beautiful sight.Page 88
Neither Bowen nor the party from the _Toreador_ had seen any sign of Bradley and his party.