my earthly muscles endow me under the conditions of lesser gravity
and air pressure upon Mars.
Yet even so I came near to tasting death that day in the gloomy
corridor beneath Mars's southern pole, for Lakor played a trick
upon me that in all my experience of fighting upon two planets I
never before had witnessed the like of.
The other thern was engaging me at the time, and I was forcing
him back--touching him here and there with my point until he was
bleeding from a dozen wounds, yet not being able to penetrate his
marvelous guard to reach a vulnerable spot for the brief instant
that would have been sufficient to send him to his ancestors.
It was then that Lakor quickly unslung a belt from his harness,
and as I stepped back to parry a wicked thrust he lashed one end
of it about my left ankle so that it wound there for an instant,
while he jerked suddenly upon the other end, throwing me heavily
upon my back.
Then, like leaping panthers, they were upon me; but they
had reckoned without Woola, and before ever a blade touched me, a
roaring embodiment of a thousand demons hurtled above my prostrate
form and my loyal Martian calot was upon them.
Imagine, if you can, a huge grizzly with ten legs armed with mighty
talons and an enormous froglike mouth splitting his head from ear
to ear, exposing three rows of long, white tusks. Then endow this
creature of your imagination with the agility and ferocity of a
half-starved Bengal tiger and the strength of a span of bulls, and
you will have some faint conception of Woola in action.
Before I could call him off he had crushed Lakor into a jelly with
a single blow of one mighty paw, and had literally torn the other
thern to ribbons; yet when I spoke to him sharply he cowed sheepishly
as though he had done a thing to deserve censure and chastisement.
Never had I had the heart to punish Woola during the long years
that had passed since that first day upon Mars when the green jed
of the Tharks had placed him on guard over me, and I had won his
love and loyalty from the cruel and loveless masters of his former
life, yet I believe he would have submitted to any cruelty that I
might have inflicted upon him, so wondrous was his affection for
The diadem in the center of the circlet of gold upon the brow of
Lakor proclaimed him a Holy Thern, while his companion, not
After reading this far, my interest, which already had been stimulated by the finding of the manuscript, was approaching the boiling-point.Page 4
And then I let my eyes drop once more to the face upon the water, and what I saw nearly tumbled me backward into the sea, for the eyes in the dead face had opened; the lips had.Page 12
I reached far over to seize her hand.Page 19
The fellow scratched his head a moment and said, "No," and then as though it was an afterthought, he told me that he had seen the girl in the crew's room about midnight talking with the German commander, but as there hadn't seemed to him to be any harm in that, he hadn't said anything about it.Page 30
The water was halfway up the conning-tower! I had perhaps five minutes longer on the deck.Page 45
Meantime Olson cut off the long neck, saying that it would make fine soup.Page 48
It was the first stream we had found since leaving the river, and I at once made preparations to test its water.Page 49
What is your answer?" I turned toward von Schoenvorts.Page 57
Nor did he move until I said to him: "Plesser, you may return to your quarters and dress your wound.Page 58
" She paused and laughed.Page 62
He expects to be gone several weeks and to follow along their base in search of a point where they may be scaled.Page 64
"You love me, Lys?" I cried.Page 67
It was a beautiful, gently rolling country, broken by occasional outcroppings of sandstone and by patches of dense forest relieved by open, park-like stretches and broad meadows whereon grazed countless herbivorous animals--red deer, aurochs, and infinite variety of antelope and at least three distinct species of horse, the latter ranging in size from a creature about as large as Nobs to a magnificent animal fourteen to sixteen hands high.Page 69
I aimed at his heart and fired, and as he sprawled headlong to the ground, the others of his tribe, overcome by fright at the report of the pistol, scattered toward the cliffs--while Lys, with outstretched arms, ran toward me.Page 71
I had matches with me, and in the light of one I found a small cavern with a flat roof and floor which followed the cleavage of the strata.Page 76
They carried weapons, stone-shod spears, stone knives, and hatchets--and they wore ornaments and breech-cloths--the former of feathers worn in their hair and the latter made of a single snake-skin cured with the head on, the head depending to their knees.Page 77
He asked where they were and I told him toward the south somewhere, using the Caspakian phrase which, literally translated, means "toward the beginning.Page 81
She brought me all my belongings that had been filched from me--rifle, ammunition, knife, and thermos bottle, and then hand in hand we descended the cliff and set off toward the north.Page 82
For another three days I searched north and south, east and west for the hatchetmen of Caspak; but never a trace of them did I find.Page 83
Chapter 10 Once a day I descend to the base of the cliff and hunt, and fill my stomach with water from a clear cold spring.