he said; and as Woola
and I passed through, the fellow closed the door quickly upon us.
The nasty laugh that came to my ears through the heavy planking of
the door after the lock clicked was my first intimation that all
was not as it should be.
I found myself in a small, circular chamber within the buttress.
Before me a door opened, presumably, upon the inner court beyond.
For a moment I hesitated, all my suspicions now suddenly, though
tardily, aroused; then, with a shrug of my shoulders, I opened the
door and stepped out into the glare of torches that lighted the
Directly opposite me a massive tower rose to a height of three
hundred feet. It was of the strangely beautiful modern Barsoomian
style of architecture, its entire surface hand carved in bold
relief with intricate and fanciful designs. Thirty feet above
the courtyard and overlooking it was a broad balcony, and there,
indeed, was Matai Shang, and with him were Thurid and Phaidor,
Thuvia, and Dejah Thoris--the last two heavily ironed. A handful
of thern warriors stood just behind the little party.
As I entered the enclosure the eyes of those in the balcony were
full upon me.
An ugly smile distorted the cruel lips of Matai Shang. Thurid
hurled a taunt at me and placed a familiar hand upon the shoulder
of my princess. Like a tigress she turned upon him, striking the
beast a heavy blow with the manacles upon her wrist.
He would have struck back had not Matai Shang interfered, and then
I saw that the two men were not over-friendly; for the manner of
the thern was arrogant and domineering as he made it plain to the
First Born that the Princess of Helium was the personal property
of the Father of Therns. And Thurid's bearing toward the ancient
hekkador savored not at all of liking or respect.
When the altercation in the balcony had subsided Matai Shang turned
again to me.
"Earth man," he cried, "you have earned a more ignoble death than
now lies within our weakened power to inflict upon you; but that the
death you die tonight may be doubly bitter, know you that when you
have passed, your widow becomes the wife of Matai Shang, Hekkador
of the Holy Therns, for a Martian year.
"At the end of that time, as you know, she shall be discarded,
as is the law among us, but not, as is usual, to lead a quiet and
honored life as high priestess of some hallowed shrine. Instead,
Dejah Thoris, Princess of
As I spoke I stepped forward and laid my hand upon the shoulder of Carthoris where he stood in the front rank of the circle of nobles about me.Page 6
Five were at the paddles, while the sixth sat in the seat of honor.Page 9
If he should lead Matai Shang to that hallowed spot, then, too, should he lead John Carter, Prince of Helium.Page 10
By stumbling upon the wrong course I had lost the trail, and they had gained so much ahead of me that now I might not be able to find them before it was too late, if, in fact, I could find them at all.Page 13
Words could not have more plainly told me that danger of some sort lay near by, and so I pressed quietly forward.Page 15
Signaling Woola to heel I stepped suddenly into the room before the two men.Page 17
" As I spoke I smiled grimly that he might know without words that I distrusted him.Page 33
Somewhere within that massive pile was Dejah Thoris.Page 37
Shot after shot tore past or into us, but by a miracle neither Woola nor I was hit, nor were the after tanks punctured.Page 54
Then I drew my sword and swung round, on guard, to face a nation.Page 59
after my own heart, and that night saw the beginning of a friendship which has grown until it is second only to that which obtains between Tars Tarkas, the green Jeddak of Thark, and myself.Page 70
Now my sympathies have ever been with the weaker side of an argument, and though I knew nothing of the cause of the trouble I could not stand idly by and see a brave man butchered by superior numbers.Page 74
Following closely each detail of the instructions given us by our good friend of Marentina, we remained concealed for several hours until one party of some half dozen warriors had passed along the trail below our hiding place and entered the hills by way of the pass along which we had come the previous evening.Page 81
As it was this interval upon which we had banked to accomplish so much in our search for Dejah Thoris and Thuvia of Ptarth, our chagrin was unbounded when we heard the great lock click behind our guide as he had quitted us after ushering us into the chambers we were to occupy.Page 82
As he did so he turned and slipped something into the hand of the yellow guardsman beyond the gate, nor was the distance too great that I might not see that money had passed between them.Page 99
I could hear nothing beyond, and, with my accustomed rashness, pushed the portal wide to step into a room filled with yellow warriors.Page 106
In grim and terrible silence they sped on toward the gate, the padded hoofs of their frightful mounts giving forth no sound.Page 110
The moment that my pursuers reached this straight stretch I would be in plain sight of them, with no chance to escape from the corridor undetected.Page 126
These three fell upon Dejah Thoris as we entered the apartment, and though the lives and training of royal Martians tend not toward vulgar demonstration, I thought that they would suffocate her with their embraces.Page 131
"Let a world's most beautiful woman share the honor of her husband," he said.