Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 41

hope to escape the lightning-like movements or hide
from those myriad facet eyes which covered three-fourths of the
hideous head, permitting the creature to see in all directions at
one and the same time.

Even my powerful and ferocious Woola was as helpless as a kitten
before that frightful thing. But to flee were useless, even had
it ever been to my liking to turn my back upon a danger; so I stood
my ground, Woola snarling at my side, my only hope to die as I had
always lived--fighting.

The creature was upon us now, and at the instant there seemed to
me a single slight chance for victory. If I could but remove the
terrible menace of certain death hidden in the poison sacs that
fed the sting the struggle would be less unequal.

At the thought I called to Woola to leap upon the creature's head
and hang there, and as his mighty jaws closed upon that fiendish
face, and glistening fangs buried themselves in the bone and
cartilage and lower part of one of the huge eyes, I dived beneath
the great body as the creature rose, dragging Woola from the ground,
that it might bring its sting beneath and pierce the body of the
thing hanging to its head.

To put myself in the path of that poison-laden lance was to court
instant death, but it was the only way; and as the thing shot
lightning-like toward me I swung my long-sword in a terrific cut
that severed the deadly member close to the gorgeously marked body.

Then, like a battering-ram, one of the powerful hind legs caught
me full in the chest and hurled me, half stunned and wholly winded,
clear across the broad highway and into the underbrush of the jungle
that fringes it.

Fortunately, I passed between the boles of trees; had I struck one
of them I should have been badly injured, if not killed, so swiftly
had I been catapulted by that enormous hind leg.

Dazed though I was, I stumbled to my feet and staggered back to
Woola's assistance, to find his savage antagonist circling ten feet
above the ground, beating madly at the clinging calot with all six
powerful legs.

Even during my sudden flight through the air I had not once released
my grip upon my long-sword, and now I ran beneath the two battling
monsters, jabbing the winged terror repeatedly with its sharp point.

The thing might easily have risen out of my reach, but evidently it
knew as little concerning retreat in the face of danger as either
Woola or I, for it

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