Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 45

detailed and
satisfactory account of himself, nor did I delude myself with the
belief that I could for a moment impose upon the acumen of the
officers of the guard to whom I should be taken the moment I applied
at any one of the gates.

My only hope seemed to lie in entering the city surreptitiously
under cover of the darkness, and once in, trust to my own wits to
hide myself in some crowded quarter where detection would be less
liable to occur.

With this idea in view I circled the great wall, keeping within the
fringe of the forest, which is cut away for a short distance from
the wall all about the city, that no enemy may utilize the trees
as a means of ingress.

Several times I attempted to scale the barrier at different points,
but not even my earthly muscles could overcome that cleverly
constructed rampart. To a height of thirty feet the face of the
wall slanted outward, and then for almost an equal distance it was
perpendicular, above which it slanted in again for some fifteen
feet to the crest.

And smooth! Polished glass could not be more so. Finally I had
to admit that at last I had discovered a Barsoomian fortification
which I could not negotiate.

Discouraged, I withdrew into the forest beside a broad highway which
entered the city from the east, and with Woola beside me lay down
to sleep.


It was daylight when I was awakened by the sound of stealthy movement
near by.

As I opened my eyes Woola, too, moved and, coming up to his haunches,
stared through the intervening brush toward the road, each hair
upon his neck stiffly erect.

At first I could see nothing, but presently I caught a glimpse of
a bit of smooth and glossy green moving among the scarlet and purple
and yellow of the vegetation.

Motioning Woola to remain quietly where he was, I crept forward to
investigate, and from behind the bole of a great tree I saw a long
line of the hideous green warriors of the dead sea bottoms hiding
in the dense jungle beside the road.

As far as I could see, the silent line of destruction and death
stretched away from the city of Kaol. There could be but one
explanation. The green men were expecting an exodus of a body of
red troops from the nearest city gate, and they were lying there
in ambush to leap upon them.

I owed no fealty to the Jeddak of Kaol, but he was of the same race
of noble

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