Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 46

red men as my own princess, and I would not stand supinely
by and see his warriors butchered by the cruel and heartless demons
of the waste places of Barsoom.

Cautiously I retraced my steps to where I had left Woola, and warning
him to silence, signaled him to follow me. Making a considerable
detour to avoid the chance of falling into the hands of the green
men, I came at last to the great wall.

A hundred yards to my right was the gate from which the troops
were evidently expected to issue, but to reach it I must pass the
flank of the green warriors within easy sight of them, and, fearing
that my plan to warn the Kaolians might thus be thwarted, I decided
upon hastening toward the left, where another gate a mile away
would give me ingress to the city.

I knew that the word I brought would prove a splendid passport to
Kaol, and I must admit that my caution was due more to my ardent
desire to make my way into the city than to avoid a brush with the
green men. As much as I enjoy a fight, I cannot always indulge
myself, and just now I had more weighty matters to occupy my time
than spilling the blood of strange warriors.

Could I but win beyond the city's wall, there might be opportunity
in the confusion and excitement which were sure to follow my
announcement of an invading force of green warriors to find my way
within the palace of the jeddak, where I was sure Matai Shang and
his party would be quartered.

But scarcely had I taken a hundred steps in the direction of the
farther gate when the sound of marching troops, the clank of metal,
and the squealing of thoats just within the city apprised me of the
fact that the Kaolians were already moving toward the other gate.

There was no time to be lost. In another moment the gate would be
opened and the head of the column pass out upon the death-bordered
highway.

Turning back toward the fateful gate, I ran rapidly along the edge
of the clearing, taking the ground in the mighty leaps that had
first made me famous upon Barsoom. Thirty, fifty, a hundred feet
at a bound are nothing for the muscles of an athletic Earth man
upon Mars.

As I passed the flank of the waiting green men they saw my eyes
turned upon them, and in an instant, knowing that all secrecy was
at an end, those nearest me sprang to their

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Page 2
His prisoner was the son of a mighty jeddak; he was the guest of Thuvan Dihn--until but now an honoured guest upon whom every royal dignity had been showered.
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