Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 47

feet in an effort to
cut me off before I could reach the gate.

At the same instant the mighty portal swung wide and the head of
the Kaolian column emerged. A dozen green warriors had succeeded
in reaching a point between me and the gate, but they had but little
idea who it was they had elected to detain.

I did not slacken my speed an iota as I dashed among them, and as
they fell before my blade I could not but recall the happy memory
of those other battles when Tars Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark, mightiest
of Martian green men, had stood shoulder to shoulder with me through
long, hot Martian days, as together we hewed down our enemies until
the pile of corpses about us rose higher than a tall man's head.

When several pressed me too closely, there before the carved gateway
of Kaol, I leaped above their heads, and fashioning my tactics
after those of the hideous plant men of Dor, struck down upon my
enemies' heads as I passed above them.

From the city the red warriors were rushing toward us, and from
the jungle the savage horde of green men were coming to meet them.
In a moment I was in the very center of as fierce and bloody a
battle as I had ever passed through.

These Kaolians are most noble fighters, nor are the green men of
the equator one whit less warlike than their cold, cruel cousins of
the temperate zone. There were many times when either side might
have withdrawn without dishonor and thus ended hostilities, but
from the mad abandon with which each invariably renewed hostilities
I soon came to believe that what need not have been more than a
trifling skirmish would end only with the complete extermination
of one force or the other.

With the joy of battle once roused within me, I took keen delight
in the fray, and that my fighting was noted by the Kaolians was
often evidenced by the shouts of applause directed at me.

If I sometimes seem to take too great pride in my fighting ability, it
must be remembered that fighting is my vocation. If your vocation
be shoeing horses, or painting pictures, and you can do one or
the other better than your fellows, then you are a fool if you are
not proud of your ability. And so I am very proud that upon two
planets no greater fighter has ever lived than John Carter, Prince
of Helium.

And I outdid myself that day to impress the fact upon the

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