Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 64

apt, he must belong to a people of the
north of whose very existence we were ignorant--possibly to the
fabled yellow men of Barsoom; that once powerful race which was
supposed to be extinct, though sometimes, by theorists, thought
still to exist in the frozen north.

Simultaneously we started upon the trail of the great beast.
Woola was quickly made to understand our desires, so that it was
unnecessary to attempt to keep in sight of the animal whose swift
flight over the rough ground soon put him beyond our vision.

For the better part of two hours the trail paralleled the barrier,
and then suddenly turned toward it through the roughest and seemingly
most impassable country I ever had beheld.

Enormous granite boulders blocked the way on every hand; deep rifts
in the ice threatened to engulf us at the least misstep; and from
the north a slight breeze wafted to our nostrils an unspeakable
stench that almost choked us.

For another two hours we were occupied in traversing a few hundred
yards to the foot of the barrier.

Then, turning about the corner of a wall-like outcropping of granite,
we came upon a smooth area of two or three acres before the base
of the towering pile of ice and rock that had baffled us for days,
and before us beheld the dark and cavernous mouth of a cave.

From this repelling portal the horrid stench was emanating, and
as Thuvan Dihn espied the place he halted with an exclamation of
profound astonishment.

"By all my ancestors!" he ejaculated. "That I should have lived to
witness the reality of the fabled Carrion Caves! If these indeed
be they, we have found a way beyond the ice-barrier.

"The ancient chronicles of the first historians of Barsoom--so
ancient that we have for ages considered them mythology--record
the passing of the yellow men from the ravages of the green hordes
that overran Barsoom as the drying up of the great oceans drove
the dominant races from their strongholds.

"They tell of the wanderings of the remnants of this once powerful
race, harassed at every step, until at last they found a way through
the ice-barrier of the north to a fertile valley at the pole.

"At the opening to the subterranean passage that led to their haven
of refuge a mighty battle was fought in which the yellow men were
victorious, and within the caves that gave ingress to their new
home they piled the bodies of the dead, both yellow and green, that
the stench might warn away their enemies from further pursuit.

"And ever since that long-gone day

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