Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 70

the straight
sword in the right, while above the left wrist the small shield
was held rigid upon a metal bracelet.

As the lone warrior came opposite them the six rushed out upon him
with fiendish yells that resembled nothing more closely than the
savage war cry of the Apaches of the South-west.

Instantly the attacked drew both his swords, and as the six fell
upon him I witnessed as pretty fighting as one might care to see.

With their sharp hooks the combatants attempted to take hold of
an adversary, but like lightning the cupshaped shield would spring
before the darting weapon and into its hollow the hook would plunge.

Once the lone warrior caught an antagonist in the side with his
hook, and drawing him close ran his sword through him.

But the odds were too unequal, and, though he who fought alone was
by far the best and bravest of them all, I saw that it was but a
question of time before the remaining five would find an opening
through his marvelous guard and bring him down.

Now my sympathies have ever been with the weaker side of an argument,
and though I knew nothing of the cause of the trouble I could not
stand idly by and see a brave man butchered by superior numbers.

As a matter of fact I presume I gave little attention to seeking an
excuse, for I love a good fight too well to need any other reason
for joining in when one is afoot.

So it was that before Thuvan Dihn knew what I was about he saw me
standing by the side of the white-clad yellow man, battling like
mad with his five adversaries.


Thuvan Dihn was not long in joining me; and, though we found the
hooked weapon a strange and savage thing with which to deal, the
three of us soon despatched the five black-bearded warriors who
opposed us.

When the battle was over our new acquaintance turned to me, and
removing the shield from his wrist, held it out. I did not know
the significance of his act, but judged that it was but a form of
expressing his gratitude to me.

I afterward learned that it symbolized the offering of a man's life
in return for some great favor done him; and my act of refusing,
which I had immediately done, was what was expected of me.

"Then accept from Talu, Prince of Marentina," said the yellow man,
"this token of my gratitude," and reaching beneath one of his wide
sleeves he withdrew a bracelet and placed it upon

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