Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 73

seed of the ocher vegetation
of the dead sea bottoms carried the noiseless traffic of light and
airy ground fliers that are the only form of artificial transportation
used north of the gigantic ice-barrier.

The broad tires of these unique fliers are but rubber-like gas bags
filled with the eighth Barsoomian ray, or ray of propulsion--that
remarkable discovery of the Martians that has made possible the
great fleets of mighty airships that render the red man of the
outer world supreme. It is this ray which propels the inherent
or reflected light of the planet off into space, and when confined
gives to the Martian craft their airy buoyancy.

The ground fliers of Marentina contain just sufficient buoyancy in
their automobile-like wheels to give the cars traction for steering
purposes; and though the hind wheels are geared to the engine, and
aid in driving the machine, the bulk of this work is carried by a
small propeller at the stern.

I know of no more delightful sensation than that of riding in one
of these luxuriously appointed cars which skim, light and airy as
feathers, along the soft, mossy avenues of Marentina. They move
with absolute noiselessness between borders of crimson sward and
beneath arching trees gorgeous with the wondrous blooms that mark
so many of the highly cultivated varieties of Barsoomian vegetation.

By the end of the third day the court barber--I can think of no
other earthly appellation by which to describe him--had wrought
so remarkable a transformation in both Thuvan Dihn and myself that
our own wives would never have known us. Our skins were of the
same lemon color as his own, and great, black beards and mustaches
had been deftly affixed to our smooth faces. The trappings of
warriors of Okar aided in the deception; and for wear beyond the
hothouse cities we each had suits of the black- and yellow-striped
orluk.

Talu gave us careful directions for the journey to Kadabra, the
capital city of the Okar nation, which is the racial name of the
yellow men. This good friend even accompanied us part way, and
then, promising to aid us in any way that he found possible, bade
us adieu.

On parting he slipped upon my finger a curiously wrought ring set
with a dead-black, lusterless stone, which appeared more like a
bit of bituminous coal than the priceless Barsoomian gem which in
reality it is.

"There had been but three others cut from the mother stone," he
said, "which is in my possession. These three are worn by nobles
high in my confidence, all of whom have been

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