Schulers Books Online
books - games - software - wallpaper - everything
- Thuvia, Maid of Mars - 30/31 -
while an answering groan broke from the lips of the Kaolians.
The former now turned their attention upon the new arrival, for they saw her defenders could soon be overcome and that from her deck they could command the deck of the better-manned ship.
As they charged a shout of warning came from Kulan Tith, upon the bridge of his own ship, and with it an appreciation of the valour of the act that had put the smaller vessel in these sore straits.
"Who is it," he cried, "that offers his life in the service of Kulan Tith? Never was wrought a nobler deed of self-sacrifice upon Barsoom!"
The green horde was scrambling over the Thuria's side as there broke from the bow the device of Carthoris, Prince of Helium, in reply to the query of the jeddak of Kaol. None upon the smaller flier had opportunity to note the effect of this announcement upon the Kaolians, for their attention was claimed slowly now by that which was transpiring upon their own deck.
Kar Komak stood behind the gun he had been operating, staring with wide eyes at the onrushing hideous green warriors. Carthoris, seeing him thus, felt a pang of regret that, after all, this man that he had thought so valorous should prove, in the hour of need, as spineless as Jav or Tario.
"Kar Komak--the man!" he shouted. "Grip yourself! Remember the days of the glory of the seafarers of Lothar. Fight! Fight, man! Fight as never man fought before. All that remains to us is to die fighting."
Kar Komak turned toward the Heliumite, a grim smile upon his lips.
"Why should we fight," he asked. "Against such fearful odds? There is another way--a better way. Look!" He pointed toward the companion-way that led below deck.
The green men, a handful of them, had already reached the Thuria's deck, as Carthoris glanced in the direction the Lotharian had indicated. The sight that met his eyes set his heart to thumping in joy and relief--Thuvia of Ptarth might yet be saved? For from below there poured a stream of giant bowmen, grim and terrible. Not the bowmen of Tario or Jav, but the bowmen of an odwar of bowmen--savage fighting men, eager for the fray.
The green warriors paused in momentary surprise and consternation, but only for a moment. Then with horrid war-cries they leaped forward to meet these strange, new foemen.
A volley of arrows stopped them in their tracks. In a moment the only green warriors upon the deck of the Thuria were dead warriors, and the bowmen of Kar Komak were leaping over the vessel's sides to charge the hordesmen upon the ground.
Utan after utan tumbled from the bowels of the Thuria to launch themselves upon the unfortunate green men. Kulan Tith and his Kaolians stood wide-eyed and speechless with amazement as they saw thousands of these strange, fierce warriors emerge from the companion-way of the small craft that could not comfortably have accommodated more than fifty.
At last the green men could withstand the onslaught of overwhelming numbers no longer. Slowly, at first, they fell back across the ochre plain. The bowmen pursued them. Kar Komak, standing upon the deck of the Thuria, trembled with excitement.
At the top of his lungs he voiced the savage war-cry of his forgotten day. He roared encouragement and commands at his battling utans, and then, as they charged further and further from the Thuria, he could no longer withstand the lure of battle.
Leaping over the ship's side to the ground, he joined the last of his bowmen as they raced off over the dead sea-bottom in pursuit of the fleeing green horde.
Beyond a low promontory of what once had been an island the green men were disappearing toward the west. Close upon their heels raced the fleet bowmen of a bygone day, and forging steadily ahead among them Carthoris and Thuvia could see the mighty figure of Kar Komak, brandishing aloft the Torquasian short-sword with which he was armed, as he urged his creatures after the retreating enemy.
As the last of them disappeared behind the promontory, Carthoris turned toward Thuvia of Ptarth.
"They have taught me a lesson, these vanishing bowmen of Lothar," he said. "When they have served their purpose they remain not to embarrass their masters by their presence. Kulan Tith and his warriors are here to protect you. My acts have constituted the proof of my honesty of purpose. Good-bye," and he knelt at her feet, raising a bit of her harness to his lips.
The girl reached out a hand and laid it upon the thick black hair of the head bent before her. Softly she asked:
"Where are you going, Carthoris?"
"With Kar Komak, the bowman," he replied. "There will be fighting and forgetfulness."
The girl put her hands before her eyes, as though to shut out some mighty temptation from her sight.
"May my ancestors have mercy upon me," she cried, "if I say the thing I have no right to say; but I cannot see you cast your life away, Carthoris, Prince of Helium! Stay, my chieftain. Stay--I love you!"
A cough behind them brought both about, and there they saw standing, not two paces from them Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol.
For a long moment none spoke. Then Kulan Tith cleared his throat.
"I could not help hearing all that passed," he said. "I am no fool, to be blind to the love that lies between you. Nor am I blind to the lofty honour that has caused you, Carthoris, to risk your life and hers to save mine, though you thought that that very act would rob you of the chance to keep her for your own.
"Nor can I fail to appreciate the virtue that has kept your lips sealed against words of love for this Heliumite, Thuvia, for I know that I have but just heard the first declaration of your passion for him. I do not condemn you. Rather should I have condemned you had you entered a loveless marriage with me.
"Take back your liberty, Thuvia of Ptarth," he cried, "and bestow it where your heart already lies enchained, and when the golden collars are clasped about your necks you will see that Kulan Tith's is the first sword to be raised in declaration of eternal friendship for the new Princess of Helium and her royal mate!"
A GLOSSARY OF NAMES AND TERMS USED IN THE MARTIAN BOOKS
Aaanthor. A dead city of ancient Mars. Aisle of Hope. An aisle leading to the court-room in Helium. Apt. An Arctic monster. A huge, white-furred creature with six limbs, four of which, short and heavy, carry it over the snow and ice; the other two, which grow forward from its shoulders on either side of its long, powerful neck, terminate in white, hairless hands with which it seizes and holds its prey. Its head and mouth are similar in appearance to those of a hippopotamus, except that from the sides of the lower jawbone two mighty horns curve slightly downward toward the front. Its two huge eyes extend in two vast oval patches from the centre of the top of the cranium down either side of the head to below the roots of the horns, so that these weapons really grow out from the lower part of the eyes, which are composed of several thousand ocelli each. Each ocellus is furnished with its own lid, and the apt can, at will, close as many of the facets of his huge eyes as he chooses. (See THE WARLORD OF MARS.) Astok. Prince of Dusar. Avenue of Ancestors. A street in Helium. Banth. Barsoomian lion. A fierce beast of prey that roams the low hills surrounding the dead seas of ancient Mars. It is almost hairless, having only a great, bristly mane about its thick neck. Its long, lithe body is supported by ten powerful legs, its enormous jaws are equipped with several rows of long needle-like fangs, and its mouth reaches to a point far back of its tiny ears. It has enormous protruding eyes of green. (See THE GODS OF MARS.) Bar Comas. Jeddak of Warhoon. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.) Barsoom. MARS Black pirates of Barsoom. Men six feet and over in height. Have clear-cut and handsome features; their eyes are well set and large, though a slight narrowness lends them a crafty appearance. The iris is extremely black while the eyeball itself is quite white and clear. Their skin has the appearance of polished ebony. (See THE GODS OF MARS.) Calot. A dog. About the size of a Shetland pony and has ten short legs. The head bears a slight resemblance to that of a frog, except that the jaws are equipped with three rows of long, sharp tusks. (See A PRINCESS OF MARS.) Carter, John. Warlord of Mars. Carthoris of Helium. Son of John Carter and Dejah Thoris. Dak Kova. Jed among the Warhoons (later jeddak). Darseen. Chameleon-like reptile. Dator. Chief or prince among the First Born. Dejah Thoris. Princess of Helium. Djor Kantos. Son of Kantos Kan; padwar of the Fifth Utan. Dor. Valley of Heaven. Dotar Sojat. John Carter's Martian name, from the surnames of the first two warrior chieftains he killed. Dusar. A Martian kingdom. Dwar. Captain. Ersite. A kind of stone. Father of Therns. High Priest of religious cult. First Born. Black race; black pirates. Kar Komak. Odwar of Lotharian bowmen. Gate of Jeddaks. A gate in Helium. Gozava. Tars Tarkas' dead wife. Gur Tus. Dwar of the Tenth Utan. Haad. Martian mile.
Previous Page Next Page
1 10 20 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Schulers Books Online
books - games - software - wallpaper - everything