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A Graphic Interpretation of
Edgar Rice Burroughs'
A Princess of Mars
James Killian Spratt
Cautioned to go armed,
I had the run of the city,
but only to the limits.
After a stroll, I suddenly saw the low hills
pierced by narrow, inviting ravines.
Concerned by Woola the hound's reaction
to my going exploring,
I sat down to pet him and reassure him.
It was hilarious --
it seemed he'd never been petted before.
When I hugged his neck,
scratched and talked to him
as I would my hound at home,
he rolled his upper lip
in a huge "collie smile,"
and rolled on his back like a huge puppy.
I rocked with laughter
at side-splitting ludicrousness.
He was my hound now, for certain.
I told him in a few moments to follow me,
authoritively, and he came along,
cowed by my laughter,
which, on Mars, signifies torture,
suffering, and death.
We walked a ways in the hills . . .
I kept our hike short for fear our absence
would be discovered.
I knew now that I was virtually free.
Now I would bide my time . . .
we hurried back . . .
I had my third glimpse
of the captive girl.
As I approached she gave me
one haughty glance --
and turned her back on me.
so Earthly womanly,
that though it stung my pride
it also warmed my heart;
a civilized retort to an affront,
a breech of manners
due to my ignorance of good manners . . .
Presently Lorquas Ptomel, Jed,
entered the council with his retinue,
signaling the girl's guards
to bring her in;
one of the guards was Sarkoja,
who twisted the girl's arm brutally --
I chanced an attempt to enter
to observe the proceedings.
The fair captive received
Sarkoja yanked her viciously
"And the nature of your expedition?" he continued.
"It was a purely scientific research party
sent by my grandfather Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium.
It was a peaceful mission, as our banners showed.
We were unprepared for war.
Despite your hatred we maintain the water supply
and atmosphere factory for this planet for all life,
including your own, even in the face of brutal,
Why, Oh why will you not learn
to live with us in peace?
I, granddaughter of the greatest red Jeddak,
ask you, 'Come with us! Will you come?'"
Lorquas Ptomel and the warriors
were on his lips were never spoken,
for just then a young warrior,
(an upstart who saw a chance
to draw attention to himself
by parroting the party line,)
leaped from the rostrum
and struck the fair captive
across the face,
and felled her to the floor.
-- placed his foot upon her
For an instant I thought
I struck him full in the face
as he turned at my warning --
-- then as he drew his short-sword,
hooking one leg over his pistol,
delivering blow after blow
upon his huge chest --
In but a moment
I raised Dejah Thoris in my
little more than an ordinary
nosebleed, which I quickly stanched.
Then she looked into my eyes, saying,
"Why did you it?"
"You would not even acknowledge me,
now you kill one of your companions
for my sake!
Who are you, in the garb of
a Thark chieftain?!"
"Chieftain?!" I replied, surprised.
bearing the arms,
ornaments and accouterments --
the body of my late adversary
had been stripped, and I read in
the respectful yet menacing
attitude of the warrior
the same demeanor as he who had
brought me my original equipment --
and realized suddenly that
I had also slain my antagonist
of the first battle, and had won my spurs.
Then Tars Tarkas approached
Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 15a | 16 | 16a | 17 | 17a | 18 | 19 | 19a | 19b | 20 | 20a | 20b |
| 21 | 21a | 21b |
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