Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
1996 ~ Over 10,000 Webpages in Archive
James Killian Spratt's Graphic
Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess
(click panels for full-screen size)
On the road to Zodanga
and interesting sights
arrested my attention,
as we traveled
through miles and miles
of rolling country
many types of crops.
At several farms where I stopped
I learned a number of new things
about the methods
and manners of Barsoom.
The water for the farms
is pumped through long pipelines
from the canals to the planted areas.
Along either side,
extending their entire length,
lie the farmlands.
The precious water is
carried via networks of small pipes
directly to the plants' roots.
instead of flooding the fields,
prevents wastage by evaporation.
The crops are always uniform,
for there are no droughts,
no high winds,
and no insects,
or destroying birds.
On this trip
I tasted the first red meat
I had eaten since leaving Earth --
large, juicy steaks and chops
from well-fed domestic animals, and
luscious fruits and vegetables,
none of them exactly
like anything from Earth,
which are pale by comparison.
The rural people
were very gracious hosts.
Every plant and flower and vegetable and
animal in the farmlands
has been refined by careful, scientific
cultivation and breeding.
At another stop I met some highly cultivated
people, of the noble class.
We politely introduced ourselves.
The older gentleman
was a Zodangan diplomat,
on a jaunt in the country
with his entourage.
In the course of conversation
we chanced to speak of Helium.
The man had been there
on a diplomatic mission
a few years earlier,
and spoke with regret
of the unpopular war
between Helium and Zodanga,
and the foolish blunder
of their ruler, Than Kosis,
of attacking Helium's crippled fleet.
"Helium," he said," rightly boasts
the most beautiful women on Barsoom.
All Helium has been draped in mourning
since Princess Dejah Thoris
-- their most exquisite flower --
was lost on that ill-starred expedition.
Why, they practically worshipped
the ground she walked upon."
"Even now our victorious armies,
having taken advantage
of the absence of Helium's fleets
on their search for the Princess,
have Helium surrounded,
and it is said that Helium will fall
in a few passages of the nearer moon.
But our people voice their displeasure --
this war is not based on right or justice."
"I fear Zodanga
will soon need to elevate a wiser man
to Than Kosis' place."
"And what, think you,
may have been the fate
of the Princess Dejah Thoris?"
as casually as possible.
"She is dead." he answered.
"A green prisoner of ours
said she escaped from Thark
with a strange creature
from another world.
Their thoats were found
wandering the dead sea bottom
and evidences of a bloody conflict
were discovered nearby."
This news regarding
Dejah Thoris' possible fate
was in no way reassuring,--
--but neither was it proof of her death.
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