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)
Without effort at concealment
I hastened to the
of our quarters,
where I felt sure
I should find Kantos
As I neared our building
I became careful,
and rightly so;
it was being watched
several men in civilian
loitering near the
and rear entrances.
The only way
to reach our apartment
was across the roofs
of several nearby
and after considerable
I achieved an open
on the upper floor
of the barracks.
Kantos Kan, alone
in our rooms,
asked me why I was
late coming off duty.
When I told him of the day’s events
he was all excitement,
then dismayed to hear the news that
Dejah Thoris had promised her hand to Sab
“She must have LOST HER MIND!
What can we do, John Carter?
You are a resourceful man—
how can we save Helium from this disgrace?!?”
“If I can come
within sword’s reach of Sab Than,
I can solve Helium’s difficulty,
but I would prefer that
another strike that blow,
for reasons of my own.”
“You LOVE her!” he exclaimed,
“Does she know it?” eyeing me narrowly.
“She knows it, Kantos Kan,
and repulses me only because of
her promise to marry Sab Than.”
Kantos Kan, my splendid friend,
leaped for joy,
“I could not think of
a more fitting mate for our Princess!
I shall slay Sab Than myself, tonight,
in his quarters!”
how?” I queried,
“The palace is strongly guarded—?”
He laughed and explained,
“A few days ago I was patrolling the city,
and espied a face peering
from the loftiest window of the palace.
A closer look revealed Sab Than,
who was quite put out at being discovered
He made me promise to keep silent,
but that window leads to his quarters.
I’ll need my flier.”
“But this building is watched—tell me,
how well are the machine-sheds guarded at
“Only by one man on the roof—?”
“Then go to the roof of this building, Kantos
and await me there.”
We quickly donned full air kits;
I didn’t plan to return to these quarters,
and there would be no time to retrieve them
stopping to explain my plans,
I retraced my way back to the street and,
staying in the shadows,
hastened to the squadron building.
I did not dare to enter it,
filled as it would be
with Airmen on the lookout for me.
The only way to reach our fliers unseen
was to scale the exterior
of the enormous structure,
some thousand feet high.
Only the battleship docks were higher,
at nearly fifteen hundred feet.
a dangerous climb, and a long one,
the decorative features of the architecture
provided me with an almost perfect ladder
all the way to the top.
But here I met with a real obstacle--
--the landing platform overhung
the entire tower by twenty feet or so,--
long before lights-out,
the top-floor dayroom was full of soldiers
who would arrest me on sight.
There was but one way to access the roof,
and an extremely risky one at that;
I swung my grapnel cautiously,
trying several times before its sharp hooks
finally found lodgment on the edge of the
I pulled the line gently
to strengthen its hold,
but whether it would bear my weight
I could not guess.
a thousand feet
to the hard pavement below,
and I knew that
not even my strong earthly frame
would survive such a fall.
For an instant I hesitated,
then released my grasp of the wall
and swung outward.
There was a jerk at the top of the line,--
--and a nasty, grating sound
that turned me cold with apprehension.
Then the hook caught firmly
and I eased up the line hand over hand--
--and, gratefully seizing the edge of the
drew myself up onto the surface,
only to find myself staring
into the muzzle of the sentry’s revolver.
“Who are you and whence came you?!?”
“I am an Air Scout, friend,
and very nearly a dead one!”
“But how came you upon the roof, man?
No one has landed or come up
from the building for the past hour.
Quick, explain yourself,
or I call the Guard!”
“Look you here, Sentry,
and you shall see how close a shave
I had to not coming at all!”
her caution somewhat relaxed
by my obvious relief at achieving
the safety of the solid deck,
and acting on impulse,
stepped near the edge to peer over,
to her undoing.
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| 17 | 17a
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| 19a | 19b
| 20 | 20a
| 21a | 21b
| 21c | 22
| 22a | 23
| 23a |
all correspondence to
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