From Tarzana, California
Memories from the
SYNOPSIS Pt. 2: Chapters 37-72
37. A DIZZY RIDE
Desperately seeking to attract the attention of the giant princess, John Carter leaped from the top of a building to the girl’s head. He tangled his hands in her hair and swung down beside her ear. Then he shouted. But Carter’s voice was lost in the crash of falling buildings, for Woola was running wild, confused by his own sudden growth. The girl’s brain had not yet cleared from the effects of Vovo’s Z-ray. Dazed, she sought water to cool her parched throat. Within the city was Vovo’s reservoir. Dejah Thoris threw herself down beside it. Carter’s hold on her hair was slipping as the girl splashed the cooling waters upon her face. And when she lowered her head to drink, the Earthman was washed into the churning waters.
38. INTO THE DEPTHS
John Carter rose to the water’s surface to see the giant Woola leaping toward the reservoir to quench his thirst. The huge beast splashed headlong into the water; great waves rolled upon the little lake. A mighty wave loomed above the Earthman. It flung him bodily upward, then buried him in its wake. Over and over he was tossed in the angry, churning waters before the wave spent itself. His lungs screamed for air as he shot once again toward the surface. As he burst out and gulped down the precious air, he beheld Woola’s great face directly above him. Then the calot’s tongue began to lap up the water and the Earthman was drawn toward the cavernous mouth.
39. DRINK OF DOOM
Oman and his mechanical men watched helplessly as John Carter sought to swim clear of Woola’s lapping tongue. The giant princess looked down upon the water’s surface. She saw the man drawn toward the calot’s mouth. Quickly she grasped him. In one hand Dejah Thoris held the Earthman, and then the horror of her own predicament dawned upon her.
Carter kissed one of her lips. “Fear not, Dejah Thoris,” he said, “When the effects of Vovo’s Z-ray wear off, thy size will return to normal!”
Now the great Woola advanced, puzzled, and scrutinized his old friend. Dejah Thoris knelt and Oman stepped into her other hand. Solemnly Oman spoke: “As new leader of my people I offer you friendship and sanctuary until the princess is fit to return to Helium.’
But that path to Helium wound northward from the Plateau of Eo across the Great Martian Desert, through wild, unknown lands, teeming with strange beasts – and stranger men!
40. CONTINUED “Farewell to the Plateau of Eo”
For many days John Carter and Dejah Thoris remained with Oman’s mechanical men, waiting for the princess’ height to return to normal. Oman’s people supplied food for the girl and the great calot and they fashioned new clothes for the princess befitting her rank.
One day John Carter and Oman told Dejah Thoris: “Soon dark clouds will roll over the plateau and snow will fall.” Such bitter cold would blanket the land that it would be impossible to fashion sufficient garments to protect the princess. Necessity forced them to part from Oman and his robots. Supplies for their long journey to Helium were strapped to Woola’s back. One dawn they waved farewell to Oman and started down the plateau on the long, treacherous path to Helium.
Several days later found them travelling over a rugged country that stretched northward from the plateau of Eo.
“Only legends tell of this land,” the princess explained to the Earthman. “It is one of many places on Barsoom never explored.”
Only in the fables were the giant chicken men of Mars supposed to exist. But no myths were the creatures who looked down from their rocky perches this day.
41. COCK’S CROW
John Carter was the first to see the giant chicken men leaping toward them over the rocky terrain. Dejah Thoris fled in terror before the cackling brutes. Woola followed closely behind her.
“Stop!” the leader crowed in the universal language of Barsoom.
The princess redoubled her speed, seeking vainly to outdistance the feathered beasts. If she were to reach the cliff and climb to safety, Carter knew he must find a way to detain the creatures. He shouted orders to Woola. The great calot slid to a halt and faithfully wheeled to meet and delay their pursuers. There was no other path of escape now. The girl must climb the steep cliff while Woola held back the chicken men. But Cro-yat, the leader, was not to be cheated out of his prize so easily. With lightning speed his mighty stone hatchet cut through the air.
42. HEIGHTS OF PERIL
Cro-yat’s hatchet caught Woola squarely between the eyes. The faithful brute collapsed without a sound – either stunned or dead. Alone, Carter would have remained with Woola; now the princess’ safety was paramount and Woola’s loyal stand enabled her to gain distance on her pursuers. Dejah Thoris climbed the walls of the great canyon while the Earthman clung to her hair. Crowing wildly the chicken men leaped over the calot’s body and sped on in pursuit up the cliff. Leading the others, Cro-yat scrambled up the rocks in agile bounds, his feathered arms outstretched for the girl.
“Female make good food!” the rooster cackled. “Soon Cro-yat eat!”
A rocky fragment of the cliff suddenly tore loose beneath the girl’s fingers. With a cry she toppled backwards.
43. INTO SPACE!
When Dejah Thoris toppled backward, Cro-yat prepared to grab her. The Earthman swung out over space, his hands clinging to the veil of the giant princess. Cro-yat grasped the girl’s ankle and braced himself on the narrow ledge. Now Dejah Thoris’ fall was checked, but Carter’s fingers burned as his hold slid toward the end of the fabric. Then the ground below seemed to be reaching upward and he knew that death’s hand was clutching for him. Once the path of his fall was deflected when his body, striking soft vegetation, glanced away from the cliff side. So he struck water instead of rocks – the river water that flowed in the canyon below the cliffs – and savage eyes and snapping jaws rose to greet him.
44. WATERY TOMB
With powerful strokes John Carter swam toward the riverbank – behind him with sinister quiet came a great dragon-fish. Like some evil thing in a dream it slowly overtook the man, its cavernous mouth engulfing him. The dragon-fish tossed back its hairy head and Carter was washed through the huge throat in a surge of water. He was tossed and twisted in the tortuous blackness of the esophageal passage; then he found himself within a place that glowed with strange phosphorescence. Now the startling truth dawned on the Earthman – he was inside the creature’s gigantic belly! Hissing in satisfaction, the monster dove for its underwater lair to digest its meal in solitude. When the gastric juices commenced to flow into the dragon’s stomach John Carter knew that soon the digestive acids would eat the flesh from his bones.
Meanwhile, the giant chicken-men sped off with Dejah Thoris toward the hidden village in the feather forest.
As Cro-yat, the chicken-man, carried Dejah Thoris into the strange jungle the great dragon-fish sank slowly toward the murky depths of the river bottom and entered into its lair. Inside this creature’s gargantuan belly John Carter was trapped – swallowed with lesser denizens of the Martian stream. An eerie glow, cast by phosphorescent organisms of the river water, dimly illuminated the stomach cavity – already deadly gastric acids were burning Carter’s skin! The throat had closed, to escape before the digestive acids killed him, the Earthman began carefully dissecting his way out of the creature’s belly! Minutes elapsed before the pain sensation reached the brain of the dragon-fish. Then hissing with anguish, it shot to the surface within the gloomy cavern, its body twisting like an uncoiling spring.
46. LAIR OF DEATH
The hissing cries of the dragon-fish echoed dismally through the underground cavern. Inside the creature’s stomach, John Carter sought to carve his way out before the deadly gastric acids killed him. When the final layer in the monster’s side parted, the Earthman barely could squeeze head and shoulders through as a master surgeon might wield a giant scalpel, so John Carter enlarged the incision with a single deft cut of his great longsword. The scaly hide helped Carter climb to the brute’s back, where he raced toward the tail in order to reach the adjacent shore. But as he crouched to spring for the bank, the dragon-fish flipped its tail fin and the man was hurled into the air. He alighted in the sticky, tangled web of a spider-like thing that had been waiting patiently for cavern bats.
47. TANGLED TURMOIL
Before John Carter could rise, the grazoon had hopped back and forth overhead, depositing several strands of sticky web upon him. The creature was puzzled by its new victim’s size, for its usual fare consisted of small cavern bats. Yet having no intention of relinquishing a morsel so large, it bound its victim well. So speedily had the mighty insect moved that Carter’s sword could not cope fast enough with the heavy sticky strands. Thus the Martian insect wove its tight web of death over the Earthman’s body. Now it moved stealthily toward Carter, the great pincer jaws opening and closing nervously in anticipation of the kill.
48. JAWS OF DEATH
As the grazoon crouched to spring upon the Earthman and suck the blood from his body, John Carter swung his sword and cut the anchor strand that held the insect’s web in place. Still fastened at two other points high in the cavern, the tangled net swung downward in a giant arc. The heavy insect tumbled off, dragging down part of the web in which Carter was caught. The Earthman fell toward the jagged floor of the cavern. But the grazoon landed directly beneath him and the man dropped with a thud upon the creature’s back.
49. A WILD RIDE
When John Carter fell from the insect’s back, the creature bolted across the muddy banks of the cavern. Six times the Earthman sank his great sword into the giant grazoon’s bristly hide. Finally the spider-like monster sprawled into the mud with an ear-piercing shriek. Carter’s body flipped over in air and he landed with a splash in the slimy ooze. Now the mud rose up in strange surges to roll toward him, while from each wave a grotesque face seemed to stare. When he sought to run, his efforts to escape were as those in a hideous dream. These living mud waves rolled onward tirelessly toward the man as he attempted to reach the sanctuary of a clump of mushroom-like growths. Carter paused in amazement when he heard the queer growths above urging him forward.
50. CONTINUED “Between ooze and leaf”
Between the shrieking plants ahead and the mud monsters in back, John Carter had little choice as he sought to run in the sticky ooze of the cavern floor. Now a plant reached out a grotesque, hand-like stem and jerked the Earthman from the sucking ooze. The mud monsters spluttered in disappointed anguish as their prey was snatched from their grasp.
“By my leaves and petals!” cackled the plant man who held Carter. “You are a man-thing of the outer realm.”
“I come from another world far out in space,” replied the Earthman. “A world where plants are silent and men should be.”
A great roar of laughter echoed from the strange herbs. “The man-thing is humorous,” they cried. “Pass him along for the king to see.”
51. THE PLANT KING
After being passed along by the strange plants, John Carter was finally placed upon a giant mushroom before the king. The man and the plant eyed each other in silence for a long while. The king drew a long breath and opened wide his leafy mouth. “Say something funny!” he shrieked, “before I wilt away. It’s been simply ages since I’ve heard anything to make me laugh,” wailed the king.
“People from Earth,” replied the astonished man, “would laugh uproarously were I to tell them that I had once conversed with a leafy vegetable!”
“Excuse me,” said the king, “but I am not amused.” Whereupon, clutching the Earthman in its arms, the plant thrust its head toward the ceiling of the cavern.
52. CUT ME IN TWO
The plant king thrust its head through an opening in the ceiling of the underground cavern. “Here we are!” declared the king.
The Earthman was puzzled when the plant released him. “I thought you intended to kill me,” Carter said.
“Great roots!” exclaimed the king impatiently. “You people who are not attached to the ground are always thinking of killing each other! I intend to help you locate your princess,” continued the king, “but you must do as I say. Draw your sword and cut me in two just below the arms.”
The Earthman wielded his great sword at the king’s bidding without question. Upon Mars nothing was unbelievable!” When part of the king’s trunk bearing head and arms fell to the ground it suddenly stood up like a comical bird.
“Now leap to my back,” shouted the king, “and we shall be off to search for your princess!” A second later the plant was hopping across the jagged terrain, while Carter clung to its back – a score of bewildering questions racing through his brain.
53. STRANGE FRIENDS
All day the great plant hopped along toward the valley of the feathered forest where, it assured John Carter, they would find Dejah Thoris. That night as they ate, Carter asked the plant king howit had known of the pirincess or her whereabouts.
“Through our roots,” explained the king. “We plants keep in touch with each other. We possess far greater knowledge than most realize.”
Carter found consolation in memories of Dejah Thoris and Woola. Perhaps tomorrow he would know the girl’s fate. Next day found them deep in the feathered forest. Herelived the giant chicken men of Mars who had abducted the princess. Finally the Earthman heard the sound of cackling voices and the rumble of giant footsteps. The plant king took to the trees and at last they looked down upon a thatched village sprawled in a clearing of the forest.
54. DEATH MARCH
John Carter and the plant king looked down fromt he trees upo a group of giant chicken men heading across the village courtyard. Their ranks parted for an instant and the Earthman beheld Princess Dejah Thoris, who was being forced along by the creatures. Carter would have leaped to her side, but he recalled Vovo’s grim experiment and how the girl’s body was now fifteen times normal size. Ye the plant king had a scheme ready. It whispered to the Earthman and then sprang down with him to the ground. At the edge of the village clearing, the plant ordered Carter to climb inside its leafy mouth.
55. A DARING PLAN
At the plant’s strange request, the Earthman climbed into concealment within his companion’s leafy mouth. Across the village courtyard the chicken men had commenced a savage, fanatical ceremony that would culminate in the beheading of the helpless girl. Cro-yat, the chief, danced wildly around Dejah Thoris, swinging his hatchet in crazy patterns – and while the weird ritual progressed there suddenly appeared in the clearing, even unobserved by the sentry, an insignificant-looking shrub that supported a lone blossom on its twisted trunk. Inside this blossom John Carter watched tensely as the plant sought to accomplish its amazing scheme. Slowly the plant moved across the courtyard, and as any other innocent appearing growth it attracted no notice.
As Cro-yat approached the girl with upraised hatchet, the plant king reached the lone tree whose limb overhung the place of sacrifice. The plant king scampered up and attached itself to this limb, establishing contact through the bark fibers and gaining control over the tree’s nerve center. Cro-yat cackled a tuneless chantthat echoed the grim irony of a chicken at last beheading a human. Thrice Cro-yat’s hatchet mocked the death stroke, each time halting ere the sharp edge touched the girls soft throat. Within the plant king’s mouth John Carter awaited tensely the moment that would send him to the princess’ aid. Then the plant king exerted control over the tree. As the limb suddenly wrapped around Cro-yat’s waist Carter leaped toward the girl’s bound hands.
Under control of the plant king, the tree limb snatched Cro-yat from the girl’s side, while Carter severed her bonds. Now Dejah Thoris held the Earthman in her hand. “John Carter,” she whispered sadly, “you should not have returnedfor me, for not even you can fight these giant monsers. Go while there is sill time!”
“Perhaps alone I could not help you,” replied Carter, “but I have an amazing friend who sits above us in yon tree!”
The plant king again exerted his powers and the tree he had attached himself assumed startling evidence of life!”
Unable to combat the tenacious grasp of the tree limb, Cro-yat urged his tribe to aid him. In blind obedience the villagers raced forward to free their chief and wreak vengeance upon the offenders.
58. MARTIAN MIRACLE
As the chicken men advanced, the plantking caused the tree to hurl Cro-yat into their faces. Then at Carter’s command, the plant king compelled the tree limb to encircle the girl and lift her from the ground.
“What death is this? The giant princess asked.
“Fear not, Dejah Thoris!” the Earthman reassured her. Then the great tree rocked to and fro until suddenly the roots tore from the soil. The plant king shrieked in satisfaction, for under his strange power the tree had become a free moving thing! Now it turned upon the villagers and raced forward to trample them beneath its roots.
59. INTO THE JUNGLE
Controlled by the plant king, the mighty tree seized Dejah Thoris and John Carter and raced through the village of the chicken men, trampling many beneath its roots and causing the others to flee in panic. The dense jungle retarded the huge tree, so for the girl’s safety it was decided that she and Carter would proceed alone, while the plant king delayed the inevitable pursuit. The sound of crashing underbrush behind warned Carter and the princess that some of the chicken men still followed. A lone warrior returning form a hunt, sought cover when he heard the girl approaching. Warily now, the great princess proceeded, for the Earthman’s sharp ears had heard the warrior, as he stepped off the trial into the brush. When the Earthman saw the great creature lurking beside the trail, a daring plan leaped to his mind.
60. GIANT PERIL
With a blood-curdling cackle, Gizank, the giant chicken man, broke from hiding and charged down the narrow jungle trail toward Dejah Thoris. The princess would have turned to run, but John Carter knew that escape this way was impossible. Clinging to her hair, he briefly shouted his daring plan ino the girl’s ear. Gizank, assuming that his cries had frozen his prey in terror reached out to grab her. Dejah Thoris allowed Gizank to clutch her, andthus Carter was enabled to leap from her shoulder to that of the beast – and as Gizank’s talons began strangling the life from the princess... John Carter prepared to ram his sword into Gizank’s brain.
61. UNEQUAL STRUGGLE
John Carter drove his sword into Gizank’s head, butthe stubborn brute refused to relinquish his hold on the princess. Behind the second thrust Carter hurled the entire weight of his body. With a shriek of anguish the chicken man released his grip. The sword point had pierced a vital spot in Gizank’s brain, reeling him forward, momentarily stunned. In angry bewilderment he hit blindly at this painful thing clinging to his shoulder. Gizank’s huge hand struck Carter a tremendous blow, hurling him toward the ground.
62. TOWARD DOOM
Certain death would have come to John Carter had not Gizank’s necklace swung out in time for him to grasp. Out over Gizank’s chest the Earthman hung and jabbed his sword into the brute’s chest. As falls upon mount Barsoom a lightning smitten tree. So Gizank, the giant chicken man, fell dead in the forest. Dejah Thoris, the princess, ran forward in fear, for she had seen John Carter pinned beneath the great creature.She turned the beast upon his back, dreading to look where Gizank had dropped lest she see the Earthman’s broken body beneath. But the Earthman was unharmed, for when the brute had toppled, Carter leaped into a shallow ditch where he lay as Gizank’s body fell over him. John Carter, turning to look for the princess found her gone!
63. MEMORIES OF VOVO
John Carter climbed onto the creature he had slain and his eyes searched the forest for Dejah Thoris. How the giant princess could vanish so quickly puzzled the Earthman. Then beholding a tiny figure lying in the meadow below he leaped down for a closer view. To Carter’s amazement he found Dejah Thoris, her height miraculously reduced to normal! Great was their joy when the girl came to, for they knew that Vovo’s awful curse was no more. But Dejah Thoris suddenly realized the immensity of the weird forest and a great fear came upon her.
64. DISTANT TRAVELER
When Dejah Thoris’ height returned to normal she suffered a nervous reaction that necessitated a complete rest, so John Carter built her a bower in a jungle “tree” and brought her food daily. He hunted small game in the forest so that shemight have meat to regain her strength. And when the girl grew stronger they made plans for continuing the journey to her kingdom. It puzzled the fighting man that he should be quite content to remain forever in this jungle paradise with the little Martian princess. Although he had given little hint of his feelings, the girl wondered at her growing attachment for this warrior of another world. But the happiness of each was to be short-lived.... One evening a lone figure appeared on the plain beyond the forest.
65. CALL TO DUTY
The lone traveler was Sola, the green woman. Kneeling before her mistress, she declared thankfully: “A long seach for you at last brings reward, my princess. Many days ago,” Sola explained, “Oman, the mechanical man, showed me where you had started from the Kingdom of Eo. I have heard that many brave Heliumite warriors have already lost their lives searching for you."
As Sola talked, Dejah Thoris saw clearly that it was her duty to resume immediately the difficult journey to her kingdom. In the morning John Carter and Dejah Thoris, abandoning their forest paradise, set out with Sola toward the faraway Kingdom of Helium. That afternoon they found Sola’s thoat which she had left to rest and graze upon the thick moss on the valley floor. Ere long the hoofs of the great mount were pounding across the grim wastes of the dead sea bottom, where lay the fossilized bones of former denizens of the Martian deep.
For many days Dejah Thoris and her party wandered over the forsaken wastes of the Martian desert vainly searching for the canal that would lead them to her father’s kingdom.
From her high saddle upon the tired thoat Dejah Thoris at last cried out: “Look, John Carter – in those mountains across the plain.
Carter peered through Sola’s powerful Martian-ray binoculars. “Green desert tribesmen! He muttered.
Sola took the glasses. “Barsoomian headhunters,” she added; “the most ferocious and cruel of the green warriors.”
Sola sent a telepathic order to their thoat to lie down as the others did likewise to escape detection. A vanguard scout paused and scanned the horizon. Suddenly, he saw them! Shrieking wildly, the warriors raced toward them across the plain.
As the green men charged toward them, John Carter ordered Dejah Thoris and Sola to mount their only thoat and attempt escape, while he delayed pursuit.
The girl objected strongly: “Sola may go if she wishes, but I’ll stay with you the man I love!”
Carter lifted the protesting girl to Sola’s grasp. The green woman handed Carter the rifle. “Luck be with you,” she said.
“Goodbye, Dejah Thoris,” the Earthman called a moment later. “I’d gladly die a thousand deaths for you!” Then through the electro-telescopic sights he drew a bead on the foremost warrior. The high-explosive atomic cartridges reaped deadly toll of the oncoming savages, while Dejah Thoris and Sola reached safety in the mountains. But the Earthman was hopelessly outnumbered as the first of the cruel band reached him.
68. ELUSIVE PREY
Dejah Thoris and Sola reached safety in the mountains while John Carter’s bullets delayed the oncoming horde of green Martian headhunters. Buthe was greatly outnumbered as the fist of the savage band reached him. The Earthman’s powerful muscles sent him twenty feet above the charging Martians, while his rifle spoke with deadly accuracy.
“Take him alive,” the leader cried. “He’ll make rare sport for the Great Games!”
Carter grabbed his empty rifle, smiled in the face of peril. He knew the longer he fought them, the better would be Dejah Thoris’ chance of escaping. Never had Mars witnessed such swordsmanship – against odds so overwhelming.
John Carter fought savagely against the Martian headhunters who sought to capture him. Suddenly, Dak Kova, the Jed, dodged to the rear and dealt him a smashing blow witht he flat of his sword. They strapped the unconscious man to the back of a vicious thoat.
Meanwhile, in the far hills – Dejah Thoris cried to Sola: “They’ve killed him!”
But Sola replied: “Headhunters do not carry away dead men’s bodies.”
“I did not want to leave him,” the girl whispered half to herself. “I love him.”
With their captive prize, Dak Kova and his warriors raced toward the ancient city of Warhoon, on the banks of the Dead Sea.
Nos. 70 - 72 were not published70. DAK KOVA’S PRIZE
Ancient Warhoon towered grimly over the dusty hunters as they moved through the lonely streets to Bar Koma’s palace. Bar Komas told Dak Kova: “Place him in the dungeons until I decide his fate.”
But Dak Kova angrily shouted: “He is my prisoner and I choose to have him battle a wild thoat in the Great Games.” For this disobedience, Bar Komas struck his subordinate a mighty blow with his two right fists. Then Bar Komas leaped upon Dar Kova, chocking and beating him savagely. But suddenly Dak Kova buried his single mighty tusk in the Jeddak’s chest and ripped open Bar Komas to the chin. And so the new Jeddak of Warhoon dragged John Carter off to await death in the Great Games. He was chained in an old dungeon betneath the palace and out of the darkness, evil glowing eyes stared at him.
71. THE JAILOR DIES
For John Carter, chained in the palace dungeon, time dragged endlessly. The strain of the awful silence, and the mysterious eyes in the darkness was beginning to affect the Earthman. One day when the jailer came with food and water he saw his prisoner sprawled on the floor. With open mouth and eyes rolled back, Carter’s body was floundering s in the last paroxysms of death. Then as the jailer moved over to investigate, the Earthman swung the chain at the Martian’s head. The fellow slumped to the floor; Carter sprang forward to clutch the padlock key fastened around the Martian’s neck. The scurrying of other feet in his cell caused the Earthman to turn – the gleaming eyes were coming toward him.
72. OUT OF DARKNESS
John Carter backed against the dungeon wall as the evil eyes moved toward him out of the darkness. Closer they came until they reached the body of the jailer – and then he saw that the eyes belonged to a group of giant, six-legged rats. With their yellow fangs clutching the jailer’s body, the weird, snarling creatures began pulling the corpse back into the blackness. But the key to Carter’s padlock was still fastened around the dead Martian’s neck. Half crazed now with the horror of his situation, the Earthman threw himself upon one of the rats. But the ugly creature, squealing and biting, squirmed free. Now with the jailer gone, John Carter was without food or water for two days – and as he grew weaker – the eyes moved closer again.
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