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).
He said no more, nor was there opportunity,
for the Warhoons were closing in about us,
and together we fought, shoulder to shoulder,
during all that long, hot afternoon, --
--until the tide of battle turned
and the remnants of the fierce Warhoon horde
fell back upon their thoats and fled into
the gathering darkness.
Ten thousand men had been engaged in that
and upon the field of battle lay three thousand
Neither side asked or gave quarter, nor
did they attempt to take prisoners.
On our return to the city
we had gone directly
to Tars Tarkus’ quarters,
where I stayed
while he attended
the customary post-engagement council
with the other Chieftains.
As I sat awaiting
Tars Tarkus’ return from council
I heard something enter
from an adjoining apartment,
and as I glanced up
there rushed upon me
a huge and hideous creature,
which bore me backward
onto the pile of silks and furs
upon which I had been reclining.
It was Woola—faithful, loving Woola.
He had found his way back to Thark
and, as Tars Tarkus later told me,
had gone straight to my former quarters
and taken up his pathetic
and seemingly hopeless vigil for my return.
“Tal Hajus knows that you are here,
John Carter.” said Tars Tarkas,
upon returning from the Jeddak’s quarters;
“Sarkoja saw you and told him.
Tal Hajus has ordered me
to bring you before him tonight.
He has not forgotten how you humiliated
and stole the Princess Dejah Thoris
—his prized captive—
and Sola from him.”
“I have ten thoats, John Carter;
you may take your choice from among them,
and I will accompany you
to the nearest waterway that leads to Helium.
Tars Tarkas may be a cruel green warrior,
but he can be a friend as well.
We must leave.”
“And when you return, Tars Tarkas?”
“The wild calots, possibly, or worse,
unless somehow the Council agrees
that Tal Hajus may be challenged,
an eventuality I have long awaited.”
“We will stay, Tars Tarkas,
and see Tal Hajus tonight.
You shall not sacrifice yourself, a
nd it may be that tonight you can have
the chance you have so long awaited.”
He objected strenuously—
“Tal Hajus often flies into wild fits of
at the very thought of the blow you dealt
and if he ever lays his hands on you,
it will mean the most horrible torture
and your death.”
Then, as we finished eating,
I related to Tars Tarkas the tale
that Sola had told me at night camp
on the road to Thark.
He said little as I spoke,
but the great muscles
of his face worked in agony
at the recollection of the horrors
Tal Hajus had heaped
upon the woman he loved—
the only joy in Tars Tarkas’
cold, cruel, terrible existence—
as he had put her slowly and
horribly to death.
I finished “—and that child—
your daughter—is Sola.”
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all correspondence to
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JOHN CARTER, WARLORD OF MARS ~ BARSOOM ~ TARZAN
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