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Volume 1310
A Graphic Interpretation of
Edgar Rice Burroughs'
A Princess of Mars
James Killian Spratt

I Learn The Language

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Sola, witnessing my encounter 
with the beautiful prisoner,
got a strange expression on her face, 
and as we reached our building
I was met by a warrior, 
bearing the arms, ornaments 
and full accouterments of his kind. 
These he gave me, both respectfully, 
and menacingly and from then on
I was garbed in all the panoply of war;
and my language lessons intensified.

Then began my weapons training,
with the youths. 

We were taught by the women, 
who also manufactured the weapons, 
ammunition, and almost
everything else of value. 

I was an unusually apt pupil, 
having used similar Earthly weapons. 

I only glimpsed the lovely prisoner
as she was being conducted 
to the audience chamber
of Lorquas Ptomel, our Jed, 
but I noticed the unnecessary roughness 
and brutality with 
which her guards treated her;
so different from the kindness 
which Sola manifested toward me --

I also noticed
that she spoke a common language
with her guards.

I studied harder to learn it myself. 

The next night, just at bedtime, 
one of the other women 
who slept in our room 
asked old Sarkoja, 
who had been at the audience, 
what would be the fate 
of the fair captive. 
She would be taken with us to Thark,
to be executed at the Great Games 
before Tal Hajus, the Jeddak, 
cruel ruler of all the Tharks. 
My ears pricked up at mention of her,
and I listened closely -- 

-- and Sola burst into a lament --
"She is very small and very beautiful;
I had hoped that 
they would hold her for ransom. 
She has never harmed us; 
it is their men who make war on us, 
and they are just responding
to our attitude toward them! 
This hatred and misery from birth to death -- 
it makes us glad to take the last journey, 
on the dark River Iss, to an end unknown,
but which could be 
no more horrible than this life!"

Her normal bad temper aroused, 
Sarkoja snapped angrily,
"It would be well for you to not permit 
Tars Tarkas to discover 
how soft and degenerate you are!" 
The other women seemed to agree...

This episode convinced me how lucky I was 
to have been placed in Sola's care, 
instead of one of the other women.
Then I decided to ask her 
to help me escape with the prisoner.
I was sure that she liked me,
and now I knew how
she hated cruelty and barbarity.
I slept. 
The dreamless and refreshing sleep of Mars.

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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