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Volume 1318
James Killian Spratt's Graphic Interpretation of 
Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars 
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Page 146

The speaker departed 
by the door 
where I had been standing,
but I had not waited, 
and in moments 
I was within the courtyard 
of Tal Hajus, 
but entering 
the building undetected 
now posed a challenge--

--the first floor 
was brilliantly lit, 
as was the second, 
and filled with 
warriors and women. 

Reaching the darkened, 
apparently unoccupied
third floor though, 
for me, 
was the work 
of but a moment.

Page 147

The fortunately
untenanted room 
led within the building 
to an immense inner chamber 
which towered from
the first floor to the 
dome-like roof 
far above my head. 
The floor was thronged 
with chieftains and women, 
and at one end, 
on a raised dias, 
squatted the most 
hideous creature
I had ever put my eyes upon.


Pages 148-149 (spread)

Squatting upon the platform, his enormous bulk spread out like some huge devil fish, was Tal Hajus.  Debased by the brutal and animal passions which he had indulged for many years, he had no mark of dignity or pride upon his bestial countenance.

But the sight that froze me with apprehension was that of Dejah Thoris, and Sola, standing before him, and his fiendish leer as he let his great protruding eyes gloat upon the lines of her beautiful figure. 

She spoke, every inch the daughter of a thousand Jeddaks, but I could not hear.  So small and frail she stood, yet she dwarfed the towering warriors, the mightiest figure among them, and I verily believe that they felt it. 

Page 150
Presently Tal Hajus 
made a sign that 
the chamber be cleared, 
and the prisoners 
be left alone with him. 
The crowd melted away, 
but one lone Chieftain lingered, 
toying with the hilt of his sword, 
his eyes bent in 
implacable hatred upon Tal Hajus. 
It was Tars Tarkas.

He was thinking of
that other woman, 
his love of forty years ago, 
who had been brutally 
murdered by this beast. 
Could I have told him 
that this night 
before the monster 
stood his daughter, 
Tal Hajus' reign 
would have ended there. 
But, unknowing, he, too 
finally turned and departed.



Page 151

Fearing, anticipating 
Tal Hajus' evil intentions, 
I slipped quietly down to 
the first floor 
and concealed myself,
listening to Tal Hajus 
as he spoke:
"Princess of Helium, 
I might wring a mighty ransom 
from Tardos Mors,
Jeddak of Helium, 
your grandfather, 
but a thousand times more 
would I have him know 
the details of your death, 
and of the terrible vengeance 
of Tal Hajus."

"The terrors of your long, 
drawn-out death by torture 
will haunt the dreams 
of red men 
for ages to come, 
but worse that 
they know your shame, 
for my hour of pleasure 
I shall have, for tonight 
you are MINE!  Come to ME!"
With that he sprang down 
and seized her arm. 

Page 152

But scarcely had
he touched her than 
I leaped between them,
sword in hand, 
but as I raised to strike
I thought suddenly 
of Tars Tarkas, 
and could not 
rob him of the sweet vengeance 
he had awaited so long. 
So I gave Tal Hajus 
my hard right fist, 
and he fell as one dead.

In deathly silence 
I grasped Dejah Thoris' hand, 
and the three of us sped 
soundlessly to the floor above
and out the window 
which I had used for entry. 
Unfastening my trappings, 
I lowered the women to the ground, 
and we hurried 
through the shadows 
to the courtyards.

Page 153

We finally came upon 
my thoats in the courtyard 
where I had left them, 
and saddled them. 
Sola mounted one and 
Dejah Thoris rode behind me 
on the other, 
and we slipped quietly 
but swiftly out of the city of Thark.

We headed our beasts 
through the hills to the south, 
then turned to the 
northeast across the mossy wastes, 
two hundred dangerous and weary miles
from the waterway 
that leads to Helium. 


Page 153a

Our powerful mounts fairly flew, and we were soon far from the ruined city  of Thark, deep into the vast desolation of the dead sea bottom.

Bathed in the wild ghostly moonlight, we raced in desperate flight across the mossy wilderness, like the rare night winds of Mars.

Continued  in Part II
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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