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Volume 1321
James Killian Spratt's Graphic Interpretation of 
Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars 
(click panels for full-screen size)
Page 179

No sooner had I hefted my weapon 
to get the feel of it
than the mad, wild thoat 
that Dak Kova had promised 
exploded from its gate, 
bucking and squealing, 
and came at me at top speed.


I loathed to put down a dumb animal
whose main fault was 
to have been made vicious 
by the Warhoons' misguided cruelty.


Page 180

Prompted by the flat
of my sword,
the hapless creature 
went peacefully 
enough on its way 
while the Warhoons 
hooted and jeered 
with disappointment, 
which troubled me not at all.


Dak Kova, 
furious that I had 
so spoiled his amusement, 
then resolved to make 
my life miserable,
and short.


Page 181

Dak Kova ordered 
two great Barsoomian lions,
called banths, 
to be set upon me forthwith, 
and from the speed
of their approach 
I surmised that 
these two had not lately been fed. 
The audience roared,
lusting for blood. 
They would have it.

My only hope was to jump, 
and jump I did, 
straight up and over
the first snarling monster, 
landing almost upon the second 
as I drove my sword 
into the top of its skull with all my might. 
The crowd went berserk.


Page 182:

The savage animal surged headforemost into my flashing circle of razor-sharp steel.

The thousands raised their voices in a thunderous ovation. 
They wanted to make me a member of the hordes of Warhoon.

Page 183

Through the early part 
of the bloody afternoon 
I was confronted by 
a nightmarish menagerie 
of Martian monstrosities
--large and small, 
singly and in pairs and packs, 
men and beasts.


My earth-born muscles, 
however, served me well. 
I outclassed 
most of  my opponents
in strength and agility, 
and which were child's play 
for me with a longsword.


 Page 184

One abomination and I 
dueled for over an hour 
before it finally lay down.


I faced and defeated 
many opponents alone 
for several hours, 
then Kantos Kan 
ran onto the field, 
accompanied by three 
of the strangest people 
I had ever seen.

Page 185
As they approached they raised their swords to me in salute and smiled grimly. 
I was about to speak when Kantos Kan pointed to the far end of the arena -- 
a red woman dashed out of the far cages, running for her life in our direction. 
She had made it about halfway to us, when --

-- eight of the most hair-raising predators I had ever laid eyes upon came boiling out the gate. 
Without a word my companions spread into a fighting line and bolted to intercept the beasts.

Page 186

I had but time 
for the merest glimpse 
of the red girl and saw, 
with a mixture 
of joy and anguish,
that she was not
my beloved Dejah Thoris.


The beasts were upon us --


Page 187

-- then suddenly it was over.
As the noise of the Warhoons 
assailed our ears, 
we saw with sad dismay
that we had lost 
our four-footed friend 
and the red girl.


a new threat --


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