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Volume 2213
From the Danton Burroughs/John Coleman Burroughs Archive Site
Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter®of Mars

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Improved image from the Jim Albert Collection and Michael Tierney

13. "INTO GO-LA-RA" -- Mar. 1, '42
(read novelization

P1: To Go-La-Ra, city of the deadly mist, John Carter tracked the Princess' abductor. 

P2: There he bade goodby to his frightened thoat, knowing the beast would return to Sola. 

P3: Then as Sola had instructed, John Carter covered his body with yellow oil from a certain pit, lest when entering the city, he turn to stone. 

P4: Strangely pungent became the vapors, as the Earthman ascended the cliff. Carter wondered if their terrible effect would be neutralized by the yellow oil. 

P5: Meanwhile, Dejah Thoris was carried ever deeper into the dark city of death by her giant captor. 

P6: John Carter tracked his prey relentlessly. Would he be in time to save her fromt he beast before her body turned to stone? 

P7: The ancient city teemed with weird creatures who were, like the girl's abductor, immune to the deadly mist. 

P8: Suddenly Carter halted, grasping his sword tightly; then, he realized that against such as these, the mighty blade was useless. 


1. Carter abandons his thoat near the outskirts of the city because he is afraid that the beast might be calcified if it remains near Go-La-Ra. This enables the mount to return to Sola for a good reason. However, the novelization should indicate that Carter gave the beast a telepathetic command to return to him if it did not soon encounter Sola. It would not be wise for carter to totally discard his one known means for getting out of this remote wilderness. 

2. In the novelization, something more needs to be said about the protective "yellow oil" that Carter obtains from "a certain pit." This can be an oil used by the ancient inhabitants, when they had to venture too near the dangerous vapors in their area -- a protective material that was widely distributed in cisterns throughout the city and its environs. Some explanation also needs to be given as to how the deadly vapors calcify the skin so quickly, but have little or no effect when breathed into human lungs. Later in the story, the scientist Vovo has in his possession a decalcifying machine -- how does such a device operate to relieve the victims of the deadly mist? How do living creatures become immune (or partly immune) to the dangerous effects of the gasses? 

3. Panel 6 of strip #13 shows Carter walking through the streets of the dead city, leaving footprints behind him. Why does this happen? 

Novelization of the JCB strip by Dale R. Broadhurst

It was a long time before the princess could take a full breath of air, so tightly did the foul creature hold her to his hairy chest. Twice she passed out and it was only after the sun had risen that she overcame the apprehension that she might die of suffocation at any moment. Finally the huge ape slowed his pace and allowed her body to dangle freely from his two middle limbs. Dejah Thoris made no attempt to struggle then -- she could scarcely feel her deadened limbs, let alone move them. All the while she silently chanted meaningless sounds -- trying to drown out the graphic, rapacious telepathic thoughts that the ape's brain conveyed continually, throughout her seemingly endless nightmare in his arms. 

During that entire horrible flight across the wastelands she only felt her usual exhilaration in the face of danger one time. Not long after sunrise the monster cast the girl roughly upon the ground and took off after a sluggish lizard. During that few moments of relative freedom she frantically sought some means of escape. But there was no chance. The ape returned, spitting out crushed reptile bones and she was soon back in that same loathsome embrace, moving quickly over the dead sea bottom. 

In the shadow of the three pinnacles John Carter bade farewell to his stalwart thoat. The animal had to immunity to the dangerous vapors that already were filling the air and the Earthman had no idea how long he would have to spend searching the vast ruins. He could not afford to have the mount immobilized by the mist, so, knowing the beast would return to Sola, he sent it on its way. 

The Virginian did not have to search far to locate the protective substance the green girl had spoken of. A large open cistern of the oil was built into the inner walls of a ceremonial stone arch of vast proportions and great antiquity. The surface of the stuff was covered with a layer of dust and the decayed remains of some small animals, but beneath this detritus many gallons of the amber oil still remained within the stone tank. As Sola had instructed, John Carter covered his body with yellow oil. Then he made his way across the open space to the old sea level benches and began his climb up into the city. Along the way he saw what he was sure was another of the abducted maiden's hair-clips, but the thing had fallen into a long sinuous fissure and was beyond his reach. Noxious purple fumes rose from the fracture and he had to block his nose and eyes in order to pass through the pungent, suffocating atmosphere. 

Entering into the city John Carter was struck by the fact that it possessed no great encircling walls. None of the buildings had the defensive, castle-like architecture so typical of the other two ruined metropolises he had visited. Everywhere he looked he saw evidence of the effects of the purple mist. The petrified remains of hundreds of thousands of insects, birds, and small animals littered the ground and the interiors of the prehistoric buildings. The smaller bodies crunched beneath his step and his footprints were added to the multitude of animal trails that ran through the place. It was while stopping to examine the stony body of a still living, but very slow moving, little flightless bird that he caught a fragment of the princess's thoughts. She could not be far off! 

Dejah Thoris saw the many petrified creatures that filled the ruined city. but it was only later that she connected the strange remains with the legends of Go-La-Ra. All of her attention was focused on her hairy captor, who at last had found a suitable resting place among the ruins. She did not have to ponder long to guess what the ape's repetitive cry, "Grom-bo!" betokened.

he Virginian found the long-sword quite by accident. He had climbed up the circular ramp that ran around a tall, tower-like structure, to gain enough height to look out over the city for some sign of the missing maiden. There in the middle of the path, almost at the top, was the gray body of a man pierced by an elegant sword of great antiquity. He had seen a few of these blades among the Tharks, who called them "Orovarian steel." The long-sword was of sturdy construction with an excellent balance, almost as large as the weapon he had left behind in the palace at Thark. With a few tugs the weapon came loose from the petrified body and he appropriated it for his own use. 

From the top of the tower Captain Carter saw a number of the weird, living creatures who were somewhat immune to the deadly mist, including two white apes. These two creatures were some distance away and were entering the dead city by practically the same route as he had, so Carter did not assume that either of them were the monster he had been tracking. Still, he watched their movements for a few moments and became convinced they were following a path down the middle of one broad boulevard that the huge white creatures commonly used in moving about the vast metropolis. 

Back at ground level, John Carter followed the same avenue as he had seen the apes using, only he kept to the edge of it so as not to be too easily seen himself. Several times he observed stony, slow moving little vertebrates being captured and eaten by younger looking, more nimble animals. He was beginning to fear that a similar fate might befall the Princess of Helium, if he could not find her very quickly. He continued to project telepathetic messages, as best he knew how, but no human answer came to him. At last he threw caution to the winds and began to shout her name. His own echoes returned to his haunt him: "Dejah Thoris! Dejah Thoris!" 

Suddenly Carter halted, grasping his newly discovered long-sword tightly; he saw armed men ahead of him! 

Grombo must have received some weird satisfaction in tormenting his new victim. He had thrown the naked girl down upon the moss-covered floor of a little roofless structure and taking turns with his four hands in poking and clawing various parts of her all too vulnerable body. He seemed to particularly enjoy roughly thrusting one finger into the hair under her armpits, forcing screams of pain from the distressed red princess. Then the beast climbed atop her, holding Dejah Thoris by her wrists and ankles, leaving two groping hands still free to continue his libidinous assault. 

The Earthman halted his calling in mid syllable. Twenty grim faced spearmen blocked his way at the spot where the avenue he had been following made an abrupt turn. The fighting man struck a defensive posture and thrust out his sword, ready for a bloody encounter. Then, he realized that against warriors such as these, the mighty Orovarian blade was useless! 

Grombo's pernicious thoughts poured into her brain, no matter how much Dejah Thoris tried to block them from her consciousness. She struggled, but the ape responded with a bruising blow each time the poor girl moved. Her plight had become desperate. If by some magic a dagger had fallen into her hands she would have turned its point upon her own throat at that terrible moment! 

From the doorway to this horrid scene of molestation issued two loud bellows, in quick succession. Framed by the stone entry-way were two giant shapes, similar that that of her attacker. At first Grombo merely hissed over his shoulders at the pair of intruders. But then they entered, cautiously, and he finally rose up, off the bruised, shocked human and faced the apish new arrivals without any great hostility. The two appeared to be conveying to him a sort of of rudimentary warning.

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