Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 2240
From the Danton Burroughs/John Coleman Burroughs Archive Site
Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter®of Mars


40. "CONTINUED" -- Sept. 6, '42
(The Couple's Farewell to the Plateau of Eo)
(read novelization

P1: For many days John Carter and Dejah Thoris remained with Oman's mechanical men, waiting for the princess' height to return to normal. Oman's people supplied food for the girl and the great calot and they fashioned new clothes for the princess befitting her rank. 

P2: One day John Carter and Oman told Dejah Thoris: "Soon dark clouds will roll over the plateau and snow will fall." 

P3: Such bitter cold would blanket the land that it would be impossible to fashion sufficient garments to protect the princess. 

P4: Necessity forced them to part from Oman and his robots. Supplies for their long journey to Helium were strapped to Woola's back. 

P5: One dawn they waved farewell to Oman and started down the plateau on the long, treacherous path to Helium. 

P6: Several days later found them travelling over a rugged country that stretched northward from the Plateau of Eo. 

P7: "Only legends tell of this land," the princess explained to the Earthman. "It is one of many places on Barsoom never explored." 

P8: Only in the fables were the giant Chicken Men of Mars supposed to exist. But no myths were the creatures who looked down from their rocky perches this day. 


1. Compare 


CHAPTER 40: "Farewell to the Plateau of Eo"

For many hours John Carter and Dejah Thoris remained with Oman's mechanical men, resting and preparing to continue their journey. The Odwar's robot workers supplied food for the girl and the great calot, and they fashioned for her a new body harness and accouterments befitting a princess her rank. Also they cleaned her huge cloak and fitted it with pockets and a hood, all of which would prove useful in her coming travels. 

The Odwar of Eo tried once again to convince the couple that it would be best if they remain under his close protection and care for a while longer, but he had no power over them, other than persuasion. When that persuasion failed, the mechano-man acceded their wishes and ordered his men to strap the provisions they had assembled to Woola's broad back. A few hours after the dawn of the following day the two started on their way. 

Dejah Thoris had not believed that Sola had left them, but when Oman showed them moving pictures from the vacant trail-end at the base of the mesa, she accepted the bitter news. 

"Woola and I shall circle the plateau once we have reached the sea bottom." She had told Oman. "If the green girl and her thoat can be found we will take them with us." 

In private, she said to John Carter, "Sola would never leave us unless she were in grave danger -- or greatly deceived. We must find out what has happened to her, if at all possible." 

John Carter agreed. Although the mechano-men had demonstrated good will and much needed assistance following the death of Vovo, he still did not fully trust the strange beings. Perhaps they had convinced Sola to leave or prehaps they had some knowledge of her whereabouts that they were not sharing. But, despite all else, his purpose had always been to help the princess reach Helium and it was to that promise that he now gave his attention. 

They waved farewell to Oman and then started on their way down from the mountain. 

On three sides the plateau of Eo is circled by sheer cliffs, broken only by the single steep path on the south, which was far too narrow for the giantess to negotiate. But on the northwest the great mountain long ago had eroded into a series of hills and canyons that stretched far out into the Martian desert. Here Dejah Thoris and Woola were able to very slowly make their way downward off the mesa. Several hours later found them traveling through the rugged, forested country that extended out from the Plateau of Eo. Here, where the ground water was not so near the surface, the undergrowth became much thinner and the trees, though very tall, did not grow so closely together. Already patches of the desert's yellow moss were replacing the wild red grass of the well watered plateau. 

"I had not realized that our progress would be so slow," the princess complained to the Earthman. "Even a giant tires eventually, and my aching muscles strain under the weight of this enlarged body. We have wandered far from the place where Sola waited for us. Perhaps it would be best to send Woola off to search for her while I rest here." 

"Then take what things we need from his harness and we'll send the calot on his mission," Carter replied. "The desert cannot be far from here and the beast shows no signs of fatigue. With luck he may locate our friend and return with her by daybreak."

The curious-looking couple made a rude camp amid the trees and shared an evening meal as the sun was setting. It was their first opportunity to talk at any great length since they had entered Thark, and it seemed as though ages had passed since that fateful day. 

The telepathy the two shared was now so well developed that John Carter could often read the girl's mind even when she was not consciously projecting her thoughts to him. This he found to be a most ungentlemanly embarrassment and he sought her help in overcoming the delicate problem. 

"My chieftain, you never cease to surprise me," the maiden laughed. "I have no thoughts that I would keep from you. Among the men and women of this planet such an intimacy is allowable only in very special cases. Our traditions are strict in that way. And yet I have opened my thoughts to you. Cannot you not guess what that means?" 

The Earthman said nothing, so she continued with her gentle admonishment. 

"You have more than once asked that I not share my deepest feelings with you until we reach Helium, have you not? Don't deny it, for I can read the answer in your heart, no matter how clever you are in blocking your mind when you wish to. All right then, so be it. There are a few mental tricks I can demonstrate to you. My innermost thoughts will remain my own, until I am again safe among my own people. But I tell you now, John, that they will be no different once we reach Helium. If only you would believe that..." 

Just then they heard the sound of voices coming through the trees. 

Ulysses Paxton has described the bird-men of Barsoom as looking like a cross between a hawk-faced Egyptian god and a Cheyenne warrior bearing the countenance of a Chinese fighting cock. Whether or not this is an accurate description of them even he cannot say for certain, since the creatures are a part of a Barsoomian lore so rarely recalled that not one Martian in ten thousand knows what a "bird-man" is. Only in the fables of the mysterious therns were the giant bird-men of Mars remembered. To this day no visual depiction of these forgotten mythological beings is known to exist. But, whether they look like Earth's Horus or her Rhode Island Red, matters little in relating the accounts provided by Her Majesty Dejah Thoris and Captain John Carter. 

In their telling of the story, no myths were the huge feathered creatures who moved through the weird woodlands of Barsoom that moonless night. 

"So this was the tower laboratory of the Wizard Vovo," Sola remarked dryly to her robot guide. "It is really quite amazing. I cannot hide the fact that I am impressed with his achievements, even though I hate all that he stood for. Perhaps my Thark race is capable of performing even greater wonders than all of this. The wizard removed the stony curse from my dearest friend in all the world, and for that I am very much pleased. Yet he performed her cure in order to further a monstrous scheme and I owe his memory no appreciation. He is dead now and that is a good thing." 

"None of that concerns me now. You promised, that if I accompanied you here, you would explain to me the great danger faced by my two human friends. Yet I do not see them, nor do I know whither they may have gone. Why have you put yourself to so much trouble in bringing me to Eo?" 

"Soon you shall know," replied Oman. "And when you know I'm certain you will agree with me that this is a matter of life and death!" 



The Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs
ERBzine Weekly Webzine
Danton Burroughs Website: Tarzana Treasure Vaults
Burroughs Bibliophiles
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute Site
Tarzine: Official Monthly Webzine of ERB, Inc.
John Carter of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs
ERBzine Weekly Webzine
Weekly Webzine
Danton Burroughs Weekly Webzine
Weekly Webzine

Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images John Carter® and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2009 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.