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Volume 2261
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Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter®of Mars

Volume 2261


61. "UNEQUAL STRUGGLE" -- Jan. 31, '43
(read novelization

P1: John Carter drove his sword into Gizank's head, butthe stubborn brute refused to relinquish his hold on the princess. 

P2: Behind the second thrust Carter hurled the entire weight of his body. 

P3: With a shriek of anguish the Chicken Man released his grip. 

P4: The sword point had pierced a vital spot in Gizank's brain, reeling him forward, momentarily stunned. 

P5: In angry bewilderment he hit blindly at this painful thing clinging to his shoulder. 

P6: Gizank's huge hand struck Carter a tremendous blow, hurling him toward the ground. 


1. Compare 


Novelization of the JCB strip by Dale R. Broadhurst

The giant bird-man screeched in terrible agony. With one hand he pulled the long-sword from his ruptured blind eye. Then he slapped and scraped at his neck and shoulder, over and over again, in a frantic effort to discover and dislodge his tiny attacker. Gizank was moving wildly about and screaming at the top of his lungs, but the stubborn brute refused to relinquish his hold on the princess. Her red cheeks grew pale and her eyes were thrown back in an unseeing gaze. Gizank's strong talons were not only suffocating Dejah Thoris, his vice-like grip has about to break the girl's neck. 

John Carter hung onto the feathers behind one ear of the gyrating monster, expecting that at any moment he might be thrown into the air or crushed by Gizanck's free hand. But when he saw the princess' body go totally limp in the grip of the bird-man's other hand, the Earthman knew that he must take desperate measures at once. Ignoring the continual blows of the half-blinded giant's free hand, he lunged forward and grasped the blood-stained feathers just below the creature's injured eye. In a blur of motion John Carter drew his short-sword and behind his renewed assault Carter hurled the entire weight of his body. Shoulder deep he plunged his arm and the weapon into the gore of Gizank's broken eyeball. 

John Carter could not see the results of his daring attack -- that the monster had at last loosened his stranglehold upon the imperiled young woman -- but he knew that the bird-man was yet standing and shrieking so loudly that other bird-men might soon be rushing to aid their injured comrade. 

Again the Virginian drove his blade home and this time he was certain its piont had passed beyond the bony walls of the monster's eye-socket. With a shriek of anguish louder than all the others, the chicken-headed warrior at last released his grip on the poor girl. The Earthman's sword point had pierced a vital spot in Gizank's brain. 

Dejah Thoris had fallen into the tall grass beside the trail. With all her might she struggled to hold onto her senses. Her mind drifted in and out of darkness, but with one supreme effort of her will the princess rolled over and swung out an arm to seize the lurching bird-man. 

In wrathful confusion the bird-like monster continued to strike blindly at the excruciating pain. The strikes came so hard and fast that John Carter could not dodge them all. A chance blow of Gizank's huge hand struck Carter and sent him hurtling toward the ground. 

Although he has never been a religious man, Captain Carter has long been convinced that some unexplained hand of providence protects him in the times of greatest peril. His confidence in that otherworldly preservation was once again rewarded. Certain death would have come to the falling swordsman had not Gizank's barbaric necklace swung over to one side, just as he plunged backward from the bird-man's neck. His leg caught upon the thing and Carter swung back and forth, upside down on Gizank's chest. 

Her second attempt to grab Gizank's foot was successful. The Princess of Helium held onto the monstrous three-toed appendage and the dying bird-man stumbled and fell upon his back, like a lightning smitten tree. Gizank, the giant chicken-headed savage, lay dead in the silent forest.

Sola and the robot leader had been momentarily distracted by their conversation and had not noticed the sleeping Jasoomian's increasing restlessness. The dreamer had moved to one side of his silken mattress and was entangled in the harness and weapons the green girl had placed by his side. 

"He awakens!" cried the Thark maiden. 

The girl and the metal man rushed to John Carter's side, but they soon saw he was not awake. Rather, he continued his restive motions and was mumbling a broken stream of inarticulate groans and sighs. 

"Quick, move these things," bade Oman. "I'll help him back onto his bed." 

Sola removed the Earthman's scant possession and then turned to assist the robot. Woola also got into the activity, but the anxious beast was potentially more harmful than helpful. Only after repeated scoldings from the green maiden did the calot settle down and content himself with closely observing the strange happenings from a distance. 

John Carter's earthly muscles were strong, but Oman's metal limbs were stronger still. Acting as carefully as he could not to injure the unconscious man, the robot effectively restrained his legs and one arm. Unbidden, Sola bent over John Carter, holding his other arm in her lower hands and resting her upper hands near enough to his head to hold it down also, if necessary. 

"Is this the way you thought it would be, when they come out of their trances?" Sola questioned the mechanical odwar. 

"I had not idea what to expect," he answered. "But I've always feared they would awaken insane -- if they came back to the world of the living at all." 

"His thoughts are coming into my mind," exclaimed Sola. "Dotar Sojat still sleeps, but in his mind he is raving like a madman!" 


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