Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 2265
From the Danton Burroughs/John Coleman Burroughs Archive Site
Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter®of Mars

Volume 2265


65. "CALL TO DUTY" -- Feb. 28, '43
(read novelization

P1: The lone traveler was Sola, the green woman. Kneeling before her mistress, she declared thankfully: "A long seach for you at last brings reward, my princess. 

P2: Many days ago," Sola explained, "Oman, the mechanical man, showed me where you had started from the Kingdom of Eo." 

P3: "I have heard that many brave Heliumite warriors have already lost their lives searching for you." 

P4: As Sola talked, Dejah Thoris saw clearly that it was her duty to resume immediately the difficult journey to her kingdom. 

P5: In the morning John Carter and Dejah Thoris, abandoning their forest paradise, set out with Sola toward the faraway Kingdom of Helium. 

P6: That afternoon they found Sola's thoat which she had left to rest and graze upon the thick moss on the valley floor. 

P7: Ere long the hoofs of the great mount were pounding across the grim wastes of the dead sea bottom, where lay the fossilized bones of former denizens of the Martian deep. 


1. Compare 


Novelization of the JCB strip by Dale R. Broadhurst

Now the Princess of Helium understood for certain that the lone visitor was Sola, the green woman. The look of recognition in Dejah Thoris' eyes evolved into a mien of regal poise and intelligence that hitherto had been absent from her beautiful countenance. The Thark saw this subtle transformation and adjusted to it flawlessly. 

Kneeling before her mistress, she declared thankfully: "A desperate search for you at last brings reward, your majesty." 

"Get up off your knees, you silly thing! Do you suppose I am the Jeddra of Helium or something!" 

"Three days ago," Sola continued, "Oman, the mechanical man, showed me where you lay, above us on yon Plateau of Eo. My heart has been as water since that sad hour. Now you have at last come back to us -- to Dotar Sojat and Sola of Thark -- and are your old self again, as I have hoped for against all possibilities to the contrary. Let this outcast of Thark, your own dear friend Sola, rededicate herself to your service!" 

The three friends spent the remainder of the day and much of the night sharing their interwoven experiences of the previous days. Only after many explanations and much happy feasting together did each of then comprehend fully what the others had been through. But now they were safely back where they had started, sheltered in the cliffs of the great plateau with Woola and the one remaining thoat from Thark. At last things made sense and they could enjoy the company of familiar companions around a crackling campfire. 

The following morning the three friends resumed their reminiscences, while they loaded their sleeping silks and furs into the already bulging saddle bags. 

"All of this Oman has provided for us?" the red princess asked in amazement. 

"Two trips he made on the flying device, down from the mesa; one with Sola and your sleeping self and another with me as passenger. On the second flight we carried these things down here to this little camp. I declined his offer to send robots along with us, but he insisted that the mechanical camera birds accompany us for three days' travel. After that, we are on our own." 

Then Sola broached a more sober subject: "I have heard that many brave Heliumite warriors have already lost their lives searching for you, Dejah Thoris. On Vovo's view screen both Dotar Sojat and myself saw the flyers departing Helium on regular schedules. If we watch the skies as we move to the north and the east, I am certain we shall see one of the search parties ere long." 

The princess nodded in agreement. "It is my duty to return." 

And so it was, that bright summer morning, that John Carter and Dejah Thoris, abandoning their dreams of a forest paradise, set out with Sola toward the faraway Kingdom of Helium. 

"We now leave the rocky soil of the mountain," John Carter spoke, "and before us stretches the thick moss of the dead sea floor. The thoat is happy grazing on the yellow stuff and Woola scampers off on lizard's trail. But our cheerful journey now assumes more dangerous aspects, as we all well know. I pray that you can guide us safely through these desert wastes!" 

"I know where we are, chieftain," Sola replied, "but we are far from Helium and it may be a very difficult journey. The last time I was here was years ago and it took the caravan twenty days to reach the capital of Thark. We shall not go that far before we hit upon a waterway, I presume. If it be a familiar one, the princess will thenceforth be the guide. Until then, I do my best." 

"I have a boon to ask of you both, my friends, when we reach the first habitations of strangers on this journey." Sola asked most seriously. 

"And what might that be," Dejah Thoris called down from atop the thoat. 

"That your majesty and the brave chieftain make no mention of my role in your escape nor in any of your experiences since our leaving Thark. If you must say anything, you can truthfully report that you met me north of Go-La-Ra and leave it at that. Once I know my father's fate, I will release you from your promise, at least in part. But until then, the safety of Tars Tarkas I impress upon your thoughts, ahead of my own life, if need be." 

Both humans made that promise to the green maiden, and thus it came to pass that little was ever said of all that faithful Sola of Thark did in the service of Dejah Thoris and John Carter. In fact, Captain Carter's own account greatly abbreviates Sola's part in his adventures on Mars, and that omission was made with her approval and at her request. 

Near the end of their first day back on the dead sea bottom, the little party stopped to spend the night under a rock outcrop in grim wasteland. There they found numerous fossilized bones of former denizens of the Martian deep. The princess, who knew more of these creatures and of Barsoom's ancient past than did her two companions put together, amused them with tales of the days when Mars was young. The accounts she gave were so vivid and imaginative that they held her auditors' attention until well after the sun had gone down. 

When all the tales were told and the three companions settled in for the night, John Carter exchanged telepathic thoughts with the princess for a short time. 

"Where I come from, dear princess, it would be a rude act indeed for a gentleman to intrude upon a lady's dreams. We have been through an extraordinary experience. But forgive me if I do not speak much about it. My life as a fighting man lies in this world and not in the realm of fantasy." 

Dejah Thoris has not shared what else the two close friends spoke of that night, under the hurtling moons of Mars, but from all indications she and the Warlord have provided over the years, they too came to an agreement not to say much of the perils that they faced between the night of their escape from Thark and the day of their departure from Eo. So it is that Sola's story, along with an account of many other important happenings, was long kept from the knowledge of Captain Carter's friends. 

Be that as it may, the closeness that the two shared in their dreamland fantasy forever entwined the fates of the fighting man and the red princes. And it was from that time forward that the mutual passion and affection they shared grew into the most remarkable love story two worlds have ever known. 


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

Editor and Webmaster
ERB Text, ERB Images, John Carter® and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.