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Volume 2981
James Killian Spratt's Graphic Interpretation of 
Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars 

(click panels for full-screen size)
PAGE 282:

--but I assure you they were worthy of my metal, 
and had me backed against a wall in no time. 


I worked my way into a corner 
so that they could only come at me one at a time, 
and for nigh twenty minutes our ringing steel
produced a veritable Bedlam 
in the little room.

PAGE 283:

Our noise brought Dejah Thoris and,
behind her, Sola, to the door. 
From their expressions 
I could see that neither recognized me, 
and then a lucky cut reduced 
my opponents to two. 

 Against only two I rushed them down, 
a change of tactics 
that had won me many a victory,
and then there was one, 
and in seconds none at all. 
It grieved me to kill 
such brave and noble fighters,
but for Dejah Thoris 
I would have depopulated all of Barsoom, 
were there no other way 
to get to her side.

PAGE 284:
 I sheathed my bloody blade 
and advanced to my Martian princess, 
who whispered 
“Who are you, Zodangan? 
Another enemy to harass me in my misery?”

“I am a friend,” I replied, 
“a once cherished friend,” 
to which she stated: 
“No friend of Helium’s Princess 
wears that metal, 
but—that voice—Oh, NO!—H-he is DEAD! 
It c-cannot BE!—“

And I saw it come to her--

PAGE 285:

“—J-John CARTER!—“ 
and she moaned 
“Oh-h, my Chieftain-That-Was!”

Her beautiful eyes went wide. 

For a moment she reached for me, 
but swayed, then stepped back.


PAGE 286:

In misery she grieved, 
“Oh, too late, too LATE! 
I had thought you DEAD!!! 
Had you but returned 
B-but now it is TOO LATE! I-
-I am—PROMISED!!!”

I managed
“You mean—you would not have?
—had you known I still live?!”

“Think you, John Carter, 
that I would give my heart to you yesterday 
and today to another?!? 
I had thought you dead in the pits of Warhoon!!”

I retorted 
“But I am NOT dead, my Princess! 
I have come to claim you, 
and all of Zodanga cannot stop me!”

PAGE 287: 

She cried 
“But my promise is given, 
and on Barsoom that is final! 
I am as married now as 
the dead are dead before the funeral! 
The wedding ceremony is 
but a meaningless formality!”

I exclaimed 
“You told me you loved me, 
on the plains of Warhoon! 
And I love you still! 
I ask you to be my wife!”

 She said quietly, 
“John Carter, 
do you remember offending me in Korad? 
You did not know—
by calling me your Princess 
without first asking for my hand
—there are two kinds of women on Barsoom
—and you put me in the lower class, 
not knowing our ways—“

PAGE 288:
  “—At first I was furious, 
but now I see you meant me no affront
—indeed the opposite—and I tell you, my friend, 
that I would have been yours,
though it cost me my Empire, 
had you but asked my promise. 
But now it is Sab Than’s, and I 
cannot withdraw my pledge. 
Upon my Honor, while Sab Than lives, 
I am his.”

I said bluntly, 
“Then you have sealed his Death Warrant!”

Then she cried, 
“Oh, NO!  I may not wed the man 
who slays my Betrothed—my Husband, 
not even in self-defense! 
It is our custom. 
We can share but our brief happy memories, 
and our everlasting sorrow. 
Now you must go, My-Chieftain-That-Was, 
nor ever see me again.  Goodbye.”

PAGE 289:

Disheartened and dejected, I withdrew. 
However, I was not entirely discouraged, 
nor could I feel her lost to me 
until the marriage ceremony 
had been performed.
But at the moment 
I was absolutely lost in the huge palace, 
with the matter of four dead guards 
and my absence from my post 
to answer for very soon.

 I had no clue how to find my post, 
and my only hope lay in escape from Zodanga. 
Finally I found a downward runway 
and fell in behind a group of Guardsmen, 
just as a general alarm sounded. 
The four dead men had been found, 
and the Palace began buzzing like a hornets’ nest.

PAGE 290:

In the chaos in the corridors
I mixed with the helter-skelter crowd 
until I finally saw the blessed light of day coming in 
through a great balcony 
overlooking a broad avenue. 
My escape route was blocked, however,
by a twenty-foot glass wall
which I dared not leap in daylight 
in sight of so many people.

Accordingly I sought a hiding-place and,
looking up, I found one, 
inside a huge hanging ornament 
some ten feet off the floor.
 Into the capacious bowl-like vessel 
I sprang with ease, 
and had just settled down in it 
when I heard a number of people 
enter the area and stop just beneath me. 
I could hear every word.

PAGE 291:

“It is the work of HELIUMITES!!”
a male voice said, 
“But how did such a large force
enter my Palace undetected? 
Notan, my Royal Psychologist
—what did you discover in 
the dead minds of my four slain Guardsmen?”

Notan replied 
“O Mighty Jeddak, a strange tale
—‘twas but a single opponent
—very tall and other-worldly strong,
in a fair fight, who slew them all! 
So sayeth also the Princess,
though I could not pry open her mind, 
which she locked against my probing.”

 Then I heard the voice of the Jeddak’s cousin, 
the one whose life I had saved—
“Such a WARRIOR! 
That brings to mind my erstwhile Savior, 
John Carter
—who can fight like none ever seen! 
Where is HE at this moment?”

At that Than Kosis yelled 
“FIND HIM!  Quadruple the Guard! 
Check his Squadron, his known friends
—find out who he is, 
and FIND HIM, if you value your feathers!”

PPAGE 292:

Word was soon brought 
that I was nowhere to be found, 
but had not been seen leaving the Palace. 
They had questioned Kantos Kan, 
who knew nothing of my whereabouts, 
but I knew they would be watching him, 
and surely Dejah Thoris, too.
The Jeddak and his underlings 
finally departed the hall. 

Darkness had fallen, 
so I slipped from my hiding-place 
and hastened to the balcony. 
I waited until no one was in sight 
and dropped to the ground
thirty feet below, 
then with a short run 
I leaped the glass wall 
into the avenue beyond, 
and was away.


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