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Volume 0860
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Illustrations by Frank Hoban
Blue Book Magazine: April ~ May ~ June ~ July ~ August ~ September ~ 1930

Blue Book: April 1930 - A Fighting Man of Mars 1/6Blue Book: May 1930 - A Fighting Man of Mars 2/6

Even if I returned your love I am not for you, 
Hadron of Hastor,"
she replied coldly.
"At that instant our ship dissolved in mid-air; 
even my harness fell from me.
I remember falling; that is all." 
And with these words he died.
"The fellow saw nothing,"
snapped Sil Gagis.
"Why waste your time upon him?"
"It is identical with the harness 
worn by the warrior with whom I grappled 
at the time Sanoma Tora was stolen," 
said the slave.
Painfully, perilously, I descended inch by inch; 
I blessed my first ancestors that I could not see 
the dizzy depths below me. 
What a puny futile thing I must have appeared confronting that towering mountain of bestial ferocity.

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The girl and I were able to mount with ease,
and I urged the fleet animal along the ancient thoroughfare.
About us rose scores of fighting-planes. 
I tried to hail the nearer of them, but the infernal din of the warning signals drowned my voice.
I rode as close to the flyer as possible.
"Good-by, Hadron of Hastor!" Tavia said,
"It is my fault you are here.
May my ancestors forgive me!"
There could be here no scrupulous observance of the niceties of combat -- it was his life or ours.
Nur An stepped closer to her.
"By my first ancestor," he exclaimed,
"you are Phao!"
I saw the plan had failed; 
other meaures must be taken. 
I whipped out my sword.
"Here is my authority!"
I could have sworn I saw an eye glued to the narrow crack. 
In a bound I was across the room and had drawn the panel aside.
Never had I hurled a weapon with a more fervent prayer for the accuracy of my throw.
Nur An's head bobbed up 
at arm's-length from me. 
I realized that we were in 
a great underground river.
As we rounded the shoulder of a jutting promontory, 
we came face to face with a great white lizard. 
It emitted an angry hiss and advanced menacingly.
I admit htat we retreated rapidly.
With my short sword I struck at the fearsome creature. 
My point only scratched it -- 
whereupon it opened its hideous mouth 
and emitted a terrific scream.
Near me lay Nur An, still under the influence of the opiate.
I went to the window. 
Far below lay the roofs of the city.
"Hold my ankles, Nur An," I said,
"and in the name of your first ancestor, 
hold tightly."

Blue Book: August 1930 - A Fighting Man of Mars 5/6Blue Book: September 1930 - A Fighting Man of Mars 6/6

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A Fighting Man of Mars

Volume 0860

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