A Princess of Mars
small arms, and came around the end of the incubator toward me, entirely unarmed and
as naked as I, except for the ornaments strapped upon his head, limbs, and breast.
When he was within about fifty feet of me he unclasped an enormous metal armlet, and
holding it toward me in the open palm of his hand, addressed me in a clear, resonant
voice, but in a language, it is needless to say, I could not understand. He then stopped as
though waiting for my reply, pricking up his antennae-like ears and cocking his strange-
looking eyes still further toward me.
As the silence became painful I concluded to hazard a little conversation on my own part,
as I had guessed that he was making overtures of peace. The throwing down of his
weapons and the withdrawing of his troop before his advance toward me would have
signified a peaceful mission anywhere on Earth, so why not, then, on Mars!
Placing my hand over my heart I bowed low to the Martian and explained to him that
while I did not understand his language, his actions spoke for the peace and friendship
that at the present moment were most dear to my heart. Of course I might have been a
babbling brook for all the intelligence my speech carried to him, but he understood the
action with which I immediately followed my words.
Stretching my hand toward him, I advanced and took the armlet from his open palm,
clasping it about my arm above the elbow; smiled at him and stood waiting. His wide
mouth spread into an answering smile, and locking one of his intermediary arms in mine
we turned and walked back toward his mount. At the same time he motioned his
followers to advance. They started toward us on a wild run, but were checked by a signal
from him. Evidently he feared that were I to be really frightened again I might jump
entirely out of the landscape.
He exchanged a few words with his men, motioned to me that I would ride behind one of
them, and then mounted his own animal. The fellow designated reached down two or
three hands and lifted me up behind him on the glossy back of his mount, where I hung
on as best I could by the belts and straps which held the Martian's weapons and
The entire cavalcade then turned and galloped away toward the range of hills in the