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A Princess of Mars

I Elude My Watch Dog
Sola stared into the brute's wicked-looking eyes, muttered a word or two of command,
pointed to me, and left the chamber. I could not but wonder what this ferocious-looking
monstrosity might do when left alone in such close proximity to such a relatively tender
morsel of meat; but my fears were groundless, as the beast, after surveying me intently
for a moment, crossed the room to the only exit which led to the street, and lay down full
length across the threshold.
This was my first experience with a Martian watch dog, but it was destined not to be my
last, for this fellow guarded me carefully during the time I remained a captive among
these green men; twice saving my life, and never voluntarily being away from me a
moment.
While Sola was away I took occasion to examine more minutely the room in which I
found myself captive. The mural painting depicted scenes of rare and wonderful beauty;
mountains, rivers, lake, ocean, meadow, trees and flowers, winding roadways, sun-kissed
gardens--scenes which might have portrayed earthly views but for the different colorings
of the vegetation. The work had evidently been wrought by a master hand, so subtle the
atmosphere, so perfect the technique; yet nowhere was there a representation of a living
animal, either human or brute, by which I could guess at the likeness of these other and
perhaps extinct denizens of Mars.
While I was allowing my fancy to run riot in wild conjecture on the possible explanation
of the strange anomalies which I had so far met with on Mars, Sola returned bearing both
food and drink. These she placed on the floor beside me, and seating herself a short ways
off regarded me intently. The food consisted of about a pound of some solid substance of
the consistency of cheese and almost tasteless, while the liquid was apparently milk from
some animal. It was not unpleasant to the taste, though slightly acid, and I learned in a
short time to prize it very highly. It came, as I later discovered, not from an animal, as
there is only one mammal on Mars and that one very rare indeed, but from a large plant
which grows practically without water, but seems to distill its plentiful supply of milk
from the products of the soil, the moisture of the air, and the rays of the sun. A single
plant of this species will give eight or ten quarts of milk per day.
After I had eaten I was greatly invigorated, but feeling the need of rest I stretched out
upon the silks and was soon asleep. I must have slept several hours, as it was dark when I
awoke, and I was very cold. I noticed that someone had thrown a fur over me, but it had
become partially dislodged and in the darkness I could not see to replace it. Suddenly a
hand reached out and pulled the fur over me, shortly afterwards adding another to my
covering.
I presumed that my watchful guardian was Sola, nor was I wrong. This girl alone, among
all the green Martians with whom I came in contact, disclosed characteristics of
 
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