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A Princess of Mars

As Sola and I entered the plaza a sight met my eyes which filled my whole being with a
great surge of mingled hope, fear, exultation, and depression, and yet most dominant was
a subtle sense of relief and happiness; for just as we neared the throng of Martians I
caught a glimpse of the prisoner from the battle craft who was being roughly dragged into
a nearby building by a couple of green Martian females.
And the sight which met my eyes was that of a slender, girlish figure, similar in every
detail to the earthly women of my past life. She did not see me at first, but just as she was
disappearing through the portal of the building which was to be her prison she turned, and
her eyes met mine. Her face was oval and beautiful in the extreme, her every feature was
finely chiseled and exquisite, her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a
mass of coal black, waving hair, caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Her
skin was of a light reddish copper color, against which the crimson glow of her cheeks
and the ruby of her beautifully molded lips shone with a strangely enhancing effect.
She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied her; indeed, save
for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked, nor could any apparel have
enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure.
As her gaze rested on me her eyes opened wide in astonishment, and she made a little
sign with her free hand; a sign which I did not, of course, understand. Just a moment we
gazed upon each other, and then the look of hope and renewed courage which had
glorified her face as she discovered me, faded into one of utter dejection, mingled with
loathing and contempt. I realized I had not answered her signal, and ignorant as I was of
Martian customs, I intuitively felt that she had made an appeal for succor and protection
which my unfortunate ignorance had prevented me from answering. And then she was
dragged out of my sight into the depths of the deserted edifice.
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