A Princess of Mars
except when duty calls upon them to make war, while we are at peace with none; forever
warring among our own kind as well as upon the red men, and even in our own
communities the individuals fight amongst themselves. Oh, it is one continual, awful
period of bloodshed from the time we break the shell until we gladly embrace the bosom
of the river of mystery, the dark and ancient Iss which carries us to an unknown, but at
least no more frightful and terrible existence! Fortunate indeed is he who meets his end in
an early death. Say what you please to Tars Tarkas, he can mete out no worse fate to me
than a continuation of the horrible existence we are forced to lead in this life."
This wild outbreak on the part of Sola so greatly surprised and shocked the other women,
that, after a few words of general reprimand, they all lapsed into silence and were soon
asleep. One thing the episode had accomplished was to assure me of Sola's friendliness
toward the poor girl, and also to convince me that I had been extremely fortunate in
falling into her hands rather than those of some of the other females. I knew that she was
fond of me, and now that I had discovered that she hated cruelty and barbarity I was
confident that I could depend upon her to aid me and the girl captive to escape, provided
of course that such a thing was within the range of possibilities.
I did not even know that there were any better conditions to escape to, but I was more
than willing to take my chances among people fashioned after my own mold rather than
to remain longer among the hideous and bloodthirsty green men of Mars. But where to
go, and how, was as much of a puzzle to me as the age-old search for the spring of eternal
life has been to earthly men since the beginning of time.
I decided that at the first opportunity I would take Sola into my confidence and openly
ask her to aid me, and with this resolution strong upon me I turned among my silks and
furs and slept the dreamless and refreshing sleep of Mars.