A Princess of Mars
and many of the arts of the fair-haired Martians had become lost; but the red race of
today has reached a point where it feels that it has made up in new discoveries and in a
more practical civilization for all that lies irretrievably buried with the ancient
Barsoomians, beneath the countless intervening ages.
These ancient Martians had been a highly cultivated and literary race, but during the
vicissitudes of those trying centuries of readjustment to new conditions, not only did their
advancement and production cease entirely, but practically all their archives, records, and
literature were lost.
Dejah Thoris related many interesting facts and legends concerning this lost race of noble
and kindly people. She said that the city in which we were camping was supposed to have
been a center of commerce and culture known as Korad. It had been built upon a
beautiful, natural harbor, landlocked by magnificent hills. The little valley on the west
front of the city, she explained, was all that remained of the harbor, while the pass
through the hills to the old sea bottom had been the channel through which the shipping
passed up to the city's gates.
The shores of the ancient seas were dotted with just such cities, and lesser ones, in
diminishing numbers, were to be found converging toward the center of the oceans, as the
people had found it necessary to follow the receding waters until necessity had forced
upon them their ultimate salvation, the so-called Martian canals.
We had been so engrossed in exploration of the building and in our conversation that it
was late in the afternoon before we realized it. We were brought back to a realization of
our present conditions by a messenger bearing a summons from Lorquas Ptomel directing
me to appear before him forthwith. Bidding Dejah Thoris and Sola farewell, and
commanding Woola to remain on guard, I hastened to the audience chamber, where I
found Lorquas Ptomel and Tars Tarkas seated upon the rostrum.