A Princess of Mars
day when he shall win the goal of his ambition, and feel the carcass of Tal Hajus beneath
his foot, for I am as sure that he but waits the opportunity to wreak a terrible vengeance,
and that his great love is as strong in his breast as when it first transfigured him nearly
forty years ago, as I am that we sit here upon the edge of a world-old ocean while
sensible people sleep, John Carter."
"And your father, Sola, is he with us now?" I asked.
"Yes," she replied, "but he does not know me for what I am, nor does he know who
betrayed my mother to Tal Hajus. I alone know my father's name, and only I and Tal
Hajus and Sarkoja know that it was she who carried the tale that brought death and
torture upon her he loved."
We sat silent for a few moments, she wrapped in the gloomy thoughts of her terrible past,
and I in pity for the poor creatures whom the heartless, senseless customs of their race
had doomed to loveless lives of cruelty and of hate. Presently she spoke.
"John Carter, if ever a real man walked the cold, dead bosom of Barsoom you are one. I
know that I can trust you, and because the knowledge may someday help you or him or
Dejah Thoris or myself, I am going to tell you the name of my father, nor place any
restrictions or conditions upon your tongue. When the time comes, speak the truth if it
seems best to you. I trust you because I know that you are not cursed with the terrible
trait of absolute and unswerving truthfulness, that you could lie like one of your own
Virginia gentlemen if a lie would save others from sorrow or suffering. My father's name
is Tars Tarkas."