A Princess of Mars HTML version
on their search for the princess, and so we have been able easily to reduce the city to a
sorry plight. It is said she will fall within the next few passages of the further moon."
"And what, think you, may have been the fate of the princess, Dejah Thoris?" I asked as
casually as possible.
"She is dead," he answered. "This much was learned from a green warrior recently
captured by our forces in the south. She escaped from the hordes of Thark with a strange
creature of another world, only to fall into the hands of the Warhoons. Their thoats were
found wandering upon the sea bottom and evidences of a bloody conflict were discovered
While this information was in no way reassuring, neither was it at all conclusive proof of
the death of Dejah Thoris, and so I determined to make every effort possible to reach
Helium as quickly as I could and carry to Tardos Mors such news of his granddaughter's
possible whereabouts as lay in my power.
Ten days after leaving the three Ptor brothers I arrived at Zodanga. From the moment that
I had come in contact with the red inhabitants of Mars I had noticed that Woola drew a
great amount of unwelcome attention to me, since the huge brute belonged to a species
which is never domesticated by the red men. Were one to stroll down Broadway with a
Numidian lion at his heels the effect would be somewhat similar to that which I should
have produced had I entered Zodanga with Woola.
The very thought of parting with the faithful fellow caused me so great regret and
genuine sorrow that I put it off until just before we arrived at the city's gates; but then,
finally, it became imperative that we separate. Had nothing further than my own safety or
pleasure been at stake no argument could have prevailed upon me to turn away the one
creature upon Barsoom that had never failed in a demonstration of affection and loyalty;
but as I would willingly have offered my life in the service of her in search of whom I
was about to challenge the unknown dangers of this, to me, mysterious city, I could not
permit even Woola's life to threaten the success of my venture, much less his momentary
happiness, for I doubted not he soon would forget me. And so I bade the poor beast an
affectionate farewell, promising him, however, that if I came through my adventure in
safety that in some way I should find the means to search him out.
He seemed to understand me fully, and when I pointed back in the direction of Thark he
turned sorrowfully away, nor could I bear to watch him go; but resolutely set my face
toward Zodanga and with a touch of heartsickness approached her frowning walls.
The letter I bore from them gained me immediate entrance to the vast, walled city. It was
still very early in the morning and the streets were practically deserted. The residences,
raised high upon their metal columns, resembled huge rookeries, while the uprights
themselves presented the appearance of steel tree trunks. The shops as a rule were not
raised from the ground nor were their doors bolted or barred, since thievery is practically
unknown upon Barsoom. Assassination is the ever-present fear of all Barsoomians, and