A Princess of Mars HTML version
One of the staff called the attention of Than Kosis to the presence of my companion
above them and the ruler motioned for him to descend. As they waited for the troops to
move into position facing the jeddak the two talked earnestly together, the jeddak and his
staff occasionally glancing up at me. I could not hear their conversation and presently it
ceased and all dismounted, as the last body of troops had wheeled into position before
their emperor. A member of the staff advanced toward the troops, and calling the name of
a soldier commanded him to advance. The officer then recited the nature of the heroic act
which had won the approval of the jeddak, and the latter advanced and placed a metal
ornament upon the left arm of the lucky man.
Ten men had been so decorated when the aide called out,
"John Carter, air scout!"
Never in my life had I been so surprised, but the habit of military discipline is strong
within me, and I dropped my little machine lightly to the ground and advanced on foot as
I had seen the others do. As I halted before the officer, he addressed me in a voice audible
to the entire assemblage of troops and spectators.
"In recognition, John Carter," he said, "of your remarkable courage and skill in defending
the person of the cousin of the jeddak Than Kosis and, singlehanded, vanquishing three
green warriors, it is the pleasure of our jeddak to confer on you the mark of his esteem."
Than Kosis then advanced toward me and placing an ornament upon me, said:
"My cousin has narrated the details of your wonderful achievement, which seems little
short of miraculous, and if you can so well defend a cousin of the jeddak how much
better could you defend the person of the jeddak himself. You are therefore appointed a
padwar of The Guards and will be quartered in my palace hereafter."
I thanked him, and at his direction joined the members of his staff. After the ceremony I
returned my machine to its quarters on the roof of the barracks of the air-scout squadron,
and with an orderly from the palace to guide me I reported to the officer in charge of the