A Princess of Mars HTML version
Champion And Chief
Early the next morning I was astir. Considerable freedom was allowed me, as Sola had
informed me that so long as I did not attempt to leave the city I was free to go and come
as I pleased. She had warned me, however, against venturing forth unarmed, as this city,
like all other deserted metropolises of an ancient Martian civilization, was peopled by the
great white apes of my second day's adventure.
In advising me that I must not leave the boundaries of the city Sola had explained that
Woola would prevent this anyway should I attempt it, and she warned me most urgently
not to arouse his fierce nature by ignoring his warnings should I venture too close to the
forbidden territory. His nature was such, she said, that he would bring me back into the
city dead or alive should I persist in opposing him; "preferably dead," she added.
On this morning I had chosen a new street to explore when suddenly I found myself at
the limits of the city. Before me were low hills pierced by narrow and inviting ravines. I
longed to explore the country before me, and, like the pioneer stock from which I sprang,
to view what the landscape beyond the encircling hills might disclose from the summits
which shut out my view.
It also occurred to me that this would prove an excellent opportunity to test the qualities
of Woola. I was convinced that the brute loved me; I had seen more evidences of
affection in him than in any other Martian animal, man or beast, and I was sure that
gratitude for the acts that had twice saved his life would more than outweigh his loyalty
to the duty imposed upon him by cruel and loveless masters.
As I approached the boundary line Woola ran anxiously before me, and thrust his body
against my legs. His expression was pleading rather than ferocious, nor did he bare his
great tusks or utter his fearful guttural warnings. Denied the friendship and
companionship of my kind, I had developed considerable affection for Woola and Sola,
for the normal earthly man must have some outlet for his natural affections, and so I
decided upon an appeal to a like instinct in this great brute, sure that I would not be
I had never petted nor fondled him, but now I sat upon the ground and putting my arms
around his heavy neck I stroked and coaxed him, talking in my newly acquired Martian
tongue as I would have to my hound at home, as I would have talked to any other friend
among the lower animals. His response to my manifestation of affection was remarkable
to a degree; he stretched his great mouth to its full width, baring the entire expanse of his
upper rows of tusks and wrinkling his snout until his great eyes were almost hidden by
the folds of flesh. If you have ever seen a collie smile you may have some idea of
Woola's facial distortion.
He threw himself upon his back and fairly wallowed at my feet; jumped up and sprang
upon me, rolling me upon the ground by his great weight; then wriggling and squirming