A Princess of Mars HTML version

of stone between two of his teeth while feeding upon the moss-like vegetation within our
court yard.
"By kindness," I replied. "You see, Tars Tarkas, the softer sentiments have their value,
even to a warrior. In the height of battle as well as upon the march I know that my thoats
will obey my every command, and therefore my fighting efficiency is enhanced, and I am
a better warrior for the reason that I am a kind master. Your other warriors would find it
to the advantage of themselves as well as of the community to adopt my methods in this
respect. Only a few days since you, yourself, told me that these great brutes, by the
uncertainty of their tempers, often were the means of turning victory into defeat, since, at
a crucial moment, they might elect to unseat and rend their riders."
"Show me how you accomplish these results," was Tars Tarkas' only rejoinder.
And so I explained as carefully as I could the entire method of training I had adopted
with my beasts, and later he had me repeat it before Lorquas Ptomel and the assembled
warriors. That moment marked the beginning of a new existence for the poor thoats, and
before I left the community of Lorquas Ptomel I had the satisfaction of observing a
regiment of as tractable and docile mounts as one might care to see. The effect on the
precision and celerity of the military movements was so remarkable that Lorquas Ptomel
presented me with a massive anklet of gold from his own leg, as a sign of his appreciation
of my service to the horde.
On the seventh day following the battle with the air craft we again took up the march
toward Thark, all probability of another attack being deemed remote by Lorquas Ptomel.
During the days just preceding our departure I had seen but little of Dejah Thoris, as I had
been kept very busy by Tars Tarkas with my lessons in the art of Martian warfare, as well
as in the training of my thoats. The few times I had visited her quarters she had been
absent, walking upon the streets with Sola, or investigating the buildings in the near
vicinity of the plaza. I had warned them against venturing far from the plaza for fear of
the great white apes, whose ferocity I was only too well acquainted with. However, since
Woola accompanied them on all their excursions, and as Sola was well armed, there was
comparatively little cause for fear.
On the evening before our departure I saw them approaching along one of the great
avenues which lead into the plaza from the east. I advanced to meet them, and telling
Sola that I would take the responsibility for Dejah Thoris' safekeeping, I directed her to
return to her quarters on some trivial errand. I liked and trusted Sola, but for some reason
I desired to be alone with Dejah Thoris, who represented to me all that I had left behind
upon Earth in agreeable and congenial companionship. There seemed bonds of mutual
interest between us as powerful as though we had been born under the same roof rather
than upon different planets, hurtling through space some forty-eight million miles apart.
That she shared my sentiments in this respect I was positive, for on my approach the look
of pitiful hopelessness left her sweet countenance to be replaced by a smile of joyful