A Princess of Mars HTML version

of Thark, and the balance are scattered among other deserted cities of ancient Mars
throughout the district claimed by Tal Hajus.
We made our entry into the great central plaza early in the afternoon. There were no
enthusiastic friendly greetings for the returned expedition. Those who chanced to be in
sight spoke the names of warriors or women with whom they came in direct contact, in
the formal greeting of their kind, but when it was discovered that they brought two
captives a greater interest was aroused, and Dejah Thoris and I were the centers of
inquiring groups.
We were soon assigned to new quarters, and the balance of the day was devoted to
settling ourselves to the changed conditions. My home now was upon an avenue leading
into the plaza from the south, the main artery down which we had marched from the gates
of the city. I was at the far end of the square and had an entire building to myself. The
same grandeur of architecture which was so noticeable a characteristic of Korad was in
evidence here, only, if that were possible, on a larger and richer scale. My quarters would
have been suitable for housing the greatest of earthly emperors, but to these queer
creatures nothing about a building appealed to them but its size and the enormity of its
chambers; the larger the building, the more desirable; and so Tal Hajus occupied what
must have been an enormous public building, the largest in the city, but entirely unfitted
for residence purposes; the next largest was reserved for Lorquas Ptomel, the next for the
jed of a lesser rank, and so on to the bottom of the list of five jeds. The warriors occupied
the buildings with the chieftains to whose retinues they belonged; or, if they preferred,
sought shelter among any of the thousands of untenanted buildings in their own quarter of
town; each community being assigned a certain section of the city. The selection of
building had to be made in accordance with these divisions, except in so far as the jeds
were concerned, they all occupying edifices which fronted upon the plaza.
When I had finally put my house in order, or rather seen that it had been done, it was
nearing sunset, and I hastened out with the intention of locating Sola and her charges, as I
had determined upon having speech with Dejah Thoris and trying to impress on her the
necessity of our at least patching up a truce until I could find some way of aiding her to
escape. I searched in vain until the upper rim of the great red sun was just disappearing
behind the horizon and then I spied the ugly head of Woola peering from a second-story
window on the opposite side of the very street where I was quartered, but nearer the
Without waiting for a further invitation I bolted up the winding runway which led to the
second floor, and entering a great chamber at the front of the building was greeted by the
frenzied Woola, who threw his great carcass upon me, nearly hurling me to the floor; the
poor old fellow was so glad to see me that I thought he would devour me, his head split
from ear to ear, showing his three rows of tusks in his hobgoblin smile.
Quieting him with a word of command and a caress, I looked hurriedly through the
approaching gloom for a sign of Dejah Thoris, and then, not seeing her, I called her
name. There was an answering murmur from the far corner of the apartment, and with a