A Princess of Mars HTML version
Chained In Warhoon
It must have been several hours before I regained consciousness and I well remember the
feeling of surprise which swept over me as I realized that I was not dead.
I was lying among a pile of sleeping silks and furs in the corner of a small room in which
were several green warriors, and bending over me was an ancient and ugly female.
As I opened my eyes she turned to one of the warriors, saying,
"He will live, O Jed."
"'Tis well," replied the one so addressed, rising and approaching my couch, "he should
render rare sport for the great games."
And now as my eyes fell upon him, I saw that he was no Thark, for his ornaments and
metal were not of that horde. He was a huge fellow, terribly scarred about the face and
chest, and with one broken tusk and a missing ear. Strapped on either breast were human
skulls and depending from these a number of dried human hands.
His reference to the great games of which I had heard so much while among the Tharks
convinced me that I had but jumped from purgatory into gehenna.
After a few more words with the female, during which she assured him that I was now
fully fit to travel, the jed ordered that we mount and ride after the main column.
I was strapped securely to as wild and unmanageable a thoat as I had ever seen, and, with
a mounted warrior on either side to prevent the beast from bolting, we rode forth at a
furious pace in pursuit of the column. My wounds gave me but little pain, so wonderfully
and rapidly had the applications and injections of the female exercised their therapeutic
powers, and so deftly had she bound and plastered the injuries.
Just before dark we reached the main body of troops shortly after they had made camp for
the night. I was immediately taken before the leader, who proved to be the jeddak of the
hordes of Warhoon.
Like the jed who had brought me, he was frightfully scarred, and also decorated with the
breastplate of human skulls and dried dead hands which seemed to mark all the greater
warriors among the Warhoons, as well as to indicate their awful ferocity, which greatly
transcends even that of the Tharks.
The jeddak, Bar Comas, who was comparatively young, was the object of the fierce and
jealous hatred of his old lieutenant, Dak Kova, the jed who had captured me, and I could
not but note the almost studied efforts which the latter made to affront his superior.