THE GODS OF MARS

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Overview

CONTENTS

I. The Plant Men
II. A Forest Battle
III. The Chamber of Mystery
IV. Thuvia
V. Corridors of Peril
VI. The Black Pirates of Barsoom
VII. A Fair Goddess
VIII. The Depths of Omean
IX. Issus, Goddess of Life Eternal
X. The Prison Isle of Shador
XI. When Hell Broke Loose
XII. Doomed to Die
XIII. A Break for Liberty
XIV. The Eyes in the Dark
XV. Flight and Pursuit
XVI. Under Arrest
XVII. The Death Sentence
XVIII. Sola's Story
XIX. Black Despair
XX. The Air Battle
XXI. Through Flood and Flame
XXII. Victory and Defeat





CHAPTER I

THE PLANT MEN


As I stood upon the bluff before my cottage on that clear cold night in
the early part of March, 1886, the noble Hudson flowing like the grey
and silent spectre of a dead river below me, I felt again the strange,
compelling influence of the mighty god of war, my beloved Mars, which
for ten long and lonesome years I had implored with outstretched arms
to carry me back to my lost love.

Not since that other March night in 1866, when I had stood without that
Arizona cave in which my still and lifeless body lay wrapped in the
similitude of earthly death had I felt the irresistible attraction of
the god of my profession.

With arms outstretched toward the red eye of the great star I stood
praying for a return of that strange power which twice had drawn me
through the immensity of space, praying as I had prayed on a thousand
nights before during the long ten years that I had waited and hoped.

Suddenly a qualm of nausea swept over me, my senses swam, my knees gave
beneath me and I pitched headlong to the ground upon the very verge of
the dizzy bluff.

Instantly my brain cleared and there swept back across the threshold of
my memory the vivid picture of the horrors of that ghostly Arizona
cave; again, as on that far-gone night, my muscles refused to respond
to my will and again, as though even here upon the banks of the placid
Hudson, I could hear the awful moans and rustling of the fearsome thing
which had lurked and threatened me from the dark recesses of the cave,
I made the same mighty and superhuman effort to break the bonds of the
strange anaesthesia which held me, and again came the sharp click as of
the sudden parting of a taut wire, and I stood naked and free beside
the staring, lifeless thing that had so recently pulsed with the warm,
red life-blood of John Carter.

With scarcely a parting glance I turned my eyes again toward Mars,
lifted my hands toward his lurid rays, and waited.

Nor did I have long to wait; for scarce had I turned ere I shot with
the rapidity of thought into the awful void before me. There was the
same instant of unthinkable cold and utter darkness that I had
experienced twenty years before, and then I opened my eyes in another
world, beneath the burning rays of a hot sun, which beat through a tiny
opening in the dome of the mighty forest in which I lay.

The scene that met my eyes was so un-Martian that my heart sprang to my
throat as the sudden fear swept through me that I had been aimlessly
tossed upon some strange planet by a cruel fate.

Why not? What guide had I through the trackless waste of
interplanetary space? What assurance that I might not as well be
hurtled to some far-distant star of another solar system, as to Mars?

I lay upon a close-cropped sward of red grasslike vegetation, and about
me stretched a grove of strange and beautiful trees, covered with huge
and gorgeous blossoms and filled with brilliant, voiceless birds. I
call them birds since they were winged, but mortal eye ne'er rested on
such odd, unearthly shapes.

The vegetation was similar to that which covers the lawns of the red
Martians of the great waterways, but the trees and birds were unlike
anything that I had ever seen upon Mars, and then through the further
trees I could see that most un-Martian of all sights--an open sea, its
blue waters shimmering beneath the brazen sun.

As I rose to investigate further I experienced the same ridiculous
catastrophe that had met my first attempt to walk under Martian
conditions. The lesser attraction of this smaller planet and the
reduced air pressure of its greatly rarefied atmosphere, afforded so
little resistance to my earthly muscles that the ordinary exertion of
the mere act of rising sent me several feet into the air and
precipitated me upon my face in the soft and brilliant grass of this
strange world.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014087551
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 2/5/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 205 KB

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