A Princess of Mars (Chapter 2, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 2

A sense of delicious dreaminess overcame me, my muscles relaxed, and I
was on the point of giving way to my desire to sleep when the sound of
approaching horses reached my ears. I attempted to spring to my feet
but was horrified to discover that my muscles refused to respond to my
will. I was now thoroughly awake, but as unable to move a muscle as
though turned to stone. It was then, for the first time, that I
noticed a slight vapor filling the cave. It was extremely tenuous and
only noticeable against the opening which led to daylight. There also
came to my nostrils a faintly pungent odor, and I could only assume
that I had been overcome by some poisonous gas, but why I should retain
my mental faculties and yet be unable to move I could not fathom.

I lay facing the opening of the cave and where I could see the short
stretch of trail which lay between the cave and the turn of the cliff
around which the trail led. The noise of the approaching horses had
ceased, and I judged the Indians were creeping stealthily upon me along
the little ledge which led to my living tomb. I remember that I hoped
they would make short work of me as I did not particularly relish the
thought of the innumerable things they might do to me if the spirit
prompted them.

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