A Princess of Mars (Chapter 9, page 1 of 5)


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Chapter 9

As I came back to myself I glanced at Sola, who had witnessed this
encounter and I was surprised to note a strange expression upon her
usually expressionless countenance. What her thoughts were I did not
know, for as yet I had learned but little of the Martian tongue; enough
only to suffice for my daily needs.

As I reached the doorway of our building a strange surprise awaited me.
A warrior approached bearing the arms, ornaments, and full
accouterments of his kind. These he presented to me with a few
unintelligible words, and a bearing at once respectful and menacing.

Later, Sola, with the aid of several of the other women, remodeled the
trappings to fit my lesser proportions, and after they completed the
work I went about garbed in all the panoply of war.

From then on Sola instructed me in the mysteries of the various
weapons, and with the Martian young I spent several hours each day
practicing upon the plaza. I was not yet proficient with all the
weapons, but my great familiarity with similar earthly weapons made me
an unusually apt pupil, and I progressed in a very satisfactory manner.

The training of myself and the young Martians was conducted solely by
the women, who not only attend to the education of the young in the
arts of individual defense and offense, but are also the artisans who
produce every manufactured article wrought by the green Martians. They
make the powder, the cartridges, the firearms; in fact everything of
value is produced by the females. In time of actual warfare they form
a part of the reserves, and when the necessity arises fight with even
greater intelligence and ferocity than the men.

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