A Princess of Mars (Chapter 3, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 3

I opened my eyes upon a strange and weird landscape. I knew that I was
on Mars; not once did I question either my sanity or my wakefulness. I
was not asleep, no need for pinching here; my inner consciousness told
me as plainly that I was upon Mars as your conscious mind tells you
that you are upon Earth. You do not question the fact; neither did I.

I found myself lying prone upon a bed of yellowish, mosslike vegetation
which stretched around me in all directions for interminable miles. I
seemed to be lying in a deep, circular basin, along the outer verge of
which I could distinguish the irregularities of low hills.

It was midday, the sun was shining full upon me and the heat of it was
rather intense upon my naked body, yet no greater than would have been
true under similar conditions on an Arizona desert. Here and there
were slight outcroppings of quartz-bearing rock which glistened in the
sunlight; and a little to my left, perhaps a hundred yards, appeared a
low, walled enclosure about four feet in height. No water, and no
other vegetation than the moss was in evidence, and as I was somewhat
thirsty I determined to do a little exploring.

Springing to my feet I received my first Martian surprise, for the
effort, which on Earth would have brought me standing upright, carried
me into the Martian air to the height of about three yards. I alighted
softly upon the ground, however, without appreciable shock or jar. Now
commenced a series of evolutions which even then seemed ludicrous in
the extreme. I found that I must learn to walk all over again, as the
muscular exertion which carried me easily and safely upon Earth played
strange antics with me upon Mars.

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