A Princess of Mars (Chapter 4, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 4

We had gone perhaps ten miles when the ground began to rise very
rapidly. We were, as I was later to learn, nearing the edge of one of
Mars' long-dead seas, in the bottom of which my encounter with the
Martians had taken place.

In a short time we gained the foot of the mountains, and after
traversing a narrow gorge came to an open valley, at the far extremity
of which was a low table land upon which I beheld an enormous city.
Toward this we galloped, entering it by what appeared to be a ruined
roadway leading out from the city, but only to the edge of the table
land, where it ended abruptly in a flight of broad steps.

Upon closer observation I saw as we passed them that the buildings were
deserted, and while not greatly decayed had the appearance of not
having been tenanted for years, possibly for ages. Toward the center
of the city was a large plaza, and upon this and in the buildings
immediately surrounding it were camped some nine or ten hundred
creatures of the same breed as my captors, for such I now considered
them despite the suave manner in which I had been trapped.

With the exception of their ornaments all were naked. The women varied
in appearance but little from the men, except that their tusks were
much larger in proportion to their height, in some instances curving
nearly to their high-set ears. Their bodies were smaller and lighter
in color, and their fingers and toes bore the rudiments of nails, which
were entirely lacking among the males. The adult females ranged in
height from ten to twelve feet.

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