A Princess of Mars, Part 4
Now, the Special English program, American Stories.
Welcome to the fourth and last part of our program, “A Princess of Mars.” The story is from a series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Last week, we told how John Carter observed a fierce battle between the green Martians and a race of red, human-like creatures. He also saw the beautiful Princess Dejah Thoris being captured after the battle.
A short time later, John Carter, the Princess and their friend, the green Martian woman Sola, attempt to escape rather than face death. The Princess and Sola must flee while John Carter tries to slow the green warriors who are chasing them. John Carter continues to tell what happens in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ story, “A Princess of Mars.”
The huge green warrior Tars Tarkas came slowly toward me with his thin sword. I backed away. I did not want to fight him. I did not wish his death. He had been as kind to me as a green Martian can be.
As I stood watching him, a rifle fired in the distance, then another and another. Tars Tarkas and his warriors were under attack from another tribe of green warriors.
Within seconds, a terrible battle raged. As I watched, three of the attackers fell on Tars Tarkas. He killed one and was fighting with the other two when he slipped and fell.
I ran to his aid, swinging my sword. He was on his feet. Shoulder-to-shoulder, we fought against the attackers. They finally withdrew after an hour of fierce fighting.
John Carter, I think I understand the meaning of the word “friend.” You saved my life when I was about to take yours. From this day, you are no longer a captive among our people, but a leader and great warrior among us.
There was a smile on his face. Once again, he took off a metal band from his arm and gave it to me.
I have a question for you John Carter. I understand why you took the red woman with you. But why did Sola leave her people and go with you?
She did not want to see me or the Princess harmed. She does not like the great games held by your people where captives are led to die. She knows if she is caught, she too will die in the games. She told me she hates the games because her mother died there.
What? How could she know her mother?
She told me her mother was killed in the games because she had hidden the egg that produced her. Her mother hid Sola among other children before she was captured. Sola said she was a kind woman, not like others of your tribe.
Tars Tarkas grew angry as I was speaking. But I could see past his anger. I could see pain in his eyes. I immediately knew Sola’s great secret.
I have a question for you, Tars Tarkas. Did you know Sola’s mother?
Yes… and if I could have, I would have prevented her death. I know this story to be true. I have always known the woman who died in those games had a child. I never knew the child. I do now. Sola is also my child.
For three days, we followed the trail left by the Princess Dejah Thoris, Sola and poor ugly Woola. At last, we could see them in the distance. Their animal could no longer be ridden. They were talking. When we came near, Woola turned to fight us. I slowly walked to him with my hand out.
Sola was standing nearby. She was armed and prepared to fight. The princess was lying next to her feet.
Sola, what is wrong with the princess?