TL;DR: A Princess of Mars

Chapter 1

John Carter has died twice but he is still alive. He is an old man, but he doesn’t know how old. He knows that he can die, but that he hasn’t died, and so he doesn’t fear death. But because he knows that one day he will die, he wants to keep a record of the interesting times he has seen.

Most people won’t believe the story, but one day they will know it is true.

He is John Carter. After the civil war he had nothing, no job, no trade, no money, and so he went west and found gold. He goes with a mining engineer by the name of Powell. When they find a vein of gold in quartz Powell sets off to get all of the supplies that they need while John stays to keep a hold of their claim.

But as he watches Powel ride away, he sees his friend trailed by Apaches. He gets on his horse and follows the trail.

As he rides, he hears gunshots and he comes upon an Indian Camp and sees Powel being tortured by them.

“I do not believe that I am made of the stuff which constitutes heroes, because, in all of the hundreds of instances that my voluntary acts have placed me face to face with death, I cannot recall a single one where any alternative step to that I took occurred to me until many hours later. My mind is evidently so constituted that I am subconsciously forced into the path of duty without recourse to tiresome mental processes. However, that may be, I have never regretted that cowardice is not optional with me”

Galloping through the camp he grabs Powell and whisks him away. The moon is high but shooting in the moonlight is notoriously difficult and so he can escape. He is focusing on escaping the Indians and lets his horse guide itself, but soon he is on the wrong trail. But he dupes the Indians for a while, but knows they’ll find him eventually. The trial he is on comes to a cave. And with the coming morning approaching fast, he hides in the cave. Powel is dead and so he leaves him at the mouth of the cave while he takes a look at it. He feels strange in the cave, very sleepy, and soon collapses.

Chapter II

John wants to sleep but can’t because he hears horses. He tries to rise but can’t he can’t move at all. He begins to see a strange vapor and smell something strange too. He thinks some poisonous gas might have paralyzed him.

He sees Indian heads at the mouth of the cave, but they don’t enter they just look strangely at him.

“Each face was the picture of awe and fear, but for what reason I did not know, nor did I learn until ten years later.”

A moan comes out of the cave and the Indians flee. For hours John is just in the cave paralyzed. His horse wanders away.

He tries to move for hours and eventually something snaps and he is looking at his body. But he’s also above the body and naked.

John knows something is in the cave with him, but doesn’t have anything to fight it with. But because he can now move, he leaves the cave. He sees the beauty of Arizona, then he looks up at the sky. He sees a large red star. It is Mars. He calls out to the God of war and then he is in utter darkness.

Chapter III

John opens his eyes and he is on Mars. Just as easily as anyone on Earth knows they’re on Earth he knows he is on Mars. He also knows he isn’t dreaming.

He is laying on some yellow moss like vegetation that stretches on for miles.

He sees a structure and heads toward it but can’t walk properly because his Earth muscles are too powerful for Martian ground. He manages his way over to the structure and sees that there are thousands of large eggs in them.

The eggs have just hatched.

“They seemed mostly head, with little scrawny bodies, long necks and six legs, or, as I afterward learned, two legs and two arms, with an intermediary pair of limbs which could be used at will either as arms or legs. Their eyes were set at the extreme sides of their heads a trifle above the center and protruded in such a manner that they could be directed either forward or back and also independently of each other, thus permitting this queer animal to look in any direction, or in two directions at once, without the necessity of turning the head. The ears, which were slightly above the eyes and closer together, were small, cup shaped antennae, protruding not more than an inch on these young specimens. Their noses were but longitudinal slits in the center of their faces, midway between their mouths and ears. There was no hair on their bodies, which were of a very light yellowish-green color. In the adults, as I was to learn quite soon, this color deepens to an olive green and is darker in the male than in the female. Further, the heads of the adults are not so out of proportion to their bodies as in the case of the young. The iris of the eyes is blood red, as in Albinos, while the pupil is dark. The eyeball itself is very white, as are the teeth. These latter add a most ferocious appearance to an otherwise fearsome and terrible countenance, as the lower tusks curve upward to sharp points which end about where the eyes of earthly human beings are located. The whiteness of the teeth is not that of ivory, but of the snowiest and most gleaming of china. Against the dark background of their olive skins their tusks stand out in a most striking manner, making these weapons present a singularly formidable appearance. “

As he looks at the babies, he doesn’t notice the adults riding up behind him. He hears something though and turns to see a giant spear very close to him. It is a grown Martian. He is 15 feet tall and riding a large mount.

Nineteen other riders come up behind the one in front of John Carter. Obviously, John is startled and jumps. He goes 30 feet in the air and lands a hundred feet away. He realizes that Martians are accustomed to their gravity and so what he did was as incredible to him as it was to them. 

The Martians ride back a distance and the one that originally stuck its spear in John’s face approaches him, lays down his weapons, and offers John some metal ornamentation.

John bows to the Martian and tries speaking but they can’t communicate. He takes the metal ornament and smiles.

The alien smiles back. They walk back together. He mounts his beast and puts John on it behind him.

Chapter IV

John had appeared in a basin in one of Mar’s long dead seas and so they ride into the mountains and in a gorge, they find an enormous city.

The buildings of the city are deserted and John can tell that they have been abandoned for a very long time. In a large plaza in the city he finds a camp of about one thousand of the Martians.

“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.

The children were light in color, even lighter than the women, and all looked precisely alike to me, except that some were taller than others; older, I presumed. I saw no signs of extreme age among them, nor is there any appreciable difference in their appearance from the age of maturity, about forty, until, at about the age of one thousand years, they go voluntarily upon their last strange pilgrimage down the river Iss, which leads no living Martian knows whither and from whose bosom no Martian has ever returned, or would be allowed to live did he return after once embarking upon its cold, dark waters. Only about one Martian in a thousand dies of sickness or disease, and possibly about twenty take the voluntary pilgrimage. The other nine hundred and seventy-nine die violent deaths in duels, in hunting, in aviation and in war.

The Martians often live about 300 years but they can live to 1000. But there is too much war for this to happen regularly. Mars is a dying planet and so there is a constant war for resources. They have incredible technology as well and so dangerous and fatal wounds can be so easily healed that war is looked on as a completely natural part of life. Death is also completely accepted. They ride through the camp and into a large building with a large chamber encircled by several galleries.

John sees that the Martians don’t fit in with the cities. The city seems to have built for men like him, the Martians are three times larger than any of the furniture in the city. Evidently there used to be men like him on mars that built these cities.

John then explains what happens next, but makes note that he had no idea what was going on at the time and that he was told by others what was said.

The man that captured John was the Second in command to the chieftain. His name is Tars Tarkas.

He explains how he found John and how john can jump. The chieftain wants to see this. John tries to walk but is too powerful so he makes a huge mess running into furniture as stuff.

One Martian mocks john and shoves him down. John socks him in the john and fells him like an ox. He expects to have a fight on his hands but it is stunned silence followed by wild laughter.

Tars Tarkas takes John out to the plaza and bids John to jump.

Eventually John realizes this and makes a huge jump. 150 feet in the air. He lands about thirty feet from the warriors.  Lots of Martians had seen this and want to see more. But John is hungry and thirsty and signals that he wants food.

A female named Sola, one of Tars Tarkas females, takes him to a room. She gives him a Martian dog.

“It waddled in on its ten short legs, and squatted down before the girl like an obedient puppy. The thing was about the size of a Shetland pony, but its head bore a slight resemblance to that of a frog, except that the jaws were equipped with three rows of long, sharp tusks.”

Chapter V

Sola says something to the dog. It lays down at the doorway and goes to sleep. Sola returns with food and drink for John. The drink is highly prized and comes from a large plant that seemingly can get water from the air but doesn’t need water. It is crucial on mars because the world is dying.

After eating John sleeps and it is dark when he awakens. Sola places more furs on him because he seems cold and he learns that Martian nights are very cold.

Mars is rather strange. The nights are cold the days hot, and it can be extremely bright or pitch black based on the moons and where they are. Also, the transition from day to night is very jarring because of Mar’s low atmosphere.

John sleeps till daylight. The dog is still watching him. AS he walks toward the door it lets him through and then walks behind him as he walks the streets.

“Evidently his mission was to protect me only, I thought, but when we reached the edge of the city he suddenly sprang before me, uttering strange sounds and baring his S ugly and ferocious tusks.”

John jumps and lands far away from the city. John learns that this is the fastest animal on mars and it that it is the perfect companion for the Martian man. He won’t be able to escape his watchdog. But he tries and jumps into a different part of the city. The dog runs to where he is but he jumps thirty feet and grabs the ledge of some window. An arm grabs him and throws him into the building and John is looking at a massive white ape.

Chapter VI

The creatures were about ten or fifteen feet tall, standing erect, and had, like the green Martians, an intermediary set of arms or legs, midway between their upper and lower limbs. Their eyes were close together and nonprotruding; their ears were high set, but more laterally located than those of the Martians, while their snouts and teeth were strikingly like those of our African gorilla. Altogether they were not unlovely when viewed in comparison with the green Martians.

The ape has John pinned but the dog bursts in and attacks it.

“The strength, agility, and blind ferocity of these two creatures is approached by nothing known to earthly man.”

John sees the ape winning the fight so he picks up the ape’s stone cudgel and caves in its skull. The dead ape’s mate then shows up and John knows he probably won’t win. He wants to leap out the window and escape but won’t leave the watchdog and so fights the ape and kills it.

As he kills the ape, he hears the laugh of Tars Tarkas. He turns to see a group of Martians laughing.

John learns that the Martians don’t care about anything but fighting prowess. No love, no emotions just bravery and power. That means that all that John has done has impressed the Martians quite a lot.

But John perceives Sola is not this way.

Tars Tarkas tells John that they are going and John wants to know what is going to happen to the wounded dog. One of the warriors is about to shoot it with a pistol. He stops the warrior and motions for the animal to follow him. This stupefies the Martians.

“I had at least two friends on Mars; a young woman who watched over me with motherly solicitude, and a dumb brute which, as I later came to know, held in its poor ugly carcass more love, more loyalty, more gratitude than could have been found in the entire five million green Martians who rove the deserted cities and dead sea bottoms of Mars”

Chapter VII

The Martians outfit large mastodons to pull chariots. John explains that all the Martians are telepathic, that mars has a universal language and that people can communicate with animals using telepathy.

The Martians all set up a giant migration to the incubator John found on the previous day. At the incubator sight Lorquas Ptomel, the chieftain wants to see John jump. John Jumps the chieftain grunts and then ignores John for other business.

They open the incubator and each female grabs a baby. Sola has one. John explains that child raising for the green Martians is simple, all it is is teaching them to talk, and teaching them fighting. They don’t know who their mothers are and so random mothers are assigned to random children in order to promote the lack of emotions characteristic of the green men. This is why they don’t feel emotions.

“From birth they know no father or mother love, they know not the meaning of the word home; they are taught that they are only suffered to live until they can demonstrate by their physique and ferocity that they are fit to live. Should they prove deformed or defective in any way they are promptly shot; nor do they see a tear shed for a single one of the many cruel hardships they pass through from earliest infancy.

I do not mean that the adult Martians are unnecessarily or intentionally cruel to the young, but theirs is a hard and pitiless struggle for existence upon a dying planet, the natural resources of which have dwindled to a point where the support of each additional life means an added tax upon the community into which it is thrown.”

John then explains that there are about 30,000 Martians associated with his group and that they roam around the dead sea bottoms of mars. They are the Tharks.

Sola teaches john and her baby to speak the very simple Martian language and to develop their telepathic abilities

“I developed my telepathic powers so that I shortly could sense practically everything that went on around me.”

But nothing can read John’s mind.

Chapter VIII

The group is about to set off towards home but then a fleet of air ships appears on the horizon. The Martians immediately melt into the city and then start shooting at the ships. They are amazing at doing this and the first ship of the fleet goes down easily. The others start fleeing.

The Martians use grappling hooks to bring the ship down and tie it down to the buildings of the city and swarm the ship.

Then John sees a group of them bringing out a being that is half the size of the others. The Martians then loot the craft and after it is looted, they tie it loose and the vessel, on fire, floats away.

John is depressed by this. There are other men like him on mars and he just witnessed a terrible slaughter of them. He wonders if there will be a retaliation.

Sola finds john walking the streets and tells them that there’s a meeting in the plaza. They aren’t going to head back home for some time, Lorquas Ptomel wouldn’t be caught dead on the open plains so recently after an attack.

John and Sola head to the plaza and John sees the prisoner.

“And the sight which met my eyes was that of a slender, girlish figure, similar in every detail to the earthly women of my past life. Her face was oval and beautiful in the extreme, her every feature was finely chiseled and exquisite, her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black, waving hair, caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Her skin was of a light reddish copper color, against which the crimson glow of her cheeks and the ruby of her beautifully molded lips shone with a strangely enhancing effect. She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied her; indeed, save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure.

She makes some sign at him, but he doesn’t know what it is, and the hope on her face turns to hatred. 

Chapter IX

As john heads back to his quarters some warriors present him with the trappings of the warrior, he killed several days ago. And for several days sola continues to teach john to speak, be telepathic, and fight.

John is a solider by trade and so learns quickly.

John sees the girl only once for some time, she is being dragged to the chamber of the chieftain. John notes they treat her roughly, yet they treat him with respect.

As john learns more of the language, he listens to the Martian women he sleeps around talking.

Most of the women want to see her die, Sola says that she wishes that she be held for ransom and an old female Sarkoja tells her that sola is weak.

Sola says that there should be peace, which greatly impresses john but it shocks the other women. John is glad that sola is the one that looks after him.

“I knew that she was fond of me, and now that I had discovered that she hated cruelty and barbarity I was confident that I could depend upon her to aid me and the girl captive to escape, provided of course that such a thing was within the range of possibilities. “

Even though John doesn’t know if they could escape anywhere good, he’s willing to risk it. He plans to get Sola’s help.

Chapter X

John has a high degree of freedom among the Martians, sola just says don’t leave the city. With Woola trailing him. John walks to the edge of the city and decides to test whether Woola would rather obey him, or his orders. John knows Woola loves him dearly for saving his life twice.

“As I approached the boundary line Woola ran anxiously before me, and thrust his body against my legs. His expression was pleading rather than ferocious, nor did he bare his great tusks or utter his fearful guttural warnings. “

So, John sits down, pets the Martian dog and talks to him kindly in Martian. And Woola smiles.  John starts playing with Woola like he would play with a puppy and he laughs for the first time in days. The laughter frightens Woola because the laughter of the green men denotes hatred and joy in pain, but he calms Woola down to let him know that his laughter isn’t malicious.

After that john can walk anywhere with Woola that he chooses. He would rather obey john than his orders. So, while Tars Tarkas may think John is a captive, he is not.

On his way back into the habited part of the city he sees the girl again.

“She was standing with her guards before the entrance to the audience chamber, and as I approached, she gave me one haughty glance and turned her back full upon me. The act was so womanly, so earthly womanly, that though it stung my pride it also warmed my heart with a feeling of companionship; it was good to know that someone else on Mars beside myself had human instincts of a civilized order, even though the manifestation of them was so painful and mortifying.”

The woman is dragged into the chamber and John follows.

The woman’s name is Dejah Thoris. She says she was on a scientific research expedition to re-chart the air currents. She says she was on a peaceful mission. She then entreats the green men to live in peace. She asks them for peace.

John understand that Dejah Thoris is the daughter of an emperor. She is a princess of mars.

John sees Tars Tarkas plan to speak, but then a warrior slaps Dejah thoris in the face. John jumps on the warrior and beats him to death. He then tries to help Dejah thoris.

She asks him why she did what he did. He says it’s too long of a tale to tell and that he is a friend and that he is a captive.

She tells him that he wears the regalia of a chieftain.

He says he didn’t know that.

Other Martians have stripped the warrior and john receives the trappings honor position and honor of the men he’s killed.

Tars Tarkas address John and they speak, he says john will be judged by the king of the tharks, Tal Hajus when they get to Thark, until then he will be regarded as a chieftain.

And john tells him that even though he has emotions unlike them, and to not mistake his kindness for the lack of ability to fight.

John takes Dejah Thoris and they leave the chambers.

Chapter XI

John carter tells sola to take care of Dejah Thoris.

Sola tells him that he is ranked 11 among all of their group.

John says what if he kills Lorquas Ptomel

He would be first, but he could only attack him if the entire council agreed to it or if Lorquas Ptomel attacked him.

Finally, Dejah thoris and John can talk

She asks him where he is. Surely, he is form mars.

He tells her she is not and tells her to believe him, and then notices how badly he wants her to believe him.

“It was not that I feared the results which would follow a general belief that I had returned from the Barsoomian heaven or hell, or whatever it was. Why was it, then! Why should I care what she thought? I looked down at her; her beautiful face upturned, and her wonderful eyes opening up the very depth of her soul; and as my eyes met hers, I knew why, and—I shuddered.”

She does believe him and they talk of earth and john learns Dejah thoris is of the race of red men of mars that that they descended from a different race of men now lost to history.

Chapter XII

John is summoned to Lorquas Ptomel and he goes to the council chambers.

He tells John that they want to kill him because he is a burden. That they know he wants to escape and that they won’t let it happen. And that when they get to Thark John will be put on Trial. Also, that they won’t let him escape with Dejah Thoris she is the granddaughter of their most bitter enemy.

The warning of Lorquas Ptomel makes john want to escape even more.

On his way out, Tars Tarkas approaches john and they talk logistics. John will need a retinue and material goods and he has a great deal. John asks tars Tarkas to help him and he agrees. And john sets himself up with his retinue of females and goods in one of the buildings away from Dejah thoris and sola.  John makes it clear he doesn’t want to be bothered and he tells his retinue to just do whatever they’re supposed to do.

Chapter XIII

The Tharks are waiting before they go back to Thark and in the meantime Tars Tarkas teaches john the finer points of warring on marks. John learns to ride the Thoats of the green men and uses kindness to win their loyalty as he had done with Woola.

The loyalty of his Thoats impresses the green men, and they are astounded, usually only through barbaric force do Thoats listen but john explains to tars Tarkas that kindness works better.

“In the height of battle as well as upon the march I know that my Thoats will obey my every command, and therefore my fighting efficiency is enhanced, and I am a better warrior for the reason that I am a kind master. Your other warriors would find it to the advantage of themselves as well as of the community to adopt my methods in this respect. Only a few days since you, yourself, told me that these great brutes, by the uncertainty of their tempers, often were the means of turning victory into defeat, since, at a crucial moment, they might elect to unseat and rend their riders.””

John shows his methods to Tars Tarkas then Lorquas Ptomel and soon they have units of amazingly obedient military Thoats. Lorquas Ptomel thanks john for his service to the Tharkian Horde.

The night before they leave John gets to speak with Dejah Thoris. She calls him “my chieftain” which John doesn’t understand the meaning of. He calls her “my princess”

“Dejah Thoris caught her breath at my last words, and gazed upon me with dilated eyes and quickening breath, and then, with an odd little laugh, which brought roguish dimples to the corners of her mouth, she shook her head and cried:

“What a child! A great warrior and yet a stumbling little child.””

He doesn’t get it but she says if they live, she’ll tell him one day. She doesn’t understand his ways.

“I was very curious to know what I had said or done to cause her so much perturbation a moment before and so I continued to importune her to enlighten me. “No,” she exclaimed, “it is enough that you have said it and that I have listened. And when you learn, John Carter, and if I be dead, as likely I shall be ere the further moon has circled Barsoom another twelve times, remember that I listened and that I—smiled.””

John knows that he loves Dejah Thoris.

“I loved Dejah Thoris. The touch of my arm upon her naked shoulder had spoken to me in words I would not mistake, and I knew that I had loved her since the first moment that my eyes had met hers that first time in the plaza of the dead city of Korad.”

Chapter XIV

John wants to tell her he loves her, but he doesn’t. He asks about kissing. She says yes Barsoomians kiss. They kiss their friend’s family and lovers. And he asks her if she has a lover.

“She was silent, nor could I venture to repeat the question. “The man of Barsoom,” she finally ventured, “does not ask personal questions of women, except his mother, and the woman he has fought for and won.” “But I have fought—” I started, and then I wished my tongue had been cut from my mouth; for she turned even as I caught myself and ceased, and drawing my silks from her shoulder she held them out to me, and without a word, and with head held high, she moved with the carriage of the queen she was toward the plaza and the doorway of her quarters. “

Frustrated John finally understands what love is. He had escaped it on earth. He finds it ironic that he finds love on mars.

Yes, I was a fool, but I was in love, and though I was suffering the greatest misery I had ever known I would not have had it otherwise for all the riches of Barsoom. Such is love, and such are lovers wherever love is known.”

The Tharks depart and John tries to see Dejah Thoris but she won’t see him. He then sees that he’s chained. He sees Tars Tarkas about it and he tells him that he knows that he won’t run without Dejah thoris.

John asks him to let it up and they talk about it, and later that night he unchains her.

John notes that there is something different about Tars Tarkas that there’s a battle between the Martian in him and something else in him, something vaguely human.

Then next day after destroying the incubator of a rival band of warhoon’s eggs they stop to rest and then a warrior whom sarkoja a female that hates john, goaded into challenging john, challenges john

For an hour they fight.

Sarkoja tries to interfere and Dejah Thoris and Sola stop her, but then Sarkoja pulls a knife on them. Meanwhile John manages to kill the warrior who attacked him.

Chapter XV

John has some flesh wounds from his fight but the amazing technology of the Martians heals him right up.

Sola has a wound, but she is no worse for wear. John sees Dejah Thoris crying. Sola says she thinks that he’s dead. And john is puzzled at how she won’t speak to him yet will cry for him.

Sola says she doesn’t understand tears, she has seen tears very few times and the 1st time was with her mother.

Intrigued John demand to know how a green Martian could have a mother.

Later that night Sola tells John the story of how her mother had emotions and how she protected her egg and raised her. And that her father and mother came together to make her and that they loved her and each other. But her mother was betrayed and she was killed for being different.  She says her father is an ambitious warrior and plans to one day lead all of the Tharks so that he can one day claim her as his own.  John asks who he is:

“John Carter, if ever a real man walked the cold, dead bosom of Barsoom you are one. I know that I can trust you, and because the knowledge may someday help you or him or Dejah Thoris or myself, I am going to tell you the name of my father, nor place any restrictions or conditions upon your tongue. When the time comes, speak the truth if it seems best to you. I trust you because I know that you are not cursed with the terrible trait of absolute and unswerving truthfulness, that you could lie like one of your own Virginia gentlemen if a lie would save others from sorrow or SOLA TELLS ME HER STORY 149 suffering. My father’s name is Tars Tarkas.”

Chapter XVI

For twenty days they ride for Thark. He and Dejah Thoris don’t talk the entire time. They enter Thark 30 days after John appeared on mars. Once he gets his things in order he goes and finds Dejah Thoris She regards him coldly referring to him as no more than a Tharkian warrior but he confessed his love to her.

“I am saying, Dejah Thoris, that I am yours, body and soul, to serve you, to fight for you, and to die for you. Only one thing I ask of you in return, and that is that you make no sign, either of condemnation or of approbation of my words until you are safe among your own people, and that whatever sentiments you harbor toward me they be not influenced or colored by gratitude; whatever I may do to serve you will be prompted solely from selfish motives, since it gives me more pleasure to serve you than not.” “

She agrees to his terms and asks for his forgiveness. Sola comes in and says that Sarkoja has gone to Tal Hajus and says that the both of them are probably doomed. John asks Sola to escape with them. And they plan an escape planning to leave that night.

John gets his Thoats and goes to the agreed meeting place but sola and Dejah thoris don’t show and he overhears warriors looking for him.

He sneaks to the room of Sola and Dejah thoris and clings to the windowsill from outside the building, and hears them planning an ambush for him. He hears that Sarkoja is the one that is behind this plot.

Chapter XVII

John quietly goes to the place where Tal Hajus, Jeddak of Thark is, and sees him.

“The floor of this great circular hall was thronged with chieftains, warriors and women, and at one end was a great raised platform upon which squatted the most hideous beast I had ever put my eyes upon. He had all the cold, hard, cruel, terrible features of the green warriors, but accentuated and debased by the animal passions to which he had given himself over for many years. There was not a mark of dignity or pride upon his bestial countenance, while his enormous bulk spread itself out upon the platform where he squatted like some huge devil fish, his six limbs accentuating the similarity in a horrible and startling manner.”

Dejah Thoris is speaking before him with Sola.

Tal Hajus clears the chamber of everyone, and the last one to go is Tars Tarkas who John can see wants to murder the man that murdered the one he loved.

Tal Hajus tells Dejah Thoris that he is going to torture he like no other red woman has been tortured ever. But he will be hers for an hour before the torture can begin. And that he will make sure her father and grandfather hear every detail of it.

He leaps to grab her, but then john rushes from his hiding place. He wants to kill him, but thinking of tars Tarkas’ revenge he socks him in the jaw and he sinks to the grown.

They escape out of the city on the backs of John’s Thoats

“I could hear the quiet sobbing of Dejah Thoris as she clung to me with her dear head resting against my shoulder.

“If we make it, my chieftain, the debt of Helium will be a mighty one; greater than she can ever pay you; and should we not make it,” she continued, “the debt is no less, though Helium will never know, for you have saved the last of our line from worse than death.” “

They ride as fast as they can, pushing their mounts as fast as possible.

After three days of riding Woola finds them.

That day they see a party of green men, not tharks. They try to hide their forms on the horizon but one chieftain sees them. John shoots him with his rifle but that attracted the attention of others. He tells Sola to make a mad dash with Dejah Thoris for the set of mountains on the last Thoat. Dejah Thoris doesn’t want him to go but he says someone has to hold off the charging horde.

“She sprang quickly from the Thoat and, throwing her dear arms about my neck, turned to Sola, saying with quiet dignity: “Fly, Sola! Dejah Thoris remains to die with the man she loves.” Those words are engraved upon my heart.”

They kiss and he tosses her onto the Thoat as they speed off.

“If ever Martians had an exhibition of jumping, it was granted those astonished warriors on that day long years ago, but while it led them away from Dejah Thoris it did not distract their attention from endeavoring to capture me. They raced wildly after me until, finally, my foot struck a projecting piece of quartz, and down I went sprawling upon the moss. As I looked up, they were upon me, and although I drew my long-sword in an attempt to sell my life as dearly as possible, it was soon over. I reeled beneath their blows which fell upon me in perfect torrents; my head swam; all was black, and I went down beneath them to oblivion.”

Chapter XVIII

John regains consciousness and overhears a female green woman telling a Jed that John will live. The Jed says he will make fine sport in the arena. They tie him to a Thoat and ride off. He is a prisoner of the warhoon.

The Jed that captures John takes him to the jeddak, they have a pissing contest where the young Jed that captured john challenges the jeddak. This turns into a full-on hand and fist brawl and the younger Jed kills the jeddak and becomes the new jeddak of warhoon. John notes the incredible savageness of these men.

” My introduction to these cruel and bloodthirsty people was but an index to the scenes I witnessed almost daily while with them. They are a smaller horde than the Tharks but much more ferocious. Not a day passed but that some members of the various Warhoon communities met in deadly combat. I have seen as high as eight mortal duels within a single day.”

John is chained in a dungeon of the warhoon and slowly starts going mad. He manages to kill his jailer and tries to take the keys from the dead body, but the huge rats of mars take the body before he can get them.

Chapter XIX

A red man is imprisoned with John. He tells him his story and he assures John that Sola and Dejah Thoris would be safe, he knows the area they fled to well. His name is Kantos Kahn, Padwar (lieutenant) in the Navy of Helium, Dejah Thoris’ country. After the attack on Dejah Thoris’ fleet by the Thark’s the fleet limped but was destroyed and captured by a Zondongan fleet Zodonga is helium’s greatest enemy. But Kantos Kahn’s ship escaped and made it back to helium. Soon vast fleets were scouring the dead world for Dejah Thoris. Kantos Kahn was in a one-man scout flier and was captured by the warhoon.

His bravery impresses john and they become good friends. After a few days they are dragged to the games. There are terrible creatures and man captives in the cages. Kantos Kahn says that the one left standing gets freedom. For ten days this will happen.

“During the day I was pitted against first men and then beasts, but as I was armed with a long-sword and always outclassed my adversary in agility and generally in strength as well, it proved but child’s play to me. Time and time again I won the applause of the bloodthirsty multitude, and toward the end there were cries that I be taken from the arena and be made a member of the hordes of Warhoon.”

Soon it is John Kantos Kahn and a green warrior. Kantos Kahn kills the green warrior three times his size by throwing his sword through his heart. Then it is Kantos Kahn vs john. John tells Kantos Kahn to prolong the fight until dark then they “fake kill” john. Kantos Kahn gets his freedom and john sneaks out of the empty arena after it clears.

Chapter XX

John waits for two days where he told Kantos Kahn to meet him, but he never shows. For two weeks he wanders trying to find somewhere inhabited. He is attacked by beasts and one day a Barsoomian lion is close to killing him but out of the darkness Woola saves him.  On the 15th day of his travels he sees a massive building. He begs to be let in and a voice directs him to food and drink and then he is questioned severely by the voice. An old man comes out at length and marvels at john because he can tell he is not Barsoomian.

“The building in which I found myself contained the machinery which produces that artificial atmosphere which sustains life on Mars. The secret of the entire process hinges on the use of the ninth ray, one of the beautiful scintillations which I had noted emanating from the great stone in my host’s diadem. This ray is separated from the other rays of the sun by means of finely adjusted instruments placed upon the roof of the huge building, three-quarters of which is used for reservoirs in which the ninth ray is stored. This product is then treated electrically, or rather certain proportions of refined electric vibrations are incorporated with it, and the result is then pumped to the five principal air centers of the planet where, as it is released, contact with the ether of space transforms it into atmosphere. There is always sufficient reserve of the ninth ray stored in the great building to maintain the present Martian atmosphere for a thousand years, and the only fear, as my new friend told me, was that some accident might befall the pumping apparatus.”

The man gives john papers that will let him pass in Zodonga the closest Martian city. He says good night, but he reads the man’s mind and sees he plans to murder john in his sleep. John escapes using the password he gleaned from the man’s mind. The next morning, he awakens to men pointing rifles at him

It was a family of farmers, well government officials in charge of prisoners who did the farming. John spends time with them and he tells them the broad strokes of the story. They tell him to go to Zodonga and join the army or navy.

They give him a horse sized Thoat and some supplies as well as skin dye to make him look like a red man.

Chapter XXI

John hears from his travels that Helium is in a sorry state almost at full war with Zodonga and likely to lose at that. Also, people think Dejah Thoris was killed by the warhoon. He reaches Zodonga and has to send Woola away. John sees the beauty of a live Martian city. And John finds Kantos Kahn. Kantos Kahn is on a secret mission. The prince of Zodonga has Dejah thoris captured and kantos kahn is searching for her. The prince is madly in love with her and Than Kosis jeddak of Zodonga is forcing her to marry the son in order to broker peace. But helium would rather her die than marry against her will.

Kantos kahn arranges for john to be an air scout like him. Kantos Kahn teaches john to fly

He flies out of the city and finds a man chased by green men. John goes and rescues the red man by fighting off the green men. Then they return to the city. The red man is cousin of the jeddak Than Kosis and after hearing of his heroic rescue is appointed a Padwar of the guard of than Kosis.

Chapter XXII

John is assigned to guard Than Kosis, assassination is extremely common on mars, more so during times of war. Palace buildings are hung with tapestries, so that guards can exist silently behind them in order to preserve privacy and so the royals can remain safe. John is guarding the Jeddak when Dejah Thoris is brought in.

Dejah Thoris has agreed to marry Sab Than the prince in order to bring about peace.

John runs to find her, gets into a fight with four warriors, beats them, but Dejah Thoris doesn’t recognize her.

“They were brave men and noble fighters, and it grieved me that I had been forced to kill them, but I would have willingly depopulated all Barsoom could I have reached the side of my Dejah Thoris in no other way.”

He wants to embrace he but she won’t. She thought she was dead, and so she agreed to marry the prince. If only he was a day earlier. She will not go back on her promise her word is her bond on Mars.

“Dejah Thoris, but I do know that I love you, and if you meant the last 230 A PRINCESS OF MARS words you spoke to me that day as the hordes of Warhoon were charging down upon us, no other man shall ever claim you as his bride. You meant them then, my princess, and you mean them still! Say that it is true.””

She wants to say them but she can’t and will not.

““Do you remember the night when you offended me? You called me your princess without having asked my hand of me, and then you boasted that you had fought for me. You did not know, and I should not have been offended; I see that now. But there was no one to tell you what I could not, that upon Barsoom there are two kinds of women in the cities of the red men. The one they fight for that they may ask them in marriage; the other kind they fight for also, but never ask their hands. When a man has won a woman, he may address her as his princess, or in any of the several terms which signify possession. You had fought for me, but had never asked me in marriage, and so when you called me your princess, you see,” she faltered, “I was hurt, but even then, John Carter, I did not repulse you, as I should have done, until you made it doubly worse by taunting me with having won me through combat.””

John says he’d gladly kill sab than, but she says you can’t kill a person and then marry his betrothed. Barsoomian law says that.

Disheartened but undaunted John says he’ll find a way.

As he travels the palace, they find the men he killed and the entire palace is on high alert for John Carter.

Chapter XXIII

John goes to Kantos Kan and tells him of everything. Kantos Kan says he will gladly kill Sab Than for him. He knows a secret way into the palace and will gladly do it for john. They make a plan and enact it.

They steal an airship John drops kantos kan off at the palace and john makes a mad break for helium in the speeder.

Chapter XXIV

John doesn’t see helium, but instead a different city. He comes upon a huge battle of green men. His ship goes down and he leaps next to a giant green man. It is Tars Tarkas. He saves him from a rally of warriors. He recognizes him.

“I would scarcely recognize you, John Carter, but there is no other mortal upon Barsoom who would have done what you have for me. I think I have learned that there is such a thing as friendship, my friend.”

They fight off a huge throng of warhoons and they turn the tide of battle.

Back at Tars Tarkas’ quarters john finds Woola, but then word comes that Tal Hajus knows that John is here and demands he be brought to him. Tars Tarkas urges john to run but he won’t.

John says no, that tonight Tars will get his revenge. He tells him Sola’s story

“He said but little, but the great muscles of his face worked in passion and in agony at recollection of the horrors which had been heaped upon the only thing he had ever loved in all his cold, cruel, terrible existence.”

They see sarkoja tars says that she will die soon and that she should flee. She was never seen again.

They then go to Tal Hajus. He demands John be chained to a pillar, but John addresses the chieftains. John says that he fought valiantly today, that he is a chieftain and that he should have an audience.

Tal Hajus says no, but the tharks cry for justice.

““You are a brave people and you love bravery, but where was your mighty jeddak during the fighting today? I did not see him in the thick of battle; he was not there. He rends defenseless women and little children in his lair, but how recently has one of you seen him fight with men? Why, even I, a midget beside him, felled him with a single blow of my fist. Is it of such that the Tharks fashion their jeddaks? There stands beside me now a great Thark, a mighty warrior and a noble man. Chieftains, how sounds, Tars Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark?””

John calls him out as a coward, and the chieftains say no chieftain has ever been so humiliated. All of the chieftains say that Tal Hajus must prove himself against Tars Tarkas.

And he dies quickly to Tars Tarkas.

He makes John a true Thark firstly.

But then John tells them of what goes on in the world.

They make a plan to attack and loot helium, save the princess and make peace with helium a strong ally.

“It was a chance to fight, an opportunity to loot, and they rose to the bait as a speckled trout to a fly. “

One Hundred Thousand Tharks plus fifty thousand more join the tharks on a three-day march to Zodonga

Never in the history of Barsoom, Tars Tarkas told me, had such a force of green warriors marched to battle together. It was a monstrous task to keep even a semblance of harmony among them, and it was a marvel to me that he got them to the city without a mighty battle among themselves.

John takes twenty men and opens the gates.

Chapter XXV

They crash the wedding of Dejah thoris and Sab Than.

He breaks in and says that the city has fallen and the then the tharks break into the wedding chamber and all hell breaks loose

John kills the jeddak of Zodonga. He fights off sab than and 4 others and wins making sure sab than lives.

“The Tharks were having their hands full in the center of the room, and I began to realize that nothing short of a miracle could save Dejah Thoris and myself, when I saw Tars Tarkas surging through the crowd of pygmies that swarmed about him. With one swing of his mighty longsword he laid a dozen corpses at his feet, and so he hewed a pathway before him until in another moment he stood upon the platform beside me, dealing death and destruction right and left”

After the Zondongan nobles are all dead they find kantos kahn. He goes and helps tars Tarkas loot the city and he is left alone in the palace throne room with Dejah Thoris.

They finally can have their love.

“I took her in my arms and kissed her. And thus, in the midst of a city of wild conflict, filled with the alarms of war; with death and destruction reaping their terrible harvest around her, did Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, true daughter of Mars, the God of War, promise herself in marriage to John Carter, Gentleman of Virginia.”

Chapter XXVI

Zodonga is just completely trashed by the Tharks. They decide to take ships and make for helium while they can and let the remaining warriors squabble over the ruined city. The green men had now started fighting amongst themselves as they did often.

By the next day they are destroying the forces of Zodonga that are attacking helium and they crush the force with the might of the tharks.

Dejah Thoris Departs to see her family on the helium flagship while john stays with Tars Tarkas to manage the Thark forces and to set up a camp.

Now that the air battle way over there was still much fighting to be done and so there is more war, but they destroy the Zondongan and when the fighting is over the tharks are welcomed into helium as heroes.

He was an almost perfect specimen of manhood; tall, straight as an arrow, superbly muscled and with the carriage and bearing of a ruler of men. I did not need to be told that he was Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium. The first member of our party he met was Tars Tarkas and his first words sealed forever the new friendship between the races. “That Tardos Mors,” he said, earnestly, “may meet the greatest living warrior of Barsoom is a priceless honor, but that he may lay his hand on the shoulder of a friend and ally is a far greater boon.” “Jeddak of Helium,” returned Tars Tarkas, “it has remained for a man of another world to teach the green warriors of Barsoom the meaning of friendship; to him we owe the fact that the hordes of Thark can understand you; that they can appreciate and reciprocate the sentiments so graciously expressed.”

John then meets Dejah Thoris’ father and he can barely speak because of the intense emotions he feels.

Chapter XXVII

There are ten days of celebrations then the tharks leave for their own lands. Helium jeds go to iron out the peace. Tars Tarkas claims sola and John and Dejah Thoris marry.

For 9 years John serves helium as a prince and wars for them and he gains honors about all but none are as wonderful as having Dejah thoris as his wife. For five years they wait for an egg to hatch

But then disaster strikes. Word has been found that the keeper of the atmosphere plant has been assassinated and that the reserves of atmosphere has been destroyed. Mars will have no atmosphere in three days and no one can get into the impenetrable fortress.

Everyone decides to just call it quits there is nothing to be done and so they solemnly accept their fate. John even decides that he has had a good life and that he will accept death, but on the last day when they are saying goodbye he remembers when he was in the atmosphere plant.

He remembers the code. He finds a man that can operate the factory. While dying they rush to the factory, john opens it remembers the code he gleaned from the man’s mind ten years prior and then he sinks unconscious to the ground while the man crawl to activate the plant.

Chapter XXVIII

John opens his eyes and he is in the cave in Arizona.

“I could scarcely believe my eyes, but the truth slowly forced itself upon me—I was looking upon Arizona from the same ledge from which ten years before I had gazed with longing upon Mars. Burying my head in my arms I turned, broken, and sorrowful, down the trail from the cave. Above me shone the red eye of Mars holding her awful secret, forty-eight million miles away.”

For Twenty Years John has searched for a way back to mars and as he is finishing, he manuscript of his life he feels the same calling that he did thirty years ago when he first was called to mars.

“I can see her shining in the sky through the little window by my desk, and tonight she seems calling to me again as she has not called before since that long dead night, and I think I can see, across that awful abyss of space, a beautiful black-haired woman standing in the garden of a palace, and at her side is a little boy who puts his arm around her as she points into the sky toward the planet Earth, while at their feet is a huge and hideous creature with a heart of gold. I believe that they are waiting there for me, and something tells me that I shall soon know.”