Volume 2230

30. "OUT OF THE NIGHT" -- June 28, '42
(read novelization

P1: The Mechano-men, led by Vovo, the wizard of Eo, carried Princess Dejah Thoris off into the night. 

P2: Meanwhile, John Carter lay motionless where he fell after the sword had struck his head. 

P3: Now something crept slowly toward him across the courtyard, moving silently on its eight padded feet. 

P4: Then another form stepped out of the shadows. With sword in hand it looked down upon the Earthman. 

P5: Suddenly Carter awakened; his head spun crazily. "Oman!" he exclaimed finally. "Your master sent you to finish me?" 

P6: "No, John Carter," Oman droned monotonously. "I hate Vovo, so I have returned to help you save your princess. 

P7: Of all Vovo's robots, my brain alone attained the power of independent thought. Only I can lead you to Dejah Thoris." 

P8: Then a savage cry rang out and Oman went down beneath powerful fangs and ripping talons. 


1. For the novelization, the scenes in panels 1 and 2 of strip #30 will fit in very well. The events are happening at night -- Carter is unconscious and unable to effect any positive change on events happening around him (much the same as in some kinds of dreams where one's every action seems to be frustrated in one way or another). 

2. The scenes in panels 3, 4 and 5 also have a dreamlike atmosphere about them. Carter awakens with his head spinning "crazily" -- rather like the false awakenings some people experience while dreaming. 

3. In panels 6 and 7 Carter becomes aware, in a confused sort of way, that Oman is nolonger loyal to Vovo. Again these scenes can be woven into the novelization fairly easily. The explanation can be that, of all the robots at Eo, only Oman has the kind of advanced thinking abilities that result in telepathic thought. Even in his unconscious state, Carter is now able to sense some of Vovo's evolving thoughts, as the robot's loyality to Vovo fadees away and Vovo's control over his mechanical brain is eventually overcome fully. Also, the oddity of John Carter and Dejah Thoris sharing the same dream, for the story told in strips #27 through #64, can be explained as being a somewhat common occurence on Barsoom, between lovers who have opened their minds to each other to reach unusual levels of telepathic ability. This is a new experience for both Carter and the princess and neither of them understands the phenomenon -- especially they do not comprehend the joint dream experience while it is underway. However, in the novelization, the narrator, Valla Dia, will explain that it is an unusual experience that she and Ulysses Paxton have sometimes also shared while lying in deep sleep beside each other. 


Novelization of the JCB strip by Dale R. Broadhurst

John Carter's calot continued to prowl the grounds around the circular metal building which was the top of Vovo's retracted tower. From the small windows high above him sounds and smells reached Woola, telling him that his master was close at hand. He could not leap to the level of those little openings, so the calot continued to search for another way inside. 

A distant clanking sound alerted the beast to the approach of danger and he hid in the foliage while a troop of scentless men with shiny skin approached the silver edifice. A section of the walls slid open. The strange men went through the opening and it closed behind them. A short while later the process was repeated in reverse, but only one of the shiny men came through the opening. Woola bounded past the man-like figure knocking him to the ground. Almost simultaneously the walls slid back shut, crushing the man-thing to pieces. The calot did not stop to ponder the lucky event. Inside the walls the scents of John Carter and Dejah Thoris were much stronger. The watchdog warily made his way through the empty hallways, seeking the two humans. 

Oman continued to watch over the unaware Jasoomian. Sooner or later Vovo would return and the metal odwar would have to face his wrath but that certitude did not presently occupy the robot's attention. He had opened the door to a vast store of knowledge, previously hidden from his thinking self and Oman was busy sorting out and cataloging that information. 

The robot general noticed the Earthman stirring. He quickly changed his mode of thought, moved his sorting and cataloging cogitation to a lower brain level, while he focused all his watchful attention upon the man. Oman stepped back a few paces, in order to observe the unpredictable swordsman from a safe distance. 

Suddenly Carter awakened; his head spun crazily. "Oman!" he exclaimed finally. "Your master sent you to finish me?" 

The leader of the mechano-men stepped out of the shadows. With his hand upon his sword he looked down upon the Earthman. 

"No, Dotar Sojat," Oman answered in his unchanging robotic monotone. "I have not obeyed Master Vovo's orders. You yet live. I need your help and you need my help. Let us work together to rid Eo of Vovo and to insure that you and the princess leave here safely. Of all Vovo's robots, my brain alone possesses the power of independent thought. Only I can lead you and Dejah Thoris to safety." 

"Where is the Princess of Helium?" Carter demanded. "Before one of your robots attacked me she was by my side. Where has Vovo taken her and where have you taken me?" 

"Believe me," he answered, "she is near by. So long as I am with you, none of my men will harm you. Nevertheless both of you are in great danger. I ask that you try and trust what I say, even if your senses tell you otherwise. The wizard has administered powerful drugs to you and the girl and they will affect your mind so long as Vovo has power in Eo. It is a delicate situation but I know how these perils may be overcome. First we must reunite you with Dejah Thoris and tell her of Vovo's clever deceptions. Until that can be accomplished the illusions that now plague you will only grow stronger." 

"I do not understand what you're saying, neither I do not trust anything upon this weird mountain -- including you," replied the Earthman. He seized his long-sword and sprang to his feet, ready to do battle with the artificial man. 

"Please, have a little patience and hear me out," pleaded Oman. "Not all you see, hear and feel is what you think. Eo is a place of deception and mirages. You think you stand with your sword, here in this place, ready to fight. But see what I can make happen by means of mental suggestion alone." 

John Carter watched in wonder as his ancient steel blade shimmered with an ethereal radiance. Then it was gone! Before he could fully comprehend what had happened, the glow returned and an instant later he again held the long-sword at Oman's steel breast. 

"What sorcery is this!" Carter cried out in a loud voice. 

Woola searched the interior of the peculiar building, moving silently on his eight padded feet through a tangle of rooms and hallways, but he found no humans. Then, from the far end of one long passageway, he heard John Carter cry out. The calot bounded through the gloomy channel in the direction from which that faint sound came. After numerous twists and turns the corridor ended and Woola emerged into the light. 

"Listen to me," begged Oman. "Your sword has been with you since you arrived at Eo. However, Vovo's wizardry can make things seem to appear and disappear. I provided you with a small demonstration of that wizardry, but this power of illusory suggestion is a dangerous thing. It will be best for you and the princess if together you can work your own way out of Vovo's mental labyrinth. I can but guard and guide you. Will you give me your cooperation?" 

John Carter shook his head in disblief, but Oman continued to plead his case. 

"Even now Vovo is making preparations to transform your red friend into one of his creatures. Just as he has controlled my thoughts and experiences for hundreds of years, he will manage her. When my mind first awakened in this metal body, the first thing I was taught was that a mechano-man must not kill any intelligent being. Long ago Vovo and another came to Eo and blinded the minds of all of us to that important basic teaching. Just a little while ago I was on the verge of killing you, Dotar Sojat. But a particle of my original instruction remained buried in my brain and I was saved from the wizard's perversions. Now Dejah Thoris is to be subjected to methods of mind control far exceeding any that Vovo inflicted upon the inhabitants of Eo. If the princess returns to her homeland in that condition, Vovo will use her as his puppet, to deceive and subvert all of Helium. You -- we must not allow his nefarious experiments to continue. If you value the safety and freedom of your princess and if you wish to save the red race from a great evil, now is the time for us to act. Follow my guidance and together we can stop this monster before he enslaves more minds and bodies!" 

Then a savage roar rang out and Oman went down beneath powerful fangs and ripping talons. 

The Princess Dejah Thoris saw that the mechano-men, led by Vovo, were carrying her ever deeper into the great ruined edifice. The disintegrating building was everywhere overgrown by the jungle, its foliage-covered, collapsed segments presenting an eerie sight in the darting beams of the robots' radium torches. Soon, however, the moving column passed into a less damaged part of the vast structure and the girl saw evidence of repairs and construction. Then the complex of roofless rooms and corridors opened into a great chamber, well illuminated and enclosed in a huge transparent dome. Here the throng of artificial warriors halted and Dejah Thoris silently awaited her doom.

John Coleman Burroughs Tribute Site  .Danton Burroughs Website: Tarzana Treasure Vaults
Tarzine: Official Monthly Webzine of ERB, Inc.
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute Site
Burroughs Bibliophiles
Danton Burroughs Website: Tarzana Treasure Vaults
ERBzine Weekly Webzine
The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs

Editor and Webmaster
ERB Text, ERB Images, John Carter® and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.