CHAPTER 73: "EPILOGUE"
Novelization of the JCB strip by Dale R. Broadhurst
A noise outside his cell door surprised John Carter. He
was still picking stringy thoat meat from his teeth when the lock began
to turn. Surely the Warhoon was not bringing him dessert! No --it was another
prisoner -- brought in and chained next to Captain Carter by a two listless
giants, one of whom shone the bright beam of a radium torch about the room.
In a flash the Earthman saw at last that the place of his confinement was
a spacious chamber, the walls of which were set with a many steel rings
holding heavy chains.
But what interested Carter most was the new arrival. Before
the guards again closed the door, he saw that it was a red Martian warrior,
still clad in the shredded scraps of a harness bearing the metal of Helium's
After the giants had departed, John Carter called out
the Martian word of greeting, "Kaor." And then "Be careful of the rats;
their teeth are sharp."
"Who are you who speaks in green men's accent, out of
the darkness?" he answered
"John Carter, a friend of the red men of Helium."
"I am of Helium," he said, "but I do not recall our having
such a friend."
Captain Carter related as much of his adventure as the
red man cared to listen to, omitting only references to his dream experiences
with Helium's princess on the Plateau of Eo, and his romantic feelings
for the royal maiden.
The new arrival took in the Earthman's tale with little
comment, as though Jasoomian visitors came and went on a daily basis. He
was rather more excited by the news of Helium's princess and her likely
escape from the headhunters. He had been a member of the ill-fated expedition
which had fallen into the hands of the Tharks at the time of Dejah Thoris'
capture and he worried much over her fate.
His name was Kantos Kan, and he was a padwar in the navy
of Helium. He said that the few escapees of the disaster near Korad had
limped back toward Helium in barely functional vessels. Then, while passing
near the city of Zodanga, they were attacked by the warships of Helium's
hereditary enemies. Only Kantos Kan's flyer eluded their Zodangan pursuers
and it reached Helium with less than a dozen passengers. Immediately the
Jeddak dispatched numerous armed craft in what proved to be a futile search
for the missing princess. Much bloody fighting ensued thereafter but no
trace of Dejah Thoris was ever found. His own one-man flier was sent to
conduct a search about Warhoon, but he suffered the misfortunes of detection
and capture, and now he was sentenced to die in the Great Games.
Those who know the story of Captain Carter's adventures
on Mars will recall how Kantos Kan [[and he = he and]] formed a warm personal
friendship and how they escaped Warhoon during the Great Games. Both men
went on to perform many notable exploits, not the least of which was carried
out by Captain Carter at the time of the Atmosphere Plant crisis some years
The restoration of Princess Dejah Thoris to Helium and
her subsequent marriage to the Earthman are episodes too well known to
require retelling here.
And so, dear Jane, I close my letter with this page. It
has grown in size beyond all my intentions and I apologize for inserting
so much romantic detail. It is not a proper history in any sense and I
am almost certain you will need to shorten my longwinded ramblings before
you share the story with the people of your planet.
Prior to the beginning of our transmission to you, I once
again imposed upon Her Majesty, at the palace in Greater Helium, for her
permission to give this account to the readers of two worlds. She replied
that she had little hope for its publication on Barsoom, where fiction
is seldom read and royal biographies are only put into circulation during
centennial remembrance ceremonies. But on Jasoom all things seem to be
possible and Her Majesty wonders whether the adventures of her youth might
not one day be featured on what you call the "Silver Screen," along with
those of Mr. Gable and Miss Garbo!
You see -- those of us who have husbands from your world
know more of it than just its geography. And thanks to your father-in-law's
tireless efforts, I think that the inhabitants of the blue planet may know
some things about our husbands that [[even]] Her Majesty Dejah Thoris and
her humble servant here in Duhor have yet to learn!
Captain Paxton and Captain Carter send their koars and
warmest greetings. And the latter bids me say "Next year in Lanikai." --
whatever that might signify.
Sincerely, Valla Dia
Duhor, Sept. 1, 1940