ON TO THURIA
ALTHOUGH I had realized the likelihood of our strange craft being discovered by a patrol boat, I had hoped that we might escape from the city without detection. I knew that if we did not obey their command they would open fire on us, and a single hit might put an end to all my plans to reach Thuria and save Dejah Thoris.
While the armament of the ship, as described to me by Fal Sivas, would have given me an overwhelming advantage in an encounter with any patrol boat, I hesitated to stand and fight, because of the chance that a lucky shot from the enemy's ship might disable us.
Fal Sivas had boasted of the high potential speed of his brain conception; and I decided that however much I might dislike to flee from an enemy, flight was the safest course to pursue.
Zanda had her face pressed to one of the numerous ports in the bull of the ship. The wail of the patrol boat siren was now continuous-an eerie, menacing voice in the night, that pierced the air like sharp daggers.
"They are overhauling us, Vandor," said Zanda; "and they are signalling other patrol boats to their aid."
"They have probably noticed the strange lines of this craft; and not only their curiosity, but their suspicion has been aroused."
"What are you going to do?" she asked.
"We are going to put the speed of Fal Sivas's motor to a test," I replied.
I glanced up at the insensate metal sphere above my head. "Speed up! Faster! Escape the pursuing patrol boat!" Such were the directing thoughts that I imparted to the silent thing above me; then I waited.
I did not, however, have long to wait. No sooner had my thoughts impinged upon the sensitive mechanism than the accelerated whirr of the almost noiseless motor told me that my directions had been obeyed.<<BackPagesTo menuNext>>