Before me lay the Lost Sea of Korus, while farther on I caught the shimmering ribbon of Iss, the River of Mystery, where it wound out from beneath the Golden Cliffs to empty into Korus, to which for countless ages had been borne the deluded and unhappy Martians of the outer world upon the voluntary pilgrimage to this false heaven.
There was no longer a Holy Thern upon the balcony in the Golden Cliffs above the Iss to summon them with weird cry to the victims floating down to their maws upon the cold, broad bosom of ancient Iss.
"But he iss a good boy," Silverstein was contending.
He haf six brudders an' sisters younger as he iss. He iss der liddle fader.
"There was but one conclusion to reach when all efforts to locate you had failed, and that, that you had taken the long, last pilgrimage down the mysterious River Iss, to await in the Valley Dor upon the shores of the Lost Sea of Korus the beautiful Dejah Thoris, your princess.
"And that was the River Iss, emptying into the Lost Sea of Korus in the Valley Dor?" I asked.
"He higher iss dan I in rank," said the German colonel of the hussars, flushing and addressing an adjutant who had ridden up, "so let him do what he vill, but I cannot sacrifice my hussars...
"Vill you be so goot to come to ze front and see dat zis position iss no goot?
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.
"Close your eyes and give me a kiss," she sang, "and then I'll show you what iss
!" and Demi shut his eyes tight, as if to catch sleep and hurry the desired day.
goot," Olaf Henderson muttered, regarding the gambler with profound admiration.