Here it was still cold, but without the dampness of the clouds, and in the eye of the brilliant sun her spirits rose with the mounting needle of her altimeter. Gazing at the clouds, now far beneath, the girl experienced the sensation of hanging stationary in mid-heaven; but the whirring of her propeller, the wind beating upon her, the high figures that rose and fell beneath the glass of her speedometer, these told her that her speed was terrific.
It was then that she determined to turn back. The first attempt she made above the clouds, but it was unsuccessful. To her surprise she discovered that she could not even turn against the high wind, which rocked and buffeted the frail craft. Then she dropped swiftly to the dark and wind-swept zone between the hurtling clouds and the gloomy surface of the shadowed ground. Here she tried again to force the nose of the flier back toward Helium, but the tempest seized the frail thing and hurled it remorselessly about, rolling it over and over and tossing it as it were a cork in a cataract.
At last the girl succeeded in righting the flier, perilously close to the ground. Never before had she been so close to death, yet she was not terrified. Her coolness had saved her, that and the strength of the deck lashings that held her. Traveling with the storm she was safe, but where was it bearing her? She pictured the apprehension of her father and mother when she failed to appear at the morning meal.
They would find her flier missing and they would guess that somewhere in the path of the storm it lay a wrecked and tangled mass upon her dead body, and then brave men would go out in search of her, risking their lives; and that lives would be lost in the search, she knew, for she realized now that never in her life-time had such a tempest raged upon Barsoom. She must turn back! She must reach Helium before her mad lust for thrills had cost the sacrifice of a single courageous life!
She determined that greater safety and likelihood of success lay above the clouds, and once again she rose through the chilling, wind-tossed vapor. Her speed again was terrific, for the wind seemed to have increased rather than to have lessened. She sought gradually to check the swift flight of her craft, but though she finally succeeded in reversing her motor the wind but carried her on as it would.
Then it was that Tara of Helium lost her temper. Had her world not always bowed in acquiescence to her every wish? What were these elements that they dared to thwart her? She would demonstrate to them that the daughter of The Warlord was not to be denied! They would learn that Tara of Helium might not be ruled even by the forces of nature!
And so she drove her motor forward again and then with her firm, white teeth set in grim determination she drove the steering lever far down to port with the intention of forcing the nose of her craft straight into the teeth of the wind, and the wind seized the frail thing and toppled it over upon its back, and twisted and turned it and hurled it over and over; the propeller raced for an instant in an air pocket and then the tempest seized it again and twisted it from its shaft, leaving the girl helpless upon an unmanageable atom that rose and fell, and rolled and tumbled—the sport of the elements she had defied.
Tara of Helium's first sensation was one of surprise —that she had failed to have her own way. Then she commenced to feel concern—not for her own safety but for the anxiety of her parents and the dangers that the inevitable searchers must face. She reproached herself for the thoughtless selfishness that had jeopardized the peace and safety of others. She realized her own grave danger, too; but she was still unterrified, as befitted the daughter of Dejah Thoris and John Carter.
She knew that her buoyancy tanks might keep her afloat indefinitely, but she had neither food nor water, and she was being borne toward the least-known area of Barsoom. Perhaps it would be better to land immediately and await the coming of the searchers, rather than to allow herself to be carried still further from Helium, thus greatly reducing the chances of early discovery; but when she dropped toward the ground she discovered that the violence of the wind rendered an attempt to land tantamount to destruction and she rose again, rapidly.
Carried along a few hundred feet above the ground she was better able to appreciate the Titanic proportions of the storm than when she had flown in the comparative serenity of the zone above the clouds, for now she could distinctly see the effect of the wind upon the surface of Barsoom. The air was filled with dust and flying bits of vegetation and when the storm carried her across an irrigated area of farm land she saw great trees and stone walls and buildings lifted high in air and scattered broadcast over the devastated country; and then she was carried swiftly on to other sights that forced in upon her consciousness a rapidly growing conviction that after all Tara of Helium was a very small and insignificant and helpless person.
It was quite a shock to her self-pride while it lasted, and toward evening she was ready to believe that it was going to last forever. There had been no abatement in the ferocity of the tempest, nor was there indication of any. She could only guess at the distance she had been carried for she could not believe in the correctness of the high figures that had been piled upon the record of her odometer.
They seemed unbelievable and yet, had she known it, they were quite true—in twelve hours she had flown and been carried by the storm full seven thousand haads. Just before dark she was carried over one of the deserted cities of ancient Mars. It was Torquas, but she did not know it. Had she, she might readily have been forgiven for abandoning the last vestige of hope, for to the people of Helium Torquas seems as remote as do the South Sea Islands to us. And still the tempest, its fury unabated, bore her on.
All that night she hurtled through the dark beneath the clouds, or rose to race through the moonlit void beneath the glory of Barsoom's two satellites. She was cold and hungry and altogether miserable, but her brave little spirit refused to admit that her plight was hopeless even though reason proclaimed the truth. Her reply to reason, sometime spoken aloud in sudden defiance, recalled the Spartan stubbornness of her sire in the face of certain annihilation: "I still live!
That morning there had been an early visitor at the palace of The Warlord. It was Gahan, Jed of Gathol. He had arrived shortly after the absence of Tara of Helium had been noted, and in the excitement he had remained unannounced until John Carter had happened upon him in the great reception corridor of the palace as The Warlord was hurrying out to arrange for the dispatch of ships in search of his daughter.
Gahan read the concern upon the face of The Warlord. That is all we know. We can only assume that she decided to fly before the morning meal and was caught in the clutches of the tempest. You will pardon me, Gahan, if I leave you abruptly—I am arranging to send ships in search of her;" but Gahan, Jed of Gathol, was already speeding in the direction of the palace gate. There he leaped upon a waiting thoat and followed by two warriors in the metal of Gathol, he dashed through the avenues of Helium toward the palace that had been set aside for his entertainment. The groaning tackle bespoke the mad fury of the gale, while the worried faces of those members of the crew whose duties demanded their presence on the straining craft gave corroborative evidence of the gravity of the situation.
Only stout lashings prevented these men from being swept from the deck, while those upon the roof below were constantly compelled to cling to rails and stanchions to save themselves from being carried away by each new burst of meteoric fury. Upon the prow of the Vanator was painted the device of Gathol, but no pennants were displayed in the upper works since the storm had carried away several in rapid succession, just as it seemed to the watching men that it must carry away the ship itself.
They could not believe that any tackle could withstand for long this Titanic force. To each of the twelve lashings clung a brawny warrior with drawn short-sword. Had but a single mooring given to the power of the tempest eleven short-swords would have cut the others; since, partially moored, the ship was doomed, while free in the tempest it stood at least some slight chance for life. Give thanks at least that we did not sail before the tempest fell, since now each of us has a chance to live. It was then that Gahan the Jed appeared upon the roof. With him were the balance of his own party and a dozen warriors of Helium.
The young chief turned to his followers. I do not need to explain to you the slender chances the Vanator has to withstand the fury of the tempest, nor will I order you to your deaths. Let those who wish remain behind without dishonor. The others will follow me," and he leaped for the rope ladder that lashed wildly in the gale. The first man to follow him was Tanus and when the last reached the deck of the cruiser there remained upon the palace roof only the twelve warriors of Helium, who, with naked swords, had taken the posts of the Gatholians at the moorings.
The commander of the Vanator shook his head. He loved his trim craft, the pride of her class in the little navy of Gathol. It was of her he thought—not of himself. He saw her lying torn and twisted upon the ochre vegetation of some distant sea-bottom, to be presently overrun and looted by some savage, green horde. He looked at Gahan. Word was passed across the deck and over the side to the Heliumetic warriors below that at the third gun they were to cut away. Twelve keen swords must strike simultaneously and with equal power, and each must sever completely and instantly three strands of heavy cable that no loose end fouling a block bring immediate disaster upon the Vanator.
The voice of the signal gun rolled down through the screaming wind to the twelve warriors upon the roof. Twelve swords were raised above twelve brawny shoulders. Twelve keen edges severed twelve complaining moorings, clean and as one. The Vanator , her propellers whirling, shot forward with the storm. The tempest struck her in the stern as with a mailed fist and stood the great ship upon her nose, and then it caught her and spun her as a child's top spins; and upon the palace roof the twelve men looked on in silent helplessness and prayed for the souls of the brave warriors who were going to their death.
And others saw, from Helium's lofty landing stages and from a thousand hangars upon a thousand roofs; but only for an instant did the preparations stop that would send other brave men into the frightful maelstrom of that apparently hopeless search, for such is the courage of the warriors of Barsoom. But the Vanator did not fall to the ground, within sight of the city at least, though as long as the watchers could see her never for an instant did she rest upon an even keel.
Sometimes she lay upon one side or the other, or again she hurtled along keel up, or rolled over and over, or stood upon her nose or her tail at the caprice of the great force that carried her along. And the watchers saw that this great ship was merely being blown away with the other bits of debris great and small that filled the sky. Never in the memory of man or the annals of recorded history had such a storm raged across the face of Barsoom.
And in another instant was the Vanator forgotten as the lofty, scarlet tower that had marked Lesser Helium for ages crashed to ground, carrying death and demolition upon the city beneath. Panic reigned. A fire broke out in the ruins. The city's every force seemed crippled, and it was then that The Warlord ordered the men that were about to set forth in search of Tara of Helium to devote their energies to the salvation of the city, for he too had witnessed the start of the Vanator and realized the futility of wasting men who were needed sorely if Lesser Helium was to be saved from utter destruction.
Shortly after noon of the second day the storm commenced to abate, and before the sun went down, the little craft upon which Tara of Helium had hovered between life and death these many hours drifted slowly before a gentle breeze above a landscape of rolling hills that once had been lofty mountains upon a Martian continent.
The girl was exhausted from loss of sleep, from lack of food and drink, and from the nervous reaction consequent to the terrifying experiences through which she had passed. In the near distance, just topping an intervening hill, she caught a momentary glimpse of what appeared to be a dome-capped tower. Quickly she dropped the flier until the hill shut it off from the view of the possible occupants of the structure she had seen.
The tower meant to her the habitation of man, suggesting the presence of water and, perhaps, of food. If the tower was the deserted relic of a bygone age she would scarcely find food there, but there was still a chance that there might be water. If it was inhabited, then must her approach be cautious, for only enemies might be expected to abide in so far distant a land. Tara of Helium knew that she must be far from the twin cities of her grandfather's empire, but had she guessed within even a thousand haads of the reality, she had been stunned by realization of the utter hopelessness of her state.
Keeping the craft low, for the buoyancy tanks were still intact, the girl skimmed the ground until the gently-moving wind had carried her to the side of the last hill that intervened between her and the structure she had thought a man-built tower. Here she brought the flier to the ground among some stunted trees, and dragging it beneath one where it might be somewhat hidden from craft passing above, she made it fast and set forth to reconnoiter. Like most women of her class she was armed only with a single slender blade, so that in such an emergency as now confronted her she must depend almost solely upon her cleverness in remaining undiscovered by enemies.
With utmost caution she crept warily toward the crest of the hill, taking advantage of every natural screen that the landscape afforded to conceal her approach from possible observers ahead, while momentarily she cast quick glances rearward lest she be taken by surprise from that quarter. She came at last to the summit, where, from the concealment of a low bush, she could see what lay beyond. Beneath her spread a beautiful valley surrounded by low hills.
Dotting it were numerous circular towers, dome-capped, and surrounding each tower was a stone wall enclosing several acres of ground. The valley appeared to be in a high state of cultivation. Upon the opposite side of the hill and just beneath her was a tower and enclosure. It was the roof of the former that had first attracted her attention. In all respects it seemed identical in construction with those further out in the valley—a high, plastered wall of massive construction surrounding a similarly constructed tower, upon whose gray surface was painted in vivid colors a strange device.
The towers were about forty sofads in diameter, approximately forty earth-feet, and sixty in height to the base of the dome. To an Earth man they would have immediately suggested the silos in which dairy farmers store ensilage for their herds; but closer scrutiny, revealing an occasional embrasured opening together with the strange construction of the domes, would have altered such a conclusion. Tara of Helium saw that the domes seemed to be faced with innumerable prisms of glass, those that were exposed to the declining sun scintillating so gorgeously as to remind her suddenly of the magnificent trappings of Gahan of Gathol.
As she thought of the man she shook her head angrily, and moved cautiously forward a foot or two that she might get a less obstructed view of the nearer tower and its enclosure. As Tara of Helium looked down into the enclosure surrounding the nearest tower, her brows contracted momentarily in frowning surprise, and then her eyes went wide in an expression of incredulity tinged with horror, for what she saw was a score or two of human bodies—naked and headless.
For a long moment she watched, breathless; unable to believe the evidence of her own eyes—that these grewsome things moved and had life! She saw them crawling about on hands and knees over and across one another, searching about with their fingers. And she saw some of them at troughs, for which the others seemed to be searching, and those at the troughs were taking something from these receptacles and apparently putting it in a hole where their necks should have been.
They were not far beneath her—she could see them distinctly and she saw that there were the bodies of both men and women, and that they were beautifully proportioned, and that their skin was similar to hers, but of a slightly lighter red. At first she had thought that she was looking upon a shambles and that the bodies, but recently decapitated, were moving under the impulse of muscular reaction; but presently she realized that this was their normal condition.
The horror of them fascinated her, so that she could scarce take her eyes from them. It was evident from their groping hands that they were eyeless, and their sluggish movements suggested a rudimentary nervous system and a correspondingly minute brain. The girl wondered how they subsisted for she could not, even by the wildest stretch of imagination, picture these imperfect creatures as intelligent tillers of the soil.
Yet that the soil of the valley was tilled was evident and that these things had food was equally so. But who tilled the soil? Who kept and fed these unhappy things, and for what purpose? It was an enigma beyond her powers of deduction. The sight of food aroused again a consciousness of her own gnawing hunger and the thirst that parched her throat.
She could see both food and water within the enclosure; but would she dare enter even should she find means of ingress? She doubted it, since the very thought of possible contact with these grewsome creatures sent a shudder through her frame. Then her eyes wandered again out across the valley until presently they picked out what appeared to be a tiny stream winding its way through the center of the farm lands—a strange sight upon Barsoom.
Ah, if it were but water! Then might she hope with a real hope, for the fields would give her sustenance which she could gain by night, while by day she hid among the surrounding hills, and sometime, yes, sometime she knew, the searchers would come, for John Carter, Warlord of Barsoom, would never cease to search for his daughter until every square haad of the planet had been combed again and again.
She knew him and she knew the warriors of Helium and so she knew that could she but manage to escape harm until they came, they would indeed come at last. She would have to wait until dark before she dare venture into the valley, and in the meantime she thought it well to search out a place of safety nearby where she might be reasonably safe from savage beasts. It was possible that the district was free from carnivora, but one might never be sure in a strange land.
As she was about to withdraw be hind the brow of the hill her attention was again attracted to the enclosure below. Two figures had emerged from the tower. Their beautiful bodies seemed identical with those of the headless creatures among which they moved, but the newcomers were not headless. Upon their shoulders were heads that seemed human, yet which the girl intuitively sensed were not human. They were just a trifle too far away for her to see them distinctly in the waning light of the dying day, but she knew that they were too large, they were out of proportion to the perfectly proportioned bodies, and they were oblate in form.
She could see that the men wore some manner of harness to which were slung the customary long-sword and short-sword of the Barsoomian warrior, and that about their short necks were massive leather collars cut to fit closely over the shoulders and snugly to the lower part of the head. Their features were scarce discernible, but there was a suggestion of grotesqueness about them that carried to her a feeling of revulsion.
The two carried a long rope to which were fastened, at intervals of about two sofads, what she later guessed were light manacles, for she saw the warriors passing among the poor creatures in the enclosure and about the right wrist of each they fastened one of the manacles. When all had been thus fastened to the rope one of the warriors commenced to pull and tug at the loose end as though attempting to drag the headless company toward the tower, while the other went among them with a long, light whip with which he flicked them upon the naked skin.
Slowly, dully, the creatures rose to their feet and between the tugging of the warrior in front and the lashing of him behind the hopeless band was finally herded within the tower. Tara of Helium shuddered as she turned away. What manner of creatures were these? Suddenly it was night. The Barsoomian day had ended, and then the brief period of twilight that renders the transition from daylight to darkness almost as abrupt as the switching off of an electric light, and Tara of Helium had found no sanctuary.
But perhaps there were no beasts to fear, or rather to avoid—Tara of Helium liked not the word fear. She would have been glad, however, had there been a cabin, even a very tiny cabin, upon her small flier; but there was no cabin. The interior of the hull was completely taken up by the buoyancy tanks. Ah, she had it! How stupid of her not to have thought of it before! She could moor the craft to the tree beneath which it rested and let it rise the length of the rope. Lashed to the deck rings she would then be safe from any roaming beast of prey that chanced along.
In the morning she could drop to the ground again before the craft was discovered. As Tara of Helium crept over the brow of the hill down toward the valley, her presence was hidden by the darkness of the night from the sight of any chance observer who might be loitering by a window in the nearby tower. Cluros, the farther moon, was just rising above the horizon to commence his leisurely journey through the heavens. Eight zodes later he would set— a trifle over nineteen and a half Earth hours—and during that time Thuria, his vivacious mate, would have circled the planet twice and be more than half way around on her third trip.
She had but just set. It would be more than three and a half hours before she shot above the opposite horizon to hurtle, swift and low, across the face of the dying planet. During this temporary absence of the mad moon Tara of Helium hoped to find both food and water, and gain again the safety of her flier's deck. She groped her way through the darkness, giving the tower and its enclosure as wide a berth as possible.
Sometimes she stumbled, for in the long shadows cast by the rising Cluros objects were grotesquely distorted though the light from the moon was still not sufficient to be of much assistance to her. Nor, as a matter of fact, did she want light. She could find the stream in the dark, by the simple expedient of going down hill until she walked into it and she had seen that bearing trees and many crops grew throughout the valley, so that she would pass food in plenty ere she reached the stream.
If the moon showed her the way more clearly and thus saved her from an occasional fall, he would, too, show her more clearly to the strange denizens of the towers, and that, of course, must not be. Could she have waited until the following night conditions would have been better, since Cluros would not appear in the heavens at all and so, during Thuria's absence, utter darkness would reign; but the pangs of thirst and the gnawing of hunger could be endured no longer with food and drink both in sight, and so she had decided to risk discovery rather than suffer longer.
Safely past the nearest tower, she moved as rapidly as she felt consistent with safety, choosing her way wherever possible so that she might take advantage of the shadows of the trees that grew at intervals and at the same time discover those which bore fruit. In this latter she met with almost immediate success, for the very third tree beneath which she halted was heavy with ripe fruit. Never, thought Tara of Helium, had aught so delicious impinged upon her palate, and yet it was naught else than the almost tasteless usa, which is considered to be palatable only after having been cooked and highly spiced.
It grows easily with little irrigation and the trees bear abundantly. The fruit, which ranks high in food value, is one of the staple foods of the less well-to-do, and because of its cheapness and nutritive value forms one of the principal rations of both armies and navies upon Barsoom, a use which has won for it a Martian sobriquet which, freely translated into English, would be, The Fighting Potato.
The girl was wise enough to eat but sparingly, but she filled her pocket-pouch with the fruit before she continued upon her way. Two towers she passed before she came at last to the stream, and here again was she temperate, drinking but little and that very slowly, contenting herself with rinsing her mouth frequently and bathing her face, her hands, and her feet; and even though the night was cold, as Martian nights are, the sensation of refreshment more than compensated for the physical discomfort of the low temperature.
Replacing her sandals she sought among the growing track near the stream for whatever edible berries or tubers might be planted there, and found a couple of varieties that could be eaten raw. With these she replaced some of the usa in her pocket-pouch, not only to insure a variety but because she found them more palatable.
Occasionally she returned to the stream to drink, but each time moderately. Always were her eyes and ears alert for the first signs of danger, but she had neither seen nor heard aught to disturb her. And presently the time approached when she felt she must return to her flier lest she be caught in the revealing light of low swinging Thuria. She dreaded leaving the water for she knew that she must become very thirsty before she could hope to come again to the stream.
If she only had some little receptacle in which to carry water, even a small amount would tide her over until the following night; but she had nothing and so she must content herself as best she could with the juices of the fruit and tubers she had gathered. After a last drink at the stream, the longest and deepest she had allowed herself, she rose to retrace her steps toward the hills; but even as she did so she became suddenly tense with apprehension. What was that?
She could have sworn that she saw something move in the shadows beneath a tree not far away. For a long minute the girl did not move—she scarce breathed. Her eyes remained fixed upon the dense shadows below the tree, her ears strained through the silence of the night. A low moaning came down from the hills where her flier was hidden.
She knew it well—the weird note of the hunting banth. And the great carnivore lay directly in her path. But he was not so close as this other thing, hiding there in the shadows just a little way off. What was it? It was the strain of uncertainty that weighed heaviest upon her. Had she known the nature of the creature lurking there half its menace would have vanished.
She cast quickly about her in search of some haven of refuge should the thing prove dangerous. Again arose the moaning from the hills, but this time closer. Almost immediately it was answered from the opposite side of the valley, behind her, and then from the distance to the right of her, and twice upon her left. Her eyes had found a tree, quite near.
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Slowly, and without taking her eyes from the shadows of that other tree, she moved toward the overhanging branches that might afford her sanctuary in the event of need, and at her first move a low growl rose from the spot she had been watching and she heard the sudden moving of a big body. Simultaneously the creature shot into the moonlight in full charge upon her, its tail erect, its tiny ears laid flat, its great mouth with its multiple rows of sharp and powerful fangs already yawning for its prey, its ten legs carrying it forward in great leaps, and now from the beast's throat issued the frightful roar with which it seeks to paralyze its prey.
It was a banth—the great, maned lion of Barsoom. Tara of Helium saw it coming and leaped for the tree toward which she had been moving, and the banth realized her intention and redoubled his speed. As his hideous roar awakened the echoes in the hills, so too it awakened echoes in the valley; but these echoes came from the living throats of others of his kind, until it seemed to the girl that Fate had thrown her into the midst of a countless multitude of these savage beasts.
Almost incredibly swift is the speed of a charging banth, and fortunate it was that the girl had not been caught farther in the open. As it was, her margin of safety was next to negligible, for as she swung nimbly to the lower branches the creature in pursuit of her crashed among the foliage almost upon her as it sprang upward to seize her.
It was only a combination of good fortune and agility that saved her. A stout branch deflected the raking talons of the carnivore, but so close was the call that a giant forearm brushed her flesh in the instant before she scrambled to the higher branches. Baffled, the banth gave vent to his rage and disappointment in a series of frightful roars that caused the very ground to tremble, and to these were added the roarings and the growlings and the moanings of his fellows as they approached from every direction, in the hope of wresting from him whatever of his kill they could take by craft or prowess.
And now he turned snarling upon them as they circled the tree, while the girl, huddled in a crotch above them, looked down upon the gaunt, yellow monsters padding on noiseless feet in a restless circle about her. She wondered now at the strange freak of fate that had permitted her to come down this far into the valley by night unharmed, but even more she wondered how she was to return to the hills.
She knew that she would not dare venture it by night and she guessed, too, that by day she might be confronted by even graver perils. To depend upon this valley for sustenance she now saw to be beyond the pale of possibility because of the banths that would keep her from food and water by night, while the dwellers in the towers would doubtless make it equally impossible for her to forage by day. There was but one solution of her difficulty and that was to return to her flier and pray that the wind would waft her to some less terrorful land; but when might she return to the flier?
The banths gave little evidence of relinquishing hope of her, and even if they wandered out of sight would she dare risk the attempt? She doubted it. AS Thuria, swift racer of the night, shot again into the sky the scene changed. As by magic a new aspect fell athwart the face of Nature. It was as though in the instant one had been transported from one planet to another. It was the age- old miracle of the Martian nights that is always new, even to Martians—two moons resplendent in the heavens, where one had been but now; conflicting, fast-changing shadows that altered the very hills themselves; far Cluros, stately, majestic, almost stationary, shedding his steady light upon the world below; Thuria, a great and glorious orb, swinging swift across the vaulted dome of the blue-black night, so low that she seemed to graze the hills, a gorgeous spectacle that held the girl now beneath the spell of its enchantment as it always had and always would.
There was no mystery in the huge banths. He who had discovered her squatted there looking hungrily up at her. Most of the others had wandered away in search of other prey, but a few remained hoping yet to bury their fangs in that soft body. The night wore on. Again Thuria left the heavens to her lord and master, hurrying on to keep her tryst with the Sun in other skies. But a single banth waited impatiently beneath the tree which harbored Tara of Helium. The others had left, but their roars, and growls, and moans thundered or rumbled, or floated back to her from near and far.
What prey found they in this little valley? There must be something that they were accustomed to find here that they should be drawn in so great numbers. The girl wondered what it could be. How long the night! Numb, cold, and exhausted, Tara of Helium clung to the tree in growing desperation, for once she had dozed and almost fallen. Hope was low in her brave little heart. How much more could she endure? She asked herself the question and then, with a brave shake of her head, she squared her shoulders.
Came Thuria again and after awhile the great Sun—a flaming lover, pursuing his heart's desire. And Cluros, the cold husband, continued his serene way, as placid as before his house had been violated by this hot Lothario. And now the Sun and both Moons rode together in the sky, lending their far mysteries to make weird the Martian dawn.
Tara of Helium looked out across the fair valley that spread upon all sides of her. It was rich and beautiful, but even as she looked upon it she shuddered, for to her mind came a picture of the headless things that the towers and the walls hid. Those by day and the banths by night! Ah, was it any wonder that she shuddered?
With the coming of the Sun the great Barsoomian lion rose to his feet. He turned angry eyes upon the girl above him, voiced a single ominous growl, and slunk away toward the hills. The girl watched him, and she saw that he gave the towers as wide a berth as possible and that he never took his eyes from one of them while he was passing it. Evidently the inmates had taught these savage creatures to respect them.
Presently he passed from sight in a narrow defile, nor in any direction that she could see was there another. Momentarily at least the landscape was deserted. The girl wondered if she dared to attempt to regain the hills and her flier. She dreaded the coming of the workmen to the fields as she was sure they would come. She shrank from again seeing the headless bodies, and found herself wondering if these things would come out into the fields and work. She looked toward the nearest tower. There was no sign of life there. The valley lay quiet now and deserted. She lowered herself stiffly to the ground.
Her muscles were cramped and every move brought a twinge of pain. Pausing a moment to drink again at the stream she felt refreshed and then turned without more delay toward the hills. To cover the distance as quickly as possible seemed the only plan to pursue. The trees no longer offered concealment and so she did not go out of her way to be near them. The hills seemed very far away. She had not thought, the night before, that she had traveled so far. Really it had not been far, but now, with the three towers to pass in broad daylight, the distance seemed great indeed.
The second tower lay almost directly in her path. To make a detour would not lessen the chance of detection, it would only lengthen the period of her danger, and so she laid her course straight for the hill where her flier was, regardless of the tower. As she passed the first enclosure she thought that she heard the sound of movement within, but the gate did not open and she breathed more easily when it lay behind her.
She came then to the second enclosure, the outer wall of which she must circle, as it lay across her route. As she passed close along it she distinctly heard not only movement within, but voices. In the world-language of Barsoom she heard a man issuing instructions—so many were to pick usa, so many were to irrigate this field, so many to cultivate that, and so on, as a foreman lay out the day's work for his crew.
Tara of Helium had just reached the gate in the outer wall. Without warning it swung open toward her. She saw that for a moment it would hide her from those within and in that moment she turned and ran, keeping close to the wall, until, passing out of sight beyond the curve of the structure, she came to the opposite side of the enclosure. Here, panting from her exertion and from the excitement of her narrow escape, she threw herself among some tall weeds that grew close to the foot of the wall. There she lay trembling for some time, not even daring to raise her head and look about.
Never before had Tara of Helium felt the paralyzing effects of terror. She was shocked and angry at herself, that she, daughter of John Carter, Warlord of Barsoom, should exhibit fear. Not even the fact that there had been none there to witness it lessened her shame and anger, and the worst of it was she knew that under similar circumstances she would again be equally as craven.
It was not the fear of death—she knew that. No, it was the thought of those headless bodies and that she might see them and that they might even touch her—lay hands upon her—seize her. She shuddered and trembled at the thought. After a while she gained sufficient command of herself to raise her head and look about. To her horror she discovered that everywhere she looked she saw people working in the fields or preparing to do so.
Workmen were coming from other towers. Little bands were passing to this field and that. They were even some already at work within thirty ads of her—about a hundred yards. There were ten, perhaps, in the party nearest her, both men and women, and all were beautiful of form and grotesque of face. So meager were their trappings that they were practically naked; a fact that was in no way remarkable among the tillers of the fields of Mars. Each wore the peculiar, high leather collar that completely hid the neck, and each wore sufficient other leather to support a single sword and a pocket-pouch.
The leather was very old and worn, showing long, hard service, and was absolutely plain with the exception of a single device upon the left shoulder. The heads, however, were covered with ornaments of precious metals and jewels, so that little more than eyes, nose, and mouth were discernible. These were hideously inhuman and yet grotesquely human at the same time. The eyes were far apart and protruding, the nose scarce more than two small, parallel slits set vertically above a round hole that was the mouth.
The heads were peculiarly repulsive—so much so that it seemed unbelievable to the girl that they formed an integral part of the beautiful bodies below them.
So fascinated was Tara of Helium that she could scarce take her eyes from the strange creatures—a fact that was to prove her undoing, for in order that she might see them she was forced to expose a part of her own head and presently, to her consternation, she saw that one of the creatures had stopped his work and was staring directly at her. She did not dare move, for it was still possible that the thing had not seen her, or at least was only suspicious that some creature lay hid among the weeds.
If she could allay this suspicion by remaining motionless the creature might believe that he had been mistaken and return to his work; but, alas, such was not to be the case. She saw the thing call the attention of others to her and almost immediately four or five of them started to move in her direction. It was impossible now to escape discovery. Her only hope lay in flight. If she could elude them and reach the hills and the flier ahead of them she might escape, and that could be accomplished in but one way—flight, immediate and swift. Leaping to her feet she darted along the base of the wall which she must skirt to the opposite side, beyond which lay the hill that was her goal.
Her act was greeted by strange whistling sounds from the things behind her, and casting a glance over her shoulder she saw them all in rapid pursuit. There were also shrill commands that she halt, but to these she paid no attention. Before she had half circled the enclosure she discovered that her chances for successful escape were great, since it was evident to her that her pursuers were not so fleet as she.
High indeed then were her hopes as she came in sight of the hill, but they were soon dashed by what lay before her, for there, in the fields that lay between, were fully a hundred creatures similar to those behind her and all were on the alert, evidently warned by the whistling of their fellows. Instructions and commands were shouted to and fro, with the result that those before her spread roughly into a great half circle to intercept her, and when she turned to the right, hoping to elude the net, she saw others coming from fields beyond, and to the left the same was true.
But Tara of Helium would not admit defeat. Without once pausing she turned directly toward the center of the advancing semi-circle, beyond which lay her single chance of escape, and as she ran she drew her long, slim dagger. Like her valiant sire, if die she must, she would die fighting.
There were gaps in the thin line confronting her and toward the widest of one of these she directed her course. The things on either side of the opening guessed her intent for they closed in to place themselves in her path. This widened the openings on either side of them and as the girl appeared almost to rush into their arms she turned suddenly at right angles, ran swiftly in the new direction for a few yards, and then dashed quickly toward the hill again. Now only a single warrior, with a wide gap on either side of him, barred her clear way to freedom, though all the others were speeding as rapidly as they could to intercept her.
If she could pass this one without too much delay she could escape, of that she was certain. Her every hope hinged on this. The creature before her realized it, too, for he moved cautiously, though swiftly, to intercept her, as a Rugby fullback might maneuver in the realization that he alone stood between the opposing team and a touchdown. At first Tara of Helium had hoped that she might dodge him, for she could not but guess that she was not only more fleet but infinitely more agile than these strange creatures; but soon there came to her the realization that in the time consumed in an attempt to elude his grasp his nearer fellows would be upon her and escape then impossible, so she chose instead to charge straight for him, and when he guessed her decision he stood, half crouching and with outstretched arms, awaiting her.
In one hand was his sword, but a voice arose, crying in tones of authority. Do not harm her! Straight for that beautiful body she sprang and in the instant that the arms closed to seize her her sharp blade drove deep into the naked chest. The impact hurled them both to the ground and as Tara of Helium sprang to her feet again she saw, to her horror, that the loathsome head had rolled from the body and was now crawling away from her on six short, spider-like legs. The body struggled spasmodically and lay still.
As brief as had been the delay caused by the encounter, it still had been of sufficient duration to undo her, for even as she rose two more of the things fell upon her and instantly thereafter she was surrounded. Her blade sank once more into naked flesh and once more a head rolled free and crawled away. Then they overpowered her and in another moment she was surrounded by fully a hundred of the creatures, all seeking to lay hands upon her. At first she thought that they wished to tear her to pieces in revenge for her having slain two of their fellows, but presently she realized that they were prompted more by curiosity than by any sinister motive.
As he spoke he tried to lead her away with him toward the nearest tower. She will come with me to the tower of Moak. To Luud I will take her, and whosoever interferes may feel the keenness of my sword—in the head! Enough of this," cried one who spoke with some show of authority. Instantly the big, round head collapsed, almost as a punctured balloon collapses, as a grayish, semi-fluid matter spurted from it.
The protruding eyes, apparently lidless, merely stared, the sphincter-like muscle of the mouth opened and closed, and then the head toppled from the body to the ground. The body stood dully for a moment and then slowly started to wander aimlessly about until one of the others seized it by the arm. One of the two heads crawling about on the ground now approached. I will take it," and without further discussion it commenced to crawl up the front of the headless body, using its six short, spiderlike legs and two stout chelae which grew just in front of its legs and strongly resembled those of an Earthly lobster, except that they were both of the same size.
The body in the meantime stood in passive indifference, its arms hanging idly at its sides. The head climbed to the shoulders and settled itself inside the leather collar that now hid its chelae and legs. Almost immediately the body gave evidence of intelligent animation. It raised its hands and adjusted the collar more comfortably, it took the head between its palms and settled it in place and when it moved around it did not wander aimlessly, but instead its steps were firm and to some purpose.
The girl watched all these things in growing wonder, and presently, no other of the Moaks seeming inclined to dispute the right of the Luud to her, she was led off by her captor toward the nearest tower. Several accompanied them, including one who carried the loose head under his arm. The head that was being carried conversed with the head upon the shoulders of the thing that carried it.
Tara of Helium shivered. It was horrible! All that she had seen of these frightful creatures was horrible. And to be a prisoner, wholly in their power. Shadow of her first ancestor! What had she done to deserve so cruel a fate? At the wall enclosing the tower they paused while one opened the gate and then they passed within the enclosure, which, to the girl's horror, she found filled with headless bodies.
The creature who carried the bodiless head now set its burden upon the ground and the latter immediately crawled toward one of the bodies that was lying near by. Some wandered stupidly to and fro, but this one lay still. It was a female. The head crawled to it and made its way to the shoulders where it settled itself. At once the body sprang lightly erect. Another of those who had accompanied them from the fields approached with the harness and collar that had been taken from the dead body that the head had formerly topped.
The new body now appropriated these and the hands deftly adjusted them. The creature was now as good as before Tara of Helium had struck down its former body with her slim blade. But there was a difference. Before it had been male—now it was female. That, however, seemed to make no difference to the head.
In fact, Tara of Helium had noticed during the scramble and the fight about her that sex differences seemed of little moment to her captors. Males and females had taken equal part in her pursuit, both were identically harnessed and both carried swords, and she had seen as many females as males draw their weapons at the moment that a quarrel between the two factions seemed imminent.
The girl was given but brief opportunity for further observation of the pitiful creatures in the enclosure as her captor, after having directed the others to return to the fields, led her toward the tower, which they entered, passing into an apartment about ten feet wide and twenty long, in one end of which was a stairway leading to an upper level and in the other an opening to a similar stairway leading downward. The chamber, though on a level with the ground, was brilliantly lighted by windows in its inner wall, the light coming from a circular court in the center of the tower.
The walls of this court appeared to be faced with what resembled glazed, white tile and the whole interior of it was flooded with dazzling light, a fact which immediately explained to the girl the purpose of the glass prisms of which the domes were constructed. The stairways themselves were sufficient to cause remark, since in nearly all Barsoomian architecture inclined runways are utilized for purposes of communication between different levels, and especially is this true of the more ancient forms and of those of remote districts where fewer changes have come to alter the customs of antiquity.
Down the stairway her captor led Tara of Helium. Down and down through chambers still lighted from the brilliant well. Occasionally they passed others going in the opposite direction and these always stopped to examine the girl and ask questions of her captor. If Luud wishes to question her that is for Luud to do—not for me. Presently they reached a room from which a circular tunnel led away from the tower, and into this the creature conducted her. The tunnel was some seven feet in diameter and flattened on the bottom to form a walk. For a hundred feet from the tower it was lined with the same tile-like material of the light well and amply illuminated by reflected light from that source.
Beyond it was faced with stone of various shapes and sizes, neatly cut and fitted together—a very fine mosaic without a pattern. There were branches, too, and other tunnels which crossed this, and occasionally openings not more than a foot in diameter; these latter being usually close to the floor. Above each of these smaller openings was painted a different device, while upon the walls of the larger tunnels at all intersections and points of convergence hieroglyphics appeared.
These the girl could not read though she guessed that they were the names of the tunnels, or notices indicating the points to which they led. She tried to study some of them out, but there was not a character that was familiar to her, which seemed strange, since, while the written languages of the various nations of Barsoom differ, it still is true that they have many characters and words in common.
She had tried to converse with her guard but he had not seemed inclined to talk with her and she had finally desisted. She could not but note that he had offered her no indignities, nor had he been either unnecessarily rough or in any way cruel. The fact that she had slain two of the bodies with her dagger had apparently aroused no animosity or desire for revenge in the minds of the strange heads that surmounted the bodies—even those whose bodies had been killed.
She did not try to understand it, since she could not approach the peculiar relationship between the heads and the bodies of these creatures from the basis of any past knowledge or experience of her own. So far their treatment of her seemed to augur naught that might arouse her fears. Perhaps, after all, she had been fortunate to fall into the hands of these strange people, who might not only protect her from harm, but even aid her in returning to Helium. That they were repulsive and uncanny she could not forget, but if they meant her no harm she could, at least, overlook their repulsiveness.
Renewed hope aroused within her a spirit of greater cheerfulness, and it was almost blithely now that she moved at the side of her weird companion. She even caught herself humming a gay little tune that was then popular in Helium. The creature at her side turned its expressionless eyes upon her. This time she sang the words, while her companion listened intently. His face gave no indication of what was passing in that strange head.
It was as devoid of expression as that of a spider. It reminded her of a spider. When she had finished he turned toward her again. At his request she sang again as they continued their way along the winding tunnel, which was now lighted by occasional bulbs which appeared to be similar to the radium bulbs with which she was familiar and which were common to all the nations of Barsoom, insofar as she knew, having been perfected at so remote a period that their very origin was lost in antiquity.
They consist, usually, of a hemispherical bowl of heavy glass in which is packed a compound containing what, according to John Carter, must be radium. The bowl is then cemented into a metal plate with a heavily insulated back and the whole affair set in the masonry of wall or ceiling as desired, where it gives off light of greater or less intensity, according to the composition of the filling material, for an almost incalculable period of time.
As they proceeded they met a greater number of the inhabitants of this underground world, and the girl noted that among many of these the metal and harness were more ornate than had been those of the workers in the fields above. The heads and bodies, however, were similar, even identical, she thought. No one offered her harm and she was now experiencing a feeling of relief almost akin to happiness, when her guide turned suddenly into an opening on the right side of the tunnel and she found herself in a large, well lighted chamber.
THE song that had been upon her lips as she entered died there—frozen by the sight of horror that met her eyes. In the center of the chamber a headless body lay upon the floor—a body that had been partially devoured--while over and upon it crawled a half a dozen heads upon their short, spider legs, and they tore at the flesh of the woman with their chelae and carried the bits to their awful mouths. They were eating human flesh—eating it raw!
Ah, no. They are delicious when kept and fattened. Fortunate, too, are those that are bred for food, since they are never called upon to do aught but eat. He looked at her steadily for a moment, but whether in surprise, in anger, or in pity his expressionless face did not reveal. Then he led her on across the room past the frightful thing, from which she turned away her eyes. Lying about the floor near the walls were half a dozen headless bodies in harness.
These she guessed had been abandoned temporarily by the feasting heads until they again required their services. In the walls of this room there were many of the small, round openings she had noticed in various parts of the tunnels, the purpose of which she could not guess. They passed through another corridor and then into a second chamber, larger than the first and more brilliantly illuminated. Within were several of the creatures with heads and bodies assembled, while many headless bodies lay about near the walls. Here her captor halted and spoke to one of the occupants of the chamber.
The others crowded about to examine Tara of Helium. One of them whistled, whereupon the girl learned something of the smaller openings in the walls, for almost immediately there crawled from them, like giant spiders, a score or more of the hideous heads. Each sought one of the recumbent bodies and fastened itself in place. Immediately the bodies reacted to the intelligent direction of the heads.
They arose, the hands adjusted the leather collars and put the balance of the harness in order, then the creatures crossed the room to where Tara of Helium stood. She noted that their leather was more highly ornamented than that worn by any of the others she had previously seen, and so she guessed that these must be higher in authority than the others.
Nor was she mistaken. The demeanor of her captor indicated it. He addressed them as one who holds intercourse with superiors. For questions about paid calendar listings, please call , ext. Dougherty St. Eyewear for safe eclipse viewing will be available and distributed until supplies run out.
Held at Bridge Park, 76 Railroad Ave. Main St. Admission fees apply. Washington St. Information: Prices vary. Free to attend. In , elk were reintroduced to the park, and since then, the herd has grown to be more than strong. Sales of WitBier during the event, and all of August, benefit critical projects and programs in the national park. For more information, visit friendsofthesmokies. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Smokies p. Registration: or bit. Registration: Held at the. Registration: postero-hvl.
Held at Postero, N. Registration: x. Held at HatchWorks, 45 S. French Broad. Join LA Bourgeois to play with beads and incorporate them into your knitting. Friday, August 25, ampm. Friday, pre-conference, all-day, workshops. Held at The Collider, 1 Haywood St. Registration: bit. Held at Weaverville Public Library, 41 N.
Registration required. BYO lunch. Parking and entrance in back Inclusive, No partner necessary. Contact Richard for information: , naturalrichard mac. Lexington Avenue. Dance waves hosted by Asheville Movement Collective. Sliding scale fee. Information: ashevillemovementcollective. Kids 4 and under free. Advanced dance at 6pm. Early rounds at 7pm. Squares and rounds at pm. Savor the mountains like never before Our event is committed specifically to empowerment, to letting people have a good time while engaging in activism.
Admission by donation. Market St. Registration: online or x. Class for year olds at am. A portion of proceeds benefit the Buncombe Partnership for Children. Held at Pritchard Park, 4 College St. Enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Lure, trails for all levels of hikers, an Animal Discovery Den and foot waterfall.
Plan your adventure at chimneyrockpark. Jackson St. Sign ups open for fall season of Inline Hockey at Carrier Park. Free registration for new youth players. New division created in adult league. Information at www. All levels welcome. Held at Carl Sandburg Home,. Idea Factory, Inc.
Class sizes Limited. For more information, visit ideafactoryinc. Registration required: southeastoffice defenders. Portion of proceeds from beer sales benefit the Friends of the Smokies. Held at Wedge Brewing Co. Training begins on Wednesday, Sept. Registration: or families4kids hendersoncountydss. Held at First. Council for Women and the N. Batterer Intervention Program. Registration required: carolinapublicpress. Send your event listings to calendar mountainx. Offers active senior residents opportunities to make new friends and explore new interests.
Activities include hiking, golf, book clubs, dining-out, special events, and more. Visit ashevillenewfriends. Registration required: August 25, 2pm-8pm; August 26, ampm. A catered lunch will be available on Saturday. Love offering. The authentic TM technique, rooted in the ancient yoga tradition—for settling mind and body and accessing hidden inner reserves of energy, peace and happiness. Learn how TM is different from mindfulness, watching your breath, common mantra meditation and everything else.
Evidence-based: The only meditation technique recommended for heart health by the American Heart Association. NIHsponsored research shows deep revitalizing rest, reduced stress and anxiety, improved brain functioning and heightened well-being. Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation. Learn how to get a Mindfulness Meditation practice started. Licensed counselor and accredited professional astrologer uses your chart when counseling for additional insight into yourself, your relationships and life directions. Readings also available.
Children and adult s practice mindfulness meditation, discuss principles, and engage in fun games. The 3rd Saturday monthly. Now at 70 Woodfin Place, Suite Tuesdays pm. Experience the stillness and beauty of connecting to your heart and the Divine within you. By donation. Merrimon Ave. Eligible for entry to National Historic Registry. South facing, lots of light, huge auditorium, seating for MLS No experience necessary.
Bring a dish to share. Sponsored by Soka Gakkai International Asheville. Highway 9, Black Mountain, , urlight. Highlands, , oldedwardsinn. Helping Someone Die. Contact for full guidelines.
- The Manual of Seed Saving: Harvesting, Storing, and Sowing Techniques for Vegetables, Herbs, and Fruits?
- Stone & Stone: Book Authors.
- Machine Tools for High Performance Machining?
- Edgar Rice Burroughs;
- Leaves of Grass (Barnes & Noble Classics Series).
Registration: aurorastudio hotmail. French Broad Ave. Suite Registration: leah. Registration required: tours homewardboundwnc. Volunteers receive a free beer, raffle ticket and sunglasses. Academy takes place Thursday, Sept. For information or registration: Did you also know that we offer a complimentary Personal Shopper Service? Go to clothesmentor. The koshas, roughly translated from Sanskrit as the layers of our being, include the annamaya physical body , pranamaya breath body , manomaya mental body , vijnanamaya intellectual body and anandamaya spiritual body , Matlock explains.
Matlock leads classes and workshops in the Asheville area. A concert with the local band Rising Appalachia, which Matlock says has been very supportive, will be the kickoff event for the Embodiment Center in October. The Embodiment Center will also be a home for a trauma-informed yoga therapy training. Matlock also plans to have a dedicated video recording room at The Embodiment Center to develop an online subscription program.
The program, she says, will help instructors develop their own online courses available to the public. Dollar, who opened One Center Yoga 12 years ago, taught in the basement of her home before opening the yoga studio at Coxe Ave. A lot of things came together first, but the bottom. There is more to health than just asana yoga postures , she adds. She will take One Center Yoga to places that I could never take it.
This is an opening and welcoming opportunity for the whole yoga community. We need to be open-hearted about all kinds of yoga. Autoimmune patients needed as clients for advanced hands-on healing students. Earth-based healing school. Montreat, NC. Saturdays, 11ampm, Weaverville, NC. Instructor Frank Iborra has over 47 years experience in the internal and Taoist movement arts.
Every Saturday, 11am and Sunday, 12 noon. Billy Zanski uses crystal bowls, gongs, didgeridoo, harp, and other peaceful instru-. Sessions last 40 minutes. Registration: stephanie landofsky. Registration: mariannejolson gmail. Registration: or terri scoharris. Held at Walmart, Bleachery Blvd. Registration: merryheart03 gmail. The organization provides updates on river conditions, shares information on the French Broad for tourists and residents, and organizes events like the annual Upper French Broad River Fest in Rosman. Besides its role as a major tributary to the French Broad south of Asheville, the Mills River supplies the region with a significant portion of its drinking water.
Highway A second, smaller plant several miles downstream supplies 16 to 20 percent of the water Asheville uses, she adds. Like Whitmire, Wise can trace her interest in the French Broad to a childhood spent along its banks. An interest in the land and the water is in our blood. Not so long ago, the French Broad and its tributaries powered the economy of Western North Carolina by transporting goods, generating electricity and whisking away industrial pollutants. While much has changed for the better over the past several decades, much remains to be done: The river still runs muddy brown after hard rains, and negative stereotypes and rumors about its water quality persist on social media and by word-of-mouth.
David Whitmire, whose family roots along the French Broad go back to the s, says the river played a large role in his upbringing. This renaissance is a result of government, nonprofit and individual efforts to improve water quality throughout the watershed. The outfitter offers tube, kayak and canoe rentals out of its bustling, full-service retail store.
Away from industry and residential neighborhoods, this stretch of the river has escaped some of the water quality issues that have plagued sections that pass through more populated areas downstream. Even so, human activity has impacted the upper reaches of the river through the years. Loose soils — the result of agriculture, tree cutting and grading — along the riverbank often lead to trees falling into the waterway during heavy rains, says Whitmire. In addition, sediment runoff from surrounding farms and development projects can turn the French Broad into a.
The sediment can literally suffocate aqueous wildlife and introduce harmful bacteria into the water, according to Landon Davidson, regional supervisor for the N. Department of Water Quality. While the department works with partner organizations and communities across Western North Carolina to develop and implement plans for managing runoff, its efforts are often limited by a small budget and lack of manpower, according to many of those interviewed for this article. Mills River Partnership works with local farmers to install grass waterways — strips of uncultivated land which provide a spillway for excess rainwater — in fields adjacent to creeks and streams feeding into the Mills, says Wise.
The more filtering that can be done all along the way, the better. A lot of those families have been there, like mine, for seven generations or so.
One glaring example is Mud Creek, which winds through Hendersonville along Interstate In addition to the sediment that gives the creek its name, refuse from storm drains and roadways also finds its way into the water after heavy storms. Once the trash gets into the water, he adds, it can degrade into tiny pieces that can enter the food chain all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Since its implementation on June 8, the device has yielded eye-opening results.
The volume of trash collected in devices like the trash trout helps quantify the amount of litter that washes down tributaries over time.
In addition to Headwaters Outfitters, Lazy Otter Outfitters opened in to expose kayakers, tubers and fishing enthusiasts to the sections of the river between Brevard and Asheville. The French Broad Paddle Trail, launched in April with the support of environmental nonprofits RiverLink and MountainTrue, Oskar Blues Brewery and other local sponsors, allows boaters to travel complete sections of the river, with the opportunity to stop at local restaurants and.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. The beer maker attracts thousands of visitors to Transylvania County each year with its taproom and special events like the Burning Can festival. Trails like the Oklawaha Greenway, which runs along Mud Creek in Hendersonville, also spotlight the status of the waterway. The Ecusta trail and a new nature area at Fletcher Community Park. Participants will build a simple water viewer for habitat and wildlife viewing underwater.
It all ties in. According to RiverLink, the French Broad watershed is believed to have one of the largest great blue heron populations in the world. The fish-. Information: singfortheclimate. Info: herbandroots. Bring your lunch. Whitmire points to the recent die-off of native hemlocks as an issue river advocates will likely need to contend with in the coming years. In addition, the farm is researching crops that can be planted in creekside areas. With arable land scarce in the mountains, Wise explains, farmers have long resisted the idea of leaving prime agricultural acreage in the bottomlands fallow to provide a buffer between farming uses and waterways.
Wise hopes new options for crops that can make money for farmers while protecting water quality will be identified. Most importantly, says Davidson, residents, businesses and nonprofit groups must continue to spread awareness of the French Broad watershed as a public asset, one all should take steps to protect. Photo courtesy of the Seasons of Grace garden project. While the vocational course through A-B Tech offers inmates hands-on learning and training opportunities via an instructional plot, Reeske wondered if she could do even more for the incarcerated women.
This spring, she recruited help from Warren Wilson College in the form of borrowed equipment and student-intern labor, and, with the work of inmates interested in planting and harvesting, the Seasons of Grace garden program at SCCW was born. By midsummer, the allvolunteer group had already succeeded in its effort: A bumper crop of yellow crookneck translated into two servings of squash for each of the more than women housed there. The team purposefully planted varieties they knew the women want to eat, including honeydews, watermelons and cantaloupes.
Inmates, officers and dining hall staff have appreciated their work, raving about the resulting meals, she notes. Through a partnership between Seasons of Grace and the nonprofit Mountain BizWorks, the garden volunteers received assistance in creating a plant sale this past weekend at the Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain. But Reeske feels the community connections made there are even more valuable, noting that many customers shared interest in volunteering with the garden project and other efforts at SCCW.
Mountain BizWorks also recently hosted an entrepreneurial information session for women in the center who may be interested in starting their own business. By the case. Pimento cheese may be a Southern thing, but it originated in the North — New York state, to be precise. The scientific food movement grew out of the women-led Domestic Science movement in the late s to bring order and reason to the home, most specifically in cooking and eating.
With the invention of cream cheese in the late 19th century in Upstate New York and the introduction of canned pimentos from Spain about the same time, someone decided that putting the two together would be a good idea. Manufacturers — and homemakers — jumped on the wagon. The first published recipe for pimento cheese appeared in , according to Southern Living.
It called for cream cheese, mustard, chives and minced pimentos, and it caught on. Although at the time, most of the commercially made product was manufactured in the North, it was distributed nationally. Mills began making the Southern staple herself during a stint in Connecticut, where she discovered that local supermarkets did not carry the cheesy spread. Photo by Leslie Boyd. By then, the cream cheese version had pretty much lost its appeal in the North, but enterprising Southerners took it in a new direction.
In the s, someone decided that grated hoop cheese a mild cheddar might be even tastier than mashed cream cheese. Although some still make pimento cheese with mashed soft cheeses think Velveeta , most today use grated cheddar and other harder cheeses. Early Girl Eatery adds a dash of bourbon. Adjust measurements as needed. Co-owner Tara Letts says she and business partner Ragan Evans Lewis decided to split the pimento cheese business from the rest of the catering three years ago because demand was so high.
The traditional spread with pecans is the most popular of the four varieties True South makes El Diablo, with cheddar cheese and hot pepper, horseradish havarti and smoked. Julie Strehling, co-owner of Early Girl Eatery, says part of the comfort of pimento cheese is that so many Southerners remember it from happy childhood events — family picnics, church suppers, weddings. The competition invites both professional and amateur chefs to shave, strip, season and dehydrate their meats as a way to showcase and highlight the wide range of flavors and interpretations available in beef jerky.
Entry is free. Those in the amateur category are also permitted to sell their jerky during the event. Dinner 7 days per week p. Nights Also during Sunday Brunch. Located in the heart of downtown Asheville. Photo by Thomas Calder. Sunday, Aug. The event is for ages 21 and older. The Biodynamic Wine Tasting runs 10 a. Monday, Aug.
The event is free to attend. For details, visit metrowinesasheville. The chef will teach participants how to preserve tomatoes or okra that was grown in the Southside Community Garden. RSVP is required. The class takes place p. Tuesday, Aug. Admission is free. RSVP at avl. Along with tutorials, participants will have the chance to taste a number of the sauces made in class.
Sauces to Elevate Your Cooking will run p. Thursday, Aug. For details, visit avl. The evening event includes a tutorial on grinding and seasoning handmade sausages, and students will team up to practice these skills. The class runs p. Recent funding cuts by the N. The farm-to-table dinner begins at 6 p. Pack Square. Next Picnic Party Sept. The brainchild of Wicked Weed veterans Andrew Ross and Jesse Van Note, The Whale will showcase world beers alongside esoteric local offerings with a focus on educating independent beer lovers looking to expand their horizons.
We want to create something approachable, friendly and at the same time cater to a more knowledgeable crowd of beer consumers. Customers can expect those less expensive beers to include the traditional antecedents to popular modern styles — such as Pilsner Urquell, a classic Czech lager introduced in —as opposed to more commonly available cheap U. The people who are the innovators of the future need to be celebrated too, but I think staying current while also respecting the past is the key to a successful beer bar.
With 20 taps and an extensive bottle list, the West Asheville business hopes to create an approachable community space that also caters to a more knowledgeable crowd of beer drinkers. A grand opening festival showcasing noteworthy beers from around the world is currently in the planning stages, following soft-opening events throughout early fall.
The bar will feature an inviting Scandinavian aesthetic with a large outdoor patio. Applicants with prior beer industry are encouraged, and a high degree of global beer knowledge is a prerequisite. The Asheville event is one of more than 50 simultaneous parties being held across the Carolinas. When the heavenly bodies align on just the right plane, the moon appears to pass over the sun, darkening the skies until it slips perfectly over the shining disc.
Much like a quarter, when held close to the eye, can obscure the view of a much larger light bulb, the tiny moon can block out the massive sun because of its proximity to the Earth. Observers will see a total eclipse in the approximately mile-wide shadow directly under the moon, known as the umbra. Starting in Oregon, the umbra will move from. Just outside the path of totality, Asheville viewers will experience Photo by Cindy Kunst west to east across the country before passing through the southwest corner of North Carolina and the middle of South Carolina into the Atlantic Ocean.
Although Asheville lies just outside the path of totality, the moon will still block When asked what to expect, Van Auken explains the striking scene associated with the eclipse. Area science organizations and community groups are also offering a wide variety of eclipse-related family activities. Van Auken adds that safety is crucial when viewing the eclipse. Both Van Auken and Sayle hope that the eclipse sparks a wave of wider interest in science and astronomy throughout the Carolinas.
The Warriors of AniKituhwa will perform at the fairgrounds along with storytellers and craft demonstrators. Xpress rounds up that and other eclipse-related happenings. All events are on Monday, Aug. On Aug. Some spaces include camping. The festivities include music, food, crafts and activities, and eclipse-viewing glasses will be available. The event is currently sold out, but canceled tickets will be released through recreation. It launches Friday, Aug. On Sunday, Aug.
The eclipse festival starts at Bridge Park at 11 a. Monday, with food trucks, lectures and a performance by the Colby Deitz Band. Space Grant and S. At presstime, no campsites were available for Saturday or Sunday. Participating merchants will have eclipse-themed food and drink offerings throughout the weekend.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. On eclipse day, a block party at the rail road depot runs from 11 a. Realizing he could reach a wider audience through the airwaves, Hayes not only learned about broadcasting but launched his own recording company. It was work in education, through the Head Start program, that brought Hayes to Asheville in That same year, he launched the Hillcrest Enrichment Program in the public housing community of the same name. You open up, and someone else shares with you, and in sharing, you connect.
The segment will air three days a week at 11 a. But Hayes applied for a grant through a program under then-Gov. Jim Hunt. The governor influenced Ashevillebased agencies to contribute money to both the Hillcrest High Steppers and the community youth football team that Hayes coached. As president of the local branch of the NAACP — Hayes served in that role for 16 years — he thought that organization would be a good umbrella for the station.
But a former national president of the association dissuaded Hayes from that model. So, with area business and community leaders — including Sophie Dixon, who, like Hayes, still operates the station — Hayes set up a c 3 nonprofit and launched WRES. The station also spins an array of music gospel, blues, soul, contemporary and more , and airs all of the games of the Asheville Tourists baseball team.
That particular coverage, says Hayes, allows parents to share a handed-down-from-one-generation-to-the-next experience with their children: listening to the game on the radio together. Sometimes lifting the community up is as simple as a good song or a home run. When asked how his spiritual practice impacts his radio work Hayes, who is an ordained elder of the Churches of God in Christ, laughs.
In the early s, Champion began his musical career as a rapper, branding himself MC Gold. Looking back on that period, Champion believes it helped create a foundation for the blues he sings and plays today. They think blues is just 12 bars, sitting down, no energy. Both her parents took their own lives when she was young. As a subsequent foster teen, she had a hard life that, at age 17, included giving up a baby for adoption. But beginning with her Grammy-winning album Love Wins Again, she put her efforts into songwriting.
With that sharing comes healing. Flames, lighting bolts, shooting stars and oil drums are among the symbols featured in the series of paintings, which will be on display at Push Gallery beginning Friday, Aug. Some look like quilts. Others suggest mountain and cloud formations. Often in the collection, the objects antagonize the human subject. Just as the objects offer symbolic interpretation, so do the people, both in their actions and depictions. The work, notes Spiceland, aims to depict the common needs, struggles and joys experienced across countries and continents.
Spiceland defines these elements as value light vs. It is beyond English or Japanese of any other isolated notion of limited language through instinctual appreciation of shape and composition. You can appreciate something that is difficult to say with words. The exhibit will remain on view through Sunday, Oct. The landmark downtown playhouse has been given a major overhaul, which includes such upgrades as new seating, an improved auditorium design, and better lighting and sound.
Offstage, there are upgraded dressing rooms, fire alarms and a new roof on all three parts of the building, says ACT Executive Director Susan Harper. This was about bringing the theater into the 21st century, both in patron amenities and in technology. The storyline of The Producers follows a washed-up theatrical producer who conspires with a highstrung accountant to stage a certain flop to hide the financial irregularities from a previous production.
There was also a movie based on that stage production.
For the local show, Crouch has assembled a cast of 27, including 10 performers who are new to ACT. Crouch described The Producers as a natural for him to take on. Renovation planning launched in , and theater representatives began working with fundraising consultants in Perhaps the biggest change the audience will see is the new seating in the redesigned auditorium. The new seating is both comfortable and offers better back support — and includes cup holders for drinks from the concession stand, Harper says.
Another big change is the addition of aisles that — although dropping capacity from to — will make it easier for patrons to reach their seats. In September, the theater will begin fundraising on phase two of the project, which includes a larger black box theater, an education space, improvements to the lobby and concession stand and a change in programming, Harper says.
We will do five musicals on the main stage and six plays in the black box. Right now we have to get our stage back up and operational. For his part, Crouch is already thinking ahead to next season, when he will direct no-holds-barred comedies 9 to 5 and The Full Monty. Walnut St. Fridays and Saturdays at p. Hustle Souls This spring, Asheville-based soul, roots and funk band Hustle Souls released a series of live performance videos on Facebook.
The show, at Asheville Music Hall, starts at 10 p. Photo by Libby Gamble. For eight years, organizers of the Juniper Bends Reading Series have curated quarterly presentations by established and emerging local authors. Wine is available by donation, and all three authors will be on hand afterward to sign books. Photo of Hart courtesy of the author. The Musical — for which he wrote the music — staged by Asheville Community Theatre. The concert takes place Sunday, Aug.
Photo courtesy of Francis. Performing Arts Collective. Burnside is headlining the Friday, Aug. The show has two local openers beginning at 5 p. The Stump Mutts are playing all original alternative rock, and Lyric brings her blend of pop, soul and funk. For more information, visit ashevilledowntown. Suite 16, , theashevilledarkroom. Maps available online or at Addison Farm's Vineyard. Bring membership applications and five original. Information: Resilienceartshow gmail. Sundays 2pm, Wednesdays 6pm. Billy Zanski teaches a fun approach to connecting with your inner rhythm.
Drop-ins welcome. Drums provided. Held at Downtown After 5, Block N. Lexington Ave. Broad St. Morganton, SHOW, commaonline. Greenville Highway, Hendersonville, , myhcdp. Alan Theisen saxophone and Professor Misty Theisen flute ,. Held in the Broyhill Chapel, Athletic St. Held at Hendersonville Visitor Center, S.
Held at South Main Street, S. See website for full schedule, locations and costs. Held at Rogers Park, 55 W. Howard St. Jordan St. Held at 35below, 35 E. Reception: Saturday, Sept. Reception: Friday, Nov. State St. Return from Exile: Contemporary Southeastern Indian Art, a national traveling exhibition, features more than 30 contemporary Southeastern Native American artists working in a variety of mediums.
Works include paintings, drawings, printmaking, basketry, sculpture and pottery. The exhibition opens Monday, Aug. For more information, visit bardoartscenter. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Asheville, habitatbrewing. Trish Salmon, Denise Baker and other gallery members. Reception: Friday, Aug. Caldwell St. Contact the galleries for admission hours and fees.
Photo courtesy of King Street. On Tap! Documentarian Amanda Lipitz sets inspiring high-school drama against a background of social unrest in Sundance hit Step. Playing a bit like Hoop Dreams meets The Fits with more than a touch of any one of the much-maligned spate of early-aughts teen dance dramas, Step is an inspirational documentary that wears its heart on its sleeve.
The film follows the step dance team of an inner-city Baltimore school for at-risk girls as they struggle to make their mark in competition, and the results are predictably uplifting if occasionally superficial. But what Step lacks in subtlety, it more than makes up for in emotional resonance. As far as heart-string-tugging goes, first-time documentarian Amanda. This trio represents a broad cross section of the life experiences common to the school as a whole, and while the details may differ from case to case, the commonality of their struggles is presented in believably realistic detail by Lipitz.
Lipitz has an abundantly clear agenda, and every step of the film seems calculated to serve a purpose. However, in the wake of the disastrously stupid expression of unchecked racism that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend, I for one am more than happy to accept the unquestioned positivity of a film like Step as it stands. Rated PG for thematic elements and some language. Opens Friday at Grail Moviehouse. With a strong anti-authoritarian streak and a very hard stance against musicals both will always get a big thumbs up from me , this is a kiddie flick with something to say.
While it stumbles a bit in the first act and falls victim to several tropes that would normally make me immediately turn on a film the Climbing Villain, to cite just one , it more than makes up for all that simply by being the best-looking animated film currently in theaters. Bobby Moynihan is great as the Mayor license plate:.
Xpress is shifting some of its movie coverage to online-only as we expand other print sections of the newspaper. Virtually all upcoming movies will still be reviewed online by Xpress film critics Scott Douglas, Francis X. Friel and Justin Souther, with two or three of the most noteworthy appearing in print. You can find online reviews at mountainx. This week, they include:.
The rest of the cast turns in serviceable performances for a film like this, although Maya Rudolph, so great in the otherwise miserable Emoji Movie, seems as if she has no idea what to do with her character, lead dog Precious, her tone and accent shifting from scene to scene, sometimes shot to shot.
The Bugs Bunny-inspired character designs, the manic background business in every shot, the third act showdown in the amusement park in particular a great gag that reinvents the little kids in a trenchcoat trying. Rated PG for action and some rude humor. The series continues each Thursday through Sept. Refreshments will be provided. Free, but registration is required. Call or email kolsen haywoodnc. The feature presentation will be preceded by the Pixar short film Piper.
Upcoming 6 p. Bring a knitting project to work on during the movie. Over the course of two years, directors Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio were granted in-depth access to the North Carolina band with a specific focus on its collaboration with producer Rick Rubin on the album True Sadness. Action comedy from director Patrick Hughes.
The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator Gary Oldman who is out for blood. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen star as a troubled game tracker and a rookie FBI agent who team up to investigate a murder on a remote Indian reservation. Early reviews are positive. Luckily for us, he failed.
There are some intriguing metaphysical overtones and anti-war sentiments that Kubrick would revisit in later films, albeit in a less obtrusive light, and many of his visual flourishes were evident from the very beginning. But the true story of a white surgeon Alan Rickman and the black custodian Mos Def who would help him revolutionize heart surgery found its footing, largely due to bravura performances from Rickman and Def.
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There are occasional odd in-jokes, as when Bauer refers to a strange case being worked on by an Inspector Lohmann, a Lang character that Frobe had himself played. This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke originally published on Feb. Want to advertise in Marketplace? When answering classified ads, always err on the side of caution.
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