The fleet in the darkness of the preceding night had barely grazed the crest of the hills, and in the brief span that they hovered close to the surface the black guard had pitched me, as he supposed, to my death.
In the matter of equipping a fleet to enter Omean the details were left to Kantos Kan and Xodar.
As he was commander-in-chief of the navy, it would be a simple matter for him to order the vessels there as they could be handled, and thereafter keep the remodelled fleet in remote parts of the empire until we should be ready to assemble it for the dash upon Omean.
Not until the commander of the entire fleet took the fearful plunge, thus indicating the surrender of the remaining vessels, did the fighting cease, and the useless sacrifice of brave men come to an end.
In the distance lay our fleet of transports, with the thoats of the green warriors, where they had remained during the battle.
The vessels carrying our green warriors were kept circling above the contending fleets of Helium and Zodanga, since their batteries were useless in the hands of the Tharks who, having no navy, have no skill in naval gunnery.
He craned his neck, but he could not see if the rest of the fleet was following them; the overhang of the gas-chambers intervened.
The American fleet, headed by the Theodore Roosevelt, was crossing behind them, pounding them in succession, steaming in between them and the big modern Furst Bismarck, which was coming up from the west.
At first only the Vaterland of all the flying fleet appeared upon the scene below.
It is to be observed, that these ambassadors spoke to me, by an interpreter, the languages of both empires differing as much from each other as any two in Europe, and each nation priding itself upon the antiquity, beauty, and energy of their own tongue, with an avowed contempt for that of their neighbour; yet our emperor, standing upon the advantage he had got by the seizure of their fleet
, obliged them to deliver their credentials, and make their speech, in the Lilliputian tongue.
The handling of our fleet by the red island warriors of Ja's clan was far from perfect.
We distributed them among the entire fleet lest there be too many upon any one vessel.
The battle over and the prisoners disposed of and fed--and do not imagine that Dian, Juag, and I, as well as the two hounds were not fed also--I turned my attention to the fleet. We had the feluccas close in about the flag-ship, and with all the ceremony of a medieval potentate on parade I received the com-manders of the forty-nine feluccas that accompanied the flag-ship--Dian and I together--the empress and the emperor of Pellucidar.
It was Dan who sighted the Hope of Prague just coming up, and as her boats joined the company they were greeted with the question: "Who's the meanest man in the Fleet?"
Now, Brady was not especially mean, but he had that reputation, and the Fleet made the most of it.