Carthoris tried to support Thuvia, but himself commenced to slide and slip toward the ever-enlarging aperture. Better to cling to the smooth stone he kicked off his sandals of zitidar hide and with his bare feet braced himself against the sickening tilt, at the same time throwing his arms supportingly about the girl. In her terror her own hands clasped about the man's neck. Her cheek was close to his. Death, unseen and of unknown form, seemed close upon them, and because unseen and unknowable infinitely more terrifying. "Courage, my princess," he whispered cheeringly.