A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 91

buildings, and the warriors themselves I might expect to
meet within if I entered; but, fortunately for me, I had another and
safer method of reaching the upper story where Dejah Thoris should be
found, and, after first determining as nearly as possible which of the
buildings she occupied, for I had never observed them before from the
court side, I took advantage of my relatively great strength and
agility and sprang upward until I grasped the sill of a second-story
window which I thought to be in the rear of her apartment. Drawing
myself inside the room I moved stealthily toward the front of the
building, and not until I had quite reached the doorway of her room was
I made aware by voices that it was occupied.

I did not rush headlong in, but listened without to assure myself that
it was Dejah Thoris and that it was safe to venture within. It was
well indeed that I took this precaution, for the conversation I heard
was in the low gutturals of men, and the words which finally came to me
proved a most timely warning. The speaker was a chieftain and he was
giving orders to four of his warriors.

"And when he returns to this chamber," he was saying, "as he surely
will when he finds she does not meet him at the city's edge, you four
are to spring upon him and disarm him. It will require the combined
strength of all of you to do it if the reports they bring back from
Korad are correct. When you have him fast bound bear him to the vaults
beneath the jeddak's quarters and chain him securely where he may be
found when Tal Hajus wishes him. Allow him to speak with none, nor
permit any other to enter this apartment before he comes. There will
be no danger of the girl returning, for by this time she is safe in the
arms of Tal Hajus, and may all her ancestors have pity upon her, for
Tal Hajus will have none; the great Sarkoja has done a noble night's
work. I go, and if you fail to capture him when he comes, I commend
your carcasses to the cold bosom of Iss."



As the speaker ceased he turned to leave the apartment by the door
where I was standing, but I needed to wait no longer; I had heard
enough to fill my soul with dread, and stealing quietly away I returned
to the courtyard by the way

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