By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 41

defending her loved one. Before she could reach the beast with
her puny weapon, I fired again at the point where the tarag's neck met
his left shoulder. If I could get a bullet through there it might
reach his heart. The bullet didn't reach his heart, but it stopped him
for an instant.

It was then that a strange thing happened. I heard a great hissing
from the stands occupied by the Mahars, and as I glanced toward them I
saw three mighty thipdars--the winged dragons that guard the queen, or,
as Perry calls them, pterodactyls--rise swiftly from their rocks and
dart lightning-like, toward the center of the arena. They are huge,
powerful reptiles. One of them, with the advantage which his wings
might give him, would easily be a match for a cave bear or a tarag.

These three, to my consternation, swooped down upon the tarag as he was
gathering himself for a final charge upon me. They buried their talons
in his back and lifted him bodily from the arena as if he had been a
chicken in the clutches of a hawk.

What could it mean?

I was baffled for an explanation; but with the tarag gone I lost no
time in hastening to Dian's side. With a little cry of delight she
threw herself into my arms. So lost were we in the ecstasy of reunion
that neither of us--to this day--can tell what became of the tarag.

The first thing we were aware of was the presence of a body of Sagoths
about us. Gruffly they commanded us to follow them. They led us from
the arena and back through the streets of Phutra to the audience
chamber in which I had been tried and sentenced. Here we found
ourselves facing the same cold, cruel tribunal.

Again a Sagoth acted as interpreter. He explained that our lives had
been spared because at the last moment Tu-al-sa had returned to Phutra,
and seeing me in the arena had prevailed upon the queen to spare my

"Who is Tu-al-sa?" I asked.

"A Mahar whose last male ancestor was--ages ago--the last of the male
rulers among the Mahars," he replied.

"Why should she wish to have my life spared?"

He shrugged his shoulders and then repeated my question to the Mahar
spokesman. When the latter had explained in the strange sign-language
that passes for speech between the Mahars and their fighting men the
Sagoth turned again to me:

"For a long time you had Tu-al-sa in your power," he

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