The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

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THE CHESSMEN OF MARS

by Edgar Rice Burroughs



CONTENTS

PRELUDE - John Carter Comes to Earth
I Tara in a Tantrum
II At the Gale's Mercy
III The Headless Humans
IV Captured
V The Perfect Brain
VI In the Toils of Horror
VII A Repellent Sight
VIII Close Work
IX Adrift Over Strange Regions
X Entrapped
XI The Choice of Tara
XII Ghek Plays Pranks
XIII A Desperate Deed
XIV At Ghek's Command
XV The Old Man of the Pits
XVI Another Change of Name
XVII A Play to the Death
XVIII A Task for Loyalty
XIX The Menace of the Dead
XX The Charge of Cowardice
XXI A Risk for Love
XXII At the Moment of Marriage





THE CHESSMEN OF MARS


PRELUDE

JOHN CARTER COMES TO EARTH

Shea had just beaten me at chess, as usual, and, also as usual, I had
gleaned what questionable satisfaction I might by twitting him with
this indication of failing mentality by calling his attention for the
_n_th time to that theory, propounded by certain scientists, which is
based upon the assertion that phenomenal chess players are always found
to be from the ranks of children under twelve, adults over seventy-two
or the mentally defective--a theory that is lightly ignored upon those
rare occasions that I win. Shea had gone to bed and I should have
followed suit, for we are always in the saddle here before sunrise; but
instead I sat there before the chess table in the library, idly blowing
smoke at the dishonored head of my defeated king.

While thus profitably employed I heard the east door of the living-room
open and someone enter. I thought it was Shea returning to speak with
me on some matter of tomorrow's work; but when I raised my eyes to the
doorway that connects the two rooms I saw framed there the figure of a
bronzed giant, his otherwise naked body trapped with a jewel-encrusted
harness from which there hung at one side an ornate short-sword and at
the other a pistol of strange pattern. The black hair, the steel-gray
eyes, brave and smiling,

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