The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 102

for kind
is the heart of A-Kor."

"I remember, now," said Tara, slowly. "I remember; but where is Turan,
my warrior? Did they speak of him?"

"I heard naught of another," replied Lan-O; "you alone were brought to
the towers. In that you are fortunate, for there be no nobler man in
Manator than A-Kor. It is his mother's blood that makes him so. She was
a slave girl from Gathol."

"Gathol!" exclaimed Tara of Helium. "Lies Gathol close by Manator?"

"Not close, yet still the nearest country," replied Lan-O. "About
twenty-two degrees* east, it lies."

* Approximately 814 Earth Miles.

"Gathol!" murmured Tara, "Far Gathol!"

"But you are not from Gathol," said the slave girl; "your harness is
not of Gathol."

"I am from Helium," said Tara.

"It is far from Helium to Gathol," said the slave girl, "but in our
studies we learned much of the greatness of Helium, we of Gathol, so it
seems not so far away."

"You, too, are from Gathol?" asked Tara.

"Many of us are from Gathol who are slaves in Manator," replied the
girl. "It is to Gathol, nearest country, that the Manatorians look for
slaves most often. They go in great numbers at intervals of three or
seven years and haunt the roads that lead to Gathol, and thus they
capture whole caravans leaving none to bear warning to Gathol of their
fate. Nor do any ever escape from Manator to carry word of us back to
Gahan our jed."

Tara of Helium ate slowly and in silence. The girl's words aroused
memories of the last hours she had spent in her father's palace and the
great midday function at which she had met Gahan of Gathol. Even now
she flushed as she recalled his daring words.

Upon her reveries the door opened and a burly warrior appeared in the
opening--a hulking fellow, with thick lips and an evil, leering face.
The slave girl sprang to her feet, facing him.

"What does this mean, E-Med?" she cried, "was it not the will of A-Kor
that this woman be not disturbed?"

"The will of A-Kor, indeed!" and the man sneered. "The will of A-Kor is
without power in The Towers of Jetan, or elsewhere, for A-Kor lies now
in the pits of O-Tar, and E-Med is dwar of the Towers."

Tara of Helium saw the face of the slave girl pale and the terror in
her eyes.



While Tara of Helium was being led to The Towers of Jetan, Ghek was
escorted to the pits beneath the palace where he was imprisoned in a
dimly-lighted chamber. Here he found a bench and

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