The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 119

after
utan entered through the great gate, and even when the head of the
column reached the palace of O-Tar they were not all within the city.

"I have been here many years," said the girl, Lan-O; "but never have I
seen even The Great Jed bring so many fighting men into the city of
Manator."

Through half-closed eyes Tara of Helium watched the warriors marching
up the broad avenue, trying to imagine them the fighting men of her
beloved Helium coming to the rescue of their princess. That splendid
figure upon the great thoat might be John Carter, himself, Warlord of
Barsoom, and behind him utan after utan of the veterans of the empire,
and then the girl opened her eyes again and saw the host of painted,
befeathered barbarians, and sighed. But yet she watched, fascinated by
the martial scene, and now she noted again the groups of silent figures
upon the balconies. No waving silks; no cries of welcome; no showers of
flowers and jewels such as would have marked the entry of such a
splendid, friendly pageant into the twin cities of her birth.

"The people do not seem friendly to the warriors of Manatos," she
remarked to Lan-O; "I have not seen a single welcoming sign from the
people on the balconies."

The slave girl looked at her in surprise. "It cannot be that you do not
know!" she exclaimed. "Why, they are--" but she got no further. The
door swung open and an officer stood before them.

"The slave girl, Tara, is summoned to the presence of O-Tar, the
jeddak!" he announced.



CHAPTER XIV

AT GHEK'S COMMAND

Turan the panthan chafed in his chains. Time dragged; silence and
monotony prolonged minutes into hours. Uncertainty of the fate of the
woman he loved turned each hour into an eternity of hell. He listened
impatiently for the sound of approaching footsteps that he might see
and speak to some living creature and learn, perchance, some word of
Tara of Helium. After torturing hours his ears were rewarded by the
rattle of harness and arms. Men were coming! He waited breathlessly.
Perhaps they were his executioners; but he would welcome them
notwithstanding. He would question them. But if they knew naught of
Tara he would not divulge the location of the hiding place in which he
had left her.

Now they came--a half-dozen warriors and an officer, escorting an
unarmed man; a prisoner, doubtless. Of this Turan was not left long in
doubt, since they brought the newcomer and chained him to an adjoining
ring. Immediately the panthan commenced to question the officer in
charge of the guard.

"Tell me,"

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