The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 12

* * * * *

Far out across the ochre sea-bottoms beyond the twin cities of Helium
raced the swift flier of Tara of Helium. Thrilling to the speed and the
buoyancy and the obedience of the little craft the girl drove toward
the northwest. Why she should choose that direction she did not pause
to consider. Perhaps because in that direction lay the least known
areas of Barsoom, and, ergo, Romance, Mystery, and Adventure. In that
direction also lay far Gathol; but to that fact she gave no conscious

She did, however, think occasionally of the jed of that distant
kingdom, but the reaction to these thoughts was scarcely pleasurable.
They still brought a flush of shame to her cheeks and a surge of angry
blood to her heart. She was very angry with the Jed of Gathol, and
though she should never see him again she was quite sure that hate of
him would remain fresh in her memory forever. Mostly her thoughts
revolved about another--Djor Kantos. And when she thought of him she
thought also of Olvia Marthis of Hastor. Tara of Helium thought that
she was jealous of the fair Olvia and it made her very angry to think
that. She was angry with Djor Kantos and herself, but she was not angry
at all with Olvia Marthis, whom she loved, and so of course she was not
jealous really. The trouble was, that Tara of Helium had failed for
once to have her own way. Djor Kantos had not come running like a
willing slave when she had expected him, and, ah, here was the nub of
the whole thing! Gahan, Jed of Gathol, a stranger, had been a witness
to her humiliation. He had seen her unclaimed at the beginning of a
great function and he had had to come to her rescue to save her, as he
doubtless thought, from the inglorious fate of a wall-flower. At the
recurring thought, Tara of Helium could feel her whole body burning
with scarlet shame and then she went suddenly white and cold with rage;
whereupon she turned her flier about so abruptly that she was all but
torn from her lashings upon the flat, narrow deck. She reached home
just before dark. The guests had departed. Quiet had descended upon the
palace. An hour later she joined her father and mother at the evening

"You deserted us, Tara of Helium," said John Carter. "It is not what
the guests of John Carter should expect."

"They did not come to see

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