The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 124

to see the eyes of U-Thor, the great jed of
Manatos, upon her. Brave eyes they were, but neither cold nor cruel.
O-Tar rapped impatiently upon the arm of his throne. "U-Thor forgets,"
he cried, "that O-Tar is the jeddak."

"U-Thor remembers," replied the jed of Manatos, "that the laws of
Manator permit any who may be accused to have advice and counsel before
their judge."

Tara of Helium saw that for some reason this man would have assisted
her, and so she acted upon his advice.

"I deny the charge," she said, "I am no Corphal."

"Of that we shall learn," snapped O-Tar. "U-Dor, where are those who
have knowledge of the powers of this woman?"

And U-Dor brought several who recounted the little that was known of
the disappearance of E-Med, and others who told of the capture of Ghek
and Tara, suggesting by deduction that having been found together they
had sufficient in common to make it reasonably certain that one was as
bad as the other, and that, therefore, it remained but to convict one
of them of Corphalism to make certain the guilt of both. And then O-Tar
called for Ghek, and immediately the hideous kaldane was dragged before
him by warriors who could not conceal the fear in which they held this

"And you!" said O-Tar in cold accusing tones. "Already have I been told
enough of you to warrant me in passing through your heart the jeddak's
steel--of how you stole the brains from the warrior U-Van so that he
thought he saw your headless body still endowed with life; of how you
caused another to believe that you had escaped, making him to see
naught but an empty bench and a blank wall where you had been."

"Ah, O-Tar, but that is as nothing!" cried a young padwar who had come
in command of the escort that brought Ghek. "The thing which he did to
I-Zav, here, would prove his guilt alone."

"What did he to the warrior I-Zav?" demanded O-Tar. "Let I-Zav speak!"

The warrior I-Zav, a great fellow of bulging muscles and thick neck,
advanced to the foot of the throne. He was pale and still trembling
visibly as from a nervous shock.

"Let my first ancestor be my witness, O-Tar, that I speak the truth,"
he began. "I was left to guard this creature, who sat upon a bench,
shackled to the wall. I stood by the open doorway at the opposite side
of the chamber. He could not reach me, yet, O-Tar, may Iss engulf me if
he did not drag me to him helpless

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