The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 127

"You gave me a slave woman, Haja, who had been a princess in
Gathol, because you feared her influence among the slaves from Gathol.
I have made of her a free woman, and I have married her and made her
thus a princess of Manatos. Her son is my son, O-Tar, and though thou
be my jeddak, I say to you that for any harm that befalls A-Kor you
shall answer to U-Thor of Manatos."

O-Tar looked long at U-Thor, but he made no reply. Then he turned again
to Turan. "If one be a Corphal," he said, "then all of you be Corphals,
and we know well from the things that this creature has done," he
pointed at Ghek, "that he is a Corphal, for no mortal has such powers
as he. And as you are all Corphals you must all die." He took another
step downward, when Ghek spoke.

"These two have no such powers as I," he said. "They are but ordinary,
brainless things such as yourself. I have done all the things that your
poor, ignorant warriors have told you; but this only demonstrates that
I am of a higher order than yourselves, as is indeed the fact. I am a
kaldane, not a Corphal. There is nothing supernatural or mysterious
about me, other than that to the ignorant all things which they cannot
understand are mysterious. Easily might I have eluded your warriors and
escaped your pits; but I remained in the hope that I might help these
two foolish creatures who have not the brains to escape without help.
They befriended me and saved my life. I owe them this debt. Do not slay
them--they are harmless. Slay me if you will. I offer my life if it
will appease your ignorant wrath. I cannot return to Bantoom and so I
might as well die, for there is no pleasure in intercourse with the
feeble intellects that cumber the face of the world outside the valley
of Bantoom."

"Hideous egotist," said O-Tar, "prepare to die and assume not to
dictate to O-Tar the jeddak. He has passed sentence and all three of
you shall feel the jeddak's naked steel. I have spoken!"

He took another step downward and then a strange thing happened. He
paused, his eyes fixed upon the eyes of Ghek. His sword slipped from
nerveless fingers, and still he stood there swaying forward and back. A
jed rose to rush to his side; but Ghek stopped him with a word.

"Wait!" he cried. "The life of your jeddak is in my hands. You believe
me a

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