The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 130

Manator are just--they cannot err. U-Dor, dispatch those
who will search the palace, the pits, and the city, and return the
fugitives to their cells.

"And now for you, U-Thor of Manatos! Think you with impunity to
threaten your jeddak--to question his right to punish traitors and
instigators of treason? What am I to think of your own loyalty, who
takes to wife a woman I have banished from my court because of her
intrigues against the authority of her jeddak and her master? But O-Tar
is just. Make your explanations and your peace, then, before it is too
late."

"U-Thor has nothing to explain," replied the jed of Manatos; "nor is he
at war with his jeddak; but he has the right that every jed and every
warrior enjoys, of demanding justice at the hands of the jeddak for
whomsoever he believes to be persecuted. With increasing rigor has the
jeddak of Manator persecuted the slaves from Gathol since he took to
himself the unwilling Princess Haja. If the slaves from Gathol have
harbored thoughts of vengeance and escape 'tis no more than might be
expected from a proud and courageous people. Ever have I counselled
greater fairness in our treatment of our slaves, many of whom, in their
own lands, are people of great distinction and power; but always has
O-Tar, the jeddak, flouted with arrogance my every suggestion. Though
it has been through none of my seeking that the question has arisen now
I am glad that it has, for the time was bound to come when the jeds of
Manator would demand from O-Tar the respect and consideration that is
their due from the man who holds his high office at their pleasure.
Know, then, O-Tar, that you must free A-Kor, the dwar, forthwith or
bring him to fair trial before the assembled jeds of Manator. I have
spoken."

"You have spoken well and to the point, U-Thor," cried O-Tar, "for you
have revealed to your jeddak and your fellow jeds the depth of the
disloyalty that I have long suspected. A-Kor already has been tried and
sentenced by the supreme tribunal of Manator--O-Tar, the jeddak; and
you too shall receive justice from the same unfailing source. In the
meantime you are under arrest. To the pits with him! To the pits with
U-Thor the false jed!" He clapped his hands to summon the surrounding
warriors to do his bidding. A score leaped forward to seize U-Thor.
They were warriors of the palace, mostly; but two score leaped to
defend U-Thor, and with ringing steel they fought at the foot of the
steps to

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