The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 137

beauty of Tara
of Helium, and then they drifted to the harness of the two. Turan
thought that he noted an appreciable start of surprise on the part of
the taxidermist, but if the old man noticed anything his next words did
not reveal it.

"Come with I-Gos," he said to Turan. "I have materials in the next room
that I would have you fetch hither. Remain here, woman, we shall be
gone but a moment."

He led the way to one of the numerous doors opening into the chamber
and entered ahead of Turan. Just inside the door he stopped, and
pointing to a bundle of silks and furs upon the opposite side of the
room directed Turan to fetch them. The latter had crossed the room and
was stooping to raise the bundle when he heard the click of a lock
behind him. Wheeling instantly he saw that he was alone in the room and
that the single door was closed. Running rapidly to it he strove to
open it, only to find that he was a prisoner.

I-Gos, stepping out and locking the door behind him, turned toward Tara.

"Your leather betrayed you," he said, laughing his cackling laugh. "You
sought to deceive old I-Gos, but you found that though his eyes are
weak his brain is not. But it shall not go ill with you. You are
beautiful and I-Gos loves beautiful women. I might not have you
elsewhere in Manator, but here there is none to deny old I-Gos. Few
come to the pits of the dead--only those who bring the dead and they
hasten away as fast as they can. No one will know that I-Gos has a
beautiful woman locked with his dead. I shall ask you no questions and
then I will not have to give you up, for I will not know to whom you
belong, eh? And when you die I shall mount you beautifully and place
you in the chamber with my other women. Will not that be fine, eh?" He
had approached until he stood close beside the horrified girl. "Come!"
he cried, seizing her by the wrist. "Come to I-Gos!"



Turan dashed himself against the door of his prison in a vain effort to
break through the solid skeel to the side of Tara whom he knew to be in
grave danger, but the heavy panels held and he succeeded only in
bruising his shoulders and his arms. At last he desisted and set about
searching his prison for some other means of escape. He found no

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