The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 14

mother looked at her and smiled. "When Gahan of Gathol
returns he may carry you off," said the former.

"He has gone?" asked the girl.

"His flier departs for Gathol in the morning," John Carter replied.

"I have seen the last of him then," remarked Tara of Helium with a sigh
of relief.

"He says not," returned John Carter.

The girl dismissed the subject with a shrug and the conversation passed
to other topics. A letter had arrived from Thuvia of Ptarth, who was
visiting at her father's court while Carthoris, her mate, hunted in
Okar. Word had been received that the Tharks and Warhoons were again at
war, or rather that there had been an engagement, for war was their
habitual state. In the memory of man there had been no peace between
these two savage green hordes--only a single temporary truce. Two new
battleships had been launched at Hastor. A little band of holy therns
was attempting to revive the ancient and discredited religion of Issus,
who they claimed still lived in spirit and had communicated with them.
There were rumors of war from Dusar. A scientist claimed to have
discovered human life on the further moon. A madman had attempted to
destroy the atmosphere plant. Seven people had been assassinated in
Greater Helium during the last ten zodes, (the equivalent of an Earth
day).

Following the meal Dejah Thoris and The Warlord played at jetan, the
Barsoomian game of chess, which is played upon a board of a hundred
alternate black and orange squares. One player has twenty black pieces,
the other, twenty orange pieces. A brief description of the game may
interest those Earth readers who care for chess, and will not be lost
upon those who pursue this narrative to its conclusion, since before
they are done they will find that a knowledge of jetan will add to the
interest and the thrills that are in store for them.

The men are placed upon the board as in chess upon the first two rows
next the players. In order from left to right on the line of squares
nearest the players, the jetan pieces are Warrior, Padwar, Dwar, Flier,
Chief, Princess, Flier, Dwar, Padwar, Warrior. In the next line all are
Panthans except the end pieces, which are called Thoats, and represent
mounted warriors.

The Panthans, which are represented as warriors with one feather, may
move one space in any direction except backward; the Thoats, mounted
warriors with three feathers, may move one straight and one diagonal,
and may jump intervening pieces; Warriors, foot soldiers with two
feathers, straight in any direction, or diagonally, two

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