The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 140

the language of Manator they might not materially have
aided one unfamiliar with the city; but he could not read them at all
since, though there is but one spoken language upon Barsoom, there are
as many different written languages as there are nations. One thing,
however, soon became apparent to him--the hieroglyphic of a corridor
remained the same until the corridor ended.

It was not long before Turan realized from the distance that he had
traveled that the pits were part of a vast system undermining,
possibly, the entire city. At least he was convinced that he had passed
beyond the precincts of the palace. The corridors and chambers varied
in appearance and architecture from time to time. All were lighted,
though usually quite dimly, with radium bulbs. For a long time he saw
no signs of life other than an occasional ulsio, then quite suddenly he
came face to face with a warrior at one of the numerous crossings. The
fellow looked at him, nodded, and passed on. Turan breathed a sigh of
relief as he realized that his disguise was effective, but he was
caught in the middle of it by a hail from the warrior who had stopped
and turned toward him. The panthan was glad that a sword hung at his
side, and glad too that they were buried in the dim recesses of the
pits and that there would be but a single antagonist, for time was

"Heard you any word of the other?" called the warrior to him.

"No," replied Turan, who had not the faintest idea to whom or what the
fellow referred.

"He cannot escape," continued the warrior. "The woman ran directly into
our arms, but she swore that she knew not where her companion might be

"They took her back to O-Tar?" asked Turan, for now he knew whom the
other meant, and he would know more.

"They took her back to The Towers of Jetan," replied the warrior.
"Tomorrow the games commence and doubtless she will be played for,
though I doubt if any wants her, beautiful as she is. She fears not
even O-Tar. By Cluros! but she would make a hard slave to subdue--a
regular she-banth she is. Not for me," and he continued on his way
shaking his head.

Turan hurried on searching for an avenue that led to the level of the
streets above when suddenly he came to the open doorway of a small
chamber in which sat a man who was chained to the wall. Turan voiced a
low exclamation of surprise and pleasure as he recognized that the

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