The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 148

board Gahan obtained, for the
first time, a close view of those who opposed him. The Orange Chief had
not yet entered the field, but his men were all in place. Val Dor
turned to Gahan. "They are all criminals from the pits of Manator," he
said. "There is no slave among them. We shall not have to fight against
a single fellow-countryman and every life we take will be the life of
an enemy."

"It is well," replied Gahan; "but where is their Chief, and where the
two Princesses?"

"They are coming now, see?" and he pointed across the field to where
two women could be seen approaching under guard.

As they came nearer Gahan saw that one was indeed Tara of Helium, but
the other he did not recognize, and then they were brought to the
center of the field midway between the two sides and there waited until
the Orange Chief arrived.

Floran voiced an exclamation of surprise when he recognized him. "By my
first ancestor if it is not one of their great chiefs," he said, "and
we were told that slaves and criminals were to play for the stake of
this game."

His words were interrupted by the keeper of The Towers whose duty it
was not only to announce the games and the stakes, but to act as
referee as well.

"Of this, the second game of the first day of the Jeddak's Games in the
four hundred and thirty-third year of O-Tar, Jeddak of Manator, the
Princesses of each side shall be the sole stakes and to the survivors
of the winning side shall belong both the Princesses, to do with as
they shall see fit. The Orange Princess is the slave woman Lan-O of
Gathol; the Black Princess is the slave woman Tara, a princess of
Helium. The Black Chief is U-Kal of Manataj, a volunteer player; the
Orange Chief is the dwar U-Dor of the 8th Utan of the jeddak of
Manator, also a volunteer player. The squares shall be contested to the
death. Just are the laws of Manator! I have spoken."

The initial move was won by U-Dor, following which the two Chiefs
escorted their respective Princesses to the square each was to occupy.
It was the first time Gahan had been alone with Tara since she had been
brought upon the field. He saw her scrutinizing him closely as he
approached to lead her to her place and wondered if she recognized him:
but if she did she gave no sign of it. He could not but remember her
last words--"I hate you!" and her desertion

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