The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 15

spaces;
Padwars, lieutenants wearing two feathers, two diagonal in any
direction, or combination; Dwars, captains wearing three feathers,
three spaces straight in any direction, or combination; Fliers,
represented by a propellor with three blades, three spaces in any
direction, or combination, diagonally, and may jump intervening pieces;
the Chief, indicated by a diadem with ten jewels, three spaces in any
direction, straight, or diagonal; Princess, diadem with a single jewel,
same as Chief, and can jump intervening pieces.

The game is won when a player places any of his pieces on the same
square with his opponent's Princess, or when a Chief takes a Chief. It
is drawn when a Chief is taken by any opposing piece other than the
opposing Chief; or when both sides have been reduced to three pieces,
or less, of equal value, and the game is not terminated in the
following ten moves, five apiece. This is but a general outline of the
game, briefly stated.

It was this game that Dejah Thoris and John Carter were playing when
Tara of Helium bid them good night, retiring to her own quarters and
her sleeping silks and furs. "Until morning, my beloved," she called
back to them as she passed from the apartment, nor little did she
guess, nor her parents, that this might indeed be the last time that
they would ever set eyes upon her.

The morning broke dull and gray. Ominous clouds billowed restlessly and
low. Beneath them torn fragments scudded toward the northwest. From her
window Tara of Helium looked out upon this unusual scene. Dense clouds
seldom overcast the Barsoomian sky. At this hour of the day it was her
custom to ride one of those small thoats that are the saddle animals of
the red Martians, but the sight of the billowing clouds lured her to a
new adventure. Uthia still slept and the girl did not disturb her.
Instead, she dressed quietly and went to the hangar upon the roof of
the palace directly above her quarters where her own swift flier was
housed. She had never driven through the clouds. It was an adventure
that always she had longed to experience. The wind was strong and it
was with difficulty that she maneuvered the craft from the hangar
without accident, but once away it raced swiftly out above the twin
cities. The buffeting winds caught and tossed it, and the girl laughed
aloud in sheer joy of the resultant thrills. She handled the little
ship like a veteran, though few veterans would have faced the menace of
such a storm in so light a craft. Swiftly

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