the two Princesses, formed in
procession behind The Keeper of the Towers and were conducted to the
place of victory before the royal enclosure that they might receive the
commendation of the jeddak. Those who were mounted gave up their thoats
to slaves as all must be on foot for this ceremony. Directly beneath
the royal enclosure are the gates to one of the tunnels that, passing
beneath the seats, give ingress or egress to or from the Field. Before
this gate the party halted while O-Tar looked down upon them from
above. Val Dor and Floran, passing quietly ahead of the others, went
directly to the gates, where they were hidden from those who occupied
the enclosure with O-Tar. The Keeper of the Towers may have noticed
them, but so occupied was he with the formality of presenting the
victorious Chief to the jeddak that he paid no attention to them.
"I bring you, O-Tar, Jeddak of Manator, U-Kal of Manataj," he cried in
a loud voice that might be heard by as many as possible, "victor over
the Orange in the second of the Jeddak's Games of the four hundred and
thirty-third year of O-Tar, and the slave woman Tara and the slave
woman Lan-O that you may bestow these, the stakes, upon U-Kal."
As he spoke, a little, wrinkled, old man peered over the rail of the
enclosure down upon the three who stood directly behind The Keeper, and
strained his weak and watery eyes in an effort to satisfy the curiosity
of old age in a matter of no particular import, for what were two
slaves and a common warrior from Manataj to any who sat with O-Tar the
"U-Kal of Manataj," said O-Tar, "you have deserved the stakes. Seldom
have we looked upon more noble swordplay. And you tire of Manataj there
be always here in the city of Manator a place for you in The Jeddak's
While the jeddak was speaking the little, old man, failing clearly to
discern the features of the Black Chief, reached into his pocket-pouch
and drew forth a pair of thick-lensed spectacles, which he placed upon
his nose. For a moment he scrutinized Gahan closely, then he leaped to
his feet and addressing O-Tar pointed a shaking finger at Gahan. As he
rose Tara of Helium clutched the Black Chief's arm.
"Turan!" she whispered. "It is I-Gos, whom I thought to have slain in
the pits of O-Tar. It is I-Gos and he recognizes you and will--"
But what I-Gos would do was already transpiring. In his falsetto voice
he fairly screamed: "It is
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