The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 164

legends have it that the ghosts of Corphals pursue the
spirit of the wicked Jeddak nightly through these chambers, shrieking
and moaning as they go. But," he added, as though to reassure himself
as well as his companions, "such things may not be countenanced by the
culture of Gathol or Helium."

Gahan laughed. "And if all who looked upon him were driven mad, who
then was there to perform the last rites or prepare the body of the
Jeddak for them?"

"There was none," replied Tasor. "Where they found him they left him
and there to this very day his mouldering bones lie hid in some
forgotten chamber of this forbidden suite."

Tasor left them then assuring them that he would seek the first
opportunity to speak with A-Kor, and upon the following day he would
bring them food and drink.*

* Those who have read John Carter's description of the Green Martians
in A Princess of Mars will recall that these strange people could exist
for considerable periods of time without food or water, and to a lesser
degree is the same true of all Martians.

After Tasor had gone Tara turned to Gahan and approaching laid a hand
upon his arm. "So swiftly have events transpired since I recognized you
beneath your disguise," she said, "that I have had no opportunity to
assure you of my gratitude and the high esteem that your valor has won
for you in my consideration. Let me now acknowledge my indebtedness;
and if promises be not vain from one whose life and liberty are in
grave jeopardy, accept my assurance of the great reward that awaits you
at the hand of my father in Helium."

"I desire no reward," he replied, "other than the happiness of knowing
that the woman I love is happy."

For an instant the eyes of Tara of Helium blazed as she drew herself
haughtily to her full height, and then they softened and her attitude
relaxed as she shook her head sadly.

"I have it not in my heart to reprimand you, Turan," she said, "however
great your fault, for you have been an honorable and a loyal friend to
Tara of Helium; but you must not say what my ears must not hear."

"You mean," he asked, "that the ears of a Princess must not listen to
words of love from a panthan?"

"It is not that, Turan," she replied; "but rather that I may not in
honor listen to words of love from another than him to whom I am
betrothed--a fellow countryman, Djor Kantos."

"You mean, Tara of Helium," he cried, "that were

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