The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 176

but you
are too large for that and your lungs need more air than may be found
in some of the deeper runways."

"But U-Thor!" exclaimed Gahan. "Have you heard aught of him or his
intentions?"

"I have heard much," replied Ghek. "He camps at The Gate of Enemies.
That spot he holds and his warriors lie just beyond The Gate; but he
has not sufficient force to enter the city and take the palace. An hour
since and you might have made your way to him; but now every avenue is
strongly guarded since O-Tar learned that A-Kor had escaped to U-Thor."

"A-Kor has escaped and joined U-Thor!" exclaimed Gahan.

"But little more than an hour since. I was with him when a warrior
came--a man whose name is Tasor--who brought a message from you. It was
decided that Tasor should accompany A-Kor in an attempt to reach the
camp of U-Thor, the great jed of Manatos, and exact from him the
assurances you required. Then U-Thor was to return and take food to you
and the Princess of Helium. I accompanied them. We won through easily
and found U-Thor more than willing to respect your every wish, but when
Tasor would have returned to you the way was blocked by the warriors of
O-Tar. Then it was that I volunteered to come to you and report and
find food and drink and then go forth among the Gatholian slaves of
Manator and prepare them for their part in the plan that U-Thor and
Tasor conceived."

"And what was this plan?"

"U-Thor has sent for reinforcements. To Manatos he has sent and to all
the outlying districts that are his. It will take a month to collect
and bring them hither and in the meantime the slaves within the city
are to organize secretly, stealing and hiding arms against the day that
the reinforcements arrive. When that day comes the forces of U-Thor
will enter the Gate of Enemies and as the warriors of O-Tar rush to
repulse them the slaves from Gathol will fall upon them from the rear
with the majority of their numbers, while the balance will assault the
palace. They hope thus to divert so many from The Gate that U-Thor will
have little difficulty in forcing an entrance to the city."

"Perhaps they will succeed," commented Gahan; "but the warriors of
O-Tar are many, and those who fight in defense of their homes and their
jeddak have always an advantage. Ah, Ghek, would that we had the great
warships of Gathol or of Helium to pour their merciless fire into the
streets

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