The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 183

brave and popular son of
the jeddak of Manator."

This was indeed open treason, but E-Thas feigned not to hear it. He
ignored I-Gos and turned to the others. "O-Tar goes to the chamber of
O-Mai this night in search of Turan the slave," he said. "He sorrows
that his warriors have not the courage for so mean a duty and that
their jeddak is thus compelled to arrest a common slave," with which
taunt E-Thas passed on to spread the word in other parts of the palace.
As a matter of fact the latter part of his message was purely original
with himself, and he took great delight in delivering it to the
discomfiture of his enemies. As he was leaving the little group of men
I-Gos called after him. "At what hour does O-Tar intend visiting the
chambers of O-Mai?" he asked.

"Toward the end of the eighth zode*," replied the major-domo, and went
his way.

* About 1:00 A. M. Earth Time.


"We shall see," stated I-Gos.

"What shall we see?" asked a warrior.

"We shall see whether O-Tar visits the chamber of O-Mai."

"How?"

"I shall be there myself and if I see him I will know that he has been
there. If I don't see him I will know that he has not," explained the
old taxidermist.

"Is there anything there to fill an honest man with fear?" asked a
chieftain. "What have you seen?"

"It was not so much what I saw, though that was bad enough, as what I
heard," said I-Gos.

"Tell us! What heard and saw you?"

"I saw the dead O-Mai," said I-Gos. The others shuddered.

"And you went not mad?" they asked.

"Am I mad?" retorted I-Gos.

"And you will go again?"

"Yes."

"Then indeed you are mad," cried one.

"You saw the dead O-Mai; but what heard you that was worse?" whispered
another.

"I saw the dead O-Mai lying upon the floor of his sleeping chamber with
one foot tangled in the sleeping silks and furs upon his couch. I heard
horrid moans and frightful screams."

"And you are not afraid to go there again?" demanded several.

"The dead cannot harm me," said I-Gos. "He has lain thus for five
thousand years. Nor can a sound harm me. I heard it once and live--I
can hear it again. It came from almost at my side where I hid behind
the hangings and watched the slave Turan before I snatched the woman
away from him."

"I-Gos, you are a very brave man," said a chieftain.

"O-Tar called me 'doddering fool' and I would face worse dangers than
lie in the forbidden chambers of O-Mai to know

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