The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 187

is not dead. When he
revives he will return to his quarters with a fine tale of his bravery
and there will be none to impugn his boasts--none but I-Gos. Come! he
may revive at any moment and he must not find us here."

I-Gos crossed to the body of his jeddak, knelt beside it for an
instant, and then returned past the couch to Gahan. The two quit the
chamber of O-Mai and took their way toward the spiral runway. Here
I-Gos led Gahan to a higher level and out upon the roof of that portion
of the palace from where he pointed to a high tower quite close by.
"There," he said, "lies the Princess of Helium, and quite safe she will
be until the time of the ceremony."

"Safe, possibly, from other hands, but not from her own," said Gahan.
"She will never become Jeddara of Manator--first will she destroy
herself."

"She would do that?" asked I-Gos.

"She will, unless you can get word to her that I still live and that
there is yet hope," replied Gahan.

"I cannot get word to her," said I-Gos. "The quarters of his women
O-Tar guards with jealous hand. Here are his most trusted slaves and
warriors, yet even so, thick among them are countless spies, so that no
man knows which be which. No shadow falls within those chambers that is
not marked by a hundred eyes."

Gahan stood gazing at the lighted windows of the high tower in the
upper chambers of which Tara of Helium was confined. "I will find a
way, I-Gos," he said.

"There is no way," replied the old man.

For some time they stood upon the roof beneath the brilliant stars and
hurtling moons of dying Mars, laying their plans against the time that
Tara of Helium should be brought from the high tower to the throne room
of O-Tar. It was then, and then alone, argued I-Gos, that any hope of
rescuing her might be entertained. Just how far he might trust the
other Gahan did not know, and so he kept to himself the knowledge of
the plan that he had forwarded to Floran and Val Dor by Ghek, but he
assured the ancient taxidermist that if he were sincere in his
oft-repeated declaration that O-Tar should be denounced and superseded
he would have his opportunity on the night that the jeddak sought to
wed the Heliumetic princess.

"Your time shall come then, I-Gos," Gahan assured the other, "and if
you have any party that thinks as you do, prepare them for the
eventuality that will succeed O-Tar's presumptuous attempt

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