The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 190

may transpire, in the knowledge that there is yet a
way and that if all goes well we shall be freed at last. Look for me in
the throne room of O-Tar the night that he would wed you. And now, how
may we dispose of this fellow?" He pointed to the dead eunuch upon the
floor.

"We need not concern ourselves about that," she replied. "None dares
harm me for fear of the wrath of O-Tar--otherwise I should have been
dead so soon as ever I entered this portion of the palace, for the
women hate me. O-Tar alone may punish me, and what cares O-Tar for the
life of a eunuch? No, fear not upon this score."

Their hands were clasped between the bars and now Gahan drew her nearer
to him.

"One kiss," he said, "before I go, my princess," and the proud daughter
of Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, and The Warlord of Barsoom
whispered: "My chieftain!" and pressed her lips to the lips of Turan,
the common panthan.



CHAPTER XXII

AT THE MOMENT OF MARRIAGE

The silence of the tomb lay heavy about him as O-Tar, Jeddak of
Manator, opened his eyes in the chamber of O-Mai. Recollection of the
frightful apparition that had confronted him swept to his
consciousness. He listened, but heard naught. Within the range of his
vision there was nothing apparent that might cause alarm. Slowly he
lifted his head and looked about. Upon the floor beside the couch lay
the thing that had at first attracted his attention and his eyes closed
in terror as he recognized it for what it was; but it moved not, nor
spoke. O-Tar opened his eyes again and rose to his feet. He was
trembling in every limb. There was nothing on the dais from which he
had seen the thing arise.

O-Tar backed slowly from the room. At last he gained the outer
corridor. It was empty. He did not know that it had emptied rapidly as
the loud scream with which his own had mingled had broken upon the
startled ears of the warriors who had been sent to spy upon him. He
looked at the timepiece set in a massive bracelet upon his left
forearm. The ninth zode was nearly half gone. O-Tar had lain for an
hour unconscious. He had spent an hour in the chamber of O-Mai and he
was not dead! He had looked upon the face of his predecessor and was
still sane! He shook himself and smiled. Rapidly he subdued his
rebelliously shaking nerves, so that by the time he reached the
tenanted portion of

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