The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 197

of Jetan. The men of Helium and Gathol are
marching through Manator. They cry aloud for the Princess of Helium and
swear to leave Manator a blazing funeral pyre consuming the bodies of
all our people. The skies are black with ships. They come in great
processions from the east and from the south."

And then once more the doors from The Hall of Chiefs swung wide and the
men of Manator turned to see another figure standing upon the
threshold--a mighty figure of a man with white skin, and black hair,
and gray eyes that glittered now like points of steel and behind him
The Hall of Chiefs was filled with fighting men wearing the harness of
far countries. Tara of Helium saw him and her heart leaped in
exultation, for it was John Carter, Warlord of Barsoom, come at the
head of a victorious host to the rescue of his daughter, and at his
side was Djor Kantos to whom she had been betrothed.

The Warlord eyed the assemblage for a moment before he spoke. "Lay down
your arms, men of Manator," he said. "I see my daughter and that she
lives, and if no harm has befallen her no blood need be shed. Your city
is filled with the fighting men of U-Thor, and those from Gathol and
from Helium. The palace is in the hands of the slaves from Gathol,
beside a thousand of my own warriors who fill the halls and chambers
surrounding this room. The fate of your jeddak lies in your own hands.
I have no wish to interfere. I come only for my daughter and to free
the slaves from Gathol. I have spoken!" and without waiting for a reply
and as though the room had been filled with his own people rather than
a hostile band he strode up the broad main aisle toward Tara of Helium.

The chiefs of Manator were stunned. They looked to O-Tar; but he could
only gaze helplessly about him as the enemy entered from The Hall of
Chiefs and circled the throne room until they had surrounded the entire
company. And then a dwar of the army of Helium entered.

"We have captured three chiefs," he reported to The Warlord, "who beg
that they be permitted to enter the throne room and report to their
fellows some matter which they say will decide the fate of Manator."

"Fetch them," ordered The Warlord.

They came, heavily guarded, to the foot of the steps leading to the
throne and there they stopped and the leader turned toward the others
of Manator and

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