The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 198

raising high his right hand displayed a jeweled dagger.
"We found it," he said, "even where I-Gos said that we would find it,"
and he looked menacingly upon O-Tar.

"A-Kor, jeddak of Manator!" cried a voice, and the cry was taken up by
a hundred hoarse-throated warriors.

"There can be but one jeddak in Manator," said the chief who held the
dagger; his eyes still fixed upon the hapless O-Tar he crossed to where
the latter stood and holding the dagger upon an outstretched palm
proffered it to the discredited ruler. "There can be but one jeddak in
Manator," he repeated meaningly.

O-Tar took the proffered blade and drawing himself to his full height
plunged it to the guard into his breast, in that single act redeeming
himself in the esteem of his people and winning an eternal place in The
Hall of Chiefs.

As he fell all was silence in the great room, to be broken presently by
the voice of U-Thor. "O-Tar is dead!" he cried. "Let A-Kor rule until
the chiefs of all Manator may be summoned to choose a new jeddak. What
is your answer?"

"Let A-Kor rule! A-Kor, Jeddak of Manator!" The cries filled the room
and there was no dissenting voice.

A-Kor raised his sword for silence. "It is the will of A-Kor," he said,
"and that of the Great Jed of Manatos, and the commander of the fleet
from Gathol, and of the illustrious John Carter, Warlord of Barsoom,
that peace lie upon the city of Manator and so I decree that the men of
Manator go forth and welcome the fighting men of these our allies as
guests and friends and show them the wonders of our ancient city and
the hospitality of Manator. I have spoken." And U-Thor and John Carter
dismissed their warriors and bade them accept the hospitality of
Manator. As the room emptied Djor Kantos reached the side of Tara of
Helium. The girl's happiness at rescue had been blighted by sight of
this man whom her virtuous heart told her she had wronged. She dreaded
the ordeal that lay before her and the dishonor that she must admit
before she could hope to be freed from the understanding that had for
long existed between them. And now Djor Kantos approached and kneeling
raised her fingers to his lips.

"Beautiful daughter of Helium," he said, "how may I tell you the thing
that I must tell you--of the dishonor that I have all unwittingly done
you? I can but throw myself upon your generosity for forgiveness; but
if you demand it I can receive the dagger

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