The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 3

she
added, "do you look thus and smile when you mention the name of Djor
Kantos?"

The slave girl laughed gaily. "It is so plain to all that he worships
you," she replied.

"It is not plain to me," said Tara of Helium. "He is the friend of my
brother, Carthoris, and so he is here much; but not to see me. It is
his friendship for Carthoris that brings him thus often to the palace
of my father."

"But Carthoris is hunting in the north with Talu, Jeddak of Okar,"
Uthia reminded her.

"My bath, Uthia!" cried Tara of Helium. "That tongue of yours will
bring you to some misadventure yet."

"The bath is ready, Tara of Helium," the girl responded, her eyes still
twinkling with merriment, for she well knew that in the heart of her
mistress was no anger that could displace the love of the princess for
her slave. Preceding the daughter of The Warlord she opened the door of
an adjoining room where lay the bath--a gleaming pool of scented water
in a marble basin. Golden stanchions supported a chain of gold
encircling it and leading down into the water on either side of marble
steps. A glass dome let in the sun-light, which flooded the interior,
glancing from the polished white of the marble walls and the procession
of bathers and fishes, which, in conventional design, were inlaid with
gold in a broad band that circled the room.

Tara of Helium removed the scarf from about her and handed it to the
slave. Slowly she descended the steps to the water, the temperature of
which she tested with a symmetrical foot, undeformed by tight shoes and
high heels--a lovely foot, as God intended that feet should be and
seldom are. Finding the water to her liking, the girl swam leisurely to
and fro about the pool. With the silken ease of the seal she swam, now
at the surface, now below, her smooth muscles rolling softly beneath
her clear skin--a wordless song of health and happiness and grace.
Presently she emerged and gave herself into the hands of the slave
girl, who rubbed the body of her mistress with a sweet smelling
semi-liquid substance contained in a golden urn, until the glowing skin
was covered with a foamy lather, then a quick plunge into the pool, a
drying with soft towels, and the bath was over. Typical of the life of
the princess was the simple elegance of her bath--no retinue of useless
slaves, no pomp, no idle waste of precious moments. In another half
hour her hair was dried and built into

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