be Luud and all would go on as before, for are we not all alike?
Luud has lived a long time and has produced many kings, so he lets only
a few live that there may be a successor to him when he dies. The
others he kills."
"Why does he keep more than one?" queried the girl.
"Sometimes accidents occur," replied Ghek, "and all the kings that a
swarm has saved are killed. When this happens the swarm comes and
obtains another king from a neighboring swarm."
"Are all of you the children of Luud?" she asked.
"All but a few, who are from the eggs of the preceding king, as was
Luud; but Luud has lived a long time and not many of the others are
"You live a long time, or short?" Tara asked.
"A very long time."
"And the rykors, too; they live a long time?"
"No; the rykors live for ten years, perhaps," he said, "if they remain
strong and useful. When they can no longer be of service to us, either
through age or sickness, we leave them in the fields and the banths
come at night and get them."
"How horrible!" she exclaimed.
"Horrible?" he repeated. "I see nothing horrible about that. The rykors
are but brainless flesh. They neither see, nor feel, nor hear. They can
scarce move but for us. If we did not bring them food they would starve
to death. They are less deserving of thought than our leather. All that
they can do for themselves is to take food from a trough and put it in
their mouths, but with us--look at them!" and he proudly exhibited the
noble figure that he surmounted, palpitant with life and energy and
"How do you do it?" asked Tara of Helium. "I do not understand it at
"I will show you," he said, and lay down upon the floor. Then he
detached himself from the body, which lay as a thing dead. On his
spider legs he walked toward the girl. "Now look," he admonished her.
"Do you see this thing?" and he extended what appeared to be a bundle
of tentacles from the posterior part of his head. "There is an aperture
just back of the rykor's mouth and directly over the upper end of his
spinal column. Into this aperture I insert my tentacles and seize the
spinal cord. Immediately I control every muscle of the rykor's body--it
becomes my own, just as you direct the movement of the muscles of your
body. I feel what the rykor would feel if he had a head
It was then that Lakor quickly unslung a belt from his harness, and as I stepped back to parry a wicked thrust he lashed one end of it about my left ankle so that it wound there for an instant, while he jerked suddenly upon the other end, throwing me heavily upon my back.Page 23
As I was about to lay the thing aside as of no value in my present predicament my eyes chanced upon a few strange characters roughly and freshly scratched upon the soft gold of the case.Page 24
At the point.Page 25
We had proceeded but a few yards along the corridor that had given us entrance to this strange maze when Woola gave mouth to a most frightful roar, at the same time dashing against the clear partition at our left.Page 26
Here was the secret hiding place of Matai Shang, Father of Therns.Page 27
Afterward I learned that thern spies had been aware of my coming for hours before I reached the hidden fortress.Page 29
Helium, shall become the plaything of my lieutenants--perhaps of thy most hated enemy, Thurid, the black dator.Page 35
He was not ten paces from me, facing in the opposite direction; and what cruel freak of fate should have caused him to turn about just as my eyes topped the roof's edge I may not even guess.Page 51
As I passed along the corridors between the banquet hall and the apartments that had been allotted me, I had a sudden feeling that I was under surveillance, and, turning quickly in my tracks, caught a glimpse of a figure which darted into an open doorway the instant I wheeled about.Page 54
In an instant the guardsmen were upon me, but before a blow had been struck a mighty voice rose above the din of shouting warriors, and a giant figure leaped from the dais beside Kulan Tith and, with drawn long-sword, threw himself between me and my.Page 55
"For a time I could not believe the heresies which I heard, and I prayed that my daughter Thuvia might have.Page 72
" His counsel seemed wise; and as there was apparently no other way to insure a successful entry to Kadabra, the capital city of Okar, we set out with Talu, Prince of Marentina, for his little, rock-bound country.Page 75
We had come quite close to the city when my attention was attracted toward a tall, black shaft that reared its head several hundred feet into the air from what appeared to be a tangled mass of junk or wreckage, now partially snow-covered.Page 76
" "Let us tarry and watch the end of this one," suggested one of the men.Page 80
before a magnificent building on the plaza opposite the royal grounds and the palace.Page 84
I saw the ugly gleam in Matai Shang's evil eyes as Dejah Thoris narrated all that had passed between Thurid and herself, and when she came to that part which dealt with my interference with the dator of the First Born her gratitude was quite apparent, though I could see by her eyes that something puzzled her strangely.Page 89
Make him a slave if you will, Salensus Oll; but spare his life.Page 97
"Tonight, or tomorrow," repeated Solan, and as the door closed behind his guest the old man continued to mutter as he turned back to the table, where he again dumped the contents of the money-pouch, running his fingers through the heap of shining metal; piling the coins into little towers; counting, recounting, and fondling the wealth the while he muttered on and on in a crooning undertone.Page 105
Toward the south stretched the rugged, ice-clad waste to the edge of the mighty barrier.Page 123
Her buoyancy tanks leaked badly.