The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 56

of orally expressing reason
uninfluenced by sentiment. "You will not escape. You are merely the
embodiment of two imperfect things--an imperfect brain and an imperfect
body. The two cannot exist together in perfection. There you see a
perfect body." He pointed toward the rykor. "It has no brain. Here,"
and he raised one of his chelae to his head, "is the perfect brain. It
needs no body to function perfectly and properly as a brain. You would
pit your feeble intellect against mine! Even now you are planning to
slay me. If you are thwarted in that you expect to slay yourself. You
will learn the power of mind over matter. I am the mind. You are the
matter. What brain you have is too weak and ill-developed to deserve
the name of brain. You have permitted it to be weakened by impulsive
acts dictated by sentiment. It has no value. It has practically no
control over your existence. You will not kill me. You will not kill
yourself. When I am through with you you shall be killed if it seems
the logical thing to do. You have no conception of the possibilities
for power which lie in a perfectly developed brain. Look at that rykor.
He has no brain. He can move but slightly of his own volition. An
inherent mechanical instinct that we have permitted to remain in him
allows him to carry food to his mouth; but he could not find food for
himself. We have to place it within his reach and always in the same
place. Should we put food at his feet and leave him alone he would
starve to death. But now watch what a real brain may accomplish."

He turned his eyes upon the rykor and squatted there glaring at the
insensate thing. Presently, to the girl's horror, the headless body
moved. It rose slowly to its feet and crossed the room to Luud; it
stooped and took the hideous head in its hands; it raised the head and
set it on its shoulders.

"What chance have you against such power?" asked Luud. "As I did with
the rykor so can I do with you."

Tara of Helium made no reply. Evidently no vocal reply was necessary.

"You doubt my ability!" stated Luud, which was precisely the fact,
though the girl had only thought it--she had not said it.

Luud crossed the room and lay down. Then he detached himself from the
body and crawled across the floor until he stood directly in front of
the circular opening through which she had seen him emerge the

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