The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 105

in not having sunk the submarine to
make good the lie that I must tell.

"His orders were to return immediately to the temple landing," I

Torith took a half step toward the entrance to the pool as though to
corroborate my story. For that instant everything hung in the balance,
for had he done so and found the empty submarine still lying at her
wharf the whole weak fabric of my concoction would have tumbled about
our heads; but evidently he decided the message must be genuine, nor
indeed was there any good reason to doubt it since it would scarce have
seemed credible to him that two slaves would voluntarily have given
themselves into custody in any such manner as this. It was the very
boldness of the plan which rendered it successful.

"Were you connected with the rising of the slaves?" asked Torith. "We
have just had meagre reports of some such event."

"All were involved," I replied. "But it amounted to little. The
guards quickly overcame and killed the majority of us."

He seemed satisfied with this reply. "Take them to Shador," he
ordered, turning to one of his subordinates. We entered a small boat
lying beside the island, and in a few minutes were disembarking upon
Shador. Here we were returned to our respective cells; I with Xodar,
the boy by himself; and behind locked doors we were again prisoners of
the First Born.



Xodar listened in incredulous astonishment to my narration of the
events which had transpired within the arena at the rites of Issus. He
could scarce conceive, even though he had already professed his doubt
as to the deity of Issus, that one could threaten her with sword in
hand and not be blasted into a thousand fragments by the mere fury of
her divine wrath.

"It is the final proof," he said, at last. "No more is needed to
completely shatter the last remnant of my superstitious belief in the
divinity of Issus. She is only a wicked old woman, wielding a mighty
power for evil through machinations that have kept her own people and
all Barsoom in religious ignorance for ages."

"She is still all-powerful here, however," I replied. "So it behooves
us to leave at the first moment that appears at all propitious."

"I hope that you may find a propitious moment," he said, with a laugh,
"for it is certain that in all my life I have never seen one in which a
prisoner of the First Born might

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