time the previous evening and knew that it
marked the ending of the day, when the men of Omean spread their silks
upon the deck of battleship and cruiser and fall into the dreamless
sleep of Mars.
Our guard entered to inspect us for the last time before the new day
broke upon the world above. His duty was soon performed and the heavy
door of our prison closed behind him--we were alone for the night.
I gave him time to return to his quarters, as Xodar said he probably
would do, then I sprang to the grated window and surveyed the nearby
waters. At a little distance from the island, a quarter of a mile
perhaps, lay a monster battleship, while between her and the shore were
a number of smaller cruisers and one-man scouts. Upon the battleship
alone was there a watch. I could see him plainly in the upper works of
the ship, and as I watched I saw him spread his sleeping silks upon the
tiny platform in which he was stationed. Soon he threw himself at full
length upon his couch. The discipline on Omean was lax indeed. But it
is not to be wondered at since no enemy guessed the existence upon
Barsoom of such a fleet, or even of the First Born, or the Sea of
Omean. Why indeed should they maintain a watch?
Presently I dropped to the floor again and talked with Xodar,
describing the various craft I had seen.
"There is one there," he said, "my personal property, built to carry
five men, that is the swiftest of the swift. If we can board her we
can at least make a memorable run for liberty," and then he went on to
describe to me the equipment of the boat; her engines, and all that
went to make her the flier that she was.
In his explanation I recognized a trick of gearing that Kantos Kan had
taught me that time we sailed under false names in the navy of Zodanga
beneath Sab Than, the Prince. And I knew then that the First Born had
stolen it from the ships of Helium, for only they are thus geared. And
I knew too that Xodar spoke the truth when he lauded the speed of his
little craft, for nothing that cleaves the thin air of Mars can
approximate the speed of the ships of Helium.
We decided to wait for an hour at least until all the stragglers had
sought their silks. In the
CHAPTER IV As De Vac drew his sword from the heart of the Lady Maud, he winced, for, merciless though he was, he had shrunk from this cruel task.Page 17
When he spoke, he accompanied his words with many shrugs.Page 24
"Look! He is up again and the boy still clings as tightly to him as his own black hide.Page 26
" The old man, growing uneasy at the turn the conversation threatened, sent the youth from the room on some pretext, and himself left to prepare supper.Page 31
"By the nose of John, but it must be a king has deigned to honor me with his commands," laughed the priest.Page 47
"No wonder he keeps his helm closed.Page 58
Scarcely half an hour had elapsed before a cold drizzle set in, so that they were indeed a sorry company that splashed along the muddy road, wrapped in mantle and surcoat.Page 59
The little grim, gray man dismounted as he came abreast of them and, with his long sword, silently finished the two wounded men.Page 64
Within the little room, Bertrade de Montfort sat upon a bench guarding her prisoner, from whom she did not dare move her eyes for a single second.Page 68
The only requisites for admission to the troop were willingness and ability to fight, and an oath to obey the laws made by Norman of Torn.Page 73
Immense volumes of dense smoke rolled southward across the sky line.Page 78
" "You must not say that you love me, Bertrade.Page 82
"Norman of Torn," he said, "so long as thou remain in England, pitting thy great host against.Page 94
Snatching the sword from the body of his dead antagonist, Norman of Torn rushed from the tower room.Page 97
Canst forgive me?" "Forgive?" he asked, smiling to himself.Page 111
Birth and station spelled honor to her, and honor, to the daughter of an English noble, was a mightier force even than love.Page 133
" "Nay, Your Majesty, I think not," replied Philip, "for he was indeed a grim and mighty man, and at his back rode as ferocious and awe-inspiring a pack as ever I beheld outside a prison; fully a thousand strong they rode.Page 138
In silence she replaced the golden band upon his finger, and then she lifted her eyes to his.Page 139
Ah, what a sublime.Page 144
"His life was clean, thine be rotten; he was loyal to his friends and to the downtrodden, ye be traitors at heart, all; and ever be ye trampling upon.