The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 122

inhabited portion of the city I was
made aware of the proximity of the warriors' quarters by the squealing
and grunting of the thoats and zitidars corralled within the hollow
courtyards formed by the buildings surrounding each square.

These old familiar sounds that are so distinctive of green Martian life
sent a thrill of pleasure surging through me. It was as one might feel
on coming home after a long absence. It was amid such sounds that I
had first courted the incomparable Dejah Thoris in the age-old marble
halls of the dead city of Korad.

As I stood in the shadows at the far corner of the first square which
housed members of the horde, I saw warriors emerging from several of
the buildings. They all went in the same direction, toward a great
building which stood in the centre of the plaza. My knowledge of green
Martian customs convinced me that this was either the quarters of the
principal chieftain or contained the audience chamber wherein the
Jeddak met his jeds and lesser chieftains. In either event, it was
evident that something was afoot which might have a bearing on the
recent capture of Tars Tarkas.

To reach this building, which I now felt it imperative that I do, I
must needs traverse the entire length of one square and cross a broad
avenue and a portion of the plaza. From the noises of the animals
which came from every courtyard about me, I knew that there were many
people in the surrounding buildings--probably several communities of
the great horde of the Warhoons of the South.

To pass undetected among all these people was in itself a difficult
task, but if I was to find and rescue the great Thark I must expect
even more formidable obstacles before success could be mine. I had
entered the city from the south and now stood on the corner of the
avenue through which I had passed and the first intersecting avenue
south of the plaza. The buildings upon the south side of this square
did not appear to be inhabited, as I could see no lights, and so I
decided to gain the inner courtyard through one of them.

Nothing occurred to interrupt my progress through the deserted pile I
chose, and I came into the inner court close to the rear walls of the
east buildings without detection. Within the court a great herd of
thoats and zitidars moved restlessly about, cropping the moss-like
ochre vegetation which overgrows practically the entire uncultivated
area of Mars. What

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