The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 142

knew my Princess might even then be
passing--the horrid plant men--the ferocious white apes. At times I
would cover my face with my hands in a vain effort to shut out the
fearful thing from my mind.

It was in the forenoon that we arrived above the mile-high scarlet
tower which marks greater Helium from her twin city. As we descended
in great circles toward the navy docks a mighty multitude could be seen
surging in the streets beneath. Helium had been notified by
radio-aerogram of our approach.

From the deck of the _Xavarian_ we four, Carthoris, Tars Tarkas, Xodar,
and I, were transferred to a lesser flier to be transported to quarters
within the Temple of Reward. It is here that Martian justice is meted
to benefactor and malefactor. Here the hero is decorated. Here the
felon is condemned. We were taken into the temple from the landing
stage upon the roof, so that we did not pass among the people at all,
as is customary. Always before I had seen prisoners of note, or
returned wanderers of eminence, paraded from the Gate of Jeddaks to the
Temple of Reward up the broad Avenue of Ancestors through dense crowds
of jeering or cheering citizens.

I knew that Zat Arrras dared not trust the people near to us, for he
feared that their love for Carthoris and myself might break into a
demonstration which would wipe out their superstitious horror of the
crime we were to be charged with. What his plans were I could only
guess, but that they were sinister was evidenced by the fact that only
his most trusted servitors accompanied us upon the flier to the Temple
of Reward.

We were lodged in a room upon the south side of the temple, overlooking
the Avenue of Ancestors down which we could see the full length to the
Gate of Jeddaks, five miles away. The people in the temple plaza and
in the streets for a distance of a full mile were standing as close
packed as it was possible for them to get. They were very
orderly--there were neither scoffs nor plaudits, and when they saw us
at the window above them there were many who buried their faces in
their arms and wept.

Late in the afternoon a messenger arrived from Zat Arrras to inform us
that we would be tried by an impartial body of nobles in the great hall
of the temple at the 1st zode* on the following day, or about 8:40 A.M.
Earth time.

*Wherever Captain Carter has

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