The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 150

is found!" he cried. "A messenger from Dejah Thoris!"

I waited to hear no more. The great windows of the dining hall
overlooked the avenue leading to the main gates--they were upon the
opposite side of the hall from me with the table intervening. I did
not waste time in circling the great board--with a single leap I
cleared table and diners and sprang upon the balcony beyond. Thirty
feet below lay the scarlet sward of the lawn and beyond were many
people crowding about a great thoat which bore a rider headed toward
the palace. I vaulted to the ground below and ran swiftly toward the
advancing party.

As I came near to them I saw that the figure on the thoat was Sola.

"Where is the Princess of Helium?" I cried.

The green girl slid from her mighty mount and ran toward me.

"O my Prince! My Prince!" she cried. "She is gone for ever. Even now
she may be a captive upon the lesser moon. The black pirates of
Barsoom have stolen her."




CHAPTER XVIII

SOLA'S STORY


Once within the palace, I drew Sola to the dining hall, and, when she
had greeted her father after the formal manner of the green men, she
told the story of the pilgrimage and capture of Dejah Thoris.

"Seven days ago, after her audience with Zat Arrras, Dejah Thoris
attempted to slip from the palace in the dead of night. Although I had
not heard the outcome of her interview with Zat Arrras I knew that
something had occurred then to cause her the keenest mental agony, and
when I discovered her creeping from the palace I did not need to be
told her destination.

"Hastily arousing a dozen of her most faithful guards, I explained my
fears to them, and as one they enlisted with me to follow our beloved
Princess in her wanderings, even to the Sacred Iss and the Valley Dor.
We came upon her but a short distance from the palace. With her was
faithful Woola the hound, but none other. When we overtook her she
feigned anger, and ordered us back to the palace, but for once we
disobeyed her, and when she found that we would not let her go upon the
last long pilgrimage alone, she wept and embraced us, and together we
went out into the night toward the south.

"The following day we came upon a herd of small thoats, and thereafter
we were mounted and made good time. We travelled very fast and very
far

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