The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 154

But I shook my head.

"No, my friends," I said, smiling, "I thank you, but it cannot be. Not
yet, at least. When we know that Tardos Mors and Mors Kajak are gone
to return no more; if I be here, then I shall join you all to see that
the people of Helium are permitted to choose fairly their next Jeddak.
Whom they choose may count upon the loyalty of my sword, nor shall I
seek the honour for myself. Until then Tardos Mors is Jeddak of
Helium, and Zat Arrras is his representative."

"As you will, John Carter," said Hor Vastus, "but--What was that?" he
whispered, pointing toward the window overlooking the gardens.

The words were scarce out of his mouth ere he had sprung to the balcony
without.

"There he goes!" he cried excitedly. "The guards! Below there! The
guards!"

We were close behind him, and all saw the figure of a man run quickly
across a little piece of sward and disappear in the shrubbery beyond.

"He was on the balcony when I first saw him," cried Hor Vastus.
"Quick! Let us follow him!"

Together we ran to the gardens, but even though we scoured the grounds
with the entire guard for hours, no trace could we find of the night
marauder.

"What do you make of it, Kantos Kan?" asked Tars Tarkas.

"A spy sent by Zat Arrras," he replied. "It was ever his way."

"He will have something interesting to report to his master then,"
laughed Hor Vastus.

"I hope he heard only our references to a new Jeddak," I said. "If he
overheard our plans to rescue Dejah Thoris, it will mean civil war, for
he will attempt to thwart us, and in that I will not be thwarted.
There would I turn against Tardos Mors himself, were it necessary. If
it throws all Helium into a bloody conflict, I shall go on with these
plans to save my Princess. Nothing shall stay me now short of death,
and should I die, my friends, will you take oath to prosecute the
search for her and bring her back in safety to her grandfather's court?"

Upon the hilt of his sword each of them swore to do as I had asked.

It was agreed that the battleships that were to be remodelled should be
ordered to Hastor, another Heliumetic city, far to the south-west.
Kantos Kan thought that the docks there, in addition to their regular
work, would accommodate at least six battleships at a time. As he

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