the corridor with me, they turned toward a
secret panel in the wall which led to the passage that terminated in
the pits beneath the palace. That any knew of this panel outside my
own household, I was doubtful. Yet the leader of the band did not
hesitate a moment. He stepped directly to the panel, touched the
concealed button, and as the door swung open he stood aside while his
companions entered with me. Then he closed the panel behind him and
Down through the passageways to the pits we went. The leader rapped
upon it with the hilt of his sword--three quick, sharp blows, a pause,
then three more, another pause, and then two. A second later the wall
swung in, and I was pushed within a brilliantly lighted chamber in
which sat three richly trapped men.
One of them turned toward me with a sardonic smile upon his thin, cruel
lips--it was Zat Arrras.
"Ah," said Zat Arrras, "to what kindly circumstance am I indebted for
the pleasure of this unexpected visit from the Prince of Helium?"
While he was speaking, one of my guards had removed the gag from my
mouth, but I made no reply to Zat Arrras: simply standing there in
silence with level gaze fixed upon the Jed of Zodanga. And I doubt not
that my expression was coloured by the contempt I felt for the man.
The eyes of those within the chamber were fixed first upon me and then
upon Zat Arrras, until finally a flush of anger crept slowly over his
"You may go," he said to those who had brought me, and when only his
two companions and ourselves were left in the chamber, he spoke to me
again in a voice of ice--very slowly and deliberately, with many
pauses, as though he would choose his words cautiously.
"John Carter," he said, "by the edict of custom, by the law of our
religion, and by the verdict of an impartial court, you are condemned
to die. The people cannot save you--I alone may accomplish that. You
are absolutely in my power to do with as I wish--I may kill you, or I
may free you, and should I elect to kill you, none would be the wiser.
"Should you go free in Helium for a year, in accordance with the
conditions of your reprieve, there is little fear that the people would
ever insist upon the execution of the sentence imposed upon you.
"You may go free within two minutes, upon
Presently it switched itself automatically to another track, to enter, a moment later, one of the series of dark-mouthed tubes.Page 15
Briefly and clearly each recounted the virtues of his particular offering.Page 32
This, then, must be the notorious Hortan Gur, Jeddak of Torquas, the fierce old ogre of the south-western hemisphere, as only for a jeddak are platforms raised in temporary camps or upon the march by the green hordes of Barsoom.Page 34
The fair-skinned warriors, armed only with their long bows and a kind of short-handled war-axe, were almost helpless beneath the savage mounted green men at close quarters; but at a distance their sharp arrows did fully as much execution as the radium projectiles of the green men.Page 41
"But the soldiers--the bowmen!" exclaimed Carthoris.Page 48
"Even the etherealists admit that mind itself must have substance in order to transmit to imaginings the appearance of substance.Page 49
"But after the Torquasians had retreated beyond bowshot, they turned upon us with their terrible rifles, and by constant popping at.Page 52
But the momentary contact had aroused within Tario all the long-buried passions of his loveless existence.Page 53
throwing his arms about her and attempting to drag her lips to his.Page 57
No sign gave their executioners of the time or manner of their death.Page 66
He could at best but hazard a chance guess that toward Aaanthor Thuvia would take her flight.Page 68
Now that he has succeeded in accomplishing my permanent materialization, he will be unbearable, and he will go on until he has filled Lothar.Page 70
Without slackening his pace, he turned his eyes in the direction she indicated.Page 72
Weak from loss of blood, Carthoris made his way slowly toward Aaanthor, reaching its outskirts at dark.Page 80
There was, however, a single drawback.Page 85
He knew that in the tyrant's heart there pulsed no single throb of love for any creature.Page 86
Ah, how beautiful she was! His sudden determination faded beneath the glorious light of her wondrous beauty.Page 91
It should have been for ever the secret of Nutus and Astok, for upon it rested the safety of a throne.Page 106
Their skin has the appearance of polished ebony.Page 109
(See THE GODS OF MARS.