The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 193

smoke blotted out the tragedy within that fearsome
cell--a shriek rang out, a single shriek, as the dagger fell.

The smoke cleared away, but we stood gazing upon a blank wall. The
last crevice had closed, and for a long year that hideous chamber would
retain its secret from the eyes of men.

They urged me to leave.

"In a moment it will be too late," cried Xodar. "There is, in fact,
but a bare chance that we can come through to the outer garden alive
even now. I have ordered the pumps started, and in five minutes the
pits will be flooded. If we would not drown like rats in a trap we
must hasten above and make a dash for safety through the burning

"Go," I urged them. "Let me die here beside my Princess--there is no
hope or happiness elsewhere for me. When they carry her dear body from
that terrible place a year hence let them find the body of her lord
awaiting her."

Of what happened after that I have only a confused recollection. It
seems as though I struggled with many men, and then that I was picked
bodily from the ground and borne away. I do not know. I have never
asked, nor has any other who was there that day intruded on my sorrow
or recalled to my mind the occurrences which they know could but at
best reopen the terrible wound within my heart.

Ah! If I could but know one thing, what a burden of suspense would be
lifted from my shoulders! But whether the assassin's dagger reached
one fair bosom or another, only time will divulge.

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