The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 41

to all parts of Mars from
the huge atmosphere plant, the secret to whose mighty portals placed in
my possession the ability to save from immediate extinction the life of
a whole world.

The stone worn by the thern who confronted us was of about the same
size as that which I had seen before; an inch in diameter I should say.
It scintillated nine different and distinct rays; the seven primary
colours of our earthly prism and the two rays which are unknown upon
Earth, but whose wondrous beauty is indescribable.

As the thern saw us his eyes narrowed to two nasty slits.

"Stop!" he cried. "What means this, Thuvia?"

For answer the girl raised her revolver and fired point-blank at him.
Without a sound he sank to the earth, dead.

"Beast!" she hissed. "After all these years I am at last revenged."

Then as she turned toward me, evidently with a word of explanation on
her lips, her eyes suddenly widened as they rested upon me, and with a
little exclamation she started toward me.

"O Prince," she cried, "Fate is indeed kind to us. The way is still
difficult, but through this vile thing upon the floor we may yet win to
the outer world. Notest thou not the remarkable resemblance between
this Holy Thern and thyself?"

The man was indeed of my precise stature, nor were his eyes and
features unlike mine; but his hair was a mass of flowing yellow locks,
like those of the two I had killed, while mine is black and close
cropped.

"What of the resemblance?" I asked the girl Thuvia. "Do you wish me
with my black, short hair to pose as a yellow-haired priest of this
infernal cult?"

She smiled, and for answer approached the body of the man she had
slain, and kneeling beside it removed the circlet of gold from the
forehead, and then to my utter amazement lifted the entire scalp bodily
from the corpse's head.

Rising, she advanced to my side and placing the yellow wig over my
black hair, crowned me with the golden circlet set with the magnificent
gem.

"Now don his harness, Prince," she said, "and you may pass where you
will in the realms of the therns, for Sator Throg was a Holy Thern of
the Tenth Cycle, and mighty among his kind."

As I stooped to the dead man to do her bidding I noted that not a hair
grew upon his head, which was quite as bald as an egg.

"They are all thus from birth," explained Thuvia noting my surprise.
"The race from which

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