The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 77

the words to describe the glorious colours that
are unknown to earthly eyes? where the mind or the imagination that can
grasp the gorgeous scintillations of unheard-of rays as they emanate
from the thousand nameless jewels of Barsoom?

Even my eyes, for long years accustomed to the barbaric splendours of a
Martian Jeddak's court, were amazed at the glory of the scene.

Phaidor's eyes were wide in amazement.

"The Temple of Issus," she whispered, half to herself.

Xodar watched us with his grim smile, partly of amusement and partly
malicious gloating.

The gardens swarmed with brilliantly trapped black men and women.
Among them moved red and white females serving their every want. The
places of the outer world and the temples of the therns had been robbed
of their princesses and goddesses that the blacks might have their
slaves.

Through this scene we moved toward the temple. At the main entrance we
were halted by a cordon of armed guards. Xodar spoke a few words to an
officer who came forward to question us. Together they entered the
temple, where they remained for some time.

When they returned it was to announce that Issus desired to look upon
the daughter of Matai Shang, and the strange creature from another
world who had been a Prince of Helium.

Slowly we moved through endless corridors of unthinkable beauty;
through magnificent apartments, and noble halls. At length we were
halted in a spacious chamber in the centre of the temple. One of the
officers who had accompanied us advanced to a large door in the further
end of the chamber. Here he must have made some sort of signal for
immediately the door opened and another richly trapped courtier emerged.

We were then led up to the door, where we were directed to get down on
our hands and knees with our backs toward the room we were to enter.
The doors were swung open and after being cautioned not to turn our
heads under penalty of instant death we were commanded to back into the
presence of Issus.

Never have I been in so humiliating a position in my life, and only my
love for Dejah Thoris and the hope which still clung to me that I might
again see her kept me from rising to face the goddess of the First Born
and go down to my death like a gentleman, facing my foes and with their
blood mingling with mine.

After we had crawled in this disgusting fashion for a matter of a
couple of hundred feet we were halted by our

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