to the pool as though to
corroborate my story. For that instant everything hung in the balance,
for had he done so and found the empty submarine still lying at her
wharf the whole weak fabric of my concoction would have tumbled about
our heads; but evidently he decided the message must be genuine, nor
indeed was there any good reason to doubt it since it would scarce have
seemed credible to him that two slaves would voluntarily have given
themselves into custody in any such manner as this. It was the very
boldness of the plan which rendered it successful.
"Were you connected with the rising of the slaves?" asked Torith. "We
have just had meagre reports of some such event."
"All were involved," I replied. "But it amounted to little. The
guards quickly overcame and killed the majority of us."
He seemed satisfied with this reply. "Take them to Shador," he
ordered, turning to one of his subordinates. We entered a small boat
lying beside the island, and in a few minutes were disembarking upon
Shador. Here we were returned to our respective cells; I with Xodar,
the boy by himself; and behind locked doors we were again prisoners of
the First Born.
A BREAK FOR LIBERTY
Xodar listened in incredulous astonishment to my narration of the
events which had transpired within the arena at the rites of Issus. He
could scarce conceive, even though he had already professed his doubt
as to the deity of Issus, that one could threaten her with sword in
hand and not be blasted into a thousand fragments by the mere fury of
her divine wrath.
"It is the final proof," he said, at last. "No more is needed to
completely shatter the last remnant of my superstitious belief in the
divinity of Issus. She is only a wicked old woman, wielding a mighty
power for evil through machinations that have kept her own people and
all Barsoom in religious ignorance for ages."
"She is still all-powerful here, however," I replied. "So it behooves
us to leave at the first moment that appears at all propitious."
"I hope that you may find a propitious moment," he said, with a laugh,
"for it is certain that in all my life I have never seen one in which a
prisoner of the First Born might escape."
"To-night will do as well as any," I replied.
"It will soon be night," said Xodar. "How may I aid in the adventure?"
"Can you swim?" I asked him.
"No slimy silian that
The pursuit of Thurid carried me along the edge of the sea toward the mouth of the Iss.Page 14
He had to make some answer when Matai Shang asked him flatly what he should do when he came to the Temple of the Sun, and so he made his answer quickly from his imagination--I would wager a hekkador's diadem that he could not now repeat it himself.Page 18
Curses on that calot of his that warned him toward the safer avenue!" "There be other dangers ahead of him, though," spoke Lakor's fellow, "which he may not so easily escape--should he succeed in escaping our two good swords.Page 22
I am upon the right trail, I thought, as I slipped the bauble into the pocket-pouch which hung from my harness.Page 27
"I have but just found my way hither from the Golden Cliffs," I continued, "and seek audience with the hekkador, Matai Shang, Father of Therns.Page 36
of the propellers of a flier, and as each moment the sound grew fainter I realized that the party had proceeded toward the south without assuring themselves as to my fate.Page 43
"It would mean my instant death were my heresy to be suspected in the court of Kulan Tith, but if I may serve you, Prince, you have but to command Torkar Bar, Dwar of the Kaolian Road.Page 52
That the purpose might be theft I could not believe, since thieves are practically unknown upon Barsoom.Page 60
Then a sudden light brightened his countenance.Page 61
" I had been more than half suspicious of the seeming sincerity of the Kaolian jeddak's sudden apostasy, but the alacrity with which he embraced my suggestion, and the despatch with which a force of officers and men were placed at my disposal entirely removed the last vestige of my doubts.Page 63
The creature stood fully eight feet at the shoulder, and was so sleek and clean and glossy that I could have sworn that he had but recently been groomed.Page 70
But the odds were too unequal, and, though he who fought alone was by far the best and bravest of them all, I saw that it was but a question of time before the remaining five would find an opening through his marvelous guard and bring him down.Page 76
Intense excitement prevailed upon her deck, where men were running hither and thither, manning the guns and preparing to launch the small, one-man fliers, a fleet of which is part of the equipment of every Martian war vessel.Page 81
Salensus Oll had, therefore, set apart these quarters for aspirants, and here they were securely locked against the danger of attack by members of the guard.Page 86
I attacked Thurid, and when Salensus Oll had left with Dejah Thoris and the others, leaving Thuvia of Ptarth behind, he, too, had remained in the garden with his daughter, apparently unnoticed, for he was appareled similarly to the guards.Page 103
Now a panel crashed inward upon the floor, and Mors Kajak sprang to the opening to defend the way until we should have time to release the others.Page 107
would forge upward to taste the cup of death.Page 110
On the far side was a heavily curtained doorway beyond which I heard the hum of voices.Page 128
rose among the free men of Marentina and the Kadabran prisoners, for all had thought that the red men would retain that which they had taken by force of arms, for such had been the way upon Barsoom, and that they should be ruled henceforth by an alien Jeddak.Page 129
Slowly there came to me the recollection of the deferred doom that awaited me since that time I had been tried here in the Temple by Zat Arras for the sin of returning from the Valley Dor and the Lost Sea of Korus.