The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 124

That they had gone down and not up I was sure from my
knowledge of these ancient buildings and the methods of the Warhoons.

I myself had once been a prisoner of the cruel hordes of northern
Warhoon, and the memory of the underground dungeon in which I lay still
is vivid in my memory. And so I felt certain that Tars Tarkas lay in
the dark pits beneath some nearby building, and that in that direction
I should find the trail of the three warriors leading to his cell.

Nor was I wrong. At the bottom of the runway, or rather at the landing
on the floor below, I saw that the shaft descended into the pits
beneath, and as I glanced down the flickering light of a torch revealed
the presence of the three I was trailing.

Down they went toward the pits beneath the structure, and at a safe
distance behind I followed the flicker of their torch. The way led
through a maze of tortuous corridors, unlighted save for the wavering
light they carried. We had gone perhaps a hundred yards when the party
turned abruptly through a doorway at their right. I hastened on as
rapidly as I dared through the darkness until I reached the point at
which they had left the corridor. There, through an open door, I saw
them removing the chains that secured the great Thark, Tars Tarkas, to
the wall.

Hustling him roughly between them, they came immediately from the
chamber, so quickly in fact that I was near to being apprehended. But
I managed to run along the corridor in the direction I had been going
in my pursuit of them far enough to be without the radius of their
meagre light as they emerged from the cell.

I had naturally assumed that they would return with Tars Tarkas the
same way that they had come, which would have carried them away from
me; but, to my chagrin, they wheeled directly in my direction as they
left the room. There was nothing for me but to hasten on in advance
and keep out of the light of their torch. I dared not attempt to halt
in the darkness of any of the many intersecting corridors, for I knew
nothing of the direction they might take. Chance was as likely as not
to carry me into the very corridor they might choose to enter.

The sensation of moving rapidly through these dark passages was far
from reassuring. I knew not at what moment

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