The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 128

I determined to pursue the single pair until I
should have at least settled my account with one of the beasts and thus
be relieved of the strain of meeting attacks from both directions.

There was no sound in the corridor, only that of my own breathing, yet
I knew that those three uncanny creatures were almost upon me. The
eyes in front were not retreating so rapidly now; I was almost within
sword reach of them. I raised my sword arm to deal the blow that
should free me, and then I felt a heavy body upon my back. A cold,
moist, slimy something fastened itself upon my throat. I stumbled and
went down.



I could not have been unconscious more than a few seconds, and yet I
know that I was unconscious, for the next thing I realized was that a
growing radiance was illuminating the corridor about me and the eyes
were gone.

I was unharmed except for a slight bruise upon my forehead where it had
struck the stone flagging as I fell.

I sprang to my feet to ascertain the cause of the light. It came from
a torch in the hand of one of a party of four green warriors, who were
coming rapidly down the corridor toward me. They had not yet seen me,
and so I lost no time in slipping into the first intersecting corridor
that I could find. This time, however, I did not advance so far away
from the main corridor as on the other occasion that had resulted in my
losing Tars Tarkas and his guards.

The party came rapidly toward the opening of the passageway in which I
crouched against the wall. As they passed by I breathed a sigh of
relief. I had not been discovered, and, best of all, the party was the
same that I had followed into the pits. It consisted of Tars Tarkas
and his three guards.

I fell in behind them and soon we were at the cell in which the great
Thark had been chained. Two of the warriors remained without while the
man with the keys entered with the Thark to fasten his irons upon him
once more. The two outside started to stroll slowly in the direction
of the spiral runway which led to the floors above, and in a moment
were lost to view beyond a turn in the corridor.

The torch had been stuck in a socket beside the door, so that its rays
illuminated both

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