The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 138

expedition upon expedition returned
with the same hopeless tale of no clue as to his whereabouts, our
beloved Princess drooped lower and lower, until all who saw her felt
that it could be but a matter of days ere she went to join her loved
ones within the precincts of the Valley Dor.

"As a last resort, Mors Kajak, her father, and Tardos Mors, her
grandfather, took command of two mighty expeditions, and a month ago
sailed away to explore every inch of ground in the northern hemisphere
of Barsoom. For two weeks no word has come back from them, but rumours
were rife that they had met with a terrible disaster and that all were

"About this time Zat Arras renewed his importunities for her hand in
marriage. He has been for ever after her since you disappeared. She
hated him and feared him, but with both her father and grandfather
gone, Zat Arras was very powerful, for he is still Jed of Zodanga, to
which position, you will remember, Tardos Mors appointed him after you
had refused the honour.

"He had a secret audience with her six days ago. What took place none
knows, but the next day Dejah Thoris had disappeared, and with her had
gone a dozen of her household guard and body servants, including Sola
the green woman--Tars Tarkas' daughter, you recall. No word left they
of their intentions, but it is always thus with those who go upon the
voluntary pilgrimage from which none returns. We cannot think aught
than that Dejah Thoris has sought the icy bosom of Iss, and that her
devoted servants have chosen to accompany her.

"Zat Arras was at Helium when she disappeared. He commands this fleet
which has been searching for her since. No trace of her have we found,
and I fear that it be a futile quest."

While we talked, Hor Vastus' fliers were returning to the Xavarian.
Not one, however, had discovered a trace of Thuvia. I was much
depressed over the news of Dejah Thoris' disappearance, and now there
was added the further burden of apprehension concerning the fate of
this girl whom I believed to be the daughter of some proud Barsoomian
house, and it had been my intention to make every effort to return her
to her people.

I was about to ask Kantos Kan to prosecute a further search for her
when a flier from the flagship of the fleet arrived at the Xavarian
with an officer bearing a message to Kantos Kan from Arras.

My friend read the

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