The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 140

was
at his side and one hand grasped his throat.

"Come I from heaven or hell, Zat Arras, you will find me still the same
John Carter that I have always been; nor did ever man call me such
names and live--without apologizing." And with that I commenced to bend
him back across my knee and tighten my grip upon his throat.

"Seize him!" cried Zat Arras, and a dozen officers sprang forward to
assist him.

Kantos Kan came close and whispered to me.

"Desist, I beg of you. It will but involve us all, for I cannot see
these men lay hands upon you without aiding you. My officers and men
will join me and we shall have a mutiny then that may lead to the
revolution. For the sake of Tardos Mors and Helium, desist."

At his words I released Zat Arras and, turning my back upon him, walked
toward the ship's rail.

"Come, Kantos Kan," I said, "the Prince of Helium would return to the
Xavarian."

None interfered. Zat Arras stood white and trembling amidst his
officers. Some there were who looked upon him with scorn and drew
toward me, while one, a man long in the service and confidence of
Tardos Mors, spoke to me in a low tone as I passed him.

"You may count my metal among your fighting-men, John Carter," he said.

I thanked him and passed on. In silence we embarked, and shortly after
stepped once more upon the deck of the Xavarian. Fifteen minutes later
we received orders from the flagship to proceed toward Helium.

Our journey thither was uneventful. Carthoris and I were wrapped in
the gloomiest of thoughts. Kantos Kan was sombre in contemplation of
the further calamity that might fall upon Helium should Zat Arras
attempt to follow the age-old precedent that allotted a terrible death
to fugitives from the Valley Dor. Tars Tarkas grieved for the loss of
his daughter. Xodar alone was care-free--a fugitive and outlaw, he
could be no worse off in Helium than elsewhere.

"Let us hope that we may at least go out with good red blood upon our
blades," he said. It was a simple wish and one most likely to be
gratified.

Among the officers of the Xavarian I thought I could discern division
into factions ere we had reached Helium. There were those who gathered
about Carthoris and myself whenever the opportunity presented, while
about an equal number held aloof from us. They offered us only the
most courteous treatment, but were evidently bound by

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