The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 160

more than likely
throw me headforemost into the avenue. No, it cannot be, though I
thank you for the offer. Why, if Zat Arras even dreamed that I
contemplated such a thing he would have my heart cut out of me."

"There can be no harm in it, my boy," I urged. "By night you may go to
my palace with a note from me to Carthoris, my son. You may read the
note before you deliver it, that you may know that it contains nothing
harmful to Zat Arras. My son will be discreet, and so none but us
three need know. It is very simple, and such a harmless act that it
could be condemned by no one."

Again he stood silently in deep thought.

"And there is a jewelled short-sword which I took from the body of a
northern Jeddak. When you get the harness, see that Carthoris gives
you that also. With it and the harness which you may select there will
be no more handsomely accoutred warrior in all Zodanga.

"Bring writing materials when you come next to my cell, and within a
few hours we shall see you garbed in a style befitting your birth and
carriage."

Still in thought, and without speaking, he turned and left me. I could
not guess what his decision might be, and for hours I sat fretting over
the outcome of the matter.

If he accepted a message to Carthoris it would mean to me that
Carthoris still lived and was free. If the youth returned wearing the
harness and the sword, I would know that Carthoris had received my note
and that he knew that I still lived. That the bearer of the note was a
Zodangan would be sufficient to explain to Carthoris that I was a
prisoner of Zat Arras.

It was with feelings of excited expectancy which I could scarce hide
that I heard the youth's approach upon the occasion of his next regular
visit. I did not speak beyond my accustomed greeting of him. As he
placed the food upon the floor by my side he also deposited writing
materials at the same time.

My heart fairly bounded for joy. I had won my point. For a moment I
looked at the materials in feigned surprise, but soon I permitted an
expression of dawning comprehension to come into my face, and then,
picking them up, I penned a brief order to Carthoris to deliver to
Parthak a harness of his selection and the short-sword

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