The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 161

which I
described. That was all. But it meant everything to me and to
Carthoris.

I laid the note open upon the floor. Parthak picked it up and, without
a word, left me.

As nearly as I could estimate, I had at this time been in the pits for
three hundred days. If anything was to be done to save Dejah Thoris it
must be done quickly, for, were she not already dead, her end must soon
come, since those whom Issus chose lived but a single year.

The next time I heard approaching footsteps I could scarce await to see
if Parthak wore the harness and the sword, but judge, if you can, my
chagrin and disappointment when I saw that he who bore my food was not
Parthak.

"What has become of Parthak?" I asked, but the fellow would not answer,
and as soon as he had deposited my food, turned and retraced his steps
to the world above.

Days came and went, and still my new jailer continued his duties, nor
would he ever speak a word to me, either in reply to the simplest
question or of his own initiative.

I could only speculate on the cause of Parthak's removal, but that it
was connected in some way directly with the note I had given him was
most apparent to me. After all my rejoicing, I was no better off than
before, for now I did not even know that Carthoris lived, for if
Parthak had wished to raise himself in the estimation of Zat Arras he
would have permitted me to go on precisely as I did, so that he could
carry my note to his master, in proof of his own loyalty and devotion.

Thirty days had passed since I had given the youth the note. Three
hundred and thirty days had passed since my incarceration. As closely
as I could figure, there remained a bare thirty days ere Dejah Thoris
would be ordered to the arena for the rites of Issus.

As the terrible picture forced itself vividly across my imagination, I
buried my face in my arms, and only with the greatest difficulty was it
that I repressed the tears that welled to my eyes despite my every
effort. To think of that beautiful creature torn and rended by the
cruel fangs of the hideous white apes! It was unthinkable. Such a
horrid fact could not be; and yet my reason told me that within thirty
days my incomparable Princess would be fought over in the arena of

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