The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 177

had spent upon Barsoom had encompassed but five years and
ninety-six days of Martian time, whose days are forty-one minutes
longer than ours, and whose years number six hundred and eighty-seven

I am in time! I am in time! The words surged through my brain again
and again, until at last I must have voiced them audibly, for Yersted
shook his head.

"In time to save your Princess?" he asked, and then without waiting for
my reply, "No, John Carter, Issus will not give up her own. She knows
that you are coming, and ere ever a vandal foot is set within the
precincts of the Temple of Issus, if such a calamity should befall,
Dejah Thoris will be put away for ever from the last faint hope of

"You mean that she will be killed merely to thwart me?" I asked.

"Not that, other than as a last resort," he replied. "Hast ever heard
of the Temple of the Sun? It is there that they will put her. It lies
far within the inner court of the Temple of Issus, a little temple that
raises a thin spire far above the spires and minarets of the great
temple that surrounds it. Beneath it, in the ground, there lies the
main body of the temple consisting in six hundred and eighty-seven
circular chambers, one below another. To each chamber a single
corridor leads through solid rock from the pits of Issus.

"As the entire Temple of the Sun revolves once with each revolution of
Barsoom about the sun, but once each year does the entrance to each
separate chamber come opposite the mouth of the corridor which forms
its only link to the world without.

"Here Issus puts those who displease her, but whom she does not care to
execute forthwith. Or to punish a noble of the First Born she may
cause him to be placed within a chamber of the Temple of the Sun for a
year. Ofttimes she imprisons an executioner with the condemned, that
death may come in a certain horrible form upon a given day, or again
but enough food is deposited in the chamber to sustain life but the
number of days that Issus has allotted for mental anguish.

"Thus will Dejah Thoris die, and her fate will be sealed by the first
alien foot that crosses the threshold of Issus."

So I was to be thwarted in the end, although I had performed the
miraculous and come within a few short moments of my divine Princess,
yet was

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