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EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS
THE MAD KING
A RUNAWAY HORSE
All Lustadt was in an uproar. The mad king had escaped. Little
knots of excited men stood upon the street corners listening to each
latest rumor concerning this most absorbing occurrence. Before the
palace a great crowd surged to and fro, awaiting they knew not what.
For ten years no man of them had set eyes upon the face of the
boy-king who had been hastened to the grim castle of Blentz upon the
death of the old king, his father.
There had been murmurings then when the lad's uncle, Peter of
Blentz, had announced to the people of Lutha the sudden mental
affliction which had fallen upon his nephew, and more murmurings for
a time after the announcement that Peter of Blentz had been
appointed Regent during the lifetime of the young King Leopold, "or
until God, in His infinite mercy, shall see fit to restore to us in
full mental vigor our beloved monarch."
But ten years is a long time. The boy-king had become but a vague
memory to the subjects who could recall him at all.
There were many, of course, in the capital city, Lustadt, who still
retained a mental picture of the handsome boy who had ridden out
nearly every morning from the palace gates beside the tall, martial
figure of the old king, his father, for a canter across the broad
plain which lies at the foot of the mountain town of Lustadt; but
even these had long since given up hope that their young king would
ever ascend his throne, or even that they should see him alive
Peter of Blentz had not proved a good or kind ruler. Taxes had
doubled during his regency. Executives and judiciary, following the
example of their chief, had become tyrannical and corrupt. For ten
years there had been small joy in Lutha.
There had been whispered rumors off and on that the young king was
dead these many years, but not even in whispers did the men of Lutha
dare voice the name of him whom they believed had caused his death.
For lesser things they had seen their friends and neighbors thrown
into the hitherto long-unused dungeons of the royal castle.
And now came the rumor that Leopold of Lutha had escaped the Castle
of Blentz and was roaming somewhere in the wild mountains
As it.Page 7
In addition to the features which I have already described, the beast was equipped with a massive tail about six feet in length, quite round where it joined the body, but tapering to a flat, thin blade toward the end, which trailed at right angles to the ground.Page 15
And so I knew that there was another reason than fear of death behind his flight, as he knew that a greater power than pride or honour spurred me to escape these fierce destroyers.Page 19
Dropping to the floor once more, I detailed my discovery to Tars Tarkas, who suggested that I explore aloft as far as I could go in safety while he guarded the entrance against a possible attack.Page 21
The roof was arched.Page 43
We sought them at the command of the Father of Therns.Page 44
My wounds were painful.Page 51
Now and again a black warrior would rush from a nearby temple bearing a young woman in his arms.Page 57
"I can use that upon those your sword does not silence in time.Page 72
This proved to be our destination, and the great ship was soon made fast against the steep shore.Page 83
"You asked me to bind Thurid," I cried; "behold!" And then I stooped beside the prostrate form, tore the harness from it, and bound the fellow's arms and legs securely.Page 93
In front of these were the high dignitaries of this mock heaven--gleaming blacks bedecked with precious stones, upon their foreheads the insignia of their rank set in circles of gold.Page 103
Come with what men you have and those that you can gather on the way.Page 127
And again I charged, only to see the eyes retreat before me and hear the muffled rush of the three at my back.Page 134
Riderless thoats plunged hither and thither among the dead and dying.Page 148
Come, Carthoris and Xodar.Page 170
Around and around in each other's tracks moved the ships under Kantos Kan, until at length they formed nearly a perfect circle.Page 174
Carthoris and I, with Kantos Kan, took the remaining ships and headed for the entrance to Omean.Page 175
We had decided to stake all on the chance that we would be able to reach the temple by the subterranean way and so we left no guard of vessels at the shaft's mouth.Page 193
The last crevice had closed, and for a long year that hideous chamber would retain its secret from the eyes of men.