rode directly to the royal palace, and the king retired immediately
to his apartments. A half hour later an officer of the king's
household knocked upon the door of the Princess Emma von der Tann's
boudoir. In accord with her summons he entered, saluted
respectfully, and handed her a note.
It was written upon the personal stationary of Leopold of Lutha.
The girl read and reread it. For some time she could not seem to
grasp the enormity of the thing that had overwhelmed her--the daring
of the action that the message explained. The note was short and to
the point, and was signed only with initials.
The king died of his wounds just before midnight. I
shall keep the throne. There is no other way. None
knows and none must ever know the truth. Your father
alone may suspect; but if we are married at once our
alliance will cement him and his faction to us. Send
word by the bearer that you agree with the wisdom
of my plan, and that we may be wed at once--this
afternoon, in fact.
The people may wonder for a few days at the strange
haste, but my answer shall be that I am going to the
front with my troops. The son and many of the high
officials of the Kaiser have already established the
precedent, marrying hurriedly upon the eve of their
departure for the front.
With every assurance of my undying love, believe me,
The girl walked slowly across the room to her writing table. The
officer stood in respectful silence awaiting the answer that the
king had told him to bring. The princess sat down before the carved
bit of furniture. Mechanically she drew a piece of note paper from a
drawer. Many times she dipped her pen in the ink before she could
determine what reply to send. Ages of ingrained royalistic
principles were shocked and shattered by the enormity of the thing
the man she loved had asked of her, and yet cold reason told her
that it was the only way.
Lutha would be lost should the truth be known--that the king was
dead, for there was no heir of closer blood connection with the
royal house than Prince Peter of Blentz, whose great-grandmother had
been a Rubinroth princess. Slowly, at last, she wrote as follows:
The king's will is law.
That was all. Placing the note in an envelope she sealed it and
handed it to the officer, who bowed and left the room.
A half hour later officers of the Royal Horse were
Directly before me the river ran into this smaller chamber through three separate arched openings.Page 13
This omission I now made haste to correct, and, after the manner of green Martians with their beasts, I let him know partially by the weird and uncanny telepathy of Barsoom and partly by word of mouth that we were upon the trail of those who had recently occupied the boat through which we had just passed.Page 18
They walked very softly, and in the right hand of each gleamed a keen long-sword.Page 20
I kept abreast of Woola that we might have the benefit of all our eyes for what might appear suddenly ahead to menace us, and well it was that we were forewarned.Page 24
Those last twenty-five tals were the longest twenty-five seconds of my life.Page 27
"Matai Shang is in the temple court beyond,".Page 28
He would have struck back had not Matai Shang interfered, and then I saw that the two men were not over-friendly; for the manner of the thern was arrogant and domineering as he made it plain to the First Born that the Princess of Helium was the personal property of the Father of Therns.Page 31
Thurid sprang forward with drawn sword to cut me down.Page 35
Some ten feet below the roof, the wall inclined slightly inward possibly a foot in the last ten feet, and here the climbing was indeed immeasurably easier, so that my fingers soon clutched the eaves.Page 38
It was upon the verge of the land of the Kaols that I now knew myself to be, but in what direction to search for Dejah Thoris, or how far into the heart of the great forest I might have to penetrate I had not the faintest idea.Page 42
"Who are you," he asked, "who dare enter the land of Kaol and hunt in the royal forest of the jeddak?" Then, as he noted my white skin through the coating of grime and blood that covered me, his eyes went wide and in an altered tone he whispered: "Can it be that you are a Holy Thern?" I might have deceived the fellow for a time, as I had deceived others, but I had cast away the yellow wig and the holy diadem in the presence of Matai Shang, and.Page 55
"Hold!" he cried.Page 59
Halting before the throne he addressed his jeddak in a voice that was plainly audible to all within the chamber.Page 63
Even when their bellies are full and they can eat no more, they kill purely for the pleasure which they derive from taking life, and so when this particular apt failed to charge us, and instead wheeled and trotted away as we neared him, I should have been greatly surprised had I not chanced to glimpse the sheen of a golden collar about its neck.Page 66
Should we all go on and perish, there will be none to guide a succoring party to Dejah Thoris and your daughter.Page 71
"But little more than that they were captured by my uncle, Salensus Oll, Jeddak of Jeddaks, Ruler of Okar, land of the yellow men of Barsoom.Page 94
And then another truth flashed upon me--I had lived nine days of the allotted ten which must intervene before Salensus Oll could make Dejah Thoris his queen.Page 103
"To the upper chambers!" shouted the red man who was still fettered to the floor.Page 123
With a cry of horror I sprang forward in a vain attempt to save the life that for two years I would so gladly have seen extinguished.Page 130
There was Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol, whom we had but just left within his own palace a few days since; there was Thuvan Dihn, Jeddak of Ptarth--how came he to Helium as soon as we? There was Tars Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark, and Xodar, Jeddak of the First Born; there was Talu, Jeddak of Jeddaks of the North, whom I could have sworn was still in his ice-bound hothouse city beyond the northern barrier, and among them sat Tardos Mors and Mors Kajak, with enough lesser jeds and jeddaks to make up the thirty-one who must sit in judgment upon their fellow-man.