Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 15

It was evident that he had been expected, and that the fellow
had received his instructions before his coming.

Scarcely had Vas Kor taken his seat when the flier went quickly
into the fast-moving procession, turning presently from the broad
and crowded avenue into a less congested street. Presently it left
the thronged district behind to enter a section of small shops,
where it stopped before the entrance to one which bore the sign of
a dealer in foreign silks.

Vas Kor entered the low-ceiling room. A man at the far end
motioned him toward an inner apartment, giving no further sign of
recognition until he had passed in after the caller and closed the

Then he faced his visitor, saluting deferentially.

"Most noble--" he commenced, but Vas Kor silenced him with a gesture.

"No formalities," he said. "We must forget that I am aught other
than your slave. If all has been as carefully carried out as it
has been planned, we have no time to waste. Instead we should be
upon our way to the slave market. Are you ready?"

The merchant nodded, and, turning to a great chest, produced
the unemblazoned trappings of a slave. These Vas Kor immediately
donned. Then the two passed from the shop through a rear door,
traversed a winding alley to an avenue beyond, where they entered
a flier which awaited them.

Five minutes later the merchant was leading his slave to the public
market, where a great concourse of people filled the great open
space in the centre of which stood the slave block.

The crowds were enormous to-day, for Carthoris, Prince of Helium,
was to be the principal bidder.

One by one the masters mounted the rostrum beside the slave block
upon which stood their chattels. Briefly and clearly each recounted
the virtues of his particular offering.

When all were done, the major-domo of the Prince of Helium recalled
to the block such as had favourably impressed him. For such he
had made a fair offer.

There was little haggling as to price, and none at all when Vas
Kor was placed upon the block. His merchant-master accepted the
first offer that was made for him, and thus a Dusarian noble entered
the household of Carthoris.



The day following the coming of Vas Kor to the palace of the Prince
of Helium great excitement reigned throughout the twin cities,
reaching its climax in the palace of Carthoris. Word had come of
the abduction of Thuvia of Ptarth from her father's court, and with
it the veiled hint

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