Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 17

by the act.

A smile crossed his lips. With a pair of cutters he snipped off
the projection which extended through the dial from the external
pointer--now the latter might be moved to any point upon the dial
without affecting the mechanism below. In other words, the eastern
hemisphere dial was useless.

Now he turned his attention to the western dial. This he set upon
a certain point. Afterward he removed the cover of this dial also,
and with keen tool cut the steel finger from the under side of the
pointer.

As quickly as possible he replaced the second dial cover, and resumed
his place on guard. To all intents and purposes the compass was
as efficient as before; but, as a matter of fact, the moving of the
pointers upon the dials resulted now in no corresponding shift of
the mechanism beneath--and the device was set, immovably, upon a
destination of the slave's own choosing.

Presently came Carthoris, accompanied by but a handful of his
gentlemen. He cast but a casual glance upon the single slave who
stood guard. The fellow's thin, cruel lips, and the sword-cut that
ran from temple to mouth aroused the suggestion of an unpleasant
memory within him. He wondered where Saran Tal had found the man--
then the matter faded from his thoughts, and in another moment the
Prince of Helium was laughing and chatting with his companions,
though below the surface his heart was cold with dread, for what
contingencies confronted Thuvia of Ptarth he could not even guess.

First to his mind, naturally, had sprung the thought that Astok
of Dusar had stolen the fair Ptarthian; but almost simultaneously
with the report of the abduction had come news of the great fetes
at Dusar in honour of the return of the jeddak's son to the court
of his father.

It could not have been he, thought Carthoris, for on the very night
that Thuvia was taken Astok had been in Dusar, and yet--

He entered the flier, exchanging casual remarks with his companions
as he unlocked the mechanism of the compass and set the pointer
upon the capital city of Ptarth.

With a word of farewell he touched the button which controlled the
repulsive rays, and as the flier rose lightly into the air, the
engine purred in answer to the touch of his finger upon a second
button, the propellers whirred as his hand drew back the speed
lever, and Carthoris, Prince of Helium, was off into the gorgeous
Martian night beneath the hurtling moons and the million stars.

Scarce had the flier

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