Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 55

he might see it.

"No," she said, "he did not harm me."

A grim smile lighted Carthoris' face.

"Praised be our first ancestor!" he murmured. "And now let us see
if we may not make good our escape from this accursed city before
the Lotharians discover that their jeddak is no more."

With the firm authority that sat so well upon him in whose veins
flowed the blood of John Carter of Virginia and Dejah Thoris
of Helium, he grasped her hand and, turning back across the hall,
strode toward the great doorway through which Jav had brought them
into the presence of the jeddak earlier in the day.

They had almost reached the threshold when a figure sprang into the
apartment through another entrance. It was Jav. He, too, took in
the scene within at a glance.

Carthoris turned to face him, his sword ready in his hand, and his
great body shielding the slender figure of the girl.

"Come, Jav of Lothar!" he cried. "Let us face the issue at once,
for only one of us may leave this chamber alive with Thuvia of
Ptarth." Then, seeing that the man wore no sword, he exclaimed:
"Bring on your bowmen, then, or come with us as my prisoner until
we have safely passed the outer portals of thy ghostly city."

"You have killed Tario!" exclaimed Jav, ignoring the other's
challenge. "You have killed Tario! I see his blood upon the
floor--real blood--real death. Tario was, after all, as real as I.
Yet he was an etherealist. He would not materialize his sustenance.
Can it be that they are right? Well, we, too, are right. And all
these ages we have been quarrelling--each saying that the other
was wrong!

"However, he is dead now. Of that I am glad. Now shall Jav come
into his own. Now shall Jav be Jeddak of Lothar!"

As he finished, Tario opened his eyes and then quickly sat up.

"Traitor! Assassin!" he screamed, and then: "Kadar! Kadar!"
which is the Barsoomian for guard.

Jav went sickly white. He fell upon his belly, wriggling toward
Tario.

"Oh, my Jeddak, my Jeddak!" he whimpered. "Jav had no hand in
this. Jav, your faithful Jav, but just this instant entered the
apartment to find you lying prone upon the floor and these two
strangers about to leave. How it happened I know not. Believe me,
most glorious Jeddak!"

"Cease, knave!" cried Tario. "I heard your words: 'However, he
is dead now. Of that I am

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These changes were effected merely to increase the Reader's reading ease and enjoyment of the text.