Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 56

glad. Now shall Jav come into his own.
Now shall Jav be Jeddak of Lothar.'

"At last, traitor, I have found you out. Your own words have
condemned you as surely as the acts of these red creatures have
sealed their fates--unless--" He paused. "Unless the woman--"

But he got no further. Carthoris guessed what he would have said,
and before the words could be uttered he had sprung forward and
struck the man across the mouth with his open palm.

Tario frothed in rage and mortification.

"And should you again affront the Princess of Ptarth," warned the
Heliumite, "I shall forget that you wear no sword--not for ever
may I control my itching sword hand."

Tario shrank back toward the little doorways behind the dais. He
was trying to speak, but so hideously were the muscles of his face
working that he could utter no word for several minutes. At last
he managed to articulate intelligibly.

"Die!" he shrieked. "Die!" and then he turned toward the exit at
his back.

Jav leaped forward, screaming in terror.

"Have pity, Tario! Have pity! Remember the long ages that I have
served you faithfully. Remember all that I have done for Lothar.
Do not condemn me now to the death hideous. Save me! Save me!"

But Tario only laughed a mocking laugh and continued to back toward
the hangings that hid the little doorway.

Jav turned toward Carthoris.

"Stop him!" he screamed. "Stop him! If you love life, let him
not leave this room," and as he spoke he leaped in pursuit of his
jeddak.

Carthoris followed Jav's example, but the "last of the jeddaks
of Barsoom" was too quick for them. By the time they reached the
arras behind which he had disappeared, they found a heavy stone
door blocking their further progress.

Jav sank to the floor in a spasm of terror.

"Come, man!" cried Carthoris. "We are not dead yet. Let us
hasten to the avenues and make an attempt to leave the city. We
are still alive, and while we live we may yet endeavour to direct
our own destinies. Of what avail, to sink spineless to the floor?
Come, be a man!"

Jav but shook his head.

"Did you not hear him call the guards?" he moaned. "Ah, if we
could have but intercepted him! Then there might have been hope;
but, alas, he was too quick for us."

"Well, well," exclaimed Carthoris impatiently. "What if he did
call the guards? There will be time enough to

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