the examination of each who seeks
service with the nobles of the court.
A good rule that, and only relaxed by courtesy in favour of the
retinue of visiting royalty from a friendly foreign power.
It was late in the morning of the next day that a giant serving man
in the harness of the house of a great Ptarth noble passed out into
the city from the palace gates. Along one broad avenue and then
another he strode briskly until he had passed beyond the district
of the nobles and had come to the place of shops. Here he sought
a pretentious building that rose spire-like toward the heavens,
its outer walls elaborately wrought with delicate carvings and
It was the Palace of Peace in which were housed the representatives
of the foreign powers, or rather in which were located their
embassies; for the ministers themselves dwelt in gorgeous palaces
within the district occupied by the nobles.
Here the man sought the embassy of Dusar. A clerk arose questioningly
as he entered, and at his request to have a word with the minister
asked his credentials. The visitor slipped a plain metal armlet
from above his elbow, and pointing to an inscription upon its inner
surface, whispered a word or two to the clerk.
The latter's eyes went wide, and his attitude turned at once to
one of deference. He bowed the stranger to a seat, and hastened
to an inner room with the armlet in his hand. A moment later
he reappeared and conducted the caller into the presence of the
For a long time the two were closeted together, and when at last
the giant serving man emerged from the inner office his expression
was cast in a smile of sinister satisfaction. From the Palace of
Peace he hurried directly to the palace of the Dusarian minister.
That night two swift fliers left the same palace top. One sped
its rapid course toward Helium; the other--
Thuvia of Ptarth strolled in the gardens of her father's palace, as
was her nightly custom before retiring. Her silks and furs were
drawn about her, for the air of Mars is chill after the sun has
taken his quick plunge beneath the planet's western verge.
The girl's thoughts wandered from her impending nuptials, that
would make her empress of Kaol, to the person of the trim young
Heliumite who had laid his heart at her feet the preceding day.
Whether it was pity or regret that saddened her expression as she
gazed toward the southern heavens where she
For two days they continued upon their perilous way.Page 3
All of these peoples had proven belligerent in the extreme.Page 12
There were other horses too; but all were small, the largest being not above eight hands in height.Page 13
The rest they had seen.Page 15
There was no evidence of a struggle.Page 16
They encountered the usual number of savage beasts and reptiles; but they met them with a courageous recklessness born of desperation, and by virtue of the very madness of the chances they took, they came through unscathed and with the minimum of delay.Page 19
He knew that those giant wings would not permit the creatures to approach one another closely enough to effect the transfer in this manner; but he was soon to discover that they had other means of doing it.Page 23
The skulls were, as a rule, painted--blue or white, or in combinations of both colors.Page 27
sanctuary for him, since the stern laws of the Wieroos forbade altercations within such walls.Page 33
The others are at the far end of the island, which is about three marches from end to end and at its widest point about one march.Page 35
The Wieroo bearing Bradley passed over one corner of the open space about the large building, revealing to the Englishman grass and trees and running water beneath.Page 41
For a long time each sat in silence.Page 42
"The water is too cold--they never leave the warm water of the great pool," replied An-Tak.Page 43
He could not but marvel as to where so many countless thousands of the things had come from, until he paused to consider that the infancy of Caspak dated doubtlessly back into remote ages, far beyond what the outer world considered the beginning of earthly time.Page 61
If foe or friend, right or wrong, stood in the way of tas-ad, then it must be crushed.Page 65
she soon had the work completed, and the two stepped out upon the roof, to all intent and purpose genuine Wieroos.Page 68
They went back then to their little acre, and the days came and went, and the man fashioned spear and bow and arrows and hunted with them that they might have meat, and he made hooks of fishbone and caught fishes with wondrous flies of his own invention; and the girl gathered fruits and cooked the flesh and the fish and made beds of branches and soft grasses.Page 78
That night they dropped anchor at the mouth of a sluggish stream whose warm waters swarmed with millions of tiny tadpolelike organisms--minute human spawn starting on their precarious journey from some inland pool toward "the beginning"--a journey which one in millions, perhaps, might survive to complete.Page 83
It proved to be aboard the Toreador, and a half-hour later there was such a reunion on the deck of the trim little yacht as no one there had ever dreamed might be possible.Page 85
that 132 10 splashes splashed 134 3 know know not know].