Thuvia, Maid of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 93

said. "We are
short-handed upon the Thuria, so quickly did we depart."

The panthan's fingers dropped from the dagger's hilt. His quick
mind had grasped here a chance for succouring Thuvia of Ptarth.
He might be chosen as one to accompany the assassins, and once he
had learned where the captive lay he could dispatch Astok and Vas
Kor as well as now. To kill them before he knew where Thuvia was
hid was simply to leave her to death at the hands of others; for
sooner or later Nutus would learn her whereabouts, and Nutus, Jeddak
of Dusar, could not afford to let her live.

Turjun put himself in the path of Vas Kor that he might not be
overlooked. The noble aroused the men sleeping upon the deck, but
always before him the strange panthan whom he had recruited that
same day found means for keeping himself to the fore.

Vas Kor turned to his lieutenant, giving instruction for the bringing
of the Kalksus to Dusar, and the gathering up of the recruits; then
he signed to two warriors who stood close behind the padwar.

"You two accompany us to the Thuria," he said, "and put yourselves
at the disposal of her dwar."

It was dark upon the deck of the Kalksus, so Vas Kor had not a good
look at the faces of the two he chose; but that was of no moment,
for they were but common warriors to assist with the ordinary duties
upon a flier, and to fight if need be.

One of the two was Kar Komak, the bowman. The other was not
Carthoris.

The Heliumite was mad with disappointment. He snatched his dagger
from his harness; but already Astok had left the deck of the Kalksus,
and he knew that before he could overtake him, should he dispatch
Vas Kor, he would be killed by the Dusarian warriors, who now were
thick upon the deck. With either one of the two alive Thuvia was
in as great danger as though both lived--it must be both!

As Vas Kor descended to the ground Carthoris boldly followed him,
nor did any attempt to halt him, thinking, doubtless, that he was
one of the party.

After him came Kar Komak and the Dusarian warrior who had been
detailed to duty upon the Thuria. Carthoris walked close to the
left side of the latter. Now they came to the dense shadow under
the side of the Thuria. It was very dark there, so that they had
to grope for the ladder.

Kar Komak preceded the

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