Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 1

numerous duties that had
devolved upon me in the reconstruction of the government of the
First Born since our victorious fleet and land forces had overwhelmed
them, had been spent close to the grim shaft that held the mother
of my boy, Carthoris of Helium.

The race of blacks that for ages had worshiped Issus, the false
deity of Mars, had been left in a state of chaos by my revealment
of her as naught more than a wicked old woman. In their rage they
had torn her to pieces.

From the high pinnacle of their egotism the First Born had been
plunged to the depths of humiliation. Their deity was gone, and
with her the whole false fabric of their religion. Their vaunted
navy had fallen in defeat before the superior ships and fighting
men of the red men of Helium.

Fierce green warriors from the ocher sea bottoms of outer Mars had
ridden their wild thoats across the sacred gardens of the Temple
of Issus, and Tars Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark, fiercest of them all,
had sat upon the throne of Issus and ruled the First Born while
the allies were deciding the conquered nation's fate.

Almost unanimous was the request that I ascend the ancient throne
of the black men, even the First Born themselves concurring in it;
but I would have none of it. My heart could never be with the race
that had heaped indignities upon my princess and my son.

At my suggestion Xodar became Jeddak of the First Born. He had
been a dator, or prince, until Issus had degraded him, so that his
fitness for the high office bestowed was unquestioned.

The peace of the Valley Dor thus assured, the green warriors dispersed
to their desolate sea bottoms, while we of Helium returned to our
own country. Here again was a throne offered me, since no word
had been received from the missing Jeddak of Helium, Tardos Mors,
grandfather of Dejah Thoris, or his son, Mors Kajak, Jed of Helium,
her father.

Over a year had elapsed since they had set out to explore the northern
hemisphere in search of Carthoris, and at last their disheartened
people had accepted as truth the vague rumors of their death that
had filtered in from the frozen region of the pole.

Once again I refused a throne, for I would not believe that the
mighty Tardos Mors, or his no less redoubtable son, was dead.

"Let one of their own blood rule you until they return," I said
to the assembled nobles of Helium, as I addressed them

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