Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 110

demolished the great switch that it could not be
again used to turn the powerful current into the mighty magnet of
destruction it controlled.

The result of the sudden coming of the guardsmen had been to compel
me to seek seclusion in the first passageway that I could find,
and that to my disappointment proved to be not the one with which
I was familiar, but another upon its left.

They must have either heard or guessed which way I went, for I had
proceeded but a short distance when I heard the sound of pursuit.
I had no mind to stop and fight these men here when there was
fighting aplenty elsewhere in the city of Kadabra--fighting that
could be of much more avail to me and mine than useless life-taking
far below the palace.

But the fellows were pressing me; and as I did not know the way at
all, I soon saw that they would overtake me unless I found a place
to conceal myself until they had passed, which would then give me
an opportunity to return the way I had come and regain the tower,
or possibly find a way to reach the city streets.

The passageway had risen rapidly since leaving the apartment of
the switch, and now ran level and well lighted straight into the
distance as far as I could see. The moment that my pursuers reached
this straight stretch I would be in plain sight of them, with no
chance to escape from the corridor undetected.

Presently I saw a series of doors opening from either side of the
corridor, and as they all looked alike to me I tried the first
one that I reached. It opened into a small chamber, luxuriously
furnished, and was evidently an ante-chamber off some office or
audience chamber of the palace.

On the far side was a heavily curtained doorway beyond which I
heard the hum of voices. Instantly I crossed the small chamber,
and, parting the curtains, looked within the larger apartment.

Before me were a party of perhaps fifty gorgeously clad nobles of
the court, standing before a throne upon which sat Salensus Oll.
The Jeddak of Jeddaks was addressing them.

"The allotted hour has come," he was saying as I entered the
apartment; "and though the enemies of Okar be within her gates,
naught may stay the will of Salensus Oll. The great ceremony must
be omitted that no single man may be kept from his place in the
defenses other than the fifty that custom demands shall witness
the creation of a new queen in

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