Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 114

heart
of the palace of Salensus Oll.

In an instant I saw that by attacking the Okarians from the rear
I could so quickly disorganize them that their further resistance
would be short-lived, and with this idea in mind I sprang from
the dais, casting a word of explanation to Dejah Thoris over my
shoulder, though I did not turn to look at her.

With myself ever between her enemies and herself, and with Kantos
Kan and his warriors winning to the apartment, there could be no
danger to Dejah Thoris standing there alone beside the throne.

I wanted the men of Helium to see me and to know that their beloved
princess was here, too, for I knew that this knowledge would inspire
them to even greater deeds of valor than they had performed in the
past, though great indeed must have been those which won for them
a way into the almost impregnable palace of the tyrant of the north.

As I crossed the chamber to attack the Kadabrans from the rear a
small doorway at my left opened, and, to my surprise, revealed the
figures of Matai Shang, Father of Therns and Phaidor, his daughter,
peering into the room.

A quick glance about they took. Their eyes rested for a moment,
wide in horror, upon the dead body of Salensus Oll, upon the blood
that crimsoned the floor, upon the corpses of the nobles who had
fallen thick before the throne, upon me, and upon the battling
warriors at the other door.

They did not essay to enter the apartment, but scanned its every
corner from where they stood, and then, when their eyes had sought
its entire area, a look of fierce rage overspread the features
of Matai Shang, and a cold and cunning smile touched the lips of
Phaidor.

Then they were gone, but not before a taunting laugh was thrown
directly in my face by the woman.

I did not understand then the meaning of Matai Shang's rage or
Phaidor's pleasure, but I knew that neither boded good for me.

A moment later I was upon the backs of the yellow men, and as the
red men of Helium saw me above the shoulders of their antagonists
a great shout rang through the corridor, and for a moment drowned
the noise of battle.

"For the Prince of Helium!" they cried. "For the Prince of Helium!"
and, like hungry lions upon their prey, they fell once more upon
the weakening warriors of the north.

The yellow men, cornered between two enemies, fought with the
desperation that utter hopelessness often induces. Fought as I
should

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