Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 115

have fought had I been in their stead, with the determination
to take as many of my enemies with me when I died as lay within
the power of my sword arm.

It was a glorious battle, but the end seemed inevitable, when
presently from down the corridor behind the red men came a great
body of reenforcing yellow warriors.

Now were the tables turned, and it was the men of Helium who seemed
doomed to be ground between two millstones. All were compelled to
turn to meet this new assault by a greatly superior force, so that
to me was left the remnants of the yellow men within the throneroom.

They kept me busy, too; so busy that I began to wonder if indeed
I should ever be done with them. Slowly they pressed me back into
the room, and when they had all passed in after me, one of them
closed and bolted the door, effectually barring the way against
the men of Kantos Kan.

It was a clever move, for it put me at the mercy of a dozen men
within a chamber from which assistance was locked out, and it gave
the red men in the corridor beyond no avenue of escape should their
new antagonists press them too closely.

But I have faced heavier odds myself than were pitted against me
that day, and I knew that Kantos Kan had battled his way from a
hundred more dangerous traps than that in which he now was. So it
was with no feelings of despair that I turned my attention to the
business of the moment.

Constantly my thoughts reverted to Dejah Thoris, and I longed for
the moment when, the fighting done, I could fold her in my arms,
and hear once more the words of love which had been denied me for
so many years.

During the fighting in the chamber I had not even a single chance
to so much as steal a glance at her where she stood behind me beside
the throne of the dead ruler. I wondered why she no longer urged
me on with the strains of the martial hymn of Helium; but I did not
need more than the knowledge that I was battling for her to bring
out the best that is in me.

It would be wearisome to narrate the details of that bloody struggle;
of how we fought from the doorway, the full length of the room to
the very foot of the throne before the last of my antagonists fell
with my blade piercing his heart.

And then,

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