Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 117

up the bauble I saw that it bore the device of the
Princess of Helium, and then pressing it to my lips I dashed madly
along the winding way that led gently downward toward the lower
galleries of the palace.

I had followed but a short distance when I came upon the room in
which Solan formerly had held sway. His dead body still lay where
I had left it, nor was there any sign that another had passed
through the room since I had been there; but I knew that two had
done so--Thurid, the black dator, and Dejah Thoris.

For a moment I paused uncertain as to which of the several exits
from the apartment would lead me upon the right path. I tried to
recollect the directions which I had heard Thurid repeat to Solan,
and at last, slowly, as though through a heavy fog, the memory of
the words of the First Born came to me:

"Follow a corridor, passing three diverging corridors upon the right;
then into the fourth right-hand corridor to where three corridors
meet; here again follow to the right, hugging the left wall closely
to avoid the pit. At the end of this corridor I shall come to a
spiral runway which I must follow down instead of up; after that
the way is along but a single branchless corridor."

And I recalled the exit at which he had pointed as he spoke.

It did not take me long to start upon that unknown way, nor did I
go with caution, although I knew that there might be grave dangers
before me.

Part of the way was black as sin, but for the most it was fairly
well lighted. The stretch where I must hug the left wall to avoid
the pits was darkest of them all, and I was nearly over the edge of
the abyss before I knew that I was near the danger spot. A narrow
ledge, scarce a foot wide, was all that had been left to carry
the initiated past that frightful cavity into which the unknowing
must surely have toppled at the first step. But at last I had won
safely beyond it, and then a feeble light made the balance of the
way plain, until, at the end of the last corridor, I came suddenly
out into the glare of day upon a field of snow and ice.

Clad for the warm atmosphere of the hothouse city of Kadabra, the
sudden change to arctic frigidity was anything but pleasant; but
the worst of it was

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