Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 119

direction
I should follow, or harassed by darkness or hidden dangers.

Through a snow-covered canyon the way led up toward the summit of
low hills. Beyond these it dipped again into another canyon, only
to rise a quarter-mile farther on toward a pass which skirted the
flank of a rocky hill.

I could see by the signs of those who had gone before that when Dejah
Thoris had walked she had been continually holding back, and that
the black man had been compelled to drag her. For other stretches
only his foot-prints were visible, deep and close together in
the heavy snow, and I knew from these signs that then he had been
forced to carry her, and I could well imagine that she had fought
him fiercely every step of the way.

As I came round the jutting promontory of the hill's shoulder I saw
that which quickened my pulses and set my heart to beating high,
for within a tiny basin between the crest of this hill and the next
stood four people before the mouth of a great cave, and beside them
upon the gleaming snow rested a flier which had evidently but just
been dragged from its hiding place.

The four were Dejah Thoris, Phaidor, Thurid, and Matai Shang. The
two men were engaged in a heated argument--the Father of Therns
threatening, while the black scoffed at him as he went about the
work at which he was engaged.

As I crept toward them cautiously that I might come as near as
possible before being discovered, I saw that finally the men appeared
to have reached some sort of a compromise, for with Phaidor's
assistance they both set about dragging the resisting Dejah Thoris
to the flier's deck.

Here they made her fast, and then both again descended to the ground
to complete the preparations for departure. Phaidor entered the
small cabin upon the vessel's deck.

I had come to within a quarter of a mile of them when Matai Shang
espied me. I saw him seize Thurid by the shoulder, wheeling him
around in my direction as he pointed to where I was now plainly
visible, for the moment that I knew I had been perceived I cast
aside every attempt at stealth and broke into a mad race for the
flier.

The two redoubled their efforts at the propeller at which they were
working, and which very evidently was being replaced after having
been removed for some purpose of repair.

They had the thing completed before I had covered half the distance
that lay between me and them, and then

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