Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 124

Opening the buoyancy escape valves I permitted her to come slowly
to the ground, and as she touched, Dejah Thoris and I stepped from
her deck and, hand in hand, turned back across the frozen waste
toward the city of Kadabra.

Through the tunnel that had led me in pursuit of them we passed,
walking slowly, for we had much to say to each other.

She told me of that last terrible moment months before when the
door of her prison cell within the Temple of the Sun was slowly
closing between us. Of how Phaidor had sprung upon her with
uplifted dagger, and of Thuvia's shriek as she had realized the
foul intention of the thern goddess.

It had been that cry that had rung in my ears all the long, weary
months that I had been left in cruel doubt as to my princess' fate;
for I had not known that Thuvia had wrested the blade from the
daughter of Matai Shang before it had touched either Dejah Thoris
or herself.

She told me, too, of the awful eternity of her imprisonment. Of
the cruel hatred of Phaidor, and the tender love of Thuvia, and
of how even when despair was the darkest those two red girls had
clung to the same hope and belief--that John Carter would find a
way to release them.

Presently we came to the chamber of Solan. I had been proceeding
without thought of caution, for I was sure that the city and the
palace were both in the hands of my friends by this time.

And so it was that I bolted into the chamber full into the midst
of a dozen nobles of the court of Salensus Oll. They were passing
through on their way to the outside world along the corridors we
had just traversed.

At sight of us they halted in their tracks, and then an ugly smile
overspread the features of their leader.

"The author of all our misfortunes!" he cried, pointing at me. "We
shall have the satisfaction of a partial vengeance at least when we
leave behind us here the dead and mutilated corpses of the Prince
and Princess of Helium.

"When they find them," he went on, jerking his thumb upward toward
the palace above, "they will realize that the vengeance of the
yellow man costs his enemies dear. Prepare to die, John Carter,
but that your end may be the more bitter, know that I may change my
intention as to meting a merciful death to your princess--possibly
she shall be preserved as a plaything for my

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