Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 26

of that fearsome cry were still reverberating
through the subterranean chambers when I saw the thing that had
startled it from the faithful beast.

Far in the distance, dimly through the many thicknesses of intervening
crystal, as in a haze that made them seem unreal and ghostly, I
discerned the figures of eight people--three females and five men.

At the same instant, evidently startled by Woola's fierce cry, they
halted and looked about. Then, of a sudden, one of them, a woman,
held her arms out toward me, and even at that great distance I could
see that her lips moved--it was Dejah Thoris, my ever beautiful
and ever youthful Princess of Helium.

With her were Thuvia of Ptarth, Phaidor, daughter of Matai Shang,
and Thurid, and the Father of Therns, and the three lesser therns
that had accompanied them.

Thurid shook his fist at me, and then two of the therns grasped
Dejah Thoris and Thuvia roughly by their arms and hurried them on.
A moment later they had disappeared into a stone corridor beyond
the labyrinth of glass.

They say that love is blind; but so great a love as that of Dejah
Thoris that knew me even beneath the thern disguise I wore and across
the misty vista of that crystal maze must indeed be far from blind.


I have no stomach to narrate the monotonous events of the tedious
days that Woola and I spent ferreting our way across the labyrinth
of glass, through the dark and devious ways beyond that led beneath
the Valley Dor and Golden Cliffs to emerge at last upon the flank
of the Otz Mountains just above the Valley of Lost Souls--that
pitiful purgatory peopled by the poor unfortunates who dare not
continue their abandoned pilgrimage to Dor, or return to the various
lands of the outer world from whence they came.

Here the trail of Dejah Thoris' abductors led along the mountains'
base, across steep and rugged ravines, by the side of appalling
precipices, and sometimes out into the valley, where we found
fighting aplenty with the members of the various tribes that make
up the population of this vale of hopelessness.

But through it all we came at last to where the way led up a narrow
gorge that grew steeper and more impracticable at every step until
before us loomed a mighty fortress buried beneath the side of an
overhanging cliff.

Here was the secret hiding place of Matai Shang, Father of Therns.
Here, surrounded by a handful of the faithful, the hekkador of
the ancient faith, who had once been served by millions of

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