Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 3

lead any man.

Tonight he moved quickly along the edge of the forest until well
beyond sight or sound of the city, then he turned across the crimson
sward toward the shore of the Lost Sea of Korus.

The rays of the nearer moon, swinging low across the valley, touched
his jewel-incrusted harness with a thousand changing lights and
glanced from the glossy ebony of his smooth hide. Twice he turned
his head back toward the forest, after the manner of one who is upon
an evil errand, though he must have felt quite safe from pursuit.

I did not dare follow him there beneath the moonlight, since it
best suited my plans not to interrupt his--I wished him to reach
his destination unsuspecting, that I might learn just where that
destination lay and the business that awaited the night prowler
there.

So it was that I remained hidden until after Thurid had disappeared
over the edge of the steep bank beside the sea a quarter of a mile
away. Then, with Woola following, I hastened across the open after
the black dator.

The quiet of the tomb lay upon the mysterious valley of death,
crouching deep in its warm nest within the sunken area at the south
pole of the dying planet. In the far distance the Golden Cliffs
raised their mighty barrier faces far into the starlit heavens,
the precious metals and scintillating jewels that composed them
sparkling in the brilliant light of Mars's two gorgeous moons.

At my back was the forest, pruned and trimmed like the sward to
parklike symmetry by the browsing of the ghoulish plant men.

Before me lay the Lost Sea of Korus, while farther on I caught the
shimmering ribbon of Iss, the River of Mystery, where it wound out
from beneath the Golden Cliffs to empty into Korus, to which for
countless ages had been borne the deluded and unhappy Martians of
the outer world upon the voluntary pilgrimage to this false heaven.

The plant men, with their blood-sucking hands, and the monstrous
white apes that make Dor hideous by day, were hidden in their lairs
for the night.

There was no longer a Holy Thern upon the balcony in the Golden
Cliffs above the Iss to summon them with weird cry to the victims
floating down to their maws upon the cold, broad bosom of ancient
Iss.

The navies of Helium and the First Born had cleared the fortresses
and the temples of the therns when they had refused to surrender and
accept the new order of things that had swept their false religion
from long-suffering Mars.

In a

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