Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 49

Kaolian officers, whom I found
as courteous and delightful hosts as even the nobles of Helium, who
are renowned for their ease of manners and excellence of breeding.
The meal was scarcely concluded when a messenger arrived from Kulan
Tith summoning me before him.

As I entered the royal presence the jeddak rose, and stepping from
the dais which supported his magnificent throne, came forward to
meet me--a mark of distinction that is seldom accorded to other
than a visiting ruler.

"Kaor, Dotar Sojat!" he greeted me. "I have summoned you to receive
the grateful thanks of the people of Kaol, for had it not been for
your heroic bravery in daring fate to warn us of the ambuscade we
must surely have fallen into the well-laid trap. Tell me more of
yourself--from what country you come, and what errand brings you
to the court of Kulan Tith."

"I am from Hastor," I said, for in truth I had a small palace in
that southern city which lies within the far-flung dominions of
the Heliumetic nation.

"My presence in the land of Kaol is partly due to accident, my
flier being wrecked upon the southern fringe of your great forest.
It was while seeking entrance to the city of Kaol that I discovered
the green horde lying in wait for your troops."

If Kulan Tith wondered what business brought me in a flier to the
very edge of his domain he was good enough not to press me further
for an explanation, which I should indeed have had difficulty in

During my audience with the jeddak another party entered the
chamber from behind me, so that I did not see their faces until
Kulan Tith stepped past me to greet them, commanding me to follow
and be presented.

As I turned toward them it was with difficulty that I controlled
my features, for there, listening to Kulan Tith's eulogistic words
concerning me, stood my arch-enemies, Matai Shang and Thurid.

"Holy Hekkador of the Holy Therns," the jeddak was saying, "shower
thy blessings upon Dotar Sojat, the valorous stranger from distant
Hastor, whose wondrous heroism and marvelous ferocity saved the
day for Kaol yesterday."

Matai Shang stepped forward and laid his hand upon my shoulder.
No slightest indication that he recognized me showed upon his
countenance--my disguise was evidently complete.

He spoke kindly to me and then presented me to Thurid. The black,
too, was evidently entirely deceived. Then Kulan Tith regaled
them, much to my amusement, with details of my achievements upon
the field of battle.

The thing that seemed to have impressed him most was my remarkable
agility, and

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