Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 51

horde of Tharks.

Never before today had I seen zitidars in the service of red men.
These brutes are huge mastodonian animals that tower to an immense
height even beside the giant green men and their giant thoats;
but when compared to the relatively small red man and his breed
of thoats they assume Brobdingnagian proportions that are truly
appalling.

The beasts were hung with jeweled trappings and saddlepads of gay
silk, embroidered in fanciful designs with strings of diamonds,
pearls, rubies, emeralds, and the countless unnamed jewels of Mars,
while from each chariot rose a dozen standards from which streamers,
flags, and pennons fluttered in the breeze.

Just in front of the chariots the visiting jeddak rode alone upon
a pure white thoat--another unusual sight upon Barsoom--and after
them came interminable ranks of mounted spearmen, riflemen, and
swordsmen. It was indeed a most imposing sight.

Except for the clanking of accouterments and the occasional squeal
of an angry thoat or the low guttural of a zitidar, the passage of
the cavalcade was almost noiseless, for neither thoat nor zitidar
is a hoofed animal, and the broad tires of the chariots are of an
elastic composition, which gives forth no sound.

Now and then the gay laughter of a woman or the chatter of children
could be heard, for the red Martians are a social, pleasure-loving
people--in direct antithesis to the cold and morbid race of green
men.

The forms and ceremonials connected with the meeting of the two
jeddaks consumed an hour, and then we turned and retraced our way
toward the city of Kaol, which the head of the column reached just
before dark, though it must have been nearly morning before the
rear guard passed through the gateway.

Fortunately, I was well up toward the head of the column, and after
the great banquet, which I attended with the officers of the royal
guard, I was free to seek repose. There was so much activity and
bustle about the palace all during the night with the constant
arrival of the noble officers of the visiting jeddak's retinue
that I dared not attempt to prosecute a search for Dejah Thoris,
and so, as soon as it was seemly for me to do so, I returned to my
quarters.

As I passed along the corridors between the banquet hall and the
apartments that had been allotted me, I had a sudden feeling that
I was under surveillance, and, turning quickly in my tracks, caught
a glimpse of a figure which darted into an open doorway the instant
I wheeled about.

Though I ran quickly back to the spot where the

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