Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 57

be deferred until both have
passed beyond the limits of my power. Are you satisfied, Thuvan
Dihn?"

The Jeddak of Ptarth nodded his assent, but the ugly scowl that he
bent upon Matai Shang harbored ill for that pasty-faced godling.

"The Prince of Helium is far from satisfied," I cried, breaking
rudely in upon the beginnings of peace, for I had no stomach for
peace at the price that had been named.

"I have escaped death in a dozen forms to follow Matai Shang and
overtake him, and I do not intend to be led, like a decrepit thoat
to the slaughter, from the goal that I have won by the prowess of
my sword arm and the might of my muscles.

"Nor will Thuvan Dihn, Jeddak of Ptarth, be satisfied when he has
heard me through. Do you know why I have followed Matai Shang and
Thurid, the black dator, from the forests of the Valley Dor across
half a world through almost insurmountable difficulties?

"Think you that John Carter, Prince of Helium, would stoop to
assassination? Can Kulan Tith be such a fool as to believe that
lie, whispered in his ear by the Holy Thern or Dator Thurid?

"I do not follow Matai Shang to kill him, though the God of mine
own planet knows that my hands itch to be at his throat. I follow
him, Thuvan Dihn, because with him are two prisoners--my wife, Dejah
Thoris, Princess of Helium, and your daughter, Thuvia of Ptarth.

"Now think you that I shall permit myself to be led beyond the
walls of Kaol unless the mother of my son accompanies me, and thy
daughter be restored?"

Thuvan Dihn turned upon Kulan Tith. Rage flamed in his keen eyes;
but by the masterfulness of his self-control he kept his tones
level as he spoke.

"Knew you this thing, Kulan Tith?" he asked. "Knew you that my
daughter lay a prisoner in your palace?"

"He could not know it," interrupted Matai Shang, white with what
I am sure was more fear than rage. "He could not know it, for it
is a lie."

I would have had his life for that upon the spot, but even as I
sprang toward him Thuvan Dihn laid a heavy hand upon my shoulder.

"Wait," he said to me, and then to Kulan Tith. "It is not a lie.
This much have I learned of the Prince of Helium--he does not lie.
Answer me, Kulan Tith--I have asked you a question."

"Three women came with the Father of Therns," replied Kulan Tith.
"Phaidor, his daughter,

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