Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 71

my arm. He then
went through the same ceremony with Thuvan Dihn.

Next he asked our names, and from what land we hailed. He seemed
quite familiar with the geography of the outerworld, and when I
said I was from Helium he raised his brows.

"Ah," he said, "you seek your ruler and his company?"

"Know you of them?" I asked.

"But little more than that they were captured by my uncle, Salensus
Oll, Jeddak of Jeddaks, Ruler of Okar, land of the yellow men of
Barsoom. As to their fate I know nothing, for I am at war with my
uncle, who would crush my power in the principality of Marentina.

"These from whom you have just saved me are warriors he has sent
out to find and slay me, for they know that often I come alone to
hunt and kill the sacred apt which Salensus Oll so much reveres.
It is partly because I hate his religion that Salensus Oll hates
me; but mostly does he fear my growing power and the great faction
which has arisen throughout Okar that would be glad to see me ruler
of Okar and Jeddak of Jeddaks in his place.

"He is a cruel and tyrannous master whom all hate, and were it not
for the great fear they have of him I could raise an army overnight
that would wipe out the few that might remain loyal to him. My
own people are faithful to me, and the little valley of Marentina
has paid no tribute to the court of Salensus Oll for a year.

"Nor can he force us, for a dozen men may hold the narrow way to
Marentina against a million. But now, as to thine own affairs.
How may I aid you? My palace is at your disposal, if you wish to
honor me by coming to Marentina."

"When our work is done we shall be glad to accept your invitation,"
I replied. "But now you can assist us most by directing us to the
court of Salensus Oll, and suggesting some means by which we may
gain admission to the city and the palace, or whatever other place
we find our friends to be confined."

Talu gazed ruefully at our smooth faces and at Thuvan Dihn's red
skin and my white one.

"First you must come to Marentina," he said, "for a great change
must be wrought in your appearance before you can hope to enter
any city in Okar. You must have yellow faces and black beards,
and your apparel and trappings must

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