Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 81

the palace in a semi-detached tower at the rear
of the edifice.

When we asked our guide why we were quartered so far from the
guardroom he replied that the custom of the older members of the
guard of picking quarrels with aspirants to try their metal had
resulted in so many deaths that it was found difficult to maintain
the guard at its full strength while this custom prevailed. Salensus
Oll had, therefore, set apart these quarters for aspirants, and here
they were securely locked against the danger of attack by members
of the guard.

This unwelcome information put a sudden check to all our well-laid
plans, for it meant that we should virtually be prisoners in the
palace of Salensus Oll until the time that he should see fit to
give us the final examination for efficiency.

As it was this interval upon which we had banked to accomplish
so much in our search for Dejah Thoris and Thuvia of Ptarth, our
chagrin was unbounded when we heard the great lock click behind our
guide as he had quitted us after ushering us into the chambers we
were to occupy.

With a wry face I turned to Thuvan Dihn. My companion but shook
his head disconsolately and walked to one of the windows upon the
far side of the apartment.

Scarcely had he gazed beyond them than he called to me in a tone
of suppressed excitement and surprise. In an instant I was by his
side.

"Look!" said Thuvan Dihn, pointing toward the courtyard below.

As my eyes followed the direction indicated I saw two women pacing
back and forth in an enclosed garden.

At the same moment I recognized them--they were Dejah Thoris and
Thuvia of Ptarth!

There were they whom I had trailed from one pole to another, the
length of a world. Only ten feet of space and a few metal bars
separated me from them.

With a cry I attracted their attention, and as Dejah Thoris looked
up full into my eyes I made the sign of love that the men of Barsoom
make to their women.

To my astonishment and horror her head went high, and as a look
of utter contempt touched her finely chiseled features she turned
her back full upon me. My body is covered with the scars of a
thousand conflicts, but never in all my long life have I suffered
such anguish from a wound, for this time the steel of a woman's
look had entered my heart.

With a groan I turned away and buried my face in my arms. I
heard Thuvan

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