Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 82

Dihn call aloud to Thuvia, but an instant later his
exclamation of surprise betokened that he, too, had been repulsed
by his own daughter.

"They will not even listen," he cried to me. "They have put their
hands over their ears and walked to the farther end of the garden.
Ever heard you of such mad work, John Carter? The two must be
bewitched."

Presently I mustered the courage to return to the window, for
even though she spurned me I loved her, and could not keep my eyes
from feasting upon her divine face and figure, but when she saw me
looking she again turned away.

I was at my wit's end to account for her strange actions, and that
Thuvia, too, had turned against her father seemed incredible. Could
it be that my incomparable princess still clung to the hideous faith
from which I had rescued her world? Could it be that she looked
upon me with loathing and contempt because I had returned from the
Valley Dor, or because I had desecrated the temples and persons of
the Holy Therns?

To naught else could I ascribe her strange deportment, yet it seemed
far from possible that such could be the case, for the love of
Dejah Thoris for John Carter had been a great and wondrous love--far
above racial distinctions, creed, or religion.

As I gazed ruefully at the back of her haughty, royal head a gate
at the opposite end of the garden opened and a man entered. As he
did so he turned and slipped something into the hand of the yellow
guardsman beyond the gate, nor was the distance too great that I
might not see that money had passed between them.

Instantly I knew that this newcomer had bribed his way within the
garden. Then he turned in the direction of the two women, and
I saw that he was none other than Thurid, the black dator of the
First Born.

He approached quite close to them before he spoke, and as they turned
at the sound of his voice I saw Dejah Thoris shrink from him.

There was a nasty leer upon his face as he stepped close to her
and spoke again. I could not hear his words, but her answer came
clearly.

"The granddaughter of Tardos Mors can always die," she said, "but
she could never live at the price you name."

Then I saw the black scoundrel go upon his knees beside her, fairly
groveling in the dirt, pleading with her. Only part of what he said
came to me, for

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