Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 86

I attacked
Thurid, and when Salensus Oll had left with Dejah Thoris and the
others, leaving Thuvia of Ptarth behind, he, too, had remained
in the garden with his daughter, apparently unnoticed, for he was
appareled similarly to the guards.

The last I had seen of him he stood waiting for the warriors who
escorted me to close the gate behind them, that he might be alone
with Thuvia. Could it be possible that they had escaped? I doubted
it, and yet with all my heart I hoped that it might be true.

The third day of my incarceration brought a dozen warriors to escort
me to the audience chamber, where Salensus Oll himself was to try
me. A great number of nobles crowded the room, and among them I
saw Thurid, but Matai Shang was not there.

Dejah Thoris, as radiantly beautiful as ever, sat upon a small throne
beside Salensus Oll. The expression of sad hopelessness upon her
dear face cut deep into my heart.

Her position beside the Jeddak of Jeddaks boded ill for her and me,
and on the instant that I saw her there, there sprang to my mind
the firm intention never to leave that chamber alive if I must
leave her in the clutches of this powerful tyrant.

I had killed better men than Salensus Oll, and killed them with my
bare hands, and now I swore to myself that I should kill him if I
found that the only way to save the Princess of Helium. That it
would mean almost instant death for me I cared not, except that
it would remove me from further efforts in behalf of Dejah Thoris,
and for this reason alone I would have chosen another way, for
even though I should kill Salensus Oll that act would not restore
my beloved wife to her own people. I determined to wait the final
outcome of the trial, that I might learn all that I could of the
Okarian ruler's intentions, and then act accordingly.

Scarcely had I come before him than Salensus Oll summoned Thurid
also.

"Dator Thurid," he said, "you have made a strange request of me;
but, in accordance with your wishes and your promise that it will
result only to my interests, I have decided to accede.

"You tell me that a certain announcement will be the means of
convicting this prisoner and, at the same time, open the way to
the gratification of my dearest wish."

Thurid nodded.

"Then shall I make the announcement here before all my nobles,"
continued Salensus Oll. "For a year

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