Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 95

but that he had completely devoured me, and so no
suspicion of my escape would cause a search to be made for me.

Coiling the rope that had carried me thus far upon my strange
journey, I sought for the other end, but found that as I followed
it forward it extended always before me. So this was the meaning
of the words: "Follow the rope."

The tunnel through which I crawled was low and dark. I had followed
it for several hundred yards when I felt a knot beneath my fingers.
"Beyond the knots lies danger."

Now I went with the utmost caution, and a moment later a sharp turn
in the tunnel brought me to an opening into a large, brilliantly
lighted chamber.

The trend of the tunnel I had been traversing had been slightly
upward, and from this I judged that the chamber into which I now
found myself looking must be either on the first floor of the palace
or directly beneath the first floor.

Upon the opposite wall were many strange instruments and devices,
and in the center of the room stood a long table, at which two men
were seated in earnest conversation.

He who faced me was a yellow man--a little, wizened-up, pasty-faced
old fellow with great eyes that showed the white round the entire
circumference of the iris.

His companion was a black man, and I did not need to see his face
to know that it was Thurid, for there was no other of the First
Born north of the ice-barrier.

Thurid was speaking as I came within hearing of the men's voices.

"Solan," he was saying, "there is no risk and the reward is great.
You know that you hate Salensus Oll and that nothing would please
you more than to thwart him in some cherished plan. There be
nothing that he more cherishes today than the idea of wedding the
beautiful Princess of Helium; but I, too, want her, and with your
help I may win her.

"You need not more than step from this room for an instant when
I give you the signal. I will do the rest, and then, when I am
gone, you may come and throw the great switch back into its place,
and all will be as before. I need but an hour's start to be safe
beyond the devilish power that you control in this hidden chamber
beneath the palace of your master. See how easy," and with the
words the black dator rose from his seat and, crossing the room,
laid his hand

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Text Comparison with The Outlaw of Torn

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Ah! That was friendship indeed! What else was it that tried to force its way above the threshold of his bruised and wavering memory? Words? Words of love? And lips pressed to his? No, it must be but a figment of his wounded brain.
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