Warlord of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 97

correct, Solan replaced
the money in the pouch and rose from the table.

"Now," he said, "are you quite sure that you know the way to your
destination? You must travel quickly to cover the ground to the
cave and from thence beyond the Great Power, all within a brief
hour, for no more dare I spare you."

"Let me repeat it to you," said Thurid, "that you may see if I be
letter-perfect."

"Proceed," replied Solan.

"Through yonder door," he commenced, pointing to a door at the far
end of the apartment, "I follow a corridor, passing three diverging
corridors upon my right; then into the fourth right-hand corridor
straight to where three corridors meet; here again I follow to the
right, hugging the left wall closely to avoid the pit.

"At the end of this corridor I shall come to a spiral runway, which
I must follow down instead of up; after that the way is along but
a single branchless corridor. Am I right?"

"Quite right, Dator," answered Solan; "and now begone. Already
have you tempted fate too long within this forbidden place."

"Tonight, or tomorrow, then, you may expect the signal," said
Thurid, rising to go.

"Tonight, or tomorrow," repeated Solan, and as the door closed
behind his guest the old man continued to mutter as he turned back
to the table, where he again dumped the contents of the money-pouch,
running his fingers through the heap of shining metal; piling the
coins into little towers; counting, recounting, and fondling the
wealth the while he muttered on and on in a crooning undertone.

Presently his fingers ceased their play; his eyes popped wider
than ever as they fastened upon the door through which Thurid
had disappeared. The croon changed to a querulous muttering, and
finally to an ugly growl.

Then the old man rose from the table, shaking his fist at the closed
door. Now he raised his voice, and his words came distinctly.

"Fool!" he muttered. "Think you that for your happiness Solan will
give up his life? If you escaped, Salensus Oll would know that
only through my connivance could you have succeeded. Then would
he send for me. What would you have me do? Reduce the city and
myself to ashes? No, fool, there is a better way--a better way
for Solan to keep thy money and be revenged upon Salensus Oll."

He laughed in a nasty, cackling note.

"Poor fool! You may throw the great switch that will give you
the freedom of the air of Okar, and then, in fatuous

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