As I sprang forward to attack her captors, I saw another contingent of reinforcements burst into the room.
My case was now, indeed, hopeless.
The newcomers paid no attention to me; they ran straight for the window where the ship lay. If they succeeded in boarding her, the doom of Dejah Thoris would be sealed.
There was only one way in which I could circumvent them, though it definitely spelled the end for me.
The two men holding Ozara were waiting for me to attack them, but I paused long enough to hurl a mental order at the mechanical brain in the nose of Fal Sivas's ship.
I cast a glance back at the craft. Ur Jan and Umka stood in the doorway; Jat Or was not there; but at the very instant that the ship started to move away in obedience to my command, the young padwar sprang into view.
"My prince," he cried, "we have been betrayed. Gar Nal has fled with Dejah Thoris in his own ship."
Then the Tarids were upon me. A blow upon my head sent me down to merciful unconsciousness.
IN THE DARK CELL
ENVELOPED in darkness, surrounded by the silence of the grave, I regained consciousness. I was lying on a cold, stone floor; my head ached; and when I felt it with my palms, it was stiff with dried blood; and my hair was matted.
Dizzily, I dragged myself to a sitting posture and then to my feet. Then came realization that I probably was not seriously injured, and I commenced to investigate my surroundings.
Moving cautiously, groping through the darkness with outstretched hands before me, I soon came in contact with a stone wall. This I followed for a short distance, when I discovered a door. It was a very substantial door, and it was securely fastened from the opposite side.<<BackPagesTo menuNext>>