Hor Vastus sat in the seat of honour upon Carthoris" side of the table. There was little general conversation. It was a quiet and saddened party. The loss of Dejah Thoris was still fresh in the minds of all, and to this was added fear for the safety of Tardos Mors and Mors Kajak, as well as doubt and uncertainty as to the fate of Helium, should it prove true that she was permanently deprived of her great Jeddak.
Suddenly our attention was attracted by the sound of distant shouting, as of many people raising their voices at once, but whether in anger or rejoicing, we could not tell.
Nearer and nearer came the tumult. A slave rushed into the dining hall to cry that a great concourse of people was swarming through the palace gates. A second burst upon the heels of the first alternately laughing and shrieking as a madman.
"Dejah Thoris is found!" he cried. "A messenger from Dejah Thoris!"
I waited to hear no more. The great windows of the dining hall overlooked the avenue leading to the main gates-they were upon the opposite side of the hall from me with the table intervening. I did not waste time in circling the great board-with a single leap I cleared table and diners and sprang upon the balcony beyond. Thirty feet below lay the scarlet sward of the lawn and beyond were many people crowding about a great thoat which bore a rider headed toward the palace. I vaulted to the ground below and ran swiftly toward the advancing party.
As I came near to them I saw that the figure on the thoat was Sola.
"Where is the Princess of Helium?" I cried.
The green girl slid from her mighty mount and ran toward me.<<BackPagesTo menuNext>>