A Princess of Mars
took advantage of my relatively great strength and agility and sprang upward until I
grasped the sill of a second-story window which I thought to be in the rear of her
apartment. Drawing myself inside the room I moved stealthily toward the front of the
building, and not until I had quite reached the doorway of her room was I made aware by
voices that it was occupied.
I did not rush headlong in, but listened without to assure myself that it was Dejah Thoris
and that it was safe to venture within. It was well indeed that I took this precaution, for
the conversation I heard was in the low gutturals of men, and the words which finally
came to me proved a most timely warning. The speaker was a chieftain and he was giving
orders to four of his warriors.
"And when he returns to this chamber," he was saying, "as he surely will when he finds
she does not meet him at the city's edge, you four are to spring upon him and disarm him.
It will require the combined strength of all of you to do it if the reports they bring back
from Korad are correct. When you have him fast bound bear him to the vaults beneath the
jeddak's quarters and chain him securely where he may be found when Tal Hajus wishes
him. Allow him to speak with none, nor permit any other to enter this apartment before
he comes. There will be no danger of the girl returning, for by this time she is safe in the
arms of Tal Hajus, and may all her ancestors have pity upon her, for Tal Hajus will have
none; the great Sarkoja has done a noble night's work. I go, and if you fail to capture him
when he comes, I commend your carcasses to the cold bosom of Iss."