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6. CHAPTER VI : THE JEDDAK OF LOTHAR (continued)
"Let us go before Tario," replied the Lotharian. "He will tell you that which he deems it best you know. I might tell you too much."
"Who is Tario?" asked Carthoris.
"Jeddak of Lothar," replied the guide, leading them up the broad avenue down which they had but a moment since seen the phantom army marching.
For half an hour they walked along lovely avenues between the most gorgeous buildings that the two had ever seen. Few people were in evidence. Carthoris could not but note the deserted appearance of the mighty city.
At last they came to the royal palace. Carthoris saw it from a distance, and guessing the nature of the magnificent pile wondered that even here there should be so little sign of activity and life.
Not even a single guard was visible before the great entrance gate, nor in the gardens beyond, into which he could see, was there sign of the myriad life that pulses within the precincts of the royal estates of the red jeddaks.
"Here," said their guide, "is the palace of Tario."
As he spoke Carthoris again let his gaze rest upon the wondrous palace. With a startled exclamation he rubbed his eyes and looked again. No! He could not be mistaken. Before the massive gate stood a score of sentries. Within, the avenue leading to the main building was lined on either side by ranks of bowmen. The gardens were dotted with officers and soldiers moving quickly to and fro, as though bent upon the duties of the minute.
What manner of people were these who could conjure an army out of thin air? He glanced toward Thuvia. She, too, evidently had witnessed the transformation.
With a little shudder she pressed more closely toward him.
"What do you make of it?" she whispered. "It is most uncanny."
"I cannot account for it," replied Carthoris, "unless we have gone mad."
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