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6. CHAPTER VI : THE JEDDAK OF LOTHAR (continued)
Carthoris turned quickly toward the Lotharian. The fellow was smiling broadly.
"I thought that you just said that there were no soldiers in Lothar," said the Heliumite, with a gesture toward the guardsmen. "What are these?"
"Ask Tario," replied the other. "We shall soon be before him."
Nor was it long before they entered a lofty chamber at one end of which a man reclined upon a rich couch that stood upon a high dais.
As the trio approached, the man turned dreamy eyes sleepily upon them. Twenty feet from the dais their conductor halted, and, whispering to Thuvia and Carthoris to follow his example, threw himself headlong to the floor. Then rising to hands and knees, he commenced crawling toward the foot of the throne, swinging his head to and fro and wiggling his body as you have seen a hound do when approaching its master.
Thuvia glanced quickly toward Carthoris. He was standing erect, with high-held head and arms folded across his broad chest. A haughty smile curved his lips.
The man upon the dais was eyeing him intently, and Carthoris of Helium was looking straight in the other's face.
"Who be these, Jav?" asked the man of him who crawled upon his belly along the floor.
"O Tario, most glorious Jeddak," replied Jav, "these be strangers who came with the hordes of Torquas to our gates, saying that they were prisoners of the green men. They tell strange tales of cities far beyond Lothar."
"Arise, Jav," commanded Tario, "and ask these two why they show not to Tario the respect that is his due."
Jav arose and faced the strangers. At sight of their erect positions his face went livid. He leaped toward them.
"Creatures!" he screamed. "Down! Down upon your bellies before the last of the jeddaks of Barsoom!"
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