First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life & Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 3907
The Sixteenth Runner-Up in the Seven Wonders of Barsoom

Tara with Ghek and Rykor by Frank Frazetta
Part Five (Conclusion)
Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr.
“Corphal”: ancient Barsoomian superstition, obsolete except in backwards part of the planet; in popular belief, a witch or wizard having the power to command the spirits of the wicked dead in order to gain mastery over the living; but according to ancient Barsoomian lore, Corphals only entered into the bodies of wicked criminals of the lowest class; it is also popular belief that no common man dare harm them and they may only be slain by the hand of a jeddak with impunity; Manator is one of last surviving places on Barsoom to believe actively and openly in Corphals.

We must briefly return to Tara of Helium for some essential facts before we can get on with Ghek. When we last saw her, she had collapsed from malnourishment. U-Dor takes the prisoner from O-Tar’s throne room, unhappy that she is to be made a prize for common criminals and slaves at the next Jetan game – where she will be gang-raped to death – instead of being his personal sex slave. He recluctantly hands her over to the keeper of the Towers of Jetan, the dwar A-Kor – the son of a slave girl, Haja, who had once been a princess of Gathol, and O-Tar, the Jeddak of Manator. A-Kor makes insulting remarks about his father’s justice in front of U-Dor when Tara collapses. He will be punished for this. 

He half carries Tara to the tower and hands her over to a Gatholian slave girl, Lan-O. Tara discovers that the roads leading into Gathol – which lies twenty-one degrees east of Manator – are the prime places Manatorian go to kidnap slaves for their city. So far, no one has been caught and the Gatholians are ignorant that Manator even exists. Meanwhile, E-Med, a Manatorian warrior looking forward to winning Tara in the next game, drops by to try out his new pair of shoes before buying them. Yes, once again, Tara faces violent rape. A-Kor has been taken to the pits for his insult to O-Tar, and E-Med is now in charge of the towers. As E-Med seizes Tara in a passionate embrace, Tara unexpectedly slips her dagger into his chest and kills him instantly. She is a chip off the old block when it comes to killing people. She now has three notches on her dagger: two rykors and one Manatorian.

She and Lan-O dispose of the body and then wait and see what happens. Guards come and question them about the whereabouts of E-Med, but they deny ever seeing him. She asks about Turan and the guard instead talks about Ghek and how is suspected of being a Corphal.
When Tara lambasts him of gross superstition, contradicting the guard about the lore of Corphals, the guard suspects that she knows too much. He returns and makes his report and OTar then sends for Tara to appear before him again.

Meanwhile Gahan, as Turan, has met the now prisoner, A-Kor, in the pits and learned that he is the son of his own mother’s sister. He will prove to be an immense help in Gahan’s ever evolving plan to escape. After a while, guards approach and escort Turan to the throne room of O-Tar. And poor I-Zav, the guard left behind to watch Ghek’s every move, is the reason both Tara and Gahan have been summoned, as everyone is swift to learn. Tara is led in first and forced to face the Jeddak:

“‘The laws of Manator are just,’ said O-Tar, addressing her; ‘thus is it that you have been summoned here again to be judged by the highest authority of Manator. Word has reached me that you are suspected of being a Corphal. What word have you to say in refutation of the charge?’ 
“Tara of Helium could scarce restrain a sneer as she answered the ridiculous accusation of witchcraft. ‘So ancient is the culture of my people,’ she said, ‘that authentic history reveals no defense for that which we know existed only in the ignorant and superstitious minds of the most primitive peoples of the past. To those who are yet so untutored as to believe in the existence of Corphals, there can be no argument that will convince them of their error – only long ages of refinement and culture can accomplish their release from the bondage of ignorance. I have spoken.’” (CM/14.)
And spoken like a true daughter of John Carter, who almost single-handedly wiped the evil religion of Issus from the face of the planet. Is it no wonder that she was well-tutored in the priestcraft of religion? But again, she responds in the sarcastic, haughty, tones of a teenager, and only with help will she get through this ordeal.
“‘Yet you do not deny the accusation,’ said O-Tar.
“‘It is not worthy the dignity of a denial,’ she responded haughtily.
“‘And I were you, woman,’ said a deep voice at her side, ‘I should, nevertheless, deny it.’
“Tara of Helium turned to see the eyes of U-Thor, the great jed of Manatos, upon her. Brave eyes they were, but neither cold nor cruel. O-Tar rapped impatiently upon the arm of his throne. ‘U-Thor forgets,’ he cried, ‘that O-Tar is the jeddak.’
“‘U-Thor remembers,’ replied the jed of Manatos, ‘that the laws of Manator permit any who may be accused to have advice and counsel before their judge.’
“Tara of Helium saw that for some reason this man would have assisted her, and so she acted upon his advice.
“‘I deny the charge,’ she said, ‘I am no Corphal.’
“‘Of that we shall learn,’ snapped O-Tar. ‘U-Dor, where are those who have knowledge of the powers of this woman?’
“And U-Dor brought several who recounted the little that was known of the disappearance of E-Med, and others who told of the capture of Ghek and Tara, suggesting by deduction that having been found together they had sufficient in common to make it reasonably certain that one was as bad as the other, and that, therefore, it remained but to convict one of them of Corphalism to make certain the guilt of both.” (CM/14.)
This is actually an amusing indictment of the criminal justice system in America, with which ERB was well acquainted. In fact, not only in Chessmen, but also in Girl from Hollywood, criminal trials take center stage. One of the worst mistakes an innocent accused person can make is to assume that because they are innocent they don’t have anything to worry about. Actually, an accused person is 90% convicted almost immediately and needs to really worry about it, hiring the most skilled attorney he or she can afford.

Sure, there are rules of evidence that are supposed to prevent undue prejudice arising from certain facts or arguments, but there are also statutes and jury instructions that allow in evidence of prior bad acts by a preponderance of the evidence to prove that if the accused has done it before, he is likely to have done it this time – allowing a prosecutor to essentially argue like O-Tar above – which in fact undermines the law that you must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for any specific crime of which you can be deprived of life or liberty.

Let’s say, for example, that you have pled guilty in the past to misdemeanor domestic violence – say you and your significant other got into a slap bruises. Let’s say she finds out you cheated on her and falsely accuses you of beating her up. This time, mysteriously, she sports several dark bruises. This time it’s a felony, with a prior. Without a really good lawyer, you are screwed.

Tara has already realized this, for history has taught that the only way to beat a charge of witchcraft ended up in your death. You were bound, thrown into a river, and if you sunk, you were not a witch, and if you floated, you were. Whether convicted or acquitted, you were still dead. And this was “just” in the eyes of the law of the time.

“And then O-Tar called for Ghek, and immediately the hideous kaldane was dragged before him by warriors who could not conceal the fear in which they held this creature.
“‘And you!’ said O-Tar in cold accusing tones. “Already I have been told enough of you to warrant me in passing through your heart the jeddak’s steel – of how you stole the brains from the warrior U-Van, so that he thought he saw your headless body still endowed with life; of how you caused another to believe that you had escaped, making him to see naught but an empty bench and a blank wall where you had been.’
“‘Ah, O-Tar, but that is nothing,’ cried a young padwar who had come in command of the escort that brought Ghek. ‘The thing which he did to I-Zav, would prove his guilt alone.’
“‘What did he to the warrior I-Zav?’ demanded O-Tar. ‘Let I-Zav speak!’
“The warrior I-Zav, a great fellow of bulging muscles and thick neck, advanced to the floor of the throne. He was pale and still trembling visibly as from a nervous shock.
“‘Let my first ancestor be my witness, O-Tar, that I speak the truth,’ he began. ‘I was left to guard this creature, who sat upon a bench, shackled to the wall. I stood by the open doorway at the opposite side of the chamber. He could not reach me, yet, O-Tar, may Iss engulf me if he did not drag me to him helpless as an unhatched egg. He dragged me to him, greatest of jeddaks, with his eyes! With his eyes he seized upon my eyes and dragged me to him and he made me lay my swords and dagger upon the table and back off into a corner, and still keeping his eyes upon my eyes quitted his body and crawling upon six short legs it descended to the floor and backed part way into the hole of an ulsio, but not far that the eyes were not still upon me and then it returned with the key to its fetters and after resuming its place upon its own shoulders it unlocked the fetter and again dragged me across the room and made me to sit upon the bench where it had been and there it fastened the fetter about my ankle, and I could do naught for the power of its eyes and the fact that it wore my two swords and my dagger.” (CM/14.)
This kind of long-winded narrative testimony occurs allof the time in a trial, for it usually goes way beyond the question that was asked, and calls for the “narrative” objection, which is almost always granted. One other thing to note is I-Zav’s call upon Iss to engulf him if he lies. This implies a belief in the religion of Issus, which was a step above belief in Corphals, but not by much. Anyway, back to I-Zav’s account:
“‘And then the head disappeared down the hole of the ulsio with the key, and when it returned, it resumed its body and stood guard over me at the doorway until the padwar came to fetch it hither.’” (CM/14.)
Ghek is involved in some very hilarious role reversal humor with I-Zav, using the old Jedi mind tricks on the poor fellow, obviously setting the stage for his next appearance before OTar, which is currently taking place.
“‘It is enough!’ said O-Tar, sternly. ‘Both shall receive the jeddak’s steel,’ and rising from his throne he drew his long sword and descended the marble steps toward them, while two brawny warriors seized Tara by either arm and two seized Ghek, holding them facing the naked blade of the jeddak.
“‘Hold, just O-Tar!’ cried U-Dor. ‘There be yet another to be judged. Let us confront him who calls himself Turan with these his fellows before they die.’
“‘Good!’ exclaimed O-Tar, pausing half way down the steps. ‘Fetch Turan, the slave!’
“When Turan had been brought into the chamber he was placed a little to Tara’s left and a step nearer the throne. O-Tar eyed him menacingly. 
“‘You are Turan,’ he asked, ‘friend and companion of these?’
“The panthan was about to reply when Tara of Helium spoke. ‘I know not this fellow,’ she said. ‘Who dares say that he be a friend and companion of the Princess Tara of Helium?’
“Turan and Ghek looked at her in surprise, but at Turan she did not look, and to Ghek she passed a quick glance of warning, as to say: ‘Hold thy peace.’
“The panthan tried not to fathom her purpose for the head is useless when the heart usurps its functions, and Turan knew only that the woman he loved had denied him, and though he tried not even to think it his foolish heart urged but a single explanation – that she refused to recognize him lest she be involved in his difficulties.
“O-Tar looked first at one and then at another of them; but none of them spoke.
“‘Were they not captured together?’ he asked of U-Dor.
“‘No,’ replied the dwar. ‘He is who is called Turan was found seeking entrance to the city and was enticed to the pits. The following morning I discovered the other two upon the hill beyond The Gate of Enemies.’ 
“‘But they are friends and companions,’ said a young padwar, ‘for this Turan inquired of me concerning these two, calling them by name and saying that they were his friends.’
“‘It is enough,’ stated O-Tar, ‘all three shall die,’ and he took another step downward from the throne.
“‘For what shall we die?’ asked Ghek. ‘Your people prate of the just laws of Manator, and yet you would slay three strangers without telling them of what crime they are accused.’
“‘He is right,’ said a deep voice. It was the voice of U-Thor, the great jed of Manatos. O-Tar looked at him and scowled; but there came voices from other portions of the chamber seconding the demand for justice.
“‘Then know, though you shall die anyway,’ cried O-Tar, ‘that all three are convicted of Corphalism and that as only a jeddak may slay such as you in safety you are about to be honored with the steel of O-Tar.’
“‘Fool!’ cried Turan. ‘Know you not that in the veins of this woman flows the blood of ten thousand jeddaks – that greater than yours is her power in her own land? She is Tara, Princess of Helium, great-granddaughter of Tardos Mors, daughter of John Carter, Warlord of Barsoom. She cannot be a Corphal. Nor is this creature Ghek, nor am I. And you would know more, I can prove my right to be heard and to be believed if I may have word with the Princess Haja of Gathol, whose son is my fellow prisoner in the pits of O-Tar, his father.’
“At this U-Thor rose to his feet and faced O-Tar. ‘What means this?’ he asked. ‘Speaks the man the truth? Is the son of Haja a prisoner in thy pits, OTar?’
“‘And what is it to the jed of Manatos who be the prisoners in the pits of his jeddak?’ demanded O-Tar, angrily.
“‘It is this to the jed of Manatos,’ replied U-Thor in a voice so low as to be scarce more than a whisper and yet that was heard the whole length and breadth of the great throne room of O-Tar, Jeddak of Manator. ‘You gave me a slave woman, Haja, who had been a princess in Gathol, because you feared her influence among the slaves from Gathol. I have made of her a free woman, and I have married her and made her a thus a princess of Manatos. Her son is my son, O-Tar, and though thou be my jeddak, I say to you that for any harm that befalls A-Kor you shall answer to U-Thor of Manatos.’
“O-Tar looked long at U-Thor, but he made no reply. Then he turned again to Turan. ‘If one be a Corphal,’ he said, ‘then all of you be Corphals, and we know well from the things that this creature has done,’ he pointed at Ghek, ‘that he is a Corphal, for no mortal has such powers as he. And as you are all Corphals you must all die.’ He took another step downward, when Ghek spoke.
“‘These two have no such powers as I,’ he said. ‘They are but ordinary, brainless things such as yourself. I have done all the things that your poor, ignorant warriors have told you; but this only demonstrates that I am of a higher order than yourselves, as is indeed the fact. I am a kaldane, not a Corphal. There is nothing supernatural or mysterious about me, other than to the ignorant all things which they cannot understand are mysterious. Easily might have I eluded your warriors and escaped your pits; but I remained in the hope that I might help these two foolish creatures who have not the brains to escape without help. They befriended me and saved my life. I owe them this debt. Do not slay them – they are harmless. Slay me if you will. I offer my life if it will appease your ignorant wrath. I cannot return to Bantoom and so I might as well die, for there is no pleasure in intercourse with the feeble intellects that cumber the face of the world outside of Bantoom.’” (CM/14.)
This is quite an intercession by Ghek. Even though he has humorous opinions about his saviors, he takes on an almost Christlike role in their defense, willing to give up his life so that his friends may live. He may not realize it, but he has transformed, taking the same journey as Tars Tarkas and Sola before him, overcoming culture to become truly human, knowing the love of friends and the power of friendship.

It also gives us an insight into the fatalism that has developed inside his great brain since his departure from his motherland. He may live for a long time but his rykor only has a life span of ten years at best. And unless he can come up with a vocation to match his wit and intellect, life among the “brainless” would prove to be unbearable for him. But he has a mission and that mission prevents him from spiralling down into deep despair.

“‘Hideous egotist,’ said O-Tar, ‘prepare to die and assume not to dictate to O-Tar the jeddak. He has passed sentence and all three of you shall feel the jeddak’s naked steel. I have spoken!’
“He took another step downward and then a strange thing happened. He paused, his eyes fixed upon the eyes of Ghek. His sword slipped from nerveless fingers, and still he stood there swaying forward and back. A jed rose to rush to his side; but Ghek stopped him with a word.
“‘Wait!’ he cried. ‘The life of your jeddak is in my hands. You believe me a Corphal and so you believe, too, that only the sword of a jeddak may slay me, therefore your blades are useless against me. Offer harm to any one of us, or seek to approach your jeddak until I have spoken, and he shall sink lifeless to the marble. Release the two prisoners and let them come to my side – I would speak to them, privately. Quick! do as I say; I would as lief as not slay O-Tar. I but let him live that I may gain freedom for my friends – obstruct me and he dies.’
“The guards fell back, releasing Tara and Turan, who came close to Ghek’s side.
“‘Do as I tell you and do it quickly,’ whispered the kaldane. ‘I cannot hold this fellow long, nor could I kill him thus. There are many minds working against mine and presently mine will tire and O-Tar will be himself again. You must make the best of your opportunity while you may. Behind the arras that you see hanging in the rear of the throne above you is a secret opening. From it a corridor leads to the pits of the palace, where there are storerooms containing food and drink. Few people go there. From these pits lead others to all parts of the city. Follow one that runs due west and it will bring you to The Gate of Enemies. The rest will then lie with you. I can do no more; hurry before my waning powers fail me – I am not as Luud, who was a king. He could have held this creature forever. Make haste! Go!’” (CM/14.)
Next comes a tearful scene which reinforces Ghek’s new found discovery of friendship. Tara of Helium refuses to leave without him. She has become the friend of a monster.
“‘I shall not desert you, Ghek,’ said Tara of Helium, simply.
“‘Go! Go!” whispered the kaldane. ‘You can do me no good. Go, or all I have done is for naught.’
“Tara shook her head. ‘I cannot,’ she said.
“‘They will slay her,’ said Ghek to Turan, and the panthan, torn between loyalty to this strange creature who had offered its life for him, and love of the woman, hesitated but a moment, then he swept Tara from her feet and lifting her in his arms leaped up the steps that led to the throne of Manator. Behind the throne he parted the arras and found the secret opening. Into this he bore the girl and down a long, narrow corridor and winding runways that led to lower levels until they came to the pits of the palace of O-Tar. Here was a labyrinth of passages and chambers presenting a thousand hiding-places.
“As Turan bore Tara up the steps toward the throne a score of warriors rose as though to rush forward to intercept them. ‘Stay!’ cried Ghek, ‘or your jeddak dies,’ and they halted in their tracks, waiting the will of this strange, uncanny creature.
“Presently Ghek took his eyes from the eyes of O-Tar and the jeddak shook himself as one who would be rid of a bad dream and straightened up, half dazed still.
“‘Look,’ said Ghek, then, ‘I have given your jeddak his life, nor have I harmed one of those whom I might easily have slain when they were in my power. No harm have I or my friends done in the city of Manator. Why then should you persecute us? Give us our lives. Give us our liberty.’
“O-Tar, now in command of his faculties, stooped and regained his sword. In the room was silence as all waited to hear the jeddak’s answer.
“‘Just are the laws of Manator,’ he said at last. ‘Perhaps, after all, there is truth in the words of the stranger. Return him to the pits and pursue the others and capture them. Through the mercy of O-Tar they shall be permitted to win their freedom upon the Field of Jetan, in the coming games.’” (CM/15,)
We next learn, as Ghek is led from the room, that O-Tar has lost face with the Manatorians since he has been shown to be weak in front of the strangers. U-Thor challenges his authority and his men and those of O-Tar draw swords on each other, ending in a stalemate as UThor retreats to The Gate of Enemies.

Meanwhile, Turan, still flushed from the arousal of the contact with Tara’s body caused by grabbing her and taking her from the room, makes him careless. He jumps Tara’s bones down in the pits, kissing her passionately. At least he gets farther with the Princess than E-Med did, but again, the Princess is insulted by his boldness. Their confrontation is broken up by the Old Man of the Pits, the one responsible for embalming the dead heroes of Manator displayed in the Hall of the Chiefs. He leads them into a trap, wanting them to remain with him. Tara is captured but tricks the guards so that Turan might escape. He does, organizing a Jetan team consisting of mainly Gatholian slaves. He will play for Tara of Helium. And what a game he plays, using a move that will thereafter be known as the Gatholian Gambit. Again, the reader may review the story and the move at ERBzine #3303 and #3313. At the end of the match, Turan, acting as U-Kal of Manataj, is exposed by the Old Man, named I-Gos – who recognizes him as Turan from the pits. He reports this to O-Tar, who orders his capture.

A Manatorian warrior kidnaps Tara and almost rapes her before Gahan, now back as Turan, saves her along with Tasor, posing as A-Sor, a friend of Gahan’s youth. Turan finally has a moment alone with Tara, and she breaks down and forgets her culture and upbringing, spending a long time with Turan in a lover’s embrace. You may have guessed what my take is on this scene. After all, Tara was no longer a virgin. Turan does some scouting, leaving Tara in what he believes is a safe place, but it isn’t.

When he returns, Tara is missing, having been forcibly kidnaped by I-Gos. Turan hears strange noises, but they end up only being made by Ghek who has been trying to locate Tara. 

“A moment later he heard behind him the shuffling sound that had attracted his attention in the spiral runway. Wheeling about he saw the author of the sound emerging from a doorway he had just passed. It was Ghek the kaldane.
“‘Ghek!’ exclaimed Gahan. ‘It was you in the runway? Have you seen Tara of Helium?’
“‘It was I in the spiral,’ replied the kaldane; ‘but I have not seen Tara of Helium. I have been searching for her. Where is she?’
“‘I do not know,’ replied the Gatholian; ‘but we must find her and take her from this place.’
“‘We may find her,’ said Ghek; ‘but I doubt our ability to take her away. It is not so easy to leave Manator as it is to enter it. I may come and go at will, through the ancient burrows of the ulsios; but you are too large for that and your lungs need more air that may be found in some of the deeper runways.’ 
“‘But U-Thor!’ exclaimed Gahan. ‘Have you heard aught of him or his intentions?’
“‘I have heard much,’ replied Ghek. ‘He camps at The Gate of Enemies. That spot he holds and his warriors lie just beyond The Gate; but he has not sufficient force to enter the city and take the palace. An hour since and you might have made your way to him; but now every avenue is strongly guarded since OTar learned that A-Kor had escaped to U-Thor.’
“‘A-Kor has escaped and jointed U-Thor!’ exclaimed Gahan.
“‘But little more than an hour since. I was with him when a warrior came – a man whose name is Tasor – who brought a message from you. It was decided that Tasor should accompany A-Kor in an attempt to reach the camp of U-Thor, the great jed of Manatos, and exact from him the assurances that you required. Then U-Thor was to return and take food to you and the Princess of Helium. I accompanied them. We won through easily and found U-Thor more than willing to respect your every wish, but when Tasor would have returned to you the way was blocked by the warriors of O-Tar. Then it was that I volunteered to come to you and report and find food and drink and then go forth among the Gatholian slaves of Manator and prepare them for their part in the plan that U-Thor and Tasor conceived.’
“‘And what was this plan?’
“‘U-Thor has sent for reinforcements. To Manatos he has sent and to all the outlying districts that are his. It will take a month to collect and bring them hither and in the meantime the slaves within the city are to organize secretly, stealing and hiding arms against the day that the reinforcements arrive. When that day comes the forces of U-Thor will enter the Gate of Enemies and as the warriors of O-Tar rush to repulse them the slaves from Gathol will fall upon them from the rear with the majority of their numbers, while the balance will assault the palace. They hope thus to divert so many from The Gate that U-Thor will have little difficulty in forcing an entrance to the city.’
“‘Perhaps they will succeed,’ commented Gahan; ‘but the warriors of OTar are many, and those who fight in defense of their homes and their jeddak have always an advantage. Ah, Ghek, would that we had the great warships of Gathol or of Helium to pour their merciless fire into the streets of Manator while U-Thor marches to the palace over the corpses of the slain.’ He paused, deep in thought, and then turned his gaze again upon the kaldane. ‘Heard you aught of the party that escaped with me from the Field of Jetan – of Floran, Val Dor, and the others? What of them?’
“‘Ten of these won through to U-Thor at The Gate of Enemies and were well received by him. Eight fell in the fighting upon the way. Val Dor and Floran live, I believe, for I am sure I heard U-Thor address two warriors by these names.’
“‘Good!’ exclaimed Gahan. ‘Go then, through the burrows of the ulsios, to The Gate of Enemies and carry to Floran the message that I shall write in his own language. Come, while I write the message.’
“In a nearby room they found a bench and table and there Gahan sat and wrote in the strange, stenographic characters of Martian script a message to Floran of Gathol. ‘Why,’ he asked, when he had finished it, ‘did you search for Tara through the spiral runway where we nearly met?’
“‘Tasor told me where you were to be found, and as I have explored the greater part of the palace by means of the ulsio runways and the darker and less frequented passages I knew precisely where you were and how to reach you. The secret spiral ascends from the pits to the roof of the loftiest of the palace towers. It has secret openings at every level; but there is no living Manatorian, I believe, who knows of its existence. At least never have I met one within it and I have used it many times. Thrice have I been in the chamber where O-Mai lies, though I knew nothing of his identity or the story of his death until Tasor told it to us in the camp of U-Thor.’
“‘You know the palace thoroughly then?’ Gahan interrupted.
“‘Better than O-Tar himself or any of his servants.’
“‘Good! And you would serve the Princess Tara, Ghek, you may serve her best by accompanying Floran and following his instructions. I will write them here at the close of my message to him, for the walls have ears, Ghek, while none but a Gatholian may read what I have written to Floran. He will transmit it to you. Can I trust you?’
“‘I may never return to Bantoom,’ replied Ghek. ‘Therefore I have but two friends in all Barsoom. What better may I do than serve them faithfully? You may trust me, Gatholian, who with a woman of your kind has taught me that there be finer and nobler things than perfect mentality uninfluenced by the unreasoning tuitions of the heart. I go.’” (CM/20.)
The plot from henceforth is too complicated to briefly summarize, however, at the very end, Ghek still plays a major role in the successful revolution of Manator. This is summed up by John Carter himself at the end, during what I call a John Carter Epiphany, where he appears to a fake Edgar Rice Burroughs on Earth to recount his adventures. The fake ERB asks John Carter:
“‘And Ghek? What became of Ghek?’ I insisted.
“‘After leading Val Dor and Floran to Tara’s disabled flier which they repaired, he accompanied them to Gathol from where a message was sent to me in Helium. He then led a large party including A-Kor and U-Thor from the roof, where our ships landed them, down a spiral runway into the palace and then guided them to the throne room. We took him back to Helium with us, where he still lives, with his single rykor which we found all but starved to death in the pits of Manator. But come! No more questions now.’” (CM/22.)

Personally, I imagine Ghek setting up a detective agency allowing him to make money off his exceptional brain. I also see him working on a long term plan that would allow him to return to Bantoom every ten years with sufficient force to barter for a new king’s rykor when his old one wears out. With the most beautiful male body on Barsoom, I also imagine him quite the ladies man, especially if he were able to develop a nonfreakish mask to wear.

Anyway, our next Runner-Up will be the 
Epiphanies of John Carter and Fake Autobiographies of ERB.
Stay tuned.

7 WONDERS: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII

RUNNERS UP: I.a | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII.2.2b.3a.3b | IX | X.2.3.4
.XI. |.XII.2.| XIII.|.XIV.|.XV.| XVI.| XVII.

A Princess of Mars
Gods of Mars
Warlord of Mars
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
Chessmen of Mars
Mastermind of Mars
A Fighting Man of Mars
Swords of Mars
Synthetic Men of Mars
Llana of Gathol
Skeleton Men of Jupiter
John Carter and the Giant of Mars

Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.-
All Rights Reserved. ERB quotes ©ERB Inc.
© 2012 by Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr. All rights reserved. ERB quotes © ERB Inc.
All Original Work ©1996-2012/2018 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.